Pahrump Wine Country

Last Sunday was a time to celebrate. Kathy had completed the third of four courses in her Berklee College of Music Modern Musicianship Certificate, with distinction). We headed out at 10 AM for the 45-minute drive from our house to Pahrump to visit our nearest wineries.

First, we stopped at a winery we had not visited before, Sanders Family Winery.

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This winery is owned by the couple that established the Pahrump Vallery Winery before selling it. They were very friendly as they poured us some of their wines to taste, sharing stories of where the grapes came from and how the wines were made.

Wine Tasting

White

Chardonnay
Oak-free Limited Release. 100% Chardonnay with aromas of honey, lemon, vanilla, and a hint of orange blossom. Full-body flavor, crisp activity of citrus.

Serenity
Special blend off-dry white wine with aromas of apples and pears. Flavor of sweet Jasmine and a hint of apricot. Perfect wine with fruit and cheese.

Harmony
The ultra-Rose style wine. Light Rose color with aromas of strawberries and plum. Flavor is reminiscent of strawberry, citrus, and melon.

Red

Merlot
Deep red and bold, with overtones of cherry and cloves. Goes great with dark chocolate. Rounded full body and smooth tannins. Aged for three months in oak.

Burgundy
Rounded full body flavors of the specially selected grapes. Blended to bring out delicate but complex flavors. Best served cold to bring out its perfectly-balanced fruit forward taste.

Aperitif/Dessert

Ruby Port
This wine has an amazing aroma and taste of rich plum jam and black raspberry preserves. Fortified to balance its sweetness and to keep the big rich flavors and long finish. Try this over Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream.

The Chardonnay was very smooth and flavorful, and perfectly dry. The Serenity and Harmony were way too sweet for us. The Merlot was very nice, bold, but not overpowering. The Burgundy was, once again, too sweet. My favorite wine of the day was the Ruby Port. It was a delicious balance of sweetness with bold fruit and a perfect kick of fortification to balance it out.

They made us a couple of spritzers with the Ruby Port, and we sat in the comfy chairs they had bought from the Flamingo Hotel Casino. It was a fun way to enjoy the moment. We noticed that the time was quickly approaching for the opening of lunch service at Symphony’s restaurant at the nearby Pahrump Valley Winery. So, we bought bottles of Chardonnay, Merlot, and Ruby Port along with a couple of their signature wine glasses and were on our way. We’re hoping to return when they are pouring their Cabernet Sauvignon. We joined their email list, so we’ll be informed of upcoming events.

glass

After a short ride down the road, we arrived at the Pahrump Valley Winery. We have tasted wine here before a couple times, but this time we were headed straight for lunch at the beautiful Symphony’s restaurant. Is there a better place to celebrate Kathy’s musical accomplishments? I think not. We have eaten here before, but this time we got to sit out on their recently-completed enclosed patio. We were all alone out there at first, with an unobstructed view of the vineyard.

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Wine

2012 Charleston Peak Viognier, Kathy
A full-bodied varietal known for its floral aromatics, lushness on the palate, and long creamy finish. A wine of complex flavors, from apricot, peaches, and vanilla overtones.

2011 Nevada Ridge Barbera, Rich
A muscular red with scents of clove, nut, violet, and black currant.

wine

Appetizers

Incredible Lobster Bisque, Kathy
Creme Sherry laced lobster bisque

lobster

French Onion Soup, Rich
Sweet onion and melted cheese

french

Entrees

Smoke Turkey on Wheat, Kathy
Sliced turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayo, alfalfa sprouts, red onions, mustard on whole grain wheat bread

sandwich

Mushroom and Chicken Risotto, Rich
Sauteed mushrooms and grilled chicken folded into Italian rice with chicken stock and parmesan cheese

risotto

Kathy remembered how incredible the lobster bisque was last time, so she gladly ordered it again. It was very tasty, although it did not quite live up to her memory of it. I enjoyed the French onion soup. Last time our server (who was the same one we had this time) recommended extra cheese. I didn’t get the extra cheese this time, so it wasn’t quite the same. Next time I’ll try to remember the extra cheese.

The turkey sandwich was excellent. It was made with fresh ingredients including yummy avocado. After enjoying the filling soup, Kathy could only eat half the sandwich. Thankfully that meant I could share the other half with her for dinner. The risotto was absolutely amazing, easily the best risotto I’ve ever had. Since I ordered the soup, our server gave me the dinner portion because soup was included. I managed to polish off every last bite of this glorious dish.

I was tempted by the weekend special of meatloaf, but I’m so glad I ordered the risotto. Maybe next time I’ll take a swing at the meatloaf.

We were at a winery restaurant, so naturally, we had to have a couple glasses of their wines with our meal. The Viognier was a bright, light white that was very refreshing. The Barbera was a risk for me because, on the recommendation of the server, I tried the Nevada Ridge instead of the Amador County. I was pleasantly surprised when it paired nicely with the risotto. Sometimes wine just tastes better with food.

Food and wine are premier interests of ours, without a doubt. But we live in Las Vegas, and Nevada is not tops on the list of fine wine producing states. But these two wineries make some very good wines, and Symphony’s restaurant is as good as many other fine restaurants we’ve eaten in. We had a wonderful time, celebrating, sharing our joy, and savoring another fine meal together.

About Rich Eckardt

Byzantine Catholic Convert. Knight of Columbus. Celebrant of the Divine Office.