Stephen Ross Wine Cellars - Castle Restaurant
The Castle restaurant in Massachusetts featured a dinner with Stephen Ross Wine Cellars in April 2004. It was quite a treat for the senses!
The Castle is a gourmet restaurant with a medieval theme decor. The reception area featured arms and armor on the walls.
Waiters circulated with "Down East" mussels casino and a creamy goose liver mousse. Both were quite delicious and flavorful. The wine was the Flying Cloud Pinot Gris 2002. This wine is aged in 4 year old French barrels, and you could taste the light vanilla along with the lemon/grapefruit citrus. Quite nice, a perfect beginning to the evening.
Next we moved into the main banquet hall, with pewter place settings and heavy wooden carved chairs. This restaurant truly makes you feel like royalty! The second course was pan-seared Nantucket scallops with proscuitto and a lemon buerre blanc. The scallops were delicious, cooked just right for a tender texture and flavor. We especially enjoyed the pink roe in the sauce. The wine paired with this was the Bien Nacido Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay 2001. The wine is barrel fermented in French Oak and goes through ML fermentation. It was light and fresh, with citrus flavors.
The third course was swordfish medallions with orange and black olives. I was very lucky with this dish - two of my dinner companions were not fond of swordfish and I gladly ate their dishes as well. It was quite tasty, the swordfish was moist and flavorful, and went perfectly with the orange and olives. Paired with this was the Edna Valley Chardonnay 2002. This was less citrussy than the Bien Nacido, more of an apple / nut flavor. Again, it paired quite nicely with the swordfish.
We moved on to a salad dish with greens, strawberries and cheeses. Usually I'm concerned about eating a vinegar-salad dish with wine so I drank water with this and then moved on to the two wines offered at this point. One was the 2001 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir. It was a lovely, fruity wine with raspberry and cherry. Second was the Edna Valley Pinot Noir 2001. This was also flavored of cherry and raspberry, with perhaps a bit more robust oak aspect.
The main course came now, "Bob" veal chops with risotto and asparagus. The risotto and asparagus were both excellent, but I have to admit that the veal chops were served rack of lamb style and were a bit fatty. Going with this was the Petite Sirah 2001, very rich and flavorful, with dark berry flavors.
Finally, for dessert a chocolate pot au creme with white creme de cacao creme anglaise. In essence it was vanilla and chocolate soup pudding, for those who cannot interpret that name :) It paired with a 2000 Monte Rosso Zinfandel. Usually I think Cabernet when pairing with chocolate, but the Zin went rather nicely, a spicy and rich flavor. The raspberry flavors in the Zin went well with the chocolate.
Stephen Ross Dooley spoke at several breaks in the meal, describing his history and the wines we were tasting. He explained how Petite Sirah used to be the most planted grape in Napa Valley before the days of the Cabernet, and mentioned that "It's the wine that all red wines strive to be." Apparently pinot noir lovers have sometimes taken exception to this sentiment!
There were perhaps 90 people at this wine dinner, and I highly recommend these dinners to anybody in the Massachusetts area. They are well worth a drive in. Perhaps my only complaint in general is that there did not seem to be enough staff on hand. The water glasses were only refilled once, which is hard on me as I am an active water drinker at wine dinners. There were other issues with serving and timing as well. Hopefully future dinners will have another waiter or two available, and will remedy those issues!
Stephen Ross Website
Gallery of Photos from the Stephen Ross Wine Dinner
Master Wine Event Listing
All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.