July Beer Club: Iowa

Manzana LinTrabanco
Manzana Lin Sidra Natural
Gijón, Asturias, Spain

Manzana Lin is a special, limited production release from Trabanco. This single-site cider is made of Lin apples sourced from the San Pedro de Anes orchard. The juice is fermented with indigenous yeasts and in accordance with the guidelines for “Sidra Natural,” producing a low-alcohol cider that is tart and lacks carbonation. Sidra Natural should be served cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only a small amount (one sip’s worth) should be poured into the glass at a time.

BeerStyles: Fruity and Spicy
Style: Sidra Natural (Cider)
ABV:
6%
Apples: 70% Lin with a blend of local apples sourced from the San Pedro de Anes orchard.

Vinification: This cider has been fermented with indigenous yeasts and in accordance to the guidelines for “Naturally Fermented Quality Ciders.”

ABOUT THE CIDERY:

Like most families from the Asturian countryside, the Trabanco Family made their own cider from their own apples, but in 1925 Emilio Trabanco decided to turn this household hobby into a family business; creating Trabanco Cider. Using the best apples of selected varieties and following traditional methods, Trabanco Cider quickly became known throughout the region as the premier natural cider from Asturias. Not much has changed since then, the Trabanco family is still using traditional methods, augmented with modern technologies, to produce exceptional Asturian ciders. From a very young age, all of the members of the family are involved in the production process, from the apple picking and weighing, to operating the press. The family business continues to grow, as their inheritance is passed from one generation to the next.

Asturias Map

Asturias Map by Paul Dangel

Trabanco Orchard

Trabanco Orchard. Photo by Steven Alexander

Isastegi CiderIsastegi
Sagardo Naturala
Tolosa (Isastegi), Spain

Sagardo Naturala, or “natural cider” is from the Basque Country in Spain, where basque ciders have been produced for over 2,000 years.  Golden-green hue in the glass, Isastegi’s Sagardo Naturala has ripe notes of apple on the nose, but lead to an acidic, malted apple on the palate. The finish is crisp and fresh. This cider goes through a completely natural fermentation process in large wooden barrels and is bottled fresh without filtration. Sagardo Naturala is more bitter than most ciders, with only mild residual carbonic acid. It should be served cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only a small amount (one sip’s worth) should be poured into the glass at a time.

BeerStyles: Fruity and Spicy
Style: Sagardo Naturala (Natural Cider)
ABV:
6%
Apples:
A blend of over a dozen native varietals
Vinification:
After fermentation in kupelas (old, large, oak cider barrels) the cider is bottled fresh and without filtration before each shipment.

ABOUT THE CIDERY:

Isastegi is an old family estate located in the town of Tolosa in the Basque Country of Spain. The estate was originally covered by pastures for cattle, with only a few apple trees for the family to make a small amount of cider for itself. In 1983 they decided to switch from livestock to cider output and started selling their cider to the public. Over the years the demand for Isastegi cider has increased and the family’s country house has adapted to the changes. Pastures were replaced by orchards, while renovations added new state-of-the-art pressing and bottling rooms and a larger spaces for the kupelas (old, large, oak cider barrels). Isastegi prides themselves on their local focus and adhere to the strict guidelines of Basque Ciders by using only local apples with no added carbonation or sugars.

Basque Country

Map by Paul Dangel

Isastegi

Isastegi Cidery

 

July Cheese Club: Iowa

cheese_club_logo-1240x1240Iberico BonvallisBonvallis – Iberico Cheese
Valladolid, Spain

Bonvallis Iberico Cheese is a Manchego-style cheese, one of the most eaten in Spain. An authentic Iberico Cheese must have, by law, a maximum of 50% cow’s milk, a minimum of 15% goat’s milk, and a minimum of 15% sheep’s milk. If these amounts are not specified on the label, the cheese cannot be labeled ‘Iberico’. Bonvallis Iberico Cheese is compact and firm in texture. It features herby, grassy flavors from the goat and ewe milk, and a smooth, creamy texture from the cow’s milk. It is slightly lactic, yet mild and buttery on the palate; making this cheese tasty and aromatic.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Bonvallis Iberico Cheese pairs wonderfully with wines from our Bubbly wine style category, such as a Cava. Additionally, Iberico cheese pairs well with our Fruity & Spicy beers, such as a cider.

