Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wine Club Night At Wildhorse’s Plateau A Great Mid-Week Treat

I heard it from a friend, who heard it from a friend, that the folks up at the Wildhorse Resort’s Plateau had started a new wine club. It was recommended that I get over there and try it out.

The “wine club” is a fun, casual event that occurs at the Plateau the first Wednesday of each month starting at 5 p.m.. The resort’s talented chefs prepare appetizers paired with wines from a particular winery from the region. This is a great way to show off the skills of the culinary staff at the resort, while also showing off the exciting wines that they carry from their extensive list.

I arrived at the Plateau and was escorted to my table by a very pleasant hostess. She explained that the resort is not only hosting wine club events, but is also hosting beer pairing events as well. I though I might come back another night and check one of those out as well.

Once seated, I was treated with three different very tasty dishes prepared by Chef Ben. If you haven’t had a meal prepared by chefs Brian or Ben at Wildhorse you are truly missing out. As always, I could have just enjoyed the food without the wine, but came to take in the entire experience.

The tapas was served this month with three wines from Isenhower. The 2007 Snapdragon, the 2007 Rose’, and the 2006 Red Mountain Sangiovese.

Denise and Brett Isenhower own and operate Isenhower Cellars at 3471 Pranger Road in Walla Walla. They opened their winery in 2002 on five acres, and have developed a specialty of building fine wines out of uncommon grapes such a Morvedre’, Malbec, Roussanne, Counoise, as well as the commonly heard varietals. Their wines are both elegant and unique.

Isenhower’s 2007 Columbia Valley Snapdragon is a blend of Roussanne and Viognier. The Roussanne is sourced almost equally from Ciel du Cheval and the Elerding Vineyard at Alderdale. The Viognier comes from the Ciel du Cheval vineyard. This is a very food-friendly wine, with lots of flavors of mango and orange zest, a floral nose, and a nice acidity that provides a crisp finish.

The 2007 Horse Hills Rose is a combination of 58% Counoise, 30% Mourvedre, and 12% Grenache. This rose is rich with flavors of blackberry, cherry, and herbs. I especially liked the velvety texture brought by the Grenache. It finishes crisp and dry.

Lastly, the 2006 Red Mountain Sangiovese, is produced from grapes from Kiona Vineyard on Red Mountain in Benton City. This is a nice, classic Sangiovese. The wine is light and spicy, with flavors of dried stonefruit, leather, pepper, and violets. Paired with the flavors of fresh white truffle butter from the meal, it was a wonderful finish to the evening.

I look forward to next month, when the chefs at the Plateau will be serving up dessert wines for their first Wednesday wine club. See you there!

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