Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Fiddlehead Pinkie’s Party

It is that time of year when the rosé wines from the last vintage will be released. Each year, Fiddlehead Cellars in the Santa Ynez Valley hosts a Pink Party. Guests dress in pink and pink wine is poured all night for a fantastic nite of fun. The Fiddlehead Pink Party takes place the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day, which means that it takes place around my birthday (and in the past has occurred on my birthday), so it is a dual celebration. For five years I have been attending this event! It is an event I look forward to each year and that is why this week’s Please The Palate Pick of the Week is the Fiddlehead Cellars Pink Party.

This year, the party moved from the Fiddlehead Winery and Tasting Room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto to the restaurant Root 246 in Solvang. Open for ten years, I had not been to the restaurant in years and was impressed by the exciting new change. The modern decor restaurant is now run by Chef Pink, aka Chef Crystal DeLongpré. Chef Pink has been featured in Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue”, Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and “Man vs. Child” on fyi,TM. Chef Pink took over Root 246 in December 2018 and has created a seasonal menu blending local ingredients with fine dining techniques.

For the Fiddlehead Pink Party, she created a delicious Vietnamese inspired menu that paired beautifully with the wines of Fiddlehead Cellars.

We started with the evening with glasses of the newly released 2018 Pink Fiddle Rosé. After seeing less than 24 hours of skin contact, the resulting wine is a delicate light pink color. The wine has aromas of cherries and cranberries and on the palate has bright acidity with a smooth mid-palate and an elegant finish.

We then enjoyed a Tamarind Chicken Lolli with fermented chili and cone sugar with a glass of the Fiddlehead 2013 “728” Pinot Noir.

We sat down for dinner and a glass of the tropical aroma, high acid Fiddlehead 2018 Gooseberry Sauvignon Blanc was poured to pair with the Green Papaya Salad with honeydew, bamboo rice and orange blossom.

The Roasted Duck Pho was a duck breast with huckleberry glaze, star anise broth and broken noddle and paired with the cherry and strawberry notes of the Fiddlehead 2014 Oldsville Oregon Pinot Noir.

The rich, sweetness of the Honey Prawn with persimmon and lotus root was well matched to the minerality and acidity of the Fiddlehead 2015 Estate Gruner Veltliner.

The Fiddlehead 2013 Lollapalooza Pinot Noir, a barrel selection from the 728 vineyard, had classic Sta. Rita Hills aromas of cherry and cola spice that was a lovely pairing with the Charred Pork collar with asked vegetable, goji berry and pickled walnut.

Our meal ended with an Asian pear and fresh wasabi sherbet and sesame cone paired with a special taste of the Fiddlehead 2016 Sweetie Late Harvest Gruner Veltliner which was sweet and acidic and not cloying.

In addition to the delicious meal, the evening included trivia questions and a challenge to write the best limericks. Lots of people won bottles of wine to take home and I, along with another person celebrating her birthday, were generously gifted with magnum bottles of the 2018 Fiddlehead Pink Fiddle Rosé!

The Fiddlehead Cellars Pink Party is an annual celebration of the wonderful wines of Fiddlehead and I look forward to celebrating my birthday there every year and that is why there is no doubt that it is the Please The Palate pick of the week.