Eat Good Food

Thanksgiving Wine Picks for 2017

Given the different flavors of the meal, choosing a Thanksgiving wine that can take you through stuffing and turkey to cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes to green beans and pie can be a tough choice.

Or you could just let us pick. This year, we tapped SHED Beverage and Café Manager Patricia Philitsa to give us her best bets for your Thanksgiving wine shopping. All of them are available at our Healdsburg store. Stop by and let us help you load up!

2014 Davis Family Rosé de Noir, Russian River Valley ($60)
Made entirely from Pinot Noir grapes from cool climate Dutton Ranch in Russian River Valley. This limited production sparkling rosé is light and elegant with nuanced layers of orange blossom, rose petal, and bright Bing cherry.

2014 Inman Family Winery Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley ($37)
With its delicate aromas, opulent texture. and balanced acidity, Pinot Gris is an ideal food wine. Fermented in stainless steel, this crisp white wine has notes of tart nectarine, quince, and lime zest with a bouquet of white peach and baking spice.

2013 Robert Sinksey Pinot Blanc, 375ml, Los Carneros ($21)
Planted in three prime Carneros vineyards, this wine achieves optimal ripeness while maintaining a vibrant structure and refreshing mouthfeel. Fresh pear complimented by tart notes of kaffir lime and green almond. No oak, but a delicious yeasty-toast essence.

2014 Ryme Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($34)
Ritchie Vineyard is planted in the center of RRV and sits on fluffy Goldridge soils that produce concentrated fruit resulting in Chardonnay with great depth and richness. Aromatic notes of citrus, white florals, and stone fruit. This chardonnay underwent full malo-lactic fermentation and was aged 18 months in neutral barrels.

2017 Scribe Nouveau of Pinot Noir, Los Carneros ($28)
This celebratory harvest wine takes inspiration from the fresh and lively nouveau wines of Beaujolais that are traditionally released in France on the third Thursday of November, and have become synonymous with Thanksgiving. Scribe uses 100% Pinot Noir grapes, 100% carbonic maceration, and no filtration or fining to create this easy-drinking red wine that bursts with tart raspberry and freshness, sure to complement your turkey dinner.

Note: Scribe will donate proceeds of the sales of this Nouveau to La Luz Center, a Sonoma Valley nonprofit focused on the health, education, and financial security of immigrants in our community, which has established a fire relief fund for those affected by the disaster.

2014 Eric Kent Pinot Noir, Sascha Marie Vineyard, Sonoma Coast ($58)
One of the trio of very fine Pinots from Eric Kent, the Sascha Marie is medium-bodied with notes of rich black cherry, framboise, and dark plums. This Pinot sees 60% new French oak and though earthy at its base, is well balanced with fresh mineral notes and dark fruit.

2015 Idlewild Dolcetto, Fox Hill Vineyard, Mendocino ($28)
Fermented 100% whole cluster with partial foot treading, this vintage shows the contrast of bright freshness against firm structure that I love seeing in Dolcetto. The nose shows black cherry, almond, anise, fresh soil, allspice, and cinnamon stick. The mouth is medium-bodied with freshness and firm tannin on the finish. It is joyful and fully serious all at once.

2015 Ridge Zinfandel, Geyserville 50th Vintage, Alexander Valley ($40)
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel every year since 1966. This is the perfect peppery Zinfandel with notes of pomegranate, rose petal, and wood smoke. Slightly earthy with a tannic and tight youthful structure, this big red will only get better with time.

Eat Good Food

Thanksgiving Wine Picks 2016

thanksgiving wine picks

These Thanksgiving wine picks were chosen to match up to the family recipes that Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel prepare for their traditional feast. SHED chef Perry Hoffman selected these food-friendly crowd pleasers, intended to be celebrations in a bottle.

Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose ($39)
A biodynamic wine from one of Spain’s oldest family-owned wineries (founded in 1496), this intriguing sparkling rosé is subtle, pretty, and minimalist. Look for mineral freshness with traces of rosewater and Morello cherries.

Daniel Gewurztraminer ($35)
This bone-dry Gewurztraminer from Anderson Valley’s Ferrington Vineyard has the perfect minerality to partner with shellfish, oysters, and for the person who doesn’t like sweet wine. With aromas of spicy Asian pear, wet stones, and nutmeg, this wine bursts with acidity and a palate of guava, apricot, and stone fruit.

Scribe Estate Riesling ($41)
In a pre-prohibition Sonoma Valley vineyard, fourth-generation California farmers Andrew and Adam Mariani harvest this Riesling early in the season when sugar levels in the fruit are low and acidity is bright. Fermented in concrete and stainless steel — without any oak contact — the finished white wine is dry, deep, and vibrant.

Matias Charles Heintz Vineyard ($60)
Sourced exclusively from the renowned Charles Heintz Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast, this Chardonnay is bright, aromatic, and complex. The  juice was fermented with indigenous yeast in 100% French oak, resulting in a pale yellow wine with  a floral nose, hints of cardamom, and tangerine, and a palate of creamy pie crust, toasted hazelnut, and citrus zest.

Knez Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2014 ($46)
Knez’s coastal vineyard is ideal for growing Pinot Noir with well-structured tannins, aromas of vanilla and spice, and the flavor of ripe cherry and candied raspberries. A powerful yet approachable wine, its simple beauty and cleansing lightness is perfect for the meal’s beginning and end.

Enos Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate Vineyard” 2012 ($60)
Pour this 2012 inky-purple Cabernet Sauvignon in your glass and you’ll be greeted with the intense aromas of fall baking spices and sultry forest floor. Its palate is refined and opulent with firm dusty tannins and concentrated notes of bing cherry, brambly fruit, and sweet wood.

Vine Starr Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, 2015 ($42)
Listed on the Top 100 Wines 2014 in the San Francisco Chronicle, this naturally fermented beauty has been lauded by drinkers and critics alike as a restrained Zinfandel that reimagines what one expects from the California varietal. Essential aromatics of bramble-brush and spice make way for mouth-watering acidity and subtle fruit.

Roederer L’ermitage Rose ($98)
Roederer Estate’s first-ever reserve rosé, this is the best of the Anderson Valley winery’s 580 acres of vineyards. Expect a smooth complexity, notes of baked apple and fresh baked bread, and a creamy mouthfeel in tiny salmon-pink bubbles.

Lichen Blanc de Noir ($66)
This organically grown bubbly of Pinot Noir from Lichen’s Estate Vineyard in Anderson Valley is the confluence of California opulence and classic French elegance — a focused fruit-forward bubbly that is both bright and rich, with notes of crushed berry and brioche.

Meet the Makers

Matthiasson Wines, California Culture

Matthiasson Wines

Matthiasson wines and California culture are inextricably entwined.

Let’s step back for a moment. It was a warm, sunny, mid-harvest August afternoon in Napa Valley when winemaker Steve Matthiasson’s and his wife Jill Klein Matthiasson hosted us at their lush homestead for a picnic lunch surrounded by towering redwoods and thriving vineyards of obscure grape varieties.

It was the perfect setting to understand and appreciate the beautiful, uncommon, sustainable family farming project that is Matthiasson Wines. It was the perfect setting to understand and appreciate the project that is California.

matthiasson2

Why plant, for example, uncommon Italian reds and whites like Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friulano alongside the traditionally reliable Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals of the valley?

“We can grow almost anything here,” Steve said over lunch as he passed the corn salad and grilled sausage.

“By doing so we’re making our own culture. There’s a story to it. A human element. There is culture in agriculture, and in California we’re making our own culture. Californians are the ultimate Americans.”

matthiasson3

Steve, who says that he has had both a curiosity about and a knack for farming since his childhood in Tucson, AZ, is now one of the most in-demand vineyard consultants in the Napa Valley.

