Visit the Wine and Dine Festival in Dallas tomorrow and you’ll find chardonnays and merlots, ice wines and fruit wines, medal-winning wines and even a dry red called El Gato Gordo.
Naturally, there’s a story behind that last one.
It’s named in honor of Moe, a lovable “fat cat” who hunts mice in the fields of Peace Valley Winery in Chalfont.
“He’s really solid, more husky than fat,” Peace Valley wine maker Mark Hart said, explaining that Moe’s mother “just kind of showed up one day and had a litter.”
Moe’s siblings fell victim to cars and foxes, but Moe, who got his name because “that’s all he ever says,” survives. He’s quite a favorite with customers who visit the winery to pick their own strawberries, blackberries, grapes and other produce throughout the appropriate seasons.
On Saturday, Hart will be sure to bring a supply of El Gato Gordo, which he described as a Bordeaux style that goes well with red meat, as well as at least 10 other wines, several of which have won medals in state competition.
You’re welcome to sample his offerings, along with vintages from Benigna’s Creek Vineyard and Winery of Hegins, Grovedale Winery and Vineyard of Wyalusing, Hidden Creek Vineyard and Winery, Sandcastle Winery of Erwinna, Capra Collina Winery of Jessup, Red Shale Ridge Vineyards of Hegins, Nimble Hill Vineyard and Winery of Tunkhannock, Maiolatesi Wine Cellars of Scott Township, Colonel Ricketts Hard Cider Winery of Benton and Laddsburg Mountain Winery of New Albany.
Peruse their websites and you’ll find some fascinating names, from Capra Collina’s “OMG” and”Couples Therapy” to a “Tulpehocken Blush” from Benigna’s Creek that references a native word for “land of many turtles.”
Then, consider Hidden Creek’s “Mud Wasp” and “Dragonfly” along with Laddsburg Mountain’s “Vulpes Red,” which was named after a fox, and “Zenaida White,” which was named after a mourning dove and you’ll see Moe, the “the fat cat” isn’t the only animal to be honored on a wine label.
Guests who will be sampling the wine receive a commemorative glass and a wrist band that shows they’re entitled to taste the vintages, event co-chair Melissa Saxon said, and representatives of several restaurants will be on hand, selling snacks, sandwiches and entrees.
“You can buy some food, open a bottle of wine and enjoy any of the entertainers that are going to be there,” Saxon said, noting that the 3rd Degree Acoustic Trio, Double Cross and Big Daddy Dex will perform.
Vendors, meanwhile will offer such items as soap, jewelry, handmade clothing and Amish folding baskets.
Proceeds of the WIne and Dine Festival will benefit projects of the Dallas Rotary Club.