Spindleshanks: Famous for flights

Remember when wine flights were all the rage? I do and I miss those days of tasting and comparing small pours of aromatic whites or gutsy reds from different grapes and regions of the world. Spindleshanks’ crew was doing flights before flying wine was even cool, and to the benefit and pleasure of Tahoe locals and visitors alike they still are.


After many years in the classic log cabin in Tahoe Vista, Spindleshanks moved to lighter and brighter digs to the modern log-cabin clubhouse at Brockway Golf Course.


Co-owner Steve Marks changes the wine combinations regularly, so you may not get the exact wines described here, but you can bet they will complement each other. The flight pricing is around $12 for three, 2- to 2.5-ounce pours. A recent example of aromatic whites included Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Simonsig Chenin Blanc from South Africa and Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris from Oregon. All had unique but complementary fruit and body profiles along with zippy acidity that made for a great multimatch with the seared Ahi tuna napoleon with sesame, ginger, wasabi, gyoza chips and snow pea salad and the griddled rainbow trout with spinach, bacon and potato pancakes, roasted garlic and buerre blanc sauce.


“If you have never had the opportunity to sample multiple wines
with a dish or dishes, it is an experience not to be missed.”


Another worldwide wine-trip was available in the form of Hendry Ranch Zinfandel from Napa, Peter Lehmann Shiraz from Australia and Antinori Santa Cristina Sangiovese from Tuscany. These wines are all more in the powerhouse category and they stood toe to toe with the marinated grilled flank steak with ranchero sauce, chili relleño and guacamole, but were also balanced enough to play perfectly with the duck two ways leg confit and breast served with apricot gel and potato pancakes.


Ahi Napoleon | Courtesy Spindleshanks


If you have never had the opportunity to sample multiple wines with a dish or dishes, it is an experience not to be missed. Spindleshanks is one of the few establishments where you can enjoy such an experience.


Fresh Trout | Courtesy Spindleshanks

Another high note on the wine side is that there are more than the usual suspects on the dessert wine list, including such rarities as Kiono Ice Wine from Washington, aged Sauternes from Bordeaux, multiple styles of Madeira, sherry and several ports, all at fair prices with nothing more than $12 a glass.
Spindleshank’s American Bistro & Wine Bar is located at 400 Brassie Ave. in Kings Beach. For reservations or information, call (530) 546-2191 or visit spindleshankstahoe.com.


Lou Phillips is a Level 3 Advanced Sommelier and his consulting business wineprowest.com assists in the selling, buying and managing wine collections. He may be reached at (775) 544-3435 or lou@wineprowest.com. Visit TheTahoeWeekly.com for more wine columns.