Wine-loving friends in Boston, there’s an opportunity this week to sip some great wines for an amazing cause. Please see below for more information!

Raise Your Glass for Jimmy presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston

Wine tasting event is Thursday, Oct. 23

BOSTON – The fifth annual Raise Your Glass for Jimmy presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston will take place at the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Admission to the event includes a wide variety of wines to taste, hors d’oeuvres, live music, a silent auction, and a wine bottle drawing. Participating wine vendors include Ansonia Wines, Boston Bottle, Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors, Lattanzio Wines, M.S. Walker, and Plymouth Bay Winery. All proceeds support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Among the silent auction items will be a two-night stay for four at Benziger Winery in Sonoma Valley, Calif., with American Airlines tickets, two tickets to the Nov. 23 New England Patriots game against the Detroit Lions, a one-night stay plus breakfast at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, one cooking class and dinner for six at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, and a four-course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings for four from Strega.

For $25, patrons can participate in the wine bottle drawing. Participants are guaranteed that the bottle they will win is equal to or greater than the $25 they contributed.

Tickets are $50 per person and the first 150 participants at the door will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tresca. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.jimmyfund.org/raise-your-glass. Please note all tickets will be held at the door on the night of the event.  

About The Jimmy Fund

The Jimmy Fund (www.JimmyFund.org) solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. The Jimmy Fund is the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thejimmyfund and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

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Tags: Boston, charity events, charity raffles, events, wine, wine country, wine travel

Blogging has given me the inside scoop on so many incredible events. If it wasn’t for this little food blog, there would be so many things I would have missed out on, and more importantly so many people. I would probably be about 20 pounds lighter too, without thinking about all of the delicious events I am going to attend and meals I am going to make, but hey, life is short and I would rather enjoy it to the fullest!

You may know that I am a country girl at heart. Despite living in the city for so many years, I am truly happiest in an open field, hands in the dirt, eating fresh local food, growing things, and seeing sky, plants, and animals. When I was invited to Dinner on the Farm at Verrill Farm, I was super excited to get out of the city for the day for some great beer and food and to relax on a gorgeous farm.

Brooklyn Brewery Beer

A little about Dinner on the Farm:

Dinner on the Farm creates unique local food experiences designed to celebrate farms, chefs, breweries, and food entrepreneurs dedicated to good, sustainable food. Through our roaming culinary events, we work to connect people back to the land and to the farmers and artisans who are making our communities a better place to live.

pumpkin patch

Our Dinner on the Farm happened to be at Verrill Farm in Concord during fall foliage and pumpkin season, which is pretty much the epitome of perfection. Beautiful leaves, pumpkins, and apples dotted our way to Concord, and Verrill Farm was full of fall flavor. It also happened to be a warm, sunny, perfectly blue sky day, ideal for eating outdoors.

Verrill Farm

This Dinner on the Farm Mash, as they’re called, was a Brooklyn Boston event, with Brooklyn Brewery as the featured brewer and a couple of local guests as well. Bantam Cider was on hand pouring their craft cider, and the chefs for the day were Carolyn Johnson from 80 Thoreau, a spot I am dying to visit and Andrew Gerson, Brooklyn Brewery’s very own.

 

Bantam Cider

The day included lots of fresh air and relaxing on the farm, in addition to some information and a tour from Verrill Farm’s owner, Stephen Verrill. I loved hearing the history of the farm and all about the crops they are growing. It was fun to see that their tomato crop is still thriving just like mine is and to hear their plans for the end of the season. While I am enjoying my tomato crop, I am also pretty excited about my compost heap and getting the beds ready for next season!

Verrill Farm

Dinner on the Farm included a farm tour with Mr. Verrill, who drove the hayride and also hopped off at several points to share information about the farm. You can see him in the green jacket and brown hat in the below photo. Verrill Farm

Verrill Farm

We loved seeing the diversity in the crops at Verrill Farm; they have a huge strawberry patch as well as a ton of leeks, kale, and collards, and of course, pumpkins.

Verrill Farm

 

Verrill Farm

When the tour was over, it was time for a relaxed farm dinner with lots of fresh Brooklyn Brewery beer and live music. The beer from Brooklyn Brewery was amazing, and they were quite generous in their pours! Of course, I loved the rare beers  the most, the Weizenhammer and Ridgy-Didge, but their pumpkin beer is also killer, not sweet or overly potpourri spiced as some pumpkin beers can be.

photo 5  I tweeted that I was a happy girl, out in the country with great beer and Grateful Dead covers. Our musicians for the afternoon, Steve Roy and David Surrette, really set the scene for a relaxed country hoedown. They played a few Grateful Dead covers, and I had a smile on my face all afternoon long.

