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Avalon Winery Announces America’s Great Foods Recipe Challenge Winners: Charleston Food & Wine Festival 2013 showcases top 3 finalists

6 March, 2013

Graton, CA – Avalon Winery is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual America’s Great Foods Recipe Challenge. Consumers were encouraged to participate nationwide and the winner, Donna Beck of Washington State paired Avalon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with her Maple Cheddar Burger with Spicy Apple Bacon Compote to take home the $10,000 Grand Prize.

Beck, who was inspired by her teenage son and daughter to create the winning recipe, said, “I love the flavors of fall. This burger combines all of the yummy goodness of my native state, tangy Washington apples, smoky bacon, honey, maple and spice. What could be better?” Of the winning dish, Avalon’s noted winemaker Alex Cose stated, “The bacon flavors in the burger with the cherry nuances of the wine combined to make a great pairing.”

Danielle D’Ambrosio of Forest Hills, New York won the TEC® Infrared Grill with her Avalon California Cabernet Balsamic Cherry Filets inspired by the wine. Third place went to Laura Davis of Pocomoke City, Maryland with her daring delectable pairing of Avalon Napa Valley Cabernet with Striped Bass with Chorizo Salsa.

The three finalists were flown to Charleston, SC, to compete at the BB&T Bank Charleston Wine + Food Festival®.  Attendees to the festival voted to decide the winner. All three contestants prepared their recipes in front of a live audience in the Avalon Outdoor Living + Grilling area.  Avalon Chef and Iron Chef and Top Chef candidate Kelly Liken mentored and assisted the finalists throughout the weekend and specifically with the preparation and presentation of their recipes.

Participants were invited to enter the competition by submitting a recipe involving a “Great Food” element specific to their personal heritage or geographic region that would pair well with Avalon wines. Entries were submitted from around the country with inspirational foods as varied as Great Northern Beans from Nebraska, mushrooms from Pennsylvania, Colorado lamb, New Jersey tomatoes, Virginia ham, and Chesapeake Bay Oysters.

About Avalon Winery
Avalon Winery, located in the town of Graton in Sonoma County, California, produces top selling wines recognized for outstanding quality and food friendly style. Avalon specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon including a Napa Valley bottling and the winery’s flagship California Cabernet Sauvignon. The California blend includes grapes from premier vineyards in Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Lake County and Monterey. The wines are produced under the Purple Wine Company umbrella of brands that includes:  Four Vines, BEX, Cryptic, Lucky Star and kumbaya.

About Kelly Liken
Liken, a Pennsylvania native, is owner and executive chef at Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail, Colorado.  She has made numerous national television appearances including NBC’s Today Show and has been a contestant on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Season 7 of Bravo’s Top Chef.

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