Archive for wine tasting

Barbecue, Chocolate & Wine

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Once a month, we host a themed wine tasting event open to the public.  With June being the start of summer, we hosted an evening of Barbecue, Chocolate and Wine. You might be wondering…barbecue and chocolate, what an odd combination!  For this event, we partnered with Chocolate Bar-B-Que to provide the tri tip and pulled pork sliders and they use a special chocolate barbecue sauce for their meats. So we thought  why not pair the meats and sauce with chocolate desserts! I guess everyone was intrigued with the theme as we were sold out for the evening with over 55 people in attendance!

Here are some sides dishes we prepared for the evening

Chocolate desserts:

Everyone having a great time:

Girls Wine Down Event

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Wine, appetizers, red velvet cupcakes and  build your own crepe bar…….yum!!

Those were some of the highlights at our recent “Girls Wine Down” event.   We had about 55 women, all gathered for a much needed girls night out!

The evening included wine tastings, Mediterranean salad, Asian salad, cheese platter, antipasto platter, spinach dip, vegetable platter and red velvet cupcakes.

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 I think everyone also enjoyed the fresh crepes made on sight with various toppings such as strawberries, banana, nutella, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whip cream, etc…… heavenly!!

 crepes

We had a special birthday celebration for a group of  ladies which provided a festive atmosphere!

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We host  monthly wine tasting events open to the public which various by theme, such as: cupcakes & wine, fondue & wine, tapas & wine, etc. They are always an “open house” style lasting 3 hours so you can come and go as you please and the food is always displayed buffet style so you can eat what you want, when you want, and most importantly..…how much you want!  It’s always a fun, relaxed and casual setting so you can enjoy your time with your friends or family 🙂

We are  excited to host our first painting and wine event this month and in celebration of women and Mother’s Day, next month’s event will be Women & Wine on Saturday, May 4th.  This is our 3rd annual event which includes open wine bar, gourmet brunch, shopping and raffle prizes.  The cooking class certificates are  always a big  hit for the raffles.

For information on upcoming wine tasting events or cooking classes visit our events calendar!

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Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Wine and cheese are two great pairings in life. But with so many options, where do you start? As with food pairing, there are no “rules”. It really comes down to personal preference and matching wine and cheese to enhance the flavor/taste, not overpower the other.

Does the cheese enhance the taste of the wine? Does the wine enhance the taste of the cheese? If you agree, it’s a good pairing and if you don’t, try a different pairing!

If you are planning a wine and cheese party, it’s best to provide a variety of  cheeses with different textures for comparison:

–          Fresh /milder cheese (Mozzarella, Havarti)

–          Soft cheese (Brie,  Camembert)

–          Semi hard cheese (Gouda, Gruyère)

–          Hard / stronger cheese (Aged Gouda, Manchego)

 

The same with wine. Have a variety to taste and compare and provide wines some may not have tried:

–          Sparkling (Prosecco, Cava )

–          White (Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino)

–          Red  (Tempranillo, Zinfandel)

–          Sweet (Riesling, Sauternes)

 

Though there are no rules, below are some approaches to pairing:

  • Pairing wine & cheese from the same region is a good, “safe” start (Spanish Tempranillo with Manchego cheese)
  • Identify dominate flavors of cheese & seek wines that share similar flavor profiles ( acid with acid)
  • Identify dominate flavors of cheese & seek wines that share opposite flavor profiles ( salt with sweet)
  • Determine wine list first & cheese will be dependent upon type of wine chosen

 

Once you determine your approach, below are some guidelines or suggestions:

 

Match Textures and/or Flavors

  • Goat cheese ( acidity)  pairs well with light acidic wines such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Brie (creamy/buttery)  pairs well with a buttery wine such as  Chardonnay

Pair White Wines with Light Cheeses

  • Fresh / semi soft cheeses are lighter, has milder flavor and less salt which pairs well with  delicate white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

(If you prefer red wine with lighter cheese, Pinot Noir pairs well as it’s the lightest of the reds)

 

Pair Red Wines with Stronger Cheeses

  • Intense red wines such as  Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon can handle stronger types of cheeses, such as aged gouda
  • Spicy wines such as Zinfandel with smoked cheddar

(Exception: young red wines with high tannins are better with buttery/creamy cheese for balance)

 

Champagne /Sparkling Wine  with Blue, Creamy and Salty Cheeses

  • Yeasty, toasty qualities of sparkling wines balances with blue cheese
  • Rich and creamy cheese contrasts with the bubbles
  • Bubbles help diffuse salt in stronger cheeses (salt and sweet combo)

 

Hosting a party can be expensive so if you are planning your wine and cheese pairings ahead, assign each guest a bottle of wine or cheese pairing. I’m sure your guests will be happy to contribute for a fun evening with great friends!
Cheers!!