Seminars bring food and wine to life

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Wine with dinner used to be simple: The rule of thumb was red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat. But most of us don’t just eat meat and potatoes, or drink claret and chablis these days.

So award-winning Chef Frank Marrara will give a few pointers on pairing food and wine during a series of seminars at this weekend’s Great Lakes Wine Fest at Michigan International Speedway. Several seminars are planned throughout the weekend. Saturday seminars are about food pairings, while Sunday sessions will focus on wine-making and wine history.

Saturday seminars begin at 12:30 p.m. and run about every hour in the new Pit Road Suites. Each pairing seminar will last about 45 minutes.

“When the marriage of food and wine works well, each enhances the other, making the meal better than if they were consumed separately,” Marrara said. “Wine and food are meant to be enjoyed together, and if there's one debate that can keep a dinner party rattling along, it's the success of the wine served with the food.”

Three wineries will be featured in five seminars — Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse Winery in Brooklyn; Chateau Chantal in Traverse City; and Sandhill Crane Winery in Jackson.

Some of the pairings include Cherry Creek’s cherry wine with sinful chocolate mousse, Chateau Chantal’s select harvest Riesling with pan seared salmon on a bed of sautéed leeks and Sandhill Crane’s sassy rose wine with sauteed chicken breast with prosciutto ham, roasted red pepper and grilled asparagus.

Seminar participants will each sample the wines and a tapas-sized food complement.

Food pairing seminars are one token per session per person. All sessions are first-come, first-served and limited to 60 people per session.

Here is the food and wine pairing seminar schedule for Saturday:
12:30 p.m.      Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse    Pit Road Suite 217
Pairing 1:         Pinot Grigio 2009 with seared sea scallops on a pesto crostini, topped with a sweet balsamic reduction
Pairing 2:         Montage 2007 with pan seared beef tenderloin medallions with herb orzo, topped with sauce Choron           
Pairing 3:         Michigan Cherry Wine with sinful chocolate Mouse

1:30 p.m.        Sandhill Crane Winery                 Pit Road Suite 216
Pairing 1:         Vignoles 2009 with Boursin Cheese Puffs
Pairing 2:         Sassy Rose 2009 with sauteed chicken breast with prosciutto ham, roasted red pepper and grilled asparagus topped with a pan sauce
Pairing 3:         Michigan Raspberry Fruit Wine with chocolate raspberry bread pudding

2:30 p.m.        Chateau Chantal                          Pit Road Suite 217
Pairing 1:         Chardonnay Old Mission Peninsula 2009 with toasted focaccia bread with caramelized red onions and smoked Gouda Cheese
Pairing 2:         Select Harvest Riesling Old Mission Peninsula 2009 with pan seared salmon on a bed of sautéed leeks and sprinkled with Gruyere cheese
Pairing 3:         Celebrate Champagne with peaches and chantilly cream with lemon zest

3:30 p.m.        Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse    Pit Road Suite 216
Pairing 1:         Pinot Grigio 2009 with seared sea scallops on a pesto crostini, topped with a sweet balsamic reduction
Pairing 2:         Montage 2007 with pan seared beef tenderloin medallions with herb orzo, topped with sauce Choron           
Pairing 3:         Michigan Cherry Wine with sinful chocolate Mouse

4:30 p.m.        Chateau Chantal                          Pit Road Suite 217
Pairing 1:         Chardonnay Old Mission Peninsula 2009 with toasted focaccia bread with caramelized red onions and smoked Gouda Cheese
Pairing 2:         Select Harvest Riesling Old Mission Peninsula 2009with pan seared salmon on a bed of sautéed leeks and sprinkled with Gruyere cheese
Pairing 3:         Celebrate Champagne with peaches and chantilly cream with lemon zest

Sunday seminars focus on the wine industry. These will be held in the Michigan Room, and are also one token per person per seminar.

1 p.m.  “The History of Wine” hosted by Alan “Winedog” Herman
A look at the history of wine throughout the ages from biblical to modern times. Michigan newly found place in history will be discussed and we will compare a sampling of Pinot Grigio from its roots in Italy with New World samples from Michigan and California.
 
2 p.m.  “Bubbly: The Ideal Snacking Wine” hosted by “Wild Bill” Autenreith
The versatility of Sparkling Wines is veritably unrivaled. These wines are certainly not just for anniversaries and New Year’s Eve. Bill is prepared to prove effervescent wines, across the sugar range, pair perfectly with most munchies. Give your movie a whole new life and impress your date by sneaking a bottle into the theater. Three complimentary Bubblies, plus snacks, will be offered during this seminar.

3 p.m. “The Winemaking Process” hosted by winemaker John Burtka
Examine the basics of handcrafted winemaking from the perspective of a small winery.
 
The focus of the Great Lakes Wine Fest is Michigan-based wineries and breweries. With 14,000 acres of vineyards and 71 active wineries across the state of Michigan, the Great Lakes Wine Fest is perfectly and conveniently situated at MIS. Guests may sample wines, beer and food from Michigan vendors, and buy favorite wines by the bottle or case. The festival’s on-site retail store will have select wines available for purchase at the event.

With only four days until the inaugural Great Lakes Wine Fest at Michigan International Speedway, time is running out on advance ticket pricing. Advance one-day tickets are $25; two-day tickets are $45. Each ticket includes $10 worth of tasting tokens per day. Guests who buy in advance save $10.

Designated driver tickets are $15. This event is for guests 21 and older.

Weekend camping is available for $40 in the track’s MISCamping.com Graves Farm Campground, or $100 in the MISCamping.com Turn 2 Retreat. Turn 2 camping includes water and electric hookups.

Need an RV? A hassle-free camping option is available for the wine and brew fest at www.MIScamping.com.

Tickets and details are available at www.GreatLakesWineFest.com or by calling 800-354-1010. Visit our Twitter feed @GLWineFest for information about the wine festival in 140 characters or less!

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is a Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where race fans and sports fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the fun of NASCAR and the thrill of a great time for guests and drivers alike.

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