Tag Archives: Wine Dinner

White Pinot Noir Could Be Your New Fave

Caleb Flint of Wine Merchants in WS offered me a bottle of Amity Vineyards White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 for an honest review. We are grateful for the opportunity (and the wine). All opinions are my own.

My favorite kind of wine is red wine. And of the reds, my favorite has been Pinot Noir. And no that has nothing to do with the film, Sideways. 😀 . Though a Malbec sometimes does sometimes hit the spot.  I also do try to support NC Wine as much as possible but I do like to change up.  So when Wine Merchants talked about a White Pinot Noir, I was intrigued. After grabbing a bottle,  I took a little time and meal planning for when to enjoy it. Mr. foodie and I like wine, but we have two kiddos at home and sometimes we can’t just open a bottle up and enjoy. And we rarely finish a bottle between the two of us in one night. Plus, I wanted to have a mushroom pasta dish. I am particular like that.

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Then the night came. Opened up a bottle of the White Pinot on a pasta night. I enjoyed a glass while cooking. What we found was a lightly fruity, very clean wine with body that drinks quite easily alone and is wonderful with pasta, cheese and poultry and particularly, mushrooms. Bonus points if you can manage that in one dish, which we did (a browned butter balsamic mushroom sauce over ravioli with grilled chicken). The photo of the dish didn’t come out well. But I’ll make it again and share the recipe.

The wine went perfectly. I have a feeling this is going to be in the regular rotation.

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White Pinot Noir is gaining in popularity but is still considered somewhat “rare” compared to other varietals.  it takes a special process because Pinot Noir grapes are obviously red. This is an excerpt from VinePair.

To make white wine from red grapes, winemakers take careful steps to ensure that there is minimum contact, or maceration, between the pre-fermented must and color-giving grape skins. To eliminate maceration for white Pinot, only a small amount of the grape’s juice can be fermented into white wine.
Free-run juice is released when grapes are piled, and their skins break under their own weight. In white winemaking, this produces the highest quality wines because there’s minimal contact with bitter skins and seeds. Free-run juice, and occasionally must from a very light pressing, are used to make Blanc de Noirs still wines.

White Pinot Noir also listed as Pinot Noir Blanc or Blanc de Noirs.  In Winston-Salem, you can find Amity Vineyards for about $25 at Wine Merchants & Vin 205 Wine Bar at 205 S. Stratford Rd. in Winston-Salem.  (336) 765-8175.

By the way, if you haven’t been to Wine Merchants or the bistro next door, get yourself over there. The restaurant is one of the most underrated spots in all of the Triad. Read about them here.  Site of 2 Chef’s Tables! That’s how good.

Cheers!

Announcing our next Triadfoodies Chef’s Table at Sophie’s Cork & Ale

Foodies, we are so excited to announce that our next Triadfoodies Chef’s Table is in sweet uptown Lexington at Sophie’s Cork & Ale where we’ll let Chef John Wilson surprise us with  multiple courses. It’s all happening on Monday, November 13.

Have you been to Lexington lately? The food scene there is really on the grow.

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One needs only to look at Chef John’s food photos to know that he loves to work with color, texture and local goodness.  We’re so excited to showcase his talents with multiple tastings at Sophie’s.  His wine dinners always look amazing.

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Sophie’s Cork & Ale is a wine bar that offers small plates, sandwiches and entrees. It’s completely charming and inviting. We know you’ll love it as much as we do.

Here’s how it works: Reserve with a ticket here and you’ll join us at our table on Monday, November 13. .A reminder of our pricing: Your ticket price of $30 INCLUDES your multi-course meal including dessert as well as tax and gratuity associated with the meal. Beverage (and gratuity for the purchase of beverages) are not included in the ticket price. Please take care of your server on any beverage service.

Come a little early to enjoy drinks or do a little shopping at Sophie’s.

We’ll see you on November 13!

** Follow us on Facebook for the latest details and get in on the chatter by tagging @sophiescorkandale and #triadfoodiesChefsTable on Facebook and Instagram.

