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Fulchino Vineyard in Nashua. Courtesy photo.




Harvest Dinner 

Where: Fulchino Vineyard, 187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis
When: Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4 p.m. 
Cost: $125 
Visit: fulchinovineyard.com




Wining and dining
Vineyard harvest dinner features local food, wine pairing

09/29/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 When winemaker Al Fulchino first thought of hosting “farm to vineyard” dinners at Fulchino Vineyard, he wanted them to be bigger than the typical three- or four-course meal. 

“I was basically looking to go back to the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with a hint of the European lifestyle, when they would serve course after course over a four-hour period,” he said. 
On Sunday, Oct. 2, Fulchino Vineyard will host its annual Harvest Dinner inside the winery building on the vineyard grounds in Nashua. The co-owners of Pig Tale Restaurant in Nashua, Chef Rob Jean and Chris Normandin, and their team will prepare a six-course meal with fresh ingredients sourced from New Hampshire and New England. 
The first course — Duxbury oysters on the half shell with cranberry granita and white radish pearl — will be served at 4 p.m., followed by crostini (small bread slices) topped with brandywine tomato and robiola due latti (an Italian cheese). Starting off the main courses will be duck confit with silky heirloom autumn squash and castelluccio lentils, then statler chicken marsala with wild mushrooms and root vegetables. The final main course will be heritage pork osso bucco (braised pork shanks), root vegetables and marsala sciroppo (sauce). For dessert, there will be vanilla bean panna cotta (cooked cream) with candied local pears and crushed walnut praline. 
Throughout the courses, there will be open discussions with the chefs about how the dishes were prepared and where the ingredients were sourced from. 
“Many people don’t understand what it takes to make the food on their table, so this gives them an opportunity to speak to the chefs and find out some things they didn’t know about locally sourced food,” Fulchino said. 
Local food won’t be the only thing showcased at the dinner; each course will be paired with one or more wines from Fulchino Vineyard, accompanied by commentary from Fulchino, who created the pairings himself. 
While various wines will be highlighted, Fulchino said the basis of the dinner is still the food, and that the featured wines were chosen to complement the courses, not the other way around. 
“I make 36 different wines, so I’m flexible,” he said. “For these dinners, I want to make sure the chef is extremely excited about what he’s going to present, so I usually just tell him, ‘Build a wild menu, something that will stun people,’ and I challenge him to produce the best food possible on the plate. Then I look at the ingredients he’s using and build the wine pairings around that.” 
Fulchino is also planning a new wine tasting experience as part of the dinner this year; guests will have the chance to taste a wine in its various stages of development, from a fresh grape juice to a young wine a couple weeks into fermentation and finally to an aged and bottled product.
“In today’s society … people have become detached from where their food comes from,” he said. “But in this kind of environment [at the vineyard], they can see the grape vines growing outside, and they can taste the grape juice, and they can see how it all ties together.” 





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