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Rediscover the Lake: Paso Robles and Argentina

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

A recap of the last few weeks of our Fall Wine Cruise Series: Rediscover the Lake

What an amazing couple of weeks…It is truly exciting to see how well our wine cruises have taken off. It has been such a pleasure meeting with guests as they return from the cruise. Your knowledgeable feedback and kind remarks have all been noted and will help us as we continue to grow the series in the future. I would like to give a huge thank you to Carl Danbury of Points North magazine and Rene Busque of All Good Wines. Not only was Carl the driving force behind the initial concept of the cruise series, but both gentlemen were also instrumental in making our cruises for the past two Sundays amazingly successful.

Starting on the weekend of the October 14th 

Rene brought in the wines from Rotta Vineyards in Paso Robles, California.  We experienced incredible wines as presented by the winemaker himself, Mark Caporale. From the Trinity to the Black Monukka, all wines were thoughtfully offered and interpreted by Mark and paired with the culinary delights of Chef Kevin Allen. The winning combination of the day was the Trinity and grilled prawns with ginger, blood orange and chili butter…what’s not to love?

On the 21st 

The Island Queen set off with a selection of fresh finds from Argentina.  Lee and Camby Akers of Panoram Imports of Chattanooga, TN brought a variety of delicious Malbecs, Cabernets, Sauvignon Blanc and red blends from Otero Ramos and Siete Fincas vineyards.

In speaking with Drew Fraser, our food and beverage intern and adopted cruise host, he said, “Once again, people didn’t really know what to expect as they arrived but as soon as we got going they were all having a blast. These wines were exceptional! We were pleasantly shocked at the depth and flavor profiles of these wines.”

Chef Kevin’s menu was representative of intense Latin flavors and traditional presentations from Argentina.  The Empanadas Arabes-Ground Lamb, Potato & Lemon Churrasco – Grilled Sirloin, & Chimichurri on Flatbread were in a dead heat tie for best dish, while the Otero Ramos Testamento Young Malbec Lujan de Cuyo was the fan-favorite red.

Coming Up Next Week on the Fall Wine Cruise:

Embrace your inner ghoul, as we embark on a tongue-in-cheek journey of wines from Eastern Europe. I told myself I was not going to do a Halloween theme cruise, but here we go…costume is optional, though Drew says encouraged, as we go on the trail of that infamous Monster hunter, Van Helsing. Venture with us through some hauntingly inspiring wines from Italy, France, Romania, Croatia and Hungary…see you on the lake!

 

Wines of Eastern Europe

This Sunday’s Wine Cruise: Rotta Winery and Mark Caporale

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Rotta Winery, founded in 1908, has an interesting history and one that Mark Caporale is happy to share with guests.

To longtime fans of this wine region, the name Rotta Winery might ring a few bells, but only if you were familiar with Paso Robles’ wines before the rest of the country barely knew where Paso was. In fact, you have to go back several decades to discover the beginnings of Rotta Winery, which was one of the first three wineries established in Paso Robles.

The original vineyard and winery were started in 1856 by a Frenchman named Adolph Siot, who later sold the successful enterprise to Joe Rotta in 1908. In the 1920s, Rotta then sold it to his brother Clement Rotta, who bonded the winery after Prohibition in the 1930s and forged the label into one best known for its hearty Zinfandels. Today, the Rotta label has been revived by one of Rotta’s grandsons, Michael Giubbini, who remembers long, happy days of working in the vineyard as a child when he visited his grandparents from his home in Menlo Park.

The Rotta label is focusing on red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and two new recently released varietals — Petite Verdot and Primitivo. All of the fruit for the label is sourced from local vineyards.

Mark Caporale, Giubbini’s partner, is a strong believer in the potential of the Paso area, and particularly the Templeton region where the Rotta family farmed. “Rotta wines reflect the high quality of our old vines and reflect the unique nature of our soils,” he said.

Rotta is just one of 10 wineries in California that sells Cabernet Franc as a stand alone varietal and is the only one that offers the wine from a “vineyard designation.” Its estate Zinfandel comes from the second oldest Zinfandel vineyard in California, while Rotta’s Black Monukka dessert wine is the only Black Monukka cream sherry produced in the U.S.

Rotta Winery Cruise Menu

Cold

Avocado Deviled Quail Eggs, Smoked Paprika & Point Reyes Blue Cheese
Duck Confit Spring rolls with crisp lettuce, mint and sweet chili sauce
Roti topped with Golden Lentil Puree, Sweet Peppadew and herbed yogurt
California Antipasto Display
Fresh Fruit & California Artisanal Cheeses

Hot

Sundried Tomato & Almond Quiche
Grilled Prawns with ginger, blood orange & Chili butter
Coffee Braised Short Rib Cheese Steak, pickled red onion, jack cheese on puff pastry

Dessert

Lemon Zinfandel Panna Cotta
Assortment of Petit fours, Macaroons, Pralines
Chocolate dipped Strawberries

Rotta Winery and Mark Caporale Quick Facts:

2006 Petite Verdot
2009 Primitivo
Muscat Canelli
un-oaked Chardonnay
and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Black Monukka

A Great Day on the Lake: Week 2 of our Fall Wine Series Cruise

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

From the desk of Burgess Newsom,
Food & Beverage Director at Lake Lanier Islands Resort

Much like a day on the Legacy Golf Course, any day on Lake Sidney Lanier is a great one. This past Sunday was that much greater for those cruising the lake on the Island Queen in this installment of our Rediscover the Lake: Wine Series Cruise.

This weeks featured destination was brought to life through a sampling of Mediterranean favorites. Working from the coastal regions of France, Spain and Italy, LaFayette Selections provided a tier strucutre that was perfectly suited for the culinary selections of Chef Klein’s culinary brigade. Window’s Chef Kevin Allen, in unison with Food and Beverage Intern Drew Fraiser, started the event off with a taste of Northern Italy. Borgo del col Alto Prosecco was a bold choice as an opener, but the crowed enjoyed the full bodied flavors with notes of peaches and hazelnuts. Rounding out the Italian experince was a brilliant paring of Grilled Shrimp, Smoked Paprika and Lemon Marmalade with Borgo Reale Sangiovese di Puglia.

Reds continued to rule the day. Next up from Spain, the Panuello Cab/Merlot followed by Casita Mami Old Vine Garnacha. This beautiful wine from Navarra with notes of cherries and fruit friendly finish paired nicley with White Anchovy and Beaufort on Crostini. The finale centered around a strong finish from Provence, highlighting a well structured Syrah from Chateau Val Joanis. The 2007 vintage boasts a deep purple hue with notes of cherries, red berries and fruits. This well balanced find was a great companion to Chef’s sweet confections of truffles, pralines, macaroons.

A little cloud coverage aside, it was a wonderful day for food and wine discovervies. Drew and Kevin invite you to join them next week, October 7th, for an adventure with Pinot and Pork. We will showcase great Pinots from Southern California to the great Northwest. Be thinking Meiomi…

- Burgess

 

Intern Drew & Chef Kevin preparing one of the courses during week 2 of Rediscover the Lake: Fall Wine Cruise Series

Coming up this Sunday: The Best of Pinot & Port…