With warm weather upon us, outdoor entertaining becomes the rule and informal dishes make it easier on everyone. Here is a go-to plate which does not take too much preparation but delivers big on flavor. Moreover, it pairs well with Taft Street Rose of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc – two of our summertime favorites.
- 1 pound shredded chicken breast
- 8 ounces peeled, seeded and finely sliced cucumber
- ½ cup neutral oil like corn oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 inch minced fresh ginger
- 3 sheets whole wheat lavash
- 36 x 3 inch toothpicks
- Combine top seven ingredients in large bowl. Divide into fourths and spread over lavash sheets.
- Roll each sheet into a roll with the long side in front of you horizontally.
- Cut each roll into 12 pinwheels, securing each pinwheels with as toothpick.
- Pop the corks on the Rose and Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!
Enjoyed this last year’s summer music series? We’re back for a second season and excited about five great acts the last Sunday of each month, starting in May. This summer’s acts include The Pulsators, It’s a Beautiful Day, Twang Ditty, Bottleshock, and The Sorrentinos.
The events are free. The Tasting Room opens at 11am, with music from 3pm to 6pm. All our Tasting Room exclusives are available for purchase by the glass or bottle. Bring a picnic and we’ll supply the wine. Enjoy the summer – Taft Street Style.
May 26 – The Pulsators. Rooted in the fertile musical soil of the Sonoma County Wine Country the Pulsators are a five piece band that plays its own brand of music. With a get-up-and-dance kind of orchestration, their music has been defined as a spicy blend of driving blues, New Orleans-funky R&B, rock steady reggae and rock-and-roll. Their music supports an ever-growing legion of faithful fans who keep coming back for more. The Pulsators have been voted a Sonoma County fan-favorite four times in reader’s choice polls given by The Press Democrat.
June 26 - It’s a Beautiful Day Acoustic featuring David LaFlame. Famous for their song “White Bird”, a melancholy ballad that stood out not only for its memorable vocal melody and “seize the day” message, but also for front man David Laflamme’s slow-burning violin solo. Multiple albums were laced with classic cuts such as “Hot Summer Day”, “Bombay Calling,” “Girl With No Eyes”, “Wasted Union Blues”, “Time Is”, “Dolphins”, “Misery Loves Company”, and many more you’ll remember. Today the band performs the music of It’s A Beautiful Day along with newer material, moving effortlessly from an almost folksy sound to ethereal jazz to psychedelic to straight on rock & roll performing selections from three new CDs and over seven of their previous albums.
July 28 – Twang Ditty. Formed in the summer of 2007 in Sonoma County, Twang Ditty went on to win the local Colgate Country Showdown just a few weeks after they began playing together. The band strives to pay loving tribute to the traditional country music of the 50s-70s, a time when pure, heartfelt vocals and sparkling guitar licks topped the charts. From tearful ballads to honkytonk to rockabilly; covering Nashville to Bakersfield and everything in between including the famous “outlaws,” you can expect to hear familiar (and not so familiar) songs of legends like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and Waylon Jennings, as well as favorites from country queens Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette…just to name a few.
August 25 – Bottleshock. Bottle Shock produces an original sound best described as toe tappin’ music for the mind, body and soul. With a style firmly based in American roots music the band has its own little sound going on. Come have a look and a listen; it won’t take long for you to become SHOCKED!
September 29 – The Sorrentinos. Classic rock ‘n’ roll with a modern twist, The Sorentinos is a band with a late sixties-era feel, accessible to the hipster kid from the in-crowd and his retired hippie parents too. With singer-songwriter Danny Sorentino and his crew of musicians in California and lead guitarist Steve Lee in London, the Bay Area based group has established itself as a sonic force on both sides of the Atlantic.
The big news in the vineyards the last few weeks has been the abundance of fruit on the vines. It looked like the beginning of a monster vintage. However, it’s always dangerous to predict anything about a grape crop so early in the season, and this year may be no exception. The last week has been a string of midsummer like days, with temperatures soaring into the high 80’s, and it appears this will continue for the next week. Its effect on the crop size is yet to be determined, but the weather has focused everyone’s attention. Another year in the vineyard.
In the winery Evelyn and crew are busy bottling client wines, while tending to our own barrels and tanks. Keeping things topped up will be the order of the day, until final Chardonnay blends will be put together in the weeks ahead.
I have just returned from a successful trip to our New York marketplace, where we have opened a number of new restaurant and wine shop accounts. Paul has been to Louisiana and Texas and will concentrate his efforts in the Southern California market in the weeks ahead. Clayton continues to oversee our successful transition to Morris Distributing in San Francisco and the North Bay Area.
May is the official start of the tourist season and in the days and weeks ahead we expect more visitors than ever enjoying our wines and picnic area. Our annual Spring President’s Club party is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th. On Sunday, May 26th our second Street Music season begins with local favorites – The Pulsators. If you haven’t been to a concert plan on doing so – they are a wonderful way to while away a Sunday afternoon.
You don’t need any excuse to stop by the Tasting Room for a glass of wine and a smile. You are welcome here!
President, Taft Street Winery
We’ll be serving these at our 31st birthday celebration this weekend. The recipe multiplies easily. Taft Street Russian River Pinot Noir goes especially well with these.
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 cup softened cream cheese
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 4-5 drops sriracha sauce
- Fresh dill sprigs
- 24 slices rye cocktail bread
- Mix salmon, onion, capers, cream cheese, lemon zest and sriracha.
