North Carolina food and wines – a fun Southern pairing!
Greensboro, NC is a city rich in historical events in American history that have changed and shaped us as a country. I had the opportunity to visit the city recently and found a city rich in culture, history and with people who are anxious to let visitors know that they are welcome here.
Greensboro is in the heart of North Carolina and approximately 1 hour away from the state capital of Raleigh. Baseball, southern cooking and craft beers are a focus in this town.
Greensboro is part of the Piedmont triangle that includes Winston-Salem and High Point. It’s named the Gate City because of its easy proximity to the major cities in North Carolina and a few short hour’s drive away from east coast beaches.
The town is big enough to do most anything that you want from fine dining to casual eateries. It also has a small town feel with the micro-brewing industry finding a community home here.
My group ventured to Natty Greene’s Brewing following a long day of work. Natty Greene’s is a locally owned restaurant and brewery in the heart of downtown Greensboro. Chris Lester and Kayne Fester started the brewing company in 2004. Natty Greene’s features classic southern foods, a wide selection of beers from their brewery and a special treat for me – a selection of North Carolina wines! The restaurant was named for the American Revolutionary hero Nathaniel Greene.
I selected a red blend from Raylen Vineyards (www.raylenvineyards.com). Raylen Vineyards is located an hour from Greensboro in the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). Raylen Vineyards is unique in that they focus exclusively on growing European varietals in the microclimate of Mocksville. The Raylen Category 5 blend is 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot and lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. This wine has a dry red fruit forward nose with the sweet black currant finish.
I paired my wine with an incredibly tasty dish featuring Ho Cakes. The Ho Cakes acted as the top and bottom sandwich layers of a bowl including pinto beans, slaw and pulled pork. For those of you who don’t know what a Ho Cake is – it’s cornbread made in the form of a pancake. The pulled pork was incredibly tender and the combination of spice in the food and the full balance with tannins of the Raylen Category 5 were a great pairing.
Natty Greene’s is a fun gathering place with a patio and an upstairs area that features pool tables a full bar. For any locals who haven’t made it to Natty Greene’s this will be a well spent evening that appeals to all ages. My dinner companions really enjoyed the beer flights.
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
@raylenvineyards @natty_greenes #wbc2017