Posts tagged ‘Wine’
This year’s NJ Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort was an amazing time, including the Wine Cellar Dinner with Guest of Honor Chef José Andrés, the five-course Top Chefs & Top Wines Dinner, a variety of exciting seminars, the spotlight Grand Tasting and a Roaring 1920s-themed after-party! Browse photo highlights of the event by clicking here, and watch some of our favorite moments in the video recap below!
Only three weeks left… Get your tickets now!
It’s just about that time – the always highly-anticipated NJ Wine & Food Festival is back again March 15-17 at the state’s premier culinary destination, Crystal Springs Resort. This must-see event is the ultimate celebration of the world’s best wines and top chefs from the Northeast, featuring Guest of Honor Chef José Andrés and benefiting the James Beard Foundation and World Central Kitchen. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with renowned restaurateurs and winemakers while you taste some of their signature creations.
From informative seminars, to the spectacular Grand Tasting, to a completely over-the-top after-party, experience last year’s festival in the video below.
A spectacular dinner took place in the award-winning Wine Cellar of Restaurant Latour on July 19th, featuring some of the world’s most sought-after labels. The value of the bottles of wine together totaled over $50,000 and paired perfectly with a custom menu (pictured below) prepared by Chef de Latour John Benjamin. Owner Gene Mulvihill was in attendance and this special meal did not disappoint.
Crystal Springs’ Executive Chef Michael Weisshaupt called the gathering “amazing.” He said, “There is no dinner I have ever seen with better wines than this one tonight.”
Sommelier Susanne Lerescu shared her thoughts on the event: “To me this was a serious dinner. In fact, I would call it a once-in-a-lifetime dinner. To taste all these wines in one night is a sommelier’s dream and as good as it gets. These are some of the very best wines ever produced (pictured below) and most people don’t even get to try one bottle in their lifetime.”
“The 1929 Latour was opened, tasted and poured immediately. An 83-year-old wine doesn’t need to be decanted, since it is now delicate and fragile,” explained Lerescu. “Many times I compare wine to us humans – after living a full lifetime, you don’t want to play rough anymore. So we just caressed the glass the wine was in and slowly took in the light aromas it offered, subtle notes of dried fruit and a little cedar; but when sipping the wine I was surprised about the dried cherry flavor it offered, the little hint of tobacco leaves and the balance it showed. The finish was so smooth and surprisingly long. I like to be surprised by a wine and this 1929 Chateau Latour did just that!”
Rooms in the wine cellar can be rented out for private parties for all occasions. Call 973-827-5996 ext. 3 to reserve.
By Samantha Shaw, Assistant Sommelier, Restaurant Latour
Recent DNA testing has shown Primitivo to possess the exact same genetic makeup as the popular California grape, Zinfandel. Oddly enough, both varieties’ origins are traced back to Croatia. And while the grapes may be identical in theory, the wines they produce have distinct differences. Whereas Zinfandel is one of the largest varieties produced in California, Primitivo is found most often in southern Italy where the grape is keen to the naturally warmer climate.
Primitivo’s home province is Apuglia (sometimes called Puglia), located in the “heel” of Italy’s boot, pictured below. Like Zinfandel, wines made from Primitivo have notes of plum and spice, but because of different growing soils and climate, the fruit character is less jammy and the structure more akin to old world wines, with rustic notes of earthy spice as well as tamed fruit flavors.
When Head Sommelier Susanne Lerescu and I tried this wine last week, we were both blown away – aged for almost 10 years, but still packed with dark red fruit, and still clearly maintaining its lively acidity, meaning this wine will only get better with age. (I would drink it now, if only it were acceptable to drink Primitivo at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday!) This is a food wine 100 percent; dark red meat would compliment this rustic red. Just imagine what’s consumed in Italy, and it would taste great with that. All of it. Over the years it has no doubt softened a little in body and texture, making it approachable to drink now.
This wine is bold, packed with a punch at every sip, and bursting in the mouth. It’s said that if a wine sipped makes you yearn for another sip, then it’s good. If that’s the case, the Majara is a great wine because it makes you want to finish the bottle (with some friends of course). You don’t even taste the heat, though 2007 was a very hot vintage. The way the grapes form, these vines require no trellising, which means they are grown right from the ground. However, there is a small canopy above them to shield the grapes from too much sun so they don’t over ripen. In fact, the 2007 was so warm that some of the grape skins were burnt, but Milleuna used that to their advantage, and it gives the wine a subtle sweetness right on the finish.
If you come across this wine, buy a couple of bottles, and don’t save them just for special occasions. This wine alone IS the special occasion.
* Join us Sunday, May 6th in the Napa Room at the Crystal Springs Clubhouse for a Wine Education Seminar and Cellar Tour from 2:30-4:30 p.m! The cost is $30 per person for the public and $25 per person for social members. Call 973-827-5996, ext. 3 to register!
Slider-loving football fans across the nation favor beer on Super Bowl Sunday, leaving wine (the underdog) to those who prefer to watch the commercials and nibble on veggies. Sound stereotypical? It is. When it comes to pairing your favorite ‘Game Day’ eats and drinks, every team’s a winner.
Here are Sommelier Susanne Lerescu‘s wine pairings for traditional Super Bowl foods that can also be found on our resort menus:
Wagyu Sliders, Crystal Tavern
Zinfandel, a hearty and rustic wine, pairs nicely with these hearty sliders. Zinfandel is a mouth filling dry red with dark fruit flavors. Made in the traditional style, it can be thick and chewy. Susanne points out, “Zinfandel is famous for staining teeth, but not to worry, red matches both team colors.”
Honey Chipotle Wings, Kites
Malbec, a low-acid, soft and juicy wine, provides the perfect balance for spicy foods like wings. While most Malbecs are from Argentina, you can also find fine bottles from Bordeaux, where it originated, and Cahors, south of Bordeaux.
Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Bread Bowl, Hawks Nest
From southern Rhone, White Rhone Blends are very complex and expressive wines, pairing with many different dishes. These wines are for people who like big wines, but not reds. A great Rhone blend is A.A. Badenhorst, from South Africa. It has Chenin Blanc, Roussane, Grenach Blanc, Viognier, Verdehio and Chardonnay. This particular wine has lots of everything; including good acidity to stand up to the cream based dip.
Enjoy the game.
The James Beard Foundation has invited Restaurant Latour to return to the Beard House in New York City on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 PM, where Chef de Latour John Benjamin, Executive Chef Michael Weisshaupt and Executive Sous Chef Florian Wehrli will prepare a Rare Italian Wine Dinner for guests.
The menu, “dalla terra a un morso” or “a bite out of the earth”, features ingredients used in celebratory events all throughout Italy. Wine Director Robby Younes and Sommelier Susanne Lerescu will pair the evening’s Italian-inspired cuisine with rare Italian wines from our award-winning, 100,000+ bottle Wine Cellar.
Photos from the event will be shared on the Crystal Springs Resort Facebook page.
We hope you are all enjoying this wintry surprise this morning as much as us! We are especially psyched to hit the slopes this weekend!!
We have been super busy getting ready for Valentine’s Day at the Resort and lots of new photo shoots too! We recently shot our IT Director in our 72,000 bottle Wine Cellar for an upcoming editorial in Biz Tech Magazine which should be an awesome article! We also just took some great new food shots from Chef Michael Weisshaupt of Restaurant Latour! Check em out below – but don’t blame us if you get hungry!