Noshing on the Leelanau Peninsula

On the weekend after next, the annual Toast the Season event will get under way on the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan.

Toast the Season runs over two weekends—November 3-4 and 10-11—giving wine lovers two opportunities to sample the wares of 20 wineries.

Food pairings will be featured at the wineries, and attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass, a holiday ornament from the local vintners’ association and a gift bag (the contents of which presently remains a closely guarded secret—but it should be good stuff!).

Here’s a look at some of the food-and-wine pairings announced thus far…

  • 2011 Bel Lago Auxerrois with light and lemony shortbread cookies.
  • Black Star Farms Red House Red with pork and lamb cassoulet—a slow-simmered mix of beans, pork, lamb and pancetta.
  • 2011 Blustone Winery Riesling with a caramelized onion and apple tart.
  • Brengman Brothers Runaway Hen White Late Harvest and Rosso Red blend with cheese carmandy raclette and Moody Blue Cheese.
  • 2011 Chateau Fontaine Pinot Noir with grapevine-grilled pork loin on homemade rosemary sea salt focaccia, topped with cherry apple chutney.
  • Cherry Republic Cherry Red with BBQ cocktail meatballs and holiday cheese spread.
  • 2011 Ciccone Winery Pinot Noir with Italian bruschetta with ripe tomatoes, fresh garden basil and garlic, served on a toasted Italian baguette.
  • Forty-Five North Cherry Dessert or Hard Chapple with phyllo bites topped with blue cheese and dried cherries, sprinkled with candied pecans.
  • Gill’s Pier semi-sweet Vignole/Riesling blend with slow-roasted pulled pork tenderloin, potatoes and peppers. (A different pairing will be featured on the second weekend.)
  • Good Neighbor Gewurztraminer with a spicy Asian noodle dish.
  • L. Mawby Blanc de Noir with local apple slices and Black Diamond cheddar.
  • Leelanau Cellars Late Harvest Riesling with a sweet potato soup.
  • Silver Leaf Fling Rose with beer-braised Swedish meatballs in Hunter sour cream sauce.
  • Tandem Ciders Smackintosh Cider with raclette and roasted delicata squash crepes.
  • Verterra Chaos Red or Unoaked Chardonnay with local smoked whitefish chowder with new potatoes. (A different pairing will be featured on the second weekend.)
  • 2011 Willow Pinot Gris with French vanilla pumpkin squares with a butterscotch fondue.

The cost is $50 per person or $75 for couples, and up to eight wineries may be visited on each day of the selected weekend. For further information on Toast the Season, or to order tickets, click here.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes, Our Wine Travel Log
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