Monthly Archives: June 2014

A Woman’s Palate Celebrates Napa Valley Launch of Fine Wine Education Program

wineA Woman’s Palate (AWP) is a group of women winemakers and producers specializing in high-end, fine wines.  Through their signature wine education seminar, Don’t Give Up The Wine List, and custom events they empower women (and men) in an affluent demographic to be comfortable in high-profile food and wine events.  A Woman’s Palate has successfully worked with prestigious organizations and companies like FORTUNE magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, Women President’s Organization, Silicon Valley Bank, and global law firm K&L Gates.

AWPToday A Woman’s Palate launched their Napa Valley Fine Wine Education and Custom Events Program in their beautiful new St. Helena Center to a receptive group of Hotel Concierges and Event Managers as well as Napa Valley Tour Hosts.

AWP was joined by a variety of supporters showcasing their wines, including Suzanne Phifer Pavitt of Phifer Pavitt Wine; Brooke Langelius of St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery; Jane Ballentine of William Cole Vineyards; Michaela Rodeno of Villa Ragazzi; Schatzi Throckmorton of Relic; Daisy Damskey of Palmeri; and AWP partner Sharon Kazan Harris of Rarecat.

For additional information on booking this facility, attending a seminar, or joining this dynamic group, contact or call 707.968.5031.

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#AWomansPalate  #NapaValley #StHelena #PhiferPavittWine #StSupery #WilliamColeVineyards #VillaRagazzi #Relic #Palmeri #RarecatWines

Press Democrat’s North Coast Wine Challenge Invitational Tasting

CIA1On June 15, 2014 The Press Democrat hosted an invitational tasting for gold medal wines (scoring 90+) in their North Coast Wine Challenge at CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Greystone’s iconic Barrel Room, including the Best of the Best winner, W.H. Smith’s 2010 Maritime Pinot Noir. The North Coast American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) consist of wines made from grapes grown in Napa, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Solano and Sonoma counties.  With North Coast AVA’s consistently producing highly acclaimed wines and young winemakers challenging the concepts of what can be grown here and the way in which wine is made, this North Coast Wine Challenge may soon become a premier world event instead of a national highlight.

CIA2CIA3Founded in 1946, the CIA is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor’s degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs.  The CIA was the not-for-profit recipient of a portion of the proceeds from this event.

Celebrated local chefs provided culinary treats that delighted the palate and highlighted wine and food pairing in Wine Country. Clark Wolf hosted culinary artists and winemakers in a panel discussion of winegrowers with award-winning restaurants and chefs working in wine country.  Clark’s panel included Christopher W. Silva, Winery President & Chief Executive Officer of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, T’Anne Butcher, General Manager of W.H. Smith Wines, Duskie Estes, Owner/Chef of Zazu Kitchen+Farm, and Daniel Kedan, ChefsOwner/Chef of Backyard Restaurant.  But my personal highlight was the Blind Tasting Challenge with Gilian Handelman, Director of Education at Jackson Family Wines and Traci Dutton, Manager of Public Wine & Beverage Studies at the CIA Greystone.

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As with most blind tastings, we were given a variety of red and white wines to taste and classify by aromas/flavors, body, acidity, residual sugar, tannins, and finish using a variety of senses from sight (visual appearance), through smell, to taste and touch (texture/mouthfeel).  The challenge with blind tastings over the obvious of identifying the wines is to communicate the experience and share it with others.

This has proven more difficult than most beginners initially anticipate because the linguistics of wine tasting aren’t natural. There is no specific olfactory vocabulary in most languages, so descriptions have to be made using words from other domains.

Olfactory descriptions are primarily made on the basis of the smell of objects and also their color and taste, i.e. dark objects are BlindTasting3used to describe red wine and pale objects are used to describe white wine.  This construed language often requires a novice to learn a complicated set of descriptors and their agreed meanings to appropriately describe the tasting experience.

