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Copley's on Palm Canyon Celebrates Organic Wine Dinner

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

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As we are onto the summer season in the desert, we know of a few great eateries that will be closing down for the respite.

Copley’s on Palm Canyon Restaurant and Bar is still open for the next couple of weeks but will be on their annual summer hiatus until August 29th. Fortunately, Copley's celebrated with a final 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.

And before we delve into some of the highlights of the evening, if you haven’t taken the opportunity to have dined at Copley’s recently, do yourself a wonderful favor and treat you and yours to the excellence of Chef Andrew’s cuisine before they take their summer break after the July 4th weekend. The dinner setting is romantic, relaxing, and the property, located in part of the former Cary Grant estate, is really beautiful.

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

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