Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our Anniversary with Water and Wine



Caitlin and I celebrated our two-year anniversary over the weekend. To mark the occasion, I made us a reservation at the Tides Inn in Irvington, VA. It is a kitchen sink luxury resort in the best possible way.

Aside from well-appointed rooms, all of which have views of the Chesapeake Bay, there is a golf course, spa, marina, water sports, pools and two restaurants that have a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list with 340 selections. It should be noted that The Tides is pet friendly, so Kopek got to get away for the weekend with us.

Of the Tides two main restaurants, the Chesapeake Club is the more informal and the East Room is the more formal of the two. For dinner, we selected a Rosenblum Cellars Vintner's Cuvée XXXI Zinfandel. Zinfandels traditionally are considered good wines to pair with BBQ, pizza and pasta dishes, and are not known to go well with seafood, though it did go fairly well with the crab cakes that I ordered. It was not an overly-powerful zinfandel, which I was nervous may have been the case. Instead, it was more medium-bodied that balanced fruit and berry flavors with the characteristic spice of a zinfandel well.

While the weekend was very relaxing and romantic – the perfect way to spend an anniversary, a couple of nit-picky details deserve some attention. First, we were on the Chesapeake, which is where the world’s best crabs come from. True, Deadliest Catch makes Alaskan crab fishing sexier, but blue crabs taste better. I hate when places try to gussy up their crab cakes too much by adding filler peppers, or anything much other than crabmeat. The crab cakes at dinner had peppers in them, which gets points deducted in my book. That said, the crab cake we ordered from room service earlier in the day was pretty much all lump crabmeat and was delicious.

Since the Tides has an award-winning wine list, I was confident that whatever we ordered would be good, and what we ordered would be labeled properly. The zinfandel that we ordered was listed as a Sonoma appellation, but the bottle labeled it as a California wine. I know that it is a small detail, but for a distinguished wine list, I would have expected a bit more truth in advertising. In any event, neither the peppers in the crab cake or ordering a Sonoma wine that was actually a California took away from the overall enjoyment of the weekend.

If Caitlin and I make it back to the Tides, we will make sure that we arrive after the room is ready so we can drop off Kopek right away and explore the grounds on our own. Ideally with a glass of wine in hand.

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