Please notify me at Kristi@triadfoodies.com if you have any food sensitivity or if the chef needs to be aware of any concerns.

Vin 205 Farm to Table Bistro

Foooooodies.

OMG. Please eat here. ‘Nuf said if you ask me  but I’ll go a touch further.

I’ve enjoyed a few great meals with mr. foodie at Vin 205 recently. One was a Wine and Swine Dinner that blew us away and blew our wine budget too, lol…because we bought some great new wine.

So good, in fact, that we decided to bring Chef Oren Feuerberg in on one of our Chef’s Tables. Four courses, family-style, with a great group of foodies and friends.

Read about it here in my latest food column in YES! Weekly! 

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Vin 205 has a little wine market with all kinds of lovely wine,  plus local meats, boutique cheese, chocolates and wine accessories and they have plans to add even more. Vin 205 also has a great-looking brunch. Check them out!
Our next Triadfoodies Chef’s Table will be announced later this week. We’ll be doing a special kick-off of our High Country Events in October with Vidalia (date announced soon) and our November Chef’s Table returns to the Triad at Sophie’s Cork & Ale in Lexington on November 13. You’ll see that update in a future email.

Cheers!

 

foodies! Get yourself to the Wine v. Beer Luau at 1703

When we say you should, we so mean it.  I wouldn’t steer you wrong, foodies. Chef Curtis Hackaday is showing how he’s inspired by his former Hawaii with another 2nd Supper Wine versus Beer Dinner…this one Luau focused. We just know it’s going to be great!

1703 Restaurant & Catering is continuing with their 2nd Sunday Supper, this time with a rematch of their Beer v. Wine Dinner. The dinner will be paired with a Luau as Chef Curtis roasts a whole pig. The event is this Sunday, September 11 at 6:30pm.

We went to the last one and omg…it was amazing. We had to judge how each of the 5 courses paired with beers from Mystery Brewing of Hillsborough versus some hand-picked wine selections. Overall, it was a tie. Kind of strange. But it was so fun to really taste the nuances in the wine or beer and how it complemented the dishes. For instance, part of the dessert really liked the wine. But another part of the dessert liked the beer. Plus we got a great education from the rep from Mystery Brewing. After declaring a tie, it only makes sense for a rematch. “I’ll continue to do the versus dinners because I want both beer and wine drinkers to come. It seems to bring a happy discussion to the table,”Curtis told me today.

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From last month’s dinner, porchetta with deliciousness like watermelon and fried okra straws

As for the Luau theme, it just seems natural. Curtis says Hawaii is near and dear to him as he lived there for four years as a child. “It has had the most impact on my style of cooking. Visions of whole ducks and sides of pork in the window at a mall eatery are still entrenched in my memory. Hawaiian food is a melting pot of the Pacific and a Luau is their version of a party or feast so this should be a lot of fun.”

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Chef has already given his new Latin style pig roaster a trial run by cooking a suckling pig and handing out free pork sandwiches. Everyone who endured the heat to see the unveiling and tasting of the pig says it was fantastic. Chef Curtis Hackaday is arguably one of the most creative chefs in the Triad and we’re sure this event will be no less impressive. He’s like the chef you watch on Chef’s Table, but it’s not hundreds of dollars per person. 😀

Seating is limited, $55 per person. Call for reservations (336) 725-5767.

foodie b’eat: Quanto Basta and Raffaldini Vineyards and Pizzette is sexy!

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Last week, as part of the Salute! NC Wine Celebration festivities, mr. foodie and I were busy representing Food and Wine University.  In case you didn’t know, we manage the food/chef events for the festival including helping pair up the wine dinners and tastings throughout the week. A fun, challenging and rewarding task, to be sure. We had the privilege of joining Chef Tim Grandinetti at his new restaurant, Quanto Basta: Italian Eatery & Wine Bar for an “Italian Gathering” which celebrated his new collaboration with Raffaldini Vineyards, the NC Wine Region’s only true Italian vineyard.

This “gathering” wasn’t like your typical wine dinner. There were tasting stations throughout the loggia with some meat, cheese, olives, veggies, pasta, breadsticks at will. For more info on what was served, keep reading :D.

