This past Monday evening I had the pleasure of dining at Camelot Cellars. Camelot paired up with local caterer, Laura’s Catering, to create a dinner around the cranberry.
Cranberries are one of the staples of fall and winter dining. Typically we see the cranberry turned into a sauce and drizzled on top of turkey or perhaps on a dessert.
This dinner featured cranberries at each course and it was an interesting twist to the winter classic.
Each course of the meal was paired with a wine from Camelot. The wines accentuating the tartness and sweetness of the cranberry.
Janine, the owner of Camelot, created the dinners because she wanted to provide another way for patrons to get to know each other and the winery a little bit better.
We started off with a creamy cranberry soup, which I unfortunately do not have a picture of. My camera did not want to focus on the soup properly leaving me with very blurry pictures. It was a lovely deep pink soup that was smooth with hints of cream and garlic in the background.
The soup was paired with Camelot’s Symphony wine. A white wine made from the Symphony grape which was a grape created specifically to make wine (at least this was my understanding! I hope I got that right, Rick!). The wine went well with the soup helping to tone down the sharpness of the cranberry.
The second course was a light mixed green salad with dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, and crumbled blue cheese all topped with a balsamic dressing. I’m not sure if the dressing was made with cranberries or not but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a touch in there.
The salad was light and refreshing after the rich soup. This dish was paired with Camelot’s Vieux Chateau du Roi, described as a French Burgundy style wine. It was a light red that kept the freshness of the salad alive.
The main course was a ravioli filled with dried cranberries and ricotta cheese. It was drizzled with a garlic cream sauce and sprinkled with orange zest and chopped basil. The orange was a strong flavor of this dish and it complimented the cranberries very well. My favorite part of this dish was actually the sauce. It was light and creamy, which is exactly what you hope for when eating a cream based pasta sauce.
The wine for this dish was Camelot’s South African Pinotage. This was a light red that also had a bit of a smokey nose to it. This was my favorite wine of the evening. So much that I bought a bottle of it! Such a great red and the flavors are complex enough that you can pair it with appetizers or it can stand up to a heavier dish, like a roast.
Dessert was a cranberry and apple crumble/cobbler combo. It had aspects of both. The crust and the topping were my favorite. Very buttery and flaky. Perfect way to end a meal! Camelot paired one of their ports with this dish. By the end of the evening the port was a little too much for me to handle and I couldn’t finish my pour! But it was tasty and a nice end of the evening drink.
The second picture of these is my favorite. I liked the way the lighting and the color came out.
There was much chit-chatting and talk around the table. Camelot hosts these dinners at their long Tuscan table which seats 12 people comfortably.
The centerpieces were done by a local florist and they smelled amazing. Fresh flowers at dinner were a lovely surprise and much welcome after all the gloom and rain we’ve been having.
This was the second themed dinner that Camelot has hosted. In November they hosted a pumpkin dinner which was so popular that they did it twice!
They are hoping to have more dinners again starting in the spring of 2012.
To stay updated on Camelot and all their events (like their masquerade ball!) please connect with them!
Facebook: Camelot Cellars Winery
Website: Camelot Cellars
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Janine has some great events coming up in the new year so make sure that you stay connected with Camelot. Thanks to Janine for hosting a great dinner! It’s always a good time when you get a chance to sip some wine at Camelot!