In a perfect pairing of elegance and education, Brookshire Brothers and the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau are teaming up to create Pour & Explore, a new fine-dining event that will take East Texans on a tour around the world of wine.
Pour & Explore begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 14, at Shelton's Place in Lufkin with a guided tasting tour through the famous wine-producing regions of Washington State. Wines from àMaurice Cellars, Novelty Hill and Andrew Januik will be paired with a five-course dinner by Chef Kate Rudasill. These renown winemakers will walk guests through the menu and the wines they’ve selected to accompany each course. Seating for Pour & Explore is limited, and tickets are available through the Lufkin CVB, (936) 633-0359, for $65 a person.
The Pour & Explore educational experience continues Friday, July 15, as Brookshire Brothers hosts in-store wine-tastings at its Chestnut and W. Frank Street locations. At the Chestnut Brookshire Brothers, Nick Shafer from àMaurice Cellars will lead the tastings from 10:15 a.m. to noon and from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m, while Andrew Januik will host from 12:15 to 5 p.m. At the W. Frank Street Brookshire Brothers, Januik will lead the tastings from 10:15 a.m. to noon and from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m, while Schafer will host from 12:15 to 5 p.m.
"Pour & Explore is about expanding your palette and learning how the different variables influence the taste and experience of wine," Brookshire Brothers Chief Operations Officer John Alston said. "As you taste each wine, you'll learn about the different grapes that grow in each region and how each step of the process affects the wine. This type of intimate learning experience is getting more popular, and we wanted to put a distinct Lufkin take on it by including incredible food from an accomplished local chef."
Pour & Explore builds on the Lufkin CVB's success in creating similar events, like Lufkin's Bistro and Corks and Forks. More educational food-and-wine events are in the works, according to Tara Watson-Watkins, LCVB executive director, and each will be planned in conjunction with a convention, conference or other special event.
"More and more we're seeing how food and wine play a big role in why travelers choose one destination over another," Watson-Watkins said. "That's why we're working so hard to establish Lufkin as a haven for foodies and fine-wine aficionados. Brookshire Brothers has always been a great supporter of the LCVB, and it's wonderful to work with partners who not only understand that people will travel for an exceptional culinary experience, but also know how to provide that experience."
The inaugural Pour & Explore will focus on the growing regions of Washington State. Situated on 20 acres in the Blue Mountain foothills of Walla Walla, àMaurice Cellars became one of the top 100 wineries in the world by creating critically acclaimed wines that are perfectly balanced for sharing at the table. Winemaker Nick Schafer will share his passion and extensive knowledge of his wines and the process with guests at Pour and Explore. Acclaimed Washington State winemaker Mike Januik oversees winemaking for Novelty Hill, relying on the estate vineyard Stillwater Creek to produce rich wines that capture the finest expression of the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills. Young but with an unparalleled pedigree, Mike's son Andrew Januik handcrafts elegant, highly rated wines that showcase the region's most renowned vineyards.
Chef Kate Rudasill has been in the food service industry for 14 years and accepted the position of Catering Coordinator for Brookshire Brothers in 2014. The five course dinner she is creating for the first Pour & Explore event includes:
First course: Individual honey and white wine roasted onion tarts with bacon and brie, paired with a 2015 Viognier from àMaurice.
Second course: Chevre with warmed olives, lemon and thyme with toasted crostini, paired with a 2012 Estate Syrah “Fred” from àMaurice and Novelty Hill’s Columbia Valley Cascadia 2013 presented by Andrew Januik.
Third course: Summer salad with lemon poppy seed dressing, spring greens and butter lettuce, sliced pear, blueberries, mozzarella and honeyed pecans, with fresh bread sticks or homemade crackers, paired with a Novelty Hill 2013 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay.
Fourth course: 10 oz. Angus Pride grilled ribeyes with boursin garlic herb cheese, duchess potatoes with herbs and parmesan, roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts with balsamic reduction, and Parker House rolls with herbed butter, paired with 2011 The Artist "Anderson" from àMaurice and Andrew Januik Lady Hawk Cabernet 2013.
Fifth course: Parfaits with Amaretto-poached peaches, mascarpone cream and amaretti cookies or individual toasted almond pound cakes with chilled amaretto peaches and mascarpone cream, paired with a Novelty Hill 2014 Stillwater Creek Vine Late Harvest Semillon.
Shelton's Place, 3603 FM 2108, is a full-service wedding and event venue featuring a rustic barn-style facility on 10 acres of beautiful East Texas countryside.
Pour & Explore tickets are $65 a person. Contact the Lufkin CVB at (936) 633-0359 to purchase tickets or for more information.