Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 SEWE Game Dinner at The Drawing Room

Crispy Frog Legs with greens and garlic cream
Chad Poppleton creates artwork during dinner
The new ownership at the Vendue Inn renewed the tradition of a Game Dinner during the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, which is celebrating 33 years of success. What's better after a first and full Friday of SEWE, then a grand dining occasion with friends and like-minded patrons? This special evening included much more than the culinary talents of Chef Jon Cropf and the wine pairings from Duckhorn Vineyards. A 6 p.m. reception held in the new art gallery at the Vendue Inn included music by the principal cellist from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and active painting by Chad Poppleton, the SEWE Featured Artist for 2014.

Crossing Vendue Street and entering The Drawing Room Restaurant on the first floor, we were greeted by the sound of Spanish music with a gringo playing a 12-string guitar during dinner. SEWE Executive Director John Powell addressed the diners before the Duckhorn Vineyards representative explained about the four wines that would be served with each course of the game dinner.

SEWE patrons from Charlotte greet Chef Jon Cropf
In my opinion, the first course Migration label 2012 Chardonnay was by far the best wine. Perfectly chilled, this white wine offered a crisp hint of grapes on the palate and it left no bitter finish whatsoever. Two large crispy frog legs served with pine smoked sunchoke yielded chunks of white meat that were tender and visually appealing. A fork and knife worked fine for this course at The Drawing Room, but using ones fingers may be the ideal way to get the jump on these tasty morsels.

2015 SEWE Game Dinner Menu
Four Ways Of Duck with duck breast and broccoli, puffed rice, plum jam and Chinese five spice filled the second course plate. While the 2011 Goldeneye Pinot Noir and its light pink coloration reminded everyone on this Friday the 13th that Valentine's Day was almost here! The main course was hearty with a boar bacon wrapped venison pate' and a braised bison short rib that had been slow-cooked for 24-hours. These meaty offerings went well with the 2011 Paraduxx Winemaker's Series red wine that was full-bodied and offered an oaky finish.

Four Ways of Duck
Dinner table conversation included great dinner and wine experiences from the past, and even sporting matters like how the decline in bobwhite quail numbers has been such a disappointment to many. Other topics in the mix at the Duckhorn Dinner at The Drawing Room included conservation, art, and what to do next at SEWE! As the final course of spiced chocolate soup was poured in front of each diner, the 2011 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc served to sweeten the deal on what had been a sweet day at SEWE.

To view past blog entries from the SEWE Game Dinner click 2010  ; or Fresh On The Menu

To view more blog entries from the 2015 SEWE click on Charleston Place Gala or Mills House

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