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Edison James Island Wine Dinner

Edison James Island
Klinker Brick Wine Dinner

Not familiar with Edison James Island? You should be. It is located on Fort Johnson Rd next to James Island Charter High School. Check out my previous post.

You all know by now that I am a huge fan of wine dinners. The ones I attend tend to cost in the $90 to $125 range including tax and gratuity, although I have seen some advertised for as much as $200 to $300 per person. This occasion was my first wine dinner at Edison James Island. In my experience, wine dinners always sell out, and that makes me very happy.

Edison James Island

What made this wine dinner so interesting to me is the quality to price ratio (QPR) of the Klinker Brick wines and that Gary had such a high opinion of them from his time working at The Wine Shop.  As a side benefit for you, these wines sell nationally, and at many big box retailers so hopefully, you can find them in your area.  But let’s get on with the incredible dinner prepared by Chef Joel Lucas of Edison James Island.

Edison James Island
Let The Wine Dinner Begin

As I said, this dinner sold out with approximately 35 seats. I was part of a group of six, including Gary, and neighbors Gryan, Craig, Eve, and Natalie. We had the pleasure of sitting with the Klinker Brick Sales Manager, Renée Roscoe, and her mother. While all of the guests arrived, we were served the 2017 Grenache Blanc. This was a special treat because this gem of a quaffable summer wine is not ordinarily available through retail. It was brought to town for a specific event at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Fortunately for us, there were a couple of cases left over.

Wine Notes: Grenache Blanc

Bright and crisp with plenty of acidity to handle fatty foods. You will find aromas of citrus, including lemon and lime, along with subtle stone fruits. The palate is clean with big flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear with a mouth-watering smooth finish.

We loaded up on what was available for sale from the dinner on this Grenache Blanc. Sadly, it is not sold at retail in SC. That said, Edison’s arranged a special deal and was able to secure enough wine to have it on “special” until its gone. Do not wait to try this wine as they only have a few cases. Get there now!

Renée, the Klinker Brick Sales Manager, mingles with guests

While we mingled, Chef Joel served a delicious goat cheese filled date appetizer. It was the perfect foil for the Grenache Blanc as the wine cut through the creaminess to freshen your palate for your next bite.

Edison James Island

Wine dinners are an opportunity to learn about wine, about food pairing, and about the winery itself. As we took our seats for the first course, Renée welcomed us and gave a brief introduction to the wine lineup for the evening and the philosophy behind winemaking at Klinker Brick Winery.

Klinker Brick Winery
Renée Roscoe, Klinker Brick Southern Regional Sales Manager
@snoopnattynat can be spied in the lower right corner of this shot. * Chelsea Lucas co-owner and front of the house manager also seen here walking the floor.

Edison James Island
First Course: Soft Shell Crab

Edison James Island First Course

Edison JI

Soft Shelled Crab on a green apple purée with honeydew melon, pea shoots, sweety drop peppers, and a verjus reduction. Served with 2017 Klinker Brick Albariño.

This first course deserves a swear word exclamation for dramatic effect to emphasize how much I loved this dish. The crab was crispy and moist. If battered,  it so lightly battered you could barely see it. The crispy crunch of the first bite released the juicy flavors of the crab and the sea perfectly sealed into this delightful morsel. Happy for me, Gary is not a fan, so I got his crab as well. Drag it through the purée and verjus to elevate your second bite and then pop a melon ball to cleanse. Follow that up with the wine paired with this course, the 2017 Albariño.

Wine Notes: 2017 Albariño

Albariño is a Spanish grape, and you rarely see it grown anywhere off the Iberian Penninsula. This year I discovered two winemakers in California making an Albariño. The Klinker Brick being the most similar to what one would expect from Spain or Portugal.

Bold and bright citrus aromas with herbal notes intersperse with hints of stone fruit. Your first sip telegraphs bracing, mouthwatering acidity. Subsequent flavors of melon and green apple hit the palate along with considerable minerality. While the Grenache Blanc is hard to beat as a new favorite, this Albariño also found its way into our wine cooler for summer.

