In this video, Wine Oh TV’s Monique Soltani makes a Grape Escape to Taft Street and Baletto to check out all our summertime favorites.
The official kick off to summer is this weekend. Memorial Day means it’s time to bust out the barbecue, pack a picnic and break out a bottle! With the switch of seasons, many people are taking a walk on the lighter side, and nothing quenches your thirst for summer like a refreshing bottle of white wine!
I’ve been fooling around with this recipe for the last couple of months. You can limit yourself to wings here, but I like the various chicken parts.
- ¼ cup sraracha sauce
- ½ stick butter
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 4-5 pound chicken; wings split, thighs cut in two, each half breast cut into 3-4 pieces (16-18 pieces total)
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
Salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 375. Combine the sauce, butter, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl.
- Put the chicken in a large roasting pan, coat with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Turn chicken over, baste, and pour off accumulated fat. Cook 15 minutes.
- Raise oven temperature to 450. Toss chicken in hot sauce mixture. Return to oven and cook 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
These go really well with a glass of icy Taft Street 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
The skies are blue, the weather is warm and the vines are in that important stage of flowering. Warm weather appears to be in store for the next week or so, and growers are cautiously optimistic about this first critical aspect of the growing season.
In the cellar, Evelyn is waiting for our new screw capper, which will signal several months of bottling for custom crush clients. All our 2011 wines that would go into screw tops (Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, and Pinot Gris) are already bottled, so we will have to wait for the 2012 vintage. Evelyn and Mike Martini are in discussion with a number of growers concerning grape sources for the upcoming vintage. Demand is high and stocks are low, and prices are on the rise. Beware!
I just returned from a trip to Massachusetts, where our distributor – Café Europa – continues to do a bang up job, opening new (and good) accounts throughout the state. Mike Martini and Mosha poured our wines at the Sonoma County Vintners’ Association Tasting in Los Angeles, where they reported big crowds and an enthusiastic reception for the wines of Taft Street.
Kaitlyn and crew are gearing up for our spring President’s Club party, the first to be held in our newly redecorated Tasting Room. Later in the month we will begin our first concert series – A Little Street Music.
Be sure to check out my recipe for May: Sraracha Chicken Nuggets.
The season is quickly getting into gear. Come join the fun!
President Taft Street Winery
Who wudda thunk? Thirty years ago, on April 1,1982 six intrepid travelers left the confines of the garage on Taft Street in Oakland, and journeyed north to the soon to be famous Russian River Valley.
Here we began making wines from local vineyards, and immediately discovered the suitability of Chardonnay to local soils. Sauvignon Blanc , Zinfandel and Merlot were added to the mix. Later Pinot Noir was found to fit perfectly into nearby vineyards.
So here we are today – older if not wiser, and experienced in the seasonal changes and challenges of the wine business. Everyone here at Taft Street shares a common thought – we all are convinced we have picked the perfect job, and we wouldn’t change it.
The vines are starting to push, though heavy rains during March slowed things down a bit. While the rains relieved growers of the threat of drought, there is still another month of frost season.
In the winery Evelyn and crew are gearing up for spring bottlings. Our new twist top machine arrives at the end of the month, and this year we will use it on clients’ bottlings, as our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris have already been bottled.
March was a busy month. Evelyn and I spent a week in the New York market, where we opened accounts with the folks at Vision Wine Brands. Then Mike Martini and I were off to Chicago with the Sonoma County Vintners’ Association for a trade tasting. We were fortunate to pick up new distribution in the Chicago area – welcome Platinum Distributing!
This month I’ll visit the Boston area to work with the good people at Café Europa – our Massachusetts distributor.
On the home front, our sales team of Clayton and Mosha continue to rock and roll. New accounts are opening weekly, and we now have almost 400 restaurants and wine shops on our California accounts list!
Our Tasting Room has reopened – better than ever. The architectural firm of Tierney Conner Design came up with a simple yet elegant restructuring of our Tasting Room space and surrounding grounds. It is now more fun than ever to enjoy a glass of Taft Street wine. We experimented with 200 guests on April 1st, and an overall thumbs up was the verdict. We’ll have special events throughout the year and we’ll keep you posted. Look for some “Street Music” in the coming months.
As Spring gets into gear there is even more reason to visit us. The hills are still green, the weather is quite comfortable, the crowds are yet to come, and we’ve prepared a terrific venue. Join the fun!
President, Taft Street Winery