868 Vineyards has a ladies wine dinner every month that is a real treat. It’s 7-9:30pm and includes 3 courses. The Doc and I went in July and the dinner was really good. And, we got to sit outside which was peaceful and made for a lovely summer evening.

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For July, The Vine theme was Island Wines. We started with an hors d’oeuvre of Grouper Ceviche on a Spoon along with a great cheese and cracker spread. That was served with 868’s Canvas White. It’s a semi-sweet white that paired really well. It’s light and perfect for summer.

The first course was awesome. We had Jerk Chicken over Garlic Cumin Rice with Scallion – Watermelon Salsa. This course was paired with Maui Blanc from Hawaii. Let’s start by saying I do not like watermelon but this salsa was good. Good like as in I wanted to make it good. That’s saying a lot coming from me. The chicken wasn’t very spicy like other Jerk dishes I’ve had but that wasn’t a bad thing because it was paired perfectly with the wine. Maui has one winery and their wine is made from pineapples. I thought this wine was going to be sweet but it was like a dry pineapple so it had sweetness but not a whole lot. It paired so well with the Caribbean flavors, actually perfectly. This wine ran $26 and since Kelley loves Jerk I picked up a bottle.

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Onto the second course…Curry Shrimp and Bacon Lardon over Orzo and Tomato Salad with Green Tomato Vinaigrette. I admit, I had to Google what a lardon was and for anyone reading who doesn’t know, it’s a fatty piece of bacon that’s used to add a ton of flavor. This dish was good and was paired with Argioles Vermentino Costamolio ($25) which is a white wine that has hints of citrus which is a perfect pairing for the lightness of shrimp. The notes 868 gave us said it would pair well with salads, seafood and Asian cuisine which I definitely agree.

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The last course was dessert. Ummm…the bomb! It was a Chocolate Banana Bar with Vanilla Gelato. This thing was good. I loved it! It was paired with Bedell Taste White which ran $29. I always thought chocolate would go with red wine but because the banana was mixed in a red would have been a little overwhelming. It’s a blend of Alabarino, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc  and Voignier so it’s not sweet and not too dry.

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All in all, this dinner was great and I’m still thinking about the chicken dish along with that salsa. Yum!! I thought the pairings were good and never would have thought about them for the dishes.  The Maui Blanc and the Canvas White were my stand outs for the night but then again, I like semi-sweet wine.

The Vine is a great opportunity to step out there and try some different wines along with unique dishes. The chef at 868, which has the Grandale restaurant on their property, is so creative. The ingredients he pairs fascinate me, I’m not nearly that creative. And, you are paired with other ladies at your table so we met some wine dinner friends.

By the way, Kelley and I went to an outdoor concert and he made Jerk Chicken which we had with the wine. It was very complementary.

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