We served these little beauties at a recent wine/food pairing event involving our neighboring wineries (GRILL 116).
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 1 piece sliced bread, soaked in milk, drained and crumpled
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1 head butter lettuce
- ½ cup cucumber, cut in matchsticks
- 2 thinly sliced scallions
- Combine 2 tablespoons fish sauce, lime juice, sriracha, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine remaining fish sauce, chicken, shallots, bread, garlic, mint and cilantro in a bowl. Mix until integrated.
- Shape mixture into 2 inch balls – you should have 8. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Grill or sauté until cooked (4-5 minutes) Wrap each meatball in lettuce leaf, garnish with cucumber and scallion, and serve with dipping sauce.
The time is now! The Taft Street harvest for 2012 begins Wednesday, September 5th, when our first grapes arrive. This year the honors go to Russian River Valley Pinot Gris and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. In another week we’ll be in full swing. So far everything looks good, including the weather report!
Winemaker Evelyn White prepared for the harvest by pouring our wine at the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend – Taste of Sonoma, held at the MacMurray Ranch on Saturday, September 1st. This is perhaps Sonoma County’s premier wine showcase, and thousands of oenophiles attended from all over the country and beyond. The Taft Street wines were a real hit, with the 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and the 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay especially praised.
The fun continues at the winery. We enjoyed our fourth successful concert with the music of the Rhythm Rangers, and will conclude our series by bringing back Bottle Shock on Sunday, September 30th. This week we will host a dinner for the folks of the North Bay Biz Magazine; and on Thursday, September 27th we will roast a whole pig from farmer/vintner Lou Preston in our barbecue smoker for the judges and officials of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The following day is the Harvest Fair Awards Dinner, and our concert concludes this very busy month!
President, Taft Street Winery
As the fine weather continues, growers and winemakers alike are anxiously awaiting the weeks ahead. In the vineyards, veraison – the period when grapes soften and change color from green to red or yellow – has begun, indicating an early September start of this much anticipated harvest.
We just enjoyed our third concert with The Smilin’ Iguanas and had our biggest turnout ever! A very mellow time was had by all, and we look forward to our next event with The Rhythm Rangers on Sunday, August 26th.
The next big wine industry affair is the Sonoma County Wine Country Weekend, September 1st – 3rd. We’ll be pouring our 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, our 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris, our 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, and our 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. You can find us in the Russian River Valley tent!
Overall sales continue at a brisk pace, with particularly strong action in our California direct market and in the state of Texas. Our remodeled Tasting Room is getting rave reviews. If you haven’t been here for a while, there is no better time to try some of your old favorites and some new releases.
Be sure to check our my August recipe: Blackberry Rose Sorbet. See ya!
President, Taft Street Winery
This one has summer written all over it. Fresh blackberries (any berry will do), our favorite Rose (currently the 2011 Taft Street Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir), and simple syrup add up to a refreshing end to any meal. It’s also great by itself.
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 2 cups Rose of Pinot Noir (only Taft Street will do!)
- 2 cups simple syrup
- Cook all ingredients for 10 minutes. Cool. Pass through food mill to extract most of the seeds. Refrigerate for an hour.
- Put into ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze.
Two Thumbs up Wine gave us two thumbs up for our 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Check it Out!
As the 4th of July approaches we are getting into party mode. The vines look good and a bumper crop is a real possibility. The folks in the cellar are busy bottling, and the new screw cap machine is a success.
We just received word from the California State Fair that our 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc earned 95 points, a GOLD MEDAL, and a BEST OF CLASS award! We will pour the wine at the awards ceremony in Sacramento on August 18th.
Sales continue at a brisk pace. We are into the 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir, and will soon transition into the 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Our California direct sales force has far outpaced budget projections and has made Taft Street a real player in the California market. Kudos to Clayton, Mosha and Marc!
This month we will participate in the Winery BBQ Competition at the Sonoma Academy on July 14th, pour at the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market on July 25, and present The Smilin’ Iguanas as part of our A LITTLE STREET MUSIC concert series.
Got a cool video review of our 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Thumbs Up Wine.
Hope you can join us at one or more of our events during the month. Or just stop in at the Tasting Room when you’re in the area. Be sure to check this month’s summer recipie: BAR B QUE Chile Paste.
President, Taft Street Winery
It’s grilling time! Much of our entertaining this time of year is done behind the bar b que grill or smoker. I always keep a supply of chile paste on hand, using it as a rub, sauce or part of dressings or spreads.
- 2 ounces dried guajillo or other dark chile
- ¼ cup chopped garlic
- ¼ cup soaking water
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes, then soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain, seed and stem, and save ¼ cup soaking liquid.
- Put chiles and remaining ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth paste. Can be refrigerated for the rest of the summer.
On the 4th of July we’ll be serving this with ribs and our just released 2011 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir!
We served these butterscotch brownies at our President’s Club part, and they were a great success. The recipe can be multiplied.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butterscotch bits
- Preheat oven to 350. Beat sugars and butter until well blended. Mix in egg whites and vanilla.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and beat until blended.
- Spread evenly on a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle and press in the butterscotch. Bake 25-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 16. A glass of Taft Street Zinfandel or Syrah is appropriate.
The days are warming up, the vineyards are in bloom, and the feel of summer is everywhere. Growers are cautiously optimistic, and there is even talk of a good crop.
Our new twist on capping machine has arrived and is ready to start next week. It will be a busy summer in the bottling room. Our 2011 Russian River Pinot Gris was released last month; our 2011 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir is available as of today; and our 2010 Russian River Chardonnay and 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir will be released shortly.
Our newly renovated Tasting Room and picnic area has enjoyed a terrific opening month. We hosted the annual spring President’s Club party on May 19th, and over 100 members enjoyed wine and food in our new digs. This past weekend we opened our STREET MUSIC summer concert series with local favorite Bottle Shock. The response was wildly enthusiastic, and we can’t wait for the next concert with bluegrass band Blue and Lonesome – on Sunday, June 24th. May was our best month ever for Tasting Room direct sales!
The Tasting Room is not the only place we are selling wine. We welcome aboard Marc Batlin to our sales team in Northern California. Marc is based on the Peninsula, and will cover San Francisco to the Silicon Valley. Our friends in the South Bay will be seeing more of Taft Street.
With good weather finally here and our Tasting Room area all spiffied up, it’s a great time for a visit. Taste our new releases, play a little bocce ball, and picnic under the trees.
Be sure to check out this month’s recipe: Blondies.
President, Taft Street Winery
What a great way to kick off “A Little Street Music” at Taft Street Winery. Bottleshock packed the house last Sunday afternoon and we found out that our new patio easily accommodates 200 people. Summer has definitely arrived, providing a great afternoon with great Sonoma County weather, music, and wine.
Here are just a few of the photos taken that afternoon.
Stay tuned, on June 24, we welcome Blue & Lonesome, a traditional bluegrass band consists of Ed Neff, Mike Wilhoyte, Larry Cohea, Paul Shelasky and Jeff King. Blue & Lonesome has captured the traditional sound of bluegrass music, incorporating the experience and talents of five of the top traditional players in the business today.
Help us make A Little Street Music a summer tradition. Bring a picnic and we’ll supply the wine. Enjoy the summer – Taft Street Style.