Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holiday Reds At The Saltbox Café

 Welcome to The Saltbox Café and its holiday glow!

I know there's a setting on the camera to shoot lights at night,
but I prefer that special aura aspect.
Plus I'd need a flash light and the instruction book, 
so you're getting aura tonight
and a very nice aura too I might add.

The Hawthornes attended another one of 
Chefs Amanda and Randolph Sprinkle's remarkable six-course wine-paired dinners.

We're celebrating  Holiday Reds tonight
with Jen and Steve of Empire Wine Distributors.

As always, the menu is the creation of Chefs Amanda and Randolph Sprinkle.
Special Guest Chef is Joshua Naser
and also helping in the kitchen is Nohea.
Our servers are the inimitable DinkleWolf team
of Mike and April.

And so it begins.

We're starting off with breakfast - bacon and eggs.
Course 1:  Brown sugar glazed pork belly and deviled eggs paired with Row 11 "3 Vinas" Pinot Noir.

The food pics speak for themselves, so I won't have to describe that except to say it was prepared by the Saltbox Crew, so you know it's good.

But I guess I will have to describe the wines.  Our first wine was Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir.  Not Row Ten.  Not Row Twelve.  But Row Eleven.  Believe me, I can tell the difference a row makes.  This was a pretentious, haughty little wine exhibiting, dare I say,  a soupçon of bacon and a flutter of smoke.  I'll call it love in a bottle.

I am quite the fan of the belly of pork.

Course 2:  House smoked Korean BBQ Ribs with Daikon and Chinese Cabbage Slaw paired with Steele Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel.

Our second wine is Steele Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel.   This was way better than the Mad Dog 20/20 I had last night.

I'd call it finger-lickin' good.
So were the ribs.

Course 3:  Roasted Quail with Mushroom and Foie Gras Stuffing with Whipped Potatoes and Demi, paired with Stonestreet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon salaciously slid down my throat like silk.  I will think of M.C.  Hammer and his harem pants whenever I drink this wine.  Like taking a magic carpet ride with Arabian Knights in Red Satin and the carpet is brilliantly be-jeweled with rubies and I have a Sultan with me to pour my wine and do my bidding and manoeuvre the carpet since I've been drinking.  I woke up later that night,  neon lights flashing by-the-hour prices through the windows of our hotel room.  U can't touch this wine unless you're ready for the consequences.

Course 4:  Roasted Veal Loin with Glazed Malibu Carrots and Pearl Onions, paired with Stag's Leap "The Investor."

The Investor was a rich, bold, well-hung wine which left me with intense emotions -  plenitude and gratitude come to mind.
That's one sexy carrot leg.


Course 5:  Garlic and Herb Encrusted Prime Rib with Roasted Potatoes and Haricots Verts, paired with Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

This Cabernet was a strong, virile, well-marbled wine.  Oh wait.  The meat was well-marbled.
I wouldn't kick Rodney out of bed for eating crackers.

Course 6:  Sugar Cream Pie with Dark Cherry Preserves and Black Walnut Ice Cream, paired with Big Smooth Red Blend.

This wine was the color of my heirloom homegrown beets.  The taste was reminiscent of a Polynesian sunrise and the aroma reminded me of aggressively herbaceous notes of spring with an undertone of fruits - like I mowed over pomegranates and cranberries in my perfectly manicured centipede-sodded lawn. After a nice rain.

Behind the scenes:

 The Amazing Amanda tosses plates to the Wonderful Wolf.

 And then there's the Delightful and Dynamic Dinkle...
 Thank you Saltbox Crew for a lovely evening
of fine wine and delectable cuisine!

For a recap of the wonderful international dinner series  at The Saltbox Café,  
please click on the links:
October 2014, we visited Spain.
November 2014, we visited Argentina.
December 2014, we visited Paris.
February 2015, we visited Chocolate. (Why yes, Chocolate is a country.)
March 2015, we visited Italy.
October 2015, we visited Germany.
December 2015, we visited Japan.
Also in December 2015, we enjoyed a Réveillon Feast.
And again in December 2015, we visited France.
February 2016, we took a road trip to California.
Also in February 2016, we visited Italy
March 9, 2016, we had a lovely visit to Chile.
March 29, 2016, we visited the Pacific Northwest.
April 20, 2016, we explored the vineyards of Oregon
September 2016, we enjoyed South Africa
October 2016, we experienced Madrid
October 2016, we traveled the Loire Region in France. 
November 3, 2016, we got to Fall In Love With Wine.
November 14, 2016, we enjoyed a Taste of Northern Italy.
Dec 1, 2016, we experienced a Night In Italy.

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