Gourmands and imbibers were treated to an enchanting autumn evening reminiscent of those spent on the rolling hills of California wine country during Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation’s (CBWCF) Harvest Party on Oct. 23 at Becca Restaurant & Garden at The Cavalier Hotel.
Dusk fell on the historic hotel on the hill as the glowing moon rose over the sea while guests were presented with a sumptuous spread of harvest dishes. Prepared by the Cavalier’s Executive Chef Dan Elinan, plates were paired with a wealth of wines from the Napa and Sonoma regions curated by Sara Basham, the hotel’s sommelier.
Commemorating fall’s harvest, we sipped on a pair of pinot noirs, Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2016 and Wayfarer Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014, selected and poured by Hilton Norfolk The Main’s Sommelier Bethany Morris. These two exquisite wines were part of the night’s elite ensemble of reds and whites, including Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc 2016, as well as glasses of Cardinale, Caymus Special Select, Illumination and Kistler.
Hilton Norfolk The Main's Sommelier Bethany Morris.
Fall vegetables served à la cart.
The Harvest Party provided a smorgasbord of meat and fowl dishes courtesy of the Hunt Room that featured carved fire grilled bison tenderloin, dry aged prime rib, rotisserie roasted duck, fennel and potato gratin and honey stung Brussels. A display of grilled and pickled fall vegetables was wheeled out on a harvest wagon with offerings of asparagus, peppers and tomatoes served alongside aioli. Becca brought forth an ocean bounty with crab cakes, Virginia oysters, pancetta shrimp, tiny rockfish en papillote and corn and toasted cauliflower “risotto.” Exotic cheeses and charcuterie complemented wine, while the feast was followed by sweets such as zabaglione—a custard sauce coating blackberries and ginger pears—brown butter cake, honey chocolate cake, pralines and Gorgonzola dolce.
Harvest Party was one of several wine fundraisers hosted this fall by CBWCF with title sponsor Gold Key | PHR. CBWCF is a nonprofit that believes that the future strength and prosperity of our region and nation are dependent on the education of youth. The organization has raised over $9 million in the past 27 years with its various wine festivities. The funds are primarily donated to Access College Foundation, which helps students attain higher education through counseling, assisting with SAT preparation and securing or providing scholarships.
The season of CBWCF wine fundraisers culminates with the Grand Auction on Nov. 10 at The View on Rudee Inlet with wine tastings from the world’s premier wineries, cuisine from local restaurants and the opportunity to bid on the best in wine, travel and food experiences. Learn more and purchase tickets for the Grand Auction here.