WINESTYLES: Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Fruity & Spicy

PRODUCTION:
Located in Valladolid, the capital of Castilla y León, the family-run dairy, Bonvallis, has produced their cheeses since 1984. The region of Castilla y León is well known for its vast production of sheep and blend cheeses, and cured meat products. Long cold winters and dry hot summers are the perfect conditions for manufacturing their products. Bonvallis Iberico can be semi-cured (around 2 months), cured (4-6 months) and aged (over 7 months).

Idizabal DOPAraz
Smoked Idiazabal Cheese
Basque County, Spain

Smoked Idiazabal by Araz is a traditional, farmhouse, hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain. Named after the village of Idiazabal, the cheese received Spanish D.O. (Denomination of Origin) in 1987, which defines the basic regulations for the product’s manufacturer. Idiazabal is produced in the shape of a cylinder, with a smooth and hard natural rind that is pale yellow to amber in color. The cheese has a compact texture that is dry, but not crumbly, and feels pleasantly oily in the mouth. The rind carries the marks of the wooden moulds in which it was drained and the cheese itself has a characteristic smoky flavor, coming from the fireplaces it is stored near during the summer.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Idiazabal Cheese pairs beautifully with a medium-bodied tempranillo from our Fruity wine style category. It also pairs well with Fruity & Spicy beers, such as a cider or a sour.

WINESTYLES: Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity & Spicy

PRODUCTION:
In the summer, the sheep migrate to higher pastures to graze on the blossoming, new grass. During this time, the artisanal cheese makers milk the sheep, make the Idiazabal cheese and leave it in the rafter to mature for a minimum ripening of 2 months. At the end of summer, when the cheese makers return back to the lowlands with their sheep, the cheese has ripened and is ready for sale.

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July Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubScheid Vineyards - Isabelle SparklingScheid Vineyards
Isabelle Sparkling Cuvée
Monterey, California

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

If you know about the crafting of champagne, you understand it is a special wine that is a labor of love. And that is why Scheid Vineyards’ sparkling cuvée was named for Isabelle Adolphin Pearce, the beloved mother of Founder, Al Scheid. Like the hands-on, no-shortcuts-allowed méthode champenoise way Scheid produces their sparkler, Isabelle was old school through and through. Something “store bought” wasn’t worth nearly as much as something that was lovingly made by hand, whether it was an intricately crocheted afghan, a faux red fur coat for her granddaughter, or her melt-in-your-mouth pot roast. She firmly believed that busy hands make a happy heart and she lived by those words by working hard and taking care of others her entire life. Scheid Vineyards’ Isabelle Sparkling Wine is an elegant and complex cuvée in a brut style, with aromas of green apple, pear and hints of white flowers, honey and brioche. Here’s to Isabelle, much loved and greatly missed.

Appellation: Monterey
Varietal: Cuvée – 51% Chardonnay, 49% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.13
TA: 8.7 g/L
Aging: 100% Stainless Steel
Tirage: 48 months en tirage (on the lees)

VINEYARDS
Great sparkling wine is made from grapes grown in only the coolest climates, where the delicate aromas and natural acidity are preserved. Monterey County, with morning fogs that often linger until mid-day, possesses just the right conditions to place it on par with the best growing regions of the world for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Scheid Vineyards carefully farms specific estate vineyard rows throughout the year that epitomize intensity, complexity and excellent structure. These grapes are carefully hand-harvested into small bins and transported promptly to the winery.

WINEMAKING
‘Isabelle’ is produced in the traditional méthode champenoise. Primary fermentation was done slowly and at cold temperatures to enhance the varietal aromatics and preserve the natural delicate character.  Next, the cuvée was bottled with sugar and yeast, and a secondary fermentation proceeded in the bottle. While fermenting en tirage, carbon dioxide that would normally be released was trapped, producing the sparkle and bubbles. After aging on the lees for 48 months, the wine was riddled—slowly shaken and turned with the angle gradually increased, causing the lees to dislodge and settle in the neck of the bottle. The settled lees were then frozen to form a “plug” and disgorged. The sparkling wine was quickly corked to maintain the effervescence and voilà, Isabelle was born! 

