You may remember Christina Machamer as the winner from the grueling reality show Hell’s Kitchen, season 4. Last night I met her at the chic but comfortable Lodge in the Desert for a B Cellars wine tasting where Ms. Machamer was under no tension to educate us about these marvelous wines.
But boy did she dish Hell’s Kitchen. What you see on TV is just a glimpse of the 20 hours a day for 30 days of hard labor and emotionally-charged situations. And yes only the strong, talented, and cunning survive and thrive.
B Cellars is a Napa Valley winery producing only 5,000 cases of blends per year. According to Christina, Robert Parker, has given B Cellars wines 90 points or better…just in case you keep score.
One of the smart things (among many) that B Cellars does is that it numbers the wines as to character. As a wine drinking consumer, this makes it easier for you to decide on which bottle you might want to drink tonight.
The wine is amazing. Although sitting around a table with other foodies, with each sip I tasted Napa and felt the cool Napa air while envisioning the vast fields of grapes. Frequently, food will transport me back to another time — perhaps a memory of childhood or a special occasion. In this case, B Cellars wine made me want to go to Napa tomorrow. Maybe soon. I love that part of northern California.
The wines tasted:
— ’09 Blend 23, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier – only 1,200 case production
Christina described this as the “Cab drinkers white.” The token white wine suitable for red wine drinkers. I wish every white wine would taste this inviting.
— ’07 Blend 24, Cabernet, Peitte Sirah, Sangiovese – 860 case production
This was my favorite. Although rich, it’s the perfect summer red
— ’06 Blend 25, 60% Cabernet, 40% Syrah – 840 case production
Black peppery, a winter wine
— 07 Blend 26, Cabernet Sauvignon – 100 case production
Tastes like “California in a box”
— 08 Syn3rgy, Cabernet Sauvignon – 475 cases
Fruit forward, black tea, French oak, lingonberry
All these amazing wines are available at AJ’s Fine Foods and soon may be appearing at some restaurants around town including the new restaurant (Jan. 2012) at the Mercado San Agustin. Restaurants may contact Mary Grace Rodarte at 904-0087 as she reps the wines through Vintage Selections.
If you want to taste these fine wines paired with amazing food — there are still spaces at the Lodge on the Desert BCellars Wine Dinner on Dec. 8. Here’s the menu. Lodge on the Desert Chef Ryan Clark and Christina Machamer both attended the CIA. It sounds like a win-win-win dinner.