Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 2018

                                                                     Crab Season in Sonoma

It is a tradition for so many Sonoma Family's to have crab as soon as the season opens in late November. We are fortunate to have a great local source and share the same tradition. Although we keep enjoying it well into the New Year and sharing our love of Crab with our Wine Club Friends and Family.

We started with 16 big beautiful live crabs, 40 pounds. Steeped, picked and repeated.
The shells create the bisque of which is rich and delicious.

The first course for our evening was a crab salad served with greens, pomegranate and avocado. We offered 3 wines to taste; 2011 chardonnay, 2014 chardonnay and 2013 Bohemian Vineyard Pinot Noir.
This group was so enjoyable, tasting and deliberating over which wine paired best. The end result 2014 Chardonnay was the absolute winner.

Next course, classic crab cake, no filler. Served with a blood orange sauce. This sauce really is so incredible with crab and obviously has an impact on the favorite wine pairing, 2013 Bohemian Vineyard Pinot. We love pairing this wine with orange influenced foods because it does so well. Favored by the 90% of the group. A couple people liked the 2014 Chardonnay and I liked the 2011 Chardonnay with it. But that just goes to show everyone that there really isn't a wrong answer, it's all subjective.

We chose 4 wines for the evening. The first two courses with 2 chardonnays and one Pinot and the 3rd and 4h courses with two very different Pinot's, our 2013 Bohemian Vineyard and our 2014 RRV Pinot. These wines are very different - the 2013 vintage being soft and delicate while the 2014 is more plump and condensed from smaller yields. Plus the RRV is a blend and the Bohemian is a single vineyard from our coolest climate location coming in low alcohol.

The luscious bisque is up next. Rich and perfect with 2014 RRV Pinot, group consensus with no doubt, 100%.

 The pièce de résistance, originally "the most substantial dish in a meal." But for me, the show stopper. A dish we serve to a lot of company and it never disappoints, also recipe is on our web site. It is a fun dish to eat because using your hands is a must and it goes so well with wine. The combination of garlic, olive oil, fennel, thyme and chili flakes gives this dish a lot of flavor and the ability to go great with Pinot 'noir.
 Mat prepares this dish by steeping the crab, tossing into the dressing and then finishing it on the grill at high heat for a quick roast.
The sauce is incredible to soak up with grilled baguette from a favorite local Bakery, Nightingale in Forestville. Mat also grills half lemons that we pick from the Ruxton Ranch.

Hot steamed towels come out when everyone one by one sighs of delight in a full belly. And cleans there hands to enjoy another sip of wine.

The winning wine with the Roast Crab is somewhat less of a focus as the preparation and need to get your hands dirty changes the thought path. But we did agree that all of the wines won. If you want to enjoy Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, neither will disappoint.

Another fun evening at our Redwood plank tables in Graton. We love where we are and the people who find us and enjoy breaking bread in our Dining room.

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