Personal Wine Dinners all week long at Buck’s T-4

We all love the elaborate winemaker dinners put on by area restaurants. We thought, “why wait for a winemaker to show up”? Instead, we came up with an affordable wine dinner we can offer in our dining room. We sought out some interesting and affordable wines that are personal favorites and Chef Todd Christensen has crafted a menu to match the wines.  From Monday through Saturday (April 5-10), you can enjoy your own personal wine dinner at Buck’s. Just call 995-4111 to make a reservation, and indicate you are interested in the “90 Point Wine Dinner.” Any size party can order the dinner and the regular dining menu is also available. The cost is only $39 per person.

1st Course

King crab in a sesame “taco“ shell,

soy caramel, avocado-lime crème fraiche

2005 Joseph Drouhin Chablis

Wine Spectator Top 100/90 Points

2nd Course

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, pan-seared with five spice, basmati rice with Major Grey’s chutney, shiraz huckleberry syrup, broccolini


Rocky Mountain Elk Sirloin with star anise, blueberry walnut chutney, truffled risotto, broccolini

2008 D’Arenberg Shiraz “The Stump Jump”

3rd Course

Roasted apple vanilla bean cannoli with ricotta and mascarpone cheese, Coppola rosé sabayon

2007 Francis Ford Coppola Rosé “Sofia”

The Wines

This week’s wine dinner offers three unique and delicious wines. For the first course, I selected the 2005 Drouhin Chablis. Sadly, most Americans still associate “Chablis” with something from a 3-liter bottle that was almost, but not entirely unlike wine. True Chablis is a delicious expression of Chardonnay, usually crisper and cleaner than its California counterparts, with a full mouth feel and nice flavors of bright fruit, nuts and cream.

For the second course, I looked to a producer who has been a favorite of mine for years, and a wine that has often served as my personal “house wine”. D’arenberg is a noted winery in McLaren Vale, Australia which has been producing benchmark Shiraz, Cabernet and other wines since 1959. The Stump Jump represents the declassified fruit from their pedigreed vineyards that wasn’t used in their more exclusive (and expensive) bottlings. Americans have had a love affair with Australian Shiraz for nearly 20 years, and this wine shows the reason why. It’s a full-bodied, generous wine that shows nice red berry and stone fruit with an underlying streak of baking spice. The star anise marinade and truffle risotto Todd has prepared with the Elk is a perfect foil for this wine, as will be the 5-spice and huckleberry he uses in the salmon.

For dessert, I went for one of the most under sung and misunderstood wines to American wine drinkers. Dry Rosé, thanks to the invention of White Zinfandel, has never gotten the respect in this country it deserves, and there are so many great wines out there. People assume that pink wine will be sickly sweet and without character, but with traditional rosé, nothing could be further from the truth. The wines are bone-dry, often with less residual sugar than many red wines.  The result is a complex and refreshing expression of the grape that drinks more like red wine than white. The Coppola Rosé I selected for this week is made from Pinot Noir and is a springtime beauty. The fresh cherry and strawberry you would expect from a youthful Pinot is there, combined with a nice bit of aromatic floral notes and a bright acidity. Todd created a dish that provides a nice variety of flavor and texture for you to explore as you enjoy this wine.

Hope to see you at Buck’s T-4 this week.


David O’Connor

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