By Jeff Stolowitz
The wine series at Azure in 2018 is off to an incredible start and it featured the decades old Cakebread Cellars. That says a lot as Cakebread Cellars is an original Napa Valley Winery and is one of the most recognized Vineyards in the wine world. From the time Jack Cakebread and his wife Dolores planted their first vines in 1972 to their first release in 1974 to the present day the Winery continues to shine.
I knew we were in for a treat as I looked at the pairing menu.
Chef Patrick Ransom the talented young chef that isn't afraid to take chances and go outside the box. Five wines, 5 courses and a spectacular view of Daytona was on tap and he nailed it.
I was seated with Dan and Kathy Cusumano.
Dan is representative of Bar Harbor Seafood and Kathy is a Licensed Realtor with Gaff’s Realty Company, foodies by any rights. They have attended many of these dinners and we all agreed we were in for a great evening.
Our first course was Grilled Prawns with a Rock Melon, Radish and Mustard Green medley that was accented by the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. The dish was crisp as was the wine. The rock melon a bit bitter was sweetened and highlighted by a slight honeydew nose and finish from the wine.
Our second course arrives and I was stunned that anyone would do this. Cold smoked lobster. Smoking Lobster??? Chef Ransom explained his play on a lobster roll as the Brioche he created for this was done to enhance the Chardonnay. In one word. This dish and the wine were “Butter”
Easy to eat as it disappeared from my plate.
The vintage a 2016 is a classic Cakebread creation.
Next up was the Giant Lollichop.
Purple Peruvian Potatoes and a spicy Chipotle and Currant mix was delicious and left me wanting more.
Then I looked over and there was our waitress was pouring the 2016 Pinot Noir, pepper and spice currants and everything nice.
Just a awsome delicioush dish.
Just when I think it can't get any better in comes the Main Course a Faux Filet.
Explained as a dry Aged NY Strip trimmed to the center and marinated in a secretive lard.
The resulting finish has a thin bark and the texture of filet. It didn't hurt that the chef as and his team also added grilled asparagus, Couscous and Quinoa for the wow factor.
This was purposely paired with the 2014 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon.
A classic tasting vintage that should age well in the bottle for years to come. It retails for a bargain price of $891.00 a case.
The night finished with a Brownie Trifle
I giggled like a kid as I tore through this dessert like it was the last time I would eat.
They paired this with a 2014 Merlot
While not my favorite grape this paired well as the Cherry notes cut through the deep chocolate and peanut flavors.
Once again just one incredible event to attend.