It’s time to dust off the dress robes as Soaring Wings Vineyard and Brewing is decorating the “Great Hall” for its fifth Harry Potter dinner on Friday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m.
Kellie Simpson, tasting room manager, devised the event in 2017 to promote three of the Springfield vineyard’s wine offerings whose labels, upon reflection, bore a resemblance to some of the magical creatures found in the beloved book series.
“The idea totally came from our bottle designs. I had three bottles that I thought would pair well with Harry Potter, so we built the food (menu) around that,” Simpson said.
Jim and Sharon Shaw, who founded Soaring Wings in 2001, put the vineyard up for sale last November. Sharon Shaw said there has been interest but declined to elaborate on the future — except to say the winery’s concert and event schedule for 2023 is still moving forward.
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The Potter-themed dinner is one of Soaring Wings more popular nights. Postponed for three years due to the pandemic, the return of the magical meal has been anticipated by previous attendees.
“Sharon put faith in me. She did not think the first one was going to sell very well. But, she was like, ‘We can try it,’ and it was a huge success,” Simpson said.
Carefully prepared by Shaw and Simpson, the menu features dishes served in the series’ seven novels. As fans recognize, food and celebrations are a luxurious benefit of attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Simpson is a massive Potter fan. However, the books did not inspire the names and label designs of the vineyard’s wines. Rather, as Jim Shaw was an Air Force and airline pilot, the product’s designations all have something to do with flight.
“They didn’t even actually make the connection until I was like ‘Look! Harry Potter! It fits!’’’ Simpson said.
Friday’s three-course meal starts with tomato and feta vol-au-vents, a French puff pastry appetizer that the character Mrs. Weasley bakes for her son’s wedding in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.” It is paired with the semi-dry “Winter White” white wine, whose label features a snowy owl like Potter’s pet, Hedwig.
A breaded pork chop with honeyed carrots and roasted potatoes will be served with the semi-dry “Dragon’s Red”, evoking moments from the “Goblet of Fire.” Dessert will feature the semi-sweet “Red Phoenix” — a prominent creature in the series — with Butterbeer cookies and Cauldron Cakes.
“It all tastes good,” Shaw said.
There will also be a costume contest for the attendees, Simpson said.
“I love how J.K. Rowling blended history in with magic. There is a lot of different levels you can read it at. You can be heavily invested, or just read it as a light read,” she said. “It’s all in good fun.”
A small number of seats were still available for the meal. More information can be found at soaringwingswine.com.