Dining with DAOU and Dame at Montage Beverly Hills

The extraordinary DAOU Vineyards & Winery of Paso Robles and its new Global Ambassador, the World Renowned Master Sommelier Fred Dame recently partnered with Montage Beverly Hills to create yet another memorable evening of glorious wines, impeccable food and wine insights.

DAOU Vineyards & Winery is located in the breathtaking Adelaida District, just 10-minutes from downtown Paso Robles, California. DAOU produces truly remarkable wines winning the highest accolades from major wine critics.

Master Sommelier Fred Dame is one of the world’s most renowned sommeliers and the founder of the American Branch of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He has received countless accolades around the world, including honorary professorships from both Purdue University and University of Southern California.

The Setting

The evening’s setting was the Montage Beverly Hills on Canon Drive, located in the very heart of this iconic city. The private dining room was luxurious, yet warm and inviting and was complete with an intimate fireplace. An enormous picture window permitted views of the expansive open kitchen. Class and comfort was coupled with its signature excellent service and an abundance of red roses.

The Food and Wines

Chef de cuisine Monica Olaes and her culinary team started the evening with hors d’oeuvres of smoked goat cheese topped with candied walnuts housed within profiteroles, shrimp resting atop truffle-infused foam and spicy lobster on crispy rice cubes. These delectable items were paired with DAOU’s outstanding, crisp 2017 Rosé and was thoroughly enjoyed by all, even or perhaps especially by attendees who stated they rarely drank Rosé wines. What’s not to love? This Rosé from DAOU’s Paso Robles collection is made from Grenache had peach and vanilla tones, and a touch of apricot.

The first course of black mission figs beautifully served with honey, cheese and Meyer lemon paste was perfectly paired with DAOU’s 2017 Chemin de Fleurs. This pour, also from DAOU’s Paso Robles collection, blends Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussane, which together harmonizes into symphony its papaya, mango, pineapple and fig flavors.

The short rib ragout and rigatoni with orange zest and ricotta arrived as the evening’s second course and was matched with DAOU’s richly delicious Seventeen Forty, 2016 Reserve. A coupling of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with plum and blueberry elements, the infused chocolate combines to render its long finish highly elegant.

Richly flavorful dry aged strip loin with parsnip pureé and Vidalia onions was mated with comparisons of both DAOU’s 2014 and 2015 Soul of a Lion from its Estate collection. With plum, crème de cassis, vanilla bean and toasted spice, the 2014 is at once concentrated and gracefully smooth. The 2015 is likewise concentrated, possessing a full aroma and has a delightfully long finish. Interestingly, and without engaging in any scientific table study, men at the dinner preferred the 2014, while women preferred the 2015. Though it was unanimously agreed by all that both years were fabulous and it should be noted that all glasses quickly emptied.

The meal ended with a semi-sweet blackout cake joined by a sliver of roasted pear aside a dollop of cinnamon chocolate sorbet. This was matched with DAOU’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Possessing a black cherry and blackberry aroma, other fruits revealed themselves with a touch of white pepper, resulting in perfectly weighted luxury. By this time of the evening, there were pretty much just two words left: absolute transcendence.

Throughout the evening, Fred Dame provided his wealth of knowledge on wine in general and DAOU wines in particular. Dame also shared his observations of how Georges and Daniel Daou, the mastermind brothers behind DAOU Vineyards & Winery, will inevitably make the creations of DAOU Mountain the standard by which all classic Bordeaux varieties are judged. This is what transpires when passion, vision and quality are united.

The Lesson Learned

Some marriages are good, some are very good and some are really great. While the future will no doubt prove that DAOU and Dame will be a great matrimonial success story, adding Montage Beverly Hills to the family tree is a striking signal that marital bliss will continue happily ever after.

Julie L. Kessler is MoneyInc’s Senior Travel Editor, writes travel for several other major media outlets, and is an attorney and legal columnist. She is also the author of the award-winning book “Fifty-Fifty: The Clarity of Hindsight” and can be reached at Julie@VagabondLawyer.com

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