food, Galleria, Happiness Project, Wine Wednesday, Winery

Rhone Rangers

“Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased.” Earnest Hemingway

As a winery owner it is my job to get out there and experience what other wineries are doing. So, I was happy to dive in and taste wine for two days at the Hospice du Rhone. I attended one of the lectures, two days of tasting, and Farewell Dinner.

I enjoyed the lecture, and the wines were delicious as well. Jeb Dunnuck, was the moderator, and he really gave us extra insight on the St. Joseph area of France and the wines that are crafted from the region. After a taste, I was sold, so delicious, and vibrant. The minerals of the area are in the background notes of the wine too.

I met one celebrity wine maker. I had never heard of him until that day, and just made it a goal to have a photo taken with him.

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He wasn’t thrilled to have his photo taken with me. Geez, I didn’t ask him for his autograph. Whatever, I got a photo with him. It was a fun challenge.

These were the stand outs for the weekend. The 2010 was my absolute favorite. So smooth, and had such a long decadent finish. Chateau St. Nabor, Cotes Du Rhone, is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault.  Raspberries, and blackberries immediately hit the nose, and the palate is clean and so damn refreshing. I was so bewitched by this Rose.

At the end of the evening of the 2nd day, I met a couple from the area. I so enjoyed their conversation and shared wines and food. I even ate a cricket. IMG_0767

It was crunchy, and super spicy. Not really sure I will ever have another one, but at least I did it once.

 

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Lambretta Scooter

“Give me a museum, and I will fill it.” Pablo Picasso IMG_0851

This is another vintage poster in our little cafe at San Marcos Creek. We have a collection of Lambretta Scooters, and wanted to personalize our little cafe so people that visit could learn a little more about us.

Roberto started collecting Lambretta Scooters when he was younger, but they became so hard to find that he held off from obtaining any more until after our children were in elementary school. Roberto would give each child a ride around the park that was right by our house in Oakland. He would even have meets for people as far away as Australia. When visitors would come they would ride over on their Lambretta, but they would also want to see Robertos’ collection. This was usually an all day event. They had lots to talk about with each of their scooters.

I loved the stories they would tell. Stories of them getting stuck somewhere in England or  Italy. We even have a scooter with personal history. The lady wanted to find the right buyer. Her and her husband had been admiring a Lambretta in the window of a department store in 1950’s or 60’s. They finally had the money to buy it, and they took off to Italy.

The couple boarded a plane with their dog, and once they arrived in Italy, they purchased their Lambretta. Their baby blue TV175 had all the extra’s on it too. The windshield, the back rack, and chrome mirrors. The two of them and their dog went all over Italy and all over Europe on the back of the scooter. They shared a few of the photos with us, and they even included the journal of their days out on their adventures with the dog and each other.

So, everyday I pass the poster at the winery I think of all those people that must have had the times of their lives on the back of their scooters. What a joy to own a piece of history that conjures up great memories as well as thoughts of how others had fun.

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Everyday Art

“I like to convey the idea that art is important in everyday life.” Georgia O’ Keeffe

Since the day I had our children, I have tried to live my life as though every aspect of every moment is a gift. When we linger long enough to appreciate a moment in time, it can become a work of art.

Just yesterday, I spent most of the day reading, and spending parts of the day with everyone. It was fabulous! It was also very restful, I didn’t even look at my email. Remember when email was fun? Now, it is work, and I really wanted and needed a day to disengage with the rest of the world.

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My daughter made me perfect eggs, biscuits, and bacon. I love my eggs with plenty of pepper, and the biscuits pipping hot from the oven. The eggs were over medium with no hint of the whites of the eggs runny. Coffee was hot, with one sugar, and just enough milk for a hint of color. If it is black, that’s fine too, but I prefer a hint of cream.

My husband wen to the hardware store to buy me some flowers. I do enjoy flowers, but they are not necessary. I appreciated that he took the time to go and buy them for me. IMG_0813

I enjoyed a cup of tea, while I read my books in the family room. Oh, it was so delightful! IMG_0814

While I spent most of my day reading and visiting chatting. My husband washed my car. I hate washing cars, but love it when my car is beautiful and clean. He even took the time to blow it dry with the leaf blower. IMG_0815

When it came around to dinner time, we had a couple of wines. With our appetizer, we had IMG_0820

A crisp clean wine with hints of lemon zest, and green apple. Just enough acidity to have you longing for more. Delicious! IMG_0821

To accompany our dinner we had Four Brix 2015 Grenache Rose”. It paired very well with our pork lion wrapped in bacon, and rolled in herbs and delicate spices, spring veggies, and Milanese risotto, and croissants.

Citrus blossoms on the nose, clean and refreshing, medium on the acidity, with a delicate finish. One glass was not enough.

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My Mothers Day was yet another day that was so delightful from the moment I woke, to when I retired for the evening. My children and loving husband gave me a perfect day!

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Thomas Hill Organics

We have a wonderful restaurant here in Paso, Thomas Hill Organics. I was recently invited to a private pairing. Wines from four different wineries were paired with food that the chef made. Each one of us also had the opportunity to talk to the journalist that were visiting the area. The other wineries had their wine makers there, and I was the only one that was an owner. Everyone was so engaging and it was an excellent atmosphere for the journalist and all of us. The seating arrangement was intimate, and the exchange wasn’t just about us, but about the pairing of the food. How food changes the taste of the wine, and how all the different aspects of the dish change the taste of the wine. I was the first one there, so here is what the seating arrangement looked like before everyone got there…

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Our first course was paired with an Albarino. It truly is a seafood lover wine. IMG_0304.jpg

Salmon, jalapeno peppers, olive, tomatoes, and wafer slice of watermelon. It was so delicious!

