In many ways a fine cheese is like a fine wine, Barrie explained. They are both artisanal products made by passionate people dedicated to high quality. The gleam in Dorian’s eyes as she enthusiastically, lovingly described each of the superb wines echoed the agreement.
There they sat as if atop a cake – a beautiful bride and groom fully dressed for their nuptials. It turns out that the couple had been married at Ponte two weeks earlier and returned with their entire wedding party to stomp into wedded bliss. And yes, the bride was a crusher in her gorgeous wedding dress. This I had to see.
The word “ikal” means poetry in Mayan native languages and 1150 refers to the meters above sea level (about 400 ft.) where the winery sits in the majestic Andes mountains. The elevation being free of insects and mold allows Ikal to create gravity fed winemaking without pesticides. Rocky Andes mountain soil, optimal growing temperatures, and pure snow-melt water combine to produce a concentration and complexity of flavors that I found to be truly poetic in nature.
Throughout the evening both Chef Francesco and his wife Filippa circulated charming everyone with their genuine warmth and hospitality. Owner Mike Rennie represented Leonesse and it appeared the entire Renzoni clan was there, continuing to celebrate Robert and Leila’s recent marriage.
But wait, there’s more. On to the main course of “Roasted Pork Loin with Guinness Stout Glaze,” which requires a 12 oz bottle of beer. Chef Marty says that beer should never be bought in odd numbers and recommends employing the phone-a-friend option for remaining beers. I’m now begging Mr. W to cue the crane to get me out of my seat.