March Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubMarco-Negri-Moscato-D-AstiMarco Negri
Moscato D’Asti
Piemonte, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Pale yellow color with a fine perlage. A typical bouquet with skin citrus fruits and jasmine. It presents a good structure and sapid.

Analysis: 5.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Moscato
pH: 3.28
Residual Sugar: 125 g/l
TA: 5.0 g/l
Sulfit: 120 mg/l
Harvest Date: Beginning of September
Vineyard Location: 11 hectare in Costigliole d’Asti – Piemonte
Oenologist: Mr. Donato Lanati
Fermentation: Stainless steel tanks
Bottling: Preserved at 28.4ºF
Vinification: After the must has been softly pressed, it is left to ferment with selected yeasts into 50 hl. autoclaves for 8-10 days, at controlled temperature. The fermentation is stopped by cooling when the desired alcohol level is reached. When bottling, the wine is filtered through micropore sterile filters to totally eliminate any yeast.

Pairing:
Traditionally enjoyed with dessert, but with its low degree of alcohol, amazing sparkling fragrance, and very light sweetness; it can also be pleasant as an aperitif.

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.

ABOUT THE REGION:
Marco Negri estate, located in the heart of Piedmont, Italy, near the town of Asti, produced its first sparkling wine in 1993. Marco Negri has received their DOCG, Italy’s highest category of production, with their Moscato grapes. 


PAcRim_sweet_riesling-1-365x1024Pacific Rim
Sweet Riesling
Columbia Valley, Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Refreshingly sweet with a lively mouthfeel. Bright Acidity. Fresh and fruity with flavors of pineapple and white peach. This Riesling is wonderfully aromatic with notes of honey, pear and orange blossom.

Analysis: 8% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 100% Riesling 
Residual Sugar: 7%
TA: 0.83%
Food Pairing: Ideal with fiery fare – especially Thai, Szechwan, Mexican, Middle Eastern and Caribbean cuisine.

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.

PRODUCTION:
Pacific Rim’s Sweet Riesling is 100% Columbia Valley, WA grown. The soil is wind-blown loess on basalt bedrock. They use the purest winemaking possible – sustainably produced, all native yeasts, no oak, no malolactic. A perfect exploration of sweetness – covering the classic residual sugar spectrum of Riesling. 


The winery picks their Riesling grapes early (20-21 Brix). Using only native yeasts and fermenting at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks – there is no use of oak barrels or malolactic fermentation. They stop the fermentation at about 7% residual sugar, and clean the wine rapidly to retain as much freshness and fruitiness as possible. They leave a fair amount of natural carbon dioxide in the wine to create a lively mouth feel. 

ABOUT THE WINERY:
First released by Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in 1992, Pacific Rim Dry Riesling quickly gained a loyal following among Riesling lovers. Known for its fresh and bright characteristics, the wine was a welcome alternative to over-oaked, one-dimensional white wines. As the American palate evolved in recent years toward wines with greater complexity and crisper acidity, the popularity of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling grew. Demand and enthusiasm for Pacific Rim Dry Riesling continued to gain momentum — and the excitement around the wine inspired a radical idea… the creation a winery exclusively dedicated to Riesling. In August of 2006, a small band of Bonny Doon expats moved to the Northwest from California with a common desire to craft the best Riesling in America… thus, Pacific Rim became its own winery.
Learn more about the winery here.



Imagine Bonny Doon Vineyard wine pairing

BonnyDoon_Imagine_bottleFruityImagine
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache Mourvedre
Central Coast, California

Imagine a dry pink wine. It’s not so hard to do. As it turns out, there are two classes of people who enjoy pink wine, the terminally hip and the terminally unhip. Luckily for all of us, you, dear sipper are in the former category. Proper Vin Gris, for this is what we are talking about, is made from the lightest pressings of red grapes (we’ve taken the liberty of adding some whites to the cuvée); slightly austere and delicately floral, with crisp acidity.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“This Provençal-styled pink, is a rather pale salmon color, owing to the fact that it is made from the lightest pressing of bespoke grapes, harvested at the appropriate maturity.  There is a lovely chalky/smoky gunpowder tea aspect to the nose with a suggestion of bergamot, wild strawberry and maybe even a delicate trace of wintergreen.  The fragrance is discreet and above all,  elegant and draws one to the wine rather than mounts a frontal assault on one’s sensorium.  On the palate, the wine has a sleek, salty, savory, mouth-watering aspect and a refreshing acidity.  There is a wonderful  persistent finish, making this one of the most food friendly wines conceivable.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  35% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre, 16% Grenache Blanc, 12.5% Roussanne, 8% Carignane, 8% Counoise
Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume, 3.33 pH, 5.5 g/l TA


Seared Scallops with Corn, Sun Golds, Arugla & Basil

seared-scallopsINGREDIENTS:
•  6 large sea scallops
• 2 heads Little Gem lettuce,
• 3 ears yellow corn, husked washed, leaves separated
• 1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes
• 1 cup arugula
• 1 tbsp fresh Marjoram leaves, chopped
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup Thai basil
• 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 500° F. Coat the corn with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Wrap loosely in foil and let rest. When soft and slightly cooled, cut kernels from the cob and toss in a medium bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, chopped marjoram, and salt and pepper.

