John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

Canaan Wild,Wonderful Wine Weekend: A mountain of wine and food

Spring.  A time of rebirth and renewal, with daffodils blooming and sunshine making a regular appearance.  I would like to enjoy springtime, particularly after the REAL winter we just experienced. Unfortunately, my incessant sneezing and wheezing overwhelm and interrupt any ideas I might have about enjoying the great outdoors.

There is one place, though, where spring is delayed for a couple of months and I can enjoy something that is even more appealing to me than sunshine and blue skies: The Wild and Wonderful Wine Weekend at Canaan Valley Resort. 

Every six months, I have the pleasure of participating in and presenting at a wine weekend event at Canaan Valley Resort in the mountains of wild and wonderful West Virginia.  The sixth version of this semi-annual mountain gourmet extravaganza will take place April 9th and 10th at the resort.

I’ll select wines from around the world that will be paired with delicious selection of  culinary treats prepared by Canaan Valley Resort’s executive chef Nemat Odeh.  Chef Odeh, who received his culinary training in Europe, knows a thing or two about gourmet food. He is also willing to work with dilettantes like me in preparing exquisite  wine friendly menus. 

Here’s the schedule: Friday, April 9 at 7 p.m.: Guests will kick-off the weekend with a "taste-around reception" where more than 20 wines from the world's most prestigious regions can be sampled with matching culinary treats at food stations all around the ballroom. This wine and food “graze around” is a wonderful way to evaluate wine with a wide variety of dishes.    

The next day at 11a.m., I will conduct a tasting of wines from around the world which will be followed by a delicious three-course luncheon with specially selected wines. Later, Chef Odeh will conduct a nutrition and culinary demonstration  (2:30 to 4 p.m.) or guests can enjoy an afternoon of activities or take a nap and get ready for evening ahead.  

Saturday evening’s activities begin at 7 p.m. with the multi-course Grand Gourmet Dinner with accompanying wines.  The menu includes: seared scallops in an Appalachian nest with shaved golden beets and caramelized onions; pepper encrusted mozzarella cheese with roasted tomato, field crisp greens w/olive oil; monkfish wrapped in pancetta with braised red cabbage and lobster glaze; tournedos Rossini petit filet mignon with hickory smoked bacon, portabella mushrooms, and demi glaze; and chocolate raspberry tart with fresh berries.  

I’m still working on the wines for each course, but you can be assured they will be tasty.

Guests have the option of attending the entire weekend for a package price, or choosing to participate in individual events ala carte. For pricing and additional information or reservations call 800-622-4121. 

So come on up to the mountains, avoid hay fever and celebrate spring with great food and wine at the Wild and Wonderful Wine Weekend!

Some wines for your consideration
Thank You Nelson Mandela !

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