Savour Wine and Cheese “Become a Wine Expert” ~ Week 5

Thank you Kathleen, Joey, and Toby for providing me the opportunity to take “Become a Wine Expert” series of classes to bring Kathleen’s wonderful expertise to our GMG readers. I loved every minute of the class and especially enjoyed meeting Kathleen and my fellow classmates!

Savour Wine and Cheese Class ©Kim Smith 2013

Our last class was wonderful fun, with a lovely dinner of sweetly crisp and delicious Pear and Arugula Salad along with a hearty and tasty Brunswick Stew, paired with an array of red and white wines. See recipes below, which Kathleen has so graciously provided for our GMG readers. 

Savour Wine and Cheese John Lamirande ©Kim Smith 2013For starters, John Lamarinde made popcorn, infused with a touch of truffle oil!

Pear Arugala Sald ©Kim Smith 2013Pear Arugula Salad

The theme of class five is food and wine pairings and preferences. Kathleen served a fabulous selection of reds and whites to pair with our meal. For thousand of years food and wine have gone hand in hand although the strict rules of yesteryear, in that white wine is the only acceptable choice for fish and red wine for red meats, are adhered to no longer.

Kathleen encourages experimenting and stresses that wine and food pairings are a matter of personal preference. There are however several concepts worth noting that will make choosing a wine to accompany your meal simpler. The basic idea is to pair wines with foods that are either alike, in other words mirror the other’s flavors; the opposite is also a helpful guideline, which is to contrast the flavors.

Brunswick Stew ©Kim Smith 20132Brunswick Stew

Michelle Ukraine ©Kim Smith 2013Michelle Ukraine

For our food pairing class, Kathleen presented a selection of wines, both red and white, and sparkling, for us to experiment to discover our individual preference for each course. The following is the list of wines served for our class–all grand and delicious and much enjoyed by everyone!

Ferrari Brut (100% Chardonnay), Trento, Italy – $24.99

Hirsch Heiligenstein Vineyard, Kammern, Kamptal Gruner Veltliner, Austria, $29.99

Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon (Cabernet Franc), Loire Valley, France – $14.99

Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy – $15.99

Arnad Montjovet La Kiuva (Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir) – $18.99

Mas de Libian Côtes-du-Rhône, France – $19.99

L’Ecuyer de Couronneau Bordeaux (Merlot), France – $13.99

Cossart-Gordon 15-year-aged Bual Madeira, Portugal – $43.99

Cossart-Gordon Madeira ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

I know where I’ll be shopping for Christmas gifts this season, for both cheese and wine, as well as that special hostess gift.

Kathleen typically teaches “Become a Wine Expert” series of classes annually in October, but there has been a great deal of interest expressed in taking the class sooner. If enough people are interested, she will teach the class again as early as this coming winter or spring.  Go to Savour’s website for details about the “Become a Wine Expert” series of classes.

Kathleen Erickson ©Kim Smith 2013

“Become a Wine Expert” Series Taught by Kathleen Morgan

Become a Wine Expert: White Wine

Savour Wine and Cheese “Become a Wine Expert” ~ Class 4

Brunswick Stew

1 3 – 4 lb. fryer chicken, cut up

1/3 c. flour

1 T. olive oil

2 or 3 medium onions, chopped

2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), chopped (or Pablano Peppers)

5 c. water or chicken stock (you may need more)

2 28 oz. cans of chopped tomato (or Muir organic fire-roasted diced tomatoes)

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

2 c. edamame soy beans (already shelled) (or you can use lima beans, but they are starchier)

2 c. whole kernel corn (a 10 oz. bag or corn cut from 4 ears)

1 t. salt (to taste – usually needs more)

1/2 t. black pepper

½ t. white pepper

1/2 t. cayenne pepper (Typically, Brunswick Stew has as much a 1 T., but I use 1/2 teaspoon)

1/2 t. hot sauce (You can pass this with the stew for those who like it hotter)

2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1 c. red wine

Continue Reading Recipe Here

Brunswick Stew (continued)

Dredge chicken pieces and brown in hot oil Sauté onions and peppers in chicken fat and olive oil Stir in red wine and simmer until most of the wine evaporates. Place browned chicken pieces with onions and peppers in stockpot. Add water (or chicken stock), tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and strip meat from bones. Discard skin and return shredded chicken to stew. Add edamame beans, corn, and all seasonings. Simmer for another 1/2 hour. (This is traditionally a spicy stew with lots of red and black pepper, but I usually adjust the seasoning to be just slightly spicy and serve it with tobacco on the side). The stew is very good with biscuits, crusty bread or pumpernickel. A simple salad of almost any type makes a complete meal.

Pear – Arugula Salad

1 7 oz. pkg. baby arugula (preferably organic)

2 T.Olive Oil

1 T. Balsamic Vinegar

2 Bosc Pears (ripe, but still firm), cored and sliced thin

1 small Red Onion, sliced and marinated.

(To marinate: slice onion very thin, place in glass bowl, cover with cold water, add ¼ c. white vinegar and ½ t. sugar, stir.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 – 24 hours).

2 oz. Hard Goat Cheese (such as Consider Bardwell Farm Manchester Raw Goat or Midnight Moon Goat Gouda), shaved

(May substitute crumbled goat cheese, feta cheese, or blue cheese)

1/3 c. Roasted Pecans

(To roast pecans; pour ½ c. water and ½ c. brown sugar into large frying pan, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Add 1 lb. pecan halves.  Keep stirring, as liquid thickens and coats pecans, until all the liquid is absorbed.  Spread pecans on cooking sheet, sprayed with cooking oil.  Place in pre-heated 250 -degree oven.  Roast for 45 – 60 minutes).

To Assemble:

Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Toss arugula with olive oil dressing.  Spread on platter and sprinkle generously with fresh ground pepper.  Remove onions from marinade, pat dry, and scatter over arugula.  Spread pear slices over top, then layer with goat cheese shavings.  Finish with roasted pecans.

4 thoughts on “Savour Wine and Cheese “Become a Wine Expert” ~ Week 5

  1. Kim,

    It was such a pleasure to have you! Thanks for all the good work “reporting” on our wine series. As a result of the interest generated by your posts, I am offering the 5-part series again in April, starting April 1 at 7:15 p.m. and continuing for each Tuesday in April, 2014. I already have 3 people signed up (and paid early to get the discount). This makes a great Christmas gift. (Another win for the GMG blog).


    1. Kathleen that is just wonderful to hear about people signing up early for your fabulous course!!! What a great idea for a Christmas gift, too. I am going to miss coming to class tomorrow night!

      I’ll see you soon as I’ll be in for your recommendation for wines for our Thanksgiving dinner!!


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