The Floating Island Workshops

A travelling series of writers' workshops with Kim Sunee

Archive for the ‘wine’ tag

Chapel Hill: Centerba Selections Wine Tasting at Bonne Soiree

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2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections

Shortly after the introductory session, Kim Sunee and the workshop attendees walked down Franklin Street to Bonne Soiree for a tasting of eclectic wines from local importer Centerba Selections. Damon Hanes, one of the Centerba founders, was on hand with captivating stories about obscure grapes and whimsical wineries. Bonne Soiree owners Tina Vaughn and chef Chip Smith complimented the wines with artisanal cheese from around the world as well as a local goat cheese souffle and an impeccable pork foie gras with pistachio and prunes.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba SelectionsThe white flight began with a wonderfully dry Vouvray Petillant Non Dosé from the Francois Pinon in France’s Loire Valley. Its dryness is the result of the ‘non dosé’ method, in which producers refrain from introducing additional sugars during fermentation, and Damon believes this wine is a pure expression of Vouvray. From there we hopped across the border to the Spanish region of Ribera del Duero for Vina Sastre’s “Flavus,” only to return to the Loire with Le Brin de Chevre 2007 from Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf. Those familiar with the French word for goat cheese–chevre–will notice it in that wine’s name. Menu Pineau, the grape in this bottle is prevalent in the Loire Valley and gives the wine a light, bright and distinctively … goaty character.

2010 Chapel Hill: Centerba Selections at Bonne Soiree

Before moving on to the reds, Damon introduced us to a slightly effervescent, minerally Mosel Reisling from Peter Lauer. Trollies make the winery’s steep hillsides accessible and the concentration of slate and quartz in the soil make this Riesling particularly refreshing and complex when paired with buttered French blue cheese (yes, you read this correctly: bread, blue cheese, and butter).

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections

Continuing down the list of rebel winemakers and offbeat grapes, Damon poured a Beaujolais from Fleurie whose owner was so frustrated by the French classification process that he replaced that information with a picture of his favorite horse. Its red berry notes (namely cranberry and raspberry) played beautifully with Chef Smith’s pork foie gras. Afterward, we moved to a deep purple Spanish Ribeira Sacra red called Pena do Lobo and then to Italy for an unclassified Tuscan Chiante Classico from Montesecondo.

The evening’s centerpiece, a 2005 Cabernet Franc from Clos Rougeard Saumur Champigny, again in the Loire Valley, was exquisite. Apparently the limestone on the vineyard is so moist, you can easily stick a coin in it (though once you do, it becomes the winemaker’s property). The silky, robust wine has distinct notes of coconut, leather (or tobacco, depending on who you ask) and bourbon. Spitting this wine was forbidden.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba SelectionsBefore the final wine of the evening, a southern Spanish Sherry, Damon and Tina treated attendees to a taste of a Rioja Tempranillo, which tasted reminiscent of blueberries, spice and leather. Tina passed out warm toasted almonds to pair with the sherry, which because of its proximity to the Atlantic tasted distinctly salty and clean.

For more images of the wine tasting, please visit our Flickr page.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Workshopping at the Franklin Hotel 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Mural on West Franklin St 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Bonne Soiree Wine Tasting with Centerba Selections

2010 Chapel Hill Workshop: Details

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Postcard - Chapel Hill 2010In about seven short weeks, fifteen talented writers will have the opportunity to hone their nonfiction skills with bestselling author Kim Sunee and meet/work with a host of celebrity authors and chefs at the Floating Island Workshops in Chapel Hill, NC. From Monday, October 11 to the 14th, attendees will receive professional critiques from Kim, dine and share stories with nationally renowned chefs, and more.

Workshop attendee benefits:

  • 4 days of workshopping
  • Catered lunch daily
  • Special lunch at Chef Bill Smith’s nationally renowned Crook’s Corner Restaurant
  • Roundtable Q & A with Frances Mayes, bestselling author of Under the Tuscan SunBella Tuscany and most recently Every Day in Tuscany
  • Wine tasting at Bonne Soiree with Chip Smith, Tina Vaughn and Damon Haynes

The $1,200 workshop fee includes the above features and events. To secure your spot, please fill out the online application and submit a 50 percent deposit.

Also, we have secured a group of rooms at The Franklin Hotel, in the heart of Chapel Hill, at a special room rate.  The Franklin Hotel’s special room rate expires September 17, so register and book your rooms today.

In addition to the week’s workshop activities, Floating Island is also hosting a number of additional events, available on an a la carte basis around the city. Some of those events include:

  • Family Dinner at Lantern with chef Andrea Reusing
  • Reception and two publishing panels at Fearrington House with authors and chefs including Sara Foster, Bill Smith, Andrea Reusing, Frances Mayes, and more, presented by Keebe Fitch
  • Additional tickets for the Bill Smith lunch

If you have any questions about the workshop or any of the events, please contact us and we will be glad to speak with you.

Exclusive Event: Lunch with Chef Bill Smith

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Chef Bill Smith

Chef Bill Smith

During a three-course lunch at Crook’s Corner (the Chapel Hill restaurant long known as “sacred ground for Southern foodies”), chef and author Bill Smith with share the ins and outs of how he came to write Seasoned in the South, a book of recipes and stories, named not only a New York Times Notable, but also a Food & Wine best book. Part cookbook and part memoir, Bill Smith’s Seasoned in the South was published by Algonquin Books, a literary publishing house which is a division of Workman Publishing, known for more standard cookbooks.

As intuitive a chef as he is a writer, Bill Smith is constantly writing from the kitchen—daily on Twitter and at more length on his blog, A Year in the Kitchen). His next book-length project involves Mexico and working with immigrants in the kitchen. A taste of this new project can be found in the Southern Foodway’s Alliance’s journal, Gravy.

We are looking forward to lunch with Bill Smith and hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, you can visit with Bill Smith on this YouTube post that follows him on the Libba Cotten Bike Path in Carrboro, NC—part of the process for making his famous Honeysuckle Sorbet.

The three-course lunch, with wine pairings, is included in the 2010 Chapel Hill Writers’ Workshop. And it is open to the public at the cost of $29 (tax and tip not included).Please reserve online, as seating is limited.

Lunch with Bill Smith at Crook’s Corner
Monday, October 11, 2010
Noon to 2 p.m.
Crook’s Corner
610 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC
Reservationsonline registration