Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Go for the Grapes

The likelihood of snowstorms and white outs that keep us at home is slim. The 35th International Film Festival, which keeps any of us sitting in the dark for eleven days, is over. So it’s a good time to get out and I’ve heard about some great opportunities for wine enthusiasts this month.

Battery Park Wine Bar

Tonight, April 6th, winemaker Steffan Jorgen of Bergevin Lane Vineyards in Walla Walla Washington will be at Battery Park Wine Bar to guide guests through an eight pour tasting, with appetizers to compliment them. The two hour event begins at 6 PM. Cost is $15 per person. Battery Park’s owner and wine expert Mike Graley has also started doing regular Last Wednesday of the Month Wine Tastings. You get to try 16 of his wine picks plus some small plates for $20. You can buy a bottle of whatever you like at retail prices. Next one is April 27. For info to RSVP, call 216-631-9463

Two standout dinners on the calendar. Call immediately to ask if there are seats left at Moxie for tomorrow night’s five-course Darioush wine dinner (April 7). The Napa Valley winery is known for its limited production Bordeauz style estate wines. Executive Chef- and culinary mastermind- Jonathan Bennett is doing a really inventive menu to pair with chardonnay, viognier, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon that includes seared tuna plated with a yuzu croquette, sesame brittle, and the intriguingly named “pliable wasabi;” and roasted squab plus grilled asparagus, poached egg, and white truffle. Service starts at 7 PM, the price is $99 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and reservations are required, 216.831.5599.

Chez Francois
Wed., April 13, Chez Francois in Vermilion offers a six course meal with paired wines from Oregon’s Maysara Winery where grapes are farmed bio-dynamically. Winemaker and owner Tahiene Momtazi will be on hand to talk about the family’s innovative growing philosophy and vineyard practices as guests sip their Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, a Rosé, a selection of three different Pinot Noirs, a dessert Riesling . John D’Amico, co-owner and top chef, has planned an impressive line-up of dishes: roasted heirloom carrot and curry soup; phyllo crusted shrimp with warm pineapple and apple compote; sea bass in a tomato tapenade crust; duck cassoulet; roast veal tenderloin; and apple crepes with quince cream. $ 85 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Call 440-967-0630 for reservations.

Lilly Handmade Chocolate
For those on a more modest budget there’s no better deal around than the weekly tastings at Lilly Handmade Chocolate in Tremont. Prices this month range from $3.50-$4.25 (plus tax). Your money buys four wine and beer samples paired with the prefect truffles. It’s a casual first come, first serve, while supplies last kind of thing, Fridays 12pm-6:30pm, Saturdays 11am-6:30pm; and Sundays 11am-2:30pm. Complete beverage list for each weekend here.


(Photos: Battery Park Wine Bar, Maysara Winery)

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