Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wine of the Week - Whitcraft's Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

Happy Halloween! This week's Wine of the Week is the bewitching Santa Barbara Pinot Noir from Whitcraft. This pinot is hand harvested, treaded by foot, and whole cluster fermented. The resulting wine is well balanced, with bright acidity and has a light and silky mouthfeel. Despite the soft body, this Santa Barbara Pinot is bursting with notes of strawberries, cranberries and faint wooded elements. Whitcraft's Pinot Noir would pair perfectly with roasted duck and other seasonal meals during the holidays, along with more international cuisine such as Indian food or Korean Barbeque.   

 When Drake Whitcraft took over the family winery in 2007 (the winery was founded two decades before, in 1985 by his parents, Chris and Kathleen) his goal was to make balanced Central Coast wine of purity, honesty, and finesse. Because he grew up within the culture of wine and California winemaking, he was perpetually under the tutelage of both his father and friend Burt Williams, founder of the legendary Williams-Selyem winery in Sonoma. During a two year stint in Australia working at Green Vineyards with first-generation Italo-Australian and biodynamic guru Sergio Carlei, he got a good taste of certain practices he wanted to implement, not only in the vineyard and winery but also on the business side. Now Drake is vinifying with the same old school techniques his dad used (hand-harvesting, foot-pressing etc, no added enzymes or coloration) and with much veneration to Mother Nature herself.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Burghound Reviews Samuel Billaud's 2016 & 2015 Vintages

Burghound's Allen Meadows recently reviewed Samuel Billaud's newly released 2016 vintages as well as the full line up from the 2015 year. Samuel Billaud reported that while 2016 was challenging, he was quite pleased with the year over all. Although the Grand Cru's were still in barrel, what Meadows' did review suggests that 2016 will be quite impressive!  

Part of an esteemed Chablis family, Samuel Billaud struck out on his own in 2009 to found his eponymous domaine. He had previously been the winemaker at Domaine Billaud-Simon, which had been a shining light in the old school Chablis clubhouse of quality. Since the creation of his own label, Samuel has met with great success and moved into a new winery space in 2015 as well as purchasing four hectares of vines that had previously belonged to Domaine Billaud-Simon. The resulting range, from AC to Grand Cru, are layered wines rife with crunchy oyster shell and silex, and exhibit a range of flavor profiles from licorice to white peach to toasty baguette. This is top quality Chablis from a rising star producer – for white Burgundy lovers, these are not to be missed.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Recipe Thursdays: Cheese Fondue and Saint Romain Jacquère ''Cru Jongieux"

What is there not to love about fondue? There’s something about those kitschy fondue pots and the 70s retro vibe that the gooey melted goodness brings to the party. Besides, any recipe that combines wine, cheese and bread is a winner in our book. One of our favorite fondue recipes is this Foolproof Cheese Fondue from Fiona Beckett’s Matching Food and Wine. Emmental and Gruyère are the cheeses used in the traditional Swiss condiment, but you can play around with different combinations. Whatever you choose, make sure the cheeses are top quality since they are the star of the dish.

Photo: Matching Food & Wine

Fondue is not the only thing you’ll find consumed in the enchanting Alpine towns near Switzerland and eastern France. The area’s most popular grape, Jacquère, produces quaffable, lively dry white wines, such as Saint Romain's Jacquère ''Cru Jongieux". With a refreshingly light, clean palate, the wine is a match made in heaven with traditional cheese fondue. If you have never paired Jacquère with fondue, then you are in for a real treat.

For more food and wine pairing suggestions, visit our blog at http://shiverickwine.blogspot.com/. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wine of the Week - Saint Romain Jacquère ''Cru Jongieux"

Located next to Switzerland in the eastern France region of Savoie, Domaine Saint Romain produces exquisite wines that reflect both alpine and Mediterranean influences. Despite the high elevation and very cool temperatures, wines produced from the area's most popular grape Jacquère, are easy-drinking, lively dry wines, with an abundance of terroir driven aromas. On the nose Saint Romain's Jacquère ''Cru Jongieux" has notes of fresh mountain flowers, rosemary and green apple with a refreshing, light, clean palate. Ideal as an aperitif or served with oysters, scallops, or shrimp. A classic pairing of course is a creamy cheese fondue.
The eastern French alpine region of Savoie is one that remains somewhat obscure but, if you can get your hands on a bottle of the higher-quality production from this region, you’ll find distinctive wines that express their respective terroirs in a way that is not often matched in the wine world. Domaine Saint-Romain, a diminutive family-run winery, hails from Jongieux, a small area in the hilly mid-section of Savoie just east of the Savoie River. Boasting quality wines made from both red and white grapes, Jongieux rests on the glacially-sculpted terraces between Lac de Bourget (the largest and deepest lake in all of France) and the Rhône River.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Recipe Thursdays: Planked Salmon with Pinot Noir-Berry Sauce and Last Light Pinot Noir

The art of food and wine pairing is all about getting different flavors to sing together in harmony. The best way to do this is to incorporate some of the underlying flavor notes of the wine into the meal. For example, if the wine you’re planning to drink has a touch of smoke to it, then serve it with a smoky BBQ dish. You can also literally use the wine you’re drinking in the dish itself, such as this Planked Salmon with Pinot-Noir Berry Sauce from Williams Sonoma.

Photo courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Just remember: Always use a wine for cooking that you would actually enjoy drinking yourself. A classic option for roasted or planked salmon is Pinot Noir – the earthy, savory nature of the wine is a good fit for the fullness of flavor and slightly higher fat levels of salmon. Last Light's Pinot Noir "Derbyshire Vineyard," with its layered, savory and rich nose would be heavenly in the recipe’s Pinot-Berry Sauce.  