When he decided to make his own label, he had the pick of several elite vineyards to work from. And he knew what he didn’t want to do. “I didn’t want to make a collector’s item wine that nobody drinks,” he said.

Even though his wine has earned him multiple James Beard Award nominations and the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Winemaker of the Year” title, Steve is adamant that his wines stay accessible.

Steve’s partner in the vineyards, Jill manages the business and the orchards. The two met while studying agriculture at UC Davis and both strongly believe in environmentally-minded farming.

“It’s important to us that this property puts out more energy than it takes in,” Jill said. “It should be as diverse as possible and friendly to pollinators and native plants.”

Jill’s garden has a dozen varieties of pepper plants for the couple’s homemade hot sauce, a patch of heirloom corn so tall it scrapes the sky, a row of cardoons for their vermouth, and all types of Italian tomatoes for red sauce.

matthiasson3

With their vineyards, orchards, and the garden producing abundantly, Jill says that they’re “always in full-time farming mode — always preserving, canning, and freezing.”

We’re all speaking the same language here — and it’s Californian.

Artisan Producers, Cooking, Healdsburg

Mulled Wine

It seems that the match between cold weather and hot wine is as ancient as the Romans themselves. First recorded in the 2nd century, mulled wine was a treat Roman soldiers sipped during long cold days spent conquering Europe. That legacy continues today as nearly every country in the continent has a tradition of heating, sweetening, and sipping wine during winter — and particularly at the holidays.

(more…)

Cooking

Thanksgiving Wines

We asked our buyer Brandon Gonsalves to suggest Thanksgiving wines for your holiday table. He made several smart recommendations that we’re glad to share.

(more…)

Chefs, Cooking, Modern Grange

Vegetables and Their Secrets

On a sweltering August afternoon, farmers, vacationers, brides-to-be, and home cooks gathered in the SHED Grange on Sunday to glean bits of vegetable wisdom from Chef Steven Satterfield, author of Root to Leaf and chef-owner of Atlanta’s acclaimed restaurant Miller Union. Interspersed with tastes from his book prepared by the SHED kitchen, Steven made his way through a bountiful table of summer produce and gave words of wisdom for selecting, preparing, and cooking vegetables. Among such gems were how to select chilies that naturally impart a sriracha flavor, the difference between green onions and yellow onions, how to get an eggplant perfectly charred on the outside and creamy on the inside, and the secret to preparing perfect pole beans.  Take a peek and take away some vegetable secrets of your own.

beets

With their edible tops and stems, beets are a great example of cooking root to leaf. In fact, beets were first cultivated for their greens, much like their cousin, spinach. Steven loves the flavor combination of beets and nuts.

 

Annie Plating

Chef Annie plating the country ham and melon dish using musk, charentais, and sensation melons from Russian River Farm and S Wallace Edwards & Sons – Surryano Ham, a Good Food Award winner and a favorite of Steven’s which we carry in the SHED Larder.

 

DSC_8356

Steven’s recipe for roasted vegetables featuring okra takes advantage of this versatile, crisp, sweet, complexly flavored vegetable, a Southern staple whose mucilaginousness is under appreciated in the rest of the county. It’s one of his favorite vegetables.

 

DSC_8350

Steven explains the geometry of the onion in terms of its North Pole, South Pole, and Equator, a nifty trick when navigating the natural curves of a vegetable with a straight blade.

 

DSC_8380

A cold glass of Red Car rose proved the perfect pairing to the Southern menu on a hot summer afternoon. We carry Red Car’s lovely vegetable friendly wines in the SHED Pantry.

 

DSC_8264

Miss the event? We’ve got a signed copy of Steven’s book with your name on it, full of great advice for vegetable lovers and omnivores alike.

 

 

Thanks to photographer Karen Preuss for capturing and sharing these images.