Scheid Vineyards
Scheid Vineyards
By Scheid Vineyards – Explore Vineyards

July Sweet Club: Iowa

Sweet Wine ClubChambers Rutherglen MuscadelleChambers Rosewood Vineyards
Muscadelle
Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia

Produced from the Muscadelle grape, and previously called Tokay, this blend is comprised of varietals aged between six and ten years old. Amber to gold in color, it shows fresh honeycomb, orange peel and cold leaf-tea on the nose. The palate offers sweet toffee, citrus fruits and honey with a hint of spirit and aged oak spice on the back palate. Muscadelle carries itself with a feline grace as opposed to the powerhouse Muscat persona.

Appellation: Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Muscadelle
Analysis: 18.3% alc/vol | TA: 4.35 g/L | pH: 3.6
Critical Acclaim: 92 pts Halliday Wine Companion, 91 pts Vinous, 91 pts Wine Spectator, 90 pts/Editors‘ Choice Wine Enthusiast

Chambers Rutherglen MuscatChambers Rosewood Vineyards
Muscat
Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia

Produced from Muscat a Petit Grains, or Brown Muscat as it is more commonly known, this blend is comprised of varietals aged between six and ten years old. Amber gold in color with copper hues, the nose offers fresh raisins, sultanas, lifted spirit and cinnamon oak spices. The palate is rich and silky, its sweet dried fruits balanced by aged oak tannins and bright acidity, providing a clean, rather than cloying, finish.

Appellation: Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Muscat a Petit Grains
Analysis: 17.7% alc/vol | TA: 4.15 g/L | pH: 3.6
Critical Acclaim: 94 pts Halliday Wine Companion, 92 pts Wine Enthusiast, 91 pts Vinous, 90 pts Wine Spectator

 
Chambers Rosewood Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Since establishment in 1858 in Victoria’s famed Rutherglen region in Australia, winemaking duties at Chambers Rosewood have been handed down from father to son through six generations. Recognized the world over for their complexity, intensity and balance, these Muscats and Muscadelles are a national relic; wines expertly crafted from unctuous material that has matured in the family cellars for more than a century.

Stephen Chambers

Stephen Chambers

WINEMAKING:
In the warm fall climate the grapes ripen and shrivel on the vines producing natural sugar levels in the range of 30-36 degrees Brix. The raisined grapes are then picked, crushed, and this intensely sweet grape juice is fortified with neutral grape spirit. A wood aging program then follows loosely resembling a solar system, lasting, in some cases, for over 100 years.

“This 120-acre estate, now helmed by Stephen Chambers, is one of the most consistent producers of top-class fortified sweet wines in the world.”
Josh Raynolds, Vinous (2016)

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July’s Collectors Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubClos du Clocher

About Clos Du Clocher

Clos du Clocher wine estate is located in the Pomerol wine growing region in France. With three parcels of vineyard and just 300 yards south of the church in Pomerol, it is surrounded by the most famous growths of the appellation.   Founded in 1924, when the first parcel of vines were bought by a successful Bordeaux negociant,  Jean Baptiste Audy.  Today, the estate is owned by his grandson Pierre Bourotte and his great-grandson Jean-Baptiste.  The soils are composed of the famous dense iron-rich clay that is found in Pomerol.  The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with an average age of 39 years old. Grapes are hand harvested into small baskets and double sorted.  Winemaking is traditional and carried out in stainless steel and cement thermo-regulated vats.  After 4 weeks in the vats, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels or vats, depending on the parcels and the vintage.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels (two thirds new and one third one year old).

Clos du Clocher PomerolBold wine Style logoClos du Clocher
Pomerol
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

This month’s Collector’s Club includes both the 750ml and 1.5 Magnum bottle of Clos du Clocher.