And finally, last, but certainly not least, there was the food. Grilled chicken was accompanied by a ton of phenomenal vegetable sides, all full of flavor and freshness. Aall made me want to eat piles of local, in season vegetables for every meal.

dinner on the farm

I’ve never seen my husband love kale salad before, but he chowed down on a pile of this one. There were also squash, cabbage, potato, and leek dishes.

squash

Verrill Farm vegetables

 

dinner on the farm

The menu

Assorted potatoes, golden beets, roasted garlic emulsion & green sauce
Roasted winter squash, squash puree & smoked pepitas
Kale salad, white miso vinaigrette, shallots & raisins
Beer-braised cabbage, kohlrabi, onions & ginger
Braised leeks, hakurei turnips & mustard green emulsion
Grilled chicken

Eating farm-to-table cuisine feels SO good and tastes even better. The meal was one of the best I have had, and after having our fill of veggies and chicken (and homemade apple hand pies), we took a slow drive home, admiring the foliage and stopping a few times along the way for photos.

If you have an opportunity to attend a Dinner on the Farm event, I highly recommend it, especially if you love food and the outdoors as much as I do! I hope they come back to Massachusetts next season!

 

Dinner on the Farm generously hosted our dinner, however all opinions are my own.

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Tags: beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Concord, farm, farm dinner, farm to table, Food, Massachusetts

There are a few repeat travel moments that give me butterflies just by thinking about them. One of the major ones is stepping out of customs in Shannon Airport after a Boston to Shannon flight, seeing family for the first time, and then stepping outside for our airplane-dried skin to be bathed in a fresh, light misty early morning air. The smell of turf and rain and jet fuel is etched in my memory, and it always makes me think “home”.

Another favorite moment is when we get to this crossroads on the way to Napa and Sonoma and make a left toward Gloria Ferrer and all of wine country. I feel like a world is opening up to me, like I close a door behind us for however long we are away. So much waits beyond that crossroads!

napa sonoma On our last Sonoma County trip, we decided to check out Cline Cellars as our very first winery. You may know how much we love Cline wines, especially our house Viognier, but somehow we always missed visiting the winery. Boy, was I glad we took the time to stop (And we were their first guests at 10:00 a.m.! Blame it on #EastCoastTime)

Cline Cellars

Cline is beautiful. The whole area of Sonoma County is stunning, but from the road it is impossible to tell how involved and lovely Cline’s property is. If visiting Cline Cellars, give yourself an hour to wander around before you taste.

Cline Cellars

Sonoma County vineyards Sonoma County vineyards

In addition to being surrounded by beautiful vineyards, Cline has exquisite gardens and ponds, one where you can even feed some very aggressive, large fish. I was like a kid again feeding them and the turtles around them. Cline also has a variety of interesting birds on property.

Cline Cellars property

 

pomegranates

Cline’s gardens are gorgeous. I loved all of the fruit and flowers and became more inspired for my next season of gardening. Their gardens were both wild and groomed, creating a perfect space of natural beauty, surrounded by the bigger beauty that is Sonoma County.

Cline Cellars garden

Of course, Cline’s wines are as beautiful as their gardens, and their staff is wonderful as well. Days before we arrived, Cline lost quite a bit of wine to the Napa earthquake, and they also had some bottles with damaged labels for sale.

Cline Cellars Earthquake Wine

It was their Ancient Vine Zinfandel, with a  gorgeous, intense burst of fruit and cocoa with a hint of pepper. Ancient vines are one of those things that make Cline so amazing. Kelli recommended I try the 2012 Ancient Vine Mourvedre which is seriously AMAZING. This wine is so rich and concentrated, lots of dark fruit and again those cocoa notes, which offer so much depth, slight sweetness, roasted flavors. Heavenly.

Peppery Syrah also made its way to my favorite list; we do love Cline’s white wines, quite obviously, but the morning we visited was before the fog lifted, and those deep dark reds were perfection. Cline Cellars tasting room

Cline Cellars is an iconic winery, one of those spots you could easily visit again and again for the scenery and people and to check out the latest vintage. Now that we know what resides up that long vineyard road from the highway, we will find it impossible to ever pass again on a Sonoma trip.

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Tags: Cline Viognier, Sonoma, Sonoma County, Sonoma wine, wine, wine tasting, wine travel, Wine Wednesday

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