Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fiore taking reservations for Christmas dinner

We're seeing more and more of these Christmas dinners at various mid-Atlantic wineries. Fiore Winery in Pylesville, Md., is one of those, charging $65 per person for a dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, that will include the wine, food and entertainment. Prepaid reservations are required at 410.879.4007.

So what's coming out of the kitchen?

Hors d'oeuvres: Antipasta of cheeses, vegetables, dips, and spreads, with artisan breads, crackers,pita, crostini
paired with Apple-lucious, Sangiovese

Seated Dinner:

Butternutsquash ravioli with sage, rye, and cream.
paired with Pinot Grigio

Baked salmon with roasted pepper sauce and spinach orzo.
paired with Chardonnay

Spice beef round with roasted green beans and grape tomato.
paired with Proprietors Reserve Chambourcin

Seasonal salad with fruit, nuts, and cheese, vinaigrette.
paired with Vidal Blanc

Christmas pudding with hard sauce.
paired with Maryland Merlot

State wine trails, stores ring in the Nouveau

Wine moves to the forefront this week across the state, and not just because it's nearly Thanksgiving and you figure to be buying a few bottles or cases for your dinner table.

It's also Nouveau week, the first release of the 2009 vintage. The state makes it a big to-do Thursday when the Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau goes on sale and is complemented by a number of free tastings through the weekend. A number will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday throughout the Philadelphia suburbs and west to Lancaster and Harrisburg. You have a pretty good selection of wines to pair up with your Thanksgiving food, and one of those on the list is the Beaujolais.

This Beaujolias release on the third Thursday in November has become a regular event on the wine calendar in France and the United States. What is becoming more the standard among Pennsylvania wineries is a similar release, accompanied by plenty of hoopla and food pairings.

One will take place along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, where Nouveau Weekend will be held Saturday and Sunday. In addition to being able to taste and purchase the wines, trail members are expected to offer Thanksgiving-themed food pairings, live entertainment, and more.

Nouveau Weekend will be held at all nine wineries on the
Lehigh Valley Wine Trail from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. A few wineries will be open as late as 6 both days. According to a release sent out on behalf of the trail, here's what some of the wineries are planning:

Big Creek Vineyard in Kresgeville is recommending a warm Spiced Apple as an aperitif and Nouveau Red with the big bird.

Blue Mountain Vineyards of New Tripoli suggests its 2008 Riesling - a refreshingly dry, intensely fruity and crisp wine with a very long lingering finish.

Cherry Valley Vineyards of Saylorsburg will serve its award-winning Cranberry Blush, a semi-sweet that is crisp and clean, similar to a white zinfandel with intense cranberry flavor. It starts sweet and finishes with a well-balanced citrus zest.

Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery of Breinigsville offers its new release 2007 Oak Vidal Blanc – upfront rich butter and cream flavor, the finish bursting with lemon and zesty acidity.

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas: Cellar White is a cuvee of the vineyard - Vidal, Riesling and Cayuga. Created in the style of German wines, it is an arrested fermentation (all sweetness is natural and from the grapes) with an elegant wild flower nose and brightly layered fruit ending.

Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery of Breinigsville will serve the Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau 2009 vintage wine, a perfect accompaniment to your holiday meals.