December Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoSparkling REDSparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Red
United States

A juicy Pinot Noir hard seltzer with sour cherries and a squeeze of lemon.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Pinot Noir Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling WHITESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling White
United States

A crisp combination of floral sauvignon blanc & tropical passion fruit with a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Sauvignon Blanc Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 


Sparkling ROSESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Rose Rosé
United States

A fruity-floral blend of rose hip, hibiscus, & schisandra berries (the five-flavored-fruit), and a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Rosé Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling CITRUS HAZESparkling Stillwater
Citrus Haze
United States

Fresh tangerine & grapefruit, fermented dry & lightly dry-hopped with citra and mosaic hops. This hard seltzer is a premium sparkling beer alternative.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling ELECTRIC YUZUSparkling Stillwater
Electric Yuzu
United States

Yuzu, lemon, and lime gently dosed with sansho + sichuan peppercorns. This hard seltzer offers a tingling experience like no other.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling RITUAL PINEAPPLESparkling Stillwater
Ritual Pineapple
United States

Fresh juicy pineapple & herbal sage tea, with a touch of galaxy hops.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Stillwater Sparkling is a subsidiary of Stillwater Artisanal. Stillwater Artisanal is the nomadic ‘gypsy’ brewing venture headed by Baltimore native, Brian “Stillwater” Strumke. A former internationally renowned techno DJ and producer who rather quickly made his mark in the home-brewing community for his often odd concoctions and unconventional brewing methods. Competitions often yielded wins in the more esoteric categories and his intricate use of herbs, spices, wild yeasts, and anything else he could get his hands on often came to judges with both intrigue and enjoyment. In 2010, after about 5 years of backyard brewing, Brian has taken Stillwater Artisanal Ales to the public. Traveling the world to collaborate with various breweries hand-crafting small-batch, authentic ales.

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December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

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December Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubKiona Red Mountain Ice WineKiona Vineyards
Chenin Blanc Ice Wine
Red Mountain AVA
Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

While the Red Mountain AVA is known for big, powerful red wine, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate Vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, ensuring a consistent freeze year-in, year-out. We don’t pick Ice Wine until the grapes are naturally frozen in the vineyard, typically picking in the early morning hours before the sun rises.

Ice Wine is one of the world’s most elusive and delicious elixirs. Kiona prefers to use Chenin Blanc, a varietal that allows for robust acidity and intense green and tropical fruit flavors. Kiona’s philosophy with this wine is to emphasize acidity over outright sweetness, a tactic that ensures a balanced, crisp wine that dances on the tongue.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit desserts, including pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese, such as a gorgonzola. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.26
TA:
8.63 g/L
Residual Sugars: 175 g/L
Vineyard Source: 100% Kiona Estate, Red Mountain, Washington
Vineyard Blocks Planted: 1976, 1983
Varietal Composition: 100% Chenin Blanc
Winemaking: 100% Stainless, 31.3º Brix @ Harvest

PRODUCTION: Heat accumulation tracked slightly behind the previous vintage on Red Mountain. Bloom occurred slightly ahead of historical averages, and during ideal weather conditions. Crop loads were heavy going into the summer, resulting in the need to perform additional thinning. Weather during harvest (September-October) was ideal. It’s a stellar high acid and high sugar vintage.

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting Room Magazine


ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
While Red Mountain is known for big, powerful red wines, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, increasing the likelihood that we are able to produce Ice Wine. They don’t pick the grapes until they are naturally frozen in the vineyard, a process that concentrates the sugar and flavor to unprecedented levels.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1975 John Williams and Jim Holmes’ families planted the first vineyard on Red Mountain, an area now known for producing some of the world’s most powerful, opulent wines of distinction. For three generations their families have worked side by side, hand in hand to craft exciting, vineyard-driven wines that capture the essence of Red Mountain. Learn more about Kiona Vineyards here.

