about bliss

Sunday, October 26, 2008

heartbreak grape + brie en croute

brie en croute with homemade raspberry jam

My friends/colleagues spent many idle moments last year discussing our plans for a book club...we mentioned books we would like to read, shared horror stories of other book clubs we've known, and then proceeded to forget to make any plans. This summer my friend H. gave me an Andrea Immer Wine Tasting DVD and I decided that the solution to the book club inertia was to change the shared medium. Hence, Wine Club was born.

Last night was our inaugural session and since I was the host, I selected the wine varietal--Pinot Noir--and provided the snacks. I spent all afternoon making marshmallow ghosts á la Martha Stewart to top Dorie's chocolate cupcakes (you'll have to wait for tomorrow for the entire entry). And then, I created my very first Brie en Croute...

I used David Leite's recipe, which uses frozen puff pastry, and I used a supermarket Brie--the Light Brie from President. In another moment of Martha inspiration, I brandished my mini leaf cookie cutters and decorated the edge of the pastry with autumn's finest leaves. When the puffed, golden pastry encrusted cheese came out of the oven, I topped it with my homemade raspberry jam. Stunning in presentation and utterly simple in execution--party perfection!

My friends arrived, bearing bottles of Pinot Noir and even more cheeses (this is Wisconsin after all). We toasted the evening with a bottle of Larry Mawby's sparkling Wet, and then filled my living room to watch the inimitable Andrea Immer give us a brief history of this finicky, sensitive grape. Although the information was useful and interesting, the bubbles had already gone to our heads and we couldn't take a word she said seriously and spent most of the video taking her words out of context...merriment ensued.

We opened the four bottles of Pinot Noir and tasted them in turn while noshing on the various cheeses, crackers, dips, and olives. Laughter and warmth overflowed, and we managed to keep work talk to a minimum (something that is not always easy when we're together).

At the end of the evening, we enjoyed the cupcakes, and planned our next gathering, to be held at B and M's home between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Viva la Wine Club!

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