I am signed up for the Monday, Feb. 21 wine tasting at Ella’s Restaurant in the historic Inn at Carnall Hall on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, and I can’t wait!
It starts at 7 p.m., and here’s what you’ll be missing if you don’t sign up too!
It is hosted by Brad Schmitt, the restaurant manager at Ella’s, and is part of the monthly wine club offerings. The event will be wines and olive oils from Raimondo Winery. Arkansas’s newest small farm winery, Raimondo Family Wines, operates its tasting room and produces its wines at Blue Lady Resort in Gamaliel (near Mountain Home) in the north central Ozarks. While it’s new to Arkansas, the Raimondo Family Winery has been producing wine in California since 1950. Italian varietals, reds and whites, are Raimondo’s specialty – not surprising since the family heritage is rooted in Palermo, Sicily. The winery offers the widest selection of dry and semi-dry wines made from California grapes in the Ozarks.
Owner Margie Roelands is committed to producing wines from old world Italian varietals such as Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Viognier and Roussanne.
All oils are Raimondo Winery Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Raimondo Winery Premium Balsamic Vinegar.
Menu for Raimondo Winery Vino e Olio Pairing (Wine and Olive Oils)
The Aperitivo for the tasting is Raimondo Almond Sparkling Wine paired with a flight of popcorn: parmigiano-black pepper popcorn, black sesame and mustard popcorn, and spicy chili lime popcorn.
The Prima Portata (First Course) is Raimondo Winery 2009 Viognier with lemon and basil extra virgin olive oil and blueberry balsamic vinegar over brie.
The Secondo Corso consists of Raimondo Winery 2007 Tempranillo with cardamom-scented extra virgin blood orange and premium pomegranate balsamic sauce over goat cheese and fig date balsamic vinegar.
You will then Pulire il palate (cleanse the palate) with sliced cucumbers and bread with Tuscan herb and barrel-aged 18-year balsamic vinegar.
The Terzo Corso is Raimondo Winery 2008 Syrah with smoked gouda and apple on crostini with sage and mushroom extra virgin olive oil and cinnamon-pear balsamic vinegar.
You’re not done yet. The Quarto Corso is Raimondo Winery 2008 Petite Sirah with strawberries and blue cheese served with vanilla, dark chocolate and espresso balsamic vinegar.
That’s well worth the price of admission! $25 per person. It’s also a great way to start the week. Ella’s is located at 465 N. Arkansas Ave.
If you can’t make it to this wine tasting, consider visiting Blue Lady Resort, where you can have a more intimate tasting. This is a destination worth traveling to not only for the wines, oils and vinegars; but, also a place that offers much more to do with Norfork Lake lapping at its property.