i’m getting straight down to business. if you know me, you know that wine + dessert is the perfect ending to every day. so when Michael + Sonia of blend wine bar + gallery asked us to co-host a wine + cupcake pairing, I immediately jumped on board. Vintner Michael Ruhland is sourcing grapes from Washington + Oregon, fermenting the grapes in Walla Walla + bringing the barrels back to Bozeman to bottle and age under the label Valo Cellars. and let us tell you, we are impressed.
Michael comes from the food + beverage sphere and remembers the bottles + bottles of pinot noir from Carneros Creek that a particular guest would share with him during his restaurant days in Memphis, but it was the bottle of Chateau Petrus that changed his entire view on wine. Later in life, during his cheffing days in Big Sky, that allowed Micheal to create wine dinners with wine makers and led him to romp around the globe to have a hands on experience in the vineyards.
after 10 years in Big Sky, various wine excursions + the ache to delve into wine making without leaving Montana, Ruhland chose Bozeman to call home. The Valo Cellars label was created with the idea of clean simplicity, a label that could stand apart on shelves across the wine world.
sitting down to our initial tasting, Ruhland & I were looking to pair three wines + three cupcakes. [spending an afternoon tasting wines and eating cupcakes is work that should be left to professionals!] the possible pairing combinations is endless. sure, some wines taste better with certain flavors/foods, but hey, I’ve been known to drink an entire bottle zinfandel with a bag of cheetoos + a pint of vanilla ice cream . . . Micheal proposes trying to find the balance between sweet + savory with enough acid to cut through the sweetness of sugar. Ultimately, it is was each individuals palate loves or hates.
after drinking + eating, Michael, Sonia & i came to a decision : chardonnay, syrah & rose.
the wine + cupcake pairing class was an absolute hit: 8 women + three wines + three cupcakes = 2 hours of pure fun and laughter. i may or may not have retained the educational component of the class. i did leave with 7 closer drinking buddies and three bottles of wine.
and as I was leaving blend I asked Micheal “If you had to choose one wine and one dessert to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?” His response PINOT [I can get behind] & cheese [that I cannot get behind]. Doesn’t he know I’m the cupcake queen of Bozeman!!!