Do you know the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? I went “Grape Nuts” at Ginger & Soul in Yorkville so I know the difference! I have always wanted to do a wine class to learn what I am tasting when I drink a glass of wine and why. This class was the perfect opportunity and each glass was paired with delicious dishes from the kitchen of Ginger & Soul. (If you are a long time Yorkville resident you will recognize the Owner/Chef, Rachel, staff and some dishes from Cobblestone Bakery.)
The first tasting was La Marca Prosecco and Champagne Taittinger. This was an interesting start to the class because immediately the room was split between who preferred the Prosecco over the Champagne. The Champagne was the smoothest I have ever tasted. It was preferred by the more consistent wine drinkers. I was definitely a big fan! Both of these wines paired perfectly with a cheese plate. I highly recommend brie cheese with either of the wines. The wine helps soften the flavor of the cheese.
- Wine Tip: Start your tasting with a sparkling wine so it opens your taste buds.
The second tasting was Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc and Kendall Jackson Chardonnay paired with Vegan Spring Rolls over Crisp Apple, Citrus Salad and Tamarind Chutney. I have never been a fan of Sauvignon Blanc but after trying this one I will now be giving them all another chance. What we quickly noticed was that the Sauvignon Blanc paired perfectly with the Crisp Apple, Citrus Salad and Tamarind Chutney and the Chardonnay went with the Vegan Spring Roll. Wine should enhance the food you are eating and these wines were great matches for the dish.
- Wine Tip: You can usually tell the difference between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc by the color of the wine. Chardonnay usually has more of a golden color where Sauvignon Blanc tends to have more of a clear color.
Now this next wine comparison might catch you off guard. I know it did for me. It was San Angelo Pinot Grigio and Rodney Strong Pinot Noir paired with the Heirloom Tomato Caprese Flatbread. The reason these two wines were chosen to be tasted together is because they are genetically related. Most people will guess because of the name but when you taste them you will catch a little of the similarity. I think these two are great to compare side by side because Pinot Noir is the wine most white wine drinkers start with when transitioning into the red side.
- Wine Tip: When you are having company over place both the red and white wine in the fridge for 20 minutes before they arrive.
The final pairing was the Rodney Strong Merlot and Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon with Smoked Chicken Thighs with Hominey and Golden Lentils. This dish packed a lot of heat and both the Cabernet and Merlot helped cool the spice. Rachel recommended this dish be served with a Chardonnay in the summer. Both red wines also paired perfectly with the Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Parfait, helping to enhance the chocolate flavor in every bite.
Yorkville still has a lot of the small town charm that we come to expect in Illinois and I think Ginger & Soul is their hidden gem. They have hands down one of the most delicious brunches offered the last Sunday of the month and lots of small class opportunities for all age groups. It is safe to say that if you are foodie passing through Yorkville that this has to be one of your stops!
Future classes include one on California Dreamin’ (2/13) and Italian Food Wines (3/24). Here is the link to check out all of the upcoming classes.