Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pigs and Oysters

Jeff and Kelly put on a terrific to-do at the winery on Monday for friends and family and we could not have asked for better weather. I don't think anybody expected such a gorgeous day, especially post-Thanksgiving, but who could have asked for a better day than we had? Kelly roasted a couple of very delicious pork shoulders, made butternut squash soup, a tremendous kale salad, and a bunch of other things as well. I brought a couple of boxes of oysters. Everybody brought wine.

Strong Sun, Blue Skies: Perfect Weather for a Party
Skyline Drive above Jeff White and Tony Wolf

We Started with White Wines with the Oysters

Engrossed in Conversation

Battle of the Oysters: Virginia

Battle of the Oysters: Prince Edward Island
I brought one box each of local oysters and cold water oysters from Prince Edward Island so we could taste the local Sewansecotts against the PEI Salt Grasses. I just love oysters from the Chesapeake because they are super briny. But I have to admit that the shells are extremely fragile and that makes them very hard to shuck cleanly. I also love the lovely cupped oysters from PEI with their clean mellow flavor. Although I have a decided preference for a saltier oyster like a Chincoteague or a Sewansecott, others prefered the sweeter PEIs. I would never turn either down!

Shucking Away

Huck: Ever the Opportunist

Art Shot

Surprise Wine of the Day
With so many people from or closely associated with the local wine industry bringing wines to the party, we had a wide variety of very unusual wines to sample. It was great fun for me as I got to taste two wines from Connecticut (a forgettable but drinkable Riesling and a delicious high-acid orange-colored rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon), a Maryland Merlot, and a bunch of other off-the-wall wines.

The two most surprising wines of the day were from Bernd Jung at nearby Chester Gap Cellars, a 2010 Roussane and a 2009 Petit Verdot, both clocking in at 16% alcohol, though neither of them felt that hot. Not surprising because whenever I have asked Jim Law or Jeff White about who else is making good wine, Chester Gap has always been mentioned. But surprising because I have tasted at Chester Gap twice in the last five years (2011 most recently) and have not come away impressed. These two wines, however, are both very good and that makes me happy. I'm always happy whenever I taste a good local wine. Note to self: need to go back to Chester Gap and retaste. And perhaps put the Roussane on the restaurant wine list.

Kelly put on a Gorgeous Spread of Fruits, Cheeses, and Salame
When we got there, Kelly and Jeff had already set up a couple of high top tables out in the side yard that were literally groaning under the weight of the cheeses, fruit, and salame that you see above. Everything was arranged to a 'T'. Kelly never does anything halfway!

Bread and Butter Pickles: Awesome with Pork Shoulder!

Kale with Croutons, Bacon, Pecorino, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Of all the phenomenal food that Kelly made, this kale salad takes the prize. It was truly one of the best salads I have ever eaten. Love, love, loved it!

The Fire was Much Appreciated by 4:15 as the Sun Set

Moon over Glen Manor

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