Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, in association with their fine-dining restaurant elements, hosted the first of two wine-tasting dinners on June 9th as a part of their Master of Taste summer series. The evening was headlined by Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel President and Director of Sales Bruce Mooers, who delivered a passionate speech about the state of the California wine industry to kick off the night.
While the subhead might suggest that the food and wine pairings were exquisite, the words actually apply to a variety of key partnerships and collaborations within this one-of-a-kind Sanctuary experience.
First and foremost, I should reassure you that the food and wine were indeed paired perfectly, but with the talent of Executive Chef Beau MacMillan and the expert knowledge of Bruce Mooers, one should expect only the highest of quality.
Beyond the pre-selected menu, it should be said that Chef MacMillan’s dream team also happens to fall under the category of perfect pairings. Chef de Cuisine Samantha Sanz and Bar Chef Christiaan Röllich round out a team of culinary geniuses that never seize to amaze those lucky enough to dine at elements.
Finally, the last perfect pairing of the night was the partnership between Sanctuary and Far Niente. Each time Mooers stood up to explain the next wine on the menu, you could feel the excitement and energy radiate throughout the room. He had a way of resonating with connoisseurs and beginners alike, creating a buzz around wine culture that made you feel like you’re a part of the process. It certainly resembles the way Sanz and Röllich speak about their craft. Put all of these talents in the same room, and Sanctuary presents one hell of a wine event.
Wine & dine the entire time
Speaking of taste, it’s probably about time that we talk about the actual food and wine. The night started with a reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvres paired with a refreshing 2018 Far Niente Chardonnay. Once the lobster rolls and potato pierogis made it around, the room started to get awfully quiet. Hmm… I wonder why that is (as my mouth waters).
The first course of the night was braised butter halibut cheeks served with artichoke confit over a sweet corn puree and green garlic salsa verde. This light meal was paired with a 2015 Far Niente Chardonnay from Napa Valley. Perfect to get your appetite roaring while leaving plenty of room for later.
The second course was a Moroccan-spiced lamb ravioli served with smoked eggplant and summer greens topped with harissa lamb jus. This heartier meal prompted us to venture into the reds, as the course was paired with a wonderful 2018 EnRoute Pinot Noir from the Russian River.
The final entrée consisted of roasted bison tenderloin and whipped potatoes served with oyster mushrooms, savoy spinach and bone-marrow butter, topped with a blackberry balsamic glaze. And on the beverage side, we finally got to my personal favorite – the Cabernet Sauvignon. We sampled three different Cabernets; a 2018 Far Niente from Napa Valley, a 2014 Nickel & Nickel CC Ranch from Rutherford, and a 2014 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch from Yountville.
Finally, it was time for dessert. Although, it was quite the task leaving enough room to enjoy the final piece of the puzzle. But if I wanted to become a Master of Taste, it had to be done. The last item on the menu was an amazing vanilla and peach panna cotta made with crow’s dairy goat cheese and toasted almond milk crumb and paired with a 2007 Dolce from Napa Valley to finish off the night.
Needless to say, the crowd shared a collective look of satisfaction at the end of the night.
June 24th Master of Taste Event
On June 24th, Plumpjack Winery’s John Conover will present wines from Plumpjack and its sister estates CADE and Odette. At this dinner, guests will experience seven expressions of wine paired with a four-course dinner, including a reception with passed hors d’oeuvres. The June 24th event costs $250 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. The dinner will be held in The Views ballroom, with its spacious terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows affording spectacular views of Paradise Valley and the surrounding mountains.