Grammy Winning Musicians, Reality TV Stars, Gourmet Chefs and the Best Wine in the World
On Saturday, January 19th, Blackwood Lane Winery held one of its most anticipated events of the year: owner and master winemaker, Carlos Lee’s birthday dinner! His friends and sommelier club members know that if you’re going to attend one Winemaker’s Dinner at his iconic winery, this is it! It may have been Carlos’ birthday, but everyone who attended this fabulous affair felt as if it was their special day too!
Sparkling Wine and Conversation
As guests entered the winery, they were met with flutes of champagne and sparkling conversation. Old friends had a chance to catch up, and new friends had the opportunity to experience the famous warmth of Carlos’ hospitality.
It was clear even before we sat down for dinner that this was an extra-special evening, as we were serenaded with the smooth R&B musical stylings of Grammy Award winner, Ian Prince. Yes, THAT Ian Prince–the recording artist who has arranged music and played keyboards for the likes of Quincy Jones and Ray Charles!
Eat Drink and Be Mary (Zilba)
Ian was not the only celebrity in attendance. Singer, reality television star, and host of the “Eat Drink and Be Mary” podcast was also there to fete our favourite winemaker! As Mary Zilba mentioned in her toast to Carlos, “we met online! I didn’t know Carlos until I happened to taste his wine, and I reached out to him because it’s one of the best wines I’ve ever had!” Like so many others, it was love at first sip!
World-Class Gourmet Cuisine and Wine Pairing
Of course, the actual dinner did not disappoint. When you have wine this good, the food must be first-rate, and Chef Lekker, was definitely up to the task!
The first course was seared scallops and roasted cauliflower with bacon and sweet pea velouté, and was paired perfectly with Blackwood Lane’s delectably original 2014 Sea Buckthorn Riesling. It’s rumoured the Sea Buckthorn berry has anti-aging components, which explains how Carlos maintains such a youthful appearance!
The second course was arguably the best Lobster Bisque I’ve ever had—the experience elevated by Blackwood Lane’s 2014 Chardonnay. Simply elegant.
Chef Lekker’s winter vegetable salad with pomegranate and tarragon was the perfect mid-point in the dinner. Paired with Ruby Rosé, this was truly a delightful pairing.
Veal Osso Bucco with roasted Nugget Potatoes paired with the 2009 Alliànce really hit it out of the park! The bright, rich flavours of cherry, raspberry, graphite and cassis, with a strong mid-palate and an extra-long finish of cherries with a hint of cocoa, paired perfectly with this classic dish!
When Carlos celebrates his birthday, it’s the guests who actually get a gift! This year he surprised us with an outstanding glass of his newly released 2010 President! This is the Rolls Royce of Blackwood Lane wines, with Magnums currently being sold at the winery for $880.00. The 2010 President is Carlos’ once in a lifetime iconic Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The President was aged in brand new French oak barriques for 3 years, 2 years in French Puncheons, and then bottle aged for an additional 3 years totalling 8 years before its highly anticipated release! I don’t think I have to tell you that we were all blown away by this most generous of surprises!
To end a perfect dinner, Chef Lekker prepared the best Bavarian Apple Strudel, I’ve ever tasted! It rivalled my Grandmother’s who was born in Bavaria! (don’t tell anyone).
Dancing the Night Away
As we finished the last bites of our strudel and sipped on our coffee, Ian Prince kicked up the tempo, and we hit the dance floor! Blackwood Lane wine, Chef Lekker’s gourmet cuisine, Ian Prince’s Grammy award-winning music and the best guests and friends in the world–that’s the essence of a Blackwood Lane dinner party!