Washington wines served up with style

The entrance of Osetra Bay at night looks spectacular, as you enter through a tunnel of soft lighting with a cream coloured canopy over head, interspersed with palm fronds, the perfect, inviting venue for a tasting of some very special wines from Washington State brought to Cayman by Blackbeards and served alongside elegant and delicious cuisine.

Guests gathered in the elegant relaxed and very hip lounge bar of Osetra Bay, located in the heart of Morgan’s Harbour in West Bay, for Domaine St Michelle Brut sparkling wine, served with tiny Sicilian rice balls called Aroncini and mini tempura vegetables.

A great mix of guests intermingled, including locals and several tourists who had been sent from the Westin Casuarina hotel, ready to start the night’s offerings. The tables were set up right on the waterfront, with crisp white linens and the menus had been created like an old fashioned letter, complete with an Osetra Bay wax seal. Very cool.

Diners began with a dish of seared diver scallops served over baby leeks, yukon gold mash and a lemon mousseline. The same sparkling wine accompanied the dish and the pairing was perfect because the creamy richness of the dish was balance with the 100 per cent Chardonnay richness of the bubbly, and the slight acidity cleaned the palate for the next bite.

A nicely balanced dish then followed, seared foie gras served with an Asian winter fruit salad, with Florida citrus pieces and a cranberry glaze. The Hedges Family CMS Sauvignon Blanc 2009 was served alongside the dish, and Blackbeards wine sales manager Jodie Petts says this was an unusual choice as foie gras is mostly served with sweeter wines.

“In this case, however, the citrus flavours really worked well with the wine, and the Asian salad was a spin on granola, so the crunch gave a nice added texture,” she confirms.

A superb braised oxtail with celeriac, pearl onion and hand-made garganelli pasta then followed, and was rich and full bodied, just like the wine, from the Hedges Family, a CMS red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. The richness and fat in the oxtail meat was successfully cut by the vibrant rich berry notes and the acidity of the wine, Jodie says.

For the main course diners were presented with a meltingly tender jarret of lamb, braised beetroot, crispy salsify and rosemary foam on a bed of lamb jus. The L’Ecole 41 Cabernet from Walla Walla was served and held up well to the strength of the dish.

Jodie says: “The wine is structured and full bodied and required something strongly flavoured to match it.”

She says the finale was fabulous. “I wanted it to go on forever,” she confirms.

A beautiful plate of three different chocolate desserts, artfully arranged around homemade cardamom ice cream beckoned diners in a deliciously naughty way: a mini hazelnut brownie, chocolate mousse glass cage over a delightfully chewy chocolate nougat and a dark chocolate Florentine, with spoon of the ice cream.

This feast for the chocoholic was served with a Chateau St Michelle Late harvest Chenin Blanc 2005.

“The wine has hints of vanilla which was great with the chocolate, but also has tropical fruits to break down the richness of the dish. This late harvest is only produced in superb vintage years and ended a wonderful showcase of Washington wines,” Jodie confirms.

However, that’s not all, folks…

“Just when we thought it was all over, the chef delivered a huge plate of homemade petit fours: chocolate macaroons, tiny orange puff pastry wafers, chocolate lime towers, vanilla bavarois and chocolate truffles,” Jodie marvels.

The whole evening was a gastonomic experience and the dishes were absolutely beautiful in terms of their preparation and design on the plate.

“It was the best looking wine dinner ever,” Jodie enthuses. “The staff were efficient and just there at your every need. Manager James and Chef Joseph Watters did a wonderful job. Francesco the sommelier was kept very busy topping up glasses as all the wine went down happily and rapidly!”


Blackbeards desserts were a dream