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WNC Wine Trail

So little Time - so much great Wine

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Weaverville is on the map!!! My map anyway! Maggie B’s has changed the landscape in this unique town – all for the best. On Monday, November 15th they hosted a Swine & Wine dinner, and it was excellent. Expect more of these from this wonderful wine store.

Chef Adam Hayes from the Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village was the chef and he rocked! OK, I may be a bit prejudiced as I really like the chef, visit Maggie B’s whenever possible (I live in north Buncombe), and most of the pork came from the Dillingham Farm in Barnardsville, but it was really good, and well matched with the wine.

Chef Hayes did a great job of selecting the menu and Elspeth of Maggie B’s paired unique and inexpensive wines with each course. The evening started with a wonderful Gruet Bruet (otherwise known as a sparkling wine or champagne), from of all places – New Mexico! What a find and a great price! This tops my list for this New Years’ celebration.

We began the meal with a “15 Hour Conceit of Pork Shoulder” with Crostini, Roasted Grapes, and a Port Reduction. The sauce was excellent. The saltiness of the reduction allowed me to enjoy the 2008 Husch Vineyard Chenin Blanc. I had discovered this wine many years ago while traveling in the Napa region and have been a fan ever since. While the wine has a slight sweet aftertaste, the spices in the pork, which can be described as a Christmas blend, complemented both the dish and the wine.

The second dish was a Peach and Apple Wood Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Baby Lettuce, and Three Graces Dairy goat cheese. This was wonderfully paired with a 2007 Jean-Luc Joillot Passetoutgrain (a Pinot Noir). You could cut the pork tenderloin with a fork, and the salad, with the fresh chevre and Theros Olive Oil (packaged here in Asheville), was perfect.

Chef Adam Hayes was one of the participants in the 2010 WNC Chefs Challenge. Last year, the Red Stag Grill hosted the National Truffle Festival (fungi of course!) The festival brings together truffle growers from around the United States, and this multi-day event not only teaches about truffle production and marketing, it includes a series of dinners in local restaurants featuring fresh truffles. I was fortunate to attend several classes and was a judge in the Truffle Risotto competition, oh so wonderful! If you have not had a chance to visit the Red Stag, I certainly advise you to do so.

The third course was, for me, one of the most satisfying preparations I’ve had in a long time. Forget Osso Bucco, and maybe even Lamb Shanks, I’m trying Green Man Ale Braised Pork Shanks with Winter Festival Ragout again and again! This was a most amazing dish – I used several slices of bread to sop up the wonderful sauce reduction as I savored the slow-cooked pork. Paired with a 2006 Argentina Tempranillo, it matched the flavors extremely well.

We dined at a long family-style table among the shelves of wines. No need for music as the conversations and laughter were a wonderful backdrop for this event. Maggie B’s is a marvelous place to shop for small vineyard wines not usually seen in larger establishments.

Finally, the dessert! We had noticed on the menu the Bacon Apple Pie with Golden Ginger Apples, Bacon, Walnuts, and Chocolate Lab Cheddar Cheese, but I did not expect to taste such a wonderful dessert. The bacon softly accented the apples and the accompanying Chocolate Lab Cheddar Cheese was from Looking Glass Creamery in Fairview. It had a wonderful chocolate rub incorporating a stout from the Lexington Avenue Brewery in downtown Asheville. This was a truly marvelous dessert and paired extremely well with the cheese.

My other discovery tonight was the Kurpiowski Royal Mead from Poland. Aged for 5 years, this is a wine made with honey and red currants. It looks like a wine, tastes like a sherry, and totally complemented the dessert. It was such a wonderful price, I immediately purchased a bottle for my later enjoyment.

This was a wonderful wine dinner, fantastic local pork, a talented chef, and a unique and intimate setting. Good food, good wine, great friends, here in our own back yard! You do not have to travel farther than your own neighborhood to experience a unique culinary adventure. Bon Appétit.

 

Maggie B’s (http://maggiebswine.com)

Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian in Biltmore Village (http://www.bohemianhotelasheville.com/dining/dining.asp)

Three Graces Dairy (www.3gracesdairy.com)

Theros olive oil (http://www.therosoliveoil.com/therosoliveoil/index.htm)

National Truffle Festival (http://www.northamericantrufflefest.com)

sop (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sop)

Looking Glass Creamery (http://www.ashevillecheese.com)

Chocolate Lab (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/six-months-cheese/?pkey=ggftrcpent)

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