Category Archives: Flavors

Wine and Grape Month Celebrated in North Carolina



Sip wine or pick grapes from the vine at Lu Mil Vineyard in Elizabethtown, NC.

The scuppernong is a variety of muscadine grape and is North Carolina’s state fruit.  This vineyard has a vine which is a cutting of the Mother Vine which is more than 400 years old.

Summer Breeze Music and Wine Fest

La Belle Amie Vineyard

Saturday, August 31, 2013 

Noon – 5 pm Little River, SC

Summer breezes, good friends, a little wine, some outdoor cooking….
Enjoy an afternoon of live music from two talented bands. Plus, sample the many wine varieties & exotic wine concoctions, and take in the beauty of the vineyard. Don’t forget the vineyard tour (2:30). Browse the great gift shop.

MUSIC (12:00 – 5:00pm)  The Party Favor Band, and LATITUDE

ADMISSION : $8/person. (under 18 or over 80 admitted free) Bring two canned/dry good items for area food banks and receive $3 off admission. Club Members Free.

Food Available From: Smokin’ Pitt BBQ

BEVERAGES (Water, Soda, Beer, & Wine) Available From: La Belle Amie Vineyard

VINEYARD LOCATION: Hwy 90 & St. Joseph Road (just west of the NMB Middle School.) 

GPS ADDRESS: 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, SC 29566

REGULAR SHOP HOURS : Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm. Closed Sundays.

She’s a HOT SHOT! …and Her Datil Peppers Have a Pedigree

For 30+ years, Sherry Stoppelbein has been feeding St. Augustine, Florida ~ with three restaurants, a bakery and an award-winning hot sauce company. They’re all in one HOT  location situated in the center of the historic district of America’s oldest city. Hot Shot Bakery & Café  isn’t really about Stoppelbein (according to Stoppelbein)  but about the made-from-scratch food she whips up for breakfast, lunch, catering, signature themed cakes; she’s all about pleasing her patrons who have a hankering for ‘unique’.


Winning culinary competitions by entering a wide variety of her signature datil pepper dishes over the years, Hot Shot Bakery & Café  has a following that includes all ages. Kids adore her baked goodies from cupcakes to cookies. College kids crave her hearty soups, wraps and paninis. Foodies die for anything she’s concocting, especially the new little chocolate covered datil pepper!image002

How about Stoppelbein’s ‘WALL OF FLAME’ featuring photos of patrons who are eating their first datil pepper treat or competing to eat the most? After months of wannabe winners, the current champion has only eaten FOUR chocolate covered datils!image003



The history of St. Augustine’s prized pepper is that it was probably born in Peru, coursing a path to its cousin the Habanera (Havana) and then finding its home in St. Augustine. Stoppelbein and her husband Bubba grow the plants at their home in Elkton, Florida. A good year could bring 50-100 healthy plants yielding 2 bushels of peppers from each plant (22 pounds) which equals approximately 400-500 tiny bright green peppers. As they mature from June through the summer, they turn bright golden yellow.


In addition to dipping the datils into semi-sweet Hershey chocolate, Stoppelbein manufactures her line of datil sauces, jams and condiments as ‘Datil B Good’. The line includes datil pepper BBQ sauce, citrus jam, four escalating degrees of hot sauce, datil mustard and her famous chocolate sauce ~ all with a kick!

Music at La Belle Amie Vineyard

Live Music @ The Vineyard

Wine Wednesday and Festival Saturday!

Noon – 6 pm Little River, SC

What a lot of rain! And more to come. So keep your eye on the weather for this weeks events. Upcoming is Wine Wednesday and this Saturday is theIndependence Music Blast. The music will be flowing as well as the wine, and the grill will be smoking hot. So mark your calendars for a visit to the vineyard Cheers! Vicki.

July 3, Wednesday (12:30 – 4:30pm) – Joan Burton
July 6, Saturday (12:00 – 5:00pm) – Latitude and The Stardusters

ADMISSION : Wednesday – no admission.
ADMISSION : Saturday – $8/person (under age 18 or over 80 always admitted at no charge.)

FOOD – Wednesday:Vineyard Grill – hot dogs, burgers, cheese & fruit trays, chips and snacks.
FOOD – Saturday: Smokin’ Pitt BBQ.

Sorry, No Food, Beverages or Pets Allowed.

