The evening began with some laughter as guest speaker Thomas Houseman, winemaker for Anne Amie Vineyards, arrived with a kickball in hand for our Ocean Course food and beverage manager, Pietro Giardini. There could not have been a better introduction than with his shared remembrance of playing kickball together on their final day of Oregon Pinot Camp in Willamette Valley just a few months ago. The wine dinner the Atlantic Room hosted last month was not only a great way to enjoy a featured four course menu with wine pairings, it was a unique opportunity to meet the winemaker himself.
The intimate setting allowed him to interact with the tables individually throughout the dinner. The Anne Amie Vineyards, located in the Yamhill-Carlton District and in the Chehalem Mountains are known for the different varietals of pinot and they were showcased with each course. He is constantly challenged to be creative and his mission as a winemaker is to allow the wines express themselves in a sense of elegance, using lower oak and higher acidity. After his personal presentations of the wines, our chef de cuisine, Jonathan Banta, followed with his own introductions of how each course was inspired by the wines.
The first course, a lobster ceviche served with taro root, lime, and aji Amarillo aioli was complimented by the light and fragrant 2010 Pinot Gris. The earthiness of the 2009 Cuvee A Pinot Noir brought out the rich flavors of the next course, a roasted North Pacific wild king salmon over a blistered tomato-chive risotto, onion soubise, asparagus, and anise reduction. Then the main plate, a bone in rib eye steak served with Point Reyes mashers, Wadmalaw spinach, pine nuts, bacon, and thyme butter was accompanied with the plum flavors and velvety tannins of the 2009 Estate Pinot Noir. The dinner finished with a sweet and fruity mango baba au rhum cake served with the 2008 Muller Thurgau Icewine.
Keep an eye out for upcoming special dining events at The Atlantic Room in The Ocean Course clubhouse but checking here often: http://www.kiawahresort.com/dining/the-atlantic-room/