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Meet the Beast!

One of the newest white wines on the Dirt Candy wine list is this limited edition Beast – the Beast Sphinx Semillon 2009. I don’t have much room to store cases of wine, so rather than offering people the same old list of Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios and all the rest of the usual suspects I thought I’d make up a wine list of the strangest and most unusual wines I could find, sort of like a wine zoo for exotic animals. And this wine one of our most ferocious. Think of it as the Mr. Hyde of the Dirt Candy wine list.

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After the break, I’ll tell you why.

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“Right this way…”

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The Buty winery is in Walla Walla Washington. They’ve won a lot of awards and garnered acclaim for their attention to detail and their meticulously made traditional wines, especially their Merlot and Cabernet franc blends. They also write things on their website like, “Our philosophy of winemaking reflects the old religious worldview of human growth from body to mind to soul to spirit, called ‘the great nest of being.’ The all inclusive nest of being grows over time as we reach for the spiritual levels of life.” Hardly the kind of people who you’d expect to release a monster like this on an unsuspecting public.

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But all this talk of the “great nest of being” is Dr. Jekyll sipping tea in his study while writing his correspondence in broad daylight when nothing hides in the shadows and everything is rational and makes sense. But there’s a darker side to the Buty winery: the Beast. Beast is their line of limited edition wines that Nina Buty Foster and Caleb Foster, the owners, make that allow them to unleash their ids. This is the line that doesn’t have to win awards or sit nicely on the shelves. It’s where they can go nuts and do things they’d never do with the rest of their wines. The Beast wines come out once a year, on Halloween, and this Sphinx Semillon is one of the three 2010 releases.

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It’s not a wine for the weak. It starts out all Dr. Jekyll, with a creamy taste that’s like butter in your mouth. It’s sharp and floral on the nose, and tastes downright sweet. But then it starts to change into Mr. Hyde. Slowly it transforms in your mouth, going from custardy smoothness to flinty minerals, become spicy and demonic. Long after you swallow this golden yellow elixir you’ll feel it tingling in your mouth, its spice dancing on your taste buds.

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“I say, this wine is becoming

positively unruly.”

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People who love Chardonnay love the Beast. It’s the rougher and more rambunctious version of Chardonnay on the Dirt Candy wine list if the sophisticated taste of our Les Graviers Chardonnay doesn’t scratch your Chardonnay itch. And this is strange because the Beast is 100% Semillon grapes. These used to be incredibly popular (in the 50′s Semillon grapes accounted for 75% of Chile’s entire output) but slowly, over time, people got sick of them. They’re used to make a lot of blends because of their high yield vines and the fact that Semillon is very resistant to disease. These grapes are low in acid which makes them very versatile and they’re used in a lot of sweet and dry blends, even though they rarely go out and about on their own these days. Except here.

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Semillon grapes. They look

so innocent just hanging there…

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…until night falls and they transform into this!

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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