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Sweet Club

Skylark Red Belly

Down Home Dig-in Chili

© Bewitching Kitchen

© Bewitching Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, chopped
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt), chopped
  • 4 cans (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle pale ale (12 ounce)
  • 7 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco type), to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Increase heat to high. Add beef and pork; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder chilies, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 2 hours, adding reserved tomato liquid if chili appears dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer until thickened and meat is tender, 2 more hours.
  • Season chili with hot pepper sauce. Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.
  • © Photo courtesy of Bewitching Kitchen; Recipe from Bon Appétit, 1988

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoSkylark Red BellySkylark Wine Company
Red Belly

North Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, black licorice and a violet floral top note completes the engaging and complex nose. The red and black fruits on the palate turn creamy, silky and supple; as the medium-bodied palate is polished with lovely fruit viscosity buffered by inner mouth perfume. This is an eminently drinkable vintage for Red Belly, enjoyable now and for the next decade.

Red Belly is Skylark’s ode to the South of France where blending varietals to create a unique synergy is the way of life. Blending compatible varietals together is a centuries old tradition, and the Skylark team loves the challenges and complexities that come with that tradition. The Red belly is comprised of 40% Niemi Vineyard Carignane, 36% Ashurst Vineyard Syrah and 24% Sawyer Vineyard Grenache. Each varietal is fermented separately, then after secondary fermentation in barrel, the cepage is finalized after multiple blending sessions. The goal for Red Belly is juicy fruit, integrated tannins and early accessibility with mid-term aging potential. Skylark has definitely have achieved that here.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Varietal: 40% Carignan, 36% Syrah, 24% Grenache
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.61
TA: 6.2
Aging: Native yeast vinification of individual varietals in neutral French oak

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyards: Niemi Vineyard – Ashurst Vineyard – Sawyer Vineyard
Produced: 37 barrels – 925 cases

“While we continuously explore the fertile California landscape for red wine vineyards that excite us, our current releases are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Our single vineyard Syrahs are inspired by the Northern Rhone wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Our Grenache is reflective of the great wines produced in the south of France in tiny villages such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We love the style of these wines and have discovered vineyards in Northern California that allow these varietals to truly shine.”

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Skylark Pinot Blanc

Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Scallops

Creamy Lemon Scallop Pasta

© Spices in my DNA

INGREDIENTS:

For the scallops

  • 1 pound jumbo scallops, side muscle removed
  • small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

For the pasta

  • 9 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the scallops

  1. Make sure scallops are super dry, pat down thoroughly with paper towels until they’re dry. Season with pepper (no salt yet). Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Once melted, wipe out the pan so that only a thin layer of oil and butter remain. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and sear on the other side for 1 minute or until just cooked through. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water generously. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to scoop out the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, or right before you drain it.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly. If it seems too hot, reduce the heat to medium (you don’t want the garlic to brown). Add the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup), mascarpone, ricotta, parmesan, and lemon zest, and stir until melted and creamy. Add the pasta and toss until coated. If the sauce seems too dry, add another splash of pasta water and toss until desired consistency is reached. Add the chopped basil and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops over the pasta, and garnish with extra fresh basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

© Recipe from Spices in my DNA

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSkylark Wine Company
Pinot Blanc
Mendocino County, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

Light straw yellow in color. High-toned aromatics of lime peel, roasted lemon, Granny Smith apple and a complicating note of pebbled soil. Intense and penetrating on the palate, the flavors follow through with the roasted lemon and green apple enlivened by natural acidity. Deftly light and concentrated at the same time, with the crunchy fruit streaming into a palate-staining finish.

One of Skylark’s oldest vineyard sources is Bernie Orsi’s Pinot Blanc outside of Hopland in Mendocino, California. Originally planted by John Fetzer in the 1970s, John and Robert walked through the oldest block of this site in 2005. Impressed by the thick, stubby trunks and gnarled old vines, they signed on to purchase that section for harvest 2005.  They have now grown production to almost the entire vineyard for Skylark’s Pinot Blanc bottling. After picking, the fruit is whole cluster pressed into a tank, then racked to Mueller stainless steel barrels for fermentation. Stirred the lees once, blocked malolactic fermentation and bottled with a light filtration. No doubt, this vintage of Pinot Blanc will brighten your day.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Analysis: 13.2% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.28 g/L
TA: 7.1
Aging:
Whole cluster pressed and vinification in multiple stainless steel 75gl barrels

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyard: Orsi Vineyard
Cases Produced: 800

“To reflect our palates, the portfolio at Skylark includes crisp, flavorful, aromatic white wines and full-bodied, rich, spicy red wines. As we have long admired the beautiful white wines produced in Alsace and Austria, our Pinot Blanc is a California rendition of a classic European varietal.”

