by Terry Baxter, Member Since 2002
At the recent Town Hall meeting, our Club’s board presented their principal goals, first among them to enhance the Member experience. They properly recognized this goal is only possible through the amazing efforts of our Club Associates. Fortunately for wine and spirit enthusiasts, Sean Carroll has been at the forefront of delivering the result. Sean transformed the early Port O’Call wine tastings into real events (and Micah Winecoff has professionally honored the tradition). The massively popular Vine to Table dinners, where Sean is the jovial emcee, bring together great chefs and distinguished vintners to create stunning presentations for Members. Sean’s impressive connections in the wine industry make special bottles a highlight of these events. More recently, a cascade of special bottlings, from Bourbon to rum, to tequila – private barrels crafted by our Ocean Reef team and unique to our Club – have enhanced our drinking experience (and shopping options).
The Spirit Dinners have showcased our Ocean Reef private labels along with outstanding menus from our Cooking School chefs. Last week was devoted to tequila, a delightful combination of education, spirit tasting, and fine dining. While visiting the Herradura distillery to create our own special tequila, Sean filmed the production process. Between tasting our four samples of tequila, he showed the harvest of the agave (murder), roasting the heart (yikes), fermentation, distillation, and aging of the Herradura tequila. ORC Executive Chef Andrea Van Willigan matched each tequila sample with a terrific Mexican themed dish. We had an assorted Salsa Board, then a Citrus Lobster Taco (Maine lobster tail, corn tortilla, avocado, chipotle crema, and cilantro), then a divine “Mole Osso Buco.” Dessert was warm Churros (Mexican sugar donut sticks). Fair Patricia highjacked my salted chocolate ganache sauce, so I had to make due with the warm butterscotch sauce. Privation.
Sean’s special tequila blend is labeled: Casa Herradura Double Barrel Reposado “ORC Seleccion Especial No. One.” Reposado (rested) is aged after distillation in small oak barrels. It is smoother, subtler, and more complex than regular tequila (Blanco). You can try it at Club outlets or Port O’Call. And remember to say thanks to our Club and Associates for enhancing our Member experience.