In the very center of the famous Pomerol plateau, under the shadow of the eponymous bell tower of the neighboring church, this vineyard is home to some truly ancient vines that translate into a tremendous wine in bottle. This is without a doubt “A beauty from the high plateau of Pomerol” to quote Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. 

Clos du Clocher is an elegant Pomerol style and a wonderfully pure expression of the vineyard’s terroir. Perfect for short-medium term drinking for the vintage.  Annual production at Clos du Clocher is about 2000 cases and the legendary consultant Michel Rolland consistently produces wines of real elegance from a modest 7 hectares. In a diminishing field, this elegant style is one of Pomerols very best values. 

“Has a lightly roasted feel, with ganache and espresso notes lining the core of plum and blackberry fruit. Roasted alder hints fill the finish, while the roasted edge provides the texture. Shows more guts than refinement.” Wine Spectator

Appellation: Bordeaux (right bank), Pomerol, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Aging: 18 months French Oak barrels
Winemaker: Michel Rolland

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.

Domaine Chante CigaleBold wine Style logoDomaine Chante Cigale
Rouge 2016
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Today, the Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Bright violet. Ripe cherry and raspberry on the deeply perfumed nose, lifted by suggestions of pungent flowers and cracked pepper.  Nicely concentrated but lively as well, offering sappy red berry, candied cherry and lavender flavors that show very good clarity and smooth, seamless texture.  Finishes sweet and silky, displaying spicy persistence and gentle tannic grip.” – 91 pts. Vinous 2018

It boasts silky tannins, plenty of cherry fruit and a dusting of ground pepper and all spice on the long finish. Drink 2018-2028.” – 91 pts, Robert Parker 2018

Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Varietal: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvédre, 5% Cinsault
Analysis: 15.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: 12-14 months in 35% new French oak

 

 
 
 

July Premium Wine Club

Scheid Vineyards logo

Al Scheid

Al Scheid

About Scheid Vineyards

Al Scheid set his roots in Monterey County in 1972, embracing his role as a pioneer of wine growing in the region. Al’s outlook has always been that life is an adventure and this attitude served him well as he embarked on the journey of his lifetime.   For the first 15 years, Scheid Family Wines was known as Monterey Farming Corp, a grape grower that sold all its production to winery clients for use in their own brands. Fast forward to today, Scheid Family owns 12 estate vineyards located along a 70-mile stretch of the Salinas Valley. They now focus on building their own brand that is produced at their state-of-the-art winery, as well as a smaller Reserve Winery where the small production wines of Scheid Vineyards are crafted.

Mellow style logoScheid Vineyards
Pinot Noir Clone POM Reserve
Monterey, California

Scheid’s Clone series was created to highlight the different nuances that each Pinot Noir clone exhibits.  What do we mean by “clone”? Grapevines in general and Pinot Noir in particular, are generally unstable and can mutate slightly over time. Each grape variety is actually made up of many subtypes, called clones. These clones can result in different flavors, intensity, color, etc.  Scheid Vineyards grow 20 different clones of Pinot Noir. Pommard is one of the Dijon clones and is known for earthy, fruit forward characteristics, as well as structure and density.  A dramatic and vibrant wine, Scheid Vineyards Clone POM has aromas of black cherries, blackberries and currants with notes of vanilla, mocha, and oak, mingled with a hint of clove. it is a classic Pinot Noir, with soft tannins and round, rich, red, fruit on the palate.

The Pommard clone is one of the oldest clones planted in the U.S., where it was originally sourced from Chateau de Pommard in the early 1950’s. The fruit for this Pinot Noir was sourced from the Riverview Vineyard, adjacent to the Pinnacles National Park.  This 215 acre vineyard is nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River and is an ideal site for ultra-premium Pinot Noir. The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and the southwestern exposure maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.73
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Aging: 100% French oak

Stokes Ghost

Stokes Ghost Bold wine Style logoScheid Family Wines
Stokes Ghost
Petite Sirah
Monterey, California

In 1833, British sailor James Stokes jumped ship in Monterey with a booty of stolen medicine. Passing himself off as a doctor, he opened a downtown pharmacy and launched a thriving medical practice as “Dr. Stokes”.  Despite a knack for killing his patients, he landed a commission as the personal physician to California Governor Jose Figueroa. Within a year, the governor was dead. The phony physician was astonishingly successful for someone so poor at his job. He grew wealthy, married the widow of one of his patients, and served as mayor of Monterey. Eventually the gig was up. According to legend, Stokes’ sons confronted him of his devious deeds and he ingested poison, falling lifeless at their feet. His former home still stands today and haunted by the ghostly figure of a man dressed in 1800s garb. This is the legend of Stokes’ Ghost.

