I recently joined a group of fellow wine country writers for an elegant dinner in Dry Creek Valley to experience the delicious food and drink creations by Healdsburg-based Chef Peter Brown. The focus was on a new cocktail mixer called Stolen Fruit created by Brown and longtime Dry Creek grape growers Doug and Susan Provisor. The trio partnered to develop this unique, versatile and tasty grape-based mixer.
Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers are made using verjus, the fresh pressed juice of green grapes that have been cut from the vine during the thinning out process. It also uses the dried wine grape skins leftover after pressing and concentrated varietal grape juice from Northern California wine country. The juice provides both the flavor of the specific varietal grapes and sweetness to the mixers. In fact, there are no additional sugars added to Stolen Fruit.
Stolen Fruit takes juices and skins that are usually cast off during the winemaking process and turns them into flavorful concoctions that can be used to create new and exciting food friendly cocktails or mocktails.
What I love about these mixers, aside from their delectable flavors, is that they are made with ingredients sourced locally. The verjus and dried grape skins come from some of the top wineries in Northern California.
I arrived at the Provisor’s scenic property, not far from the town of Healdsburg.
Their beautiful home is set just above their 4-acre vineyard.
What a truly lovely wine country setting for dinner al fresco.
The evening started off with a cocktail and appetizer reception on the deck. These grilled peaches with prosciutto were summery perfection.
Just inside the Provisor’s home, a bar was set up where guests could order their choice of cocktail or mocktail. Stolen Fruit Mixers can be mixed with sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink. Or paired with your favorite liquor for a new taste experience.
I love sparkling wine so I chose Roederer Estate Brut mixed with Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc.
We mingled and sipped on our drinks for a bit.
Then soon it was time to find a seat at the table, elegantly set in colorful shades of summer.
Chef Peter Brown had been quite busy preparing our six-course meal but he made time to come out and talk to us about the menu he constructed for the evening, which brought out the best in each food and cocktail course.
The first course was a Crab and Fennel Salad with Mandarin Tarragon Vinaigrette.
The salad was paired with a Juniper Jasmine Collins that was light and refreshing with subtle floral notes.
Next we were treated to a Chicken Coconut Curry. Such a vibrant and aromatic dish! It was served with a Lemongrass Shandy made with PBR beer and Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc Stolen Fruit Mixer – a great summer refresher on a hot day.
Our third course was a Teriyaki Sesame Crusted Salmon paired with Blood Orange Punch using Stolen Fruit’s Blood Orange Muscat. It was an absolutely delicious pairing. I love the way Chef Peter makes his dishes so visually appealing as well as delectable.
A break between courses gave us a moment to cheer our wonderful hosts!
Moving on to our fourth course, we were treated to a sumptuous dish of Seared Duck Breast with Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Poblano and Corn Salsa. This time our dish was complemented with a Hibiscus Margarita – one of my favorite drinks from the evening – using Stolen Fruit’s Hibiscus Grenache flavor.
As night fell, we finished off the dinner with a Grilled Ribeye with Gorgonzola Butter, served with Fig with Grains of Paradise Manhattan. And for dessert, Mexican Hot Chocolate with Fig and Grains of Paradise.
Sipping hot chocolate while watching the moon rise and the sky turn dark blue over the Provisor’s vineyard was a splendid experience.
It was such a festive and flavorful dinner. I’m inspired to create some cocktail and mocktails of my own for a dinner party!
Thank you to Hannah Gart of Healdsburg Social for allowing me to use some of her photos from the dinner. And to Susan and Doug Provisor for their warm hospitality. And finally to Chef Peter Brown for an unforgettably delicious culinary experience.
Make it a rich day!
Disclosure: I was invited to the Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers Dinner as a media guest. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.