Amerigo’s “Farmer’s Market Dinner” is Proof Nashville is a Wine and Foodie Destination!

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized |

“Southern Charm” is presented in a whole new dimension at Amerigo’s wine dinners in Nashville’s trendy West End, especially with those like Carolynn Shanks in attendance.     A Research Assistant at nearby Vanderbilt University, Shanks had just returned from a trip to the Napa Valley, sampling the finest that the legendary wine country of Northern California has to offer.  With an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from Bear Creek Farm, Delvin Farms, Franklin Farmers Market, and Noble Springs Farm among other local venues, Chef Steven Robilio creates a monthly tasting experience for the “Farmer’s Market Dinner” at Amerigo locations in Nashville and Brentwood that leave no reason for any looking to sample the best in food and wine pairings to head out west.     This is certainly true with Nashville now becoming more a “foodie” destination, with the wine dinners at Amerigo in Nashville and Brentwood at the vanguard! A major factor contributing to that is the availability of fresh ingredients of a high quality nearby.  For each “Farmer’s Market Dinner,” Chef Robilio scours the local stalls and stands, in a quest for what is at peak flavor.  Based on the reaction of the sold-out event, he succeeded in that endeavor.  Accenting it was the de facto sommelier and Assistant Manager, Jackson Gilstrap, who paired off each course masterfully with a beverage that brought out the full range of flavors and accents.  Together they presented each course and pairing to Shanks and those others fortunate enough to book ahead for a reservation.     Playing to a packed house, this Nashville scene culinary tour de force started with a Miller’s Mule and BLT’s.  It was certainly not your mother’s BLT (as seen below).  And it was most definitely not your father’s Miller from a can, either.     The “T” was a fried green tomato unlike any other ever tasted before.  Accompanied by bacon, leek, scallop, and romesco, it was a worthy sequel to the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  Why the scallop?  Easy enough: “Because I like them,” declared Chef Robilio as he introduced the dish. Gilstrap repped the hometown beverage industry with his Miller’s Mule, too. The Miller’s Mule was perfected utilizing products indigenous to Nashville.  Gilstrap proudly showed these to Shanks below, detailing the genesis of each item in the well-stocked, wine and spirits cabinet of Amerigo.  This is a matter of great pride to Gilstrap as he stated the Amerigo “dogma” to be, “…stay away from incapita beverage selections.  We offer a broad range to be able to serve those looking for a $7 glass of wine at Amerigo to bottles for close to $200 each.”     One would certainly expect an anticipated, logical progression...

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From Maine to Miami, the Atlantic Coast Wine Trail Beckons!

Posted by on Dec 30, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Coastlines, by their very nature are alluring. Carving out a wine trail down a coastline is a thing of beauty.  Doing it on the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Miami is a classic labor of love.  In the middle of winter there is no better place to start than the middle of the coastline in South Carolina. The Carolina coastline is dotted by many beautiful cities such as New Bern, Wilmington, and Charleston that call out to a broad, diverse group. Charleston is considered to be one of the great “foodie” capitals, the subject of previous pieces on this site.  Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head, while not having the same appeal as  Charleston, have much to offer, too. South Carolina natives such as Lindsay and Melissa are part of the draw!     Melissa and Lindsay were outside of Myrtle Beach.  The day was definitely not beach weather, by any stretch of the imagination.  But it was perfect for any number of wines.  And while there was no snow on the ground, the spirit of the season did beckon!     What is also calling out is the full calendar wine events for 2015 for the Carolina Coast. The Parsons Table is highly rated by Wine Spectator.  The Brentwood Inn has a full array of monthly wine dinners for 2015, which will be covered by this site.  Previous ones were covered in Beaufort, as just one example, a bit further down the coast. When the weather gets warmer, we will work our way from Annapolis (again) on up to Maine, leaving behind a swath of empty wine bottles and taking with us a greater appreciation for the wine community along the Atlantic Coast! So don’t keep Melissa and Lindsay waiting! If you are the type that needs a special invitation, then March 2015 starts off with the following events: *Hilton Head Wine Festival; *the BB&T Charleston Wine Festival; and *the Wilmington Wine and Food Festival.  ...

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The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Beckons with Great Chambourcin at Clover HIll Vineyards & Winery!