- Spread on rye bread and garnish with dill sprigs.
Makes 24 appetizers
There is still time to enjoy the heartiness of winter salads with your favorite grilled or braised meats. Here is a simple yet tasty salad which utilizes only a handful of ingredients.
- 1 bundle Tuscan Kale
- 1 small radicchio
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- Slice the kale and radicchio into thin ribbons. Combine with almonds
- Mix dressing ingredients until emulsified. Dress greens. You will have some dressing left over. Serve.
This salad goes well with heartier dishes, and a red wine such as the Taft Street 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir would be especially nice.
After a very wet December, winter in Sonoma County has turned cold and dry. It is time for pruning in the vineyards, and getting the early white wines bottled. Our 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Sonoma Country Rose of Pinot Noir, and 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris will soon be in the marketplace.
The results from the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition are in, and we are proud to announce GOLD MEDALS for our 2009 Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir Garagistes and our 2011 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. Our 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay and our 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir won SILVER MEDALS. Winemaker Evelyn White will pour the award winning wines at Fort Mason in San Francisco on Saturday, February 16th.
Speaking of accolades, we received a nice review from renowned wine bloggers, Two Guys from Napa.
Scoring great wine at known favorites was easy at the 2013 Winter Wineland. If you aren’t already familiar with these wineries, please change that. We have consistently enjoyed their wines over the years and of the ones they were pouring last weekend, these are the wines we preferred the most:
February will be a busy month for us. Sales Manager Paul Young and I will travel to Southern California next week for an introductory visit with the folks at Ribevi Wines International. Later, Paul will head back east to work in the Massachusetts market. Later visits to Louisiana, Texas and New York are in the works. With Winter WINEland now behind us, Kaitlyn and crew have a month to get ready for Barrel Tasting, March 1 – 3 and March 8 – 10. February would be a great time to visit us, as the Tasting Room will be relatively uncrowded and the season’s new wines will be available.
President, Taft Street Winery
This is a nice twist on white chili. The chocolate and coffee add an extra layer of flavor, which nicely complements a spicy red – Taft Street 2009 Dry Creek Valley Syrah comes to mind.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ounce dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coffee beans, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 x 28 ounce can tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 x 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
- Heat oil in large pan. Cook onion until soft, 6 – 8 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and stir for a minutes. Add turkey and stir until no longer brown.
- Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, chocolate, coffee, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add beans, discard bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes. (Can be made a day ahead.)
Diced red onion, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro and sour cream can be served as condiments. Cornbread also goes well with this dish.
No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. It was 31 years ago today, April Fool’s Day 1982, when Taft Street Winery officially became bonded winery #5547. A lot has gone under the bridge in the ensuing years, and we are still having great fun doing what we love. Friends and neighbors will help celebrate the occasion this Saturday.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Morris Distributing, a local specialty beverage distributor from Petaluma. Morris will distribute our wines in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. The represent a number of artisanal brewers, and should widen our distribution significantly in San Francisco and the North Bay. We will continue to sell our wines directly from the Tasting Room and online.
April is a busy month. In additional to our party on April 6th, we will have a winemaker’s dinner at Big Bottom Market in Guerneville on Saturday, April 13th. The very next day, Sunday, April 14th, we will participate in the Sonoma County Vintners’ Association “Sonoma in the City Tour” in San Francisco. Winemaker Evelyn White will pair Taft Street wines with the food of San Francisco chefs at the San Francisco Film Centre from 11:30 – 3:00. Then on Tuesday, April 16th we will pour at the Grand Tasting at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio from 1:00 – 4:00.
Sales Manager Paul Young is on the road again this month with trips to Colorado and Louisiana planned. I’ll be in the New York market towards the end of the month. Clayton is busy smoothing out the transition with Morris Distributing, while Kaitlyn is preparing for the tourist season.
Everything is growing in Sonoma County at the moment, with the vines opening up and the hillsides incredibly lush. A perfect time to spend an afternoon visiting the Taft Street Tasting Room, enjoy a glass or two of wine and perhaps play a little bocce. You’ll be glad you did.
President, Taft Street Winery
With the Holidays and a very wet December behind us, we at Taft Street are eager to face the challenges and opportunities of the New Year. Among our first tasks will be the bottling of three wines from the 2012 vintage: our 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Blanc; the 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc; and our 2012 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. Our 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc has been sold out for months; and distributors, local retailers and our Tasting Room customers are particularly awaiting this Taft Street favorite.
The bottling schedule is fortuitous because the 21st Annual Winter Wineland takes place January 19th & 20th. Participants will have the opportunity to try new releases and have a chat with winemakers from over 100 participating wineries. This event draws thousands from all over the country and beyond, and we look forward to meeting newcomers as well as those who make Taft Street a regular stop.
Sales Manager Paul Young has scheduled trips to our major markets over the next several months, meeting with those responsible for the continued growth of the Taft Street brand. In Northern California, Clayton and Marc have identified key accounts they will open during the year, and in the Tasting Room Kaitlyn and staff look forward to full year of activities in our newly spruced up Tasting Room and picnic area. Marketing man Jake Martini continues to drag Taft Street into the electronic 21st Century, while the 2 Mikes are a constant reminder of our storied past.
All of us at Taft Street wish the very best to you in 2013.
President, Taft Street Winery