Friday, January 28, 2011

March Madness 2011 food and wine pairings announced!

If you've already purchased your March Madness passport, then you're probably wondering what this year's food and wine pairings will be at each winery each weekend in March. Well, you're in luck. Below is the list of the tastings you can find during your journey along the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail just over a month from now. Read on...

Blue Mountain

March 5&6: Pasta Primavera paired with 2006 Chardonnay Reserve and Wine Poached Pears with our newly released 2010 White Merlot.
March 12 & 13: Chicken, Lime & Tortilla Soup paired with 2009 Vignoles and Passion Wine Cake paired with our Victoria’s Passion
March 19 & 20:  Pasta Fagioli paired with 2004 Chambourcin and Warm Winter Fruit paired with Mountain Frost
March 26 & 27: Sample the newly released spring line of Tastefully Simple products as well as the regular classics! We will offer 2 pairings to feature the new products.


March 5 & 6 - Beef, vegetable, wild rice soup paired with Cabernet
March 12 & 13 - Grilled Italian Chicken in a Vodka sauce over cavatelli pasta paired with Gregg's Gregio
March 19 & 20 - Tortellini in sun dried tomato & basil sauce paired with Chambourcin
March 26 & 27 - Chicken medallions and pasta Florentine, roasted red peppers, artichokes and mushrooms in a light garlic wine sauce paired with Chardonnay

Galen Glen

Every Weekend in March, Galen Glen is proud to feature our Aromatic White Wines paired with handmade pork dumplings from Bamboo and Liu’s House. We plan to tease your taste buds to convince you how beautifully our wines match with Asian cuisine.

Big Creek

Will feature "From Russia with Love - Soups of the Steppes:
Week 1  - Roszolnick Soup
Week 2  - Gribovnitsa
Week 3 -  Mushroom solyanka
Week  4 - Chicken Lapsha


Vynecrest will again be presenting Lisa Morton (Hereford Country Store) food creations. Weeks 1 & 3 we will be pairing Vynecrest White, our popular semi-sweet all-occasion wine, with your choice of either a vegetarian spinach & cheddar quiche or the Macungie Farm Market favorite, a cheese steak quiche.

Weeks 2 & 4 we will be pairing our Cherry Divyne wine with their red velvet chocolate cake roll, with some of the Cherry Divyne mixed into the creamy cherry-vanilla icing for a German-style heavenly dessert experience.

Pinnacle Ridge

Goes to the MEDITERRANEAN for the month of March. On March 5 & 6 and 19 & 20, Pinnacle Ridge will be serving: Garlic and Lemon marinated Grilled Chicken, Grape Leaves stuffed with Rice, Vegetables and Herbs and Baba Ghanouj- Roasted Eggplant mixed with Tahini, Garlic and Lemon. Scoop it all up with Pita Bread.

On March 12 & 13 and 26 & 27, Pinnacle Ridge will be serving: Mediterranean Gyro- Classic Rotisserie Meat cooked and topped with a Garlic-herb Yogurt Sauce, Arnabit- seasoned Cauliflower served with a garlic sauce and Hummus- Chick Peas blended with Tahini and herbs. Scoop it all up with Pita Bread.

Pinnacle Ridge will be pairing our Mediterranean feast with two different Rosé wines. We will introduce OASIS - our Provence inspired rose’ from the 2009 vintage. We will also pair our Chambourcin Rosé for those who desire a slightly sweet wine. If reds are your thing, try our 2009 Merlot.

Franklin Hill

Week one - Beef Stew made with Chambourcin Wine, the Wine of the Lehigh Valley paired with what else .... Chambourcin Wine and Simply Red.

Week Two - Elaine will be making her famous Baked Ziti on her Birthday Weekend. This fabulous dish will be paired with Evanswood, a Burgundy style red wine made from the DeChaunac grape.

Week Three - Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon. We love it paired with Vidal or White Jade, a dry Vidal with a hint of oak.

Week four- Desserts, desserts, and more desserts paired with several of our award winning wines.