Cut the Sun Gold tomatoes in half. Season with olive oil and salt lightly. Fold into the roasted corn. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat ½ cup olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt and a pinch of black pepper. Sear in the skillet for 2 minutes on each side or until they reach desired doneness. Remove from the heat and drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

In a bowl, toss the lettuce, arugula, and basil together with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper.

To Plate: Place some corn and tomato mixture in the center of each plate. Arrange three scallops atop the corn mixture. Place the dressed greens around the edges and serve with a chilled glass of 2014 Vin Gris Imagine. Serves 2.  Recipe graciously provided by Chef Charlie Parker.

Wine pairing recipe for May Wine club

picpoulcrispPicpoul
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Arroyo Seco, California

Picpoul, sometimes “pique-poule”, or lip-stinger, is an exceptionally beloved cépage of Southern France, lending balance to cuvées that might otherwise veer off into the direction of the fulsome.  Impressively bracing natural acidity (no acidification was doon), with echoes of the ocean. Beeswax Vineyard, in Arroyo Seco, is after all, only a hop, skip and jump away from the cool breezes of Carmel.  Whether lips are literally stung by a “coup de picpoul” is open to debate, but lips are certainly known to smack at the ultra-savoriness of this unique grape variety. Pairs well with grilled octopus with lemon, moussaka, sardines a la plancha or grilled sardines with frisée & whole-grain mustard dressing.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“On the nose, peach, wet stone and lanolin, a true signifier of the grape’s Languedocian origins. On the palate, grapefruit pith, iodine and brine.  The true saline quality begs for raw oysters on the half shell with shallot-rich mignonette.  Look for oysters grown in or near the open ocean- the brinier, the better my friends; Belon, Wellfleets or Snow Creeks would fit the bill.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Arroyo Seco, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Picpoul
Analysis: 11.5% alcohol / volume


Grilled Sardines with Frisee & Whole-grain Mustard Dressing

sardines-recipeFRISEE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 head frisée
• 2 tablespoons minced chives
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons minced shallots

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
• 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
• ¼ cup golden (or white) balsamic vinegar
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

SARDINE INGREDIENTS:
• 12 fresh sardines, cleaned and butterflied (see note*)
• ¼ rice bran oil or canola oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:
Start a fire in your grill 30 minutes in advance, burning the wood down until you have a red-hot coal base. You don’t want flames touching the fish.

Wash the frisée and snip the green tips off the leaves, leaving behind only the white and yellow part of the head. Cut off and discard the core. Tear the remaining leaves into medium pieces. Place the frisée in a bowl, toss in the herbs and shallots, and set aside, undressed, until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper until combined. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream until the dressing is thick and emulsified—it should come together pretty quickly. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Set the dressing aside.

Brush the sardines on both sides with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the fish on the hot grill, skin side down, and cook until their flesh turns opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the fish from the grill and set them aside on a plate with the skin side up.

Toss the frisée salad lightly with the dressing, add salt and pepper to taste, and arrange salad on a platter. Place the sardines on top, skin side up. Enjoy with a glass of 2014 Picpoul.

* Note: Cleaning Sardines: Using a sharp knife, slice open the belly of each fish and remove its innards. Cut off the head, open the fish with your fingers, and pull out its spine (this should remove most of the bones, though there may be a few stragglers). Keep the fish butterflied for grilling.

Recipe from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price, published 2009.

May Wine Club pairing recipe

BOURGUIGNONBourguignon

INGREDIENTS:

•  3 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil
• 2 pounds grass-fed buffalo or venison or beef or lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1 pound Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
• 4 cups Bonny Doon Vineyard 2014 GSMC
• ½ cup dry sherry
• ¼ cup Bonny Doon Vineyard Pinotheosis Pinot Noir port
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 cups beef or bison stock
• 1 pound pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour or 3 teaspoons tapioca flour/starch mixed with ½ cup cold water (shake in a glass jar)

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large Dutch oven or stainless steel soup pot sauté meat in 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until brown on both sides. Set meat aside. In the same pot, sauté mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil until tender. Return meat to pot. Deglaze pan with sherry and Pinotheosis; cook until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in flour/water mixture and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Cover pot and bake on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 1¼ hours, or until meat is very tender. Remove from oven and pull out stems of thyme and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

CROCK-POT DIRECTIONS:  Put everything into a medium to large sized Crock-pot, except flour or kudzu, and cook on high for 2 hours; turn down to low for 6 more hours or until meat is very tender. Add flour or kudzu mixed in cold water for the last hour.

