27 July 2014 Anniversary Dinner

27 July Anniversary Dinner Disgorged – The Blog: 29 July 2014


This past Sunday was the second of two Anniversary Dinners I was able to arrange for the winery’s 18th Birthday. Chef Antonio Baines of Tapas Teatro in Baltimore entertains questions after dessert, and received a well-earned round of applause and thanks from the happy crowd.


The dinner began, as they all do, with appetizers outside under the tent, with Royele methode champenoise sparkling wines. I added a special treat by disgorging a reserve bottle of the 2007 Rose de Noir Brut in front of the guests and pouring them a sample. In the mean time, Chef Antonio answered questions about the appetizer selections, and about what was coming up for the first course.


Everyone then proceeded into the cellar to enjoy a tuna w/sliced fennel root, tomato and capers first course paired with 2013 Vidal Blanc. The wine is not yet officially released but I thought it would be great for Antonio to match its crisp mineral character with something. It was a surprise hit and a couple bottles were sold after the dinner. We then moved on to the second course of grilled shrimp with squash, tomato, and pimentos, accompanied by the 2012 Chancellor. This wine, released just a month ago, is getting a good reception. It is the Cygnus Rose, rebranded ’cause I was tired of explaining how it was different from Americans expectations regarding Rose, or lighter style red wines in general. Anyway, the 2012 Chancellor is perhaps more elegant than the 2011, but has the same great fresh red fruit aromas and flavors with a little nutmeg-like spice. Very light and refreshing on the finish, went well with the shrimp and veggies, the capers adding a little tang.


Main course of grilled New York strip with romesco sauce was very tender and delicious, washed down with two vintages of Julian; 1995, 1997. These two old wines showed really well, very satisfying partners to the melt-in-your-mouth premium quality beef Chef Antonio skillfully prepared.


The cheese course in my doing, and the guests enjoyed a sampling of three of the worlds greatest cheese; Keens cheddar from England, Parmesan-Reggiano from Italy, and Appenzeller from Switzerland. The wine poured was the 2007 Brasfield Family Vineyard Late Harvest Vidal Blanc. The feast closed with a magnificent dessert of fresh figs (Spain and California) with chocolate sauce and Marcona almonds paired with the 2010 Port of Manchester (Chef Antonio’s favorite wine).


As always, I am forever grateful for the Chefs and the guests who come to these events, and let me show the wines of Cygnus Wine Cellars in the perfect context; great food, great conversation, and great friendships.


Thanks very much.


Ray @ Cygnus