We’ve been Celebrating the Grape and enjoying Bottled Sunshine during September in observance of North Carolina’s Wine Appreciation Month.
Harvest festivals with serenades, grape stomps, and harvest-to-barrel celebrations are abundant with October’s arrival.
Taking my cue from the harvest events at North Carolina wineries this month, I pulled out my grandmother’s dishes~ Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers~ to enjoy with some wine we purchased during our tasting visits.
I harvested some Goldenrod along with clippings from some shrubs for filler~ grasses in bloom, Loropetalum and Abelia for a centerpiece.
Mums for some seasonal color and produce from the grocery store~ artichokes, apples & grapes~ are paired to fill my urn for a full-bodied arrangement for the table.
I fitted a wine bottle with a candelabra insert ~ a fun addition for the table & a keepsake bottle after the contents are gone.
Cradling a bottle from RayLen Vineyards & Winery~ this little bird told about the upcoming mini-release party of RayLen’s newest vintage of Carolinius~ a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
Ripe for the picking, I found a grape-producing tablecloth & napkins ~a Ralph Lauren varietal~ at HomeGoods a couple of weeks ago.
I found a cheese pairing suggestion for one of our wines~ a Childress Barrel Select Barbera~ since I had ricotta on hand, it was a natural choice and was simple & delicious~
Ricotta with Blackberries & Lime~
3 cups fresh blackberries
2 – 3 tablespoons sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
Zest & juice of 1 lime
8 ounces whole milk ricotta
Place 1 ½ cups of the blackberries in a blender and puree with the sugar. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Add half of the zest and lime juice, stir & refrigeration a minimum of 20 minutes
Reserve the remaining blackberries and lime zest in the refrigerator.
Using a small 1- ounce ice-cream scoop, place 2 tablespoons of the ricotta in the middle of each of 4 small dessert plates or bowls. Toss the blackberry sauce with the remaining berries and spoon a quarter of the sauce around the outside of the ricotta on each plate.
Garnish with blackberries & lime zest.