Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wine on a Cracker




L-R: Me, Ron Chambliss, my sister Monica
My sister and I share a love for the fermented nectar of the grape. We enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine at the end of a hectic day or sipping a perfectly paired vintage with dinner. We also enjoy cooking with wine. Wine and food were made for each other. That’s why it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to run across a vendor selling wine jelly. As we casually strolled through Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, making our way to the World of Coca Cola, we came upon a row of vendors. We had our teenagers with us, so we did our best to ignore the crafty goods lining the walkway. But one booth caught my eye. I stopped and did a double take. But then I said, “No, no, we’ve got over 60 soft drinks to sample. I will resist.” Upon hearing my declaration, my son, niece and sister kept walking. But my feet didn’t move. A few seconds later, I called out to them, “Wait, let me just see what this wine jelly is all about.” They stopped in their tracks. My sister grinned and doubled back. My son and niece rolled their eyes and hesitantly followed my sister. “Do you use real wine in your jelly?” I asked the vendor. He assured me he most certainly did. “What do you use for the red jelly?” I was still skeptical as I stepped closer to the display. “The red is a bordeaux. It’s a blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Let me get you a sample; it’s delicious with cream cheese,” Ron Chambliss offered as he pulled out some crackers. He then let me sample the red and rosé jellies. I was impressed. It was delicious and it was made with actual wine. My sister joined the conversation and started sampling as well. We soon discovered that Ron is a self-proclaimed foodie married to a wine master. His wine jelly—gourmet wine gelée to be precise—is sold in a few grocery stores in North Carolina. More conveniently, it can be purchased through their online venue, The European Wine Table.

My sister & Ron discussing
gourmet wine jellies.
In the midst of our conversation, Ron handed me a cracker with cream cheese and a sample of the white wine gelée. I had already tasted what I assumed, as a red wine drinker, would be my favorite, but I graciously accepted the treat anyway.

I don’t remember what my sister and Ron were discussing at the time, but I do remember interrupting the conversation as I gasped out an audible food-gasm. The white wine gelée was amazing! It was the best of the three.

Twenty minutes later, we were on our way. The gourmet wine gelée was so amazing, I toured the World of Coca Cola and enjoyed an amazing sushi dinner with two jars of it weighing down my handbag. It wasn’t until we had to pass our hotel on our way to Underground Atlanta that I finally dropped off my gelée.
Wine is wonderful. Wine with food is terrific. Wine food, such as Ron's gelée, is pure genius. Now why didn’t I think of that?

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
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