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Posted July 22, 2011 by samuek in Uncategorized

Ravenswood Tweetup Or Just One Connected Wine?

Picture a wine and cheese pairing event.  It is typically quiet, wine glasses are filled a fifth of the way, maybe Bach or Billie Holiday tease your ears, the bouquet of smoked or aged cheeses entice your nose, starched structure controls movement, and a lot of spitting.  Agreed?  Would you ever expect to find a dozen Ipad2’s with signs encouraging tweeting about wine and cheese pairings?  Would you expect young, in touch food and wine bloggers discussing Ravenswood Wine and beautiful cheese, then tweet on the spot via Blackberry, Iphone or Ipad2?  Well, this is the type of event Ravenswood Wine organized for what it called Wineonline, demonstrating that certain wine companies just get it.

So what was Wineonline?  It was an event where Ravenswood Wine respected the influence social media has on a business’ success.  It is not a phase or fading phenomenon, the social medium is here to stay.  Ravenswood Wine simply gets how information is distributed these days.  That is something I can respect.  Does that mean that everyone attending will report all positive content?  I assure you that though the event was spot on, the wine delightful and the cheese diverse the resulting responses were frank.  The Ravenswood Wine team just believes in its product that much, that it wants to get its wines in front of as many people as possible and let them make the decision.  Sounds good to me.

So how was the wine, and what cheese was it paired with?  That is what you are reading this for correct?  Before I get to that, you must know that the cheese was provided by Olympic Cheese, 50 year St. Lawrence Market defender of all things cheese.  However, George, original owner was not in attendance.  In his place was his son, Nick, a young, tall and “cheesucated” cheese monger.  I just love meeting young food purveyors like Nick.  We discussed 3 year Regianno, Buratta and his new favorite smoked white cheddar, which just happened to be on hand that day. 
The event was held at Victor Restaurant in the beautiful Hotel Le Germain on Mercer.  Mercer St.  is home to the Rubino brothers of Ame so Victor keeps good company.  Romans…to the wine and cheese! 

Tomme de Grosse Ile, from Quebec paired with Ravenswood Icon (four grape blend).  Semi soft cows milk from Quebec.  Tomme de Grosse was my favorite cheese and was complimented by a yuzu marmalade.  I love yuzu and so should you-zu?  The Icon stood up well as the cheese was buttery yet, subtle.

Niagara Gold, Upper Canada Cheese Company paired with Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Shiraz.  Niagara Gold is a semi soft rare Guernsey cow milk cheese.  I loved this cheese which had some nuttiness.

Lost Lake Goat cheese paired with Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Zinfandel.  The goat cheese was smooth and silky and worked really well with the red pepper and chilli jelly.  The Zinfandel stood up to the tartness of the goat cheese and the heat from the jelly.

This is where it got fun.  Blue Juliette from BC versus Tiger Blue from BC, both paired with my favorite Ravenswood wine, a 2008 Belloni Zinfandel.  The Belloni was sick by itself, let alone the fact that it could hang with the likes of Tiger Blue and Blue Juliette.  Tiger Blue had the best reception amongst attendees and the honey it was paired with, just brought it up to a whole…nuhva…lehvo.  Don’t even get me started on the Dufflets caramel crackle the Blue Juliette was matched with.  I must have ingested pounds of it that day. 

The belle of the ball.  Provincial Smoke, smoked white cheddar paired with Ravenswood Vintner’s Blend Shiraz.  Nick from Olympic Cheese said this was his new favorite and he was not kidding.  You do not have to be a genius to know that smoke + food equals foodgasm.  There was another cheese called 14 Arpents.  No picture but you have to go find this stuff.  Man was it a good soft cheese.   

All Canadian cheese, paired with some great Sonoma Valley Zinfandels, hanging with social media peeps is a recipe for fun.  What’s your favorite Canadian cheese?

Photos by Ken Samuel & J’Adore Che




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