Saturday evening I went on my first ferry ride out of Cape May.  I listen to the horns blow every day and watch the 7am ferry leave while on my walk, but have never been a passenger until Saturday. Yes of course it wasn’t a trip to Lewes for outlet shopping, but a Sunset Wine-Lovers Cruise.

We had three courses over and the dessert course back, while the ferry transported cars and it’s passengers.

It all began with the 2012 Notre Dame Luberon paired with Pate Maison, Cornichons, Grilled Marble Rye with Spicy Mustard. The wine is an organically made wine made in the Luberon region of southern France.  It is unoaked and a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre.  (SRP $10.99)

Aromas of raspberries and plums filled the glass.  On the palate I tasted cooked raspberries and it finished with licorice and a hint of spice.  It was a tad on the fruity side.

I am not a big Pate person, but Catherine kept telling me to pretend it was liverwurst.  I did, a little mustard and pate.  The pairing was adequate.

The next pairing which I thought was the best pairing of the cruise was Smoked Salmon Pinwheels with Lemon Pepper Creme Fraiche with The Crusher 2011 Wilson Vineyard Chardonnay.

The wine comes from Clarksburg AVA which is located in California’s Sacramento Delta. This is a partnership between the Sebastiani family who is a well known winemaking family in California and the Wilson family who are a respected grape growing family.

The Crusher Chardonnay is a blend of 87% Chardonnay, 11% Viognier and 2% Muscat Alexandria. With hints of lemongrass, vanilla and honeydew melon on the nose the wine was very well balanced.  Spending only 3 months aging in French oak, there were soft flavors of pineapple, honeydew melon and lemon on the palate.   (SRP $18)

The lemon flavors in the wine truly complemented the Lemon Pepper Creme Fraiche in the smoke salmon pinewheels.

The last dish before we docked in Lewes, Delaware was Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Potato Pancake paired with 2012 William Hill North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon.(SRP $15.99)  The Cabernet Sauvignon blended with a little bit of Merlot was rich in dark fruit.  It had hints of cocoa on the finish. Personally I think the Cabernet was a bit to strong for the Pork, but I rolled with it.

Now we are on our return trip to Cape May and the seas are getting a bit rough and dessert if served. My favorite!  Creme Brule paired with 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling.  (SRP $9.00)

With a residual sugar count coming in at 1.7 I personally think the Riesling wasn’t sweet enough for the Creme Brule.  But that is my personal palate opinion.  Was the wine good, yes and the Creme Brule was wonderful!

The Riesling had nice notes of ripe peach and minerality on the nose.  There were even some subtle hints of lime, which all carried through to the palate.

I must commend the ferry for thinking out of the box as it was a nice 3 hour cruise.  Yes we docked in Lewes, they turned the ship around and we sailed back to Cape May listening to music and dancing as the ship was rocking, yes it was a tad rough out there, but made for a great way to meet and converse with everyone at the dinner.