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Hoosier Wineaux: 'Uncorked, Untapped and Unwind' inspires a trip to Pleasant House Brewing

“Uncorked, Untapped and Unwind” was a tasting event Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Four Winds New Buffalo. It took place in the casino’s Silver Creek Event Center located at the rear of the gaming floor just left of Copper Rock Steakhouse.

The event center is a spacious ballroom venue with a large stage opposite the entrance doors. Beverage tasting stations were arranged at the periphery with food stations at the center of the room.

At no time did I wait in lines or feel herded, despite hundreds of people coming and going. Attendees included people I met from Michigan City, as well as Chicago and Elmhurst, Ill. Friends from Goshen were also there.

I anticipated my focus to be wine but found myself drawn elsewhere. Not that there weren’t wines to appeal to every palate — choices varied from Round Barn’s cranberry wine to the Marland unoaked Chardonnay. Various producers offered their version of Cabernet Franc. There was even a Cabernet Franc rose. Cody Kresta Winery poured its red blend Cetiri.

Food options were provided by the Four Winds catering staff with one exception. Chef Martin Old World Butcher Shop Sausage was my first surprise of the afternoon. A native of Graz, Austria, Martin Wallner was decked out in lederhosen and an alpine hat. He proudly spoke of his heritage and sausage business. Three types of sausage were available to sample:

  • Weisswurst is made from pork and veal with parsley. It is the official sausage of Munich’s Oktoberfest but is eaten year-round throughout Bavaria.
  • Original bratwurst consists of pork and veal. In German, “brat” means emulsified meat and “wurst” means sausage.
  • Smoked Texas garlic sauce is produced using coarse ground pork shoulder and then is lightly smoked. It is seasoned with garlic, rosemary and thyme.

The Texas garlic sausage was reminiscent of my father’s homemade sausage and was, obviously, my favorite. It paired well with the Gewürztraminer from Free Run Cellars.

The pairing of a fresh tuna and cucumber stuffed pastry cone with the Vignoles from Domaine Berrien Cellars was suggested to me. The fruity acidity balanced well with the salt of the tuna and over all richness of the hors d’oeuvre.

Continuing on a food theme, Pleasant House Brewing Company was a serendipitous find. I came to discover that the Brewing Company is the second venture of Art Jackson and Chelsea Kalberloh Jackson, chef/owners of Pleasant House Bakery on Chicago’s south side. Ironically, I had recently seen an episode of WTTW’s “Check Please” that featured the Bakery.

Pleasant House Brewing is located in Three Oaks, Mich. I had a conversation with BrewMaven, Gloria Fahim, who is responsible for producing the house ales, eight gallons at a time. British-inspired meat pies and additional baked goods are brought in daily from the Chicago location and available on the pub food menu.

I was so intrigued with the TV presentation and impressed with Gloria that I took Barb to Three Oaks for lunch the next day. She had a steak pasty and reported it was better than what see remembered from our Upper Peninsula days while living in Crystal Falls.

I had the steak and ale pie with carrots. It went well with a pint of their “Snobbler,” a nut brown ale which has a surprising smooth, dry finish.

While I am, admittedly, a wine drinker, sometimes opportunities call for enjoying what is at hand. Besides, anyone or anything that enhances my food experience is fine by me.

For more wine appreciation pointers from Frank Piaskowy, subscribe to the Hoosier Wineaux email newsletter.

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