BluEmber Lobby

The only thing better than dining at bluEmber—the signature restaurant of Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage—is dining at bluEmber on one of the evenings it’s hosting one of its spectacular wine dinners.

This season’s series is titled “bluEmber Uncorked,” and I was one of the fortunate souls on hand to help kick it off on November 13. Subtitled “Earth to Table,” the featured wines were provided by Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards. As always, the menu was the brainchild of Chef de Cuisine Brandon Testi.

At the 6:00 p.m. pre-dinner reception at the R Bar, we were treated to Star Lane Sauvignon Blanc, which was the perfect accompaniment for hors-d’oeuvres of shrimp and salmon mousse; brie, walnut, and orange; and prosciutto and mint-infused melon.

Once seated at our tables, our first course was pan-seared sea bass pot-au-feu (alongside Dierberg Steel Chardonnay), followed by a second course of cocoa-dusted breast of duck with autumn greens, brussel sprouts, and sundried cherries (with a Dierberg “Drum Canyon Hills” Pinot Noir). For course number three, we were served roasted saddle of lamb with a leek-braised rainbow chard, trumpet mushrooms, and potato fondant (paired with a Starlane “Happy Canyon” Cabernet Sauvignon). The fourth and final course—also known as dessert—consisted of chocolate pops and smoked almond brittle (accompanied by a Starlane “Happy Canyon” Merlot.

If your mouth is watering all the while your brain and stomach are wishing you’d been there, tardy not—and visit (or call 760.834.2110) to make your reservation for one of the upcoming wine dinners in the series. Next up is “Still or Sparkling” with Schramsberg & Davies Family Vineyards on December 11, followed by “Marriage with Meritage” with Michael Mondavi Family Wines on January 15, “Argentina Experience” with Susana Balbo, Luca, and La Posta on February 12, “A Night in Tuscany” with Marchesi de Frescobaldi Brands on March 5, and finally, “California Vs. Europe” with Louis Jadot, Tattinger, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cakebread, and Domaine Carneros on April 23.

I don’t know about you, but I got very hungry—and thirsty—just writing that last bit. So sign me up! For only $85 per person, this “around-the-world” deal is a universal steal!