On Saturday, June 21, we welcomed guests to the winery for a Winemaker’s Dinner. The 5-course dinner was catered by 3C’s Catering and featured wine and food pairings for each course.
The evening began with a tour and barrel tasting in our tank and barrel room. We got out the wine thief and tasted Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel–what a treat!
After our barrel tasting, we headed out to tables set beside the vineyard for dinner–it was a beautiful evening to dine al fresco!
The first course we enjoyed was sweet chili shrimp paired with 2013 Riesling. This clean and fruity Riesling earned a Double Gold medal at the 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and was truly the perfect match to the sweet chili shrimp. The pairing brought out lots of fruit notes (especially peach) in the wine. I heard many people report that this was one of their favorite pairings of the evening.
Following the shrimp appetizer, we enjoyed Caprese Salad paired with Fredonia. This was one of my personal favorite pairings of the evening. Fredonia is a semi-sweet red wine that is served chilled. It had just enough sweetness and acidity to balance the sweetness and acidity of the tomatoes in the salad. The wine was also light enough that it did not overpower the delicate, soft fresh mozzarella. Several people sitting in my area noted that they generally prefer dry reds, but enjoyed the semi-sweet red with the salad. That’s one of the great things about these dinners-they challenge all of us to try new things and learn to appreciate different wines than the ones we typically drink.
Next, we had a soup course. Tomato, Bacon and Smoked Gouda soup paired with a choice of Diamond or Dry Diamond wine. Diamond is one of my favorite wines to pair with bacon, as the fruit notes are a nice contrast to the smoky, meaty yumminess of bacon. Diamond was a great pairing for this soup not only because of the bacon, but also because it provided a nice contrast to the smokiness of the gouda and provided a crisp counterpoint to the creamy soup. I chose the semi-sweet Diamond and loved the pairing. My husband chose the Dry Diamond (and I had a sip of his). The Dry Diamond paired very well too–I’d say it was just a matter of personal preference as to which wine worked better with the soup.
Next we enjoyed our entree–beef tenderloin served on a bed of caramelized onions with garlic rosemary roasted potatoes and vegetable medley. We paired this course with a choice of Barrel-Select Cabernet Sauvignon or Rufus Red. The 2012 Barrel-Select Cabernet that we poured had just been labeled and released a few days before the dinner. I chose the Cabernet with my tenderloin. The wine was perfect! Dry-yet-fruity and delicate enough to pair with the very tender beef. I did not try the Rufus Red with the tenderloin, but I’m sure it paired very nicely as well and provided a good option for folks who prefer a wine that is not completely dry.
We ended our meal with Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries paired with White Chocolette wine. White Chocolette is a sweet version of our Traminette wine that is infused with Natural Chocolate flavor. This wine would be great on its own as dessert and also paired nicely with the cheesecake.
After dinner, guests joined us back in the tasting room for coffee. What a great evening!