The Wine Drinker

This is the Dead Letter Office of my wine writing. These stories ended up not fitting on our company's Facebook page (Piedmont Wine Imports) or website,, for reasons that I think are clear once you scroll through a few posts. Less professional musings, impressions that ultimately never got past the rough prototype stage. Um... enjoy!

Monday, May 04, 2009

3CUPS has dinner with Toast

Elaine pointed out on the way over to Toast that both our businesses are painted bright colors. What can I say? This dinner was meant to be. We're all sunny people at Toast and 3CUPS.

I have a debilitating Panini habit.

It has been seven months since Elaine came up with the idea of doing wine socials with our favorite food people from around the triangle. At Toast last night it was like I'd hoped it would be, the best-case scenario from our pre-new 3CUPS planning/brainstorming sessions come true. For us it was ridiculously easy. We showed up, hob-nobbed with friends and family, shook hands and received gratitude as if we were responsible for their good time. Meanwhile the Toast kitchen was churning out course after course of beautiful stuff, too many crostini to recount, little perfect bites to pair with light, aromatic reds and whites. We served Bisson Prosecco, Elaine's favorite and a wine that always surprises me. It has so much flavor, and so much better flavor than most Prosecco I run into. After bubbly ran dry we moved on to Coffele Soave, a pretty white that was even better for the diners enjoying evening sun and warm breezes on the patio tables in front of the restaurant. Mid-meal we switched to lightly chilled Niedermayr Santa Maddalena, a Tyrolean Schiava/Lagrein blend that was really great with prosciutto brodo. At the end we poured glasses of fizzy DeForville moscato with citrus glazed polenta cake and strawberries toppped with cream. I think the moscato's honyed bright fruit and effervescence got people ready for post-dining fun. It definitely doesn't weigh down like many after dinner sticky wines can.

To be honest, I wish there were more similarities between Toast and 3CUPS. Both places smell good... but try as I might, I'll never hold a candle to Kelli Cotter when it comes to customer service. She is so nice! Seeing her smiling when I walk into their place erases my preoccupations, makes me happy to be at Toast and ready for my food. Light-hearted dining experiences are the norm for me at Toast. My enthusiasm for their food tends to lead to some high-calorie encounters, but occasional indulgence is good, right? The point is, Toast is definitely my favorite place in Durham these days.


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