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Virtual Tasting * Spreads to Pair

I have several folks in my sphere in healthcare and public health that are telling us to settle in. That this virus is not going anywhere for at least a year, but if the ‘rona is going to continue to be in our lives so that we need to mask and distance for a year, we will definitely need more wine, and I believe you will as well. That is why I am committed to finding more wineries to partner with us and do more virtual tastings. And that is why I am reaching out to encourage you to participate.

virtual wine tasting


Our first Virtual Tasting had 23 different login screens with a total of 70 people on the Zoom.

I feared that a virtual tasting would be dull if it is basically a lecture. I wanted it to be interactive, but I also wanted to make sure that everyone could hear me as I talked about each wine. So I had Gary alongside to manage the muting and unmuting of folks as I fielded questions, asked for comments, and interacted with each group. We also encouraged tasters to include their “quaran-team” and share the wine with other wine enthusiasts to make it more fun for them. Thus each screen was it’s own separate party that had anywhere from 2 to 6 folks enjoying the wines and the pairing.  To make it easier, we suggested that everyone mirror the Zoom onto their smart TV or device. It makes for a larger screen and much easier to hear and see what is happening.

These are great buying opportunities of wines that are typically only available in the state where they are made. Join us and join the fun.

Virtual Tasting Sign up

Don’t miss the next one and sign up now. Be sure to check the box for Online Virtual Tastings so that you get proper notifications.

Homestead Favorites: Cherry Pepper Jelly

At the Acquiesce Winery virtual tasting, each wine was paired with a condiment and a cheese. The spreads came in the wine tasting kit. The taster supplied the baguette or cracker and the recommended cheese. The jelly paired with the Rosé of Grenache is the Cherry Pepper Jelly on a baguette or cracker with cream cheese. It is a wonderful pairing. The bite of heat is thoroughly washed away with a sip of this rosé.

On the night of the tasting, I kicked it up a notch and used La Tur, a cheese that my friend Steven introduced to me. La Tur is a soft-ripened cheese made from a blend of sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s milk. It is produced by Caseficio dell’Alta Langa in the Alta Lange region of Italy. The cylinder-shaped cheese is a light straw yellow color with an edible soft and wrinkled rind. It is more flavorful than cream cheese and truly paired beautifully with the Cherry Pepper Jelly. I bought it ($18) at goat.sheep.cow on Church St.virtually speaking

This jelly and its two sister products are hard to get because a small family-run farm makes them near Lodi, California. Suffice it to say that the internet is a technical challenge for these folks, so call them because Charlyn is super sweet. I wanted just a jar or two of each of the three. That is when Charlyn told me that the shipping is the same if you buy one jar or twelve.  So I ordered twelve.  virtual wine tasting

So I bought some of each of the three spreads.

The Cherry Jelly and the Cherry Chutney were not part of the tasting, but I added to my order so I could try them all. (Yes, I love cherries)

The Cherry Jelly is lightly sweet and makes a perfect pairing with blue cheese. It would also do well on toast or to make a cherry vinaigrette. The Cherry Chutney is crazy delicious and is spicy with just a little heat that hits you on the back end. This would be incredible with pork, ham, or chicken.  You could swap out the pepper jelly for the chutney also with a soft cheese like brie or the La Tur above.

In Charleston, reach out to me, I have several jars that I can sell you for the same amount that I paid.  Send me an email or text.  They are $9.00 a jar if you pick up at the house.

Or give Charlyn at Homestead Favorites, a call at 209-931-0413 to order some for yourself.  Just remember that shipping is $15.00

The French Farm: Olives, Mango, and Violets

The other three spreads that we had that evening were all from the online store, The French Farm. Home to all sorts of French gastronomic delights, kitchen accessories, and specialty goods (and more sardines than I ever imagined). I get lost on this website every time I log on. And oo la la, the money I could spend. So I am sure to check myself before I start wandering on the site and end up with a cart full of goodies.

the french farm

The Confit of Violet is so delicate, but it was magic with the tart soft goat cheese on a cracker. It also transformed the Grenache Blanc and truly brought out layer after layer of flavors.

The Mango Chutney, in a word, is spectacular. The spice in the chutney and the buttery texture of the Manchego was on point.  And with the floral notes in the Viognier created the perfect bite.

The Green Olive Spread on a slice of baguette paired with the crisp acidity of the Picpoul Blanc… It does not get any better.

To get yours and more, you can order direct from The French Farm website.

That is all for now.


Rick & Gary


One Comment

  1. Jenn Workman

    Oh I just cannot wait until the next virtual tasting! That was the most fun I have had in months:) And I agree with you about the Confit of Violet and the Mango Chutney- YUM. I have not opened the green olive spread yet but I’m excited to try it.

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