Sorrenti Cherry Valley

March 5 & 6 - Mary's new Creation "Chicken Florentina" over Rice Pilaf paired with our lovely Chardonnay
March 12 & 13 and 19 & 20 - Tuscan Cream sauce over Ravioli, choice of White wine
March 26 & 27 - Selection of Cheeses of the world & Crustini's, choice of wine
Each weekend we will also have music and other surprises in our Bistro.

Clover Hill

March 5 & 6, and March 12 & 13 - Chef Nathan Grube will be at Clover Hill to prepare a weekend of crepes.  Indulge in a savory veggie crepe paired with the 2008 Merlot and a sweet chocolate s ‘more crepe paired with Vignoles. 

March 19 & 20 and March 26 & 27 - Chef Nathan Grube will be preparing a veggie pizza paired with DeChaunac.  For something a bit different, he will also be preparing a Swiss inspired Raclette (a lovely cheese dish) served with homemade meats and complimented by Clover Hill’s Vidal Blanc. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The nine family-owned wineries of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail have announced their 2011 schedule of special events.

  • March Madness – weekends only in March – Customers purchase a March Madness passport for access to different wine and food pairings at each of the nine wineries each weekend. Passports are stamped during each visit and can then be entered into a drawing for over 20 prizes. Customers also receive a LVWT collectible tile as this year’s gift. (Please note: A limited number of passports remain for sale.)

  • Wine in Bloom – May 21 & 22 – This first-time event replaces last year’s AVA Weekend. It takes place mid-Spring as bud break occurs on the vines. It still celebrates the importance that terroir (soil) plays in the development of the grapes, their flavor and the resulting taste of the wine, and stresses the importance of the A.V.A. designation in further legitimizing the area for wine making.

  • Wine on the Mountain – July 23 & 24 - Held at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, this event includes wine samplings, local artisans displaying their arts and crafts, light fare available for purchase, and live entertainment. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased at each winery as well as at the door.

  • Harvest Weekend – The Butcher, The Baker and The Winemaker – September 10 & 11 –The wineries proudly promote the state’s “Pennsylvania Preferred” program by partnering with manufacturers of other Pennsylvania products to showcase their high level of quality. Wine pairings, vineyard tours, food, music and other special activities are featured.

  • Chambourcin Weekend – October 15 & 16 - Taking place after the harvest is over, this event celebrates the “official wine grape of the Lehigh Valley,” the Chambourcin.

  • Nouveau Weekend – November 19 & 20 - This is the earliest chance to sample the first vintages of the new harvest. It’s also a great opportunity to purchase wines for the upcoming holiday season to give as gifts or to drink at dinner. March Madness passports also go on sale this weekend.

All events are free except for Wine on the Mountain at Penn’s Peak and March Madness, which requires the purchase of an event passport. Event hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon – 5 p.m.

The Lehigh Valley Wine Trail is a non-profit organization of wineries whose mission is to promote agri-tourism and to create a premiere wine destination and grape growing region while promoting Pennsylvania wines from the region. All of the member wineries have won numerous awards at state, national and international levels.

Members include:
  • Amoré Vineyards & Winery, Nazareth
  • Big Creek Vineyard and Winery, Kresgeville
  • Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli
  • Clover Hill Vineyards & Winery, Breinigsville
  • Franklin Hills Vineyards, Bangor
  • Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas
  • Pinnacle Ridge, Kutztown
  • Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards, Saylorsburg
  • Vynecrest Winery, Breinigsville

The Lehigh Valley region is an official American Viticultural Area as designated by the Federal Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in April 2008. The Lehigh Valley AVA includes portions of Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania. In order to receive the designation a least 75% of the grapes used to make local wines must be grown within the region. Wineries in the region are permitted to list “Lehigh Valley” as the growing region on their labels.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's new at Galen Glen Winery this winter

The latest Galen Glen Winery e-newsletter is out and here are the highlights:

Take a break from winter and visit the Winery!

Chardonnay Sale - 6 bottles for $48 (20% discount)
Help us empty the wine cellar & make room for the 2010 wines. 30 cases left!
Sale starts January 23 (No additional discounts apply with this promotion.)

