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SOMERSET COUNTY— When it comes to pairing the finest wines with the most delicious meals, look no further than the Cuvée Community fundraiser to benefit the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

“We are both delighted and grateful to join with the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County again this year to share an exceptionally fine evening with new and old friends,” said Mike Kane, President of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

The event will be held at Green Gables in Boswell on May 13, 2016, bringing two community foundations together once again for a night of great wines and dinner.

“Community foundations by definition are organizations that encourage people to gather–to blend–and being able to do so with another community foundation at Green Gables for a delightful evening that supports both of our communities is a great privilege for us,” said Kane.

“What keeps participants returning to the event is the combination of fine food/wine pairings and the desire to support the community foundations and the work they do in our communities,” said Mary Louise Stoughton, Green Gables Restaurant.

Chef Susan Kroft will delight the senses with a five-course dinner. Each course will be paired perfectly with wines hand-picked by a wine expert. This year the menu will wow your sweeter tastebuds.

“The Sauterne we are using for Cuvée had intense Saffron notes. The heady floral aroma of saffron combines with the sweetness and makes for an interesting combination to build a dish on,” said Kroft. “Then an acid component must be considered to keep things from becoming cloying, so I decided to use pear as my main component and the saffron and sweetness as accent flavors.”

“In this second year of the event, Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig of Wine Tradtions, Ltd., importers of French wine will engage participants with stories of their work importing wine from France produced from independent, family owned vineyards located throughout France’s many wine growing regions. Wine Traditions, Ltd. champions appellations that receive too little acclaim and have sought out vignerons and vigneronnes whose deep respect and commitment toward their land result in wines that convey a sense of place,” said Stoughton.

Kroft and Stoughton spent a great deal of time working together to come up with the menu for the event. Koft is very meticulous about how she pairs the dishes with the wines, and she looks into how she can pull out the most flavors in her meals.

“In this case I land on blue cheese, a very traditional pairing for sauterne and also for pears. We have had a lot of success at the restaurant with goat cheese ice cream and other savory frozen concoctions so I decided to make a blue cheese ice cream. The only component left to consider is texture. The dish itself is composed primarily of softer components so we need some crunch. Walnuts are a no brainer. We will candy them and the dish will be complete – Saffron & Honey Poached Pears with Blue Cheese Ice Cream and Candied Walnuts! Our take on the classic dessert cheese plate,” said Kroft.

The Cuvee Community is a unique event that raises money for the two foundations; the inaugural event was held in 2015. Not only are the community foundations reaching across regional borders to work together, the event’s focus is a multi-course wine dinner event featuring unique guest speakers in successive years of Cuvée Community.

“Participants will leave with sated palates, one-of-a-kind auction items, and the satisfaction of knowing the community foundations are receiving their support,” said Stoughton.

Stoughton said the evening begins with a VIP Hour open to sponsors of Cuvée who will mingle with Ed Addiss, Barbara Selig, Cuvée Committee Members and fellow sponsors while enjoying tastes of premium wines paired with hors d’oeuvres. Individual and table contributors will join the event at 6 p.m. for an hour where participants will have the opportunity to enjoy Champagne (or red wine selections) with their support of the community foundations and to peruse silent auction items. The five-course wine dinner where Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig will speak follows. The evening concludes with a live auction.

At the VIP hour, the following shall be poured:

Thierry Triolet Brut Champagne NV

Domaine d’Elise Chablis 2014

Domaine Billard Père et Fils ‘La Pierrière’ Saint Romain 2013

Mas d’Alezon Presbytère Faugères 2014

To order tickets for Cuvée click on wine.

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