A Californian Culinary Excursion with the Devine Wine Club
There is something comforting and rather reassuring about The Royal Grill Room. Its old world charm and elegant surroundings make it the ideal place to bunker away from the current craziness of the world – if only for a few hours.Therefore I was delighted to attend the recent Devine Wine Club’s Dinner with wine pairing from the West Coast.
After our meet and greet reception with some tempting canapes from Chef Peter we started our experience with a lovely “Tropical Curried Chicken Cocktail” accompanied by a refreshing 2017 Chardonnay from the Napa Valley. Beautifully presented this was reminiscent of Coronation Chicken but the tropical twist came from its inclusion of grapes,pineapple and toasted pecan nuts.
The following course had a bit of a surprise element in that on first viewing it appeared to be a simple, vegetable broth but underneath was a giant salmon raviolo which was most enjoyable especially paired with a fresh rose. The 2018 Ancient Vines Mourvèdre Rosé had all the fruitiness of a traditional Portugese wine but actually comes from the mourvedre grapes grown in the Oakley vineyards in Contra Costa County.
After a perfect palate cleansing lime sorbet it was time for my favourite wine of the evening, an oak aged Pinot Noir from the Napa Valley. Paired unfortunately with my least favourite food course of the evening an Aromatic Veal Stew on Baked polenta. In fairness I’m no lover of veal or polenta so this wasn’t going to score many points with me but I felt it needed more sauce and was somewhat less adventurous than the other dishes.
We were back to form however, with a sumptuous roasted lamb rack and Nappa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon followed by the undoubted culinary star of the evening a Cointreau Chocolate Cake which was almost too pretty to eat………almost !