Sonoma is a historic city offering visitors and locals alike many historical landmarks, wineries, and unforgettable restaurants. One of the best ways to combine the best of Sonoma is to find the kind of winemaker dinner that we attended a couple of weeks ago. The Plaza Bistro, located in an 1859 landmark building, hosted winemaker and winery owner Peter Wellington of Wellington Vineyards. The 5-course meal created by Executive Chef Kenneth Owen Cordy was paired perfectly with the Wellington Vineyards wines. We walked away from the evening with many delicious memories.
The evening was off to a fabulous start with a glass of 2008 Wellington Sauvignon Blanc paired with Yukon gold potato Bellini, layered with sliced smoked salmon, topped with lemon grass infused creme fraiche and North American Sturgeon caviar – such a great pairing! The fresh ingredients and crisp Sauvignon Blanc were made for each other. Instantly we knew how the demand for Wellington wines could take them from the 1,000 cases first produced in 1989 to over 9,000 cases produced in 2009.
Next we enjoyed a petite frisee salad with candied balsamic walnuts and house-made lamb bacon. The aromatic 2008 Wellington Roussanne paired wonderfully with this second course. The Roussanne and all other Wellington wines are produced in limited quantities and are sold mostly through the Wellington tasting room in Sonoma Valley’s Glen Ellen. The Roussanne is certain to convince fans of red wine varietals to not dismiss a white wine varietal.
The following course was an unusually prepared, very unique and tasty fois gras tour chon, sprinkled with Japanese sea salt, and topped with Sherry gastrique. The 2005 Wellington Victory (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petite Verdot, 10% Merlot) paired with this course was outstanding. As a Certified Sonoma County Green Business since 2001, Wellington Vineyards is part of a list of environmentally friendly wineries in Sonoma Valley creating exquisite wines with the complexity and balance we experienced in the 2005 Wellington Victory.
At last we were presented with the appropriately titled course – Le Gran Plat. This beautifully presented 6 oz. bone in Del Monico cut steak was served aside potato cylinders filled with mascarpone and asparagus puree, and topped with demi-sec Bordelaise. This course could only be paired with the powerful 2002 Wellington Reserve Syrah.
Knowing the evening would come to a delicious end, we saved room for dessert. The muy fuille smores cake layered with marshmallow and caramel sauce, adorned with Strawberry Coulis was unbelievable and definitely a sweet treat we would like to enjoy again. The 2003 Welllington Port paired with this final course left us all smiling and only able to utter a breathless “Yum!”
Our compliments to The Plaza Bistro, one of Sonoma’s best restaurants and to Wellington Vineyards – a small family-owned Sonoma Valley winery making wines that leave a big impression.