Four Course Wine Tasting
“If you’re going to do something, never do it half-ass” is our motto. Do it big and do it with style. Late into the year last year, we decided to hold a wine tasting once a month, not that we knew anything about wine, mind you. Nor were we looking for another excuse to drink. Trust me, I don’t need an excuse and if I did, the fact that I woke up that morning would be excuse enough.
No, we did it in the hopes of learning something new. We wanted to know how to tell one wine from another, what wines go best with what foods, and, of course, we wanted to collect corks for crafts. Teri took it on herself to study and she led most of the wine tastings. We had several of our friends join us and how it usually went was Teri would pick an area or a type of wine and everyone would bring a bottle or two of varying wineries and some finger food. Even when sampling wine, it’s best not to do it on an empty tummy. Besides, once the sampling was over, then the guzzling….um, drinking…could begin.
However, this past weekend, the girls decided to do something a bit different. We were only going to sample Italian wines and, to make it more interesting, we were going to do it along with a four course meal.
The wines were selected to compliment each course and the guests were able to choose which part of the meal they were going to provide. Whenever we do anything, everyone takes a part, which enables us to do more events more often.
The fancy dishes were pulled out of the garage, silver was shined and crystal brought down. It has long been my philosophy that you should never wait until a special occasion to use the good stuff. Every day that we are alive is a special occasion and anytime we gather with family and friends it’s even made more so. Char set about setting the tables and at one point my kitchen counter appeared like the sink area of a major restaurant. Sarah created name cards for everyone to signify where they were to sit and Teri was in charge of our portion of the meal. I was recruited to haul in furniture and then told to stay out of the way, the thing that I do best whenever the girls are cooking and preparing for one of our shindigs.
There were twelve participants at this Italian wine tasting. Everyone was to stay seated and the girls were going to serve them. This would avoid chaos in the kitchen as well as an abundance of dishes on the table ruining Char’s set up. It was also to be a treat for the guests.
The wine for the first course was a Prosecco to compliment the appetizers, a bruschetta with a tomato and basil topping and skewers of melon, mozzarella and prosciutto. A Soave white wine was served with the Arugula Salad accompanied with goat cheese and beets. At this point, we were sitting down at our name plates and enjoying the company around us as we sampled new dishes as well as new wines.
By the time the bell rang signifying the third course, we were on to Chianti served with lasagna and Chicken Bryon, both of which were amazing. Our chefs never fail us when it comes to the dishes prepared.
Afterward, a small break was taken as dishes were cleared and put away so that dessert could be served. This final course was served with Vin Santo, which turned out to be way too sweet for my sour palette, as we enjoyed a sampling of puddings, caramel flan, crème brulee, fruit, cheeses, cookies with goat cheese, which I didn’t understand, and Tiramisu. Once I was finished I was even able to enjoy a strong cup of Italian espresso.
The food was delicious, the wines delightful, but the thing that made the entire evening fantastic was the friends around each table. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, it’s the companionship of those around us that always seems to make everything enjoyable. The evening was a hit and the girls are already planning the next extravaganza. I’ll be honest, I can’t wait. Of course, now the girls are telling me all the new dishes and serving ware we need to purchase so they can do it right. Ah, well, the cost is well worth it.
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