Our group normally consists of 8 couples…but in this instance 3 of the couples were traveling. In support of their daughter, Martha and Irv had volunteered to help out at the local high school hot dog and snack stand for the Friday night football game. (This is A Very Big Deal here in East Tennessee!)
So…there were just 4 couples plus Dawn Marie who’d flown in from San Francisco to spend a few days with us before heading home to Miami.
The fact is that our wine tasting parties have turned into a social gathering centered on conversation, laughs, a significant food event…and, Oh Yes! We do eventually taste a bit of wine!
South American food… What to do? Well, just try finding South American food in East Tennessee! Other than a Brazilian Steakhouse, one of those that keeps on bringing the meat until you explode, we couldn’t find anything resembling the appropriate cuisine to offer to our guests.
Beef is big in South America…with European influences as well. The local Fresh Market provided this platter of South American…errr, thin sliced Italian Roast Beef. We supported this platter of goodness with focaccia buns and au jus for dipping.
You might have noted the heirloom tomatoes next to the platter of meat… We had to offer something healthy to eat. Upon arrival from the west coast, Dawn Marie put together a salad with 3 different types of lettuce, sliced radishes and baby cucumbers. The tomatoes and some seasoned croutons rounded out this offering with a choice of salad dressings.
My research revealed that one item that the local Brazilian Steakhouse serves that is a bit unique is Linquica Sausage…originally a Portuguese specialty. So, I went on line and found these great little Linquica Links…and I had them shipped to us from North Dartmouth Massachusetts. FYI, the supplier was Gaspar’s Sausage, a Portuguese family operation since 1923. (www.gasparssausage.com) Two different mustards plus Tabasco and Famous Dave’s Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce were available for dipping…
Not enough protein for you?? Laurie also provided a bevy of deviled eggs, half of them topped with pickled jalapeno peppers that a friend and neighbor had given us. The deviled eggs with the peppers were a big winner!
Ginny brought these mini-double baked stuffed potatoes as an appetizer. They were half eaten before we got around to taking a photo! Just great little tastes of potato, cheese and bacon!
In addition to the salad and deviled eggs, there were a few other things that we missed taking photos of… Holly brought a big hot server full of great tasting cheesy potatoes to go with the roast beef and buns. Nuts, chocolates and a snack mix were scattered around the kitchen, dining and family room… We didn’t want anyone to go hungry!
Oh yes… I almost forgot the wine. There were 4 bottles of wine for use to taste and comment on…Chilean and Argentinian. There were minimal comments on the wines, but I think we all agreed that the wine from the Alamos vineyard was the best, although they were all very nice.
We’d begun the evening with a couple of house wines when everyone arrived, except for for Fred and I. He and I skipped the early evening wine and stayed with our friend Jack Daniels until after dinner!
Here is our little group…minus Laurie, our photographer and my better half. From the left…Fred, Dawn Marie, Ginny (Fred), Charlie, Karen (Charlie), Holly, Joel (Holly) and yours truly. This was actually that time of night when we’d finally gotten around to the wine tasting!
Then, what to do after drinking all that wine…!? Well, this was the answer… It’s Karen’s Tres Leche sheet cake with whipped cream frosting and cherries. Moist and wonderful…even for a guy like me who usually prefers a nice hunk of pie. This slab of goodness is the exception!
Well…all agreed that it was a great party! We also agreed that the social portion of the evening was most critical, the food has become a key ingredient and the wine theme provides our reason or excuse for the monthly gatherings. We’re all looking forward to the next ‘wine tasting’, this time at Dick and Susan's home… We already know that it’s all about California wines!
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing our good times!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave