Dinner With Sonoma’s Iron Horse Vineyards
This is a global fete. We are sipping a Chinese Cuvee sparkling wine, celebrating the recent grape harvest of Sonoma at a restaurant in San Francisco. Twenty Five Lusk was the scene for our festivities, a restored historic brick warehouse in the trendy China Basin neighborhood of South of Market, also known as SOMA.
While we chose the tasting menu, prepared by executive chef Michael Dolan, our meal was clearly all about the wine. Joy Sterling from Iron Horse Vineyards showcased special wines only available from the winery to pair with our menu. We felt special; Iron Horse’s sparkling wine has been served at the White House for a quarter of a century.
The 2004 Chinese Year of the Snake Cuvee commemorates the upcoming Chinese New Year, which begins in February 2013. The bubbly was refreshingly dry with a rich texture, a perfect start to our festivities. Next we sampled the 2008 Winter’s Cuvee, which was ambrosial with a dosage of Pinot noir brandy that added a rich, refined texture.
By this time, our first course, Saikou salmon sashimi served with white soy, meyer lemon curd and wasabi greens, had arrived. The Chinese Cuvee turned out to be the best pairing.
Next, grilled pork tenderloin was accompanied by vanilla-scented oyster stew, apple, sorrel, and chicories. We had the choice of a 2009 Unoaked Chardonnay or a 2010 Single Vineyard Chardonnay; both were delicious paired with the pork.
The next course was roasted venison with parsnip, bacon powder, and roasted fennel in a black pepper reduction. It was superb with the 2010 Thomas Road Pinot Noir, which complemented the earthiness of the meat with its bold fruit flavors.
In short order we received Barinaga RanchTxiki cheese with smoked honey and olive focaccia; a palate cleanser of pineapple, pomegranate, and mint; and dessert, a young ginger ice cream cone with hazelnut mousse, cocoa pop rocks, date candy, and honey pizzelle.
Our dinner conversation centered around wine, as one would expect at a wine dinner, but we also discussed our bucket lists. Not surprising, travel was a big component on everyone’s list with global wine regions figuring prominently. While it is early to be thinking of New Year’s resolutions, I resolved to drink more champagne. Fortunately Iron Horse Vineyards can help me achieve this resolution.
Details: Twenty Five Lusk is located at 25 Lusk Street in San Francisco’s China Basin neighborhood.
Iron Horse Winery is located in Green Valley in Sonoma County. Its tasting room is perched on a hillside with views over the valley. The winery is open daily from 10 am to 4:30 p.m. for tastings with tours by appointment. Read about the Harvest Celebration for wine club members.
For assistance planning a wine tasting excursion to Sonoma County, visit the website or contact the tourism bureau by telephone at (800) 576-6662 or (707) 522-5800 or email info @ sonomacounty.com.