Wine connoisseurs assert that novice tasters should never pair red wine with fish, white wine with red meat, or excessive wine with jury duty. Master the matching of fine wine and fare with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a Principles of Wine and Dine Pairing class at Sand Castle Winery, plus $10 to spend at the winery store in Erwinna (a $70 value).
Born and raised in the historic winemaking region surrounding the former Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Sand Castle Winery's founders employ the fruits of their 72-acre vineyard to impart the lessons of wine-pairing to their pupils. Over the course of the Principles of Wine and Dine Pairing class, students will sample a wide array of oils with various accents mixed in, as well as cheese, chocolates, nuts, fruit, and other savories, then learn how to marry them to the vineyard's stock of wines without the lengthy process of becoming ordained as a minister at Le Cordon Bleu. Learn how the subtle nuances of spice and oils affect the bouquet of flavors in a 2008 pinot noir, which pairs readily with game meat and pork, or mix the sweet oak and citrus notes of the 2005 chardonnay classic and montrachet cheese. Facts fly regarding the 2005 dry riseling and its balanced flavor, green-apple notes, and potential to pair with pork or striped bass with celery seeds, and the 2007 cabernet sauvignon is revealed to be barrel aged, lending it a soft, creamy finish perfect for steak, venison, or pasta.
After class, procure vinegars, olive oils, and other delectables at the winery store, wander through the vineyard to take in the pastoral beauty of the estate, or engage in mischievous grape tipping.
Sand Castle Winery
Planted by hand in the 1980's, 56,000 special seedlings spiral toward the sun, spawning bundles of grapes that wait to be plucked and transformed into casks of delicious libations. The owners of the elegant winery and castle welcome guests to absorb the sight of the scenic vineyard, and step into the cool, climate-controlled cellar, before heading to the tasting room to sample wine. Large tasting rooms and an outdoor pavilion can also host private events on the regal grounds.
755 River Rd.
Erwinna, Pennsylvania 18920