Experience a Master Winemaker Dinner at The Meritage Resort and Spa
Each year, The Meritage Resort and Spa curates approximately 10 dinners as part of its Masters Winemaker Dinner series. However, these are not your average winemaker events. Frederic Najem, director of food and beverage at the resort, says a “wow” factor and creativity distinguish these one-of-a-kind experiences.
Of course, unique venues such as the Vineyard Deck located in the resort’s vineyard and the Estate Cave located below the vineyard, also add to the distinctive setting.
“When we plan wine dinners, we try to bring different experiences,” Najem explains. “For example, at a dinner featuring Opus One, we placed screens around the room so that as guests were sitting at the table, they could see a live feed of what was happening behind the scenes as the chef and culinary team were plating up each dish. For some of our dinners, our executive chef and pastry chef work together to create an added ‘wow’ factor during dessert. These desserts often involve experimental and interactive elements. This year we created chocolate tables right before our guests and used both liquid nitrogen and fire to finish them. That’s how we distinguish ourselves, by thinking outside the box, creating a ‘wow’ factor and having the guests be an active part of the dinner.”
The next event takes place Nov. 18, featuring Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars wines. Silver Oak is known for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and Alexander Valley. Twomey focuses on Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blank from outstanding vineyards and growing regions from California to Oregon.
Throughout the evening, Silver Oak winemaker Nate Weiss and Meritage Executive Chef Ryan Rupp will be on hand to discuss the wine, food and pairings with guests.
“It starts with the reception on the Vineyard Terrace,” Najem says. “For an hour, we will have different food stations. People can come in, have a glass of wine, talk and mingle. After that, we will invite everyone to go to the Estate Cave.
“The food pairings are typically infused with global flavors, but each dish is created with local, seasonal ingredients,” he continues. “We use a lot of ingredients from farmers within a 20-mile radius.”