Deep and brooding, this Petite Sirah is brimming with aromas of blackberry, plum and black currant.   The intense, jammy fruit provides the drama while subtle notes of mocha and hazelnut bring finesse. Stokes’ Ghost is full-bodied with balanced tannins and a finish that lingers on the palate.  This rich, lush wine is just what the doctor ordered.

The Petite Sirah grapes in this wine were harvested at night in the southernmost reaches of Monterey appellation, an ideal location for growing this dramatic, heart-stopping variety. Upon arrival to the winery, the grapes were crushed and fermented in small lots to extract the full flavors and tannin structure for which Petite Sirah is so well known.  The wine was then pressed and racked at dryness for oak aging.

The fruit for Stokes’ Ghost hails from Scheid’s estate vineyard in the Hames Valley, an inland enclave at the southern end of Monterey County. Considered a “Goldilocks” region – not too hot, not too cold – it offers ideal conditions for Petite Sirah. The wine was aged in American and Hungarian oak barrels to add complexity and soften the tannins.

Winemaker Dave Nagengast

Dave Nagengast, Winemaker

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast has a strong connection to Petite Sirah. As winemaker for Stokes’ Ghost, he is passionate about this powerhouse variety and well-acquainted with its deepest, darkest secrets. He knows where to grow, how to farm, when to harvest, and how to vinify Petite Sirah to create a wine that is not only big, dark and bold, but also lush, balanced and aromatic. Says Dave, “Petite Sirah is not for those with delicate sensibilities. But for those of us who revel in a muscular, full-bodied wine packed with flavor, character and soul, Petite Sirah has no equal.”

Appellation: Hames Valley, Monterey, California
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l
pH: 3.54
Aging: 12 months in American, French and Hungarian oak

 

July Wine Club: Shrimp Boil Packs

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Photo credit: The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Enjoyable option for a fuss-free weeknight dinner or a weekend backyard cookout on July 4th.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound shrimp (31 to 35 count, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 pound small red potatoes or gold potatoes (cut into small cubes, about 2 inches)
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob (husked, cleaned, chopped into small rounds)
  • 1 (12-ounce) smoked sausage (such as kielbasa) or andouille (sliced into 2 to 3 inch long pieces)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion (medium-sized, thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 lemons (sliced, about 12 wedges)
  • Garnish: 1 stick butter (melted)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F or the grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F). If using frozen shrimp, place the package under cold water for 10 minutes to thaw.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a roaring boil and add the potatoes and the corn. Reduce the heat and bring to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes on simmer and drain into colander. Set aside.
  • While the potatoes and corn are simmering prepare 4 sets of 12×24 inch long aluminum foil sheets. Fold each in half, forming a square.  If using pre-cut aluminum foil simply prepare sheets 12×12 inches. Slightly fold up the edges of the sheets.
  • In a large bowl combine the drained potatoes and corn, the sausage, the thawed shrimp, the onion, and the garlic. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter, season with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.  Mix very well to coat all the ingredients.
  • Divide the shrimp boil ingredients between the four aluminum foil sheets.
  • Neatly fold into packets.
  • Place them onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. If grilling, place the packets directly onto the grill surface and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once after about 8 minutes.
  • Serve the packets slightly opened up, garnished with chopped parsley, a pinch of Old Bay seasoning and a few lemon wedges. Serve the 1 stick melted butter as a side for optional drizzling over the shrimp boil or dipping.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 Sauvignon BlancCrisp Wine StyleRANCH 32
Sauvignon Blanc
Monterey, California

