Food & Drink

July 23, 2013

Flowers Wine Dinner at Valentino Cucina Italiana Fort Lauderdale

Two wines, one dream, one name.
If you know wine, then you know Flowers. Flowers Winery is synonymous with one red wine and one white wine; the interminably classic California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Flowers Winery produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from its two estate properties, Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard and Sea View Ridge Vineyard, as well as select vineyards in the coolest regions of the Sonoma Coast AVA, which are farmed to Flowers’ specifications by their own crews.

Flowers Winery wine dinner at Valentino’s Fort Lauderdale

Dreams really do come true.
As nursery owners in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Walt and Joan Flowers dreamed of combining their love of wine with their passion for agriculture. They knew they wanted to produce their favorite varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; what they didn’t know was that their path would eventually lead them across country to Northern California’s rugged Sonoma Coast. After responding to a small classified ad in a national wine publication, that’s exactly where they landed.

In 1989, after many information-gathering trips to Napa and Sonoma, Walt and Joan purchased 321 acres, including a ridge top, high above the Pacific Ocean on the northern Sonoma Coast. With the same determination they drew on to build their successful nursery business; the Flowers proceeded with the dream of producing their favorite cool-climate varietals in a place they believed uniquely suited to growing them. *excerpted from

Flowers Winery wine dinner at Valentino’s Fort Lauderdale

Last night Valentino Fort Lauderdale played host to a Flowers Wine Dinner with Flowers’ regional manager Kelly McFadden in attendance guiding guests on a tasting tour of the famed Sonoma Coast wines. The sold out wine event started with a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception. Guests were greeted with ample pours of Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2010. This Chardonnay is not your old school rich, heavy, buttery, oaky California Chardonnay but rather an ideal reception wine, channeling its cousin Sauvignon, showing off a crisp fruit basket of apricots, peaches, lemon, apple and honeysuckle.

Flowers Winery wine dinner at Valentino Fort Lauderdale

1st Course:
Chardonnay, Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2010. This wine won over our entire table, we called it the “winning wine”. When a California Chardonnay is done right, it will be exquisite, as is this particular wine. This French oaked wine subtly displays its rich, dramatic color and texture presenting nothing but fabulousness in a glass. Served with warm Cobia, with trout roe, hearts of palm, citrus and herbs.

warm cobia trout roe, hearts of palm, citrus and herbs

2010 Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay

2nd Course:
Perennial, Sonoma Coast 2010. The one and only blend in the Flowers family. So different from its Flowers forebearers, yet crafted within the Flowers lineage, possessing much of the Flowers pedigree. This wine is blended with five varietals, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Meunier, Dolcetto, and Chardonnay. Still young, this wine needs time to further develop and envelop all of the finer nuances of its numerous varietals. This is a pairing wine and will do well with marbled steaks and fatty cheeses, which will soften the acidity and tannins. This wine was served with double stuffed Ravioli,with lamb and ricotta cheese

double stuffed ravioli with lamb and ricotta cheese and with caramelized endive

3rd Course:
Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2011. This earthy yet elegant wine brings floral, fruit and spice together for a well blended show of tannis, earthy minerality, and bright acidity paying homage to its Burgundian ancestors. This wine was served with Guinea hen “Involtino” with cherry sugo.

guinea hen with cherry sugo

4th Course:
Pinot Noir, Sea View Ridge Estate Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2010 closed out the evening; some of us felt was the pièce de résistance. This impeccable wine is ready to drink now, yet some say will age beautifully and show so much more in a few years; I’m sure it will, only if you can restrain yourself to cellar it. This is a wine that does not need food. No pairing necessary, just enjoy as is. The dessert course was ricotta “cheese cake” with pink peppercorn granita, and spiced streusel.

ricotta cheesecake pink peppercorn plum sorbet and spiced streusel

The wines can be purchased online at or the local Fort Lauderdale retail partner Seventh Street Wine Company, 954-522-5560.

Click here to view more photos of the wine dinner

Valentino Cucina Italiana 620 S. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 (954) 523-5767  Valentino Cucina Italiana on Urbanspoon


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