Red-wearing revelers frolicked at our Chinese New Year celebration and banquet held in our Calistoga wine cave this past Sunday.
Cuvaison Estate Wines Hospitality Manager and Wine Educator, Joelle Kurrus’ efforts made this year’s Club Tasting in the Cave event unforgettable.
For starters, the cave was decorated from head to toe with lighted Chinese lanterns and other celebratory trimmings. Visitors were transformed into a Chinese New Year fantasy realm just ten yards inside the cave entrance where a stoic yet peaceful Buddha, banked by apple blossom branches and red backlighting, welcomed guests and “set the mood.”
Other Chinese New Year themed decorations lined the cave’s hallways, table tops and place settings. “Pop-pop snappers” (fuse less firecrackers for children – in this case, adult children) were disbursed at the check-in station, along with chocolate coins (traditionally given to the young) and “lucky money bags.”
The Club Cuvaison office designed a variety of games including numerology and an American card game called “Murder” interpreted to our Chinese New Year celebration event.
Soft tunes hand picked by Joelle reverberated throughout the cave and beneath the backdrop of people carousing and laughing.
The food! The wine!
Guests were greeted with a glass of Cuvaison 2009 Carneros Chardonnay and then the group migrated into the main dining hall and invited to choose where they wanted to sit. The different faces of Cuvaison hosted each table and included Suzanna, Mary, Jamie, Dan, Stephanie, Steve Rogstad and Joelle. The amazing cuisine was catered by the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant Yank Sing.
Guests were first served a first course of honey glazed walnut salad, accompanied by Cuvaison’s 2009 S Block Chardonnay. Perfectly paired!
The second course consisted of a variety of dim sum (shrimp dumplings (I still have dreams about these), chicken mushroom dumplings, pork and shrimp sui mye and snow pea shoots dumplings) and Cuvaison’s 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir. Also perfectly paired!
The third (and heartiest) course included a generous portion of chicken chow mein, Mongolian beef, honey walnut prawn and Peking ribs. beef with the Cuvaison 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder wine.
The evening was topped off with Chinese confections including fortune cookies, coconut cream rolls, sesame balls and pour of the Cuvaison 2008 Espiritu port-style dessert wine.
A good time was had by all, but there’s still debate as to which table had the most fun. We’re pretty sure that Jamie’s might have had a little more fun.