Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) The Mohegan Sun WineFest 2011, held January 28-30, presents a large lineup of special events that will appeal to most wine and food enthusiasts. Events include:

Celebrity Chef Dine Around:  Food and wine enthusiasts will be served signature dishes by celebrity chefs, paired with wines. The evening also includes a champagne reception presented by Möet & Chandon and a silent auction to benefit the Connecticut Sports Foundation.  Signature dishes will be served by a variety of celebrity chefs and winemakers.  
Elite Cru Tasting: Wine lovers can get up-close-and-personal with some of the "best of the best" vintages from all over the world at the Elite Cru Tasting,  This event, in its second year, will offer select vintages from premium wineries and producers such as Antinori, Rubicon Estate, Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards, Cliff Lede Vineyards, BOYANCI, Duckhorn, Terrabianca and more. The tasting will also feature oysters and gourmet cheeses and gives guests a chance to talk one-on-one with winemakers for the duration of the affair.  
Whiskey & Bourbon Tasting:  This 3-hour tasting will give inquiring minds an opportunity to meet and enjoy the insight of Frederick "Fred" Booker Noe III, the great grandson of Jim Beam and a seventh generation distiller. Notable fine bourbon distilleries will also be on hand including Maker's Mark, Booker's, Knob Creek and Jim Beam. Dedicated space will also be provided for a premium cigar sampling hosted by AVO Cigars-Cigars in Perfect Harmony.  
Bubbles & Bon Bons:  Guests will mingle with Jacques Torres, one of the most highly regarded pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the world, and Mohegan Sun Executive Pastry Chef Lynn Mansel, the Guinness World Record Holder for the Largest Wedding Cake. Food Network Chef Robert Irvine will also be in attendance for the evening which will give foodies an opportunity to sample high-end champagnes, chocolates and gourmet cheeses in an intimate setting.    
Grand Tastings: Over 1,000 wines, spirits and beers will be on-hand for tasting as well as sample dishes from some of the area's finest restaurants. 

Tickets for these events can be purchased online at,, over the phone at 1-1-800-745-3000, or in-person at Mohegan Sun's Box Office.  I'll be there so hope to see some of you there too.

2)  Towne Stove and Spirits is introducing a new bar menu, their "Lobsters & More,” with dishes from land and sea, as well as revamped seasonal craft cocktails, created by Co-Culinary Directors Lydia Shire and Jasper White alongside Executive Chef Mario Capone.

Menu Includes:
--East Coast Oysters on the Halfshell  $8
--Pat Woodbury’s Littlenecks  $6
--Lobster Popovers $10
--Lobster Cocktail  $12
--Lobster Tails Grilled Over Olive Wood  $16
--Lobster Tempura  $17
--Lobster Melt with Fried Clams  $24
--Xtreme French Fried Potatoes  $6
--North Country Bacon Sandwich  $12-12-
--Mini Burger 70/30 Skirt & Shortrib with Chips  $11

Cocktails ($12)
--Rose of Corn (Milagro Silver Tequila, fresh corn, rosemary & lime muddled with agave nectar, served up)
--Armada (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lacuesta Vermouth & Red Zen Tea served up with cloved orange)
--Baja Breeze (Patron Reposado Tequila, pomegranate splash & house-made Kalimansi soda from Siphon) 
--Gypsy Dancer (Crop Cucumber Vodka, aloe & honey shaken, served up with honey crystal rim)
--Shiva’s Envy (Absolut Mango Vodka, muddled orange, lime & red jalapeno, iced)
--Peloponnese (Metaxa Seven Star, lychee syrup & ginger beer, iced)
--Apple Press (Farmer’s Gin, St. Germaine & apple cider served up with apple chip)
--Velka (Ultimat Vodka, Domaine de Canton & muddle ginger with cactus flower nectar, iced)

3) On January 26, Legal Sea Foods, welcomes Francisco Baettig, Chief Winemaker for Vina Errazuriz, to their Park Square Wine Cellar. Vina Errazuriz is located in Chile, and their grapes hail from the Aconcagua, Casablanca and Curico Valleys. Guests will enjoy a three-plus-course dinner with Baettig's personal selections from the vineyard.

Hors d'Oeuvres
Local Oysters with Sweet Apple Mignoette
Warm Polenta Rondelles an Porcini Mushrooms
Crabmat and Shiitake Mushroom Tartlet, Preserved Lemon Aioli
Paired with 2009 Vina Errazuriz "Estate" Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley

First Course
Diver Sea Scallops (Wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon with Curried Butternut Squash and Aged Balsamic Glaze) 
Paired with 2009 Vina Errazuriz "Estate" Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley

Second Course
Hickory Grilled Swordfish (Braised Jumbo Snow Crab Legs, Chanterelle Mushroom Ragout)
Paired with 2009 Vina Errazuriz "Wild Ferment" Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley

Third Course
Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb (Potatoes Au Gratin, Braised Collard Greens, Whole Grain Mustard Glaze)
Paired with 2006 Vina Errazuriz Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve, Aconcagua Valley  

Cheese Course
Taleggio, Morbier, Local Boggy Meadow Fiddlehead Tomme, and Smith's Aged Gouda with Black Mission Fig Compote
Paired with 2007 Vina Errazuriz "Kai", Aconcagua Valley

When: Wednesday,January 26 at 6:30pm 
Cost: $75 per person (excludes tax and gratuity) 
Reservations: Required so please call 617=530-9397 

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