Looking for Something to “Wine” About?

Well, here’s some interesting wine news from the hospitality desk:  In a recent survey about global wine and travel trends conducted by market research firm StudyLogic, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts discovered that after a long day, one out of every two people would reach for a glass of wine (48%) rather than their smartphone/tablet (15%) or – get ready for this one – even their spouse (15%).  Yes, you read that correctly.  Having a chat with your spouse was given the same percentage ranking of importance (or lack thereof) as reaching for your electronic device, aka crack cocaine of personal choice. [see previous Hive posting RE more on this phenom at Welcome to the Experience Economy]

Further, and perhaps even more surprising, were that survey results also showed 23% of the respondents would be willing to give up sex for a week in return for a premium highly rated glass of wine.  (Hey, I’m just reporting the facts here.  Please don’t diss the messenger.)

So what does that mean to you and I? In broader terms, a lot of us like wine, oh yeah, and we like it real good.

This was reinforced to me in a recent outing, appropriately labeled a Vine and Dine Event, that I was happy to participate in at the Everglades Restaurant, Rosen Centre Hotel.  On this particular night, the focus was cooking with wine wherein each of the five overindulgent gourmet courses were prepared-and-paired with an excellent wine selection. (Reminds me of a kitchen towel I have that reads, “I cook with wine.  Sometimes I even add it to the recipe” except in this case it’s the real deal.) Making this even more enjoyable was that each course received a little educational introduction by the attending winery representative as well as some kitchen ‘dishing’ from Chef Fred Vlachos.  That’s right – first a little education, then a sip or two, then the individual courses served up in proper gourmet presentation style followed by, well, more than a few little sips. Ahhh. Here’s the savory pictorial summary:

A preview at entrance of the goodness still to come.
A preview at entrance of the goodness still to come.
For openers, a poached foie gras with fig compote & raspberries
Course II – Cioppino served with a Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2012 from Sonoma. Exactly what you would have chosen, right?
The main event - grilled lamb chop with tomato mist jam, polenta & asparagus complemented with Pinot Noir sauce and served with a 2012 Foley Johnson Pinot Noir
The main event – grilled lamb chop with tomato mist jam, polenta & asparagus complemented with Pinot Noir sauce and served with a 2012 Foley Johnson Pinot Noir

And for the grand finale – our fifth and final course – we were served Pear Belle Helene (poached pear balls) drizzled with chocolate sauce and a side of a 2012 Elysium California Black Muscat.  It looked something like this, only better because my camera will never do justice on desserts.  Sayin’ :

Pear Belle Helene
Pear Belle Helene

Now I don’t know about you but this entire menu was ‘just like I make at home’ – only NOT!  This was some seriously delicious gourmet food along with the interesting wine pairings which is exactly the point of these very special events.  But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself at any number of upcoming Vine and Dine options offered at a variety of Rosen Resorts. The next one is already scheduled for May 22 and is being called, “Champagne Wishes and a Mycologist’s Dream”. (Feel free to look that one up, I know I had to.  The ‘mycologist’ part, not the champagne. . .and hint-hint, this is for mushroom enthusiasts which many consider to be the meat of the vegetable world.  You’re welcome for that free cultural and culinary introduction.) Price is $75.00 per person plus tax and service charge.  Hotel valet parking included.

And I’d also like to add now that we’re certain about our global love of wine in relation to travel it seems only right to experience this excellent epicurean option and dining extravaganza at an area hotel as opposed to just any old restaurant that might offer a similar program.  This is because another finding in that survey – last statistic, I promise – was that nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) claim that they are more adventurous in trying new wines while on the road I know, you’re gob-smacked, right?

[Also worth noting is that most of the stand alone restaurants that offer wine pairing dinners are normally much more expensive, so I thought you’d appreciate my mentioning same.]

FULL DISCLOSURE:  Regarding my descriptions, admittedly, things got a little fuzzy after the second course, which by the way was actually the third wine presentation since we also had a wine reception prior to dinner. . .but, well, who was counting glasses and refills, right?  Anyway, our event was made even more memorable by the lovely printed menus at each place setting with detailed information.  What, like you thought I was a really talented writer with total memory recall?  Not by a longshot, especially with all that wine flowing!    

I dare you to have total recall if all these wine glasses were filled and then emptied by you!
I dare you to have total recall if all these wine glasses were filled and then emptied by you!

Chin-chin, dear readers!

 

 

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Just your average middle age gal trying to deal with career/life/family changes and issues while studying people and places, one lobby bar at a time.

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