Food, Wine and Fellowship

Photography:  Courtesy of Douglas Frassa


“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”


“I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines.”

–Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield

As a wine enthusiast and Level 1 Sommelier through the International Wine Guild (beginner), I’ve grown to enjoy different kinds and styles of wines as well as learning how and where they’re made.  Not only do I delight in a glass of wine from an exceptional vintage, but what is truly great is when wine is paired perfectly with food; both are better for the pairing.  In my opinion, it’s the same thing when people get together for a meal–the fellowship makes the food more pleasurable, and both are better because of the pairing.  When all of these elements align a transcendence occurs, and the act of eating becomes much more–especially, when a talented chef, gracious staff, and good friends are involved.

A few years ago, I experienced dining out as an artful experience in a nearby town.  The restaurant, located in Roanoke, Virginia, was called Horizon Bar and Grill.  Don’t let the location or the unassuming name of the restaurant fool you.  The chef and our friend, Scott Lockhart, was the artistic talent and creative energy behind the weekly/ monthly wine dinners and beautiful seasonal menus at his family’s establishment.  The atmosphere of the restaurant was casual and welcoming; however, the menu was reminiscent of something that one would certainly enjoy in a major American or European city (let me just say– Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck doesn’t have anything on Scott Lockhart).  No creative combination of ingredients was too unusual or exotic to be featured as an entrée.  Scott also had the ability to taste a wine, and as an artist, fashion a palate of flavors in an entrée that complimented the nuances of the wine–ultimately making them better because of their union.  This balance, rhythm, and harmony between the flavors of the food and the characteristics of the wine was like watching two expert dancers waltz around a dance floor.  Needless to say, his dinners were a work of art, and all of us who had the good fortune to experience them would agree.  Scott’s dinners grew a cult following of fans who eagerly awaited his next great masterpiece.

These fantastic food and wine forays weren’t just an opportunity to indulge in some world class dinners, but they were fun evenings spent with folks, who over the months and years became more than friends, but a kind of extended family.  The restaurant is gone now, but its existence created an opportunity for people to come together; people who otherwise may never have known one another.  We were all downcast when the restaurant closed; partially, because we would miss Scott’s creative imaginings, but mostly because we’d miss those magical evenings and the spirit of fellowship with him, his family, and the people who worked there as well as new friends.

Here’s the thing:  Coming together with others to share a meal creates a spirit of fellowship.  Scott Lockhart, through the magic of his menus and the gracious hospitality of his family and staff accomplished this many times, and I am thankful for the experience.  It is my hope that your next meal or Thanksgiving feast is filled with family, friends, fabulous food and fellowship.


**Thanksgiving food and wine pairings:

Thanksgiving can be somewhat challenging when it comes to food and wine pairings, because every table is different and no two bites are the same. However, there are a few classic Thanksgiving pairings that work well:

Thanksgiving Dinner With Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Etc.

BEST:  Zinfandel, Dry sparkling Shiraz

Good: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay (California), Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah

Pumpkin and Pecan Pies

BEST:  Madeira, esp. Malmsey (Fortified white wine from the Island of Madeira, southwest of Portugal; flavors of caramel with a walnut finish), Tawny Port, Sweet Sherry (cream, oloroso)

Good:  Viognier– pumpkin pie













  1. Tonya, you are such a talented writer and put into words so eloquently all the Scott and the Horizon folks created. Without that atmosphere, we likely would have never met. I am so grateful that we did. Looking at the photos makes me think of all of the great times we have shared, and I look forward to our next adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading my post and for your comment. It can be difficult to avoid overindulgence on Thanksgiving, especially if one must visit multiple relatives on the same day. However, it’s probably possible–just don’t go back for seconds! 🙂


  2. Reblogged this on fourth generation farmgirl and commented:

    With Thanksgiving coming up next week for many of us, and the holidays just around the corner, I thought I would share one of my favorite posts about food, wine, and fellowship. This post was inspired by a dear friend, Scott Lockhart as well as his lovely family and staff. It’s truly amazing how a few people can have such a positive impact on so many. I hope you enjoy it!

    Happy Wednesday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went to High School in Virginia (Fairfax – beltway D.C.) so I know well the beauty of Roanoke – tho’ not that restaurant. Your outing pictures make we wish I had been there to enjoy the fun as well as the food. Loved your T-giving pairing suggestions too.

    Do you follow 3wineguys – dot com? You would probably love their posts, if you aren’t already best blog-buddies.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

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