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NO BLUFFING

NO BLUFFING

Giannina Bedford

Another foodie adventure…The Inn at Palmetto Bluff delivers on its epicurean pledge.

The "Dust on the Bottle" wine dinner was set in the Inn's candlelit cellar.
The “Dust on the Bottle” wine dinner was set in the Inn’s candlelit cellar.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a pristine waterfront property about a four and a half hour drive from Buckhead, has gained accolades for its family friendly attitude, unparalleled service and award-winning spa. The 20,000- acre development also has an array of residences ranging from multi-million dollar compounds to more traditional single-family homes. But this wasn’t the reason I visited. Built as an estate more than a century ago, the resort, purchased by Montage Hotels & Resorts in 2014, is a relaxing slice of heaven that is also a food and wine lover’s retreat. During a recent stay, I had the pleasure of experiencing the resort’s culinary side through an intimate wine dinner held in the property’s cellar. Coined “Dust on the Bottle,” the meal was presided over by Dave Miner of Napa Valley’s Miner Family Winery. About 20 diners—a mix of hotel guests and residents lucky enough to call Palmetto Bluff home—gathered beneath the main reception area in a candlelit space to enjoy an extravagant four-course meal with wine pairings from the aforementioned California vineyard.

The evening started with a reception featuring the crisp Miner Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley 2013) and bites of crab cakes and quail eggs. After getting to know each other, we sat at the long, elegantly dressed table where Miner introduced himself and told us about his family winery where he started working in 1993. First a wine consumer and collector, Miner explained his laid-back philosophy about vino, which he believes is meant to be unpretentious and serve as a compliment to delicious food. I love wine, but I don’t consider myself a knowledgeable connoisseur by any means, so Miner immediately put me at ease to enjoy the “unpretentious” evening ahead.

First up was the Miner Viognier (California 2013), paired with a pumpkin and heirloom apple soup sprinkled with puffed ancient grains. Slightly sweet and refreshing, it was a great palate starter. Next was the Benton’s bacon-wrapped monkfish with artichoke, olives, charred octopus and a red wine reduction with a lovely pour of French Oak-aged Miner Gary’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (Monterey 2012), a dark-red fruit vintage with a bit of spice. Luckily, the food portions were pleasingly small, so I still had room for the 48-hour braised short ribs, chanterelle mushrooms, Brussels sprouts leaves and celery root dish that came next. I’m not a big carnivore, but this piece of meat was absolutely divine, especially followed by a sip of the Miner Oracle (Napa Valley 2002), my favorite wine of the evening that pays homage to Miner’s late uncle and mentor, Robert Miner, a founder of Oracle software. The finishing course—an El Rey Chocolate pot de créme with red wine “air” and vanilla salt—was too beautiful and delicious to resist. I finished it off with a few swallows of the Miner Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley 2011) and vowed to return to this exclusive resort not for the spa, service or family offerings, but for another mind blowing foodie adventure.

For a list of upcoming food events, visit montagehotels.com/palmettobluff/dining/food-wine-events

INN AT PALMETTO BLUFF

19 Village Park Square
Bluffton, South Carolina
29910
800.501.7405
https://www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff/

STORY: Giannina Smith Bedford

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