Lake Lanier Islands Blog

Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Valentine’s Day Dinner was Amazing!

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

This year’s Valentine’s Day Dinner was incredible, thanks to our amazing culinary teams at Windows Restaurant and BullFrogs Bar & Grille! The atmosphere was exquisite, the music inspired, and the food divine! Let’s take a look at some pictures:

Windows was decorated beautifully for the occasion, with live music and a beautiful array of roses and candles on every table.

Now let’s have a look at some of the incredible and delicious food items our guests got to enjoy!

After an amazing appetizer, guests could choose between this incredible spinach and berries salad…

…and this delicious arugula and pear salad! Yummmmm!

One of the entrees included this delicate pan-seared halibut with fava bean on herbed polenta.

Another entree was this perfectly prepared porcini-crusted filet of Angus beef tenderloin with all the fixin’s on the side. Wowza!

Or this insanely delicious and tender lamb!! Can we go back in time and do it over again? Please?

Lake Lanier Islands Fall Wine Cruise Series

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Sunday’s Wine Cruise was a great success, and we want to thank everyone who signed up and came out! It was a perfectly splendid day for cruising about on the Lake! The weather was balmy, the breeze was light, and the crew was gracious. If you’ve never been on one of our wine cruises, you’re really missing out; this event is one of the gems of the South, and a fantastically unique way to spend a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Let’s get to some pictures, shall we?

What a beautiful day!

Our first wine was a Charmeroy Brut Rose, which was bubbly and sweet and selected for its lovely pairing with our first course. In addition to a nice cheese and fruit platter (which included honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, cranberries, and cheddar, smoked gouda, and borsin cheese with garlic and herbs), our first course offered chipotle and chocolate ganache tartlets. The spicy richness of the ganache really brought out the sweetness of the wine, and many if our guests eagerly looked for seconds and thirds of the little tartlets.

Our second wine was a floral, oaky white wine: Arroyo Secco Chardonnay from Monteray. There are only 600 cases in the world of this creamy, buttery white with a citrus finish. Served with the Chardonnay, our guests enjoyed a tasty dish dreamed up by Chef Kevin Allen which consisted of a seared sea scallop, served chilled with Meyer lemon foam and garnished with a crispy fried mint leaf. The mint leaves had to be carefully placed on each pillow of lemon foam or they would essentially disintegrate due to delicacy.

Next up was the Stolpman Golden Point, a dry white from California which was a big, toasty blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Roussanne with a brown spice finish. Our guests enjoyed a light, refreshing butternut squash and mango couscous with roasted poblano and a lime vinaigrette. During the whole tasting, Demetrius, the wine rep for Prime Line Spirits, came around to each table to discuss the wines being poured and to answer any questions.

For our fourth wine, we brought out the first red of the afternoon: a bold, jammy Crush Farms Zinfandel with a peppery finish. Our guests were wild about the walnut and maple sausage brioche “Monte Cristo” with a tomato maple jam! This sweet and spicy treat enhanced the spices and berries lingering in the Zinfandel, and brought them to the forefront of the palette.

Next we brought out a second Crush Farms red wine, this time a very smooth, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. With this kind of wine you want a rich, heavy meat, and our Chef delivered a beautiful tray of lamb lollipops with lavender and blood orange gastrique. The lamb was tender, its flavor enhanced and was enhanced by the Cab quite marvelously.

Finally, as the Island Princess headed home, we brought out one last wine, a Sofa King Bueno. This bold wine was a spicy, full-bodied, and exciting blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre, petit Syrah, and Grenache. If you’re wondering why the vintners decided to call their wine “Sofa King Bueno,” just take a sip, and say it really fast. The Bueno was served with grilled shrimp skewers, seasoned with smoked ginger and coriander. The interesting combination of flavors brought out by the red reminded us slightly of Mediterranean or Indian cuisine, and certainly this dish was the talk of the ship until we docked again.

And what wine tasting cruise would be complete without a nice dessert to finish? Chef Kevin Allen personally brought around a charming tray of assorted tiny cheesecakes and macaroons, including various chocolates, vanilla, lemon, raspberry, mocha, and fan favorite pistachio. As usual, each of the wines was available for purchase after the cruise.