CRISP WINE STYLE

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were grown on estate vineyards in Monterey County, California.  The majority of the blend hails from the San Lucas Vineyard located south of Greenfield in the sub-appellation of San Lucas.  The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the early morning hours. Upon arrival, the fruit was gently whole-cluster pressed, then chilled and lightly settled before being transferred to a refrigerated stainless steel tank.  Fermentation was conducted slowly at cool temperatures to retain the fruit esters and enhance the varietal aromatics.  Stainless steel tanks provide a neutral and reductive environment that serves to accentuate the wine’s crisp, zesty qualities and retain its distinctive freshness.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“The warm days followed by cooling afternoon winds from the Monterey Bay enhance the melon and tropical fruit flavors. Fragrant and zesty citrus aromas with a hint of flora notes lead into a medium-bodied palate with lovely flavors of green apple and guava. The lingering bright fruit finish is crisp and refreshing, making our Sauvignon Blanc an ideal apéritif. –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.44
TA: 6.2 g/l
Aging: Stainless Steel tanks
Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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July Wine Club: Cooper’s Blend

Photo by Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBq, Inc.

Grilled Steak Burgers with Port Wine Reduction Spread

Yummy gourmet burger to grill up and enjoy at your July 4th cook out. Well-seasoned, grilled to perfection with a port wine topping, on a toasted Ciabatta bread. Enjoy with a glass of Ranch 32 Coopers Blend.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds ground beef (preferably lean)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce​
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (coarse ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 large Ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (both plain and garlic for drizzling)
  • 8 to 10 large slices of Havarti cheese

INGREDIENTS FOR PORT REDUCTION:

  • 1 1/2 cups port wine
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon beef soup base, plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 3/4 cups mayonnaise

PORT REDUCTION DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather ingredients, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot.
  • Add Shallots and cook on medium-high heat, for 1 to 2 minutes.  Once translucent, pour in the wine.
  • Allow mixture to come to a quick boil, add the beef base, water and stir.
  • Reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir mixture occasionally.
  • Once reduced more than half and mixture has thickened (consistency of syrup) remove from heat and allow reduction to cool.
  • Once cooled, mix 2 tablespoons at a time into mayonnaise until well incorporated. It will take on a lavender hue.
  • Place in air tight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

BURGER DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  • Combine meat with corresponding seasons. Form into four large patties or two smaller ones, depending on the size of the bread. Do not make patties too large, as you run the risk of them breaking on the grill.  Patties should be about 1 inch thick.
  • Place burger patties onto grill and cook for 7-8 minutes per side.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and place onto a large platter or cooking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Cut Ciabatta bread in half, lengthwise.
  • Drizzle with plain olive oil and a touch of garlic olive oil. If you do not have garlic oil, just dust light with garlic powder.
  • Place onto grill cut side down for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once lightly toasted and warmed through, remove from heat and promptly add Havarti slices, burger patties, a generous helping of port wine spread and top halves of Ciabatta.
  • Cut into three pieces each or two if the bread is smaller. Enjoy!
  • © Recipe courtesy of The Spruce Eats Derrick Riches

JULY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCoopers Blend Ranch 32RANCH 32
Cooper’s Blend
Monterey County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Nestled on the west side of Salinas Valley, directly in the path of the region’s relentless afternoon winds lies Ranch 32.  Here, warm sunny days are tempered by evening coastal fogs that often linger until mid-morning the following day.  This ideal climate lengthens the growing season, allowing the fruit to develop complex flavors and intense varietal character. 

