California Love in a Bottle | Clendenen & Schwartz Host a Lua Rossa 3 Evening at The Cypress Room

Celebrate the arrival of Lua Rossa no. 3 to Miami, the third release of chef Michael Schwartz’s red blend with longtime compadre and winemaker, Jim Clendenen, and their FIRST time hosting a dinner together at one of Michael’s restaurants.  Prepare to be transported to wine country for an explosion of California road trip love on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m.

TCR Clendenen Slider border_new date_ CLICK HERETickets are now available HERE for $175 plus tax & gratuity and include:
– Welcome rosé and canapés
– 5-course dinner paired with Santa Barbara’s unexpected varietals, from its most curious producer
– A special bottle to take home from the debut shipment of Lua Rossa no. 3, signed by both Chef and Winemaker
– The company of these fine gentlemen

For someone who named his winery “a well exposed vineyard”, Au Bon Climat’s Jim Clendenen – the man, the myth, the legend himself – is severely underexposed in Miami. While we’ll leave a glimpse of his wild, sandy mane blowing in the heady South Beach breezes to tickle your imagination for now, you don’t have to look far to come across his wines at Michael Schwartz’s restaurants.  The Chef’s love for Jim’s expression of what Santa Barbara does best is no accident.

Wine Director Eric Larkee explains, “Au Bon Climat is a great California wine maker, well known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but what Michael may be drawn to most is the passion for Italian and French old world varietals. You never know what you’re going to get with Jim, yet you always know it will be interesting and good.”

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In a 5-course dinner with wine pairings, we explore the lesser-known varietals that Jim’s coffers have to offer and a first taste of how the next chapter of our California adventures nets out.  This most recent blending trip happened in mid-March, so we are curious, too!

Guests are greeted by passed Clendenen Family 2014 Mondeuse Rosé and assorted passed hors d’oeuvres. The seated plated dinner for 47 will unfold in Cypress’s intimate dining room with 2013 Clendenen Family Gewürztraminer Le Bon Climat, 2012 Clendenen Family Viognier “Second Coming” Le Bon Climat, 2009 Clendenen Family Nebbiolo “Bricco Buon Natale”, Lua Rossa 3, 1995 Caro Lorenzo Aleatico. Everyone leaves with a special bottle of Lua Rossa 3 signed by chef and winemaker.  Let’s try to make that happen again (please!)

Alexander Knox at The Cypress Room.

Alexander Knox at The Cypress Room.

If one were to climb a mountain seeking an oracle of wine knowledge there would be no shock to find Clendenen sitting on the top. Besides already knowing you were coming, he also would hold all the answers, at least his answers to your questions. After college graduation a month in Burgundy and Champagne convinced Clendenen that he would be better at making wine rather than law. In 1978 he started as an assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa, and in 1982 he branched out on his own starting Au Bon Climat.  While never a favorite of the magazine critcs, Jim’s wines have found appreciation with Chefs and restaurant guests who seek wines to compliment and not overpower their foods. Michael first met Jim almost twenty years ago and have maintained a close and convivial relationship since. Back then Chef had a haircut much closer to Jim’s wild mane. Like a musician with his regular band as well as side projects, Jim has the the Ici/La-Bas and Clendenen Family Vineyards brands under which he also produces.

The Cypress Room is Michael’s elegant American dining room in Miami’s Design District, a nod to the spirit of classic 1920s fine dining in polished food, service and décor. The menu centers around the kitchen’s wood-burning grill and rotisserie, offering elegant American cuisine with French touches using the freshest, highest quality ingredients, hand-picked from America’s best small farmers, foragers, and fishermen. Tasting menus allow chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia to get creative and experiment with some of the restaurant’s best ingredients, while The Beverage Book features classic cocktails and 124 wines that are a bit old school – not just old world, with a story and a place in the wine world history.

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