It may seem like a waste of a good wine to use for cooking, but you will not be disappointed with the end result. If you’re really having trouble parting with the cup of wine for the recipe, then there’s your excuse to buy two bottles, so you’ll have plenty!

Let us know in the comments if you try this wonderful food and wine combo. For more food and wine pairing suggestions, check out our blog at http://shiverickwine.blogspot.com/. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wine of the Week - Last Light Pinot Noir "Derbyshire Vineyard"

This week, Last Light's Pinot Noir is highlighted. What is truly unique about this central coast Pinot is the location of the Vineyard. The Derbyshire land is the closest vineyard to the Pacific Ocean that is commercially farmed. The close proximity to this marine influence produces an exquisite, cool-climate Pinot, with an elegant richness that California Pinot is also known to possess. The "Derbyshire Vineyard" Pinot Noir has a deep perfumed of pomegranate, peppercorns, sour cherry and Darjeeling tea. Stem inclusion leans aromas of fresh snap pea and earthiness as well as good texture. Palate is silky and plush with blood orange, cranberry, and chalky minerality. With the holidays fast approaching, Last Night's Pinot Noir is an ideal pairing for any occasion.   

Last Light’s name is a nod to the coastal vineyard sites from which they source their grapes, both of which see the last light of the sun on the west coast as it sets over the ocean. Currently making Pinot Noir exclusively from the Derbyshire Vineyard in San Simeon and Chardonnay from the Spanish Springs Vineyard in the Edna Valley AVA, these locations represent the ultimate in extreme cool climate viticulture. For founders Jared Lee and David Sartain, this project is truly driven by passion. They don’t make wine with mass market appeal in mind, instead focusing on producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay they want to drink and put their names on. With such unique vineyard sites, they focus solely on making wine that reflects these amazing coastal locations.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Recipe Thursdays: Roasted Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza with Ollieux-Romanis' “Lo petit Fantet d’Hippolyte”

Kid-friendly can also be wine-friendly. Imagine eating a delicious, healthy dinner that both you and the kids love, and to top it off, the adults get to enjoy a delicious wine that pairs perfectly with the meal. What dish will make everyone happy? Pizza, of course. To up the nutritional value, make it a vegetarian pie with caramelized roasted vegetables and creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese, like this sophisticated beauty from Cooking Light.

Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Simon Andrews

Just because it’s a kid-friendly meal, doesn’t mean you can’t pair it with an amazing wine, such as Ollieux-Romanis' “Lo petit Fantet d’Hippolyte.” This blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah is light and fruity, making it great for casual family dinners. The best part is that the bottle itself is an interesting conversation piece, since the winemaker’s young son, Hippolyte, designed the label. The name of the wine, “Lo petit Fantet d’Hippolyte,” translates from Occitan as ‘the little wine that is the little child of the little child Hippolyte.'

What is your favorite wine- and kid- friendly meal? For more food and wine pairing ideas, visit our blog at http://shiverickwine.blogspot.com/.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Northern California tonight. Wine is not just business, its family, it's community. And we are all affected by this tragedy. #blog

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Wine of the Week - Château Ollieux-Romanis' “Lo petit Fantet d’Hippolyte”

This week's wine of the week, Ollieux-Romanis' “Lo petit Fantet d’Hippolyte”, can be a bit of a surprise! While Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah are usually used in more rich, fuller-bodied wines, this red is light and fruity with low tannins; which can be attributed to the use of carbonic maceration during fermentation. With its bright notes of juicy red fruits and a slight herbaceousness, this Corbières rouge would be a perfect accompaniment for vegetarian dishes, Middle Eastern cuisine, and roasts.      

Located in Boutenac, just south of the village of Corbières in the Languedoc region, Ollieux-Romanis is now one of the largest privately owned wineries in Corbières, spanning some 130 hectares. Along with the Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne, all of which are quite common to the Languedoc, the Bories also cultivate Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Merlot, and Mourvèdre, the “unapproved” varietals going into their fun entry-level VdP label Capucines. Ollieux-Romanis is also currently working its way to fully organic status, having dispensed with herbicides and pesticides in the late 1990s.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Potek Winery in Wine Advocate and Vinous

Potek Winery is in the news, with outstanding reviews from both Antonio Galloni at Vinous and Lisa Perotti-Brown at Wine Advocate. Kudos to David Potter as he continues to fashion focused, single-vineyard wines that represent the dynamic diversity of Santa Barbara.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Recipe Thursdays: Santa Barbara-Style Barbecue with Potek "Demetria" Grenache

Beaches, sunshine, avocados and wine. California is known for many things, including excellent cuisine, but did you know the state has a strong barbecue tradition? Barbecue in California can be traced back to its Spanish cowboy past, when beef was smoked in pit barbecues on ranches in the 1840s. In particular, the area around Santa Barbara is famous for its barbecued tri-tip, such as Edible Santa Barbara’s version, with fresh tomato salsa and slow-cooked pinquito beans.

Photo by Steven Brown c/o Edible Santa Barbara

Of course, another well-known staple of Santa Barbara is the wine. As an homage to the “American Riviera,” as Santa Barbara is often called, this week we’re pairing grilled, smoky tri-tip with the luscious Potek "Demetria" Grenache. This exquisite expression of Grenache has a touch of earthiness and black pepper, a perfect match for the spiced meat. Try finding local, grass-fed beef, and kick back as you enjoy an elegant wine made with hand-harvested and biodynamically-farmed grapes.

Let us know what you think! For more food and wine pairings, visit our blog at http://shiverickwine.blogspot.com/.