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!
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.
Last week we released our 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. The wine is delicious and we have boosted production in an effort to meet an increasing demand. Rose is no longer a summer – only beverage, and is rightfully taking its place as a year round choice. The reason is clear – Rose can and should be an attraction to the eye and a pleasure to the palate.
Mike T. Rose is quickly becoming a real part of our family of wines. The reason is pretty clear – the wine is a treat – clean, tasty and refreshing. What’s the secret?
Evelyn W. There are a couple of things we do that set our wine apart. The first thing is our choice of grape; Pinot Noir has bright fruit flavors, especially when not overly ripe.
Mike T. Does that mean we pick our Rose fruit earlier than that out our regular Pinot Noir?
Evelyn W. Exactly. We can then accentuate the fruit while keeping the acid levels lively.
Mike T. Then what?
Evelyn W. We keep the juice in skin contact for 8 – 10 hours in order to get the color we want, and then we have the wine go through a slow cold fermentation.
Mike T. A traditional process for Rose production is known as “saignee,” whereby red grapes are crushed and left on their skins for hours, then a certain amount is “bled” off to make Rose. The rest is made into red wine. Why not use that method?
Evelyn W. Mostly because the main effort in that procedure is concentrated on the red wine production. The grapes
are picked at optimum conditions for the red wine, usually too ripe for rose.
Mike T. So now we know.