To overcome this inherent limitation, our tasting guides for the blind tasting coaxed us into describing our experience visually, by drawing the taste, be it a bright sun, a rooster crowing, or a raging stream.  This concept has been discussed before by a number of people perhaps no one better than owner/winemaker, Patrick Reuter of Dominio IV Wines in Oregon who has developed and teaches wine tasting visualization using a variety of symbols to describe acidity, texture, flavors, and feel of the wine.

Dominio ivWine education classes for the wine enthusiast through industry professional are taught at the CIA.  A wine enthusiast class was the reward for the winning taste visualization (it was my drawing) and I am looking forward to learning more from these challenging instructors at the CIA in Greystone.

To find out more about the award-winning wines in the North Coast Wine Challenge or the Culinary Institute of America, please see their websites.

#PressDemocrat #NorthCoastWineChallenge #WHSmithWines #CIAGreystone

Dawn Williamson of Williamson Wines hosts A Woman’s Palate

dinnerDawn Williamson, gracious hostess and owner of Williamson Wines, welcomed A Woman’s Palate Sonoma County Boot Camp into Williamson Wines Home Ranch for an elegant evening of food, wine, and conversation.  From the first moment, this bubbling dynamo greeted us with her “Fizz” sparkling white wine and salmon canapés with crème fraîche caviar and dill we knew we were in for an evening of all the good life offers in Sonoma County Wine Country.

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Outside the converted 150 year old barn, Reece Channell, our food and wine guide for the evening and educational director for Williamson Wines, served oysters poached in a rich buttery sauce and provided mini-tours showing interior decorations featuring original barn-wood in a leather-sofa lounge as well as dinning room, wine library, and chef’s kitchen. This vineyard setting near the end of West Dry Creek Road created a perfect backdrop for the warm June evening food and wine pairing.



Williamson Wines, while nestled in a valley famous for old vine Zinfandel, highlights a newer direction taken by local vintners into estate grown Bordeaux and Rhone wines unique to the soil and climate of Dry Creek Valley.  To develop  their vision of producing limited quantities of premium quality, iconic California wine recognized for their flavor and consistency, the Williamson’s began as growers.  To achieve the desired grapes, they developed a vineyard management methodology focused on low-yield, high quality fruit utilizing vine stress and sustainable farming practices.  It was interesting to see what these Australian-born individuals, using French wine-making methods were doing with California grapes. During the evening, Dawn opened her wine library to an impressive array of her wines including Amourette Chardonnay, Passion Pinot Noir, Allure Meritage, Heritage Shiraz, Seduce Cabernet Sauvignon, Caress Cuvée Blanc, and Elate Grange Cuvee.

chefEach of these wines was artfully pguest5aired with a five-course menu by resident Chef Tommy Stribling and Sous Chef Cat Zanoline highlighted for me by a mushroom risotto paired with the Passion Pinot Noir.


In the Healdsburg square tasting room of Williamson Wines you can always find an example of their philosophy that wine should taste good and it should help food express itself.  They provide regular pairings of the cheeses and condiments offered through their club membership.

Our Sous Chef Cat works with Dawn on tasting and selecting the special cheeses that can optionally accompany the quarterly wine club offerings.  Each one is chosen to pair with the wines shipped.

In addition to the Cheese Club, they offer a quarterly Spice Club that features “Herbie’s Spices” of which my personal favorite is the truffle salt.

If you are looking for a unique experience, the Williamson’s offer a variety of adventures including helicopter tasting tours and monthly dinners for their visiting wine club members.

If you are interested in additional information about Williamson Wines see their website or stop by their tasting room.

Williamson Wines
134 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

#WilliamsonWines #AWomansPalate

Wine Sensory Experience with T’Anne Butcher & A Woman’s Palate

WSE T’Anne Butcher of W.H. Smith Wines brought her Wine Sensory Experience on the road to Hotel Healdsburg for A Woman’s Palate Boot Camp, currently exploring Sonoma County wine.

