AAA Four Diamond Restaurant Las Canarias Hosted a Fabulous 5-Course Orin Swift Wine Dinner at their Lovely River Walk Location
Hungry guests eagerly awaited a finely orchestrated presentation of gastronomic delights paired with Orin Swift wines on Oct 3rd at Omni La Mansion del Rio’s Las Canarias restaurant. As I would expect, every attention to detail for this dinner was well thought out from start to finish at this Four Diamond Restaurant. Chef Camron Wood paid attention to every ingredient & flavor of each dish allowing every paired wine and dish to compliment each other beautifully. This romantic restaurant situated on the famous River Walk was an excellent place to hold a dinner of this magnitude.
Orin Swift Cellars was started by winemaker David Phinney. Dave is known not just for his excellent wines but also for his clever, catchy and creative labels inspired from his world travels and daily observations. Each label in itself has an interesting story as we found out during the dinner.
The evening started with a surprise cocktail from Savage & Cooke an American Distillery also owned by Dave and located on historic Mare Island. Savage & Cooke distills, ages, finishes and bottles a range of brown spirits including Bourbon, Whiskey and Rye. The cocktail we sipped tonight used a complex three year-old Rye Whiskey called Lip Service. This whiskey is finished in wine barrels from Dave’s Grenache project in Maury, France. Creamy & spicy with hints of vanilla and honey, this whiskey gave great structure to the Summer Rye cocktail which left my mouth dancing. It was paired with a passed savory Smokey Mussel appetizer on the half shell. (Note: Dave carried through on his creative label for this whiskey too!)
Summer Rye Cocktail Ingredients 1 1/2 oz Lip Service Rye Whiskey 3/4 oz St. Germain 1/4 oz Simple syrup 3/4 oz Fresh lemon juice 1 oz Fresh Fuji apple juice 3/4 oz Champagne Directions: Add all the ingredients except the champagne to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a tumbler filled with fresh ice. Top with the Champagne and garnish with some apple cubes.
The meal started with a small shooter of chilled butterbean soup. This Amuse made with smoked country ham, butterbeans and whipped celery root creme fraiche was both creamy, earthy and fragrant. The ham gave it a southern nod. Paired with the Mannequin Chardonnay with its creaminess and sweet oak flavors, it complimented the soup beautifully.
Our first course tonight was a Peppered Venison Carpaccio topped with toasted Parmesan, pickled mushrooms and peppercress. This dish was a beautiful sight to see with the shaved venison and paired wonderfully with the Slander Pinot Noir. The nose of ripe fruit along with a palate of strawberries and cranberries enhanced this dish.
Second course was Buttermilk Fried Texas Quail with grilled stone fruits, huckleberry sauce and toasted pecans. Orin Swift’s Abstract Grenache Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah offering notes of blueberry, black fig & dark plum went deliciously with the delicate quail and held its own to the huckleberry.
Our main course was a lovely presentation of Roasted Garlic Lamb Chops served alongside a spicy merguez sausage cassoulet. Here the pairing was the Machete California Red Wine, a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah Grenache. This wine has a more intense body with flavors of plum compote, black pepper and slow roasted lamb. It can hold its own with the gamey lamb and spicy sausage.
Dessert was a Sweet Corn Layer Cake with lemon zest icing and preserved black cherries. So what wine would enhance the lemon cake you ask? Well the 8 Years in the Desert Zin blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah did the trick. Opening with notes of dark ripe fruit to a palate of sweet black cherry along with fresh herbs and ending with black tea added depth to the zestiness of the lemon.
**Full Disclosure: I received dinner in exchange for my review, but not to worry, all opinions are 100% mine.
This hotel is located in the heart of the city and sits on the banks of the San Antonio River. It’s within walking distance of many area attractions, but if you don’t feel like walking, you can hop aboard a river taxi. Come enjoy the best of what the Alamo City has to offer at the Omni La Mansion del Rio.
Location: 112 College St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Hotel Phone: (210) 518-1000
Las Canarias Phone: (210) 518-1063
Las Canarias Hours:
Monday – Saturday
6:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Light Lunch: 2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Monday – Saturday)
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday)
6:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.