February 27, 2012

Newport Kroger Marketplace: Wine Tasting

If you're looking for me between the hours of 5pm-7pm on a Friday, there's a good chance I'll be at the Newport Kroger Marketplace liquor store partaking in a free wine and food tasting.  It's all I think about every Friday, all day long.  So, in honor of the one year anniversary of Taste and See, I figured I'd tell you about one of my favorite things in the whole world!

The Friday tasting generally includes a variety of three or four wines paired with a couple dishes prepared by the chefs at Newport Bistro 423.  On my most recent trip they featured Liberty Chardonnay and Wild Horse Cabernet Sauvignon along with both the silver and gold Sauza tequila. Both the cabernet and chardonnay were smooth and to my liking and I'm kicking myself for not grabbing a bottle.  The tequila was served in a mixture along with 03 premium orange liqueur and Simply Lime limeade.  It was very margarita-esque.  My preference was for the gold tequila over silver.
I wasn't sure if there was really any rhyme or reason to the pairings so I did my own thing and paired the chardonnay with the cheese tray; manchego with fig/almond cake and then the merlot bellavitano- this is one of my favorite cheeses offered by NKMP!
The cabernet sauvignon went well with the artichoke potato empanada and horseradish chive cream.  I was doing a little grocery shopping the night before the tasting and was lucky enough to get a preview of this dish; the chef had made too much so she set out some to sample.  I told her I would be back at the tasting just so I could get more of these empanadas.  The cornmeal breading was wonderful and so complementary with the horseradish.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again, Newport Kroger has some serious culinary talent going on!
The tequila limeade concoction paired nicely with the chicken and andouille gumbo.  This dish was DELICIOUS and so hearty; the heat was just enough to cause minimal face-sweating.  Gumbo is moving to the top of my list of things I need to make.  I could eat something like this everyday and never grow tired of it.
If I'm not mistaken, all Kroger Marketplace locations offer free wine and food pairings on Friday evenings.  The Newport location is every Friday from 4pm-7pm and it's a great way to end your work week and start your Friday night.  

Happy 1st Birthday, Taste and See!!!

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