Last June, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Château St-Jean’s urban picnic at the Château Saint-Ambroise. We were invited to discover Château St-Jean’s wines from the Sonoma Valley in California. Margo Van Staaveren, Wine Master, presented us to a beautiful selection of Californian wines, an event orchestrated in part by the SAQ.
The dinner and wine tasting took place on the banks of the Lachine Canal to the beautiful sound of a live band. The setting was insanely beautiful and dreamy as if everything was taken straight from Pinterest. All of the guests took seats either at the tables in the garden or sitting down on the comfiest pillows I have ever seen.
During the evening, the cellar master presented 6 wines from Château St-Jean. The dinner started with the Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, a very nice herbaceous and fruity wine perfect for entrées. The second wine was the Sonoma County Chardonnay, a delicate wine that beautifully blends two grape varieties. The Sonoma County Pinot Noir, my favourite, was extremely velvety and ample.
The Cabernet Sauvignon features notes of black fruit and sweet spices that beautifully highlight barbecue and smoked dishes. The Cinq Cépages is a beautiful blend of 5 grape varieties. This wine is dominated by the Cabernet Sauvignon and completed with Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Last but not least, the Late Harvest Riesling, ideal to accompany the many desserts offered.
To accompany these great wines, we were served with salmon confit entrées, a 4-service dinner and finally sweet desserts. The first service consisted of lobster tails poached with ginger and coconut milk. The second service presented us tasteful beef and Bluefin tuna tatakis. Grilled octopus accompanied by a Grilled romaine lettuce with pancetta chips and parmesan followed for the third service. Finally, a tray of lamb shank braised with no other wine than Château St-Jean’s Cinq Cépages and an assortment of grilled vegetables beautifully ended the dinner.
I was charmed by these Californian wines, which are very distinct from the French wines I most likely gravitate around. Beautiful scenery, amazing food and great wine; this was definitely a summer night to remember!
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