As you can tell, Chef Tim loves to have fun and loves to entertain a crowd.

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mr. foodie, Chef Tim and blogger/caterer Heidi Billotto of Heidi Cooks

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We paused our noshing to join chef in the kitchen as one of his sous chefs for a pizza demonstration. Here we learned how in Italy, pizza—or pizzette at QB, is considered street food and that no two are alike, which Chef Tim says makes it a very sexy snack, to enjoy with your hands and with wine and with friends. He made a couple for us…the seafood pizzette is amazing. All the pizzettes are amazing.

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The event celebrated the heritage of two Italian Americans who are so extremely proud of their heritage and who’ve made their mark here locally to celebrate it and bring it to us for enjoyment.

So what does this announcement mean to you, foodies? Raffaldini has been chosen to make QB’s house wines!

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Photo: Courtesy QB

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Here’s the official QB statement….

Raffaldini Vineyards is located in both the Yadkin Valley and Swan Creek American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Owner Jay Raffaldini comes from an Italian family, and the winery specializes in national award-winning Italian varietals. Raffaldini has been a frequent guest and supporter of Spring House Kitchen, Restaurant & Bar, the first Winston-Salem partnership between Grandinetti and Lynette Matthews-Murphy. When Raffaldini and Grandinetti met about three years ago, they instantly bonded over their Italian family heritage.

“When we told Jay we were going to do an Italian restaurant, he was immediately supportive,” Grandinetti says. “With the quality of his wines, it was a natural fit for him to make our house wines.”

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Winemaker Jay Raffaldini and Chef Tim Grandinetti

Grandinetti worked with Raffaldini to select two wines, a white and a red, for Quanto Basta’s house labels. The white is a Vermentino Riserva, and the red is a Sangiovese Riserva. The white sells for $35 a bottle and $7 a glass, and the red for $45 a bottle and $9 a glass.

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Raffaldini Vineyards is the only Italian vineyard in North Carolina. The area’s soil and climate remind Jay Raffaldini of Italy, where his family started making wine in 1348. Once Raffaldini and his staff harvest the grapes, they dry a portion of them to concentrate the flavors before pressing and blending. This process is known as appassimento in Italian.

“We’re intensifying all of the wonderful bits,” Raffaldini says. The Raffaldini wines are ideal for food pairings because they complement the food instead of overpowering it.

About 60 guests joined Grandinetti, Matthews-Murphy and Raffaldini during a wine dinner leading up to Saturday’s Salute! NC Wine Celebration in downtown Winston-Salem. The Italian gathering included a chef’s culinary demonstration of barbera-infused handcrafted pasta. Tasting stations reflected the restaurant’s rustic Italian menu with such offerings as salumi and cheese, pizzette, shrimp arrabiata (one of the restaurant’s most-popular dishes) and eggplant Parmesan. Dessert included tiramisu and butterscotch budino paired with Le Dolce Vita, a Moscato d’Asti-style wine from Raffaldini Vineyards.

Quanto Basta means “as much as you like; as much as you need” in Italian. Since opening in March, the eatery has experienced an overwhelming response with a consistently full dining room and growing reputation for authentic Italian food in a casual setting. The Raffaldini house wine collaboration furthers Quanto Basta’s mission of celebrating the art of food and the joyful voice of the Italian culture.

Quanto Basta features Italian favorites and fresh pastas topped with rustic sauces; pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. The current wine list includes 60 labels and will eventually grow to include more than 200. The restaurant is located at 680 W. Fourth St., Winston-Salem, NC; (336) 893-6144. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight, and Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-late night. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations. www.facebook.com/quantobastaNC

Raffaldini Vineyards was named one of Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten Hot Small Brands in North America. Known as “Chianti in the Carolinas,” the vineyard produces Central and Southern Italian varietals, such as vermentino, pinot grigio, sangiovese and montepulciano. The winery tasting room is open daily (except for Tuesdays) at 450 Groce Road, Ronda, NC; (336) 835-9463; www.raffaldini.com.

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Eat local, foodies!