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It was a hot June leading up to this throwback on July 15, 2017. Just like it was in 2020. Well, really nothing has been like 2020 and every July is hot in South Alabama. But, the theme of that tasting will still work today.
When we host tastings, we have winemakers and winery representatives that come to Southern Napa to educate us on their wines and tell us stories of how they came to be. We would then create a custom food pairing in the Southern Napa kitchen to go with each of the wines they served.
This time we wanted to do something different. We decided on an ‘Open House’ style tasting. Which meant no set time for the tasting. You could come and go as you please. It also was an opportunity for any and all folks to come to Southern Napa on a Saturday afternoon and taste wines that we selected and served with easy, house made ‘pick-ups’ (as some in the catering business refer to them as) or just simply ‘hors d’oeuvres’.
Being the middle of Summer, we wanted to debunk the myth that you can or should only drink white and rosé wines in the Summer. So, we did a ‘Summer Red Wine Tasting’! And yes we even served them chilled!! If you’ve been to our store and had a glass of wine from our Winestations, you know we actually serve all our red wines chilled rather, Cellar temperature.
We served Pinot Noir, Valpolicella, Beaujolais and the big hit that day was a Chinon (Cabernet Franc).
The pairing with the Chinon was Summer’s best fruit. Tomatoes. I made a simple fresh tomato bruschetta on a garlic crostini to pair with it.
The event did not disappoint! We were busy all day with people popping in and out to taste and nibble. Nothing like an open house, open hearts and an open bottle of wine! Happy Summer y’all!
This recipe is so easy and fresh, especially if you grow your own herbs and tomatoes! You can use any variety or mixture of tomatoes. Roma, Campari, Sweet Grape, Yellow, Orange...
Just make sure they are ripe!
Garden Fresh Bruschetta
Yields 24 Crostini
8 Ripe Tomatoes, Diced into half inch cubes
3/4 C. Basil Chiffonade or chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic; 2 Minced and 2 sliced into halves 2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 French Baguette
Combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Let stand at room temperature to meld.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice baguette on the diagonal into pieces no wider than 1⁄2-inch. Lightly brush or spray both sides of each slice with olive oil.
Place the slices in a single layer on baking sheet and bake them on the middle rack for 6 to 9 minutes, until they’re crisp and nicely golden on the top.
Let slices cool enough to handle and gently rub cut sides of sliced garlic on top of the toasts.
Just before serving, use a slotted spoon or fork to place tomato mixture on top of prepared garlic crostini.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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