Wandering Wino: Wandering Ciderer Edition

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Your Wandering Wino has just returned from a four-day eating and drinking trip across Virginia thanks to the generous largesse of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. (For more information on your Virginia vacation, visit Virginia.org or call 1-800-VISITVA. This has been an unpaid commercial announcement.)

But seriously, I returned with a ton of great information to share with y'all and some story ideas that you'll see in this space in the near future. In addition to visiting several amazing craft breweries and wineries, I am now full up with knowledge of and appreciation for hard ciders, so I'll warn you that I may become a little bit insufferable about the target. While Thomas Jefferson, or "Mr. Jefferson" as he is called by citizens of the Commonwealth, may be known as the father of American wine-making, he couldn't grow grapes worth squat.

What he did grow well was cider apples, which are sometimes really horrific to eat, but wonderful to press and ferment. Those sour crabapples are known within the industry as "spitters." Local liquor stores have a growing variety of ciders from across the country for you to try, but if you want a gateway into the world of hard apple juice, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar on West End has a nice opportunity coming up for you.

Now, Crispin Cider is from California, not Virginia, but they do make a fine product that can help to introduce you to the nuances of a new drink category for most folks. On Thursday, May 23, Joe Heron, the founder and president of Crispin CIder, will be hosting a five-course cider dinner starting at 6:30. He will discuss cider and assist in the pairing of some of his crisp and clean ciders with an appetizer, salad, two entrees and dessert prepared by Chef Jay Daigle and his kitchen staff at Fleming's. Check out the entire menu:

FIRST COURSE
Crispy Brie Bites
sweet & spicy pepper sauce

Prosciutto Gorgonzola Bruschetta
apple, truffle honey drizzle

Heirloom Flat Bread
heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil

Crispin Original Cider

SECOND COURSE
Roasted Golden Beet & Chevre Napoleon
arugula, roasted shallot vinaigrette

Crispin Brut

THIRD COURSE
Coriander Cumin Spiced Braised Short Ribs
jus, jicama slaw

Crispin Honey Crisp

FOURTH COURSE
Beef Tenderloin
edamame succotash, ginger-garlic butter

Crispin Bird on A Wire

DESSERT
Vanilla Pound Cake
cinnamon ice cream, almond lace tuile, caramel sauce

Crispin Fox Barrel Pacific Pear

The dinner is $60 per guest, so call (615) 342-0131 to reserve a spot at the table.

Rumours East is holding a nice educational class on the wines of France on Sunday, May 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. Their Wine 101 class focused on France will be accompanied by some small appetizers to complement the wines. If the syllabus below interests you, call (615) 262-5346 to reserve a place in the class, which costs $30per person.

Wine 101 ‘France’

A Basic introduction to understanding wines from one of the most famous and important countries in the world.

‘My goal is to help consumers better navigate through the ominous and oft
Intimidating world of wine…’

We will discuss….

· The most prestigious and popular wine regions in France
· How can I tell what grapes are in the bottle ?
· Does vintage matter? What is ‘terroir’?
· What are some of the best values, and much more.

Rumors East
1112 Woodland St.
Nashville, TN 37206

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