A few weeks ago we held our first annual Fall Harvest Wine Dinner with some of our besties and best bottles of wine. The theme was simple– fall, harvest, wine, and everything white and gold! Every course was paired with a wine that brought out the best in both the drink and the dish. The day was filled with preparation, from picking up last minute ingredients to decorating the table and making place cards (not gonna lie, that part was pretty darn fun for us winos!). The evening was filled with great food, great wine, the best company and some special memories (especially a few epic matches of Catch Phrase played post-feast).
Our first bottle of the night set the tone for the evening. Upon arrival each guest was greeted with a glass of one of our favorite local sparkling wines, the 2014 Greenhill Winery & Vineyards Blanc de Blancs from Middleburg, VA. Made in the traditional French champagne method, the Blanc de Blancs is crisp, bubbly and creamy. It was the perfect wine to get the party started!
Following the sparkling start, we sat down to enjoy one of the most gorgeous cheese platters we’ve ever put together (no joke, just look at that thing!). The platter featured a creamy brie, spicy pepperjack, salty gorgonzola, homemade rosemary focaccia bread, dried apricots, walnuts, cranberries, apricot chutney and a peppered salami. Needless to say, it was pretty spectacular. We paired the cheese platter with two different Chardonnays, one from Otium Cellars in Purcellville and one from Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton. The Otium Cellars 2014 Chardonnay offered those flavors true to an oaked Chardonnay– vanilla, slightly buttery yet well rounded and smooth. The Paradise Springs 2014 Chardonnay offered a more acidic, lemony and citrusy accompaniment to this course. Both were lovely and we enjoyed seeing how each wine paired uniquely with each of the cheeses. Our favorite combination was the Otium Cellars oaky Chardonnay with the salty Gorgonzola!
We made our way to the dining room for the salad course, one of the highlights of the evening! Our good friends (P&B) put together a beautiful salad of mixed greens, feta cheese, craisins, green apples and pecans with a poppyseed or balsamic dressing depending on your preference. They paired the salad with the Dusseau Viognier Pays D’oc, a French Viognier. The pairing was perfection as the wine had slight floral, creamy melon and fresh-cut herb notes that danced on the palate alongside the beautiful dish.
Following the Viognier, we moved on to the main course. For the main course we served a brisket with roasted carrots, mushrooms and onions, and sides of roasted brussels sprouts and red and white potatoes. The brisket cooked down most of the day in a garlic rub and a red wine reduction, making it perfectly tender and flavorful. The main course was paired with the 2012 RdV Vineyards Lost Mountain and their Friends & Family red blend. We let both wines decant for about an hour prior to the main course being served and we all relished in our glasses of the Lost Mountain. The Lost Mountain bordeaux blend exhibits so many qualities– it’s complex and earthy, with soft tannins but oh so smooth and velvety on the finish. It was a delicious pairing and worked perfectly with the flavorful, salty and juicy brisket.
Post main course, we indulged in conversation before moving on to the dessert portion of the evening! Our other good friends (J&W) brought a decadent chocolate cake for dessert, pairing it with one of the red wines they picked up on their recent trip to California, the 2013 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (they did an instagram takeover for us in August on their trip!). Chocolate and red wine is always a win, but this was a fabulous combination– the wine was flavorful with dark berry and an earthy texture on the palate, but utterly smooth and velvety combined with a bite of cake.
It was a beautiful evening and one we will be reminiscing about for a long time– until next year’s harvest dinner! Cheers!