W.H. Smith Wines is a familiar name from their recent acclaim as “Best of the Best” T'Anneshow stealer at the North Coast Wine Challenge with their 2010 Maritime Pinot Noir to their family history in the development of the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa County.  With a passion for wine education, T’Anne developed the Wine Sensory Experience, which many have tried by none have accomplished the complete, unique experience that T’Anne started over 10 years ago.

15This Wine Sensory Experience is designed to help all level of tasters develop the ability to identify aromas and flavor profiles of wines by learning about aroma development in wine from the grapes growth in the vineyard to the production in the winery.  She teaches you how chocolate, clove, smoke, and caramel “get into” the wine.  

T’Anne began with a discussion of soils as we experienced a number of Sonoma and Napa grape growing soils and try to identify the memories or senses they imparted (other than the smell of dirt).  The descriptors of the senses included such varied smells as wet dog, cement, moss, metallic, mushroom cave, newly mown hay, and forest glen.  

The journey then progressed 16 into a personal challenge with multiple stations that let everyone train their senses with various aromas to identify, some of which included chocolate, grass, maple, cloves, licorice, blackberry, lemon juice, cardamom, honey, rose, coffee, vanilla, tea, coffee, and white pepper.  The aromas were hidden inside black opaque stemware and we were asked not to peek inside, but to identify the scents only with our noses.

T’Anne also had a variety of glassware with the same Pinot Noir poured into each glass so that we could experience the sensory difference that glassware and rim made on the wine tasting of pinot noir.

After some successes and some “oh, I know this, but what is it” experiences, T’Anne revealed the answers to the aroma challenge.  For me the surprise was how much Coke Cola smelt like lemon when it was flat.









Daisy Damskey of Palmeri Wines brought photos of their vineyards and sample of the actual soils to help us unlock the secrets of terroir (often described in wine as a “sense of place”) while we sampled their Dark and Brooding wine. Palmeri wine labels feature the diverse fauna found on their hillside vineyards such as boar, bat, fox and cougar.  The name Palmeri comes from Quercus palmeri, a small and scrappy oak that grows in the mountain ranges that Daisy’s husband, Kerry Damskey, gravitates to when selecting his ultra-premium grape growing land. Kerry is the alchemist/winemaker that creates this beautiful showcase of mountain fruit.  Daisy then awarded the participants with a “Terroir  Expert” certificate as they concluded this fabulous morning of sensory experiences.

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#WHSmithWines #PalmireWines #WineSensoryExperience #AWomansPalate #HotelHealdsburg

A Woman’s Palate Boot Camp explores Sonoma County Wine

BootcampA Woman’s Palate‘s Boot Camp is a three-day intensive program bringing small groups of women into Napa and Sonoma to be captivated by the wine business with the inspiring and fun women who live and breathe it every day.

Their first day was off to a roaring success as women Pittsburghers started their world-wind  tour of Sonoma County’s women in wine!   First, Heather Patz, co-founder of Patz & Hall Winery welcomed AWP’s Boot Campers with a tour, tasting, and lunch.  Patz & Hall is one of California’s most highly regarded wineries with a celebrated portfolio of single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.  In January 2014, Patz and Hall Winery kicked-off their 26th year by opening a new location in Sonoma.  The Sonoma House at Patz & Hall offers visitors a variety of wine tasting experiences to savor their acclaimed wines.  To book a tour at Patz & Hall call 707.265.7700.

IronHorseChampagneNext it was off to local hot spot for sparkling and still wines, Iron Horse Vineyards which now boasts three generations of women in the wine industry, begun when grand dame Audrey Sterling and her husband, Barry, purchased Iron Horse in 1976.  Audrey developed and ran Iron Horse while Barry, joining her on long weekends, continued his Southern California law practice for the next 10 years until he completely retired from the law.  Joy Sterling quietly took up the reins at Iron Horse at the start of 2006 and is currently serving as its CEO.  Barrie Sterling, Joy’s niece is learning the business at the hands of two very capable mentors.  She works part-time in the tasting room and travels extensively learning the market for Iron Horse wines.

