In-depth discussions of wine, food and culture, exclusive, one-of-a-kind menus and expert lessons on agriculture and winemaking make The Stonehedge Hotel & Spa’s monthly wine dinners the best Monday night around.
By Emilie-Noelle Provost
If you’re anything like me, or many people for that matter, your Monday nights are reserved for yoga pants and reruns of Antiques Roadshow. Getting dressed up and going out for a nice dinner probably isn’t on your radar. At least once a month, though, it really should be.
For the last 26 years, The Stonehedge Hotel & Spa has invited winemakers from around the world to share with guests their in-depth knowledge of and enthusiasm for their craft. The wines they choose to highlight are paired with a five-course menu created especially for that evening – each course designed to complement a different wine.
Along with food, wine is also about stories, conversation and companionship. So, while you enjoy your meal you are invited to listen to the fascinating tale of each wine you’re presented with – often including bits of geology, biology, chemistry, history, politics, literature and more – as told by the winemakers themselves. Questions and discussion are encouraged. Communal seating allows for opportunities to meet and talk with fellow diners – interesting people from near and far.
A recent Celebration of Wine Dinner, held in October, featured wines from Chapter 24 Vineyards in Oregon. The winery’s owner and founder, Mark Tarlov, a former Hollywood producer, Supreme Court speechwriter and Justice Department attorney, joined us for dinner. His wines have won accolades from Wine & Spirits magazine, Vinous and Travel & Leisure, and his stories – featuring allusions to Homer’s Odyssey (the winery is named after its mythical chapter 24) and Alice in Wonderland, and lessons on the geological history of the Pacific Northwest – would have themselves almost been worth the price of admission.
But all of this is not to diminish the food. Executive Chef Mark Filteau created an inspiring menu that night, including courses as diverse as smoked steal head trout from New Hampshire, roasted pheasant, an Asian-inspired kimchi scallion pancake, and house-made duck-egg ravioli filled with duck confit – all of them delectable and dreamily paired with Tarlov’s wines.
As elegant as all of this sounds – and it is pretty magical, from the candlelight to the beautiful table setting – for the per person cost it’s a very good value. Guests can purchase the wines they sample and receive complimentary admission to Stonehedge Cellars’ upcoming monthly wine tasting (happily, also held on Mondays).
If you don’t want to drive home after enjoying all that wine check out The Stonehedge’s overnight Wine Dinner Package. And don’t forget to add your name to the Wine Dinner Mailing List to be among the first to know about future dinners.