Edison James Island
Second Course: Gnocchi

Roasted Pork Gnocchi with Mepkin Abbey Oyster Mushrooms, pork ragout, truffled red wine demi-glace. Served with 2015 Klinker Brick Cabernet Sauvignon

This course was the perfect balance of savory and earthy. The gnocchi was soft little pillows of goodness coated in the sumptuous, rich demi-glace. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked. The entire dish so masterfully assembled each component melts in your mouth. Yes, if I could have licked my plate, I would have. Obviously, this course needed an earthy, red wine. Enter Klinker Brick 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine Notes: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

Sixteen months on French oak encouraged extraordinary dry and complex structure layered with aromas of blackberry, baking spices, and clove. The palate offers flavors of cherry and currant that couple well with the structured tannins and the pronounced French oak.

Edison James Island
Third Course: Duck Breast

Edison James IslandPan Seared Duck Breast served with duck confit rösti, pickled mustard seeds, fiddlehead ferns, and a fig-vincotto purée. Served with 2015 Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel. (The rösti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes, in the style of a fritter.)

Oh, that duck breast; so flavorful and juicy. I am not exactly sure how to describe this dish other than it worked and was the perfect match for the Old Vine Zinfandel. I love duck and so rarely get to eat it. So I think I just went to my food heaven happy place and wallowed in each moment, Bite. Sip. Bite. Sip, until it was no more.

Wine Notes:  2015 Old Vine Zinfandel

Our 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel is a blend of 16 different vineyard blocks of old vine Zinfandel vineyards with an average age of 87 years. With berries and spice on the nose, dark, sweet fruit fills the palate with just a hint of black pepper. This wine has a long, lingering finish.



Edison James Island

Edison James Island
Course Four: Huckleberry-Chocolate Cake

Edison James Island

Huckleberry-Chocolate Cake: Dark Chocolate Cake and a hibiscus-huckleberry ganache. Served with Klinker Brick 2015 Farrah Syrah.

Ok, At this point in the meal, I am stuffed to the gills. But how do you say no to chocolate cake? I didn’t. The cake was super moist with a fantastic dark chocolate flavor. The hibiscus and huckleberry added a brightness to the dessert, lifting it beyond just chocolate cake and the Syrah enhanced the richness of the chocolate. It is so hard to maintain focus at this point during any wine dinner. Your palate has been gorgeously assaulted from so many different flavors and textures in food and wine that I need an assistant to take notes for me at this point. Just look at that cake. It is even better than it looks and it looks fantastic.

Wine Notes: 2015 Farrah Syrah

The 2015 Syrah exhibits aromas of currant, baking spice, cocoa and smoky oak with subtle earthy and floral notes. The palate is greeted with bright and vibrant flavors of blackberry, anise, and exotic spices. Supple tannins and superb balance lend structure to this full-bodied Syrah with a long, lingering finish. “Old world meets new!”


Post Dinner at the Bar of Edison James Island

Most dinners end at this point. We sit at the table and decide how much wine we want to order and turn in our order sheets and go home. Not this one. There were two more wines to sample if you desired, the 2016 Brickmason Blend and the 2015 Old Ghost Old Vine Zinfandel. So on this night we sat at the bar and had a small taste from each of these to bottles while we wrote our orders.

The 2016 Brickmason Blend is comprised of 80% Zinfandel, 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Sirah. Deep red fruit aromas lead into notes of toasty vanilla with firm tannins and bold structure.

The 2015 Old Ghost represents the best Zinfandel that Klinker Brick produces each year. Brambleberry fruit aromas intermingled with anise, clove, and exotic spice, echo previous vintages. Smaller berries harvested from this vineyard block tend to offer more “skin to flesh,” providing a greater level of smooth yet firm tannin and structure to this wine.

The Klinker Brick Conclusion

These folks make excellent and affordable wines. In the restaurant that translates to an excellent price for a drinkable, delicious wine when offered by the bottle or by the glass.  Right now at Edison James Island, you can get the Grenache Blanc on the “Featured Wine List” until its gone. You can get the Albariño and the Cabernet Sauvignon on the regular wine list and the Farrah Syrah on the “Reserve Menu.” Rumor has it that there are even a few bottles of the Old Vine Zinfandel if you ask nicely. (Until they are gone, of course!)

And don’t forget that on Wednesdays and Sundays bottles of wine are half price. You can not beat that with a stick!

That is all for now!




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