October 20, 2017

Weston Wine Company Pairs Cupcakes and Wine

Entering the doorway to Weston Wine Company,  the “pink” hits you all at once. (We’re talking about the color, not the musician.)

Between the pale red colors on the walls and the way the light dances off the winery’s chandeliers, you will be transplanted to a fairy tale of sorts. But don’t let the girlie décor deter you from staying awhile and sampling Missouri wines paired with gourmet cupcakes.

Colleen Gerke explaining how she composes unconventional pairings.

Colleen Gerke explaining how she composes unconventional pairings.

That’s right, cupcakes. For the “Royal Confections” tasting, Weston Wine Company pairs six of their wines ranging from dry to sweet with pre-selected miniature cupcakes that enhance the flavors of the wines. For those who prefer a traditional pairing; Weston Wine Company also offers the “Royal Homage to Fromage” wine and cheese pairing.

Owners Jason and Colleen Gerke opened this unique winery in downtown Weston, Missouri in May of 2014 as an outlet for ideas that contrasted with their other winery, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery. (Weston is a small town about 35 miles north of Kansas City.)

See related story: Sheep, Chickens and Bats Help Make Great Wine at Jowler Creek

Jason and Colleen were initially contacted two years ago by the owners of their current space about opening a tasting room. At first, they turned down the offer. Jowler Creek Winery is located 15 minutes away in Platte City, Missouri and that seemed too close for another location.

It wasn’t until Colleen was having tea with her mother in Weston that she saw the winery’s eventual space for the first time. Peering in the store front, Colleen was taken with the architecture, especially the rear windows that look out into the garden. It was then that she immediately started brainstorming about a new tasting room.

Jason and Colleen did not want to add any more wines to the list at Jowler Creek, but they were looking to experiment with different varietals grown in western and central Missouri. With determination and unique ideas, Weston Wine Company was born.

Next came the inspiration for the cupcakes. After Colleen tasted a cake from Sierra’s Cakes in Edgerton, Missouri while celebrating her birthday, she had the idea to try pairing their wines with small cupcakes.

Colleen, who confesses that she has a huge sweet tooth, thought the new venture could showcase how wines can be paired with unconventional foods.   Colleen then reached out to Julie Crook, owner and baker of Sierra’s Cakes about the idea.Weston Wine Company Windows

Julie and Colleen created a list of moist and delectable miniature cupcakes to go with six of the wines offered at Weston Wine Company. Julie even came up with a recipe for a cupcake made using the winery’s  Rosette Cut wine,  a semi-sweet Rose.

Colleen was afraid the Rose wine would make the cupcakes taste dry, but Julie proved her wrong and a delicate pink cupcake was created to match the character of the wine. (The Rosette Cut wine is not part of the pairings, however it is available for sampling.)

RED WINE CUPCAKE PAIRINGS:

King Brilliant Cut (Dry) – Salted Caramel cupcake or French Emmental cheese

Radiant Cut (Semi-Sweet) – Chocolate Cherry cupcake or Imported Fontina cheese

Trilliant Cut (Sweet) – Reese’s cupcake or Wensleydale cheese (contains berries and white chocolate)

WHITE WINE CUPCAKE PAIRINGS:

Queen Brilliant Cut (Dry) – Vanilla with Caramel Icing or Dutch Gouda cheese

Princess Cut (Semi-Sweet) – Key Lime cupcake or Mature Cheddar with a hint of Chili cheese

Navette Cut (Sweet) – Cherry Chip cupcake or Irish Cheddar cheese

The cost of the “Royal Tastings” is $10 per person and it is recommended that you make a reservation one week in advance via the Winery’s website.

Wine and Cupcake pairings are just one of the usual twosomes you’ll find at Weston.  Employee Sarah Terry is married to Chris Terry, the chef at the nearby American Bowman restaurant. Together, they like to invent unconventional wine/food combinations. One example is pairing s’mores  (roasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers) with Trilliant Cut wine, which is made from Concord grapes. Concord and chocolate pair well together and the graham cracker gives the marriage more texture.

Weston Wine Company offers indoor and outdoor seating. You can reserve space for a “Royal Coronation” bachelorette or birthday celebration in which you will receive a full size cupcake as well as a generous pour of all seven ]wines. This celebration would not be complete without a wand and a crown to take home. The total cost is $15 per person and requires an advance reservation.

Weston Wine CompanyIf you would like to book space for eight or more people, the “Royal Jubilee” tasting takes you through a flight of wines paired with small bites of food.  The cost for Royal Jubilee is $20 per person and requires an advance reservation.

For larger groups, the basement is available for rent and can accommodate up to 52 people.

Even if you have not had time to book an advance reservation for a “Royal Tasting,” you can still stop in for a wine tasting and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.  Crowns can be purchased as souvenirs for $1 or you can opt to take a “dare” and get a crown for free. You never know what the dare may be. (You might find yourself singing or dancing.)

Weston Wine Company is open every day except for Tuesdays and is located at 519 Main Street Weston, Missouri 64098.

Sierra’s Cakes is located at 208 Clark Ave Edgerton, Missouri. For custom orders, call 816-790-9832.

Valerie Swiderski is a Kansas based wine and travel writer.  All photos by Dale Swiderski.