January 25, 2011

Tassel Ridge Winery Events

Saturday, January 29—Tassel Ridge Winery’s Chinese New Year Wine Dinner

7:00 p.m.—Wine Tasting
7:30 p.m.—Dinner Seating

Price: $45 per person, plus tax. Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $40 per person, plus tax (includes 1 glass of wine with each course and gratuity)

We still have some spots available. Ring in the Chinese New Year with a three-course Chinese dinner featuring Asian chicken lettuce wraps with a special dipping sauce paired with Tassel Ridge Candlelight; wok-seared beef with vegetables over rice paired with 2008 Iowa Frontenac Rosé; and an almond tart paired with Iowa Prairie Snow. Advance reservations required by Thursday, January 27. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations.


Sunday, January 30—Big Game Wine & Food Pairing Kick-Off

1:00–3:00 p.m.
Price: $10 per person, plus tax. Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $5 per person, plus tax (includes wine and appetizer sampling and take-home recipe cards)

Are you ready for some great wine, food, and football? Our chef, Linda DeJong, will demonstrate preparation of some amazing appetizers that are sure to wow your football game guests. We’ve paired them with specially selected Tassel Ridge wines that Steve Richardson, our Wine Educator, will present. Enjoy wine and appetizer sampling and take-home recipe cards. And, while you are at the Winery, check out our large selection of wine and wine-related gift items. They make perfect gifts for your football party host. Advance reservations required by Thursday, January 27. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations.


2011 Tropical Wine Festival is 6-9 p.m. on February 4

Price: $30 in advance/$35 at the door (Passport holders receive 10% off tickets when they purchase at a wine trail winery) Group Special—Buy 4 tickets at a winery or on-line and receive a Wine Trail Passport free.

Is cabin fever setting in? Get away from snow and cold weather for an evening of wine tasting, music, and fun at the Tropical Wine Festival which takes place at the Des Moines Botanical Center, 6–9 p.m. on Friday, February 4. Sponsored by the 15 winery members of the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail, this annual event will offer the opportunity to taste nearly 90 different wines made here in Central Iowa. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 at the door. Tassel Ridge Winery has a supply of tickets. And, if you hold a Heart of Iowa Wine Trail Passport, you will receive a 10% discount on your tickets if you purchase them at one of the member wineries. Check this website for all the details and names of the Festival partners.


Saturday, February 12—Valentine’s Wine Dinner

7:00 p.m.—Wine & Cheese Reception
7:30 p.m.—Dinner Seating

Price: $60 per person, plus tax—Harvest Club Member & 1 Guest Price: $55 per person, plus tax (includes 1 glass of wine with each course and gratuity)

Treat your Valentine to a romantic evening at Tassel Ridge Winery. Enjoy a wine and cheese reception and a gourmet three-course dinner featuring Beef Tenderloin paired with award-winning Tassel Ridge Wines. Choose from an intimate table for two or a larger table for a group celebration. Contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE for reservations by Wednesday, February 9.

Turn your Romantic Valentine’s Evening into an Overnight Getaway! Overnight Getaway packages include Tassel Ridge Winery’s Valentine’s Wine Dinner for two; a private VIP winery tour and wine tasting; your choice of an overnight stay at the McNeill Stone Mansion, a beautiful bed & breakfast in Oskaloosa, or at the Country Inn & Suites in Pella; and a welcome basket with two souvenir wine glasses, bottle opener, and your choice of a bottle of Tassel Ridge Oskyfizzante® Red or Oskyfizzante® White. Prices start at $250, plus tax. For reservations, contact the Winery at 641.672.WINE by Monday, February 7.


Iowa Prairie Snow is Now on the Wine List at Flemings in West Des Moines

Tassel Ridge “Iced” dessert wine, Iowa Prairie Snow, is now on the wine list at Flemings in West Des Moines. If you like steaks, Flemings is THE place to enjoy great food in a beautiful setting with outstanding service. Flemings goes all-out for guests who are celebrating special events like birthdays and anniversaries.

Iowa Prairie Snow is a dessert in a glass. It is sweet, very fruity with notes of apple and pear, and is great just by itself or with fruity desserts.

The sweetness of Iowa Prairie Snow comes completely from the very sweet grapes used in making it. We hand pick the white grapes—each batch of Iowa Prairie Snow includes two or more white cold climate grape varieties grown in our Mahaska County vineyards—at their peak of quality and freeze them. They remain in the freezer until after harvest when we set them out in the open air long enough to partially thaw. Then, we press them hard and fast. We only get 1/3 of the normal amount of juice from the grapes but it is concentrated, very sweet, and extremely flavorful and aromatic.

Price: $29.00 for a 375 ml bottle. Look for the tall thin clear bottle where you shop. If you don’t see Iowa Prairie Snow where you shop, please ask the store manager to order it for you.


Cheese Fondue is Great with Candlelight

I recently enjoyed cheese fondue at home, not just one night, but two nights in a row. I am not a purist and don’t feel that I have to grate the cheese myself. I am quite happy to purchase a packaged cheese fondue at the store so I don’t grate my fingers with the cheese. My favorite brand is Swiss Knight and it comes in a 14-ounce package. That makes a nice meal for my wife and me. We purchase fresh French bread baguettes and slice them up and then dip the bread in the melted cheese mixture.

The big news is that Tassel Ridge Candlelight is an outstanding complement to cheese fondue. Candlelight is slightly sweet and offers appealing acid and citrus notes that balance the fat and flavors in the cheese.

Price: $13.00 for a 750 ml bottle. If you don’t see Candlelight where you shop, please ask the store manager to order it for you.


—Bob Wersen, President