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February 08, 2006

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Publication Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Food & Drink: Ridge wines, dinner and Fellini at Duck Club Food & Drink: Ridge wines, dinner and Fellini at Duck Club (February 08, 2006)

By Jane Knoerle

Almanac Lifestyles Editor

Winemaker Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards has selected wines to pair with a five-course meal prepared by Chef Philippe Raynaud at a winemaker's dinner Sunday, February 19, at the Duck Club restaurant in the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

The event is a coup for the hotel's director of food and beverage, Frank Klein, who says Mr. Draper rarely hosts winemaker dinners.

Paul Draper has been the professional winemaker and chief executive officer of Ridge Vineyard, based in the Santa Cruz Mountains, for more than 35 years.

"He's basically a philosopher who became a winemaker," said Kent Rosenblum, owner of Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda, in a March 2005 article in the San Francisco Chronicle. "They sit down at Ridge and talk about things a lot. ... He's got an environmental consciousness. And from the early 1970s, he was making all these great single-vineyard zinfandels."

Guests at the winemaker's dinner will be able to taste the zinfandels, which will be served with two courses.

Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines are reportedly Mr. Draper's first love. It is said that he joined Ridge in 1969 because he loved its Monte Bello cabernet. Highlighting the wine pairings at the dinner will be a vertical tasting of the 1990, 1991 and 1992 Monte Bello.

The Duck Club's Executive Chef Raynaud has put together a dinner with fresh local ingredients. "We strive to use organic, sustainable farm ingredients from growers that care for the environment," he says.

The menu and wine pairings are: poached lobster salad with 2003 Monte Bello chardonnay and 2003 Santa Cruz Mountains chardonnay; wild salmon poivrade with 1993 and 2003 Geyserville zinfandel; duck and guinea fowl with 1993 and 2003 Lytton Springs zinfandel; navarin of lamb and root vegetable (a stew) and lamb chop with 1990, 1991 and 1992 Monte Bello cabernets; and chocolate ganache with pear and caramel sauce with 2003 zinfandel essence.

The dinner will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be followed by a showing of one of Mr. Draper's favorite movies -- Fellini's "La Strada" -- and an after-dinner reception.

Tickets are $125 and include food, beverages, taxes and gratuity. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Duck Club at 330-2788. The Duck Club is located in the Stanford Park Hotel at 100 El Camino Real in Menlo Park.

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