The fruit was picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the very early morning hours. The grapes were sorted, destemmed, crushed, and fermented dry in open top fermenters.  The firm cap of skins and seeds that bubbles up and forms on the surface during the red fermentation was gently punched down several times a day.  To add complexity and retain character, each variety was fermented separately, then aged with a mix of American, Hungarian and French oak. During the blending process, just prior to bottling, the proportion of each variety was chosen to accentuate richness of flavor and to maximize depth, complexity, mouthfeel and finish.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“Our Cooper’s Blend is a harmonious blend of six varieties that each contribute unique flavors and characteristics to the final wine.  The Petite Sirah brings very dark, purple-edged color and intense black fruit flavors. The Merlot and Syrah offer bold blueberry and juicy cherry and the Petit Verdot contributes exotic violet aromas and concentrated structure. The Tempranillo adds a subtle spice, while a small amount of White Riesling brings heightened fruit aromatics to the blend. The result is a wine of complexity and structure, with layer upon layer of flavor.  The gentle tannins make this well-balanced wine a natural partner for a wide range of foods .” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 33% Petite Sirah, 28% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 9% Syrah, 7% Tempranillo, 3% White Riesling
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.62
TA: 6.1 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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July Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Marinated Beef Kabobs

Infusing the beef with a marinade will provide flavorful and juicy steak pieces. For extra flavor, baste the kabobs with reserve marinade while grilling.  Try to purchase the beef in a block, making it easier to cut into cubes.  Makes 8 skewers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs beef tri tips, sirloin tips or other steak cut
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 1 large red onion

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp minced garlic (2 large garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or sub with garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

COOKING ITEMS:

  • 8 flat metal skewers
  • olive oil, for drizzling and cooking
  • finely chopped parsley, garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut the beef into 1.3″ wide cubes.
  • Mix Marinade in a bowl. Add beef. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours, minimum 20 minutes.
  • Cut bell peppers and onion into 1.3″ wide squares.
  • Thread beef (reserve Marinade), vegetables and mushrooms on each skewer.  Use two pieces of vegetables between each piece of beef. Thread loosely, don’t smush together tightly (helps even cooking).
  • Brush kebabs lightly with reserved marinade (including vegetables), then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Heat BBQ or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, then when smoking, cook kebabs in batches for 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred (4 sides = 8 minutes in total), basting with reserved marinade as you go.
  • Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  • See link below for more tips and dipping sauces.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 MeritageBold wine Style logoRANCH 32
Vintner’s Reserve Meritage
Monterey, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

On the west side of the Salinas Valley, not far from the town of Greenfield, directly in the path of Monterey’s relentless afternoon winds, lies Ranch 32. Vineyards were originally planted in 1972 by the founder, Al Scheid.  Several decades later, the Ranch 32 Vineyard is still the heart of the business where the winery operations reside. All of the vineyards are certified sustainable and growers are deeply committed to the principals of environmental stewardship.

The grapes for the Ranch 32 Meritage were grown on the southernmost estate vineyards in the San Lucas and Hames Valley AVAs. Although these properties experience some of the cooling effects from the Pacific Ocean, they are sheltered from the strong winds that scour the Salinas Valley each afternoon.  Daytime highs are similar to Paso Robles, but at night, the temperatures can drop as much as 50 degrees.  The combination of hot days and cold nights produce red wines that are deep, rich, concentrated and chewy.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

The fruit was picked in the early morning hours based on ripeness, acidity, pH and flavor.  In the winery, the fruit was sorted, crushed and fermented in small tanks then aged with oak. Gentle handling and minimal intervention throughout the winemaking process ensures that the distinct characteristics of each vineyard’s terroir are preserved.

“This deep, dark wine delivers opulent aromas of blackberries, plums, black cherries, cassis, violets and vanilla. The palate is ripe and powerful with notes of fresh fruit, earth and new oak. The tannins are solid, but seamless.  This Bordeaux blend is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or hearty stews.” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 6.4 g/l
Aging: 12 month on 35% new oak, 15% French, 15% American, 5% Hungarian
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

June Beer Club: Iowa

Adnams ExplorerAdnams
Explorer

Southwold, Suffolk, England

Adnams Explorer is the result of their previous Head Brewer, Mike Powell-Evans’ trips to the United States. He was inspired to create a blonde beer using two American hops that are grown in the Yakima Valley in Washington. These hops, called Columbus and Chinook, add wonderful grapefruit flavors to the beer. Over the years, Adnams and their new Head Brewer, Fergus, have dropped the Columbus hops to make the beer less harsh. Eventually, they moved to dry hopping their Explorer in tank, allowing them to add a depth a flavor to their beers. The citrus attack will burst on your palate as the hops deliver their fruity bitterness. Explorer is fantastic served chilled and pairs well with cleanly flavored foods. Contains barley.

