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Dec 25,

2018

Happy Holidays!

We raise a glass to ugly sweaters and white elephant gifts. To saggy air mattresses and matching family pajamas. We raise a glass to old stories that change every year, and punchlines that have long been forgotten. To the wine you bring to share and the bottle that you stash for later. We raise a glass to those we have lost, and to the new faces that have come into our lives.

We raise a glass to all of you, and thank you for being a part of our family.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays, from our family to yours!

 

Answer key:

(1) Dave Stare  (2) Kim Stare Wallace  (3) Don Wallace  (4) Gary Emmerich (5) Dru Cochran  (6) Tim Bell  (7) John Doxon  (8) Sara Rathbun  (9) Robert Conard (10) Laura Levin  (11) Matt McCormack  (12) Kurt Spann  (13) Jerry Smith (14) Brian Pruett  (15) Lillian Pageot  (16) Heather Martin  (17) Jennifer Secreto (18) Sally Kerstetter  (19) Ramiro Magdaleno  (20) Rocio Gonzalez (21) Tarcicio Garcia  (22) Amanda Artz  (23) Ashley Babin  (24) Danielle Boccio (25) Jim Cutcher  (26) Nick Chase  (27) Darren Abel  (28) Kevin West (29) José Mendez-Reyes  (30) Joe Czesnakowicz  (31) Paige Pedroza (32) Cheyanne Jordan  (33) Amber Capps Duval  (34) Lenore Messler (35) Karen Tovani  (36) Bob Antoniuc  (37) Karen Passalacqua  (38) Ashley Fagan (39) Michael Longerbeam  (40) Amanda Barber  (41) Mike Gillean (42) Chuck Banks  (43) Abel Garcia  (44) Chuy Luna  (45) Ian Eddy  (46) Thomas Bailey

 

Dec 17,

2018

Delicata Squash Flatbread

Paired with 2017 Dry Chenin Blanc

Whether you’re sharing a date night with a loved one or a party with friends, there’s always room for flatbread and wine! Currently on rotation, this easy delicata squash flatbread paired with 2017 Dry Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is easily one of my favorite white wines (but I might be partial since I live in the valley where some of the grapes are grown). Dry Creek Vineyard is a winery in Healdsburg, California and has been family owned since 1972.

– Recipe by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pre-made pizza dough
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cups thinly sliced delicata squash
  • 1/3 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Flaky salt

Directions:

Heat your oven to 475˚F. Roll the dough out on a cornmeal covered tray. Rub with olive oil and layer the squash, shallots, and cheeses. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese is bubbly, 15 or so minutes. To make the chili oil, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and warm. Remove from heat and add in the crushed red pepper. Let rest until the flatbread is done.

Drizzle the finished flatbread with the oil, thyme, and flaky salt as desired.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.

 

Dec 06,

2018

Kale and Seasonal Fruit Salad

Paired with 2017 The Mariness - Dry Creek Valley

Fresh and seasonal, this delicious kale, fruit, goat and blue cheese salad is perfectly balanced just like our premier 2017 Mariness.

Our inaugural vintage displays intense aromas of cantaloupe, pear, lemon and lime. After a few minutes, softer floral nuances come forward mixed with deeper, musky characters for added complexity. The palate is fresh and sophisticated with vibrant flavors of honeydew melon, Meyer lemon and a touch of peach. The bright acidity of this refreshing wine is balanced by the creamy mouthfeel contributed by aging in French oak, acacia and chestnut barrels. Pair this beautiful white Bordeaux-style blend with this fresh and delicious salad that’s easy to make at home.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 4 figs, quartered
  • 1 ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 8 oz wheel goat Brie, cut into small wedges or chunks
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Core and slice the pear, then squeeze fresh lemon juice on it to prevent browning. Quarter
the figs, half the grapes, chop the hazelnuts and cut the Brie into wedges or chunks. Place kale in a wide
shallow salad bowl. Sprinkle the fruit, cheese and nuts on top of the kale.

To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in a wide mouth jar. Whisk to a creamy consistency.
Drizzle the dressing on the salad just before serving or serve with the dressing on the side. Serves 4.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.

 

Dec 04,

2018

The Story of Cabernet Franc

Believe it or not, Cabernet Franc is one of the most popular grape varietals in the world. It’s true that it is primarily grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but can also be crafted and bottled on its own. Its single varietal wines are highly regarded, and the grape is also
utilized in the production of rosé wines. While Cabernet Franc may seem like it has a secondary role in the blending of Bordeaux-style wines, it actually has an incredibly meaningful role in the history of grape varietals. Through DNA analysis, it has been shown that Cabernet Franc
is one of the two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France during the 17th century, when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley and they were planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil. By the 18th century, plantings of Cabernet Franc were found throughout Fronsac, Pomerol and St-Emilion. As Cabernet Sauvignon became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, the similarity of the two grapes was noted and in 1997, DNA evidence emerged to show that Cabernet Franc had crossed with Sauvignon Blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. As a vine and a wine, Cabernet Franc is more precocious than its offspring. Generally, Cabernet Franc buds and ripens at least one week before Cabernet Sauvignon, which allows the vine to thrive in slightly cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the Loire Valley in France or here in Dry Creek Valley. The vine is vigorous and upright with small to medium, elongated bunches. The berries are small and blue-black in color, with fairly thin skins.

Cabernet Franc is also lighter bodied than Cabernet Sauvignon, contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blend with more robust varietals. It tends to be lighter in color saturation, well-structured and highly aromatic. Depending on the region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, graphite, raspberry, green olive, cassis and violets.

Due to the naturally high acidity and softer tannins, Cabernet Franc is an ideal wine for pairing with a wide variety of foods ranging from poultry and game to richer beef dishes and tomato-based sauces. For the ultimate experience, enjoy a glass with your favorite herb-crusted protein or vegetables with herb sauce. Try it yourself and let us know what you think!

 

Nov 01,

2018

Weird Wine Words Defined

Wine tasting may be subjective, but there are some commonly used terms that seem a little out of place in everyday conversation. Here are our top five weird wine terms to get you up to speed and speaking like a sommelier:

Flabby:

No, they aren’t commenting on the arm holding the glass, but rather the lack of acidity and structure in a wine. Other ways to describe a ‘flabby’ wine are loose, soft, flat or lacking balance.

Hot:

This in no way refers to the temperature of the wine, but rather the level of alcohol. Wines that have a high percentage of alcohol are considered ‘hot’ because of the sensation that the alcohol leaves behind.

Minerality:

Imagine the smell of wet slate or a sidewalk after the rain, then imagine those characteristics translated into a flavor. We don’t recommend you licking the pavement, so take our word that the right amount of minerality is actually desirable and one of the hallmarks of impeccable Sauvignon Blanc.

Racy:

On the more scandalous side of wine terms, racy is the opposite of flabby. Wines with this descriptor are higher in acidity and offer bright, lively flavors.

Tight:

We’re not talking about how hard it is to get the cork out of the bottle, but rather a wine that isn’t quite ready to drink yet. A tight wine usually has very high tannins, which makes it hard to pick out any fruit flavors or aromas. While you can’t hold on to the opened bottle to let it age, it might be worth it to save another bottle to open again in a year or two.