Monday, February 20, 2017

Hotel Viking Wine Festival 2017

We spent part of our weekend in Newport, Rhode Island as the guests of Hotel Viking for their Wine Festival 2017.  We opted out of the larger wine events taking place this season for this very relaxing and elegant few days out of town and were not disappointed.  There were lots of fun and interesting events going on around Newport as part of their Winter Festival. More on that later.

The sumptuous four course dinner was expertly paired with the wines of Hedges Family Estate wines and hosted by the Hotel Viking and winemaker Christophe Hedges.  The wine dinner series continues through March.

Our first course was this very nice Roasted Beet And Wine Gelee With Peppercorn Chevre Cream.  We love a good beet salad and the wine gelee was a new twist with excellent results. The dish was matched with a 2012 Red Mountain Blend.  The winery is located in the state of Washington and produces red wines.  Great pairing.

We were lucky enough to have Christophe himself seated at our table which gave us the exclusive opportunity to talk more in-depth about organic and biodynamic wines.  Hedges produces only biodynamic wines, the latest wave in wine production.  The beautiful setting and lively table mates made for some great conversation in a more intimate setting, more like a dinner party with the firsthand knowledge of the winemaker.  Does anyone miss dinner parties as much as we do?

Next up was this Cumin Crusted Australian Lamb Chop With Vanilla Bean Mashed Potatoes, Cassis Carrots And Cabernet Reduction.  Australian lamb is a great product we have enjoyed many times before but the slight hint of vanilla in the mashed potatoes was a new one on us. It worked.  

This course was served with both a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2014 La Haut Cuvee, a very special wine.  Both were terrific wines.

Dry Aged Filet Of Beef, Cherry Demi-Glace, Chocolate Dipped Champignon, Grilled Soft Cheddar Cheese And Baby Endive.  Our favorite taste, this had many layers of flavor.  The cheese was a Sage Derby (that green stick you see) one of our favorite mild, primarily English, cheddar cheeses.  

The wine selection here was a 1999 Red Mountain Reserve, again a great pairing.

Dessert was this Lavazza Creme Brulee With Chocolate Expresso Bean And Felchin Madeline, adding that final, indulgent zing of rich flavors.  The wine served here was a 2009 Red Mountain Fortified, a much stronger wine that stood up well to the bolder food profiles. Just fantastic.

A great experience with expert service in a beautiful, comfortable setting worthy of the Gilded Age and a great option for a special weekend getaway!  We guarantee you will not be disappointed.

This experience was provided by Hotel Viking without remuneration or any editorial consideration.

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