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TWENTY/20 inside the Sheraton Resort in Carlsbad hosted a wine dinner, featuring wines from the acclaimed J Vineyards and Winery. Close to Legoland, the upscale but casual restaurant showcases various fire features and a remarkable view of the sunset over the Pacific. A creative, finely thought out menu for an evening of wine on a cool winter night.
Gougeres – filled with black truffle, goat cheese, chives. The taste of the black truffle was not overpowered by the goat cheese. The savory pastry dough was soft and light. It paired nicely with the bright and bubbly J Cuvee 20.
Fingerling potatoes– guanciale, salsa verde, manchego
These potatoes were one of the best eats of the night. The fruity J Cuvee went well with the manchego and the freshness of the tangy salsa verde. This starter called for seconds and possibly thirds, but I won’t admit to that.
Cured Skuna Bay Salmon– smoked roe, rye, buttermilk, caviar
A great dish. Simple, clean flavors. Not too fishy. The buttermilk mixed with the texture of the soft salmon was a delectable treat. It was only enhanced by the delicate notes of the J Brut Rose.
Pan Seared Scallop– hen of the woods, wood sorrel, pig trotter
The buttery and crisp 2012 Russian River Valley J Chardonnay pleasantly complemented the seared scallops. Although a visually appetizing dish, I will leave it for future restaurant patrons to taste its complexities.
Spiced Glazed Duck– caramelized salsify, Szechuan pepper, brussels sprouts, persimmons
Deep dark berries and hints of vanilla in this brilliant 2012 Russian River Valley J Pinot Noir. A beefy wine that normally pairs lovely with duck. I will hold my tongue here. Pun intended.
Milk and Chocolate – Chocolate mousse, crispy chocolate, dulce de leche, milk chocolate cremeux
The highlight of the night was dessert. As some of you know, I am not a dessert eater. I expect a lot out of a dessert. We have become complacent in the US with subpar desserts. However, this dessert surprised me. A perfect blend of bold and light flavors and paired with the coffee, plum-filled 2011 Russian River Valley J Pinotage. I would return just for this dessert.
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Address: 5480 Grand Pacific Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone: (760) 827-2500
For more on J Vineyards and Winery: Visit their WEBSITE