Kings Food Market is a fabulous place to shop. Kings Markets is an upscale grocery store chain throughout the Tri-state area. They provide many locally grown foods as well as wonderful imports from around the world. Sara and I got an opportunity to attend a great Exclusive Summer Tasting Event at the Ridgewood, NJ Kings Food Markets. This was an exclusive tasting featuring Kings own wine expert and connoisseur pairing beverages with their Chef’s prepared selections. This was a great opportunity to both taste the wonderful freshly made meals that Kings has to offer as well as learning great appetizers and pairings of wine and drinks to have at your summer BBQ or get together!
This store in Ridgewood, NJ was absolutely beautiful. It was newly renovated and now offers wines and spirits from around the world for sale. The event we attended was a kick-off to the Grand Re-Opening of this location. The tasting was set up by the wine and spirits with two tall tables for the attendees to use, a table for the wine and drinks, and a table with cooking tools for the Chef. The Chef was Bill Hedge, the director of prepared foods chef for Kings Food Market’s pre-made food and recipes. He works with three other main stores to create the entire pre-made ready to eat dishes at all Kings Markets. They are all freshly prepared and not kept longer than around two days. The drink portion was led by Paul Guarino, who is the wine, cheese and specialty food expert with Kings.
The first meal we enjoyed was a homemade Margarita paired with a Black Bean Taco. The Margarita was delicious and so easy to make, a great recipe for the summer months at barbecues and by the pool! This recipe included Limes, Orange Juice, Agave Nectar (or honey), a 12 oz Mexican Lager Beer, Salt and Tequila! It is so simple and so refreshing! This sweet drink paired so well with the prepared black bean taco. These can be purchased at your local grocery, all you have to do is heat them up! They were delightfully addictive and another great meal for a get together inside or out! Pair them with the simple margarita, and you have a great appetizer or snack for a party or stay at home evening! These Tacos have black bean puree in them, goat cheese, monetary jack cheese, and spices to make a wonderful fresh and smokey flavor.
The next portion was a Citrus Glazed Black Pearl Salmon. This was paired with a King Estate Pinot Gris (2012) white wine. The salmon was delicious, it was sweet, very tender and not fishy at all! The great thing about Kings Market fresh fish, is it isnever frozen. You get the freshest fish and the best quality. The wine had some pear and apple flavor with a hint of some tart. It is a full flavored wine, and paired wonderfully with this Citrus glazed salmon.
The next course was a Serrano Wrapped Asparagus paired with an Avanthia Godello (2011) white wine. This was another delicious meal, and I would consider this not a side dish but part of a main dish. By having the Serrano Ham wrapped outside, the salty and delicious ham melted into the asparagus and created this full flavor combination. The ham is 16 month aged and the asparagus is fresh from Pennsylvania and includes no nitrates. Once together, they are blanched and served hot or cold. This dish was so tender and finished with a great natural butterytaste. The wine is aged in oak and is a wonderful Spanish wine, it is considered a Spanish Chardonnay and is on the sweeter side but also very dry.
The next main dish was the Chef Prepared Pulled Pork BBQ Sliders paired with a Robert Parker Marietta Old Wine Red (Lot #60). The wine is a field blend and is a Zinfandel based Cabernet and Syrah mix. This drink is a very easy drinking wine and is rich and full bodied with a little tannin. It is great to go with meats, especially anything off a barbecue/grill or at a picnic. This is a red, but is preferred to be served chilled. This wine actually had no vintage, they reserve each of the prior years and combine it by adding 3/4th of the vintage to maintain a consistency. The sandwich was the Pulled Pork BBQ with Cole Slaw on a bun. The meat had a slight spice to it and was delicious! It was cooked perfectly and went so well with the bun and cole slaw.
Finally, we finished with a Cheese and Meat dish. This included a Columbus Felino Salame, which was delicious and is aged very slowly to gain such great smooth texture, taste and aroma. For the Cheese, there was a Cheery Grove Farm Herdsman tome style cheese, which gives off a buttery flavor and can be great for cooking with or just snacking on! The second cheese was an Alta Langa la Tur, which was my favorite cheese. This is a blend of cow, sheep, and goats milk and isvery creamy. It reminded me of a brie, but much sweeter. To pair with these, we had crackers and grapes. It was paired with a Saracco Moscato d’Asti (2012), which was the perfect sweet white to go with these full flavored cheeses. It had a mix of acidity and sweetness, so it can be drank alone or with wonderful cheese and meats. It was a great end to a great event.
As another unexpected treat, we received a Press Package, that included a wine bag, a USB port, information on recipes and what we had sampled, a whisk, a wine cork, sparkling wine cork and a gift card.
It was such a surprise and such a wonderful event, we learned about cooking classes and events that Kings Markets have on a regular basis as well, so we cannot wait to sign up and try a cooking class and attend more events at our local Kings Food Market! Check your local grocery out too for great events and classes!