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New Executive Chef Angus O'Hara prepared appetizers to match many different wines.
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Vintage Wines Display
Vintage Wines tasting table
I've often written than there are only a few restaurants in our area that put as much emphasis on wines as they do on their food. The Galaxy in Wadsworth is in the top five in my opinion when it comes to wine, and recently added to my esteem for their program by hosting a Saturday night wine tasting festival during which four of their distributors opened no less than 81 different bottles.
The highlight of the night was supposed to be a 1999 Robert Mondavi Napa Cabernet Reserve poured by Superior Beverages. My tasting notes say it probably would have been the best, but that my samples had quite a bit of sediment; I think it should have been decanted. That's probably difficult to do in a social setting like the festival, however, so I make allowances as I report that it was a deeply colored, full-body wine showing plenty of black cherry and chocolate, and standing up to a wide range of small plate foods offered.
Speaking of which, the Galaxy has a new Executive Chef, Angus O'Hara, and used the function to show of his versatility. He presented a wide range noshes from roasted and grilled veggies through several different cheeses, pates, salmon mousse, sushi, hot appetizers, and even two different versions of roast saddle of veal. Given the wide variety of wines available for tasting, it possible to try an almost infinite number of food and drink combinations, including some rather adventurous experimentation on my part. There is nothing more fun than trying to find the right Zinfandel to go with pot-stickers and six different dipping sauces!
In addition to Superior, the other distributors pouring were Vintage Wines, Cutting Edge Selections, and Wine Trends. Each of them offered some real highlights. Vintage had an '06 Mt. Veeder Cab, an '06 Burgess Merlot, an '07 Buehler Cab, and my personal favorite of the entire evening, an '07 Nickel & Nickel Cab from the Harris Vineyard. This last wine was beautifully balanced and drinkable for one so young, fruity with just a hint of sweetness, and a rich, full body.
Superior only brought one Zinfandel, but it was an excellent '05 Scott Harvey White Label from the Amador district; I was unfamiliar with this winery, and this very dry and spicy wine was a great introduction. Yes, it was one of the Zins that was well-matched to the oriental sauces. Cutting Edge had both the '07 Chateau Montelena Cabernet and Zinfandel, offering an opportunity to compare both red wines from the same house. Seen this way, the sweeter, fuller Cab against the drier and spicier Zin was a very interesting exercise.
Wine Trends also had some very interesting wines available. My runner-up to the Nickel was a great Zinfandel from Rombauer, the '08 Napa. This is winery that is rapidly growing its reputation as one of the most skilled at vinting America's own great grape. They also had a couple of Rhone style reds available, the '07 Girard Petite Sirrah and the '07 Fess Parker “Big Easy” Syrah. Both of these displayed big flavor, and big alcohol. I also like the '07 Joseph Phelps Fog Dog Pinot Noir, the only California Pinot I could find among all the offerings. Dense and dark, it displayed the California style in typical fashion, and lived up to its name.
The Galaxy did an excellent job in presenting the festival, providing tables and chairs, a tasting notes folder, music, and a couple of cooking demonstrations by O'Hara and his staff. Since there was a lot of wine to taste, and I took advantage, I'm grateful the two hotel located next to the restaurant had offered special discounted group rates for those who didn't want to worry about driving home. Here's a link to the Galaxy web site where you will be able to find information about their wine programs.