Wine Tasting with Food Network Executive Chef Rob Bleifer
On my way home, I stopped at Valley Fine Wine & Spirits in Simsbury because I had seen they were having a wine tasting with a Food Network celebrity. I love watching the Food Network channel.
The tasting featured Entwine wines and was being hosted by Food Network’s Executive Chef Rob Bleifer. Chef Bleifer wears many hats at Food Network. He oversees the team that takes care of the food needs for about 15 shows, caters events, food styles for photo shoots, develops recipes for Food Network kitchens and Food Network Magazine, picks the “Chopped” mystery basket ingredients and many other projects. He was also part of the blending team that developed the wine. Blending wine means tasting and blending lots of wines with the goal of producing new wine. Many wineries do this to enhance and polish the wines before bottling it.
Entwine wines is a collaborative effort by Wente Vineyards (one of Americas oldest wineries) and Food Network. It’s a line of “every day drinking wines.” About three years ago, they debuted four wines in the line – a cabernet sauvignon, a chardonnay, a merlot and a pinot grigio.
At the tasting, all four of the wines were available to sample and were paired with simple food items that best bring out the wine’s flavors. The cabernet sauvignon was paired with blue cheese to bring out its rich and fruity flavors. The chardonnay was paired with potato chips to bring out its hint of apple. The merlot was paired with Soppressata because the toasty cherry flavor aligns well with the spicy Italian salami. The pino grigio was paired with chunks of Grana Padano cheese because the nice acidity rounds out the flavors of the Parmesan. I sampled the pino grigio and the merlot with their accompanying food items. I enjoyed both.
Chef Bleifer was available to answer any questions about the wines, sign a bottle of wine or snap a quick photo, which I did.
He and I also chatted about several of the Food Network celebrity chefs (Bobby Flay, Giada DeLaurentiis, Ina Garten and Ree Drummond) and what it’s like to work with them. It was an interesting conversation.
This was a quick and fun stop on my way home. A very cool way to end the week!
Have you tried any of the Entwine brand wines?
Have you ever been to a wine tasting at a liquor store?