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Nov 01,

2018

Weird Wine Terms 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.

 

Oct 31,

2018

Introducing the Site Specific Terroir Series

We are proud to introduce our Site Specific Terroir Series, which is the culmination of nearly 50 years spent working with different vineyard sites within the Dry Creek Valley. Produced from distinct geographical locations in the valley, this extremely focused approach is the first of its kind to highlight the unique microclimate and terroir of specific districts within our home appellation.

Lytton Springs Meritage:

Our inaugural vintage of Lytton Springs Meritage highlights the intrinsic characteristics of a specific microregion within the southeastern area of Dry Creek Valley. This Meritage blend is led by Cabernet Sauvignon, with three additional Bordeaux varietals to add complexity and depth.

Western Slopes Cabernet Sauvignon:

This exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon showcases some of the more extreme growing sites that lie on the western hillsides of Dry Creek Valley. The rugged nature of the terrain provides grapes that are beautifully ripened and lead to a wine that is silky, textured and complex.

Eastern Bench Meritage:

This delicious Meritage blend features fruit from the broad, uplifted area at the base of the eastern ridge of Dry Creek Valley. Fruit from this microregion produces a wine that is elegant and concentrated, reminiscent of the classical Bordeaux style of winemaking.

Can’t decide? Receive one of each as a 3-bottle collection, beautifully packaged in a gift box for the holidays. See this and other unique gift sets in our holiday shop.

 

Oct 29,

2018

Fall Frittata - Butternut Squash, Kale, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Paired with 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel - Dry Creek Valley

A delicious and seasonal fall frittata made with butternut squash, kale, bacon and goat cheese paired perfectly with Dry Creek Vineyard 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel. Recipe inspiration from Coley Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 4 cups (loosely packed) raw kale, hard stems removed
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Season cubed squash with salt and pepper to taste, place on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
While the squash bakes, cook diced bacon in an oven-safe pan (cast iron is ideal). Cook for 5 minutes or until the bacon is a little crispy. Add shallots and cook 2-3 minutes or until translucent and just starting to brown. Next add kale with a splash of water and toss for a few minutes. Then cover with a lid and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove the lid and add the cooked squash until warmed thoroughly.
Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and use a spatula to spread evenly. Crumble the goat cheese over the top, then place the pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until puffed up and golden on the outside. Check the inside by poking a toothpick in the center. If it’s still runny, place back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel. Serves 6.

Click here for a downloadable recipe card.

 

Sep 10,

2018

Baked Camembert with Honey, Apple Chutney and Challah Bread

Paired with 2017 Sauvignon Blanc - Dry Creek Valley

A twist on the traditional Rosh Hashanah treat paired perfectly with Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc – Dry Creek Valley.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Camembert wheel in a wooden container
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap Camembert and place back into bottom wooden container. Remove rosemary leaves from sprig and sprinkle on top of Camembert. Drizzle honey over the top and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Place warm Camembert into center of the circular braid of challah bread. Serve warm. Serves 6.

Click here for the full recipe including Apple Chutney and Challah Bread

 

Aug 31,

2018

3 Things You Don't Know About Dry Creek Vineyard

Established in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. Our premier, family-owned winery is celebrating 46 years of winemaking and is led by Dave’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace. After 46 years, a lot of stories have been told about our pioneering winery, but here are three things that only a true Dry Creek Vineyard fan would know:

1. We owe our first harvest to a stick of bubblegum.

The first harvest in 1972 was quickly approaching, but the winery had yet to be built. Dry Creek Vineyard Founder David Stare purchased four tanks and a press, and set them up at Cuvaison Winery in Calistoga, which at that time was owned by some good friends that he had met on his initial trip to California. Dave first purchased 6.5 tons of Chardonnay from Robert Young, which was delivered to Cuvaison since Dry Creek Vineyard hadn’t purchased its own truck yet. About halfway over to Calistoga, the truck radiator overheated, started leaking and eventually came to a stop. The fellow working for Dave at the time didn’t know what to do but he loved to chew bubblegum, so he filled the radiator with cool water, shoved his wad of gum in the hole to stop the leak, and the truck was able to limp over the hill and deliver the grapes. In a turn of irony, Dave later bought that same truck – after the radiator was fixed, of course.

2. We were almost talked out of being the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley.

Dave brought his love of Loire Valley white wine and in particular Sauvignon Blanc to the Dry Creek Valley to start his family winery. The Sonoma County Farm Advisor was adamantly opposed to Dave planting Sauvignon Blanc, which he deemed “inappropriate” to the region, and recommended that Dave plant Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir and Gamey Beaujolais on his property. As Dave says, “I was just bull-headed enough to do what I wanted to do,” so he planted the first Sauvignon Blanc in the Dry Creek Valley anyway, which is now considered to be the premier white varietal of the appellation.

3. We were the first winery to coin the term ‘Old Vines Zinfandel’.

Our family winery has had a long tradition of using old vine vineyards for the base of our Zinfandels. Back in the 80s, we had to combine the 1985 and 1986 vintages of Zinfandel but didn’t want to label the wine as a ‘non-vintage’, so we wanted to come up with a name that could speak to how special these ancient vines were. Gary Emmerich (who has worked for Dry Creek Vineyard for 41 years!) asked, “The vines are pretty old, so why don’t we call it old vines?” The term caught on within the wine industry and the rest is history!