Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 18th, 2017
                                            An Evening of Lobster

This idea was 100% Mat. He loves Lobster and I'm good with it. Thus a new dinner for PMV was upon us for a sold out crowd on an evening in November.

I picked the wines, set the table, serve and chat. Mat cooked and cooked and made us proud!

We started the evening with three wines in front of each guest, smell, taste, swirl. 2011 Chardonnay, 2014 Chardonnay and 2013 Bohemian Pinot.

Our first course, Lobster Bisque, a rich bowl of soup with a couple of fresh Lobster chunks. Our group of sixteen tasted the bisque with all three wines and the outcome was Chardonnay was the preferred varietal although divided between the 2011 and the 2014 Chardonnays. Although my preference was the Pinot. The richness of the bisque could handle it.

Next course was a Salad Roll.

This course had a unanimous wine pairing, Pinot Noir. There were a few fans of both of the chardonnays and mine was the 2011, coming from a cooler vintage the 2011 Chardonnay has beautiful acidity that has aged well. This course was enjoyed by all and the fact that each wine was picked by someone, it speaks versatility.

Next up, popcorn lobster, kinda like the more common popcorn shrimp. morsels of lobster deep fried.
This was served with deep fried avocado and 2 dipping sauces: siracha mayo and wasabi lime mayo.

More difficult to find the best pairing with so many combinations but we did...

Each wine took 33% winning. My favorite was the 2011 Chardonnay. With the siracha sauce the pinot did better and the wasabi sauce the Chardonnays did better.

Indulgence is getting more intense with the fourth course, butter poached lobster. Thomas Keller's recipe served with a slice of Nightengale baguette to soak up the butter. And easier to pick the winning wine, everyone voted for the richer of the two Chardonnays, 2014 Weeks Vineyard won hands down.

The final course, surf and turf, BBQ grilled lobster Tail, Filet with Bernaise Sauce.

We swapped things up a bit for this course, rather than two Chardonnays, we poured two Pinot's, The 2013 Bohemian continued from the beginning and we added in the 2012 Ruxton Pinot. This wine mostly because it has some age, earth and dark fruits, opposite of the Bohemian and I guessed it would do well. And yes it did win.

The last course was cleared and the group sighed in pleasure.

We encourage everyone to take notes about the pairings. After the crowd departed and the table was clear, we found these wonderful notes in black and white which left a great feeling of a successful night, Thank you all for coming out!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

 Harvest 2017

This has been a tough year and this growing season falls suit.

We experienced very warm temps in June and July and the expectation of another early harvest was commonly heard. And then August happened, cool, really cool until the last week. That last week of August we had temps in the high 90's. At this point if the fruit is close to picking ripeness, a scramble begins to schedule picking.




We did our first pick Friday Sept.1st, Ruxton Pinot arrived at the winery by 9am. With the majority of all our fruit coming in that first two weeks, a little spread out as the temps did drop and the ripeness levels were scattered. We ended up picking the final Pinot Vineyard October 11th.

The horrific fires in Napa and Sonoma started late evening Sunday Oct. 8th. The morning of the 9th, Sonoma county's landscape had been changed forever. Willi's Wine Bar was gone and even in the promise to rebuild, that spot will not be the same, ever. We experienced an influx of emails, calls, texts. It was an emotional and crazy time for all. Routine didn't exist and a daily concern of 'what's next' did.

A heartwarming moment in West County was the discovery of the fire crews resting spot. 200+ firemen and 60+ firetrucks rested on a property between our tasting room and our home. A sense of safety was in sight.
As we tried to maintain a balance of life, our tasting room was open. We did not miss a day of visitors. Although that first week, the majority of visitors were friends and club members that had been evacuated or lost their homes. All the conversation was extreme, tears, hugs and a little laughter which felt odd and wonderful at the same time.


A lot of wine was consumed. Every story shared. A time to console.

Thus Harvest in West County was over with a bang.

Our Fall Wine Club season was upon us and the thought of going forward was daunting. We then decided to host a ' Spirit lifting celebration' and had a silent auction to raise money for Fire Releif Funds.
We raised almost $2500. in that one evening, gave our valued people a chance to come together and break bread.
Fundraising is every where and support is the new norm.

This will be a Harvest and a Fall in Sonoma County we will never forget.