 

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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

© Natasha's Kitchen

© Natasha’s Kitchen

The spice in Grenache begs to be paired with herb-heavy dishes such as roasted meats, vegetables and stews. This simple one-pot lamb stew is loaded with hearty, healthy ingredients perfect for the winter months. The lengthy simmering time in the oven makes the tender lamb morsels and vegetables just melt in your mouth.

Lamb Stew Recipe

  •  4 oz. bacon (4 strips, chopped into 1/4 inch strips)
  • 2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt for the lamb plus 1 tsp for stew
  • 1 tsp black pepper for lamb plus 1/2 tsp for stew
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups good red wine
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs small yellow potatoes halved or quartered into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots 10 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5 quart dutch oven, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until browned and fat released. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
  2. While bacon cooks, season lamb pieces with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook lamb in 2 batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned (3-4 min per side) then transfer to the plate with bacon.
  3. Add diced onion and sauté 2 min. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to simmer then cook uncovered 10 min. Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
  4. Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil then cover and carefully transfer to preheated oven at 325˚F for 1 hr and 45 min. When done, potatoes and lamb will be very tender.

© Recipe courtesy of Natasha of Natasha’s Kitchen.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSkylark GrenacheSkylark Wine Company
Grenache
Mendocino County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color. Juicy red fruit aromatics are interwoven with forest floor notes, though the red cherry fruit takes center stage. The palate delivers ripe cherry fruit flecked with a savory white pepper spice complexity. The spice notes then turn ripe and creamy on the finish leaving an impression of dark cocoa with a deft touch of barrel sweetness. Ethereal and exuberant.

Skylark Grenache is sourced from Charlie Sawyer’s beautiful vineyard high above Ukiah in Mendocino County, California. With clonal material sourced from Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this is one of the premier sites for Grenache in Northern California. Expertly farmed by Peter Chevalier, this classic vineyard has been our home for Grenache since the 2007 vintage. After green harvesting, the fruit is hand-picked, mainly de-stemmed and then fermented in an open top tank with daily punchdowns. A splash of 8% Syrah from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard lends a touch of color and spice. After secondary fermentation in seasoned French cooperage, it is then bottle unfined and unfiltered with minimal intervention.

Varietal: 92% Grenache, 8% Syrah
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.66
TA: 6.0
Aging: Native yeast vinification in neutral French oak
Harvested: 
Hand picked
Vineyard: Sawyer Vineyard – Rodgers Creek Vineyard

Produced: Six Barrels – 150 cases

ABOUT SKYLARK:
Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest and the Skylark Wine Company was born.

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

ABOUT JOHN LANCASTER:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, John Lancaster is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. He resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

ABOUT ROBERT PERKINS:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

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Winery Spotlight Series: Dec. 9th Skylark Wine Company

Skylark Wine Company Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Skylark Wine Company

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring the co-proprietors of our December Wine Club, John Lancaster and Robert Perkins, from Skylark Wine Company. During our virtual event, John and Robert will be guiding us through a tasting of our December Wine Club wines and other Skylark wines too. The following 6 wines featured during the tasting will be:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Skylark Pink Belly Rosé 
  • Skylark Orsi Vineyard Pinot Blanc
  • Skylark Red Belly
  • Skylark Grenache  
  • Skylark Las Aves 
  • Skylark Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah 

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside John and Robert with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.Skylark Wines

About Skylark Winery:

Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest. Skylark Wine Company was formed. Learn more about Skylark Wine Company here.

John Lancaster – Co-Proprietor

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by the Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. John resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins – Co-Proprietor

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Skylark Wine Company
Mendocino County, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Jacuzzi Chardonnay Pairing recipe

Jacuzzi ChardonnayJacuzzi Family Vineyards
Bianco Di Sei Sorelle
Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, California
SILKY STYLE

The grapes for the Bianco di Sei Sorelle come from the Diamond Pile Ranch in the Petaluma Gap. This ranch grows low yielding grapevines planted in deep clay soils with a westward facing slope. This limits vigor while providing excellent conditions for sunshine and ripening. The cool fog and wind barrages the vineyard, slowing the ripening and retaining lively acidity while allowing flavors to develop slowly to a crescendo at harvest. The grapes were handpicked in the early morning to retain their vibrancy and natural flavor. At the winery, the grapes were destemmed and gently pressed into a tank ready for fermentation. Fermentation began naturally and completed at a very cool temperature to retain acidity and fruitiness. The lees were stirred regularly to further enhance the richness.

