A Harmony of Flavors

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Winefest Renaissance 2013; a Success

Well, the Winefest Rennaisance 2013 event was held last evening at the Ward Hotel in Aberdeen. All proceeds are for the benefit of the Boys and Girls club of Aberdeen. Mine was the official Wine and Food Pairing and Rating table. My sister in law came to help me out, for which I am extremely grateful. My foods were a hit, and my pairings were spot-on. Word got around and we had people waiting for a seat most of the time. It was a little bit of a madhouse at first. The idea was to have people rate the wines as they tasted, and some did work at it early on. After an hour or so of tasting all kinds of wines, few people had any interest at all in the rating part. The food and the wine pairings continued to hold their interest. 

Squash, Apple, Leek and Asiago Triangles
In all, I created 8 new recipes just for this event. I wrote about the Squash, Apple, Leek and Asiago mixture. I made extra to fill a galette for dinner a few nights back. Last night I served the mixture rolled into Phyllo triangles. Sadly, they were the least sought after of the appetizers. Most people wanted to try a particular food, so they were served the wine that paired with that food. The Squash Apple Leek and Asiago Triangles were delicious paired with the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay Grand Reserve. The flavor of the apples was made more apparent when the wine was sampled alongside the appetizer.

The absolute biggest hit of the night was the Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread, which was served paired with the Conn Creek 'Herrick' Cabernet Sauvignon blend. The pairing was particularly wonderful together, but people just liked the Flank Steak flavors and word got around. We had people saying, "I heard I had to come down here and try these little Steak Appetizers!" Not the wine, mind you, though it was a great wine for the pairing.

Flank Steak with Gorgonzola Walnut Spread
Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Sauce
The pairing that surprised me the most was the Anderra Carmenere and the Indian Spiced Chicken with Cilantro Sauce. I hoped the flavors would go well together. I had not tasted any of the wines prior to creating these recipes, so I was going strictly on the descriptions for the wines that I could find online. The Anderra, being from Chile, seemed like it should go well with spices and cilantro. I smelled the wine when I opened it and was pretty sure it wouldn't be a wine I liked, just based on that initial sniff. As with all things, one should not judge too quickly. When I actually tasted it, it surprised me no end. Flavors of pepper and cherry came through and made it quite interesting. I tasted it with the Indian Spiced Chicken with the Cilantro Sauce and it was amazing. I had been having people ask for that wine and food pairing second only to the Cabernet and Flank Steak.

I will write more on this event in a couple of days, but for now, I am glad it is over, and now I can focus on such other things as making a wedding cake and moving. I believe the Winefest was a success, and if it becomes an annual event, this should have given everyone a solid basis for the knowledge of what went well and what needed improvement. For a first time event of this magnitude, I believe it was spectacular.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.