In terms of philanthropy, RVA ranks #8 in giving; impressive, isn't it? Wanting to be part of that giving spirit, my Beer Geek Friend and I helped support Max's Positive Vibe Cafe's food service training program tonight with a meal prepared by J Frank, supported by Barboursville wine maker Luca Paschina sharing his wines. And, oh, what lovely wines they were!
We began with Artichoke and Saffron Soup with Sparkling Brut, a lovely combination I thought. The main course was Mesquite Grilled Pork Chop, Polenta, Goat Cheese & Rosemary, served with two wines: the Cabernet Franc Reserve and the Octagon VIII. Wonderful as the Cab Franc was, the Octagon was the one to savor, both with its divine aroma and its lush taste. We finished with Pumpkin Gelato, Ginger Brandy Snaps and Candied Pumpkin, served with Phileo, a dessert wine. Phileo, as Luca told us, means "love" in Greek or "lahve" as he pronounced it. It worked especially well with the Ginger Brandy snaps, my favorite part of the dessert course.
The crowd had several familiar faces, including the singer Susan Greenbaum, a local magazine editor and several friends from two of my favorite restaurants. While we lingered over the last of the wine and BGF's coffee, we also had the pleasure of being chatted up by a wine dinner attendee I'd met before at other dinners; I am always flattered when people remember me. It was funny because BGF and I met and became friends over a series of shared wine dinners and this woman was at all the same ones. Since BGF and I always sat at the bar, though, I'm surprised she recognized us from the front.
Finally it was down to us and one other table and the staff was starting to gather, so we took the hint and moved it outside for the rest of our conversation. BGF is smart and droll and always a good one to discuss things with; tonight was no different.
Not that we were there for chatting purposes. This was strictly a philanthropic endeavor we were on. Yea, right.