Posts Tagged ‘wine and food


Fire on the Rock Competition for 2013!!

Our little village about 10 years ago recognized that April was a month that was under-appreciated in our part of the mountains. Along with several neighbors and friends we sought out a way to bring April as a month to be looked forward to for visiting the small village of Blowing Rock, NC. Jimmy Crippen, Scott and myself concocted the idea of a wine festival over drinks one evening while we were waiting for our table. The chamber of commerce became the logical body to bring this idea to life and after almost a year of debate and committee work a budget was set and a dream began to come to life.

While I can claim to know a bit about wine, I am not a restaurateur, but Jimmy was. He helped get the other food services lined up for winemaker’s dinners and conceptualized a brilliant competition for the local chefs of the area…and Fire on the Rock was Born!

That concept has grown to a “Competition Dining Series” across the state of North Carolina since then. Where we as diners vote on blind tasting of plates prepared by the best chefs across the region culminating in a state-wide competition of “Iron Chef Style Dining”.  For many people, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity; at least until you try it the first time and become addicted to the rush of judging the work of the best chefs.

Fire on the Rock begins again this Monday (08 April 2013) in Blowing Rock. Is there any better reason for you to come into town early for the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival than to participate in this taste challenge? If you want to experience the flavors of this competition in its birthplace, this is your opportunity! Reservations are simple and easy as clicking on this link for the Fire on the Rock 2013 Competition… and now with the festival and Fire on the Rock, you have all the reasons you need to come visit our little village in April every year!


Medical facts and conclusions…

Here’s some good news about nutrition and health.  What a relief to finally know the truth!
~ Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Aussies, British or Americans.
~ Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Aussies, British or Americans.
~ Africans drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Aussies, British or Americans.
~ Italians drink large amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Aussies, British or Americans.
~ Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Aussies, British or Americans.
~ Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.



Recipe: Parsnip Soup!

Parsnip Soup

With Fall kicking in, the temperatures are starting to add a chill to the air and the leaves are preparing to shine here in the NC Mountains in their full glory. As the temperatures drop and the evening start to encroach a little earlier every day, our thoughts turn to warm hearty soups that add a nice little touch of comfort and warmth to the soul. Today, I share a wonderful parsnip soup recipe that utilizes one of my all-time favorite cheeses, Mimolette! This soup pairs beautifully with a great Rosé from Southern Rhone and extends the classic “Rosé Season” through the Fall of the Year!


Parsnip soup recipe


 1 lb parsnips, peeled

3 oz aged Mimolette cheese

2.5 cups chicken broth, heated

 1/3 pint extra-thick cream

4 shallots

1 branch of celery

1 oz. butter


Finely chop shallots. Melt butter in a saucepan. Slowly cook shallots until clear.

Cut parsnips into cubes. Thinly slice celery. Mix, then add to saucepan.

Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cook on low heat for about 25 minutes.

While soup is cooking, use a vegetable peeler to cut the Mimolette into extra-fine slices. Set aside.

When soup is cooked, turn down heat and add cream. It is ready to serve as soon as the cream has melted into the soup and is warm.

Pour soup in bowls. Sprinkle with slices of Mimolette.



Wine: Artisan Pinot Grigio

Artisan Pinot Grigio

Artisan Pinot Grigio is a soft California Pinot Grigio with light peach and stone fruit notes overlaying a light grassy character that is typical of this region. A wonderful sipping wine, or pair against light fare using caution not to overwhelm this delicate little guy.
This makes a perfect wine to pair with your Saturday Afternoon Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich!


Recipe: Meatloaf


Today, the fog and rain are taking turns controlling the weather here in our little village. It is one of those days when thoughts of dinner are controlled by the thought of comfort food; those foods you grew up with the bring back warm memories of when times were more simple and life’s biggest concern was getting to the table in time for the evening meal. No doubt, every person alive today recalls meatloaf and far too seldom do we take the time to make this splendidly simple dish to share with our families along with tales of generations long gone, creating memories and comfort food for the next generation.


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground mustard

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 egg

3 slices bread, torn into small pieces

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

½ cup ketchup, chili sauce or barbecue sauce


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients except ketchup. Spread mixture in ungreased loaf pan, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 or 9x5x3 inches, or shape into 9×5-inch loaf in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Spread ketchup over top.
  3. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of loaf. Bake uncovered 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until thermometer reads 160°F.

Try pairing this with a lighter bodied red such as sangiovese, or a heartier white in the godello family.


Recipe: Mini Tacos

Simple appetizers that go with good wines and allow you to spend time with family and friends are always a good thing! Here is a favorite that even the kids can help you out with!


  • 24  wonton wrappers
  • 1  lb.lean ground beef
  • 2  tbsp. Picante Sauce
  • 1/2  cup Salsa
  • 4  oz. shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 1 cup)
  •  Sour cream (optional garnish)
  • Sliced pitted ripe olive (optional garnish)



1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Press the wonton wrappers into 24 (1 1/2-inch) mini muffin-pan cups.

2. Cook the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it’s well browned, stirring often to break up the meat. Pour off any fat. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and picante sauce.

3. Spoon the beef mixture into the wonton cups. Top with the salsa and cheese.

4. Bake for 5 minutes or until the wontons are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

5. Garnish with sour cream and olives, if desired. Serve immediately with additional salsa.


Pair against a carmenere wine from Chile for a perfectly matched pairing.


Wine on the mountain!

Wine, CHeese, and Food PairingsChristopher’s Wine & Cheese is on the grow again! We’re about to start a re-set of our floor space to accommodate you and your wine and culinary needs more thoroughly again! Every year about this time, we explore new products and concepts to help make our little shop a bigger, more exciting adventure for you to explore your palate with!

Within the next month, we will be locking into a new product line that promises to be among the most exciting things for people who enjoy not only wine, but food as well! In the same breath, we’re exploring doing cooking demonstrations with wine makers showing both the food loving aspects of the wines and how we go about matching the wine to the food and the food to the wine!

All in all, things are cranking up and the azaleas and rhododendron are cracking the hold winter had on the mountain; inspiring us to provide you a better experience with every visit to our little shop of Wine, Cheese, and Food… keep an eye on what we’re doing as soon we hope to be announcing some exciting events to take place here at the best little wine shop on the mountain!


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