Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Wind, Rain and Chili Oh My!
Saturday started out hot, humid and breezy at Standing Stone Vineyards on the East side of Seneca Lake. The tents were set up with the Chili-meisters stirring and cooking like mad. There was the "Cheese-head Chili" man (yes, Packers fans, he does have the Cheese-head hat!). There was Gary's Hot Highland Drunkin Cow Chili, Chicken Wing Chili, Jamaican Me Crazy Chili, Dr. DD's Chili or Dr. DD's wife's Chili....all were very good and I was glad I wasn't judging. (I was told to stay clear of the cheeky red-head with the British accent as she might try to sway the votes toward the Drunkin Cow Chili)! Jim was chosen to judge, so "PHEW" to me!
There were the busloads, the limo's and the hard core chili tasters. The tasting room buzzed with people, then rumbled with people - wait- that wasn't the last tour bus, that was thunder! You could see the dark clouds and rain crossing the lake...headed right towards us! The wind hit! The tents and chili flew and the rain came down sideways and in torrential quantities. In came the soaking wet Chili chefs. Fortunately the judges had had enough time to make their decision. So when the thunder clapped, the lightening struck and the electricity went out, all was serene on the porch of Standing Stone as the awards were given out to the best Chili on the East side of Seneca. I believe Chili #6 won - Dr DD's wife(?), but I'm not sure as I was busy chatting, and pouring. All I know was when all the left over chili was mixed together and we had a moment to try some, the conglomeration was great! What wine would you have with chili you might ask? Well, it depended on the chili: hot and spicy - maybe Gewurztraminer or Smokehouse Red, sweeter - maybe the semi-dry Vidal. Whatever your preference, it was a fun day to taste and experiment with pairings. (And yes, after about 4 hours, the electricity did come back on)!
P.S. Marti hinted that there may be some vertical pairings coming up in August, so stay tuned!