The Hospitality House at B Cellars is an elevated experience in food and wine pairings. The collaborative efforts of Duffy Keys and Jim Borsack, who decided to create B Cellars following an idea discussed during a barbecue, have more than paid off in the elegant array of varietals they’ve produced since pairing talents in 2002. Add to this, Kirk Venge’s role as wine consultant paired with a culinary team worthy of a Michelin-star and state-of-the-art kitchen behind the bar, and you’ve got a recipe for distinction.
By reservation only, several choices of wine adventures offer something for everyone. The Sojourn ($37) wine and cheese pairing is a perfect pre-dinner experience, just as the Chef’s Garden Pairing ($135) is a full-on food and wine escapade.
For those who prefer a modest, yet luxurious experience of wine/food pairings, the Oakville Trek ($70) is a great way to enjoy a tour through the B Cellars culinary garden, crush pad, and wine caves with glass-in-hand before sitting at one of the tables inside the Hospitality House that doubles as a boutique shop with shelves of wine country memorabilia offered for sale.
Off to a superb start, an Oakville Trek begins with a tasting of 2014 Blend 23: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, paired with an amuse bouche of iron-cast shrimp doused with Espelette butter made with dried, grated French chili priced at $120 per ounce. The light, floral aromas match the taste of this wine and food pairing perfectly, and it becomes instantly clear you’re in for a treat on this tour.
As Sous Chef, Shane, covers fresh-cooked brioche with a kitchen towel, he declares, “I can’t say I’ve ever worked a day.” He loves what he does in the open kitchen at B Cellars, showcasing culinary masterpieces that evolve depending on sourced local protein and in-season produce available.
Hospitality associate Ryan Barney escorts a small group to tour the grounds and cave. He points across the valley floor estate where a three-year-old vineyard of 20% Cabernet Franc and 80% Cabernet Sauvignon are grown, noting that there are several more vineyards, including To Kalon, where fruit is sourced.
The culinary garden is bursting with kale and edible flowers Ryan plucks for those who would like to taste an essence of cucumber. Just beyond the culinary garden is the hen house.
A walk around the bend leads to the production facility of concrete and stainless steel tanks, followed by a tour and barrel tasting of soon-to-be-bottled Zinfandel in the cave. According to Ryan, an astounding 90% of B Cellars wines are sold direct-to-consumer via their wine club. Impressed and ready for more, the group is escorted back to the Hospitality Room, where warm towels are distributed before a triple-bowl serving dish of portabella slider, duck cannelloni meatball extraordinaire are served with a B Cellars red blend, a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine and culinary pairing proves elegant and as sophisticated as an experience taking the Oakville Trek. Visit B Cellars at 703 Oakville Cross Road Oakville. Call (707) 709-8787 for more information or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.