BELLEVUE, Wash. — This year’s Apple Cup is shaping up to be the most delicious in the 106-year history of the rivalry, and the state’s two famous winemaking retired quarterbacks are set to pop corks Nov. 21 for a public dinner at Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue.
It’s Drew Bledsoe of Washington State University and Doubleback Winery vs. Damon Huard, a product of the University of Washington and a teammate of Dan Marino in Passing Time Winery. Cost is $150 per person, plus tax and service. Kickoff for the Apple Cup Wine Dinner is 6 p.m.
Bledsoe and Huard are scheduled to attend, and both are prepared to tackle questions about the Apple Cup. And the culinary team at Daniel’s Broiler already has a game plan for the evening.
Passed hors d’oeuvres include Lobster Mac & Cougar Gold Fritter and Salmon Lox, Drunken Goat Cheese Roulade with Crab Apple Relish. Mixologists will complete that opening series with the Daniel’s Apple Cup Cocktail — a glass of cinnamon vodka with organic apple cider, lemon and kiss of regional honey. It’s an ideal way for fans of Huskies and Cougars to toast their wins over the now-lowly Oregon Ducks.
The appetizer is a crispy duck breast with purple potato and pomegranate reduction paired with the Passing Time 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. The 2012 vintage was Great Northwest Wine’s top-rated wine of 2015.
Seared loin of lamb will be served with Chioggia beets, chanterelle mushrooms, Agrumato lemon oil and Sitka sea salt, accompanied by the Passing Time 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain, a wine built almost entirely from Klipsun Vineyard.
The entree brings U.S.D.A. prime filet mignon atop mashed sweet potatoes, grilled lobster mushrooms, baby vegetables and demi-glaze, served with the Doubleback 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Walla Walla Valley – Bledsoe’s home field.
Seattle’s iconic chocolatier is showcased at dessert — Theo Organic Chocolate Pot de Creme with dark cherry biscotti and Chantilly cream. It’s paired with Doubleback’s 2013 Loess Vineyard Stolen Horse Syrah – a product of one of the Figgins family’s plantings in Walla Walla.
Game plan for Passing Time began in NFL
Passing Time’s story began more than 15 years ago when Huard backed up Marino while both were Miami Dolphins. They wisely recruited Chris Peterson of Avennia to be their winemaker, starting with the 2012 vintage.
The path for Bledsoe began in 2007 when he planted McQueen Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley’s young SeVein project. A year later, he signed former school chum Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar began making wine. Figgins protégé Josh McDaniels recently was promoted to the role of head winemaker at Doubleback.
This Apple Cup Wine Dinner is a natural fit for Daniel’s Broiler, a longtime favorite for Puget Sound diners who seek surf and turf. Bill Schwartz and his brother, John, launched Schwartz Brothers Restaurants in 1970. They’ve handed it off to the next generation as Bill’s son, Lindsey, serves as president of the Bellevue-based group.
Schwartz Brothers restaurants include Daniel’s Broiler Prime Steaks and Chops at Leschi as well as Daniel’s on South Lake Union, Chandler’s Lake Union Crabhouse and Spazzo at Redmond Town Center. There’s also Schwartz Brothers Bakery in Seattle and Renton.