Savor takes center stage in Blowing Rock

Savor takes center stage in Blowing Rock
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“Students” learn about the Columbia Valley viticulture area of Washington State

By David Rogers. May 4, 2018. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Savor Blowing Rock 2018 got off to a jubilant start Thursday night with a well-attended “Taste! A Restaurant Showcase” following an afternoon of intimate seminars on such things as “Wine and Chocolate” and “Wine and Cupcake Pairing,” and the momentum continued on Friday with several more seminars, as well as a fashion show and brunch at Green Park Inn.

All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

SEMINAR SAMPLING FROM FRIDAY

Josh Bohlen of Grapevine Distributing led a seminar and wine tasting at Sunset & Vine focused on wines from the Columbia Valley of Washington State. He described Washington’s largest viticultural area as covering 11 million acres and representing a full third of the state’s land area. While exploring the various wines that come from the region, he described the different soils and microclimates that make up the region and how they impact wine production, including the different varieties.

Catherine Rabb pours a glass while offering instruction on wine pairing with spices

At the Meadowbrook Inn on Friday morning, Johnson & Wales University College of the Culinary Arts Associate Instructor Catherine Rabb told a group estimated at 18 participants that the old adage of red wine paired with red meat and white wine paired with white meat doesn’t necessarily hold true anymore. Her focus was instead to pair the wines with a food’s spices.

He didn’t stick out his tongue, but Danny Sanford of Fine Wine Trading Company provided more than two dozen registered wine lovers at The Inn at Ragged Gardens a physiology lesson about the tongue and its taste buds. That knowledge provided a foundation for understanding why certain wine glasses with their different shapes are paired with different wines — to direct the vintage to the appropriate place on the tongue, providing the optimal experience in tasting any given wine. A “joker” glass just won’t do. Stemware, as wine glasses are called, consist of three parts: the bowl, stem, and base. The height of the stem and the width of the base are part of the glass architecture. Grape varietal-specific stemware features finely-tuned glass bowls consisting of three variables: shape, size and rim diameter — all aimed at translating the “message” of wine to the human senses. Sanford’s presentation featured Riedel glasses.

Danny Sanford, left, leads seminar participants in an experiment.

Several other seminars were conducted throughout the afternoon, as well as special features of the Savor event, including Music on the Lawn at Ragged Gardens, Cork & Canvas at Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, and the Black & Gold Night dinner themed around Appalachian State University.

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