Ridge Vineyards Tasting Event

Ridge Vineyards Tasting EventOctober  Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
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Ridge Vineyards, California

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

“We decided to farm organically because we believe it leads to better grapes and higher quality wines. This approach in the vineyard, plus our traditional approach to winemaking, will provide the finest possible wines for our customers.” –  Paul Draper, CEO/winemaker.

montebello

13zls-bottle-shotRidge-Vineyards-LogoLytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991. A quarter century’s experience with this vineyard had convinced us that it was an exceptional piece of ground. Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology. Our approach is straightforward: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.  While Ridge is by no means a large grower,  they are the largest grower of organically farmed grapes in Sonoma County, and in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation.

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Teriyaki Glazed Spare Ribs

teriyaki-ribsINGREDIENTS:
•  2 (4 pound) racks pork spareribs, trimmed of excess fat
•   ½ cup Chinese Five Spice
•  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 cup low sodium soy sauce
•  1 cup grapefruit juice
•  ¼ cup hoisin sauce
•  ¼ cup ketchup
•  3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
•  ¼ cup brown sugar
•  1 fresh red chili, minced
•  2 garlic cloves, smashed
•  2 inch piece fresh ginger, whacked open with the flat side of a knife
•  2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
•  Chopped fresh Cilantro and green onion, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Rub the ribs all over with the five-spice powder, then season generously with salt and pepper. Put the ribs in a single layer in a roasting pan and slow roast until they are almost tender, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the glaze. In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, grapefruit juice, hoisin sauce, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, chili, garlic and ginger in a saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce and reserve.

When the ribs are about 30 minutes away from being done, baste them with the teriyaki sauce. Cook until the meat pulls easily from the bone.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler. Baste the ribs again and brown them under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes (or to desired level of crispness, keep an eye on them, they can burn quick). Separate the ribs with a cleaver or sharp knife, pile them on a platter and pour over remaining sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro and green onion as desired.  Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

LimitedSyrGren-prnt Cambridge Cellars Limited
Syrah Grenache
Dry Creek Valley, CA

Cambridge California Cellars strive to produce wines that embody the designations from where they are grown.  Their “Limited” wines represent those rare, exceptional lots from distinguished appellations throughout California’s wine country.  The Syrah Grenache is sourced from Dry Creek Valley, specifically the Simpson Vineyard that sits on the northern end with a cooler climate.  Situated between the Russian River and Lake Sonoma, the vines are well-irrigated and produce ripe, plump styles of wine.  Most known for growing exceptional Zinfandel, Dry Creek has expanded its reputation over the years and is now growing excellent Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

DougFrost“Syrah and Grenache, these two grapes play well together. Grenache for its raspberry, white pepper and mint notes and Syrah for its more brooding black pepper along with darker fruits like cherry and plum. This is just tannic enough to ask for food to accompany it.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW


Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  60% Syrah, 40% Grenache
Analysis: 15.9% alcohol / volume

Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut with Asparagus Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
Halibut•  5 tablespoons unsalted butter
•  4 scallions, thinly sliced
•  1 pound asparagus, spears sliced ½ inch thick, tips separate
•  1 cup water
•  1 cup packed baby spinach
•  salt and fresh ground pepper
•  8 thick slices of prosciutto
•  4 skinless halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
•  8 small sage leaves, halved length wise
•  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the scallions and cook over low heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus spears and the water and cook until tender and the water reduces to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and keep warm.

Arrange the prosciutto slices in pairs, overlapping them slightly. Place a halibut fillet in the center of the prosciutto and top each fillet with 2 sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper and wrap the prosciutto around the fish.

In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in olive oil. Add the halibut and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and add the asparagus tips to the skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast the prosciutto wrapped halibut for 5 minutes.

Spoon the asparagus spinach puree onto plates, arrange the prosciutto wrapped halibut and asparagus tips alongside and serve immediately.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine.

TIerraYMarSB Silky_StickerTierra y Mar
Big Ranch Road Vineyard
Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley, CA

Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa and Sonoma.  This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Big Ranch Road, in the Oakville District of Napa Valley. Oakville is known for its success with Bordeaux varietals, which includes Sauvignon Blanc. Warmer temperatures and gravelly, sandy soils help produce excellent Sauvignon Blanc.   Delicate straw and alluring aromatics shine in this racy stunner.  Notes of dandelion, honeysuckle and bright pineapple open on the nose with a mouth-feel of fresh fruits like green apple and pear.  This wine offers great acidity and a long fruit finish with a touch of a fresh herbs and clover rounding out the palette.

DougFrost“If all you know of Sauvignon Blanc is its herbaceous New Zealand side, this easy drinker offers another view: honeydew melons, red apples and even peaches to go along with the hints of lemongrass and chervil. It’s a tiny bit sweet but that just adds to the easy, tasty character.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Winemaker: Douglas Danielak
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume

Duck Breast, Lentil and Parsnip Salad

duckbreast-saladINGREDIENTS:
•  ½ cup French green lentils
•  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
•  2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
•  Salt and fresh ground pepper
•  One medium parsnip (about 8 ounces) peeled
•  Vegetable oil for frying
•  Four 5-6 ounce skinless duck breasts (or chicken breasts)
•  5 ounces mesclun greens (10 loosely packed cups)

DIRECTIONS:
Put the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 min.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils and return them to the saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and toss lentils well. Cover and keep warm.

Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the parsnip lengthwise into strips. In a large skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the parsnips to the oil at a time and fry over moderate heat until browned, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the parsnips to paper towels to drain. Lightly season the parsnips with salt.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned outside and medium rare inside, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the duck to a carving board and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl toss the mesclun greens with the lentils. Slice the duck breasts in thin strips crosswise. Add the duck to the salad along with the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Add some crisp parsnips to the salad and toss again and top with remaining crisp parsnips for serving.   Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

TierraYMarPinot silverstarTierra y Mar
Floral Cuvee
Sonoma County, CA

Tierra y Mar translates to Earth and Sea, a nod to the special relationship between land and water.  At Tierra y Mar they produce wines that are the ultimate expression of nature’s balance and harmony, allowing the wines to speak for themselves as they are the unique creation of the grape, soil, water and climate of where they are grown.  Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County.  Sonoma County, with miles of coastline and sun-kissed valleys, provides diversity within its growing regions.

DougFrost“With a delightful, floral character adding interest to the strawberry and raspberry nose, this reflects cool growing conditions, perhaps cooler than many competitive Pinot Noir sites in California and far more appropriate to the grape. This is gentle throughout but not short or simple as a result; it just happens to drink easily.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Critical Acclaim: SILVER STAR rated, Doug Frost, MS, MW
Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume