On Thursday, January 10 FCS Professionals and guests gathered at the Cambria Gallery in downtown Minneapolis for “An Evening of Awesomeness”. The evening began with an antipasti skewer paired with a glass of Cantina di Capri “Piazza Grande” Lambrusco Rose wine. A time for mingling in the gallery was held prior to the official start of the program.
The Cambria Gallery is not just home to samples of beautiful countertops but also has a bar, kitchen space, and even a stage. The walls are adorned with photographs and autographs from musicians who have stopped in for a concert in the gallery. WCCO radio is located upstairs and several musicians who are touring the radio stations will then stop for a concert. The Cambria Gallery offers free event space including a conference room for 10 and they can hold up to 250 people in the actual gallery space.
Program co-chair Gerry Luepke introduced the evening’s speaker Leslee Miller. Leslee is a certified Sommelier and owner of Amusee and Sip Better . Amusee is her wine consulting business and Sip Better is a wine club. When not working with her two businesses you can find her making appearances on local television like The Jason Show, sitting on the MN Grape Growers Association, and even teaches courses at the University of Minnesota.
Leslee provided a wealth of information during the course of the evening (too much to recap here!) but here are a few bits of information!
- When pairing wine and food match to either the preparation of the dish, sauce, or the dressing
- Heavier sauces (think Caesar or creamy) you can lighten up with something acidic. Heavy food + lighter wine = balance
- If your dish is spicy do not go acidic with the wine. Try a Malbec
- Pork and Syrah go well together
- Pair a sparkly rose with a meat and cheese tray
- Vegetarian dishes like curry —> Pinot Noir, Grenache
- What grows together, goes together!
She also talked at length about health conscious choices with wine. Many are concerned about monitoring sugar intake in food yet forget to think about how much sugar they are consuming in wine. Popular brands like Apothic and Yellow Tail are full of sugar (as much as a can of Coke!). Leslee recommends choosing old world wines with a lower alcohol concentration (9-13%) to reduce sugar consumption. She said our first wine we tasted was between 0-5 calories per 5 oz glass. This is a link to her recent segment on the Jason Show talking about this very topic!
The wines served throughout the evening were interesting and paired perfectly with our small bites.