Wine Dinner at the General Lewis Inn & Restaurant
I had the honor of attending a Wine Dinner at the General Lewis Inn, on March 28th. To date, this was the second wine dinner event at the restaurant. I arrived to a full lobby of guests anxious to try distinct wines, delicious food, mingle with friends, and make new connections.
At a most sound price of just $60 per person, The General Lewis Inn provided dinner guests with a night of memories.
Guests enjoyed a generous 5-course meal paired with California wines, organized by The Country Vintner, a local importer and wholesaler of fine wines. President of The Country Vintner, Mark Liebendorfer, was in attendance along with his wine consultant, Banks Jesser. Banks essentially coordinated the evening with Chef Michel, of the General Lewis.
Banks did a successful job in not only presenting each wine with every course but also in pairing Chef Michel’s dinner with California wines by Cartlidge and Brown and Quady.
Cartlidge & Brown is known for its high quality, California-sourced fruit, easy drinking wine sold at a consumer friendly price point. To keep our taste buds resonating, the first 4 courses were paired with Cartlidge & Brown’s white or red wine.
The first pairing included a select variety of Hors D’ Ouvres with sauvignon blanc 2010. My favorite of these one bite appetizers was the seasoned shrimp with pineapple and ham. The wine had a combination of floral flavor with crisp acidity. This pairing was simply a treat. Onto the next course.
We left the lobby/living room area and entered a beautifully set dining room. Tables filled quickly and we were promptly poured wine #2, a chardonnay 2010. This wine was paired with our beginner plate, which was a delicious seared sea scallop with portabello risotto cake with red pepper collis. This wine’s energetic qualities make it pair perfectly with this tender and mild seafood dish.
“Everyone at Cartlidge & Brown has chosen winemaking as profession for many reasons, but above all else, they want the wines they produce to ignite stories of good friends, good food, lots of laughter, and lasting memories.”
The next course included a pinot noir 2010, which was paired with a beautifully presented salad baby green with baked goat cheese and mini lamb burger paired. Because it’s not overpowering, this wine was the perfect compliment to the lamb burger. It’s smooth and silky finish left my taste buds truly enjoying all the flavors of this course.
The main course was a delicious chorizo filled roasted qual pork tenderloin with asiago polenta and a sweet apple demi-glace. This dish was paired with a 2009 merlot. Although I was skeptical about a good merlot in existence, I can now say I like merlot, from Cartlidge & Browne. This wine truly delivered in appearance and taste. Its rich color and generous, yet soft flavor provided a well-balanced finish to a perfectly prepared tenderloin and quail course.
The 5th course was a light, yet creamy almond puff pastry with crème anglais raspberries, paired with a 2010 Moscato Electra. This wine was entirely unique as it was delicately sweet, yet electrifying in my mouth. The refreshing combination of the puff pastry and electra wine made me feel ready for summertime fun and nights on the town.
Notably, this last wine of the evening was dedicated to Bridget Robinson, a representative of The Country Vintner. Liebendorfer introduced Quady’s Moscato Electra to Bridget when she started working for the company 13 years ago.
The Wine Dinner at the General Lewis Inn was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates fine dining in a casual fine dining atmosphere, among the company of great people. During the course of the dinner, I never once felt out of place for not knowing the difference between certain vineyards or wine flavors. This was a very relaxing and fun atmosphere where laughter was frequent, service was excellent, and good time will be had again. Wine Dinners at the General Lewis Inn will be held monthly, reservation required. www.generallewisinn.com