The Friday wine pairings were a big hit! I wrote Friday about how I occasionally help our college caterer, where I work, pick out wines for big events.

Friday our alumni association sponsored a symposium on Food & the Liberal Arts. It was a great afternoon of lectures capped off by a fabulous dinner. I had worked with the caterer and chef to pick out a white and red wine for dinner from Ortman Family Wines of Paso Robles, Ca.

At dinner that evening the chef talked about the meal and I gave a brief background of Ortman and introduced the wines! (Hence, the photo at right!)

See an album with more photos from the event.

Ortman wines represent a very food-friendly style – lighter than many but still full-bodied for food. The dinner featured pork with an apple garnish while the beef was cooked pretty straight forward with salt, pepper, garlic. So the goal was to find a white and red that would fit nicely with both proteins.

I immediately thought of Ortman Family Wines because – one, I’ve become a big fan; two, they pair so well with food.

We went with the Ortman Chardonnay and Cuvee Eddy. The Chardonnay is in a lighter, food-friendly style that even I like. The Cuvee Eddy just rocks. The Rhone-like blend features Syrah, Grenache, Mouvredre and a hint of Petit Syrah. It has just enough spice on the finish to work with pork or beef.

The wines are very reasonably priced. The suggested retail on the Chard is $18 and $20 for the red blend.

Ortman’s distribution is growing. They’ve been in Ohio for awhile and just picked up Indiana. Right now, Mass Avenue Wine Shop in Indianapolis has the Cuvee Eddy on its shelves. In time the other wines may be available there and certainly in other locations.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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