Serves 6-8. Serve with a glass of 2014 GSMC. Recipe created and perfectly paired by Chef Lauren Hoover-West, NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com

GSMC14_bottle_lowresBold_stickerGSMC
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsaut
Central Coast, California

Life is indeed short. Perhaps it is for this reason communication between humans can be at times a bit terse, even runic/slash/cryptic. Hence (G)renache, (S)yrah, Mourvèdre, and of course (C)insaut, see?  For these grapes truly love each other, put up with each other’s kvetches and shortcomings, support each other through thick-and-etc. GSMC is a bit of (G)e(m)i(s)(c)h, but then aren’t we all. That is the (m)e(s)sa(g)e, (see), in this particular bottle. Bonny Doon’s Vineyard winemaking practice exceptionally light-handed, with minimal intervention and manipulation. Created from hand-harvested grapes from four Central Coast vineyards.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“This GSMC blend contains what we like to call weapons-grade Grenache from our sundry Grenache vineyards. Exceptional spicebox nose, with raspberry, bing cherry, black pepper and hints of thyme. Plush tannins in the mouth with a refreshing savory texture.  This wine will pair well with a variety of grilled meat.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  50% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 12% Cinsaut, 10% Mourvedre, 4% Counoise
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume

Virtual Winemaker Tasting April 18th

Winemaker-tasting-event-Bonny-DoonSPECIAL EVENT

  Virtual wine tasting event with renown winemaker, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard
Saturday, April 18th at 6:30pm EST / 5:30pm CST

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a LIVE virtual wine tasting event with Bonny Doon Vineyard’s winemaker, Randall Grahm.  In real time, taste 5 wines along side Randall and ask him your questions online.  Seating is limited – call your local WineStyles to RSVP.

Bonny Doon Vineyard

BDV_logo_300dpi-900x900While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the (in retrospect) foolish attempt to replicate Burgundy in California, Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success creating more distinctive and original wines working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. Bonny-Doon-BlancThe key learning here (achieved somewhat accidentally but fortuitously) was that in a warm, Mediterranean climate, it is usually blended wines that are most successful. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this continues as the winery’s flagship/starship brand.  Since then, Bonny Doon Vineyard has enjoyed a long history Shelftalker-NV-CigareBlanc.qxdof innovation – the first to truly popularize Rhône grapes in California, to successfully work with cryo-extraction for sundry “Vins de Glacière, the first to utilize microbullage in California, the first to popularize screwcaps for premium wines, and, quite significantly, the first to embrace true transparency in labeling with its ingredient labeling initiative. The upside of all of this activity has brought an extraordinary amount of creativity and research to the California wine scene; the doon-side, as it were, was perhaps an ever so slight inability to focus, to settle doon, if you will, into a single, coherent direction.

Bonny Doon Vineyard grew and grew with some incredibly popular brands (Big House, Cardinal Zin and Pacific Rim) until it became the 28th largest winery in the United Stated.  Since early 2004, Bonny Doon adopted Biodynamic viticulture and biodynamic practices in as many of their vineyards as practicable.

Randall Grahm Biography

BonnyDoon-RandallGrahmRandall was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp, excuse me, the prestigious University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Some time later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with Pinot Noir he was regarded as a bit of a holy terroir in the hallowed halls of the sober and sedate Department of Viticulture and Enology.

With his family’s assistance, Randall purchased property in the Santa Cruz Mountains in a magically quaint eponymous hamlet known as Bonny Doon, intent on producing the Great American Pinot Noir. The GAPN proved to be systematically elusive but he was greatly encouraged by experimental batches of Rhône varieties, and he has been a tireless champion of the grapes of the Rhône since the inaugural vintage of Le Cigare Volant. In 1989 Randall appeared on the cover of the Wine Spectator, clad in blue polyester, as “The Rhône Ranger,” a moniker that has mercilessly followed him ever since. (He has subsequently abandoned the habit of appearing en masque at public events.)

In 1991 Randall was indicted into the Who’s Who of Cooking in America by Cook’s and in the same year Ted Bowell of the Lowell Observatory in northern Arizona named the “Rhoneranger” asteroid in his honor. He was proclaimed Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 1994. Randall lectures frequently to wine societies and technical groups, and occasionally contributes quixotically sincere articles to wine journals. His idiosyncratic newsletters and articles were collected, carefully redacted, and with the inclusion of some very timely new material, published as the award-winning book, “Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology” in 2009. In 2010 the Culinary Institute of America inducted him into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame. He lives in Santa Cruz with his muse Chinshu, their daughter, Amélie and his thesaurus.   Follow Randall’s wine blog.

BonnyDoon-wines-TastedBONNY DOON WINES TASTED:

Imagine Vin Gris
Picpoul
Le Cigare Blanc
Le Cigare Volant
Le Cigare Volant Reserve

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!