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Hosting a Winemaker Dinner
July 1st, 2013
Peggy Fiandaca

My fascination with wine, wine/food pairings, grape growing, and wine making goes back to when I first met Curt and brought him a bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel.

He was not impressed and that prompted us to embark on a journey of discovery to wine regions around the world.
  Peggy Fiandaca & Curt Dunham

One of our first wine events was a wine tasting with Rodney Strong, winemaker of Rodney Strong Vineyards. He enchanted us with his stories of ballet dancing at the Lido in Paris and his passion for the wine business while we enjoyed his wines. Another time I painfully learned the importance of wine dumping (instead of drinking the 25 tastes). Mid-way through I excused myself to the restroom where an hour later Curt retrieved me for our ride home.

Every time we go on vacation or away for the weekend, we book a winemaker dinner or event. The local chamber of commerce, wine trail, or wine association websites are usually the best places to find these events. Because we typically are the ones who have traveled farthest (and we make them aware of this!) they seat us next to the winemaker or other VIP. These events are so interesting, fun and have broadened our wine/food pairing knowledge.


 Lawrence Dunham Vineyards
  If you can’t plan a get-away, plan a wine tasting dinner for your friends and bring the experience home.

So often friends are invited over and the wine is an after-thought.


Next time, invite friends for a wine tasting dinner where wine is the star and the food is chosen to compliment the wine.

One tip to remember, you can change the ingredients and spices, or the food preparation methods (e.g., braising, grilling, poaching, roasting) but you can’t change the wine. So start with the wines in mind and pair the food to go with each. Click here for Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ 8 Tips to Hosting a Winemaker Dinner.

If that still sounds like too much work, join us at an upcoming Lawrence Dunham Vineyards Winemaker Dinner at Sunglow Ranch on July 20thor at some of Arizona’s best eateries in the future. Click here for more information.