Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wine Tasting Party Part II

Here are the cast of characters we sampled last Saturday.  Up front I'll tell you my favorites were the Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris (served first) and the Dr. Konstantin Frank Meritage (served last).  Really enjoyed getting to try some different wines.

As mentioned in the last post, there were 6 couples.  Dave and MJ rented wine glasses and that worked out really slick - they also had these cute charms to put on them

Now for the apps that I made.  This first batch was paired with the Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris.   I provided Bacon Wrapped Scallops and I have to admit I was pretty disappointed in them.  First I ran all over town to find them pre-made - just thought it would be easier to pop them in the oven but found out at places like Trader Joes and Sam's Club that they are only sold during the holiday season.  I found some at Hy-Vee but I don't think we baked them long enough and the bacon could have been crisper...and I've had better.

But next up is one of mine and Mr. John's all time favorite!  It is from the December 2002 Betty Crocker cute little Appetizer book and called Greek Marinated Roasted Peppers, Olives and Feta.  I have made this many times and many friends have requested the recipe.  (recipe link here)  Please take the time to roast your peppers - no pre-made ones!  It will be worth it.  I do mine on the grill.

The next course I did was paired with the Red Cat... I just loved the bottle...

John made chili and I made an appetizer called Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Walnuts .  However, I used pecans and again, after running around town I could not find endive lettuce so I trimmed up small slices of romaine lettuce.  These were a huge hit - I was kind of worried - so I was glad people enjoyed them.  A mandarin orange (fresh) is placed on a leave, some goat cheese and candied pecans on top then drizzled with a balsamic vinegar and honey reduction and topped with fresh chives & fresh cracked pepper.  Interesting combination of flavors..

The last wine pairing of the night was the Meritage.  Dave had made some Blue Cheese Steak Bites (will ask for recipe) and I made a Mushroom Risotto from scratch.  Well, I must confess I had help that night from one of the guests - he provided the stirring power.  Wow - the combo of these 2 items together were awesome and I am now no longer afraid to make risotto..  it involves a lot of stirring but it turned out so creamy good! (recipe link here) The only change I made is to use all baby bellas.

What a night!  Good wine, good food and good friends!  But wait, I'm not done yet... part III will feature MJ's delectable delights!  Coming soon!

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