Friday, March 14, 2008

Wine Flights Served Daily

This may not be news to many of you, but it was to me. Wine flights. These are not airliners serving wine while in flight, but a specialized grouping of complimentary wines offered in wine bars and fine dining establishments. BassMan and I were introduced to wine flight service recently during a superb lunch at the Catalina Country Club in Avalon.

Yes, that Avalon. The Avalon of song and legend. Avalon was once the brightest light on the Southern California holiday horizon and its star is ascending once again. As the Catalina reaches out to a new generation, it's bringing back top acts to the world renown Casino Ballroom, offering fine dining at several locations around town, running a host of adventure tours and activities that can take you nose to zoom-lens with a buffalo, snorkeling through a kelp forest, or hiking across a mountain ridge with Pacific Ocean vistas on each side.

So back to wine flights. We saw these listed in the wine list while lunching at the Catalina Country Club and had to give them a try. A trio of wines, such as a 2-oz tasting of three different cabernets, or three different wines paired to compliment your meal. I chose the California Selection, which included a sauvignon blanc, a chardonnay, and a merlot. Perfect compliment to my lunch plate of ham and brie sandwich with french-fried sweet potatoes.

The Catalina Country Club, which is open to the public, offers lunch and dinner year around in the very building that once hosted the Chicago Cubs when the team spent its spring training on the island from 1921 to 1952. While it may not have the view offered by some Avalon restaurants, its history and exquisite menu are worth making a trip to the island.

Now, if they would only begin wine flights on the cruise over on the Catalina Express.