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Old 08-20-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Food Ideas for winery party??

My parents are in the process of opening a small winery and I was talking to them about food for kind of soft opening, introduction, VIP party. They're looking at 50-70 people and the wines will mostly consist of Zinfandel and Riesling blends. It's Southern IL and the taste buds down there prefer sweeter wines, so they've basically got a dry,semi dry, semi sweet, and sweet wine made from the Zin and Riesling. They also made two wines with natural fruit juices, Riesling blended with blackberry and rasberry in a semi-sweet wine.
They were looking for foods that they'll be able to carry like meats, cheeses, and olives, but I think for a opening party they should step it up for the party and have a few hot appetizers or something more that helps to pair with the wines. It's only the two of them unless I get down to help them for the party, so simpler is better. The crowd mostly won't be sophisticated wine drinkers.

I'm thinking something like:

-Jerk Marinated Pork Skewer (sweeter and fruit blended wines in marinade)
-Meatballs in a red wine sauce (with their dry reserve Zin)
-Mini Beef Welligtons (if I can find a good price on tenderloin)
-Assorted Meats and Cheeses (it's easy, but expensive)
-Hummus, Spinach Dip,
-Melon with wrapped in procuitto or panchetta
-A Sangria made with a few wines

I'm not sure what other food to think of to go with the sweeter wines, everything I'm thinking of works best with dry wines, which aren't the big sellers down south.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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I can think of tons of pairings with dry whites, and with dry reds, gotta think on this one.

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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Maybe some kind of bbq appitizers, not sure exactly what that would be. Most bbq i do is really messy. Maybe change the meatballs to bbq?

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:12 PM   #4
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a bit off topic but is this winery near Carbondale? I went to school at SIU and used to go to all the wineries down in that area. Yes, you will most likely be dealing with college kids if this is the area your parents have their winery.

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Old 08-20-2010, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steinsato View Post
a bit off topic but is this winery near Carbondale? I went to school at SIU and used to go to all the wineries down in that area. Yes, you will most likely be dealing with college kids if this is the area your parents have their winery.
Yeah, they're right in the wine trail area, closer to the Anna/Cobden area. My parents both went to SIU, and so did I, my brother and my wife. Not sure when you went there, but wineries are just popping up there like crazy. I graduated around '99 and at the time there were basically 4-5, and now they're are around 20 I think. Sounds like the Strip is kind of dwindling down and more people are going out to the bigger wineries instead of bar hopping.
My parents are looking for more of the faculty, grad students, and local professionals for their market.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:28 PM   #6
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stuffed mushrooms
smoked beef tenderloin slices

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Old 08-20-2010, 07:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hophead75 View Post
Not sure when you went there, but wineries are just popping up there like crazy. .
I graduated in 2002 and even then there weren't more than 6 I'd say. It was always fun to do "the wine trail" especially when one of the wineries would host food and music on the weekends. What is your parent's winery called?

I recall one of the wineries always having some cajun type food catered in when I would go. Shrimp and Crablegs type stuff. Although in southern IL that wouldn't exactly be fresh either.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:42 AM   #8
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Possibly carpacio with capers instead of the costly (and time consuming) mini beef wellingtons, maybe a cheese fondue with a good crusty bread for dipping, mushroom or eggplant pate, cheese board with pears, apples and grapes. Mini quiches (frozen).

Sounds like a good time! Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:24 AM   #9
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How about smoked and sliced duck breast, make a glaze with the sweet red wine reduction, some garlic, black peppercorns and a sprig or two of fresh thyme or rosemary.

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Old 08-22-2010, 06:30 AM   #10
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+1 for the cheese fondu, almost limitless possibilities for dippers like apples, fresh veggies, breads,

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