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail in Pennsylvania is home to nine wineries and vineyards that are family-owned.  Overall, the wines have won 10 Governor’s Cups and countless other awards.  The Chambourcin is a signature grape, as Brand Ambassador Amanda Dissinger can testify to after enjoying a tasting at the Clover Hill Vineyard and Wineries.     Located  an easy drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other areas, Clover Hill Vineyards and Winery has a delightful tasting room that is open seven days with both indoor and outdoor seating.     Surrounding the tasting rooms are vineyards that produce 75,000 gallons of wine a year.     The wines at Clover Hill are equal to the delightful setting.  The crowd was certainly evidence to the outstanding products from Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery on a delightful weekend afternoon. Many of the labels have done well in local competitions, and based on the reaction of those tasting, should continue to do so in the future!   For day tripping, the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail should definitely be plugged into the GPS.   Make sure Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery is part of the program.  Be sure to swing by and toast the Chambourcin with Amanda!      ...

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A Dry White Makes Darien even more Alluring

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Darien, Georgia is one of those lovely coastal Southern towns that brings so much charm to the region.  Making the scenery even more compelling was local model Clarissa Wahler strolling the cobblestone streets of its historic downtown with a glass of Pinot Grigio from the Waterfront Wine and Gourmet Shop, a perfect choice for enjoying the delights of a brilliant summer afternoon on the water in a charming coastal setting.       Located in the historic district of downtown Darien, the Waterfront Wine and Gourmet offers much to those making their way or living the joys of waterfront life in Darien.     It hosts monthly wine tastings that are well worth the trip.  The Waterfront Wine & Gourmet Shop also works with Captain Phillip for the Darien River Wine and Eco Cruise: an event not to be missed for those who seek to embrace the coastal beauty of Georgia!  The cruise is an unbeatable combination for those who love fine wine and inspiring scenery!       The beauty of the Darien waterfront was enhanced with Ms. Waher taking in the vista:     As were the streets of downtown Darien with Spanish Moss hanging overhead and palm trees abounding:       Who could resist an establishment with this beckoning at its entrance?         Like Savannah, Charleston, Beaufort, and other Southern cities on the coast, Darien makes the passage along the Atlantic Seaboard well worth the journey.  As other posts of Wine & Spirits Watch have detailed, there is a vibrant fine wine and dining scene across America. Darien adds to that list of those to put into the GPS as an ever-alluring welcoming committee awaits, glass in hand!  ...

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Wine and Waterfront is Unbeatable Combination for Annapolis

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Wine and its waterfront setting make a trip to Annapolis, Maryland a breathtaking experience.       Flying into Annapolis from Pittsburgh, it appears as small little islands surrounded by water as the plane descends. There are bridges, railroad tracks, buildings, and a panoramic view of the Chesapeake Bay. It is a beautiful view, leading up in a fitting manner to the charm and quaintness that awaits on the cobblestone streets of the city first settled in  1649 that later served as a temporary capital of the United States.     Traveling into the city, I got the chance to see the state house, as Annapolis is the capital of Maryland; as well as, the 18th century colonial-era buildings. The town was very clean, peaceful, fun and the environment was friendly. Many individuals even brought pets near the Market Store. You also can see the passion individuals had for sailing; as well as, for the City and its enchanting docks.   The Chesapeake Bay shoreline enhances the charm and appeal of Annapolis. Walking the docks, I felt the current of the tides from the wind. So many sail boats were lined up against the dock, with ducks and geese on top of the boats and throughout the air, too. The Race across America organization, was located next to the City dock. Race across America is a platform, which raises money for charitable causes. It contains 60-120 mile rides and 200-400 mile bicycle races. A local radio station and events was also near this organization.  Thirsty from all of the walking, I headed of to the Federal House Bar and Grille, in the historic district.   The Federal House Bar and Grille is located on 22 Market Space, across the street from the Market.   The Federal House Bar and Grille has over 24 wines. The Oyster Bay Sauvignon Bay- New Zealand White wine proved to be the right choice.  On the menu the wine was described as Crisp, Lively and Tropical.       It proved to be that and more, as the wine was refreshing and delicious.     The Oyster Bay white paired very well with the dishes without leaving an aftertaste.  The Federal House Crab Dip was made with back fin crab, premium cheese, salsa and spices. The dip was served with plain and colored tortilla chips. The Crab-Stuffed Flounder. The dish was an eight-ounce fillet stuffed with over three ounces of imperial crab meat. It was served with rice pilaf and broccoli. I added some of the crab dip to the Crab-Stuffed Flounder and it was the best meal I ever ate.   After eating, we also checked out Red Red Wine Bar, which contained...

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