The Forks blog

Casbah holds a "vinegar dinner"

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on

This is so cool and unusual, we just had to share it.

Have you heard of ice wine? It's made with grapes that are left on the vine until they freeze, so they lose some of their water and have relatively more sugar.

I got to go on an ice-wine harvest once, up near Erie, with photographer Rebecca Droke, who's frozen fingers took the photo above. 02272014smallvinegar

Anyway, ice wine can be used to make vinegar, which is what the folks at Minus 8 do in Niagara, Ontario, Canada, just over the Great Lakes. The name is the temperature, in Celsius, at which they harvest the grapes.

And now Casbah in Shadyside is working with that outfit to present the first "vinegar dinner" we've ever heard of.

The South Highland Avenue restaurant just announced that starting at 6:30 p.m. on March 6, Chef Eli Wahl and Minus 8 proprietors Rachel and Brad will present a five-course tasting menu and paired drinks "featuring and built around" the company's gourmet vinegars.

Each course on the menu is to include a taste of the Minus 8 product in it, whether vinegar, ice wine or verjus (the acidic juice of unripe grapes), including a preview of the IP8 vinegar that won't be released until 2015. Attendees, limited to 50, also get a small bottle of Minus 8 vinegar to take home and cook with.

The cost is $65, plus $35 for drinks pairings, and you reserve by calling 412-661-5656.

Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette photo, top; Minus 8 photo, right.

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