The Naperville Heritage Society's Naper Wine & Dine fundraiser has always been known for its spectacular menu and one-of-a-kind wines, held each year at Sullivan's Steakhouse in downtown Naperville. This year, the ninth annual fundraiser that begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, features wine from Wente Vineyards, a California-based winery celebrating its 130th year in business. Just as the Heritage Society preserves the history of Naperville, Wente is proud of its family tradition and the legacy of its five generations of winegrowers and winemakers.
"Pairing these estate wines with the wonderful menu Chef developed was fun," said Bridge Epp, VP of Sales Central Division for Wente Family Estates. "The key was to find complimentary flavors in the wine and the foods, and adding in a few surprise pairings as well."
When guests arrive at Naper Wine & Dine, they will sip a 2011 Wente Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc. Sullivan's Executive Chef Terrell Cole developed the five-course menu that begins with a first course of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with saffron aioli and toasted pine nuts, paired with a 2011 Murrieta's Well The Whip, a sophisticated blend of six white wines.
The second course is a salmon filet with tomato carpaccio drizzled with basil oil and shaved parmesan, paired with a 2011 Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, Arroyo Seco, Monterey.
The star of the third course is pork tenderloin, which is stuffed with caramelized apples, goat cheese and Italian sausage, served over red Swiss chard, and paired with a 2010 Double Decker Red Blend.
A broiled filet mignon is the highlight of the fourth course, topped with a three-peppercorn bordelaise sauce served over Lyonaisse potatoes, with a 2010 Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon.
Topping off the evening with a sweet treat, the fifth course is a caramelized peach torte paired with macerated blueberries, drizzled with crème anglaise and served with a refreshing 2011 Wente Riverbank Riesling.
Wente Vineyards and Naper Settlement also have something else in common -- both are dedicated to environmental sustainability. Wente Vineyards received certification for its sustainability with respect to vineyard, winery and company practices with the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing designation for their Estate vineyards. Naper Settlement received a 2012 Sustainable Development Award from The Conservation Foundation for its roadways and stormwater improvements that include red brick permeable paver pathways and sustainable landscaping, which helps purify rainwater before it flows to the DuPage River.
Naper Wine & Dine tickets are $175 and a portion is tax deductible. For tickets, call (630) 420-6016 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.