We recently attended the Wine Bloggers Conference, which included a “mystery dinner” that was one of our favorite events. The mystery? Nobody knew what winery they would visit for dinner until they arrived there.
We were lucky. Our van arrived at Dunham Cellars, one of our favorite Walla Walla wineries because of the excellent wine and wonderful people. It’s one of our must-stops whenever we are visiting that side of the state.
The evening was perfect. The six-course meal was delicious and paired exquisitely with Dunham Cellars wines. We sat across from the lovely Joanne Dunham, whom we hadn’t seen in several years. What a treat.
Dunham Cellars 2009 Founders Blend kicked off an amazing evening
The evening began with 2009 Founders Blend, a beautiful wine produced in celebration of Dunham Cellar’s 20th anniversary. As the name suggests, this very limited wine is dedicated to the winery’s founders Mike and Eric Dunham. Joanne’s heartwarming description of her late husband and son touched us because we had spent time with them all over the years.
Founders Blend combines 65% Cabernet Sauvignon with 25% Merlot and 10% Syrah. It definitely has that wow-factor, just as its namesakes.
Chef Candice Smith prepared an excellent six-course dinner
The meal opened with a seasonal amuse bouche. Blue cheese cheesecake with fig jam could have been dessert or an appetizer, it was that versatile and mouth-watering delicious.
Next, halibut croquets with roasted red pepper-caper aioli and herbs graced our table, paired with refreshing 2015 Lewis Vineyard Riesling.
For the third course, we enjoyed corn bisque with grilled baguette, paired with 2015 Wine Club Tempranillo.
Autumn greens with roast squash, shaved parmesan, pomegranate gems, sweet bacon dijon vinaigrette and candied pumpkin seeds pleased the palate. 2014 Dunham Syrah complemented this tasty salad.
Next, our favorite 2014 Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon XX amplified the house-made herbed farmers cheese ravioli, and braised oxtail fritter.
Last, but not least, 2016 Late Harvest Riesling accompanied a Meringue dessert with sweet cream sauce, dukkha and pomegranate.
Thank you Dunham Cellars
We would like to give a special thank you to Joanne and John for hosting one of our highlights at the Wine Bloggers Conference. We also thank Chef Candice Smith for the excellent meal and winemaker Robert Campisi for the fine wine.
Margot and Dave