Conference attendees started the weekend with a welcome reception hosted by CK Mondavi and Family wines. Who doesn’t enjoy mingling with a great glass of wine. I enjoyed my favorite from their wine portfolio, the Scarlet 5, while catching up with old friends and perusing cookbooks at the Idaho Potato cookbook exchange. I came home with a cookbook I’m excited to peruse, Carolina Cooking. There were so many great books from which to choose.
Then it was on to the Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek which is a sampling of goodies from each of the various eateries at the hotel. There was sushi, Mexican bites and Italian delights, among others. I’d have to say one of the best bites of the conference was the fried lasagna. Yep…FRIED lasagna. Not sure there’s much more to say about that. The beignets with strawberries and cream were warm and sweet but not too sweet. After the tasting, it was off to bed to rest for what promised to be a great Saturday.
What a complete and total accomplishment to organize a conference of this magnitude. Dinner was Ah-Mazing! sponsored by Certified Angus Beef. The short ribs were perfectly prepared! Saturday night ended with a 50’s style sock hop hosted by Florida Strawberry Growers Association.
Sunday was a full day of sessions, more food and the always fun #Hashed competition sponsored by Wish Farms, for whom I was the brand ambassador. We named our team The Boozy Broads and had a lot of fun creating the drink I share here. We had fresh Wish Farms blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries to use along with mixers, oranges and a selection of CK Mondavi and Family Wines. We worked well together, and although we didn’t win, we were proud of our creation.
Blackberry Wine Sparkler
- 1/2 cup blackberry puree strained to remove seeds
- 1 cup CK Mondavi Pinot Grigio
- 10 ounces tonic water
- 2 strawberries hulled and sliced
- Orange juice for dipping glass rims freshly squeezed is best
- Granulated sugar for rimming glass
- Orange slices for garnish
- Champagne saucer glasses
- In a small plate place orange juice. In a separate small place place granulated sugar. Dip each champagne saucer in juice first then in sugar, cleaning any juice that drips. Set aside.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine blackberry puree and CK Mondavi Pinot Grigio. Shake to combine. Pour evenly into 4 glasses, leaving enough room to top off with tonic water. Once topped with tonic water, add one or two sliced strawberries to the glass and garnish glass with orange slice.
- Serve immediately.