Wine and Food pairing event

On November 10th, I participated in a wine and food pairing event at Sur La Table at the Stony Point/Richmond store… if you weren’t able to attend, for one reason or another, you really missed out on an amazing selection of food and wines.  There’s something so much fun about how the taste of a food changes when you add a specific wine… and this class did a wonderful job of showcasing that for all who attended.

My best friend, Lynne Just, is the resident chef at the Richmond Sur La Table and approached me about specifically pairing some of our James River Cellars for a cooking class.  It took some time to get everything organized, but I was really excited when the final menu came together.   Lynne came up with an appetizer, a salad, a hearty main dish, and a decadent dessert… and I got to help pair the wines we’d use.  I planned to attend the event, representing James River Cellars Winery, so I could explain our wines, but I also got to participate and do some of the cooking.  It was a BLAST!

The evening’s menu was as follows:  Blue Cheese Crostini with Applewood Bacon and Rad Red Wine-Reduction…. Roasted Beet Salad with Toasted Pecans, Goat Cheese and Merlot Vinaigrette… Au Poivre Ribeye with Merlot Sauce and Roasted Garlic Potatoes… Chocolate and Chambourcin Bread Pudding with a Caramel and Chambourcin sauce.  YUM!!

The wines that were used that evening were all from James River Cellars Winery.  We showcased Chardonel (a hybrid grape of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc, created at Cornell in 1953) as we began cooking.  Our Rad Red (a dry blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot) was used in the reduction for the crostini appetizer.  Merlot (which sports our Monitor vs. CSS Virginia Civil War label) was used in the vinaigrette for the salad as well as the sauce for the steaks.  In true chocolate-lovers’ fashion, our Chambourcin was used in both the bread pudding’s genache and flavored the caramel sauce that was poured over at the end.  It was an incredible meal that allowed everyone to enjoy both the wines AND the food.

We’re already making plans to repeat this sort of event in the spring, so keep an eye out for advertising about this class.  We’ll share the information on both the Sur La Table site (where you would sign up and pay for the class) as well as on the James River Cellars website, Facebook page, and twitter account.   A lighter menu is in the works… maybe a fish dish for the main event?  We’ll have to see what will work best, but one thing’s for sure… we’ll have a fabulous time!  Hope you can join us…

Recipe: Wine Cupcakes

Thanks to the glory that is (can be) Facebook, I found a simple cupcake recipe this morning on a friend’s page.  It’s made with Cake Mix, Greek Yogurt, and Water… only I decided to try making it with wine.

I started with a generic Devil’s food cake mix and added a cup (8oz) of nonfat plain Greek yogurt.  I was trying with the idea of using a flavored yogurt but, well, I didn’t have any in the fridge.  I then added a cup of wine… I used James River Cellars Rad Red.  I mixed everything well and then poured the mixture into cupcake tins.  I used mini Bundt pans (pictured) and a tin of mini muffin tins.  After baking for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, they looked so fun!  I added a dollop of chocolate frosting on top of the mini cakes and called it dessert.  YUM!

Have you tried substituting red wine in your chocolate baked good products?  It’s amazing to see what you can create with some great wine and a little ingenuity.  Try it and make your own new creations… your family and friends will be so happy you did!