Dinner at Knapp Winery is adventure in dining

Posted by Faye on August 29, 2012 in Adventures |

Being an unsophisticated non-“foodie” I don’t often get the opportunity to experience fine dining, let alone write about it. But during a recent trip to the Finger Lakes, we were invited to a special dinner at Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant by our friend Gene Pierce.

1st course: Caprese Salad

Gene owns the Knapp and Glenora wineries in the Finger Lakes. I met him last year on Twitter and have stayed connected via his weekly Glenora Gazette newsletter. Prior to our visit he directed me to the website to check out the menu. I thought we might be in for something special when I realized I couldn’t pronounce the names of some of the ingredients in each course. : )

2nd course: Garlic Soup

We arrived early to get in a little wine tasting. After purchasing a Pasta Red Reserve, a 2010 Lemberger, and a 2011 Dry Riesling, we were ready for the event.

Sabering the champagne

You can’t begin a meal without a champagne toast and a little entertainment. Gene showed us how to remove the cork, along with the upper neck of the bottle of champagne.

The theme of the dinner was garlic, which was incorporated into each course. Each course was paired with an appropriate wine selection.

3rd course: Thai Garlic Shrimp

I’m not a professional food critic so I’m not going to pretend I know something about designer food. I believe the photos I shot are proof enough that not only the meal was probably the best I’ve ever eaten, but each course was a work of art.

Chef John McNabb was the “artist” behind these masterpieces. He incorporates local ingredients into his menus, which included the garlic featured in each course. The garlic was a great addition, and was never overpowering.

Throughout the evening we sampled wines from Knapp and Glenora (Gene’s wineries); as well as from Zugibe Vineyards. (In hindsight I’m thinking at some point in between courses I probably should have slowed down on the wine.)

Main course: Garlic Crusted Filet

My absolute favorite wine of the evening was the 2010 Gewurtztraminer from Zugibe Vineyards, which was served during the 3rd course.

A memorable event

There were about 50 people who enjoyed this special dinner. We were privileged to have been invited to sit at Gene’s and his friend Anna’s table. (Anna and her sons own Zugibe Vineyards).

On behalf of us four Ohio girls, we would like to thank Gene, Anna, John, and the entire staff at Knapp for making this a dinner to remember.

Dessert: Creme de Menthe Semi Freddo

Knapp Winery has an entire event calendar of dinners and wine tastings. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, make sure you put Knapp on your winery tour. Located on the upper west side of Cayuga Lake, it is well worth the drive.


Gene Pierce and Chef John McNabb



The gang and Gene doing the O-H-I-O!


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