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JWB at Margaritaville Beach Resort hosts first intimate wine pairing dinner

As more public spaces open in The Bahamas, JWB Prime Steak  & Seafood restaurant, named after Jimmy W. Buffet and located in the Margaritaville Beach Resort, was a welcome outing for a wine pairing dinner.

Bristol’s Duckhorn Wine Portfolio’s event was an intimate evening of top-notch food, cozy ambience and attentive service at Nassau’s newest oceanfront restaurant. Guests experienced a variety of highly acclaimed wines from Duckhorn’s wineries, located in the Napa Valley and the Sonoma and Russian River counties in California.

“We are meeting the demand of people wanting to enjoy themselves in smaller settings,” said Kyle Stubbs, sommelier at Bristol Wines & Spirits, who helped organize the evening with Margaritaville Beach Resort General Manager Larry Magor and Food and Beverage Manager Devin Johnson.

Guests enjoyed a gastronomic experience which was apparent by the chatter and laughter at the four tables in the upper dining room. Opinions were shared and tastebuds were enraptured by a signature five-course meal based on the JWB menu, although some of the dishes offered additional surprises.

Two sauvignon blanc wines – Duckhorn Napa Valley 2019 and Decoy Sonoma County 2019 – accompanied the first course of pan-seared sea scallop, applewood bacon confit, cauliflower purée with blood orange ginger gastrique.

Award-winning wine critic James Suckling’s tasting notes from website Wine.com on the Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc 2019 described it as “Young and zesty with its aromas and flavors of tart citrus and fragrant herbs.” Meanwhile, Nassauvian Teekel McIntosh shared that there were lean, green, tropical fruits and herbaceous notes that paired nicely with the seafood dish.

Alternatively, the Decoy Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 2019 had a little more expression which the winery delineates as a delicious sauvignon blanc that dazzles with bright, fresh flavors of exotic aromas of guava, Meyer lemon and passionfruit to its crisp acidity and citrus and stone fruit notes. On the palate, alluring layers of tangerine, lemon peel, white peach and honeysuckle add nuance to a long, zesty finish. 

The second course of Wagyu beef tartare, crispy capers, horseradish essence, quail egg and cracked pepper lavish was a play on beef tartare with added ingredients to enhance the presentation for this wine dinner. According to Food & Wine, tartare dishes are found at globe-trotting hot spots and the dish is simple yet luxurious. “The Decoy California Rosé 2019 was paired with the beef tartare because the unripe green apple, good body and acid structure makes it an awesome combination,” said Stubbs.

A creative ensemble for the third course included compressed tri-colored heirloom beet salad with goat cheese espuma, pickled relish and watermelon vinaigrette, which was paired with a 2019 Decoy Rosé which its winery described, “As 100 percent pinot noir offering layers of black cherry, currant and strawberry with subtle notes of rustic forest floor and spice. On the palate, it is soft and silky, with balanced acidity framing the vibrant berry flavors and carrying the wine to a long, lush finish.

A chilled Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay 2017 was a sure favorite accompanied by a posh version of a fisherman’s stew which had a cioppino broth that was poured while hot into a bowl containing a square-shaped saffron poached seabass with rouille crostini.

Wine-critic Jeb Dunnuck gave high accolades to the Kosta Browne One Sixteen (named for Highway 116 that is near the winery). “It has flawless balance, bright acidity, and is a profound chardonnay that will stand beside the finest white Burgundies.” Dunnuck also described this enchanting 2017 varietal as having “rose petal and crème brûlée with hints of cantaloupe skin and coconut nibs.”

The night’s fifth course was awe-inspiring and one that JWB Chef Lester Dean proudly stated, “My Sous Vide Lamb Loin is sort of a masterpiece. The meat is marinated and slow-cooked for many hours and then seared on the outside.” Chef Dean prepared the dish with mushroom duxelles, mint reduction, potato crisp and spice pumpkin.

The pinnacle of award-winning Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2017 accompanied Chef Dean’s highly praised lamb loin where both received high accolades from Temico Smith. “It has been an awesome night. We came specifically for the Duckhorn Merlot that I became familiar with at Ocean Club. Usually, I am not a merlot guy, but this merlot is nice and light, almost like a pinot noir, and I love the complexity of it. The way Chef Dean prepared the lamb was delicious and beyond my expectations.”

For dessert there was a chocolate sponge with salted caramel, gold leaves, chocolate tuile, wild berry Duckhorn stew served with Paradauxx Napa Valley 2019.

Well-known retired banker, author and art collector Dawn Davies wrapped up the evening by saying, “The food was superb. I know Duckhorn well and I have so many friends who enjoy it and tonight was a real treat.”

Sandy Rolle, vice-president of sales and marketing at Bristol, said that the Duckhorn Wine Portfolio luxury brands are popular with high-end resorts and restaurants in The Bahamas and over the years, the Bahamian public have embraced the mid-range wines from Decoy produced by Duckhorn Winery. “We started offering the merlots about 10 years ago and expanded the line to mid-ranges as more Bahamians expanded their desire for fine wines from California.”

Duckhorn Vineyards in the Napa Valley, California has been named one of the “Top 100 Wineries” in the world eight times by Wine & Spirits, and the 2014 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot Three Palms Vineyard was named the 2017 Wine of the Year topping Wine Spectator’s annual list of the worlds Top 100 Wines. The wines are distributed in The Bahamas by Bristol Wines & Spirits. More information can be found at www.duckhornportfolio.com. To learn more about wine pairing dinners, email kyle.stubbs@bristol.bs.

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