Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Green, St. Patrick's Tasting with Childress Vineyards

St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in 387 AD under Roman rule. After a kidnapping at 16, imprisonment, and escape he dedicated his life to his beliefs and changed the belief system of the country of Ireland forever.

I share this because much like wine, whose journey twists and turns from the vine to the tongue, our life's passions take us in many directions before our true expression is unfolded.

Take Nascar Racing icon and powerhouse Richard Childress, owner of Childress Vineyards. It's a story about following a passion that is different than your original course. It is evident that he knows surrounding himself with the best talent, attending to every detail and pleasing people will always bring success.

This passion and the perfection of it was evident during an exquisite winemaker's dinner held in the barrel room at Childress Winery, Tuesday March 17, 2009. Hosted by his talented winemaker, Mark Friszolowski, we spent an evening enjoying a completely green menu with foods harvested and grown locally.

Tasting up to 11 wines, our palettes were tickled with flavors from sea to earth. Seated at a long wooden table, decorated with stones, twigs, candles and satin and punctuated with large floral bouquets of white and green, we heard about Childress history, drank pre-release whites, sold out reds, and remarked at the mouthwatering pairings before us.

A sampling of our gastronomic adventure included the matching of a burnt red Heirloom Charred Tomato Bisque soup with their pre-release Trio white wine blend. A crisp, full mouthed and refreshing wine. Release of this new Trio blend is happening April 24th so don't miss out!

Another of our favorite taste sensations was the Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream, Chives and Caviar. Heaven on a fork for us and the smooth, velvety salmon woke up the amazing floral notes of the Rose of Cabernet Franc.

The Braised Short Ribs had been cooking all day, according to one of the chefs seated near me, to enjoy a rare night on the other side of the kitchen. She said the aroma and flavors had been filling the winery with anticipation for the evening's event. By the time the meat arrived in front of us, the collective sigh that rose from the 100 people seated at the long table seemed to flicker the lights strung above us. Paired with the NC Fair Best of Show Winning 2004 Syrah, long sold out, we knew this memory would never fade.

As the last food course was cleared, we were poised for our Irish Bread Pudding which paired with the 2008 Late Harvest Viognier, convinced us that the luck of the Irish is best celebrated with wine, and being green.

Cheers to you Mark and Richard and your staff Ron and myself, and from the women in Networking, Women and Wine!

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