Wine culture offers an air of exclusivity that can sometimes deter novice curiosity. We all know that the best way to learn about wine is to drink it, but to educate one’s palate in the wine world requires a great deal of time and resources. I can’t justify cracking a $125 bottle of 2007 Beringer Reserve if I don’t understand what I’m tasting. Pairing dinners present perfect opportunities to sample boutique wines while cultivating an appreciation for the craft.
Aside from familiarizing amateur sommeliers with the good stuff, pairing dinners often provide a taste of the winery itself. Attendees gain access to precious anecdotes and old chestnuts as told by special guests, namely: winemakers, distributors, and chefs.
Plenty of restaurants in and around Massachusetts have recently added paired dinners to their repertoire, but The 111 Chophouse and VIA Italian Table have been hosting events of this sort for a long time. This year, VIA will delve deep into the art of beer pairing in addition to its traditional wine dinners.
VIA’s General Manager, Keith Carolan explains that he maintains three steadfast expectations for each of VIA’s events; in his humble opinion, dinners must prove: exclusive, educational and memorable.Exclusive
Seats are so limited and we feature wines and beers that people don’t simply have access to. For example the CasaSmith dinner in March, VIA is the only place in Massachusetts that you can enjoy all of Charles Smith’s Italian varietals under 1 roof.
This December the “Kings of Italy” refers to the most highly touted wines from some of the most highly touted producers Italy has to offer, Barolo, Brunello and Amarone. Instead of limiting the dinner to one region or one producer, hopefully it can shed some light on various regions of Italy that some people may not be accustomed to. The same can be said for all of the beer dinners. In a genre like Craft Beer that is so popular right now, we find that all of our guests learn something new every course, because we have local owners and Cicerones explaining the brewing process and culture of each brewery.
Not only are we offering great wines and beers, but we give our chefs the creative license to explore things they haven’t previously attempted and work on dishes that haven’t been featured on our menu. The results have been fantastic.
Here’s a peek at the 2017 lineup:
The 111 Chophouse
Beringer Private Reserve Dinner – February 28th– $150.00
Robert Craig Dinner – March 28th– $125.00
Etude Winery Dinner – April 25th – $125.00
Far Ninete-Nickel & Nickel Dinner – September 19th – $150.00
Joseph Phelps Insignia – October 17th– $150.00
Pahlmeyer – November 14th – $160.00
VIA Italian Table
The Wines of CasaSmith Dinner – March 7th – $70
Wormtown Brewery Dinner – April 4th – $70
New Belgium Brewing Dinner – June 6th – $70
Jack’s Abby Brewing Dinner – October 3rd – $70
The Wines of Antinori Dinner – December 5th – $90
Ditch the wrapping paper this holiday season; instead of splurging on a highbrow bottle from the ritziest package store in town, consider offering your loved ones a distinguished experience.