After #WBC10, my husband, John, and I were invited to stay at Desert Wind Winery in Prosser, WA, with Margot, her husband, Dave, Barbara and her boyfriend, Jason.  Margot told me what a beautiful place the winery was and that we were in for a treat.  We usually take family vacations to an amazing resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, so I just expected a pleasant winery stay.  Let’s just say that sans beach this was a comparable five-star experience. 

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Courtesy of Desert Wind Winery

Desert Wind Owners Greg and Amber Fries served as exemplary hosts from the moment we arrived and greeted us with a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the spacious patio.  We had some time to relax in a fabulous, fully-stocked suite that had everything one could need from bottles of wine to munchies to luxurious bath products (and I love luxurious bath products). 

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Just when I didn’t think it could get any better, we started our food/wine experience. We began with a tour of the winery and had the opportunity to barrel taste the 08 Petite Verdot, 08 Barbera and 08 Tempranillo. I was impressed that Greg was so willing to go off the beaten path of the varietals to  see what wines would blossom with his talent.

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Chef Frank Magana and Darren Dewalt from Picazo 7 Seventeen treated us to a multi-course dinner paired with Desert Wind and Duck Pond wines (Greg is also the wine maker).  The food parade started with Dungeness Crab Cakes with Chipotle Aioli Firecracker Prawns, Patatas Bravas, various wonderful cheeses, Marcona Almonds and Olives, paired with Desert Wind’s 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and  2009 Viognier.  My foodie and chef hobbyist husband was absolutely in heaven.  I innocently asked Chef Magana exactly how many course were coming and realized some restraint from the appetizers would be necessary in order to stay the course.

The good news is that you too can enjoy Mojave by Picazo at Desert Wind, which is open noon – 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.  But back to this meal, this glorious meal….

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Our first course was Prosciutto-wrapped Mixed Field Greens with Ancho Chile Vinaigrette, paired with 2009 Dry Rose’ and 2008 Semillon. If you read this column regularly, you know I’m not the biggest fan of Rose and I’m allergic to pork, so I choose the Semillon and had a special menu adaptation.

We moved on to the Basil-Stuffed Salmon with Tempranillo Pan Sauce, Blue Prawns & Trumpet Mushrooms with Cream paired with a 2008 Tempranillo and 2006 Duck Pond Cellars ‘St. Jory’ Pinot Noir, one of the many library wines we tried. Loved, loved, loved this course.

And then came the beef – the filet of Beef Tenderloin Ruah Sauce, Black Truffle Risotto followed by Grilled Lamb Chops with Ruah-Garlic Marinade was delightful. The meats and sauce paired perfectly with a vertical of Desert Wind Ruah wines from 04, 05, 06 and 08.  Sublime.

I was glad to have run that morning (even though I got lost like an idiot) because the dessert plate … well, it rocked.  It was a trio of Espresso Crème Brulee, a Chocolate Crème Brulee and then a Gorgonzola Truffle.  It’s been a few weeks now and I still fantasize about that darn truffle matched with a 04 Duck Pond Port.

When I returned from my run the next morning, there was a food basket waiting for us with yogurt, fresh fruit, baked goods, coffee and other assorted goodies that we enjoyed on our balcony.

If you are looking for a great winery and gourmet food married with a five-star resort experience that is centrally located near several great wineries in Prosser, I highly recommend checking out the hospitality of Amber and Greg.  It will certainly be an experience that you will always remember and I’m certainly looking forward to my return.