HotelHealdsburgWhile Iron Horse Vineyards is probably best known for its vast array of sparkling wines, they actually began producing still wines and continue to produce a highly acclaimed assortment of estate Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.  As the AWP Boot Campers completed their tour and tasting at Iron Horse Vineyards they ventured to Healdsburg where they are saying at Hotel Healdsburg which encompasses Sonoma wine country’s simplicity and charm.  Beautifully guest rooms, country gardens, pool, and the luxurious spa provide a tranquil setting for guests to relax.  Hotel guests can savor Sonoma County’s bounty of extraordinary wines and fresh seasonal ingredients at acclaimed Chef Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen on the hotel grounds.

RelishAfter a brief rest, AWP’s Boot Campers walked to neighboring Relish Culinary which offers regular adventures in food and wine and I was lucky enough to join the excitement.  The evening’s festivities were hosted by Daisy Damskey, co-founder of Palmeri Wines, Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyards,  Tuscan Chef Deborah Dal Fovo, and Relish owner, Donna del Rey in a celebration of the wines of Iron Horse Vineyards.

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Joy, Donna, Daisy, and A Woman’s Palate co-owners Susan Citron and Sharon Harris greeted guests with Iron Horse Vineyards 2009 Ocean Reserve Blanc de Blancs and 2012 UnOaked Chardonnay.  

Relish Culinary creates one-of-a-kind hands-on and demonstration cooking experiences, culinary tours and catering services with a variety of talented chefs.  This evening’s Chef Deborah Dal Fovo began with stuffed zucchini blossoms sourced locally at Foggy River Farm.  Deborah demonstrated her technique for making this delicate appetizer.  She used only male flowers, removing the stamen in the center of the flower and stuffing them with a small piece of mozzarella and anchovy before dipping them in a light batter and frying in a clear oil with a high smoke point.  

In the main course, Deborah illustrated the boning procedures for Pollo al Mattone (chicken grilled under a brick) and then we observed them being prepared by Relish’s sous chef on Relish’s outdoor grill.  The chicken was served with roasted rosemary potatoes and zucchini and accompanied by Iron Horse 2011 Deer Gate Pinot Noir and 2007 Iron Horse Brut Rose.  Joy Sterling mentioned that many of the  2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs have been receiving less than favorable press based largely on early rains received that year before actually seeing the results of the wine as released; therefore these wines often have a very good price point compared to the 2012 vintages which critics have been highly anticipating and the 2011 RRV Pinot Noirs are actually showing to be quite good.

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Joy was asked how she selected the order of the wines for meals and she said there are three basic criteria as follows: 1) young to old, 2) white to red, and 3) dry to sweet.  Joy indicated these are general guidelines and variations are always possible.

Everyone highly anticipated the apricot tart that had been creating incredibly tantalizing guests6aromas while baking and it was not a disappointment.  Deborah created a fresh apricot marmalade and baked it into a flaky tart crust which was served with one of my favorite sparkling wines from Iron Horse Vineyards, their 2009 Russian Cuvee.  It is always a good accompaniment to fruit desserts.

More tomorrow as the AWP Boot Camp continues its journey in Sonoma County for the next two days.


#AWomansPalate #PatzandHall #IronHorseVineyards #PalmeriWines #RelishCulinaryAdventures #FoggyRiverFarm #HotelHealdsburg

Twomey Cellars Healdsburg Winery Hosts Industry Open House

TwomeyWe are blessed to live in a location where generosity is the norm!

Our local wineries, restaurants, inns, and tour guides graciously work together to make visitors feel like guests in their homes usually with the help of a little insider knowledge. These professionals help Wine Country guests’ select the perfect options from a diversity of wonderful choices by keeping abreast of ever-changing selections. On Tuesday evening, Twomey Cellars provided an after hours professional open house on their current offerings that was both educational and fun.

twomey1guestsTwomey (Healdsburg) Cellars is located on Westside Road a couple of miles west of downtown Healdsburg in a curving- roof modern design that follows the lines of the landscaping with winding, wraparound patios set into the rolling foothills and glass walls give expansive views of Mount St. Helena, Geyser Peak, and the “Middle Reach” of the Russian River Valley.

