On March 3 & 4, 2013 Eckert’s Country Store and Restaurant in Belleville, Illinois hosted a Wine and Food Festival with cooking demos, wine tastings, and samples. The crowd enjoyed a wide variety of samples, including wines from St. James Winery, Montelle Winery, Grafton Winery and beer from Crown Valley Brewery.
Demonstrations included Wine Tails (mixed drinks with wine) by Missouri based St. James Winery and we attended the wine and food pairing by Illinois based Grafton Winery & Brewhaus. Chef A.J. Giacalone of Grafton Winery paired Harbor Red, Pinto Gris, Apple Crisp (Gewurtzraminer blend) and a Springberry (blackberry & blueberry wine) with baguettes infused with basil and mint olive oil, olive tapenade, a fruity chicken salad, plus kabobs of cheese, olives, tomatoes, and ham.
Grafton Winery & Brewhaus paired their Harbor Red with marinated kabobs.
Chef A.J. Giacalone talks about Harbor Red, a blend of Cabernet, Zinfandel & Syrah. Harbor Red was my fave!
The crowd worked their way through sampling 4 different wines from Grafton Winery paired with a variety of appetizers:
Grafton Winery’s Chef A.J. Giacalone and Erin Prott, Coordinator of Sales, Marketing and Events:
Eckert’s is a seventh generation family farm started in 1837 by German immigrants. Eckert’s is the largest family owned and operated pick- your-own farm and orchard in the United States. Operations include a garden center, wine and cheese store and St. Louis Farm Market. Eckert’s is just west of St. Louis on the site of the original 1910 farmer’s market. In 2010, Eckert’s completed a $5 million expansion that included a new country store and an expanded restaurant.