Are you familiar with the name Chateau Montelena? If not, allow me to introduce you to this world-class winery. As portrayed in the film Bottle Shock, starring Alan Rickman and Chris Pine, Chateau Montelena put California wine on the map by winning a blind taste test in Paris, which came to be known as the “Judgment of Paris.”
Balaban’s, a restaurant and wine shop in the St. Louis area, hosted a wine dinner in honor of the 40th anniversary of Chateau Montelena’s famous win. My husband and I were invited to celebrate that impressive victory with a 5-course wine dinner.
The first course included pan roasted skate wing, with flash fried oyster and toasted farrow, and was paired with the 2014 sauvignon blanc. For the second course, we nibbled on pan seared ahi tuna and sipped on the 2013 chardonnay. The third course — by far, the most interesting — consisted of an Australian camel tenderloin in a black truffle demi glaze, paired with the 2013 zinfandel. (You can find that pictured below at top left.) Next up, we enjoyed a crispy duck breast in spicy plum chutney and the 2007 cabernet sauvignon. And to finish off our fantastic dining experience, we gobbled on chocolate pecan pie and toasted with the 2009 cabernet sauvignon.
From start to finish, the meal was mouthwatering and the wine truly divine. I’m partial to dry whites, but with cab sauvs so smooth, how was I not to be won over? It was a true delight to be invited to celebrate this spectacular winery’s monumental success. If you want an adventurous dining experience, make reservations for the next wine dinner hosted by Balaban’s.
Get a sneak peek of my most recent destination in the style post coming up next.