Master Sommelier Virginia Philip
“It has been amazing to connect to other chefs in person and on social media to get inspiration,” she says, “rather than staring at a cupboard all day every day in your own galley.”
The first course of king prawn carpaccio is a match for a rich, dry white made from chenin blanc. Domaine des Baumard Savennières, Loire Valley, France, 2012, will do the trick. This elegant white has flavors and aromas of green apple, white peach and Anjou pear with mouthwatering acidity and bright mineral on the long finish. The chili in the sauce will not overpower the wine, and the wine will offset some of the heat in the dish.
With the savory main course of sous vide organic beef, a hearty, rustic red wine is well suited. Made from 80 percent merlot and 20 percent cabernet franc, the Château de Parsac from Montagne Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, 2015, has just the right amount of tannin structure and weight. The flavors and aromas will remind you of dark cherry, cassis and blackberry with hints of cigar, earth and forest mushroom on the grippy finish.
The dessert course of passion fruit and hazelnut tart is a real palate refresher with a generous amount of sweetness and acidity to keep it in balance. Try it with the ripe, luscious flavors and cooling sensation of Stratus Vineyards Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Canada, 2013. This “nectar of the gods” has explosive flavors and aromas of ripe mango, honeysuckle and Costa Rica pineapple. The finish is well balanced and long, with pleasant hints of mineral and wet stone.
Virginia Philip is one of only just over 200 professionals worldwide to hold the title of Master Sommelier. Her discerning palate and encyclopedic knowledge also earned her the American Sommelier Association’s title of “Best Sommelier of the United States.” At The Breakers Palm Beach, Philip oversees the beverage selection of the resort’s nine restaurants and bars and 14 wine lists. She owns Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy in West Palm Beach.