I recently had the opportunity to have dinner at the Gilmanton Winery with a few friends. It was a “Girls Night Out” event with a five course dinner, wine, a movie and fun and games.
The great thing about the Gilmanton Winery is that it is located only a couple of miles from my house. This summer I am thinking my boyfriend and I can bike over there for their Sunday brunch. I was able to meet Marshal and Sunny, the two owners. Marshal is the resident wine maker and story teller. Sunny, his wife, is the Alpaca lady. She has a very nice herd of Alpacas on their property.
The home itself is a historic property once owned by Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place. Grace fashioned Peyton Place on the towns of Gilmanton, Laconia and Alton. Though the book stayed on the New York’s Best Sellers list for more than a year, it was considered scandalous for the time and the residents of Gilmanton were not happy to be associated with it. Still, as a writer, reader and self-proclaimed foodie, to spend an evening dining here was very exciting.
The evening started out with a small wine tasting so we could choose the perfect wine to go with our meal. I went with a Malbec, but it was a tough decision as all the wines were very tasty. Marshal makes a house wine, which is heavy and similar to a port, and a blueberry wine, which would be marvelous, chilled on a hot summer afternoon.
Once we were settled with our respective glasses of wine, the meal began. For an appetizer, each table had gluten free crackers with a sweet corn relish. Then the first course arrived…horseradish deviled egg with candied bacon. I’m not a deviled egg fan, but these were good. Next came the creamy chickpea and rosemary soup. That was very tasty with a creamy texture, but with whole chickpeas. Yum. Then the salad, a mix of spinach and romaine lettuce, strawberries, slivered almonds and a lightly sweet yogurt dressing. As if this wasn’t enough, the main course arrived. We each had the beef tenderloin, a tender piece of meat, cooked medium rare with a port reduction over creamed cauliflower with cheddar and fresh vegetables. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, dessert arrived; bananas foster with a warm rum sauce over vanilla bean ice cream.
If the meal wasn’t everything you imagined, the company made up for it. Not only was I out with my friends but Sunny and Marshal were very friendly and outgoing and clearly were having as much fun as we were. I enjoyed talking with them and look forward to bringing my boyfriend up for one of their brunches as soon as the dirt roads are a bit less muddy and we can ride our bikes! (And perhaps picking up a bottle or two of their blueberry wine.)
To see what they have coming up next, check out their website at http://www.gilmantonwinery.com/ and tell them Cindy from Stone Bridge Antiques sent you.