The evening started with a cocktail hour in the lobby of the theatre. We had a large selection of familiar Missouri wines to choose from and delightful appetizers to snack on as we mingled with the other Missouri wine lovers. We ran into some familiar faces including Kraig and Becky Keesaman, owners/winemakers of Windy Winy Company, and Jacob Holman, head winemaker at Les Bourgeois Vineyards. We made the acquaintance of a couple fellow Missouri Wines Passport conquerers, Brandon and Erin Wisemore. They reside on the West side of the state, so it was interesting discussing their thoughts on our local wine trails and vice versa. It was also great being able to chat about wineries with people who have been to as many as you. The level of passion for Missouri wines was extremely high in the room, and we knew the night was off to a great start.
The dinner was served on the stage of the theatre with Missouri winery owners or makers placed at each table. We had the honor of having Tony and Cindy Kooyumjian, owners/winemakers of Montelle and Augusta Wineries at our table. It's always a pleasure getting to converse with some of our favorite winery owners. We were served a stellar three course meal with each dish paired with a Missouri wine. We started with a salad made of baby greens and lollo rosso laced with a Les Bourgeois Vineyard sparkling wine vinaigrette served next to a fried Goats Beard cheese that gave the salad great texture and added tremendous flavor. The first course was served along side Montelle Winery's 2012 Seyval Blanc. Secondly we were poured a Chambourcin from Stonehaus Farms Winery and served a pan-fried Missouri pork tenderloin with stone ground grits and Adam Puchta Signature Port balsamic reduction. The last course was St. James Winery "Norton 42" braised Missouri beef shorts ribs with mashed yukon potatoes paired with the St. James 2012 Norton 42. This was by far the most "Missouri Wines" of a meal you could ever imagine, and it was delicious!