“The Bianco di Sei Sorelle has delightful aromas of citrus, green apple, pineapple, almond and grapefruit. It has great weight and texture with balanced acidity that keeps the palate fresh and gives it excellent length. It would be an ideal wine with light pasta dishes, chicken or seafood.” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Chardonnay
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume, 3.74 pH
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

ITALIAN CHICKEN SALAD

italian chicken saladCROUTONS INGREDIENTS:
• 4 cups, ½ inch cubes Italian bread
• 2 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
• ¼ tsp salt

VINAIGRETTE INGREDIENTS:
• ¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
• 2 tsps Dijon mustard
• 2 Tbsps finely chopped shallot
• 1 tsp sugar
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

SALAD INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie-cooked chicken
• 1 cup small bocconcini mozzarella
• 2 hearts of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
• ½ cup chopped fennel
• 8 oz roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch wide strips
• 1 cup assorted marinated pitted olives

DIRECTIONS:
• Bake croutons – Preheat oven to 400℉. Toss bread cubes with oil and salt in a large shallow baking pan and spread in one layer. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool in pan on rack.
• Make Vinaigrette – Whisk together all ingredients except oil in small bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
• Toss chicken and bocconcini together with ¼ cup vinaigrette in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
• Make salad – Toss together romaine, fennel, red peppers, olives, chicken mixture, croutons and remaining dressing in a large bowl until combined.
• Serve with a glass of Bianco di Sei Sorelle. Recipe courtesy of Epicurious at Yummly.com

December Wine Club pairing recipe

December Wine Club WineStyles

MACAY-bowChateau Macay
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Cotes de Bourg, France

The vineyard of Château Macay is situated in Samonac, in the heart of the Côtes de Bourg appellation, 30 km from Bordeaux, on the  right bank of Gironde estuary.  The name Macay comes from the patronymic of a Scottish officer’s surname, Mac Kay.  The castle Macay was founded by the Gagnernot family in 1740.  In 1850, this property was part of seven adjacent farms and a real wine village with a cellar on two floors, its cooper’s trade was surmounted by a tower.  The “Forge de Macay” was the central point of the property.  In 2012, Frédérique and Hervé Descourviéres became the proud new owners of Château Macay.

winemaker-Olivier-Dauga

“This wine has a very beautiful intense, clear garnet red color.  It offers a rich nose of aromatic blackberry fruits and grilled spicy notes.  Its palate is generous and aromatic, soft and fresh with excellent balance, elegant tannins and spicy notes on the finish.  Pairs perfectly with toasted lamb skewers or lamb chops” – Olivier Dauga, winemaker

Winemaker: Olivier Dauga
Appellation: Cotes de Bourg, France
Varietal Blend:  40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Fran, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume, 3.7 pH
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Lamb Curry with Basmati Rice

Lamb-curry-recipeINGREDIENTS:
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 2 lbs (900g) lamb fillet, cut into 1” cubes
•  6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
•  2 onions, roughly chopped
•  3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
•  2 green chillies, finely chopped
•  1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
•  1 tbsp ground turmeric
•  1/2 tbsp ground cumin
•  1 tbsp chilli powder
•  1 tbsp plain flour
•  14 fl. oz. (400ml) coconut milk
•  1 pint (600ml) chicken stock
•  9 oz. (250g) baby spinach leaves
•  1 pomegranate, seeded
•  7 oz (200g) plain yogurt
•  salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  steamed basmati rice, to serve

DIRECTIONS:
•  Heat a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of the vegetable oil and then the lamb.  Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the lamb is golden brown all over, then remove and set aside.
•  Reduce the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Add the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden and softened.  Add all the turmeric, garam masala, cumin and chili powder and fry, stirring well, for one minute. Add the flour and cook for a further minute.  Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and heat to bring to a simmer. Add the lamb and enough chicken stock to just cover the lamb. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze and release any residue at the bottom of the pan.
•  Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the lamb is tender and cooked through.  Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the sauce, then add the spinach and pomegranate. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.  Add the yogurt, season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well.  Serve on warmed plates with steamed basmati rice on side.    Recipe courtesy of Vinadeis.