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October 21, 2020 | Cellar Scoop | 4.0 Insider

Wining and Dining Our Way Into Fall

If you read my posts, then you know that that I prefer some of our 4.0 events over others. Basically, if an event involves dogs and/or food, then I’m all in…because wine is already assumed. Though it lacks dogs, Wine & Dine remains one of my favorites.

I worked my first Annual Wine & Dine Showcase back in Fall 2014. It was held in a tent and included six stations that featured foods created by different, local caterers/chefs. I loved it, and I’ve tried to work this event every year since.

Of course, it’s changed over time, either out of necessity (weather messed with us one year) or convenience (it’s a little easier to wrangle one caterer versus six). But its focus remains good wine and tasty food…and the interplay between the two.

We didn’t know what to expect with this year’s Wine & Dine. After all, we hadn’t been able to hold an event (other than down-sized Wine Club Sundays) since March. Would people want to come to a larger event at the cellars? Would they be willing to buy tickets and make the trip from the comfort of their homes? Were they ready to get out? We made plans to sell 100 tickets (the maximum we can currently host at an event) and then crossed our fingers.

We sold all 100 tickets…and probably could have sold more if we’d been able to. Yes, people were ready and willing to get back to 4.0. And thankfully, the weather cooperated, so everyone was able to enjoy their wine and food al fresco.

As in the past, we set up six stations, spaced out around the event center. Each station featured a dish and a wine. While the stations were ordered to start with an appetizer and move through heavier dishes to a dessert finish, I know some people went “out of order.” Really, is there a problem with starting with dessert? I think not.

I worked station #1, a participant favorite: a cranberry-pecan-goat cheese truffle served on a slice of baguette and drizzled with honey paired with the 4.0 White Tie (a McPherson white blend including Viognier and Symphony grapes). The sweetness of the appetizer combined with the acidity of the wine really clicked.

From there, folks went to station #2 which featured Szechuan peppercorn-seasoned chicken skewers with a sweet chili glaze paired with Brennan’s Reserve Lily. I overheard many people talking about that chili glaze.

Next up at station #3: lobster-herb risotto paired with Brennan’s Prickly Poppy, a bright, sparkling white wine. I made a point of trying this dish before the event began, and it had me at butter.

The “heavier bites” came next at stations #4 and #5: a medallion of beef filet with pasilla portobello mushroom garnish on a house-made oatmeal roll followed by pulled jerk pork on a crisp plantain tostone. These were paired with two of our most popular reds: McPherson’s Les Copains red blend and Lost Oak’s crowd-pleasing Sadie (great name!) respectively. Following the event, we sold many bottles of both of these wines.

Finally, dessert: tiramisu paired with the 2017 4.0 Merlot made by Lost Oak (another favorite wine). Truth: The staff gobbled up the dessert leftovers at the end of the day.

Is your mouth watering? Are you contemplating which station is likely your favorite? Are you wishing you had attended this event? Well, never fear! Based on the excellent feedback we’ve received about this year’s Wine & Dine (including “We come to this every year, and it never disappoints” and “I’ll never miss this event again”), we’ve decided to add another Wine & Dine in the spring. So, be sure to visit the calendar of events on our website (/Calendar) so that you don’t miss this, and many other events, that we’re creating. Cheers and happy fall, y’all!

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