Saturday, August 9, 2014

Divine Wine & Beer Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on August 14


 Ask Kevin Schwartz about his passion for wine and he’ll tell you he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in it, given his family’s penchant for good food and all that goes with it. The sommelier turned entrepreneur officially opens his first retail venture -- Divine Wine and Beer at 1011 Tunnel Road – on August 14 beginning at 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and reception to which the public is invited. (For more information about the grand opening go to
 In addition to a robust selection of wines and craft beers, Schwartz also offers a wine and beer bar. “On Thursday night we offer a $5 beer tasting, and on Friday night a $5 wine tasting,” Schwartz said. “This is a place where you can meet friends, download your favorite music, or expand your wine and beer horizons.” In the future, Schwartz, who worked for many years as the assistant food and beverage manager at The Grove Park Inn prior to its sale, plans on offering a limited small plate menu showcasing food produced at farms from around the region.
“I like to think that Divine Wine and Beer is a reflection of what makes Asheville such a wonderful place to live, work and visit,” he said. “That’s why we are also offering gift baskets and picnic baskets filled with Asheville specialties, including French Broad Chocolates.” Currently baskets can be purchased in-store with on-line ordering in the works. “We’ve hand-picked the items to reflect the culinary diversity that has made Asheville one of the nation’s top foodie towns,” said Schwartz.  “They are great gifts for family, friends and anyone who can’t get enough of Asheville’s food and flavors.”
This fall Schwartz will offer classes in cooking, wine (he creates notes for each of the wines in the store to assist customers in making the selection that best suits their palate and occasion), beer, mixology and even soap-making. “The soap-making class always takes people by surprise. It’s a way of tipping our hat to the rich mountain heritage that makes Asheville such a unique place,” he said.

Divine Wine and Beer is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Divine Wine & Beer is Open - My new business in East Asheville

Divine Wine & Beer in East Asheville is what has been keeping me up late and the reason I just have not had time to post on Asheville Foodie.  This is the long awaited announcement that should help explain my absence online.  I hope that you forgive me and stay tuned.  If all goes well, I should be able to begin a more consistent posting schedule again.

The blog will not change except that I'll be posting wine and beer reviews on a new blog named Asheville Wine Lovers.  It isn't up yet but if you want to like the page on Facebook you'll be the first to know when its off the ground.

No, this will not become a hot bed of advertising.  I haven't used ads over the last seven years and I don't plan on it now.  I will do an occasional post to keep you in the loop with what I'm doing at the store.  I'll put the menu for Divine Wine & Beer in a post this week for you to check it out.  I will add a banner or ad for Divine Wine & Beer to the blog but it will not be the focal point of the blog.

So, let me tell you what Divine Wine & Beer is all about...

After leaving the Grove Park Inn when they were purchased, I opened a wine brokerage and ran that the last two years.  Its a great company with some fantastic brands but the more successful the brokerage gets the more I have to travel out of town - especially on weekends.

For those that don't know, my wife is the Assistant Pastor of our church and will be taking over as Pastor from her father in the next several years.  I really want to be part of that and so I realized that I needed to do something other than the wine brokerage.  Two days later, something new presented itself.
That was three months ago.
On Monday, June 23, 2014, Divine Wine & Beer will open for business.  I am opening a Retail wine and craft beer store in East Asheville.  Along with the retail operation we will offer a wine and beer bar featuring some pretty amazing wines and beers by the glass.  Paired with this will be a limited small plate menu showcasing food produced at farms from around the region.  We will also offer local products and local gift baskets as well as picnic baskets for all your gift and adventure outing needs.  These will be available through our online store by August 1.  One last element will be a variety of classes and tastings that we offer each week.  Yes, we'll have wine and beer tastings and dinners but we will also offer cooking classes, wine/beer educational classes, mixology classes, home soap making classes, and more.  No doubt the last class surprised you - stop by to find out more!

This happened in some ways very slowly but in many ways very very quickly.  God is so good to have put item after item in place for us to do this.  We are grateful beyond measure.  Please keep us in your prayers with our new venture.

... and stop by the store.  We're on Tunnel Road in East Asheville (address and contact information is below).

I need your help in letting people know about Divine Wine & Beer.  So please like the Divine Wine & Beer FB page and share it with your friends and family that will be interested in it as well.

Contact Information
Divine Wine & Beer
(828) 505.8875
1011 Tunnel Road #110
Asheville, North Carolina 28805

Monday, June 2, 2014

There's light at the end of the Tunnel and its Divine!

Again, I haven't been consistent posting on the blog and again I promise that you will soon begin reading new posts that will keep you enthralled with the Asheville and Western North Carolina food scene.  The reason for the inconsistency will be rolled out later this week.

Please be sure to sit at the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation of what is coming.  Its exciting, imbibing, a whole lotta work but a mess of fun!  Can you guess what it is?  Have you heard any rumors?  I've kept things pretty close to my vest but I'm about ready to pop.  I just can't keep it any longer and I want you to be the first to know.

Thank you for your patience as well as your faithful reading of this blog.

Here's a little something to illustrate the hope and excitement that I have for what's coming soon...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Make your own Easter Peeps

Its not hard to make your own marshmellow peeps using a toothpick and some chocolate sauce or melted chocolate.  Use white chocolate and food coloring to be a bit more creative than I was, haha!  Great activity for your kids on Easter weekend as well.

Let me know what you do and show me some of your photos.  Come on now, be creative and have some fun!

Happy Easter y'all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Berliner Kindl German Restaurant– Authentic German food to fill my cravings!