Tele: 843-399-WINE (9463) for questions. Or,

SPONSORED BY: Anderson Bros. Bank, and EASY Radio 105.9FM

GPS ADDRESS: 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, SC 29566

REGULAR SHOP HOURS : Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm. Closed Sundays.


signSaturday, March 9, Noon – 5 pm Little River, SC

It’s an afternoon of big band music at its finest. Enjoy outstanding live music, wine sampling, outdoor cooking, and more…. Plus, famous hot spiced wine and the beauty of the vineyard. Engage the owner on an entertaining and informative vineyard tour (2:30). Browse the great gift shop.
MUSIC (12:30 – 4:30pm) The Andrew Thielen Big Band

ADMISSION : $10/person. (under 18 or over 80 admitted free) Bring two canned/dry good items for area food banks and receive $3 off admission.

Food From Smokin’ Pitt BBQ and Hunts Lexington Style Cooking

BEVERAGES (Water, Soda, Beer, & Wine)

VINEYARD LOCATION: Hwy 90 & St. Joseph Road
GPS ADDRESS: 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, SC 29566

REGULAR SHOP HOURS : Mon – Sat 10am – 6pm. Closed Sundays.DSC_0071

Peaches for New Orleans

If you can cook some peaches to win the cookery contest in the Peach Festival, you can win a trip to New Orleans. This is the upcoming Squire Creek Louisiana Peach Fest in Ruston.

The adult division grand prize winner will receive a two-night stay at New Orleans’s historic Roosevelt Hotel.

The cookery contest is June 22 at 10 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Ruston. Categories include cobblers, other desserts, and other peach dishes.

Entry fee is $6 per category if paid by 3 p.m. June 16. After June 16, the fee jumps to $10. Entry deadline is 9:45 a.m. on June 22. Judging begins at 10 a.m. on June 22 with winners announced at noon.

The Roosevelt, now part of the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel chain, originally opened in 1893. The hotel is located near the French Quarter. A $145 million restoration has returned the hotel to its 1930s heyday opulence. The massive lobby, with its ornate trim, glittering Italian crystal chandeliers and mosaic floors, again looks much as it did when Louisiana’s Kingfish, Gov. Huey P. Long last strolled through.

Cookery contest entry forms are available  by visiting


Meet Bon Appétit Chef de Cuisine Mary Nolan

Bradenton, FL Welcomes Bon Appétit Chef de Cuisine Mary Nolan  June 9 for an exclusive Cooking Demonstration and Luncheon.

On her Food Network program “Chic & Easy,” Chef Nolan showcases simple meals and tips to impress guests without breaking the bank, making the process seem effortless even for those without formal cooking training.

Exclusive VIP packages are being offered to guests staying the weekend at one of four hotel partners – Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch, Comfort Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and Wingate by Wyndham – who are offering rates starting at just $89. The Food Lovers Package can be added to the hotel stay for $175 or The Culinary Delight Package for $125.

The Food Lovers Package includes:
• VIP Meet & Greet with Chef Nolan held on Friday, June 8
• Cooking demonstration and luncheon
• VIP Champagne Brunch held on Sunday, June 10
• A copy of Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook ($50 value)

The Culinary Delight Package includes:
• Audience view of the cooking demonstration and luncheon
• VIP Champagne Brunch held on Sunday, June 10
• A copy of Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook ($50 value)

To book your hotel and reserve your spot in the kitchen, call (941) 729-9177 by April 30. For more information visit

It’s sometimes called “Forgotten Florida” between St. Petersburg and Sarasota on Florida’s west coast including Anna Maria Island & Longboat Key, Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch, which are treasured for their authentic Old Florida charm, breath-taking scenery, funky dining and shopping districts, and 16 miles of sugar-white sands. See this earlier post for more area info: Finding Forgotten Florida

In A Stew

What do you get when you put chicken, pork, beef, squirrel, rabbit, tomatoes, lima beans, corn, okra and a few more vegetables to cook in a big pot for a few hours over an outdoor open fire? It’s Brunswick Stew!

Well, not all of these items are needed. Maybe you don’t have any squirrel or rabbit, and maybe not all of those other ingredients either. The outdoor fire is not even required.

Brunswick stew has more unique recipes and special ingredients than can be counted. The main secrets to this famed dish are the lengthy cooking time and the thickness of the rich stew, which differentiates it from soup.

Brunswick, GA and Brunswick County, VA both claim to have originated this stew, but anyone can claim it really, and there are as many different recipes as there are chefs creating it.

Brunswick County, NC celebrates this stew with its fourth annual Brunswick Stew Cook-off on April 21 in Shallotte. Arts, crafts, entertainment and kids’ activities are included with this popular event.

Here’s more info. Will we see you at the sampling table?

Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf

The pinot grape is the focus of the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and thus the feature of the Willamette Valley Vineyards recent wine dinner hosted by Greg Norman’s Australian Grille in North Myrtle Beach, SC. The Pinot Noir is a black skinned fruit, typically associated with the Burgundy region of France, and grown in the cool climates of California’s Sonoma Valley and Oregon which is at the same latitude and with similar climate as Burgundy. The Pinot Gris, a white wine made from the gray-skinned fruit, is sometimes referred to as the child of Pinot Noir. It’s the same as the popular Pinot Grigio if Italian.

The Willamette Valley Vineyard produces 60 wines, all from the valley’s locally grown fruit, and all are Oregon certified sustainable wines. Jim Bernau, a sixth generation Oregonian, began with the winery in 1983 and in 2011 was awarded the first-ever recognition as Hero of Salmon for the implementation of the high-impact Salmon Safe Sip Save campaign. The vineyard has been a pioneer in moving the Oregon vineyard industry toward greater ecological sustainability in helping to restore the salmon watersheds so that native salmon can spawn and thrive.

The first lesson delivered by Mandi Silver, the vineyard’s eastern regional sales manager, was the pronunciation which is Will-am’ette with the emphasis on the am syllable to rhyme with damit.

The dinner opened with Chef Jeff Edwards‘ samplings of fried artichoke hearts with a spicy dip, pulled duck on flat bread and crab in buttery crust.


The appetizer course was perfectly paired with the chilled Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling 2009 which is a semi-sweet medium bodied German-style wine.

Guests were seated for the second course of Crepe of Forest Mushrooms a La Normande which was paired with chilled Pinot Gris 2009.

The third course was Salmon with Marionberry Glaze served with Willamette Valley Vineyards Cluster Pinot Noir 2010. This versatile light fruity wine was described as “liquid fruit salad in a glass.” The marionberry, a hybrid blackberry grown only in Oregon and named for Marion County in the Willamette Valley, was hand delivered directly from its source as another distinctive highlight of this dinner.

Venison Meatloaf with Winter Squash Puree and Celery Root Au Jus was paired with the Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008. This rich and refined wine scored 90 points in the Wine and Spirits February 2011 issue, and the winery was named the magazine’s 2011 Winery of the Year as well as the Wine Press Northwest Oregon Winery of the Year.

The Estate Pinot Noir 2008 was the elegant pairing with the Herbed Elk Medallion with Strawberry Fig. This lively spicy wine was selected from the few remaining cases of a small production.

Finally, dessert of Curried Mango, Pineapple Upside Down Cake with served with Willamette Valley Vineyards Gewurztraminer 2007, an explosively sweet and intense chilled wine from the limited production of only 58 cases.

Six courses including such features as duck, crab, salmon, venison and elk, each with unique presentation, added up to more than your mother’s meatloaf dinner.

Greg Norman’s Australian Grille is frequently recognized among the best fine dining establishments in the Myrtle Beach area and received the Wine Spectator magazine Award of Excellence in 2011. The restaurant is celebrating its twelfth anniversary with a continuing series of monthly wine dinners and additional tasting events. Whether a connoisseur of fine wines or a novice sipper, meat and potato lovers and persnickety diners alike can easily select a favorite wine or an exotic entrée created by the award-winning culinary staff.

Tasting Wine and Chocolate

Toni Incorvaia, owner of Noni Bacca Winery

Wilmington Wine and Chocolate Festival welcomes tasters to NC Feb. 3-5 at the Coastline Event Center.

Connoisseurs can sip, nibble and sigh as they sample delectable delights from more than 60 superb regional wineries, chocolatiers and artisans. A Friday night Grand Tasting gala kicks off the event with live music and heavy hors d’oeuvres by Lawler Catering. Charlotte-based recording artists The Brubakers will entertain with contemporary jazz while wine and chocolate purveyors tantalize with tastings and samples.

On Saturday and Sunday, the wine and chocolate showcase features fine vintners, chocolatiers and artists in a casual atmosphere. Products will be available for sampling and for sale.

Demonstrations by food and drink experts will educate as roaming musicians entertain in a marketplace setting.

Festival proceeds benefit the New Hanover County Senior Center’s programs.

Showcase admission is $12 in advance/$15 at the door (tickets good for one-day admission). Grand Tasting tickets cost $40 in advance/$45 at the door, based on availability. For festival details and ticket information, visit, email, or call 910-742.0120. Tickets are also available at Wilmington-area Harris Teeter stores. Discount coupons for visitors attending the Wilmington Wine & Chocolate Festival and the Wilmington Garden Show will be available at both events.