By Wini Moranville
I was lucky enough to attend three major events from this year’s Winefest Des Moines. Highlights:
• Iowa Lawn Party at Jasper Winery: Merlot-candied bacon, Maytag blue cheese and arugula topped the winning burger in the Winefest & Beef Slider Challenge. Here’s the recipe. I’ll also remember this event as the first place I ever tasted the amazingly dreamy David’s Famous American Craft Custard, made by a stockbroker who lives in South Amana, and available at select Hy-Vee stores. (Try the salted caramel.)
• Prima Dinner, Terrace Hill: Chef Lynn Pritchard of Table 128 Bistro and Bar knocked it out of the park for this event, pairing inspired, detailed cuisine with wines from Oregon’s Illahe Vineyards. Attention, lamb lovers: the exquisite lamb chop with black garlic puree proved once again that this chef is a master of lamb.
• Grand Tasting: Splash Seafood Bar & Grill had the longest line, and for good reason: Chef Dominic Ianarelli was serving up caviar and oysters paired with sommelier Ben Nelson’s selection of true French Champagnes. The best “who knew” wine of the entire tasting, however, was Heinrich Red (pictured), a beautiful medium-bodied, fresh and juicy red with intense brightness—a perfect summer sip for those who drink reds all year round. Find it at Gateway Market.