You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor -Aristotle. A visionary and trailblazer, Mr. Tim McEnery, Founder and CEO of Coopers Hawk Winery exudes courage! Opening his first Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant at the tender age of 29 in Orlando Park, IL; flash forward to today, boasting eighteen additional locations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, with four more units scheduled to open in 2015. Not to mention the largest Wine of the Club month in the country.
Bravo, Mr. McEnery!!
Recently we had the pleasure of attending a private dinner as Friends of Cooper’s Hawk. Hosted by Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani, the evening included an interactive cooking demonstration, four-course dinner with wine pairings, and a special meet-and-greet with Fabio and Tim.
Needless to say, I came prepared with a hungry belly, my trusted note 4, and the talented Ms. Young to capture the essence of our exciting wine dinner.
It was an evening filled with love, laughter, fine wine and food moderated by the charismatic Chef Fabio. We lucky diners were even treated to a personalized signed copy of Fabio’s American Home Kitchen.
Our delicious evening commenced with Cooper’s Hawk Blanc de Blanc, followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Italian red varietals Barbera, and Sangiovese.
Fun Fact: since Opening in late 2005, Cooper’s Hawk has received over 300 wine awards from various local, national, and international wine competitions.
Our family style appetizers comprised of Tuna carpaccio, curly endive, arugula, crispy capers, and yuzu vinaigrette. Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, olives, aged balsamic, sea salt, basil, and EVOO. Whipped Ricotta Dolce, sea salt, and EVOO. Paired with Cooper’s Hawk Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – delightful! Sauvignon Blanc boasted lemon-lime, gooseberry, green herbs, white flowers followed by a crisp finish.
Slow Roasted Prime Rib, herb-Parmesan crust and au jus. How gorgeous is this plate? Juicy, beautifully seasoned prime rib is a sight to behold and taste!! Bravo Chefs!! The Barbera showcased tart berries, bright acid and round full tannins. While the Sangiovese earthy, tobacco notes with bright fruit.
Tuscan Stewed Swordfish, sweet tomatoes, onion, garlic, black olives, herbs, and EVOO – an Italian classic!
Crispy Broken Potatoes, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan – oh I could have had a boat load.
Truffled Gnoochi with Parmigiano Reggianno ethereally light and bedazzled with black truffles.
Caponata with roasted vegetables, pine nuts, EVOO, and basil – sweet, savory, and light, I resisted the urge to smear them on the freshly baked bread to create artisan bruschetta.
Asparagus and Burrata Salad, toasted hazelnuts, and EVOO – so simple but oh so gratifying!
Fabio’s Mom’s Tiramisu with toasted white chocolate and Cooper’s Ice Wine. Nothing quite beats mom’s cooking, yeah? Chef Fabio indeed had a culinary blessed childhood.
Check out the glorious golden color of this ice wine. Literally, ice wine is made from very ripe frozen grapes. As the frozen grapes are pressed, the sweet, concentrated juice is separated from the ice making a wine high in sweetness and acid, boasting flavors of honey, sublime!
Mille grazie (thousand thanks) to the entire staff at Cooper’s Hawk whose impeccable attention to detail and graciousness made our evening extra special!
Cooper’s Hawk Winery is a fantastic addition to Orlando’s culinary and especially wine scene. Whether you are just starting your wine immersion or are a collector or like me, a wine geek, there is plenty of options to gratify our palates and in the process learn something new about the ever changing magical world of wine.
Hope to see you there sharing a glass or bottle with me, soon!