Before there was a Napa or Willamette Valley, North Carolina produced more wine than any state in the U.S. So you can trust us when we say we know our wines, just as much as we know our Southern cuisine. And as the gateway city to the state’s first and largest wine region, the Yadkin Valley, Winston-Salem is conveniently, and dare we say, purposefully, surrounded by more than 40 wineries and vineyards.
With so many options, deciding which wines to pair with your rehearsal dinner or intimate reception can feel a little overwhelming. We’ve taken the liberty of hand-selecting a few wines that provide just the right balance for your menu.
Appetizer: For a hearty appetizer to start your dinner off on a high note, consider this braised meatball recipe from Shelton Vineyard’s Harvest Grille. The award-winning restaurant suggests their merlot to pair, and even to incorporate in the recipe itself.
Entree Option 1: For versatility, look no further than the 2015 Steel & Stone from Jones von Drehl. A bold yet smooth blend of 65% Petit Verdot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, the fruit-driven, yet boldly structured flavor profile was awarded the silver medal in the 2019 NC Fine Wines Competition.
Enjoy a glass alongside seared duck or port braised beef.
Entree Option 2: For the pescatarians in your party, take note from RayLen Vineyards & Winery. The popular Yadkin Valley winery offers a complete guide to pairing your wines with different types of seafood. Serving a milder fish such as Mahi-mahi, opt for a white wine low in acidity, such as a riesling. Adding a cream or butter sauce calls for more acidity in your wine – such as their sauvignon blanc. And when it comes to North Carolina’s favorite fish, a lush trout, well this versatile fish can be enjoyed alongside just about any white wine you can think of.
Dessert: If we’re being truthful, you don’t really need to pair your dessert with wine. We’re partial to serving wine as the dessert. Yet if you’re committed to the pairing, Hanover Park offers up their decadent Hanover Blue NV – a delicate mix of sweet and tart – thanks to the Chambourcin grape base complemented with a blueberry concentrate. Pair with a classic New York cheesecake or a custard dessert – crème brûlée anyone?!