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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Mountain crab cakes & wine

Posted June 26, 2008 7:21 a.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2008 7:22 a.m. EDT

What is your favorite North Carolina winery and why? Let’s float that question today as I tell you about my experience with Mountain Crab Cakes.

I finally made it to Shelton Winery near Mount Airy. What a beautiful setting! As I sat in the Harvest Grill Restaurant for lunch and looked out on the 383 acre estate I felt like I was back in Sonoma County, California with its rolling hills and lush vineyards. I was yearning for crab cakes but I had my doubts. I asked executive chef Paul S. Lange and he said I would not be disappointed. He said visitors from Maryland and Washington, DC consistently raved about their crab cakes.

He was right. Circled with a delectable cilantro sauce the crispy cakes exploded with flavor. They went down well with the Shelton Riesling. That was my wife's choice. I went with the cabernet. It was good.

We didn't do the wine tasting but took home a bottle of Shelton Pinot Noir. It was not one of my favorites as it lacked the liveliness and complexity I expect in a great pinot. But overall I think Shelton puts out some excellent products. Plus, they have some terrific weekend entertainment.

Shelton is located just off Interstate 77 near Mount Airy. It's worth the drive.

What is your favorite NC winery? I really can't weigh in on this one because my knowledge is limited but I would like to hear from you.