Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 Game Dinner: Cousino Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon `10 $11.99

It has been a rough winter - cold, dark and filled with snow.  What helps me get through the seemingly endless final weeks of winter? Counting the days until the Stockbridge Sportsman's Club Game Dinner, a fundraiser that shares the bounty of the year with neighbors and brings over 200 of us all together: writers, hunters, teachers, students, healthcare activists, carpenters, tradesmen, civil servants, business owners and a transplanted Fijian. The one demographic NOT represented at the dinner was vegetarians. This was my second year attending the annual Game Dinner, and I hope that I'll be able to write about for years to come.

The dinner had a special wine pairing, a French Rhone (reviewed last year) Chapelle St Arnoux Cotes du Ventoux, and the Chilean Cousino Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon `10 above left.  There was a full cash bar for those who wanted beer, soda, juice or mixed drinks.

The fire in the member built fireplace added a glow to the room, and mounted trophies on the walls were a reminder of where our dinner came from.  This is a gathering of old and new friends sharing in the harvest, talking about the season and celebrating by raising a glass, swapping hunting stories, and online recipes while discussing schools, orchestra practice, writing groups and honeymoons. (public vs private, 9 hours practicing with 15 mins for lunch!, topics focusing on women, a B&B in Newport RI  - a fishing trip in guise of a honeymoon)

Dinner was presented in three buffet courses:

Appetizers: Smoked Trout Pâté, Smoked Pheasant, Wild Boar Meatballs with pineapple habenero sauce, Country Venison Pâté, Mini Bear Wellington with horseradish sauce, Squirrel & Rabbit Ragu, and Moose Sausage Sliders.

Main Courses: Smoked Salmon Cakes with Mango Sauce, Panko Crusted Cod and Pollack with Lemon Pepper and White Wine,  Moose and Elk Stroganoff over egg noodles, Venison Chili, Moose & Mushroom Stew, Polenta, Venison Meatloaf with a mushroom demi-glace, Grilled Moose, Smoked Bear with a Memphis Rub, Smoked Venison, Wild Fiddleheads and Winter Squash.

Dessert: Fruit cobbler, homemade fudge, and local Barrington Roasting Company Coffee.

Everything was local.  The club is set back in the Berkshire Mountain woods where generations of animals and hunters have co-existed.  The fiddleheads were harvested from a local riverbank.  Two Italian sisters made the delicious, creamy polenta, that highlighted the moose and mushroom stew.  The club's vice president made the Country Venison Pâté with pistachios, and he and his wife donated the Japanese Kabocha & Butternut squash from their garden too.

With two professional chefs in the kitchen, the Club's Peter de la Grande and David Pullano, this dinner is a meat loving foodie event.

At our table, between sips of the jammy, complex Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, as oohed and ahhd over the Venison Stew, Marc Fadding, the club VP and cook of both the Stew and Venison Pâté told us a he tweaked am online recipe for venison stew by adding red-wine and a rich, fresh venison stock he learned to make under the tutelage of Chef Gerhard Schmid. It was delicious, and the lean flavorful stew paired beautifully with the dark fruit layers of the Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

The real pairing highlights of the evening was the Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile's Maipo Valley with both the appetizer Moose Sausage Slider, and the main course Moose and Elk Stroganoff over egg noodles.   At 14% ETO, this Cabernet Sauvignon was well balanced, added a fruity taste to balance the meat, and was a perfect match to the sweetness in both the slider bun, and the stroganoff noodles. What a delicious meal.

I'm counting the days until next year....

1 comment:

  1. Well Done Anna! I attended this event and you have covered every aspect in perfect detail!