In the “ultimate” dinner parties at sea, award-winning Napa Valley vintners Bo and Heidi Barrett and multiple Michelin star-winning Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa are each hosting one of Crystal Cruises’ 2013 Ultimate Vintage Room Dinners, all for the first time ever.
Just 12 to 14 guests (per event) have the opportunity to attend one of the exclusive seven-course, ultra-rare wine-pairing feasts, either while sailing a Mediterranean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity (starting May 18) or the Black Sea aboard Crystal Symphony (departing July 13), respectively. Held in the ships’ private Vintage Rooms just once or twice a year, the “dinner tab” to attend is $1,000 per guest.
Hosts will be on-hand to oversee preparations and enlighten guests on their menu choices--
• Bo and Heidi Barrett (May 18, Istanbul to Barcelona): Between Bo’s Chateau Montelena—the winery whose 1976 Judgment of Paris Chardonnay win was depicted in the recent film, Bottle Shock--and Heidi’s award-winning “cult” 1992 Screaming Eagle, this Napa couple is largely credited for putting California wines on the map. They will be personally selecting each vintage served for the evening.
• Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (July 13, Rome to Istanbul): The mastermind behind a culinary empire, including Crystal’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, will be creating his first-ever “ultimate” meal for Crystal, accompanied by extraordinary rare wine and champagne pairings. Nobu will also hold autograph sessions, cooking classes, and larger omakase dinners throughout the sailing.
“The Ultimate Vintage Room dinners allow us to push the culinary envelope over the top, with each event truly a once-in-a-lifetime affair created just for Crystal guests,” says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations.
“This year’s dinners may be our most exciting ever, with culinary superstars who tend to be as impossible to get as the wines themselves.”
Both 12-day voyages boast equally exceptional itineraries, with the May 18 sailing overnighting in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix, in addition to overnights in Istanbul and Barcelona and visits to Mykonos, Santorini/Thíra, Sorrento, Bonifacio/Corsica and Florence/Livorno.
The July 13 Black Sea voyage explores Rome/Civitavecchia, Sorrento, Sicily/Taormina, Contanþa, Yalta and Sochi, with overnights in Odessa and Istanbul. When booked by April 30, all-inclusive cruise fares start at $4,790 and $5,510, respectively.
Cruising guests may book the Ultimate Vintage Room by calling the On Board Guest Services department in Crystal’s Los Angeles office.
Extraordinary, all-inclusive culinary experiences are a hallmark of every Crystal vacation. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity’s extensive, innovative choices for gourmandizing include the ultra-luxury line’s coveted cheese and wine cellars, overseen by on-board, certified cheese and wine sommeliers (Court of Master Sommeliers-certified); fresh, chef-like cocktails served by certified mixologists; and gourmet dining options at every meal, whether in the Crystal Dining Room, at afternoon tea, or in Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio’s specialty restaurants.