A perfect ending to the first day of Spring!
Eating out and Dining Out are two totally different things. Dining is often reserved for that special someone or group of friends looking for a special night out together. Additionally, if you’re thinking fine dining you’re thinking extraordinary food and drink. The Waltz Wine Dinner at the General Sutter Inn had it all!
For Cheryl and I, in recent years, it’s one of our all-time favorite dining experiences. We sign up the minute we see the announcement. This was our third and we’ll certainly be back again!
We arrived just after 5:30. There were ten tables of eight in the newly renovated ballroom at The General Sutter Inn. We were seated with three couples who naturally love good wines and fine foods so there were immediate common interests. From there the exchanges comfortably drifted to unique local experiences, world travels and a host of common interests. The conversations were easy and relaxed. We had a wonderful time together throughout the evening.
Jan & Kim Waltz, the proprietors of The Waltz Estate Vineyards are wonderful hosts. After they greeted us and thanked everyone for coming Jan talked about the uniqueness of their vineyards. It was unmistakably obvious that Jan is both passionate and meticulous about their wines as he articulated the history, the processes, the love and care he pours into his craft. Their list of awards is long, distinguished and well deserved. “The General Sutter Inn was the first local establishment to offer our wines,” said Kim, “when we first talked about a pairing the General Sutter said if we can get 35 people to come we can make it work. Tonight, again, we’re sold out to a packed house of 80!” Applause filled the room.
When asked, “which comes first the food or the wine?” Executive Chef Robert Brynes responded without hesitation, “The wine! I build the menu from there.” And what a menu he prepared! Along with Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Hooton and their team, they prepared a delightful 5 course dinner. See the menu and the pairings below. They took fabulous wines and paired them with dishes that drew out the unique flavors of each. It was a magnificent experience. The wines by themselves are wonderful. The dishes by themselves were outstanding. Put them together and it was absolutely extraordinary!
Every dish with every wine was expertly paired. The aromas drew you in and the presentation made your mouth water. A taste of the dish, a sip of the wine. They served three whites and two reds. I’m not a big white wine fan but each of the pairings was exquisite. I enjoyed every course and each glass of wine. Something special happens when the pairing is done just right. Red, white it didn’t matter, everything was delicious. It’s hard to describe, you simply have to experience it.
Around 8:30 dessert and the final wine was served. Three delightful hours with new friends, great food and wonderful wines concluded with a sweet and savory taste to remember. It was a fabulous evening!
As our hosts thanked us once again for coming they mentioned that Waltz Estate Winery & The General Sutter Inn are planning 3 pairings a year. Check their websites for dates and be sure to reserve your seats. If you are from out of the area, I’d suggest booking a room at the General Sutter Inn and make a weekend of it. They offer both historic early American rooms and contemporary Rock Lititz rooms. Lititz is a wonderful small town and Lancaster is a beautiful place to visit.
If you enjoy fine wines and fine dining you will love a General Sutter and Waltz Wine paring. Watch the announcements and sign up early. I know we will.
Wines by Waltz Estate Vineyards
Dinner by The General Sutter Inn
Cranberry Relish, Brie & Toasted Almonds in Warm Puff Pastry
*Paired with Stiegal Rose
Pan Seared Striped Bass with Roasted Fennel Puree & Spiced Green Apple Compote
*Paired with Sauvignon Blanc
Pappardelle Pasta with Braised Pork Ragu
*Paired with Barred Rock Red
Lollypop Lamb Chops with Moroccan Cous Cous & Parsnip Ribbons
*Paired with Baron Red
Warm Peach Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping & Whipped Cream
*Paired with Seasonal Moscato
Makes your mouth water just looking over the menu doesn’t it. The experience is everything you might imagine and maybe just a little bit more!