Upcoming Event  - Feb 12, 13, 19 & 20
St. Valentine's Day - Celebrate Romance with our decadent pairing of Barrel 29 and gourmet chocolate cake. Pairing will also be available to purchase.

Winery Hours:
Friday - Noon - 5 pm
Saturday - 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday - Noon - 5 pm

March Madness Passports - We still have passports available!
Cost: $35 per guest - Shipping: $1 per passport
Payment: Cash or check to LVWT

We'll be featuring handmade pork dumplings from Bamboo, an Asian cuisine restaurant in Allentown, with our aromatic white wines!

Friday, January 21, 2011

News from Vynecrest Winery

Here is the latest from the owners for Vynecrest Winery in Breinigsville as taken from their most recent e-newsletter.

After a short break following the new year, Vynecrest is open for business. Our winter hours are Thursday through Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

All of us at Vynecrest would like to thank you for your support in 2010, another banner year. As many of you are aware, we are currently out of a few of our most popular wines but we are working hard to get the 2010 vintage on the shelves. We are continuing to grow this year. We are planting one acre of vines and two additional acres will be able to be picked this year.

The results of the PA Farm Show wine competition are out and Vynecrest took home 9 medals, 4 silver and 5 bronze. Cherry DiVyne, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Lemberger took silver while Late Harvest Vidal, Pinot Grigio, Blueberry, Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin took home bronze medals.

January Specials:
3 pack of the month - 3 Autumn Gold for $25
Wine of the month - Chambourcin, 10% off

Upcoming Events
  • January 29 - Music in the Vyneskeller 1 to 4:30pm, Arianne Rox
  • February 5 - Chili Bowl Saturday
  • Vynecrest will be sampling two different types of chili, vote for your favorite. There will also be a $100 Vynecrest gift card given to the person who picks the correct total score of Super Bowl XLV.
  • February 12 - Music in the Vyneskeller 1 to 4:30pm, Rob & Marty
  • February 26 - Music in the Vyneskeller 1 to 4:30pm, Connie Edinger

In The Cellar

Lemberger - 04/20/10

We have begun bottling many of the 2010 white wines. The reds need a little while longer before they are ready to be prepared for bottling.

In the vineyard, we will soon begin to prune the vines (as soon as we can get rid of the snow).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sorrenti Cherry Valley Barrel Tasting event this weekend

Join the staff at Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards in Saylorsburg this weekend, January 22 and 23 from 1 - 5 p.m. for their annual barrel tasting and hot soup event.

Take a tour of the winery and sample one of their finest new releases directly from the barrel. They will tell you about the aging process of this wine and how its taste evolves during each step of the fermentation and barreling process.

Afterwards, join them in the tasting room for Mary Sorrenti's homemade Chicken Noodle soup alongside crusty Italian bread. If the wine hasn't warmed you up yet, the soup is sure to hit the spot!

This is a free event.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Everything you always wanted to know about sulfites in wine (but were too afraid to ask)

Pinnacle Ridge owner and winemaker Brad Knapp recently shared his knowledge of sulfites with the readers of the winery's monthly e-newsletter. Here is the article that appeared in the January e-newsletter.

We have all observed the term “contains sulfites” on virtually every bottle of wine we’ve consumed, yet most of us don’t understand what it means. What are sulfites? Why are they in wine? Is it natural or added? What happens if there are no sulfites?

In the United States, it is a requirement of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a wine label to display the term “contains sulfites” if the wine contains ten parts per million or more of sulfites. Ten parts per million is the same as 0.001% by weight. In other words, sulfites must make up 0.001% (one one-thousandth of one percent) of the weight of the wine before the term is required on the label. 

Sulfites (or SO2) are a natural product of yeast fermentation and are also added to wine as a preservative.  Sometimes the natural yeast fermentation will produce over ten parts per million of sulfites and sometimes not. Over 99% of the wine made in the world contains over 10 ppm sulfites. Wine with  less than 10 ppm sulfites typically will age very badly and white wines will brown and lose their fruit and freshness. Red wine color will also turn brown and the flavors will get very muddy and tired without sulfites to help inhibit oxidation.

