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Copley's on Palm Canyon Celebrates Organic Wine Dinner

The best of farm fresh cuisine at the hands of famed Executive Chef Andrew Copley match up with Annie Arnold's Organic Wines for the treat of the summer.
The best of farm fresh cuisine at the hands of famed Executive Chef Andrew Copley match up with Annie Arnold's Organic Wines for the treat of the summer.
a.arnold/r.riozza

Organic Wine Pairing Dinner at Copley's on Palm Canyon in Palm Springs

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As we are now moving into the autumn culinary season in the desert, some of our favorite restaurants have already re-opened--yeah!

Farm Fresh Cuisine along with Organic Wines
Photo by Neilson Barnard

Copley’s on Palm Canyon Restaurant and Bar is an award-winning restaurant serving upscale American cuisine infused with traces of tropical and European flavors. Located in part of the former Cary Grant estate, guests may experience a sense of nostalgia while dining outside on the patio with stunning mountain views or enjoying the inviting atmosphere indoors. Executive Chef Andrew Copley has an extensive 20-year culinary background at five-star restaurants and hotels across the world and is known for innovative dishes.

Copley's is now open and serving the valley again with stellar cuisine. Winemaker dinners and wine-pairing dinnner events are also on the radar and always an enjoyable time--as we describe below. Coming up, look for the Laetitia Wine Dinner, scheduled for Nov 5th, 2014.

Already on the calendar for this new season, on October 22, 2014 at 6pm, Chef Andrew Copley is going to share his kitchen with South African Chef Gavin Grabe from Clementine’s Restaurant in Palm Desert. The Chefs will treat guests to a delightful four course menu in a fun, relaxed garden setting. Some of the menu items will include Striped Bass & Potato Parmesan Gnocchi and Cilantro Scented Lamb Chop. Call 760-327-9555 to make reservations.

So just to remind both the foodies and vino lovers in the Coachella Valley, Copley's celebrated last season with a wine-pairing dinner featuring the wines from the portfolio of the Organic Wine Exchange. Four fabulous wines—produced from organically grown grapes, were superbly paired to the most inventive fare at the hands of celebrated Executive Chef Andrew Copley.

We recently wrote about the Organic Wine Exchange and owner Annie Arnold's quest to enlighten our wine community to truths of enjoying pesticide, insecticide, and fungicide free wine. At this Copley event, Annie spoke about the benefits of drinking organic and bio-dynamic wines and she spoke specifically of the four wines poured as they were served.

Although this Copley dinner was considered a special wine-pairing event, the four organic wines matched to the four course dinner are on the Copley’s wine list for your quaffing pleasure.

The dinner began with a Chilled Asparagus & Caramelized Fennel Soup
with Maine Lobster & Braised Split Peas.
A fun refreshing and tasty soup beautifully presented. All of the flavors melded wonderfully, and equally refreshing was the chilled 2012 Biokult Gruner Veltliner, an Austrian varietal that’s on par with German Riesling.Bright citrus fruit aromas alongside green apple and lime-zest that followed into the palate with muted herbal and peppery spice notes. Light-bodied, crisp with refreshing acidity. It definitely rates as one of the wines of summer. 100% Certified Organic.

The second course was Cold Smoked Pan Seared Scottish Salmon Over Citrus Scented Organic Quinoa with Herbs & Golden Raisins, and Chardonnay Butter. One of Chef Andrew specialties is perfectly prepared fish. And as you just read, it was wonderfully seasoned. The dish was paired with a Mendocino Chardonnay, 2011 Terra Savia from the Sanel Valley. Another refreshing wine, its un-oaked and bright but carries a nice richness.

Next we had the Tandoori Spiced Colorado Rack of Lamb Over Cilantro Scented Cous Cous, Saffron Braised Organic Cauliflower, Sweet Peas, and Sweet Garlic Merlot Reduction. This was the best tasting lamb I've had all year. The Tandoori preparation was inventive and stellar on the lamb. The 2011 Chacewater Merlot was perfect with its soft and round layers of black cherry, vanilla, and notable earthy tones. A finish of toasty oak, juicy tannins and ripe fruit.

For dessert we enjoyed the Chocolate Hazelnut Bar Tarragon Ice Cream, and Chocolate Anglaise that was matched with another Chacewater wine. This time a 2011 Zinfandel where the wine’s dark fruit played more of a complex foil to the sweets as opposed to showcasing the usual sweet wine.

As we’ve come to expect, the evening was a delight with really fun company at the table.

While chatting with co-owner, restaurant manager, and all-around-wine-guy, Greg Butterfield, he came up with some nice summertime plates to match some nice summertime wines to get in on before the summer break.

For appetizers, Greg recommends matching the Blue Cheese Stuffed Local Dates with a glass of 2012 Jadot “Steel” Chardonnay. That food and wine combo is just a flavor party.

For an entrée, Greg recommends the Pan Roasted Australian Barramundi along with the 2011 Hess Chardonnay. It’s a classic pairing and a great time this season to enjoy the match-up.

For a nice red wine pairing, Greg suggested the Prosciutto Wrapped Duck Breast along with the 2012 Parker Station Pinot Noir from Fess Parker. Everything works with this coupling. As you can tell, the meal has great savors and the wine—which is medium-bodied—is great for this time of year. It shows bright cherries and currants on the nose, along with some red flowers and cinnamon-spice. A taste of tangy red berries, black cherries with fresh acidity. And a nice treat of mocha on the finish.

Bon Appétit & Cheers!

Rick Riozza is the Wine Steward at Pavilions of Rancho Mirage and wittily titles himself the "sommelier-about-town" in the desert publication CV Weekly wine and food column: the Vino Voice where his beat is to eat, drink, and cover the environs of Palm Springs. A freelance writer, a contributor to Tasting Panel Magazine, palmspringslife.com and the Brand Ambassador for the historic Galleano Winery, you can find him conducting wine tastings, food & wine pairing events and fun wine seminars. Contact winespectrum@aol.com