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J Vineyards and Winery Pops the Cork on New Bubble Room

J Vineyards and Winery's new Bubble Room

We can thank J Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg for introducing the wine and food pairing concept in its Bubble Room back in 1999, a long time before it was considered — as it increasingly is today — de rigueur for an elegant tasting experience.

This past December, the gracious winery elevated things even higher, with the introduction of its new, larger, even more luxurious Bubble Room adjacent to the winery’s main tasting bar.

Here, under the direction of new chef Carl Shelton, guests indulge in a five-course fantasia, with each plate paired with a still or sparkling wine crafted by winemaker Nicole Hitchcock. Reservations are strongly recommended, with seatings at 11 a.m., noon, 2, and 3 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Appropriately for such an upscale event, the setting is sumptuous, with oversized hand-blown amber glass bubble chandeliers, cabinets made of figured silver eucalyptus, walls paneled in bronze metallic fabric, dining tables made of gray washed ash, and chairs in metallic leathers and tone-on-tone velvets.

Yet the star is the food and wine. Shelton — formerly of the three-Michelin-star restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena — changes up the dishes and wines every six weeks. It ends up being a fine dining adventure, and a remarkable value at $110 per person.

Meals begin with sparkling wine and a series of amuses, like mini potato cakes topped in brandade and gold leaf. Then, it’s on to an extravagant menu, which on a recent visit included:

  • A velvety soup of kohlrabi, Shigoku oysters, and kiss of Meyer lemon spritz alongside Russian River Valley NV Cuvée XB Extra Brut
  • A “dry” borscht of grilled beets, cabbage, smoked sturgeon, and black quinoa with Bin 1008 Brut infused with a hint of brandy in the dosage
  • Pheasant-black truffle roulade with spaghetti squash, cauliflower, and walnuts paired with 2009 Russian River Valley Vintage Brut Magnum
  • Rib eye with root vegetables, matsutake mushrooms, and maple-beef emulsion alongside slightly sweet 2007 Late Disgorged Vintage Brut
  • Chocolate cremeux with feuilletine, pomegranate, and citrus alongside Russian River Valley Vintage Brut Rosé

Then the server brings a plate of tiny desserts, for an elegant, finishing touch.

And should you need any more proof that this a luxury affair, even the J Bubble room logo signage is powder coated with 23K gold leaf, and the coffee tables are gold, in a hand-painted faux bois resin finish.

Details: 11447 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, 707-431-3646

While you're in Healdsburg, stroll from art gallery to art gallery, or see things 5 fun things to do

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