Celebrating III Forks Twentieth Anniversary With Oregon Wine Tasting

III Forks Steakhouse has received numerous accolades over the last twenty years, since Dale Wamstead opened the flagship Addison restaurant in 1998. It has also become a favorite dining destination for locals to celebrate special anniversaries, so it was great to be invited to celebrate III Forks’ own landmark anniversary in September.

The promise of delicious food samples from Chef Chris Vogeli and wines from their award-winning wine cellar made the invitation even more enticing. We started with a delightful cheese board presentation featuring Buttermilk Blue, Brie, Wensleydale with cranberry, Dublin Karst, Horseradish Pecan, and smoked Gouda. The cheeses were displayed along with a variety of cold cuts and an olive tapanada. This first course was accompanied by a warm loaf of sourdough bread, herbed butter, and assorted crackers.

A wine tasting featuring red wines from Oregon accompanied the three-course menu. My favorite was a Yamhill-Carlton, 2015, Gran Moraine Pinot Noir which was also the first wine poured by their sommelier. This vintage retails for around $34.95. It was such an enjoyable wine, with lovely dark reddish-purple color, good aroma and great taste, I feared it might be impossible for the other five samples to equal the first.

However, all five of the other wines were also good, although the first one remained my favorite. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the fourth variety, a Yamhill-Carlton 2014 Penner-Ash Syrah. I seldom drink Syrah since Pinot Noir is my favorite red wine, but this Syrah held its own with five Pinot Noirs. This vintage retails for around $41.99.

Our second course was a coffee-cured duck salad with Arugula and spinach, with bacon and white Balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This delicious salad was decorated with juicy (and very edible) blackberries. It paired very well with the Syrah.

Our third course was a slow roasted bottom round sirloin Tri-tip in Tempranillo reduction with Southern grit cake. Tri-tip is seasoned a variety of spices and herbs along with a Tempranillo black grape variety grown in Spain and often used in red wines.

The other four wines we sampled were a Dundee Hills 2014 La Crema Pinot Noir; a Yamhill-Carlton 2014 Willakenzie Estate Pinot Noir; J. Christopher Pinot Noir from Chehalem Mountains, 2013; and Siduri Pinot Noir from Williamette Valley, 2015.

III Forks holds wine tastings with six wines themed to a region, every first and third Wednesday. The wines are served with savory hors d’oeuvres that complement their taste. III Forks Steakhouse, serving Texas French cuisine, is located at 17776 Dallas Parkway; call 972-267-1776 for reservations. They are open seven days a week: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 5-8:30 p.m. Sunday.