This is the heart of Pinot Noir Wine Country and Twomey’s summer offering, featuring a 3-Bottle Sampler includes their 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir as well as their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and 2009 Single Vineyard Merlot.  The pinot noir grapes are sourced from the vineyards directly in front of the winery.

Guests were treated to offerings from the ChefsTwomey Cellars chefs’ pizza oven and The Oyster Girls while they enjoyed the beautiful evening on the spacious deck and browsed the gift shops extensive selection of wine country items from gifts, to clothing, to picnic supplies.

guests2Twomey Cellars, from the family of Silver Oak Cellars, began as a pursuit to the discovery of varietals in California beyond Cabernet Sauvignon. Twomey’s philosophy is to make exceptional, food-friendly wines that are deliciously drinkable upon release. Twomey Cellars originated with the Soda Canyon Ranch in southeastern Napa Valley, which the Duncan family (owners of Silver Oak Cellar) acquired in 1999 and planted with the finest French Merlot clones in well-drained volcaoystersgirlsnic soils. Twomey’s founding winemaker, Daniel Baron uses a method known as soutirage traditionnel, a slow, careful process of decanting the wine from one barrel to another. At Twomey, this racking is done six times during the 18 months of aging. They consider it the ideal way to clarify red wine to crystal-clear brilliance while drawing its fruit characteristics forward and softening its tannins.guests4 

In 2000, the Duncan family secured the nine-acre West Pin vineyard in the Russian River Valley and Twomey now produces four Pinot Noirs from top California appellations, including Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Anderson Valley and Santa Maria Valley. Twomey’s newest offering is a Sauvignon Blanc grown on two estate properties: the vineyard surrounding their Calistoga winery and the Westside Road Vineyard.  As a special trMerloteat, Twomey opened a 3 liter 2004 Merlot for their guests, which is also available for sale at the winery.

Twomey Cellars and Silver Oak Cellars have wine tasting rooms in both Sonoma and Napa Counties.  Their locations offer a variety of tasting options – check their websites for current offerings.

The Oyster Girls are a traveling oyster bar that has been satisfying the appetites of oyster lovers since 2007. Visit their website for details on how to book them for your next event.

#TwomeyCellars #SilverOakCellars #TheOysterGirls #Wine

Show Me Your Local Wine Bottle – Healdsburg Plaza Tuesday Night!

Healdsburg Plaza Summer 2014Ongoing update on “Show Me Your Bottle” Healdsburg Tuesday in the Plaza June 17, 2014 Events

One of the local favorites is always “Tuesday in the Plaza” in downtown Healdsburg.  Here in Wine Country, we have so many wonderful choices of local wines to drink, I decided to do an unofficial survey of what the locals were drinking so that we could share information with each other and all of our visitors! Check out my twitter feed @jolenespatter and please follow me for more local information and winery events!

Here are the pictures that I tweeted last night and the wonderful locals that shared their wine with me!  If I missed you, I will be doing another campaign live on twitter next Tuesday, June 24, 2014 so join me in Healdsburg and “Show Me Your Local Wine Bottle!

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#ShowMeYourBottle #Healdsburg #HealdsburgPlaza #PlazaTuesdayNight #Wine #SonomaCounty

Preiser Key celebrates 2nd Anniversary in Sonoma County

PreiserKeyThe Preiser Key a longtime staple in Napa Valley has expanded its services to Sonoma County.  The Preiser Key provides complete and up-to-date information for every winery, restaurant, hotel, inn, and Bed & Breakfast Napa and Sonoma Counties in a magazine, internet, or mobile application format.  It allows users to plan their trip in detail with the aid of easy to use maps and articles by local bloggers.

