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Friday, February 24, 2012

February 22, 2012: Happy Birthday George Washington: Bring on the Far Niente and Nickel and Nickel

Okay, it may have been Papa George's birthday, but I cannot tell a lie. My husband out did himself by helping me celebrate the double nickel birthday by going to Chez Liberty restaurant for one of their truly decadent wine dinners. This evenings wine's were all from the Far Niente winery in Oakville, California. And even though my husband didn't know it, they have a subsidiary called Nickel and Nickel. 55. Ho! Boy am I gonna start getting the senior discounts now! But not at this dinner!
Far Niente was founded in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. John Benson was one of the very few who struck the good vein and made good and decided that wine was the way to go. The winery did pretty well in the Napa Valley until the evil Prohibition, when it did so badly, it fell into receivership for forty years.
Fast forward sixty years and this is what it looked like when Oklahoman, Gill Nickel, woke up one morning and thought, "Hell, let's buy a winery." Of course, instead of being a nutcase, turns out he was something of a genius. He was a physicist and a missile analyst for the Navy. When his military career ended, he moved home to Oklahoma and helped in his family business- a nursery. Not a human child nursery, a plant nursery. So I guess he woke up one day and said, "Making wine? It ain't rocket science." So thank you, Mr. Nickel and your wife, Mrs. Nickel of Far Niente/ Nickel and Nickel winery for making my birthday really special. And thank you Mr. Parris for paying for it! I am just going to list all these wonderful foods and wines and let it be. But let me warn you--- YOU WILL BE JEALOUS! Far Niente / Nickel & Nickel with special guest James Doering Wednesday, February 22nd, 6:30pm. In conjunction with Ashe's Wines & Spirits Greeter Nickel & Nickel 2010 Medina Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay First Nickel & Nickel 2009 Searby Vineyard Russian River Chardonnay Bibb lettuce, poached granny smith apples and Bartlett pears, blood orange vinaigrette Second Nickel & Nickel 2007 Bonfire Vineyard Dry Creek Zinfandel Cedar smoked vanilla and black pepper compressed pork belly, berry coulis Third Nickel & Nickel 2008 Darien Vineyard Syrah Housed ground coffee crusted roasted rack of lamb, fig and sweet potato hash, plum demi-sec Fourth Nickel & Nickel 2008 Napa Sullenger Vineyard Oakville Cabernet and Nickel & Nickel 2008 Napa State Ranch Vineyard Yountville Cabernet Braised veal cheeks, luxardo cherry and blueberry compote, grilled bok choy Fifth Nickel & Nickel 2008 Napa CC Ranch Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet and Nickel & Nickel 2008 Napa Copper Streak Vineyard Stag's Leap Cabernet Duo of duck: Duck confit, hibiscus and black tea syrup Pan seared maple leaf farms duck breast, cassis reduction, cocoa lavender utile Sixth Far Niente 2007 Napa Cabernet Rack of elk, baby shitake mushrooms, heirloom carrots, pan jus Seventh Nickel & Nickel 2008 Harris Vineyard Merlot Raspberry sage crème caramel Eighth Far Niente 2005 Dolce Chef's cheese selection

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