Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A perfect night at Flemings Washington Vs. California Wine Dinner

Last week, I mentioned a dinner Gabe and I were planning to attend, Flemings Washington Vs. California Wine Dinner. It was a perfect night out which ended up becoming an impromptu double date with our friends Lauren and her husband!

This was a dinner which gave us the opportunity to have a blind taste test from two regions (Washington and California) paired with Flemings Prime Steakhouse signature dishes. Everything was perfect. We voted old school style by raising our hands, while hearing some stories and wine history by the wine genius who should also become a comedian, Michael Rugers.

Course 1: 
California: Schweiger, Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley, 2011
Washington: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills, 2011
This course was one of my favorites of the night. You will probably hear this a few times out of my mouth throughout this post. We were served a prawn - now I am from FL and I am accustom to big shrimp. This thing was out of the prawn category in my mind, closer to a small lobster tail, delicious. Never mind it was topped with a chevre foam. Schweiger won! 

Course 2:
Washington: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chardonnay Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills 
California: 2009, and Beringer, Chardonnay Private Reserve Napa Valley, 2011 
I would have died a happy person if this was my last meal on earth. A huge bowl of Lobster Bisque, topped with a perfectly seared diver scallop, a lobster croquet and truffle micro greens. Wait for it - this was served with Chardonnay, my favorite. Seriously, this pairing couldn't  have been more perfect. Lauren and I were both unsure of what a croquet was but learned it was a lobster cake bed for the scallop. Beringer won!

Course 3:
California: Rodney Strong, Merlot Sonoma County, 2009  
Washington: Hogue Genesis, Merlot Washington, 2008
The third dish was pretty awesome. While I am venturous with my food, I usually steer clear from Quail. Yet in this case, it was very welcome in all of our belly's. Perfectly executed and damned delicious.
The winner of this wine was Rodney Strong

Course 4:
California: Estancia, Meritage Paso Robles, 2009
Washington: Northstar Stella Maris, Columbia Valley, 2007
By the time dish 4 came out, I was starting to feel pretty full. It was a beautiful Prime New York Strip roasted shallot compound butter, twice baked blue crab potato with a beet puree. While I loved it, I could only eat half of it. Stella Maris won!

Course 5:
California: Red Car Wine Company, Syrah Sonoma Coast, 2008
Washington: Hogue Genesis, Syrah Washington, 2009
Remember how I said I was full above? Apparently not that full. This dish didn't last long for this world. A Milk Chocolate Cremosa Espresso Parfait tahitian vanilla bean and hazelnuts. It was downright delicious. Thank you Lauren for allowing me to use your photo of the dessert! Hogue Genesis won!

This was truly a perfect night out on the town. We had great company and were told plenty of fabulous stories by Michael Rugers. I was very happy to hear that Flemings will continue to host these special dinners, the next being a Collett Champagne Dinner on May 30. Contact them now to reserve your spot! Also, their new "Taste the Season" Menu will be available starting April 23. I really enjoyed the Winter Taste the Season menu and look forward to seeing what will be available next week!

Fleming's is located at 4322 West Boy Scout Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607.

Disclosure: I received a free dinner from Flemings in exchange for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Sounds like it was a fun and tasty meal! Love the wine pairing match up aspect. I've still never dined at Flemings: must put it nmy list sometime soon!

  2. More than a dinner, a great dining experience! I'm a #1 fan of Fleming's after this. Great company, too! :)