Culinary crafters present pairing | ParkRecord.com

Culinary crafters present pairing

Craft brewer and wine maker Kent Fortner, who hails from Northern California, and head chef Adam Ross of Park City's Twisted Fern restaurant, are a pair of artists.

While each work hard to create the best-tasting and aesthetically-pleasing drink and food they can for their clients to enjoy, they decided to put their creative glasses together and offer the Park City community an opportunity to enjoy both of their crafts in one evening.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Twisted Fern, 1300 Snow Creek Drive, Suite RS, said Twisted Fern co-founder Meisha Ross.

"It's a slow time for local restaurants between mid-October to December," Ross told The Park Record. "So we wanted to do some community-oriented things."

“There is such a joy of seeing something that starts in the ground -- grapes, grains and hops -- that finds its way through fermentation, into a bottle and eventually onto someone’s glass...” Kent Fortner, wine maker and beer brewer

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Ross said creating menus that feature complementary wine and beer pairings inspires her husband.

"We are excited about this opportunity because Kent does both," Ross said. "When we got to know his brands better, we found he has similar core values that we have at Twisted Fern. The craft ingredients and production he focuses on is what we also focus on."

Fortner, owner of Road 31 Wine Company and co-owner of Mare Island Brewing Company, located in the Napa Valley area, said the event will feature a four-course meal where each course will be paired with he wines and beers.

"It's about matching and melding flavors," Fortner said. "Adam and I will talk about the flavor profile of the wine and decide what would be good pairings and what we should steer clear from."

Fortner's pinot noirs are unique in that they tend to be a little higher in acidity.

"They are also very floral in the way they come across," he said. "So they match well with certain kinds of foods. I do try to steer clear of anything with a high pepper content, which can throw the wines off."

Fortner's beers are different in that they are more forgiving with what they are paired with.

"A lot of the foods that would usually destroy a wine are good matches for beer," he said. "Beer can stand up to these food in part because of the effervescence that's in it and partly because of the maltiness that is much louder in the mouth."

The cost of the evening is $75 plus tax and tip per person.

"The price includes four courses with wine or beer pairings," Ross said. "Both Kent and Adam will speak before each course as an introduction and explanation of the thought behind the beer and wine and food."

Tickets are available for purchase by visiting http://www.twistedfern.com.

"We require people to purchase the tickets in advance because we have a small space and want people to have the opportunity to have a little room to feel comfortable," Ross said. "We also want people to have the opportunity to speak with Kent and to Adam without feeling overcrowded."

Fortner, who has been making Road 31 Wine since 2001 and started the Mare Island Brewing Company with Ryan Gibbons four years ago, sells his beverages through a broker called Vine Lore in Utah.

"I was going to come to town to say hello to some of my accounts in Utah, and Vine Lore set up the dinner for me," Fortner said. "While I never lived in Utah, I lived in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. And if those places grew grapes like they do in Napa, I would live in the Wasatch Mountains."

Before Fortner got interested in wine, he was interested in beers.

"I'm from the Midwest and it's all about the grain," he said "I did a lot of home brewing in my early years, and then, post-college, I worked for a lot of restaurants and got into the wine world."

He worked as an intern at Chalone Vineyards, and after college worked for an additional nine wineries.

"During that time, I met a guy named Ryan Gibbons," Fortner said. "We had worked on a wine project and then lost touch, and when we reconnected, he was working in the brewing world. "

The two started Mare Island Brewing Company.

"Mare Island itself has a rich heritage," Fortner said. "It was a naval shipyard that dates back to 1854 and shut down in 1996. In between then and 1996, it was the site where nuclear submarines and other naval ships were built."

When the base closed, the whole town fell into economic hard times.

"The base was eventually purchased by a private developer and there has been a renaissance going on down there," Fortner said. "Our brewery is located in a turn-of-the-century coal shed, which stored coal for the Navy ships. It's a brewery and historic landmark."

Fortner enjoys both winemaking and brewing for the same reason.

"There is a sense of shepherding Mother Nature," he said. "They are both delicate operations, but there is such a joy of seeing something that starts in the ground — grapes, grains and hops — that finds its way through fermentation, into a bottle and eventually onto someone's glass."

Brewer and winemaker Kent Fortner, along with head chef Adam Ross, will host a beer, wine and dinner pairing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at Twisted Fern, 1300 Snow Creek Drive, Suite RS. Advance tickets can be purchased by visiting twistedfern.com.