Tuesday, February 20, 2007
West Lafayette, Ind. - A popular Indiana winemaker and a renowned chef recently took top prize in the 11th Annual Taste of Elegance.
Sponsored by Indiana Pork, Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition designed to inspire innovative and exciting ways to prepare pork. The competition brings together talented chefs from across the country to compete in regional and national competitions. The Indiana competition featured chefs from a variety of backgrounds, from upscale dining establishments and country clubs to catering facilities.
Indiana Pork enlisted the help and knowledge of the Indiana Wine Grape Council for the 2007 event to sponsor the Wine Pairing award, given to the chef who best paired an Indiana wine with his featured pork dish. The winner was Chef Dan Dunville of Ruths' Chris Steakhouse, Indianapolis , who paired his braised pork shoulder entrée with French Lick Winery's Traminette.
"The wine pairings were judged on two criteria: how well the wine enhanced the pork entrée and the chef's rationale for choosing the selected wine to accompany the dish," said John Doty, Owner and Winemaker at French Lick Winery. "We are excited that our Traminette was featured with Chef Dunville's pork entrée."
"The Indiana wine industry was thrilled to be a part of Taste of Elegance," said Jeanette Merritt, Marketing Specialist of the Indiana Wine Grape Council. "Indiana Pork and the Taste of Elegance is just one opportunity where commodity groups can highlight that Indiana agriculture is diverse and that it provides high quality and valuable food products to consumers."
The chefs were not the only ones to benefit from IWGC's participation. They also sponsored a wine tasting that featured 10 of Indiana 's own wineries to guests attending the Taste of Elegance. These wines were voted on by the guests and an award was also given to French Lick Winery for "People's Choice Favorite Wine".
The French Lick Winery was established in 1995 and since that time has become one of Indiana 's premier wineries. The winery is located in the former Kimball Piano Factory in West Baden, Indiana. Owner and vintner, John Doty, takes great pride in the wines made with the expert assistance of Kim Doty, owner and cellarmaster. French Lick wines have received over 250 medals in state, national and international competitions.
The wineries Heaven's View Vineyard was planted in the spring of 1998 and is located approximately 20 miles north of the winery on Kim's family Hoosier Homestead Farm in Martin County overlooking the White River valley. The vineyard's 3 1/2 acres is comprised of the first planting of Norton grapes in Indiana, as well as Chambourcin, Traminette, Vidal, and Vincent varietals. These varietals thrive in Indiana soils where traditional varieties often struggle due to harsh weather.
About Indiana Wine Grape Council
The Indiana Wine Grape Council seeks to enhance economic development in the state by establishing a successful wine grape industry through research and marketing development. The program provides extension specialists in enology (winemaking), viticulture (grape growing), and marketing to assist commercial and amateur grape growers and winemakers. Since the creation of the Council in 1989, the number of Indiana wineries has increased from nine to more than 30, attracting more than 900,000 visitors each year.