Last week I had the pleasure of joining Chef Janine Falvo and Sommelier Chris Sawyer of Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar for their 3rd Annual Salt Dinner. The dinner featured Winemaker Eileen Crane of Domaine Carneros, and six of Domaine Carneros' current release and library wines. Six courses, six different salts, and six pours of wine later I was sold on salts & sparkling.
My favorite Domaine Carneros wine, Le Reve, was served alongside a Live Scallop with a Popcorn Chardonnay Salt.
Eileen brought with her the 2001 and accompanied it with a charming story about the longevity of this wine. Awhile back, one of Domaine Carneros' Japanese distributors paid Eileen a visit and asked to purchase several cases of Le Reve for his daughter's wedding. Bearing in mind all of the hoops that he would have to go through to export the wine, she asked when his daughter was getting married. His answer: "She's not even one yet!" Part of me felt bad enjoying a glass, wanting to know what it would be like down the road, but there is no time like the present.
The innovative uses and spins on salt made me realize that there are so many possibilities for foods or ingredients that I take for granted. That's not to say that I'm going to be able to whip up a salt like Janine's Meyer Lemon + Coriander Salt, but I did leave feeling ambitious about the red Hawaiian sea salt I brought back from my stay in Maui. Last thought, the Chocolate Covered Pretzel-Caramel Tart served with Fleur de Sel Ice Cream was bomb. And I hear it will be on the menu soon....