Thursday, September 14, 2023

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I'm back again with a new edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food and drink events. I hope everyone dines out safely, tips well and are nice to their servers.
1) On Wednesday, September 20, at 6:30pm, Coach Grill, in Wayland, will welcome Chris Ireland, founder of Ireland Family Wines, for a night of cuisine and wine. Located in Russian River Valley in the heart of Sonoma County, Ireland Family Wines was founded with a vision to produce wine that embodies the flavor of a place in time. Ireland was inspired to open the winery after a 1989 trip to explore Napa Valley and Sonoma, spending years studying and honing his viticulture craft before Ireland Family Wine’s first harvesting of a pinot noir, a process that began in 2020.

Ireland will be joined by Coach Grill’s executive chef, Carlos Martinez, to guide gourmands through a culinary adventure of Ireland wines curated to complement each course. During the reception, guests will be presented with a chef’s selection of hors d’oeuvres with the Works & Days Sonoma chardonnay. For the first course, alternate sips of the Russian River pinot noir with Chef Martinez’s lobster bisque. The entrée is a seared sirloin with smashed fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus paired with the Coursey Graves syrah hailing from Bennett Valley. To end the evening on a sweet note, there is a chocolate mousse cake with fresh berries and crème anglaise alongside the Napa Coursey Graves cabernet sauvignon.

Tickets cost $125 per person (does not include tax or gratuity). This event is reserved for ages 21+ with proper ID. Reservations required in advance via Tock.

2) In honor of the late, great Jimmy Buffet, Loretta's Last Call will be hosting a special Jimmy Buffet Tribute Brunch on Saturday, September 16th. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Loretta's will transport guests to Margartivaille with drink specials, live music covering Jimmy Buffet's greatest hits, and its full brunch menu available for a la carte purchase. For more information, or to make reservations, please visit

3) Thursday, September 21 is International Plavac Mali Day! The Croatian Wine Alliance, a group of global teams promoting Croatian wines, created the first International Plavac Mali Day in 2020. This collaboration is a public and private partnership among organizations from the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and Croatia – all dedicated to telling the many stories of this indigenous and predominant Croatian red variety. 

Plavac Mali is a descendant of Zinfandel (aka Tribidrag or Crljenak kaštelanski) creating a natural hybrid with another indigenous variety, Dobričić. Plavac Mali produces several styles of wines, from medium-bodied and easy-drinking, to elegant and robust wines. The aromas in Plavac mali are predominantly dark berries and Mediterranean herbs with expressive tannins, and mineral on the palate. Plavac Mali means ‘little blue’, referring to its appearance, small and dark blue berries. I've tasted many delicious Plavac Mali wines, and it's definitely a grape you should know more about.

You can celebrate International Plavac Mali Day in many different wines, such as:  
  • Create your own party, wine pairings, or educational events – in person or virtually
  • Follow and Share posts about Plavac Mali’s adventures on
  • Post your own content, tag @internationalplavacmaliday and hashtag #plavacmali and #internationalplavacmaliday
  • Write and share articles about #plavacmali
  • Follow @croatianpremiumwine on IG for the live event on September 21 and get a glass of Plavac Mali to join them live for a virtual Plavac Mali tasting. 
Croatian Premium Wine Imports is providing a 20% discount off their Top Ten Plavac Mali wines so you can get some wine to celebrate this holiday. 

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