Our Summer Solstice Dinner Was Reminiscent Of An Ancient Celebration
Although most of us know June 21 simply as the first day of summer, to our European ancestors, it was the summer solstice – or when the sun shone for the most number of hours in a day. Throughout history, ancient peoples have honored the summer solstice through monuments, holidays, festivals and rituals.
Here at Mount Salem Kitchen, we’ve done just the same for 20 years by hosting our annual Solstice Dinner, when we welcome just two dozen friends of our winery to enjoy an intimate evening – outdoors when we can – full of Central European fare paired with wine.
This year, we served dishes such as Liptauer on cucumber with dill; roasted feta with grilled chicken sate Hussar-style; Vienna sausages wrapped in bacon; roasted slow-roasted chicken Salzburg style; bratwurst in sauerkraut; and just-picked strawberries topped with freshly whipped cream.
We paired these Central European favorites with seven of our fine wines including our Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Rose, Blaufränkisch Reserve and the Cuvee of Blaufrankisch Zwiegelt and St. Laurent.
Although the sun wasn’t shining on that particular evening and we dined indoors, it was a pleasure – as it has been since we began our own summer solstice tradition two decades ago – to welcome the summer with a celebratory meal and clinks of a glass.