As guests disembarked, full of happy memories and chatting with new friends, we asked a few of them to tell us what they thought. Gordon said, “It’s one of the best kept secrets. The ambience was exceptional.” Marie added, “I think it was very nice, I’d definitely do it again and invite more friends.”

Well, folks, we’ve got one  wine cruise left unless we decide to extend the series, and that’s on October 27th. You tell us in the comments below, would you like to see an extension of our popular wine cruise series into late fall and early winter?

 

Lake Lanier Islands Fall Wine Cruise Series

Monday, September 16th, 2013

If you haven’t had a chance to come out to one of our incredible wine cruises, you are missing an opportunity both unique and exciting. Fortunately for you, we have two more cruises lined up for October 6th and 20th!

Guests will interact with winemakers and other knowledgeable wine industry insiders for a cruise aboard the Island Princess complete with wine samples and creatively conceived appetizers that pair with each wine. Every wine cruise is different, but in the past, we’ve had gorgonzola-stuffed strawberries, caramelized onion Consommé Boules with lemon crème fraîche (tiny french onion soup loaf bowls for you non-French-speakers), and lamb lollipops with raspberry gastrique, and so much more!

Our wine cruises have become immensely popular – we’ve seen birthdays, congratulations for new jobs and promotions, engagements and anniversaries. Big groups and small groups, girlfriends and bros, young couples and elderly couples, business associates and family reunions, everyone has a great time on our cruises! Read about one of our June cruises here!

Here’s what some of our guests said about their experience on the Island Princess:

“The weather wasn’t the best, but the crew really took care of us, and the food was to die for!” – Sarah F.

“It was my birthday, so my sorority sisters took me on the wine cruise. I’m used to box wine [laughing], so of course the wines were amazing! I’m kidding! No really, I think it was my favorite birthday so far, everyone was so nice!” – Kara S.

“My wife insisted we come out and try it. Don’t tell her, but I had a lot of fun.” – Howard T.

The Island Princess will set sail at 2pm from Harbor Landing, and dock again at 5pm. This unique opportunity to cruise beautiful Lake Lanier with friends and associates is really going to make for a special and fun Sunday in October. Come see the leaves changing colors while you taste fabulous wines from all over the world!

For individuals, the entry is $50, and for a couple, $90. All guests can order the wines they sampled at the conclusion of each cruise. To sign up, please call our concierge at (770) 945-8787.

Have You Heard About Our Wine Cruises?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Picture it: you’re on a yacht cruising around Lake Lanier with your best friends (or your significant other, or your parents, or yourself, you know whoever), and you’re at a elegantly set table on the top deck, with a light breeze in your hair. The sky is a beautiful cobalt blue and white fluffy clouds line up on the horizon. A waitress appears by your side holding a platter of Gorgonzola stuffed strawberries.

And then a waiter appears on your other side and pours you a fizzy glass of Lamarca – a Prosecco from Italy. Can life get better? Actually it can. Because on our wine cruises, you get to taste six wines – each paired with a gourmet specialty! In addition to fresh strawberries, our first course included grapes, blueberries, dates, assorted nuts, cheddar, smoked Gouda, Swiss, and Pepperjack cheeses.

After guests were nice and settled, our waiters and waitresses cleared plates and began the next course: Lamb Lollypops with a raspberry gastrique sauce. Really they should have just called it Lamb Pops with Awesome Sauce. Interestingly, the raspberry gastrique really pulled out the fruitiness of the traditionally earthy, peppery Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Our third course consisted of incredibly delicious smoked salmon mousse crostini, which paired very nicely with a buttery Chardonnay from William Hill in the Napa Valley.

A bit of an interesting side note here – we experienced a Lake Lanier Islands first when a small group of our guests were a bit late and watched the Island Princess pull away from the dock. Never fearing a small crisis, our Harbor Master acted quickly and masterminded a mid-lake rendezvous with the Princess that even Michael Bay would be impressed by! Our tardy guests were then seated and served and the cruise continued as smoothly as if they had been aboard the whole time. Wow!

Fourth up was a sweet and fruity Rose from Spain: Las Rocas, which was served with a rather intimidating but delectable dish of barbecued Langoustines. Guests were hesitant at first, because really, how in the world do you eat these things? But with some instruction from our crew it quickly became one of the favorites. The spicy skewers really enhanced the sweetness of the Rose!