To thank the advertisers that have supported the newer “Sonoma County Key,” The Preiser’s owners, Monty and Sara Preiser treated guests to a gift they purchased at last year’s at Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, an auction lot that was generous donated by three groups:  Annadel  Estate Winery donated the wine / location, The Girl in the Fig donated the food / service, Transcendence Theatre Company donated the entertainment.

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Dean Vincent Bordigioni, Winemaker, Proprietor of Annadel Estate Winery started off the evening with a white wine tasting in the estate barn, sampling both his Sonoma Valley Voignier and Chardonnay.  The barn is an eclectic array of leather couches, motorcycles, art work and wine paraphernalia – a great place to relax and browse while tasting. Annadel Estate was a neglected flower farm, wedding venue and vineyard when Dean took it over and converted into a burgeoning winery as well as an elegant wedding and event site and heirloom flower business.  This year Annadel Estate Winery has received highest acclaims for both its Big Pink (Zinfandel Rosé) and it Monte Rosso Vineyard Zinfandel.

annianni2Dean’s daugther, Anni and wife, Abigail, joined us while John Toulze, Executive Chef of The Girl in the Fig and team treated us to an array of passed hors d’oeuvres. Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze’s restaurant, originally in Glen Ellen, now on a more upscale location in the historic Sonoma Hotel on the Sonoma square have been pleasing diners with a wonderfully fresh, healthy, and flavorful menu of seasonal specialties for almost 17 years.

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The party then moved to the Annadel Estate’s outdoor courtyard (used for weddings) for our meal and entertainment by the Transcendence Theatre. The Transcendence Theatre Company is a nonprofit professional regional theatre company based in Sonoma, California that specializes in producing Broadway Concerts and Musicals in the majestic open-air ruins of a historic winery in Jack London State Historic Park.  When this Company came to Sonoma County, we were closing parks due to lack of funding and their organization has been instrumental over the last three years in raising more than $72,000 to keep this park open and viable as well as providing first class Broadway Stars to entertain us.  Performers this evening included Amy Miller, Eric Jackson, Leah Sprecher, Stephan Stubbins, Libby Servais, Robert Petrarca, and Brooke Tansley –  a small portion of the multi-talented team that stages their Broadway Under the Stars, Artist Series shows, and various community events.

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Monty Preiser and Abigail Zimmerman entertained us with stories through three fabulous courses of food and wine followed by more songs (including audience requests) from the Transcendence Theatre Company and a dessert that featured roses from the Annadel Estate gardens.  Now even the full moon and Friday the 13th combination couldn’t cast a shadow on this fun event.

annadel moonAnnadel Estate Winery is located at 6687 Sonoma Hwy Santa Rosa, CA and is available for wine, weddings / events, and flower sales through their website or by phone 707.537.8007.

The Girl and the Fig is located on the square in Sonoma at 110 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA.   The “FIG FOOD” product line which includes jam, chutney, compote, vinegar, vinaigrette and herb blends is sold nationwide and online at  For Reservations or additional information call 707.938.3634.

The Transcendence Theatre Company event information is available on their website. Be sure to check out Ben Vereen in their Artist Series on August 9th as well as their Broadway under the Stars series which opens June 27 with One Singular Sensation.  You can also join the Transcendence Theatre Company for Skits Under the Stars, a community night of art and music in the beauty of nature at a variety of Sonoma County’s best wineries beginning July 1 at Kaz Winery. 

The Preiser Key is available in magazine format, online, or via mobile application for Napa and Sonoma counties.  For general questions contact Justin Preiser, Director of Operations at 707.738.0386 or for advertising questions contact Sarah Tenthorey, Director of Sales and Marketing at 916.223.2833.

