Wine & Beer Dinner on The Dock…at Fields Pond…

I have been hosting Wine Dinners, and Beer Dinners, for more than 10 years…Most of them have been at local restaurants,bistros and pubs…and some have been private parties like this one…This was my first opportunity to combine the two…a Wine and Beer Dinner with the same menu… I really look forward to this dinner every summer. Instead of going out to dinner, Sean and Tonya (owners of The Dock) have celebrated their last 3 wedding anniversaries by preparing dinner for their close friends. I feel very fortunate to be part of it…The first two years were straight up Wine Dinners, but it became apparent that some of “the men” weren’t really “that into the wine”, so Tonya and Sean asked if we could do wine and beer… So we did…We started the evening Goat Cheese wrapped Grapes rolled in finely chopped Almonds and Massimo’s Breads with Olive Oil…the wine… 2010 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica…the beer…Peak Organic Fresh Cut Dry Hopped Pilsner…even though they don’t taste anything alike, I chose the wine and beer for the same reasons. The Verdicchio is a flavorful, dry white wine that could stand up to the almonds and goat cheese with enough acidity to cut through the olive oil and clean the goat cheese off your tongue…the Fresh Cut equally flavorful with just enough hops to cleanse the palate as well…next we had a mixed green salad dressed with a maple vinaigrette and topped with Prosciutto wrapped Scallops…the wine…2013 Tegernseerhof Zweigelt Rose’…the beer Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Citra Dog American IPA…the Zweigelt Rose’ has rich fruit to offset the bitterness of the greens and the saltiness of the prosciutto…and the crisp acidity to balance the sweetness of the scallops and the maple dressing…the Citra Dog is malty enough to balance the greens and prosciutto…and as the name suggests…the Citra Hops give the beer a citrus character that balances out the sweet of the scallops and the maple dressing…the main course…grilled pineapple and pulled pork sandwiches with grilled vegetables on Massimo’s Rosettes…the wine…2012 Monte Del Fra’ Bardolino…the beer…Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra…the Bardolino has ripe cherry fruit that I really liked with the pork, and just a hint of tartness on the finish that played off the sweetness of the grilled peppers, onions,baby carrots and pineapple…The Little Sumpin Extra is class all by itself…This big malty Imperial IPA made with belgian yeast and a little wheat is meal in itself… I love the beer and really wanted to show it off… I was lucky that it went with this course so well…sometimes…that’s how it happens…Dessert…absolutely the best cheesecake I’ve ever had…for those of you who know me…you know I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I am not a big dessert eater…yes I have some at every event that I do, and there have been many delicious ones…but a rarely order,or eat dessert at any other time…but Tonya made a Humbolt Fog Cheesecake that was amazing…the perfect balance between savory and sweet…the “tangy” quality of Humbolt Fog was the dominant flavor…so I choose some slightly sweet things to pair with it…the wine Torley Gala Sec from Hungary…an off dry sparkling wine made with the historic Tokay grape…the bubbles tickled that cheese right off your tongue and made you want another bite…the beer…North Coast Brewing’s Brother Thelonious…is a Belgian Style Abbey ale with a hint of sweet in the middle and a little heat on the finish to cleanse your palate…you just can’t beat a wonderful dinner, on the dock, with friends while watching the bald eagle catch fish a few feet away…can’t wait until next year!