For our fifth course, our wonderful Chef Melody personally glazed the caramelized onion Consommé Boules with lemon crème fraîche. Our blogger doesn’t know how to pronounce it, so it’s obviously delicious! Essentially, they were mini French Onion Soup bowls, and they were so good.

These were paired with a dry Mac Murray Pinot Noir from the Russian River Sonoma Country.

We polished off the night with our sixth and final course: spiced duck confit served on crispy thin flatbread. The duck was pleasantly flavorful, and happily lacked that gamey toughness that sometimes happens with duck courses. Our chefs know their way around a duck confit!

We served an Alamos Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina with this dish, and this bold and spicy red was a great way to finish off the evening.

As we cruised back into Harbor Landing, guests were treated to trays of dessert featuring mini éclair, passion fruit cream puffs, truffles, macaroons, pralines, and assorted fresh berries.

Even with the storms growing in the distance, it was a perfect afternoon with great food and wine, and family and friends! We celebrated three birthdays, and enjoyed a very pleasant and smooth cruise. We hope to see you on our next Wine Cruise, on June 30!

 

 

Special thanks to our crew and kitchen staff who did an AMAZING job!! Way to go guys!!!

Rediscover the Lake: The Wines of America

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

 

Sunday, November 4th, 2012 | 2:00pm-5:00pm

For the final adventure on our Rediscover the Lake; Fall Wine and Food Cruise Series, we bring it back home to the good ole USA. In addition to amber waves of grains, America has been producing great juice since the first Europeans brought grapes to our shores over three centuries ago, putting to test the vast and varied regional terrains of our great nation. Sail along as we present some unique twists on flavor and production from regions you may not have ventured to before and a few of those from some of the traditional favorites. We hope you enjoy a voyage dedicated to great varietals of Reds, Whites and “Purple”… (sorry, we could not find a blue one…We looked…really…they don’t make it.)

Hot

Hatch Chile Braised pork shoulder, Brioche crostini
Grilled Beef skewer, Fresh California Salsa
Idaho Potato & Salmon Shepard’s Pie
Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders, Peach Butter

Cold

Carolina Shrimp Salad Shooters
Pickled Vegetables and white beans
Cheese and Cracker Display

Dessert

Warm Apple Tart
Macaroons, Petit fours, Truffles

Wine Selections

Gruet Brut, New Mexico
Ste Chapelle Chardonnay, Idaho
Ponchartrain Vineyards, Zydeco Rosato, Louisiana
IM Pinot Noir, Oregon
Three Sisters, Fat Boy Red, Dahlonega, Georgia
Biltmore Estate, Century Red, North Carolina
Simons Creek Winery, American Claret “untouchable Red”, Wisconsin
Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State
Purple Wines, Cryptic Red, California

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…

Fall Wine Cruise Series: Rediscover the Lake with Chilean Delights

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

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

On behalf of the Legacy Lodge Food and Beverage team here at Lake Lanier Islands Resort, I would like to thank those of you who came out this past Sunday for the inaugural launch of the Fall Wine Cruise Series. I hope you enjoyed the event as much as we enjoyed serving you. The weather was postcard perfect, the food was incredible and wines were unique. I think it’s safe to say that a good time was had by all. If you were unable to attend, you certainly missed out on some award winning Chilean wines presented by the knowledgeable Gail Avera from Lafayette Selections.

Executive Chef Michael Klein and Windows Chef Kevin Allen were both on hand to create a delectable array of traditional food flavors from Chile that brought balance to the wine offerings. The Grilled Beef Skewers with Pebe ,the Humitas and the Crudo de Saumon were definitely crowd pleasers. The Torta De Hojas (A.K.A. cake with caramel) was a perfect final act.

All things considered, it was the perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon on the lake.

We set sail again this Sunday with wines and foods from the Mediterranean featuring regional coastal selections from Spain, France and Italy.

Please join us this and each Sunday afternoon through November 4th as we Rediscover the Lake. To book your spot on the Fall Wine Cruise, just call us at (770) 945-8787.

You can also read more about the Fall Wine Cruise and see the list of upcoming dates and guest speakers here: Fall Wine Cruise

- Burgess