A few weeks ago, I participated in the annual Gloria Ferrer Caves & Winery Hands on Harvest, a memorable two-day affair for fortunate wine industry members and media (for the complete article about this epic event, please click here). One of the many points reinforced was the understanding that nothing tastes better than a terrific pairing of delicious wine and well-prepared food. To prove just that, our group had a luscious multi-course dinner at the original Williams Sonoma store featuring wine pairings from Gloria Ferrer.

 

Gloria Ferrer

Photo Credit: www.williams-sonoma.com

Williams-Sonoma, located a few blocks from the landmark Sonoma Square, was founded by Chuck Williams in 1956. To honor Chuck Williams’ legacy, this mecca for culinary aficionados, is an “ultimate destination” and offers personalized cooking classes of which we took part. That evening, I was more than happy to honor his gift to all food (and wine) lovers.

Greeted by a tray on which were glasses of just-poured Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs (to which no one declined…), our Hands on Harvest crew was mesmerized by the exceptional table settings, beautiful cookware, colorful imported linens, and more found throughout the store. We then got to work as we prepared dinner under the tutelage of Chef Elizabeth, one of the most unflappable chefs on the planet, given our group’s penchant for laughter and plenty of wine.

Gloria Ferrer and Chef Elizabeth
Our merry band was assigned a team to prepare a specific menu item, proving that the harvest wasn’t the only “hands on” experience. I helped create the Quinoa side dish. While Chef multi-tasked the entire dinner, she carefully watched each “cook” (especially me as I wielded a knife with reckless abandon while I sliced Asian pears) for quality control. For the menu of the evening, please click here.

Gloria Ferrer Hands on Harvest dinner
Among the several scrumptious dishes that we enjoyed was Warm Marinated Olives, an appetizer so easy to make and so darn fabulous, I vowed to make it when I returned home. And I did. Naturally, I had to pair it with generous pours of Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs . As you might expect, my guests loved every sip and savored each bite. You will, too.

The olives, bursting with flavors of garlic, rosemary, orange, lemon, spices, and Fresno chilis, are an exceptional starter before any meal. And the Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs? Mouthwatering aromas and flavors of crisp, green apples, lemongrass, and vanilla with a luscious, creamy mouthfeel and a long mineral-driven finish from 100% Carneros Chardonnay is the pairing you’ve wanted all along.

Gloria Ferrer

Warm Marinated Olives

Ingredients

  • 1lb mixed unpitted olives such as Castelveterano and Nicoise
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole and smashed
  • 5 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, preferably fresh
  • 4 thin slices lemon zest
  • 4 thin slices orange zest
  • 2 each fresh Fresno chilis, sliced on the bias
  • sachet of spices including black peppercorns, whole dried chili, coriander seed, fennel seed, star anise
  • 1 quart olive oil

Directions

Step 1
Warm olive oil over low heat. Add herbs, herb sachet, and citrus zest.
Step 2
Once the oil is warm, add olives and fresnoes.
Step 3
Warm through about 5 minutes.
Step 4
Remove from heat, stir in orange juice, and and let cool to room temperature.

Cheers! ~ Cindy

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