A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Talk about a sweet honor! On Valentines Day, Santa Barbara County’s Solomon Hills Estate wines were served at a dinner hosted by the U.S. Secretary of State in honor of His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel.
Solomon Hills Estate is located in the Santa Maria Valley Appellation of Santa Barbara County, and is owned by the Miller family, fifth-generation farmers.
State Department Executive Chef Jason Larkin selected two Solomon Hills wines to accompany the winter-inspired menu. The 2013 Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay was paired with the first course, a Cauliflower Velouté with porcini mushrooms and crispy parsnips. This was followed by the main course, a Monkfish ‘Osso Buco’ served with a smoked tomato-saffron broth and stewed heirloom beans, and paired with the 2012 Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir.
Attendees enjoyed the wines, so much so that the wines accompanied the Secretary of State on his trip to Germany the following day, say Solomon Hills representatives.
“We are so pleased to know that Chef Larkin and the U.S. State department sees the Solomon Hills Estate wines as much jewels in their crown as we see them in ours. To serve them for Prime Minister Netanyahu and on Valentine’s day at that, is really a great honor,” said Master Sommelier Will Costello, Estate Ambassador for Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Estate Wines.
The Solomon Hills Vineyards takes its name from its neighboring hills named for Salomon Pico, a celebrated bandit who in the 1850’s traveled frequently along the stretch of El Camino Real that is known today as Santa Maria Valley. Pico’s life was so colorful that it is believed by many to have inspired the legend of Zorro. For more information visit www.biennacidoestate.com or www.solomonhillsvineyards.com.
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When she’s not busy working as the editor ofSanta Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”