Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Big Deal Wine Dinner: Phelps at Palm Restaurant

Posted by on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 6:21 AM

  • Joseph Phelps
Joseph Phelps Wines are very well-respected among oenophiles. A few years ago, they were one of the guests of honor at a l’Eté du Vin wine tasting. The hundreds of assembled guests enjoyed tasting through several Phelps wines that had been set on long tables before we were seated. Purposely, no prices were discussed while we tasted so as not to create preconceived notions, but the more informed tasters knew what they were drinking.

At that time, I was not one of those informed tasters, and I swilled most of the glasses down with abandon. I did remember particularly enjoying a California version of a Bordeaux blend which they told us was called Insignia. I wish I'd sipped on that one, because when we found out that it retailed for about $125 per bottle, suddenly the polite tasting attendees were throwing elbows like Dennis Rodman while they scrambled to grab the extra glasses of that prime juice from the extra settings of glasses for people who failed to show up.

Finally I (and you, if I don't elbow you out of the way) have the chance to make amends and try that delightful wine again. Palm Restaurant downtown is hosting a dinner featuring the wines of Joseph Phelps next Tuesday, July 26, beginning with a reception at 6:30 and dinner at 7. The dinner costs $125 for members of Palm's (free) 837 frequent diners' club and $25 more if you haven't filled out your 837 application yet. Trust me, you'll get in if you apply. Heck, even I got in.

That may sound like a big chunk of change, but consider the fact that it's a six-course dinner with accompanying Joseph Phelps wines with every course. Including Insignia. Check out the menu:

1st Course
Soft Poached Farm Egg Carbonara with cavatelli, spring peas & fresh bacon

Paired with:
Joseph Phelps, Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Napa

2nd Course
Pan Roasted Stuffed Quail stuffed with Almonds, Apples, Manchego Cheese and Thyme over a Mashed Potatoes and Sherry Wine Pan Sauce

Paired with:
Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007, Sonoma

3rd Course
Tennessee Heirloom Tomato Salad
Marinated red onions, bibb lettuce, and a Creamy Point Reyes Bleu Cheese Dressing

Paired with:
Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay 2008, Sonoma

4th Course
Roasted Colorado Lamb Chops
Wild Mushroom & Onion Risotto Cake
Pancetta-Spinach Sauté, Cabernet and roasted garlic demi glace

Paired with:
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Napa Valley

5th Course
Prime Filet of Beef over a Jerusalem artichoke puree & brussels sprout leaves sautéed with cranberries
Topped with foie gras compound butter

Paired with:
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2006, Napa

6th Course
Berry Shortcake
with lemon and mascarpone cream

Paired with:
Joseph Phelps Eisrébe Late Harvest Dessert Wine 2008, Napa

That sounds incredibly decadent to me, but I think you're worth it. Reservations are limited. Contact Paige Dixon at (615) 742-3193 or

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