"We want to tap into those individuals who love and enjoy wine," said Melissa Nodzu, director of events for the plaza. "People who have never, or seldom ever, travelled to Caldwell. Ideally, we want to capture an audience within a 30- to 40-mile radius of the plaza; people who are looking for new experiences and are interested in learning more about the agricultural diversity of Canyon County."
Epperson certainly plans to spotlight that diversity. His menu, drawn up after a tasting of four different wines from Scoria, has a hyper-local focus and breaks out of the usual appetizer-to-entree-to-dessert order mold.
"We don’t have to follow traditional lines when we do these tastings—the wines pretty much tell us what we can do," Epperson said, adding, "All of our dishes are invented just for this purpose."
Epperson gave Boise Weekly a peak at the preliminary menu, which includes:
2) Chardonnay Course: Greek lemon chicken with dill, capers, olives and lemongrass. Sweet mashers with cinnamon yam garnish and lemon preserves-infused olive oil drizzle.
3) Petit Verdot Course: Pork carnitas en mole with corn masa, toasted macadamia, glazed pepitas, pineapple sage and star anise Cotija. Dark chocolate sprinkle.
4) Malbec Course: Cherry balsamic glazed beef with Gorgonzola, Jamaican jerk-spice chimichurri and grilled garden squash. Cilantro-lime drizzle.
Dessert: Flying M coffee with a dark chocolate coconut macaroon.
According to Destination Caldwell, ingredients for the dishes will be sourced from Justin Christensen Farms in Melba, Stewart Farms in Nampa, The Flying Pig Farm and Vogel Farms in Kuna, Lakeview Fruit in Caldwell, Wagner Farms in Meridian, True Roots Organics in Nyssa, Oregon, and Epperson's personal garden.
While the Aug. 18 dinner won't be the first wine-related event on the plaza, it will be more upscale than past gatherings, with tickets coming in at $100 per plate. Tickets are available online. Continuing the concept, a second Farm-to-Cork dinner spotlighting Vizcaya Winery is planned for Saturday, Sept. 22, and Nodzu said 2019 will feature monthly dinners from May through September, each showcasing a different Sunny Slope Wine Trail winery.