Wine & Veggies? Yes!
Put together a group of food & wine bloggers, a fun bistro/wine shop, and a vegetarian challenge and you have a guaranteed evening of fun!
The Fortify! Minnesota food bloggers group was the common link between the people in this fun evening. Nicole Navratil, Nick Kolnik, and Allison Wagner organized the evening and posted an invitation on the Fortify! Facebook page. Vegetarian dishes and wine pairings was something new for me, so Julie & I signed up.
We’re big fans of Pairings Food & Wine in Minnetonka and the evening was a perfect match for them. Pairings is a two-sided business – a bistro on the west side and a nice wine shop on the east. In the middle, they have a great room for a group of 10-15 people. The room can be reserved for free with a very reasonable minimum spend on the wine & food. Our evening was organized based on the fall food menu and wines available in the wine shop. Nicole, Nick, and Allison did a great job of keeping within a budget that made the evening educational, fun, and inexpensive. Let’s get on to the veggie course and the wine pairings!
Harvest Quinoa Salad and Spinach Salad with Pfeffingen Dry Riesling
Harvest Quinoa Salad
Quinoa (keen-wah) with mixed greens, butternut squash, dried cherries, toasted pumpkin seeds and maple vinaigrette.
Local goat cheese, almonds, strawberries, red onion, and poppy seed dressing.
The Quinoa salad (Julie’s favorite) was unique and had a number of surprises for salad; the butternut squash and the quinoa in the salad was an unexpected treat. Likewise, the spinach salad was very nice and a bit more familiar. The Pfeffingen Dry Riesling was very nice: lean, dry, crisp and a wonderful light beginning to the dinner.
Pumpkin & Squash Ravioli & Zestos Malvar and Haden Fig Pinot Noir
Pumpkin & Squash Ravioli
With a creamy pumpkin seed pesto and crispy leeks
Being new to the group, I brought an extra bottle of wine as a treat – the Haden Fig Pinot Noir. We had fun comparing the two wines when tasted with the ravioli. Each one was nice in a different way. The Zestos Malvar was nice and crisp and really offset the creaminess of the ravioli. The Haden Fig Pinot Noir really accentuated the earthy aspects of the pumpkin & squash in the ravioli.
Fig Pizza & Tres Picos Borsau Garnacha
Figs, blue cheese, caramelized onion and arugula with a balsamic glaze
The Garnacha was pretty ripe, which isn’t usually my favorite. However, when paired with the rich figs and blue cheese in the pizza it seemed just right.
For most of the evening, the conversation was really buzzing, sometimes you could hardly hear yourself think! However, with a group of bloggers, there will also be the moments when everyone is tweeting, posting, or otherwise connected.
Thanks to Nicholas Kolnik, Nicole Navratil, and Allison Wagner for organizing the event, and thanks to Pairings Food & Wine for being such wonderful hosts!
Nicole Navratil’s blog is Pepperoni is not a Vegetable
Nicholas Kolnik tweets at @NicholasKolnik
Allison Wagner’s blog is The Savvy Lush
Amanda Paa’s blog is Healthy Life, Happy Cook
Mellissa Solin’s blog is A Fit and Spicy Life