We went to the Drink Local Wine 2009 Conference at the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Dallas, Texas last weekend. It was informative as well as really fun!

Dave McIntyre, wine writer for the Washington Post, and Jeff Siegel, writer for the Wine Curmudgeon blog and other publications, co-founded DrinkLocalWine.com  in order to encourage people to explore the wines that are grown and made in their local area or the area that they are visiting. Well, you can just go to their web site and read all about why they started it.

On Friday night we made it to the winemakers’ dinner that was served by the chefs at the Cordon Blue Institute of Culinary Arts. It was a surprise that we even made it there in time since we were harvesting grapes at 4:30 am that morning and then had to drive all the way to Dallas. But it was well worth all the work to get there. The meal was exquisite right down to the last detail.

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And I mean – to the last detail. The evening began with a blind wine tasting accompanied by hors d’oeuvres. I did say “right down to the last detail,” didn’t I? The food was delicious – as well as beautiful.

The evening began with a blind wine tasting accompanied by hors d’oeuvres such as the one you saw above.

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I think the blind wine tasting was to encourage our eyes, noses, taste buds, and mouths to start working; and not just our eyes on the labels and our preconceived ideas.

Then we moved on to the dinner.

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First, pan seared scallops with English pea risotto and morel cream served with Brennan Vineyards Viognier 2008 (some of our grapes here) and Llano Estacado Vivianna 2008.

Each course followed as wonderfully as the last.

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Pan roasted Chicken breast over celeriac puree with tomato-fennel confit served with McPherson Cellars Rose’ of Grenache-Syrah 2008 and McPherson Cellars Grenache-Mouvedre 2007.

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The skilled chefs were in view which was quite fascinating to watch.

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More food, I think someone couldn’t decide on the main course, so we just had two.

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Grilled flatiron steak over pommes puree with Asparagus and demi-glace served with Flat Creek Estate Super Texas 2006 and Brennan Vineyards Syrah 2006.

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The dessert looked like a work of art.

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Chocolate terrine and delice amer with strawberry glace and creme anglaise served with Flat Creek Estate Muscato D’ Arancia 2008 and Llano Estacado Cellar Select Port

I did say “right down to the last detail,” didn’t I? The food was delicious – as well as beautiful. Sorry if I am repeating myself, but I am just trying to recover from the wonderful, bountiful meal.

Wow, I keep talking about the wonderful meal and I haven’t even told you about the conference. I will try really hard to get that post done tomorrow. Today My Honey was harvesting grapes by 5:3o am. I took children to 8 private music lessons (two lessons were canceled for today and two lessons were yesterday,) did errands, grocery shopping, getting a birthday gift for a grandchild, ordering wheat berries for the year. Hmmm, I am thankful I got this much posted. We’ll see if I can get the conference information put up tomorrow.

Blessings, Betty

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