Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring Fling 2018

Russian River Chamber of Commerce started this Annual Event in 2015 which is a wonderful showing of local Wine & Restaurants. Only in it's 3rd year, it is appearing to be a great success and favorite event for many local's coming from near and far.

             The Entrance with a beautiful blue sky although we did get a some April showers.

                                   Our awesome Front Entrance team, welcoming guests...

                   Nothing happens here without ALOT of volunteers helping. Wrist bands anyone.

We had a local food writer, Michele Anna Jordan selling her cookbooks and she hosted a VIP early entrance tour of the Vendors.

The walk around the perimeter was set up alphabetically so we'll start with Agriculture Public House.
                  Chicken meatball slider with parmesan cream sauce. Where's the Chardonnay?

                        Here's the Chardonnay on ice, from Boheme Winery in Occidental.

And next up our local market which features Biscuits plus so much more.....

Wine from our new Tasting Room on the strip, Equality Vines.

We're getting a treat from this local producer that doesn't have a Tasting Room yet,
coming in 2019 we hope.

New to the scene

            Super treat, local bubbles since 1883 I believe. This is a beautiful property to visit.

 Seaside Metal Oysters with your Bubbles.
 We like the fact that some of our local wine club members joined in the festivities today.

And we had local talent 'The Thugz' performing.

 Hiding from the 5 minute rain that snuck up on us and Thankfully went away and the sun came out.

Pat's Restaurant made a great appearance with their KFC, Korean Fired Chicken. Although currently closed for some remodeling, the reopening will be anticipated by locals for this favorite treat. And the history of Pat's Restaurant goes back along way

Our neighbor up the street Redcar Winery.
 Fairly new to the neighborhood, Scoop of Sonoma, ice cream, yes please.
This is a popular stop rain or shine

There was so much more to this great Event Spring Fling. El Barrio tacos, Cape Fear shrimp and grits, Twist Eatery smoked salmon cheesecake, Main Street Pizza. Woodenhead wines, Sheldon, Moshin Winery, Landmark wines, Fort Ross Winery and yes Paul Mathew was pouring three wines.

Look for this event in 2019, it's bound to get better each year!

Friday, March 30, 2018

CA Artisan Cheese Festival  - March 23 - 25, 2018

We have attended this event since the start, 12 years ago. It just keeps getting better and better.

For the first time, this event moved to Santa Rosa. More space, more parking, more central. We think it was a great move.

Friday evening, best bites competition starts it off for us. We had three wines ready to pour and pair. Before the crowds, I headed out to get some photos and taste.

This is such a nice sight, 3 wheels piled high of Pt. Reyes Blue. Love this cheese

Big boy blue has been a favorite in the past. We don't see it often locally, coming from South West Washington.

A new local cheese that has set up at the Barlow. Taken from a traditional English cheese style.
I will be visiting them very soon.
2nd Place by the judges: Sara Payne of Whole Foods Market, Napa
Big McKinley’s Apple Pie Bite with a Kick: Pie Crust Cracker base baked with Apple Crumble Topping, Pink Lady Sliced Apple, Caramel Infused Honey, Wm Cofield Cheesemakers Big McKinley Clothbound, Habanero Honey Drizzle
I liked it but wouldn't have ranked it as high

One of my favorite bites, anything with lemon zest...

I love the signage. The only salad bite of the night.
The Sierra Nevada Bellacapra goat cheese, tasty, firm

The winning bite voted by the judges...
1st Place: Chris Stone of Nugget Market
Bite: Fiscalini Cheese Co. Lionza on a slice of Olympia Provisions Chorizo Salami,
with a brûlée of Kelly's Jelly Marionberry Habanero Jelly

There was even cheese cones

Voted by the guests. I didn't try it because it was dessert. Not good for our wine.
Best Chef: Moustache Baked Goods, Healdsburg
Bite: Earl Grey Financier Bite with Fig & Date Butter and Beehive’s “Teahive” Cheese

Another of my personal fav's, Cousteaux Bakery: Brioche bun with egg salad top with
 Pt. Reyes, so good.

 Cypress Grove is awesome goat cheese producer in Humboldt County, north of us 3 hours. They had brulee cheese, which was really good. We use these cheeses a lot at home and for events.

A la Heart Catering, who did our wedding years ago, had beautiful cheese croquettes. So yummy.

 Another tasting treat although the cheese did not showcase.
 This display was well done. The lemons brought me in and the Rustic Bakery shortbread kept me coming back. Great combo.
 This next one was superb, topped with passionfruit and mint gellee
 Stuffed peppers on a crostini, nice balanced flavors.

Right behind our station and I never got the cheese name but this was a great idea and so good but not so much with wine. Cheese soaked in honey and coated with pistachio nuts. What a fun bite.
  A super great show from the Cheese Mongers! I wish I could have tasted all of the bites with the perfect wine. If you're a fan of cheese, put this event on your calendar for 2019.

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 10th, 2018

CHEESE please

One of our favorite events is the CA Artisan Cheese Festival that takes place in March every year. We pour at a few events including the market. We warmed ourselves up this year by offering a Cheese Evening in our Tasting Room. An incredible tasting of Local and not so local cheeses plus 3 courses of cheese Foods all paired with PMV wines.

 Our first flight of cheese with three wines. 2017 Viognier, 2013 Bohemian Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2014 Syrah. The cheeses - Stefano Burrata from So Cal, Cypress Grove fresh Chevre from Humbold and, Valley Ford Hwy 1 Fontina from our neighbors in West Sonoma County.

The best local Burrata I have had. An incredible appetizer with thinly sliced prosciutto, grilled Nightengale Bread and great local Olive Oil dribbled over. I actually like this cheese paired with all 3 wines. Although with the prosciutto plate, the Viognier was the winner.
One of our favorite cheeses from CA. This one has fennel and lavender added.
A story from our past in Los Olivos with a chef who recommended goat cheese and pinot. We weren't so much convinced until we tried his method of warming the cheese in your mouth and adding the pinot. Everyone tried it and was amazed at the combo. It works, try it.

                     A really nice soft cheese with great texture, the Syrah paired well.
Next up, three medium cheeses - Taleggio which is soft but with a big personality, Redwood Hills goat Cheddar which is bright and puckering was described at the table, then Valley Ford's Grazin Girl which is a fairly mild gorganzola style. Wow, what a flight! The wines went best in the line up of service - Taleggio / Viognier - Cheddar / Pinot - Grazin Girl / Syrah.

The course served from this flight was a Taleggio grilled cheese with ham, apple, carmelized onion on Nightengale Spent Grain. OMG, this sandwich is define!!! The Pinot went really well to wash it down.

Nice piece of Talegio from a small Italian producer made from brown swiss cows milk. Nutty goodness.
Gorgonzola style, this local Valley Ford cheese is beautifully textured and not over the top blue. It showed well with the Syrah although when I tried it the next day, I loved it best with our Ruxton Vineyard Pinot, RRV Pinot and the Cab Franc.
 Hard cheese flight - Valley Fords Estero Gold and Estero Reserve, Parmesan regiano from Italy.
All great cheese, rich, bold and tasty.
                                    Just a little piece of parmesan to grate for the course.

 The final course from the hard cheese flight, Risotto with meyer lemon preserve, saffron and parmesan. So good and creamy richness. The regiano was great on top and every bite benefitted. The Viognier and the Pinot were the preferred wines.

This evening was over whelming and delicious. Prepared us for the Artisan Cheese Festival in 2 weeks. Hope to see you there!