Executive Chef Robert Nyerick of the Miramonte Resort & Spa is kind of a “superchef”—if you will.  Full of culinary credentials, Chef Robert is one of the desert’s top gastronomic artists creating in the kitchen.

I’ve been to the Resort to dine when Chef Robert is putting on an exquisite five course world class wine pairing dinner for a group of forty or so, and simultaneously creating and supervising food prep for a banquet of hundreds, like the Humana Challenge evening festivities.  And while all that was going on, the Grove Artisan Kitchen, the Resort’s acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, was serving up and displaying Chef’s artistic cuisine.

Going inside the kitchen, the world, and the mind of Chef Robert, as I’ve covered “Le Serate di Vino”“Evenings of Wine”, the resort’s wine dinner series these past six months, we’ve seen the thought process of matching food, mood, and weather to a spectrum of wines from bold and gregarious to light, fragrant, and fancy.

Chef Robert has fashioned cuisines to match the likes of the six hundred year Italian wine dynasty, Antinori and to meet the high-end wines of Ahnfeldt Winery who partners with the famed Paul Hobbs as their winemaker.  The results allowed us to enjoy exquisite dinning at even a different level—where food & wine come to be gastronomical magic.

On the evening of March 22nd, we vino foodies will once again enjoy enchantment with Chef Roberts’s fare featuring the wines from Markham Vineyards. With 350 acres of vineyard strategically located in several of Napa Valley’s best growing regions, Markham Vineyards selects grapes from several microclimates to achieve balanced, rich, and consistently award winning wines.

Chef Robert and I agree that the Markham Merlot is their flagship wine.  Whenever some market is running their 30% off deal on wines, I get over quick to pick up a few bottles Markham Merlot because it goes with everything I like to eat. (A smile always comes whenever I spy a bottle or two of this Merlot lying around in my fridge).

Chef has decided to display a touch more subtle “game flavors” in the meals this time.  The weather is warming up, Markham wines are light to medium bodied, so no one is looking to get floored with over-the-top savors.

Chef expects to play with Asian fusion appetizers to match Markham’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is sourced from the warmer areas of Napa Valley so to bring out more tropical and warm citrus flavors—a touch richer than the usual stark & grassy Sauv blanc.

   The starter course will consist of Pan Seared Dungeness Crab, and, Chef will take the Sauvignon Blanc we’ve just enjoyed to concoct a sweet & sour Scallop infused Sauv Blanc Essence with fennel root.  The 2011 Markham Chardonnay, whose grapes are grown in Napa’s southern fog zone, maintains acidity, spicy toast notes, and honeyed apricots.

The aforementioned versatile 2010 Merlot will play host to a salad course of Pancetta wrapped Breast of Pheasant with Leg Confit atop Baby Organic Greens, Burgundy Endive with a Petite Sirah Glaze. Courses as these are the reason we go out to dine: Food Art & Wine.

For the main course, a Porcini wrapped Veal Tenderloin with Yukon Gold Potato Gallette caramelized in a Cabernet reduction will be the perfect match to Markham’s Estate 2009 Caberent Sauvignon “The Philanthropist” from Yountville.  Classic Cab profile in a medium-plus body—a yin-yang fulfillment: Pray, Dine, Enjoy.

   Dessert will be a Bombe of Double Chocolate Tiramisu with Crème anglaise.  A cordial of Tiramisu liqueur will accompany.  Sweet Dreams!

$75 per person plus tax and gratuity. RSVP to 866-642-9712   Miramonte Resort & Spa, 45000 Indian Wells Lane, Indian Wells, CA 92210.

Rick Riozza is the desert’s sommelier-about-town hosting and entertaining at private & corporate wine events and tastings. He can be reached at winespectrum@aol.com