Friday, September 26, 2014

Arizona Biltmore Wine Maker's Dinner Series

By: The Food Hunter

The Arizona Biltmore’s "Wine Maker’s" dinner series is back for it's 25th season and will be showcasing ten California wineries. Guests will experience an innovative 4-6 course menu crafted by Biltmore Executive Chef Gordon Maybury and Chef de Cuisine Colin Rupp which will be expertly paired with an appropriate wine from the evenings featured winery.

Winemakers or a representative will be present at the dinners to talk about the wine and answer questions. The evenings start with a short outdoor reception where you can mingle & enjoy some wine, before going inside for a more formal meal.

The first event of the season featured Heitz Wine Cellars, a family owned producer of premium Napa Valley wines. Heitz has played a significant role in the history of Napa Valley winemaking since 1961, specializing in single-vineyard Cabernets, including the Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in 1966.

Our meal, began with a crispy skin steel head trout delicately placed atop pickled carrots, caramelized fennel and corn pomegranate salad. This was paired with the Heitz Cellar Chardonnay, a very non-traditional Chardonnay with a nice balance of fruit acidity and leanness, making it perfect for seafood.

Next up was a Pan Seared Squab served with a leek-chanterelle ragout and the most amazing toasted, yet creamy, polenta cake. A glass of the Heitz Cellar Cabernet, Napa Valley 2009, which is a blend of fruit from Rutherford, Oakville, St. Helena, and the Howell Mountain appellation that is aged 4 years, accompanied this course.

Our third course featured Roasted Wagyu strip-loin, cooked sous vid and served with a white bean puree and seasonal vegetables. My favorite wine of the evening, the Heitz Cellar Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Rutherford Appellation organically certified property named Trailside, paired excellently with the beef.

The last course featured a Humbolt Fog cheese, a goat cheese that had a texture more like brie, paired with port onion preserves and candied pepper pecans. It was perfectly complimented by the Heitz Cellar Ink Grade Port.

The evening was elegantly wrapped up with drinks and cigars on the outdoor terrace.

Upcoming vineyards in this series include:

October 2, 2014: Justin, Paso Robles, California
November 6, 2014: Stag's Leap, Napa Valley
December 4, 2014: Domaine Carneros Winery by Taittinger, Napa Valley
January 8, 2015: ZD Winery, Napa Valley
February 4, 2015: Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley
February 5, 2015 Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley
March 5, 2015: Truchard Vineyards, Napa Valley
April 2, 2015: Robert Mondavi Winery, Napa Valley


  1. What a lovely experience and menu. Wishing one one was coming up on the East coast!

  2. I've always wanted to do something like this. Looks like I need to get my butt to Napa Valley!

  3. The only commentary missing from this review are a sommeliers comments regarding the wine and why these wine are paired with the courses.

  4. Oh man, I wish we lived in CA! I would have loved that roasted wagyu strip loin!

  5. Makes me wish I had a trip planned to visit my sis-in-law so I could enjoy some of these meals, too!

  6. What a wonderful menu! It must have been a very memorable event!

  7. Sounds like quite an evening!!

  8. Mmmm...onion preserves. Sounds like a delicious night!

  9. What a delicious dinner! Great wines too. Looking forward to your future posts on future events.

  10. I wish I had been there for dinner. What a great meal.