So why did the FDA institute the labeling requirement in 1987?

It turns out that a very small percentage of the population (under 1%) shows allergic reactions to sulfites. If you think you might have a sulfite allergy, just take a bite of a dried apricot and you’ll find out soon enough. A two ounce serving of dried apricot typically contains around ten times the sulfites in a glass of wine.

Sulfites are used in many foods as a preservative, yet these foods do not require the label. Salad bars are another place that sulfites are used to stop browning of lettuce and vegetables. Many folks think that wines produced in Europe are made without the use of sulfites. This is completely untrue and this myth probably was started because European wines (those sold in Europe) were not required to display the “contains sulfite” term until 2005 (nearly 20 years after the requirement in the US).

If you have a problem with sulfites, try wines labeled “organic.” Organic wines cannot have added sulfites. Wines labeled “made from organically grown grapes” may or may not have sulfites. Look for the “contains sulfites” term on the  label. 

People may think they have sensitivity to sulfite when, in fact, they have issues with tannins in wine. Tannins are compounds that are in the skins and seeds of grapes. Tannins are present in much higher levels in red wines compared to white wines. If you find you have issues with red wines and not with whites then the problem is most likely tannins. If you get headaches, the issue is probably tannins not sulfites. There is no known medical evidence showing that the consumption of the tiny amount of sulfites in wine results in headaches.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wins big at 2011 PA Farm Show!

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is taking place in Harrisburg and the wine competition happened this past weekend. We wanted to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to our wineries that won the following awards:

Best of:

Best American:
Franklin Hill 2009 Sir Walter’s Red

Best Vinifera:
Pinnacle Ridge 2007 Veritas

Cherry Valley Vineyard
Gold: Raspberry
Silver: Cranberry Blush, Pink Catawba
Bronze: Merlot Blackberry, Proprietor’s Red

Clover Hill Winery
Gold: Vignoles, Catawba, Strawberry Pear
Silver: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bronze: Riesling, 2007 Merlot, Clover Hill Rose

Franklin Hill Winery
Double Gold: 2009 Sir Walter’s Red
Silver: 2009 Kiss, 2009 Catawba
Bronze: 2009 Harvest Berry, 2010 Seyval Blanc, 2008 Chardonnay, 2009 Fainting Goat, 2009 White Jade

Pinnacle Ridge Winery
Double Gold: 2007 Veritas
Silver: 2008 Pinot Noir, 2009 Quaff, 2008 Chambourcin, 2009 Chambourcin Rose, 2009 Traminette, 2009 Vidal Blanc, 2008 Chambourcin Reserve, 2008 Cabernet Franc

Silver: 2009 Cherry Divyne, 2009 Pinot Noir, 2009 Riesling, 2009 Lemberger
Bronze: 2009 Late Harvest Vidal, 2009 Pinot Grigio, 2009 Blueberry, 2009 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Chambourcin

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lehigh Valley Restaurant Walking Tours to feature two of our wineries

The Lehigh Valley's PBS station, WLVT, has launched a new fundraising initiative that two of our Lehigh Valley Wine Trail wineries are participating in. The Lehigh Valley Restaurant Walking Tours take place in April with one happening in each of our three cities.

Franklin Hill Winery will participate in the Bethlehem walking tour since they have a store location in downtown Bethlehem inside the Main Street Commons building. And Sorrenti Cherry Valley Vineyards will participate in the Easton walking tour since they have a store location in downtown Easton on Third Street.

Each tour is self guided and goes from 1 - 4 p.m.  Participants visit each restaurant or cafe on the tour at their own pace to enjoy sample-sized tastings of food and/or beverages. For a list of participating restaurants, see the lists on the PBS web site.

The Easton tour takes place on Sunday, April 3, followed by the Bethlehem tour on Sunday, April 10 and finally the Allentown tour on Saturday, April 30.

Tickets to the Walking Tours are $25 per tour in advance. If tickets remain the day of a tour, they are $30 each. Or you can purchase tickets to all three walking tours in all three cities for $70.

Please help us support WLVT PBS, a fellow non-profit organization, in making these three Restaurant Walking Tours a success.