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This was paired with our Zinfandel. This is a prime cut of grass fed beef, topped with a clove of garlic. Polenta is the side dish for this course. I usually don’t eat beef, but I was surprised how well it paired with the Zin.

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Out and About

“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity” Marty Neumeier

One of the biggest aspects of branding is making sure that people are aware that you exist. This has been an issue for a long time, but we are working hard to change all that by getting out there, and engaging with people that enjoy wine.

Recently, I was at our 2nd annual charity dinner. All of us on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, host a dinner at Hartley Farms. We hired Trumpet Vine Catering, and we were very pleased with their food. We pair the foods with the wine, and sell tickets for people to join us “Under the Estella Sky”. We then gave our money to the Pleasant Valley School, so they could have computer equipment. Here are some photos of our shenanigans after the party…

 

Then, I was off to Petaluma for a Polo Match, and pouring wine…

 

Pouring wine in Pismo…

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Pouring wine in Fresno for Wine and Wishes…IMG_0283.jpg

This next month, is full of pouring at more events, and meeting more people. We love being out there and engaging with an audience that enjoys wines!

 

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San Jose Jazz Festival

“Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but is a gift that America has given the world.” Ahmad Alaadeen

Just a few weeks ago I attended the San Jose Jazz Festival, and it rocked! I was pouring wine in the “Blues” section, and other were pouring our wine in the VIP section. Here is my booth…

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I was just so excited to be a part of the festival, and the city was just buzzing with energy. Since I was a vendor, I got to go behind the scenes, you could feel the city waking up…

This was the longest amount of time that I had ever spent in San Jose, and I loved it. Additionally, I visited the San Jose Museum of Art, St. Joseph Basilica, and did some people watching at a cafe.

One of the most exciting aspects of the whole trip was going to the Mayor’s Brunch, and he even thanked us at the brunch. A view from the rooftop at Scott’s Seafood, and the crowd coming in that day.

We donated 25 cases to San Jose Jazz Festival, and all the pours that were sold went to the festival, so we were happy to help.

 

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Baby Goats

“Every mans can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

The babies are staying in the breezeway until they are bigger. If I put them in the pasture, they can wiggle under the gate. We don’t want that to happen.

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Fawn McNeill

“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” Vincent Van Gogh

One of my favorite artists (of our modern age), that paints scenes of nature, is Fawn Mc Neill, she see’s and transfers her vision on canvas so beautifully. I unfortunately, only own one of her paintings, but it is one that I see everyday. IMG_0198.jpg

I love flowers, and this is perfect to see first thing in the morning to remind me that it’s going to be a great day. Fresh cut flowers die, but flowers on canvas life for eternity. I life the face that she add the leaves of the flower as contrast to the stark pink. It’s magnificent!

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This Really Happened

“I’m not really scared of a lot of things. I’m scared of possums. And I’m scared of raccoons sometimes, it depends on how big it is – I’m scared of the smaller raccoons because the bigger ones are slower.” Vince Staples

Last week, I needed to find something to do before I picked up my daughter from her trip with the school. So, I thought, I will just go to the Mission, and say a prayer for all my family, friends, and those that have touched my life.

I pulled out my phone, and I see a possum. I take a photo, and then..

He or she, saw me, and continued to come down the stairs to me. It was daylight, and all I could think about was “rabies”. A nocturnal animal that is out durning the day, and trying to interact with a human? I made a weird sound, then both of us took off in opposite directions

After I said my prayers, I saw it again as I was leaving. This time, it headed under the bushes. Spooked me out a little bit.

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Baked Chicken and Magical Mashed Potatoes

Food is not just fuel. Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity. And we nourish all those things when we eat well. Michael Pollan

Magical Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs of potatoes  4 ounces of butter, 2 cups of milk, teaspoon of salt

Potato ricer, and a mixer

Peel the potatoes, and cut them into small pieces, cover them with water, and start to boil. Add a teaspoon of salt to your water. Once the potatoes are boiling, check them with a fork to see how if they are soft. Drain the water off the potatoes, and in the mixing bowl add the 4 ounces of butter.

Spoon out the potatoes to the ricer, and push the potatoes through the ricer into the mixing bowl. Continue until you are finished. Add about 2 cups of milk, you may need a little more or a little less, it depends on how fluffy or pureed you prefer your potatoes.

Baked Chicken

Stop buying your bread crumbs! When your bread is starting to lose it’s freshness, leave it out so it can become dry. If you have a food processor, put the pieces of bread in there, and store your bread crumbs in a container or plastic bag. What are you going to need?

Chicken,  3 cups of bread crumbs, 1 cup olive oil, spices and herbs you like, use at least a teaspoon of each, Italian Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Tarragon, Sage and Rosemary are our favorites, but you can add what you like. Three bowls are needed, and a cookie sheet.

Preheat your oven to 450, wash your chicken and put it in a big bowl, Your going to need three bowls. One bowl for your chicken, one bowl for olive oil, and one bowl is going to have the fine breadcrumbs and all your herbs and spiced mixed together.

Give your chicken a bath in the olive oil, and then your going to roll the piece of chicken in the bread crumbs. Add each piece to the cookie sheet.

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It takes about 30 minutes to bake your chicken. Make sure they are crispy and brown before you take them out of the oven. The naked ones I have in the oven are ones I save for lunches. They are just given a olive oil bath, and herbs and spices.

Enjoy!