The “Traditions in Wine Excellence Award” Dinner Honoring Michel Rolland

Diana DeLucia

Photography by Michael J. Fiedler

In the Fall of 2021, members and guests from the renowned GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, New York, arrived at an exquisitely decorated dining room and patio that overlooks the 18th green in fall splendor on the valley below the expansive Mark Finley designed, 30,000 square foot clubhouse. Guests were treated to a charcuterie and French Cheese Board followed by passed Hors d’ouevres including Foie gras and Duck Toast, Duxelles Chevre Stuffed Gougers’, Baby Lamb Chops, Tuna Tartare Spoons, and Brandade Croquettes with Saffron Garlic Aioli prepared by Michael Ruggiero, Executive Chef, and his team. Wei Liu, guest sommelier, presented Wines and Champagne including Gosset, Champagne Brut, Grande Reserve, NV France; Yacochuya, Torrontes, Salta, Argentina 2020; Mariflor, Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina 2017; Chateau Malescot, St Exupéry, Margaux, Bordeaux, France 2016; and Château Fontenil, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France 2015.

“The Michel Rolland and GlenArbor Golf Club Dinner collaboration was bliss for the senses and intellect. Bravo to the GlenArbor team for the exceptionally smooth execution of this highly anticipated dinner. 

Presently, due to travel restrictions, having a non-U.S.-based Winemaker at dinner is extremely rare. However, having a legendary Winemaker such as Michel Rolland at dinner is an entirely next-level honor. As a long-time wine lover and member of the Wine and Spirit business, sitting, sipping, and speaking to Monsieur Rolland has been such a career highlight.” ­­­–Wei-Liu

Fernando Silva, Wei Liu, Michel Rolland

The agenda of the evening was to celebrate the fourth “Traditions in Wine Excellence Award’ honoree, Mr. Michel Rolland. Silva kicks off the schedule with a heartfelt speech honoring Mr. Rolland.

“The Traditions in Wine Excellence Award has reached a new height, with the exclusive and unique presentation to the most prestigious consultant winemaker in the world, Mr. Michel Rolland, at GlenArbor Golf Club on October 15th. I appreciate the continuous support and entrepreneurial vision of the Gregory’s and the staff of GlenArbor Golf Club.
Since its creation, The Traditions in Wine Excellence Award at GlenArbor has brought a new and refreshing concept to the wine tastings events, with creativity, vibrancy, and exclusive special guests from around the world!” 
–Fernando Silva.

Fernando Silva

The French dinner began with a classical bread service followed by the first course which was a Poached Sea Bass with Dill Tomato Broth, Potato Fennel and Rouille, paired with Mariflor, Sauvignon Blanc, Mendoza, Argentina, 2019; the second a Short Rib Bourguignon with Fall Vegetables and Braising Liquid Reduction paired with MR, Michel Rolland, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California 2016.

After the second course, Rolland, who was uncharacteristically vocal, shared his life’s stories from his beloved industry which spans over 40 years.

“To be honored is always a great pleasure. Life is lovely when we are in a beautiful place like GlenArbor Golf Club, with charming people, wine lovers, and a chef creating exquisite cuisine. Thank you, Fernando, for presenting our tasting of beautiful wines. Congratulations GlenArbor!” –Michel Rolland.

Attending this event was one of the few times I was present as a guest and spectator, and I witnessed Silva at his finest as he addressed the room with artistic flair and historical tales of each wine’s journey to the table. Charl Marais, Food and Beverage Director seamlessly worked with his team to ensure that communication between the dining floor and the kitchen is seamless.

At that moment, the details that accompany the planning of this and other events occurred to me. There is more to the evening than the Food and Beverage team. A prominent fixture of the evening’s success lies with Jessica Perez, Director of Concierge and Assistant Director of Events. 

“It has been an honor to be a member of the GlenArbor team since 2015 and see our Traditions in Wine Excellence Award Dinner grow for the last four years. Fernando Silva, GlenArbor’s Wine Director, and Sommelier, never fails to raise the bar for our membership and elevate our wine program. Thanks to his efforts, some of the world’s top wine connoisseurs have graced us with their presence. I am proud to say I have had the privilege to meet people such as Laurent Drouhin, Jean-Charles Boisset, and the recipient of the 2021 Award Michel Rolland.

For everyone who attended and serviced this unforgettable evening, I am sure you will forever cherish it as I will. My contribution to such events is to plan and help execute to the standard our members are accustomed to and manage their reservation and seating needs. Creating eye-catching yet simple touches in décor and printed materials is what I am all about! Together the entire Food & Beverage and Culinary Team make each time a success. Specials Guest Wei Liu is always a pleasure to be around and is full of knowledge and sophistication.” –Jessica Perez

As the conversations and bonds grew during the evening, Marisa Hernandez, Executive Pastry Chef, served Classic Profiterole, Praline Crème, Salted Caramel, Plum Compote paired with Château Lafaurie, Peyraguey, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 1997 followed by a much appreciated speech by Ruggiero and a standing ovation for
his culinary team. Coffee and house-made truffles followed.

Many thanks to all that attended this  event. ☐

Past Honorees:
2018 – Laurent Drouhin, Maison Joseph Drouhin
2019 – Jean-Charles Boisset, JC Collection
2020 – Sir Nick Faldo.

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