The last day of the 2011 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Sojourn was a sea day sailing from Boston to New York.  The seas were a bit choppy, the skies were a bit gray and the wind was up, so it wasn’t the best of conditions.  In fact, after having sailed on what seemed like a lake for most of the cruise, the conditions left a few guests feeling a bit queasy.

For me it was a great time to arrange the onboard booking discounts of 5% for all of my clients who have booked the 2012 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Pride, which is a 14 day cruise from Dover to Lisbon visiting France, England, Ireland, Spain and Portugal and includes a complimentary Ensemble Experience in Bordeaux, France, a Goldring Travel exclusive event, Shopping with the Chef and some other special amenities.  (There are only a few spaces left, so if you are interested please contact me soon.)

After that it was time to put the finishing touches on the Annual Goldring Travel Food & Wine Tasting with the Seabourn Chef and Sommelier.   This is where the various wines I have picked up along our cruise are combined with some cheeses I found and whatever the Seabourn chefs want to do to accompany them. This year, being that we have cruised the North Atlantic, which is not exactly the hotbed of traditional winemaking, there was more of a “creative” approach.

Executive Chef Rajat Adhikary, with the assistance of Sous Chef Alexander Zillissen, and some contributions by Executive Chef Marcus de Jong, and Sommelier Tilmar Pfefferkorn, the event in held Restaurant 2 was a truly unique experience and a great play off of the New England Aquarium experience the day before.

The wines were a 2010 Williams Vin Blanc and a 2009 Domaine Les Brome Cuvee Julien, both Quebecois wines, a traditional ice wine 2006 Vignoble du Marathonien Vidal, a less traditional (for most) cider wine Le Pedneault Le Glacier and a truly unique Acadian Maple Reserve Maple Wine.

There were nine different cheeses including two Quebecois cheeses, one a rindless brie and another a goat cheese covered in ash, a strong Munster, a Louis d’Or and others. 

Contrasting the cheeses were some wonderful seafood offerings:  Lobster Bellevue, Black Mussels Mariniere, Steamed Clams with Pernod, Tuna Sashima and simply, but perfectly prepared, steamed lobster.

What was really surprising is that the highly rated ice wine actually was perceived by many as being less interesting, and not as easily paired, than the cider wine.  And, for me, the most interesting pairing was the maple wine with the tuna sashimi with wasabi and soy.  (Who’d a thunk that?)

It was a great finish to a truly fantastic cruise on the Seabourn Sojourn.