BeerStyles: Crisp & Clean
Style: Golden Ale
ABV: 5%

ABOUT BREWER:

Adnams is an award-winning UK brewer, hotelier and wine merchant producing amazing beers and spirts from grain-to glass in their coastal home of Southwold.  The brewery, in which brothers George and Ernest Adnams purchased in 1872, had brewed beer for at least 670 years. Adnams Brewery is proud of their roots, which gives them strength and confidence to grow and evolve.  They run their business sustainably with passion and care, supported by ever-evolving technology, to make great products and create memorable experiences for their customers.  From selecting suppliers they work with, to the ingredients they buy for their beers and spirits, they look at all aspects of production to make sure they’re doing the right thing.  You can find these award-winning beers and spirits in Adnams stores in the UK, partner pubs and in outlets across the world.

Adnams Southwold BitterAdnams
Southwold Bitter
Southwold, Suffolk, England

First brewed in 1967 (under the name Adnams Best Bitter), Southwold Bitter holds Adnams oldest trademark, Southwold Jack.  Southwold Bitter is a beautiful copper-colored beer, late hopped with Fuggles for a distinctive, lingering hoppiness. Perfectly balanced hops and malt creates a classic session beer. Their Bitter pairs with roast meats and fish cooked in batter as the clean bitterness cuts through the slightly fatty notes and hence keeps the palate refreshed. Contains gluten – barley.

BeerStyles: Malty & Sweet
Style: English Bitter
ABV: 4.1%

Adnams BroadsideAdnams
Broadside
Southwold, Suffolk, England

Perfect for parties or celebratory gatherings. Brewed with English Pale Ale malts and English First Gold hops, Broadside is a dark ruby red beer rich in fruitcake aromas, almonds and conserved fruit; this beer is served by the bottle, draft or in casks. Adnams’ mini-casks are filled with fresh beer and have a short shelf life of a minimum of two weeks and should be consumed within that time. Please leave to settle for 24 hours after purchase. Contains gluten – barley

BeerStyles: Malty & Sweet
Style: English Strong Bitter
ABV: 6.3%

Adnams Tally-HoAdnams
Tally-Ho Reserve
Southwold, Suffolk, England

Brewed with Pale Ale, Crystal and Brown malts. Tally Ho is dark Mahogany red in color with a rich, fruity aroma and a heart warming sweet raisin and biscuit palate. Adnams Tally-Ho is a limited edition Barley-wine style beer, brewed at Adnams since 1880. Traditionally a Christmas beer, and brewed in October in limited quantities, many pubs lay a cask down like fine wine and save it for special occasions throughout the year. The ABV of Tally Ho in cask varies year to year.

BeerStyles: Malty & Sweet
Style: Barley-Wine Style Ale
ABV: Around 7-9%

Samuel Smith's Perry CiderSamuel Smith’s
Organic Perry Cider
Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England

A dry, sparkling pear cider with glowing pale straw color, smooth body, crisp but rich flavor and the gentle aroma of a summer pear orchard. Samuel Smith’s makes this perry at a small, independent British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Cider
ABV: 5%

ABOUT BREWER:

Samuel Smith’s is an independent English brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England. It is Yorkshire‘s oldest brewery, founded in 1758. They brew a wide range of high quality beers, solely from authentic natural ingredients. The brewery still uses stone Yorkshire squares to ferment all of its ales and stouts (except Sovereign and Extra Stout) and the same yeast strain has been used since the 1800s. Samuel Smith’s uses oak casks for all of its naturally conditional ale. Whole dried English hop varieties such as Fuggles and Goldings are used to add bitterness and aroma to Samuel Smith’s traditional ales in the antique boiling coppers. Their casks are made and repaired at the Old Brewery by the brewery’s full-time coopers. The brewery operates over 200 pubs, which are notable for their independence.