Friday, May 7, 2010

Eat, Drink and Bid – Supporting the Newberg Education Foundation

This weekend I got to do two of my favorite things, eat and drink. Usually when I am drinking, it is not fine food and wines, but thanks to the annual Eat, Drink and Bid event at August Cellars, I was able to do both. This annual event is a fundraiser to support The Newberg Education Foundation featuring 22 wineries and 15 restaurants.

I must say I am very new to the wine world, so I went with the hopes to try all different types of wines and I certainly was not let down. At August Cellars, there are three levels of the winery and on each level there were different wineries and restaurants represented.

Our first two stops were Trisaetum and Dobbes Family Estate. I have sent guests to both of these wineries, so it was nice to finally taste the wine and put a name to a face. I then ventured over to Bon Appétit Catering and tried the seared ahi tuna with fresh orange on a won ton crisp. How was it? Well, let’s just say I went back for seconds. But, the second time around I took it in one bite instead going through the embarrassment of trying to be polite and take two bites.

Next, my boyfriend pointed out the sign for Sweetest Thing Cupcakes because he has heard me rant and rave about their tasty treats. Obviously, I insisted on him trying all three flavors – Peachy King, Strawberry Kiss (made special for this occasion) and Cowboy. I loved the Strawberry Kiss cupcake; it was filled with a chocolate ganache and topped with a sweet strawberry frosting. I request this become a permanent flavor at the bakery.

Of course I can go on and on about all the wineries and restaurants that were featured at the event, but there are just a few I tables I spent more time at than others. One was Anne Amie Winery. There were four wines featured – 2008 Cuvee A Amrita, 2008 Pinot Gris, 2006 Winemakers Selection Pinot Noir ( I learned that ’06 was a good year) and a pinot blanc. I am for sure a white wine kind of girl and I loved the pinot blanc! My boyfriend is more of a wine guy and likes reds, but even he liked their featured white wines. Their 2008 Pinot Gris was recently named the best pinot gris in Oregon by The New York Times.

Here are a few of our other favorites:

SubTerra - Try their version of mac n’ cheese! It was cavatappi pasta with candied bacon, oven-dried tomatoes and four different cheeses topped with sautéed arugula. Fantastic!

Honest Chocolates – A dark chocolate truffle with a caramel filling and topped with sea salt. The best truffle I have every tasted…honest. I stole my boyfriend’s sample because I needed seconds.

Fanucchi Oils – I think we were sampling savory olive oils and spreads for a good twenty minutes. These extra virgin olive oils are imported from Greece, Italy and the Mediterranean. We liked the basil garlic infused dipping oil and the Traditional Organic with a pepper finish the best.

Laurel Ridge Winery – The 2003 Pinot Noir Port was wonderful and went well with my raspberry dark chocolate from Honest Chocolates.

Golden Valley Brewery – So happy to see something familiar, a microbrew! Beer tasting is a little more normal to me, so I was happy to sample a refreshing blonde ale.

We had a blast and it was a great introduction to the Willamette Valley’s wine and cuisine. I highly recommend attending next year’s Educate Your Palate – Eat, Drink and Bid event!

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