Except for its mild weather, the golf courses and the nice people, North Carolina can also be proud of its wines. It was my first time to taste white and red wines from the state and I can say, I liked them. With my preference rather leaning towards the whites, reds are also very decent. The Shelton Vineyards Riesling (2008) has a rather peachy and sweet taste but also very refreshing even for a cold, January, New York day. The Cypress Bend Riverton Reserve (2008) was impressively fruity in both smell and palate and I kept filling my glass with the cooling sparkling taste of the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs-Brut, 2006.
Food was winter-y so as to keep us all warm: cheese crackers with cayenne pepper (amazing!), polenta with root vegetables and quinoa on top (balanced taste and winter friendly), barbecue chicken with almonds and apricot sauce, popovers with gruyere cheese and country ham, baked potatoes with caviar and sweet potatoes chips in various bowls - all well presented and if even better, nicely eaten. The goat cheese from the State was beautifully creamy and well matched with the raisin crackers. When it comes to the desert, mini cakes with chocolate and cream on top, very simple and elegantly displayed.
My blackberry photos do not represent the ambiance but the North Carolina event for members of the press was elegant and simple. As is the state.