#PreiserKey #AnnadelEstateWinery #TheGirlandtheFig #TranscendenceTheatreCompany


Kokomo Winery & Russo Rosticceria launch Winemaker Dinners

EventiOn Wednesday night, Kokomo Winery’s Erik Miller (winemaker) and Randy Peters (grower) joined Russo Rosticceria‘s chef John Franchetti to launch Eventi’s Winemaker Dinners at the third Russo location at 1229 Dutton Ave. Santa Rosa.

John Franchetti and his team have pizzerias in both Petaluma and Santa Rosa, but John’s journey to Italy last year was obvious in the menu for this tasting.

The menu began by pairing Kokomo’s 2103 Grenache Rose, Pauline’s Vineyard from Dry Creek Valley with a scallop crudo with verjus over a saffron tomato risotto cake.  In the recent, North Coast Wine Challenge hosted by the Press Democrat, Kokomo won Best of Show Rosé and a 95 point score for this wine.  As a side note, for a chance to taste all of the award-winning wines, an Invitational Tasting is being held at the CIA in St. Helena this Sunday and tickets are still available.

LambIn a nod to Rome’s street food, the second course paired Kokomo’s 2013 Timber Crest Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc with Russo’s nectarine-fontina-focaccia topped with arugula, prosciutto, and lemon oil.  But the award for the most unusually pairing for the evening was hands-down the 2013 Timber Crest Vineyard Muscat Blanc with lamb rosticcini over an arugula salad with roasted lemon and mint vinaigrette.  The roasted peppery and spicy sauce accompanying the lamb blending amazingly with the Muscat Blanc creating a unique change in the wine that I would have normally matched with a sweet treat!

KokomoWith each course, Erik and Randy’s friendly banter entertained us with facts about the growing season, varietal, and winemaking approach and displayed the out-going and warm personalities of these winery front-men.  Erik laughingly commented “Anything we didn’t like was because of the grapes received from Randy and anything we did like was his creative genius.”

Erik appreciates the diversity of Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma County and said he likes to reflect that diversity in the wines that Kokomo offers its consumers.

PorkThe fourth course paired the 2012 (95 – North Coast Wine Challenge) Russian River Valley Pinot with spoon pudding and a rosemary marinated portabella mushroom. The fifth course continued with the perhaps signature varietal of the Dry Creek Valley Kokomo’s 2012 Zinfandel paired with honey ginger charred pork steak over an apricot corn salad.  We have an incredibly early and beautiful season for apricots, which were well reflected in this dish!

Erik commented that unfortunately this food-friendly varietal (zinfandel) does not seem to be taken as seriously as some other varietals, but he believes that the Dry Creek Valley vintners turn out some incredible wines and I have to agree.

The evening closed with treats from new Rosso colleague Dominique Cortara who has long sold her fabulous sweets of macarons, cakes, pies, and pate choux at North Bay farmers’ markets.

Kokomo’s Tasting Room is located at 4791 Dry Creek Road at Timber Crest Farms in Healdsburg and is open 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM most days.  Tell Stephanie Kerkhof their tasting room manager that Discover Sonoma County Wine sent you!

#Wine #KokomoWinery #RossoRosticceria #NorthCoastWineChallenge #DominiqueCortara



Healdsburg Plaza – With So Many Great Wines What Are the Locals Drinking?

Healdsburg Plaza Summer 2014One of the local favorites is always “Tuesday in the Plaza” in downtown Healdsburg.  Here in Wine Country, we have so many wonderful choices of local wines to drink, I decided to do an unofficial survey of what the locals were drinking and tweet it out live!  Check out my twitter feed @jolenespatter and please follow me for more local information and winery events! Here are some of the pictures that I tweeted last night and the wonderful locals that shared their wine with me!  Additionally, I have to apologize to some of the individuals not included, not all of the pictures came out (iPhone and operator error), especially the wonderful ladies sharing a birthday.  If I did miss you, I will be doing another live twitter feed next Tuesday, June 17, 2014 so join me in Healdsburg and “Show Me Your Local Wine Bottles!”

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Now don’t forget to bring your favorite local wine next week and “Show Me Your Bottle!”

#HealdsburgPlaza #wine