Why is it always difficult to find a good, yet authentic, German restaurant? I’ve thought about that and as a person with a German heritage I’ve asked myself that many times and I’ve arrived at a conclusion.  Or better yet, conclusions, because I believe there are several reasons.  But before I give you those, you may be asking:  Why should I care!?  Haha, well that’s a good question too.

I care because I am German and have some fav foods from that cuisine.  You should care because unless you have actually tried good authentic German food then you’ve never truly had German food.  It doesn’t mean you will like all German food – I sure don’t.  But there are some phenomenal foods from this cuisine that you have to try.

Now for my conclusions …   
First it’s because in the U. S. of A. we love to take a cuisine and Americanize the crap out of it.  Yes, this has made many a food much, much better.  But this very American practice has made it difficult to find the authentic version or in many cases to even know what the authentic version really looks or tastes like.

Second is the fact that in order to fit into that American dream of making a profit and living the dream, often times cheap imitations are created that are in no way equal or even close to the authentic version.  Cheap can work but all too often you get what you pay for and it tastes nasty or at least not like the original.

Third is that because of the former two we have heard all we think we need to hear about that cuisine and have no time or resources to waste on it.  Or we have tried one of the former two and don’t wish to repeat that performance any time soon.

Lastly is that we think sauerkraut is all that German food consists of and we just plain don’t like it.

I understand each and every issue but I’m here to tell you that there is more to German cuisine than sauerkraut and sausage – much, much more.

Take Weiner Schnitzel for example, one of my all-time favorite foods.  Sure, we’ve heard of it but we can’t get past the name because it brings to mind either a hotdog or a hotdog dog.  There are actually many types of schnitzel and they are a gift to mankind.  Really, they are.

I tell you all of that to tell you that we do have a good German choice near-by in Black Mountain at the Berliner Kindl German Restaurant.  Berliner just refers to someone from Berlin and Berliner Kindl (meaning Berlin child) in the Bavarian vernacular of German is the name of the symbol on the coat of arms of the city of Berlin.

The menu offers a variety of German foods from bratwurst to schnitzel to leberkase.  Yes, sauerkraut is available if you’re a fan.  I took my wife who said she didn’t like German food but would find something to eat.  For the record, she realizes now that she didn’t know what German food really was and does like it.  Of course I had to choose one of the schnitzels but choosing was difficult since it all sounded so delicious.

Schnitzel is merely a thin boneless meat that has been pounded out, encrusted with flour and fried.  It can be made from veal, lamb, chicken, beef, pork and etc.  Usually it is made from pork in Germany but if it has an additional name then you need to understand what it means in order to know what you’re ordering.

Here’s a key for you to understand the different types of schnitzel.

·         Cordon-Bleu – this schnitzel came from Switzerland and is stuffed with ham and cheese.
·         Hächen Schnitzel – breaded, boneless, skinless breast of chicken.
·         Jägerschnitzel – or hunter’s schnitzel is a schnitzel with a mushroom sauce.
·         Käse Schnitzel – schnitzel covered in melted cheese.
·         Lemon Schnitzel – natural schnitzel pan sautéed in a lemon sauce.
·         Naturschnitzel – natural schnitzel is schnitzel with salt and pepper with no or very little sauce made from sour cream added to pan drippings.
·         Paprika Schnitzel – schnitzel topped with a tomato based sauce seasoned with paprika and red peppers.
·         Parisian Schnitzel – a classic French style schnitzel made without breadcrumbs, it is a veal cutlet pounded thin, dipped in flour, then egg and fried.
·         Puten Schnitzel – breaded slice of turkey breast.
·         Rahm Schnitzel – schnitzel with a peppered cream sauce and often will have mushrooms as well.
·         Schnitzel Holstein – schnitzel topped with a fried egg, onions and capers.
·         Schwiene Schnitzel – breaded pork cutlet.
·         Vegetarisches Schnitzel – vegetarian schnitzel is a meatless patty made from soy, tofu or seitan and is obviously a more recent version.
·         Wiener Schnitzel – Viennese schnitzel is a thin veal cutlet that has been pounded out, dusted with flour, batter with beaten eggs and coated with bread crumbs before being fried.
·         Zigeunerschnitzel – gypsy schnitzel is a schnitzel with bell peppers, mushrooms and onion slices in a sauce of tomato paste, red wine and chicken broth. 

My wife order the Schnitzel dinner ($14.95), pork schnitzel served with home fries and German potato salad (my wife loves potatoes!).  She went out on a limb to order, not knowing what it would taste like, but she trusted me and it paid off for her.  She loved it!

I order the Wiener Schnitzel ($17.95) a lightly breaded and fried thin veal cutlet with no sauce but fresh lemon to squeeze over it.  The meal also included home fries and red cabbage.  Just wonderful.  There is nothing quite like good weiner schnitzel and Berliner Kindl made it beautifully.  This is a food that I grew up eating and that I crave at times.  It is so good to know that I don’t have to travel far to get it again.

Anther craving of mine is a schnitzel sandwich with pork schnitzel on a bun.  I love this with pickles and a little ketchup.  It may not sound good but boy I’d kill to have one right now!  I can now drive to Black Mountain and have my schnitzel sandwich for lunch – oh, life has gotten to be so good!

If you crave authentic German food like I do or haven’t found any recently or have never tried the good stuff … make the drive and stop by Berliner Kindl.  You will be so happy that you did.

Contact Information
Berliner Kindl German Restaurant
(828) 669-5255
121 Broadway
Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711

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