The last Sunday in April, we attended the Penns Woods Winery Wine & Cupcake Pairings in Chadds Ford, PA. The event ran the whole month of April on the weekends, so we were very fortunate to make it in on the last day. The featured cupcakes came from Dia Doce’s Gourmet Cupcakes. If you are not familiar with them, the cupcake master behind them is Thais Da Silva, winner of the Food Network’s television competition Cupcake Wars. If you haven’t had one yet you are missing out! They truly are gourmet and delicious. Visit their website for more information.
Upon arriving to the winery around noon, we were immediately struck by the peaceful and beautiful surroundings. The weather was perfect, but once we saw the tasting room we chose to sit inside. The place was simple, but so charming and inviting. It is a family-run business and the staff that greeted us and hosted our tasting was helpful, knowledgeable and very friendly.
Our Perfect Pairings…..
- Traminette 2010 paired with a Blood Orange Creamsicle cupcake: not a huge fan of white wine, but the Traminette could very well change that. It was our first time trying it. While similar to a Riesling, it was by far better than any we have had. Learning it is a silver medal winner in both the 2012 International Eastern Wine Competition and the 2012 US National Wine Competition is absolutely no surprise. The wine smelled sweet with a hint of lemon and tasted about the same. The sweetness is not overpowering at all and the finish is smooth and refreshing. Pairing it with a vanilla-orange cupcake with blood orange buttercream icing was a great idea.
- Pinot Grigio 2011 paired with a Spiced Pear cupcake. Contrary to how the wine was described to us, we felt as though the pinot grigio was lacking a bit in taste. It felt and tasted extremely light. The vanilla cupcake with fresh pear center and cinnamon cream frosting was a favorite, but seemed to overpower the wine.
- Chambourcin 2006 paired with Fig and Blue Cheese Cupcake. We were warned to not try this wine until we had taken a bite of cupcake first. Think we’d listen? Of course not. One sip of this wine though, and we wish we would have! It’s difficult to describe the taste…very earthy. The wine has a varied mix of pomegranate, black pepper, sage, plum, and blackberry. There’s a lot going on in this wine and it was a bit overwhelming. One bite of the fig and blue cheese cupcake, however, and it was like the two were made for each other. The cupcake was also like no other cupcake we had ever tried before. Blue cheese in frosting…who knew? Alone, we would probably not attempt to try either again, but together they were the right combination.
- Merlot 2007 paired with Raspberry Chocolate Cupcake. This Merlot was one of the reasons we discovered and our now fans of the Penns Woods Winery. At the Reading Terminal Wine and Cheese tasting we attended back in April, we were introduced to this wine. We were beyond pleased to have it featured at this event as well. This Merlot has a burst of fruit flavors with a hint of chocolate thrown in the mix. Delicious and smooth. It reminded us of chocolate covered cherries, but better. The rich chocolate cupcake with a raspberry center and chocolate ganache on top was the icing on our wine.
- Proprietor Reserve 2007. Our host for the tasting was Cliff Lewis, Sales Manager at the winery. When he heard how much we enjoyed the merlot and that we are fans of special blends, he treated us with a taste of this remarkable wine. A Cabernet and Merlot blend, this wine was flavorful and smooth. You can definitely distinguish the two grapes at different times, but the complete experience is what makes it great. No surprise it won a silver medal at both the 2012 Pennsylvania Wine Association’s Wine Competition and the 2012 Fingerlakes International Wine Competition.
- Bancroft Rose paired with Rosewater Strawberry Cupcake. We appropriately completed our tastings with this merlot based dessert wine. It was sweet and refreshing with hints of peach and strawberry. The sweetness was not overpowering and the wine was very smooth. It won a Gold Medal at both the 2012 International Eastern Wine Competition and the 2012 Fingerlakes International Wine Competition and a bronze medal at the 2012 Pennsylvania Wine Association’s Wine Competition. The vanilla cupcake with fresh strawberry filling had a rosewater based frosting…a perfect pairing.
So there you have it…our wonderful afternoon at Penns Woods Winery. If you are somewhat close to the area, it is definitely worth your time to visit. It is located about 35 minutes from Philadelphia. We drove from an hour away and are so glad we made the trip. The winery is always featuring some great events and celebrations…tastings, pairings, festivals, even Yoga in the Vineyard! This weekend there will be a special Mother’s Day tasting. The following weekend, on MAY 19, Penns Woods will be hosting their 2nd annual Wine & Jazz festival. We will be returning to the area on June 9th for the 1st Brandywine Food and Wine festival. This will bring together several of the wineries (Penns Woods will be there) and other local vendors. You will find Dia Doce cupcakes there too.
For more info on all these events, visit Penns Woods Winery