What an amazing couple of weeks…It is truly exciting to see how well our wine cruises have taken off. It has been such a pleasure meeting with guests as they return from the cruise. Your knowledgeable feedback and kind remarks have all been noted and will help us as we continue to grow the series in the future. I would like to give a huge thank you to Carl Danbury of Points North magazine and Rene Busque of All Good Wines. Not only was Carl the driving force behind the initial concept of the cruise series, but both gentlemen were also instrumental in making our cruises for the past two Sundays amazingly successful.
Rene brought in the wines from Rotta Vineyards in Paso Robles, California. We experienced incredible wines as presented by the winemaker himself, Mark Caporale. From the Trinity to the Black Monukka, all wines were thoughtfully offered and interpreted by Mark and paired with the culinary delights of Chef Kevin Allen. The winning combination of the day was the Trinity and grilled prawns with ginger, blood orange and chili butter…what’s not to love?
The Island Queen set off with a selection of fresh finds from Argentina. Lee and Camby Akers of Panoram Imports of Chattanooga, TN brought a variety of delicious Malbecs, Cabernets, Sauvignon Blanc and red blends from Otero Ramos and Siete Fincas vineyards.
In speaking with Drew Fraser, our food and beverage intern and adopted cruise host, he said, “Once again, people didn’t really know what to expect as they arrived but as soon as we got going they were all having a blast. These wines were exceptional! We were pleasantly shocked at the depth and flavor profiles of these wines.”
Chef Kevin’s menu was representative of intense Latin flavors and traditional presentations from Argentina. The Empanadas Arabes-Ground Lamb, Potato & Lemon Churrasco – Grilled Sirloin, & Chimichurri on Flatbread were in a dead heat tie for best dish, while the Otero Ramos Testamento Young Malbec Lujan de Cuyo was the fan-favorite red.
Embrace your inner ghoul, as we embark on a tongue-in-cheek journey of wines from Eastern Europe. I told myself I was not going to do a Halloween theme cruise, but here we go…costume is optional, though Drew says encouraged, as we go on the trail of that infamous Monster hunter, Van Helsing. Venture with us through some hauntingly inspiring wines from Italy, France, Romania, Croatia and Hungary…see you on the lake!