Happening at Woodworth ~ December 2013
Published: Monday, December 09, 2013
The Vineyards in December...
It's been really cold (for SoCal) the last week or so. The vines have gone dormant, which is good. Hopefully we will be pruning them back next month The Sycamores are yellow and brown and loosing their leaves. Nothing much going on 'farming-wise', just getting ready for Christmas. You can tell when it's Christmas because the Nutcrackers come out to play.
Wine Pairings for Christmas Dinner...
Last month we talked about pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner whether you roast, deep fry, BBQ or smoke your turkey. This month we're going to look at some Christmas Dinner favorites and talk about wines that will complement the main course...whatever it is.
We're only a couple of weeks away from Christmas (eesh!). Besides Turkey, there are several other classic Christmas Dinner dishes. (By the way, if you are serving Turkey, take a look at last months Newsletter for pairing ideas)
Duck & Goose...
... are both classic choices for big family Christmas dinners. Both of these birds are generally roasted, and when done correctly. have more fat and therefore moisture in the meat. Duck and goose are both darker and richer in flavor than a typical turkey. Pinot Noir is again the classic choice, but let's talk about a couple other great choices...
A 'non oaked' or lightly oaked Chardonnay will work well with Duck and Goose, so again, try the Woodworth Chardonnay. Tank fermenting and aging retains the softness and structure of a great Chardonnay, and therefore, contrast nicely with the more robust rich flavors of duck and goose. It allows the flavor of the meat to stand out while rounding it out with the rich and not too acidic notes in the wine.
Another great choice for Duck or Goose is Merlot. Our 2009 Merlot is big, layered with black cherries, soft vanilla, violets, and nice herbal notes. Because it has nice tannic structure it creates a wonderful taming and softening of the bold flavors in these birds. We don't have much of it left, so if you are a Merlot girl (or guy) like I am, you need to hurry.
Choose a red blend like 2008 Black Dog if you want a bolder red. The Woodworth Black Dog blend is amazingly full bodied and structured. It's bold profiles of dark fruit, spice, dried flowers, pepper, and licorice guarantee they won't be too weak to stand up to the flavors of these birds.
This is the ultimate spiced meat (yumm!), often studded with cloves and glazed with honey, brown sugar and spice. A classic choice is an 'off-dry' rose or blush wine like the 2012 Golden Maggie. Since this is 100% Pinot Noir and off-dry, it is equally as wonderful as the 2010 Pinot Noir with ham. Because ham is often prepared with spicy-sweetness, this wine compliments it perfectly. It's the perfect palate refresher guaranteeing the flavors of the ham will remain bold and explosive to the very end.
At our house, Christmas Dinner is Prime Rib. It's big, decadent and rich.This classic meal deserves a classic wine like a bold rich Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah.
It's almost impossible to imagine the 2009 Merlot NOT pairing perfectly with prime rib. They are total complements to each other. Nothing competes, everything harmonizes: The rich meat, the rich wine, the structure, the softness, the elegance all working together.
Unfortunately, we are all out of our 2008 Cabernet. So if you just have to have Cab with your Prime Rib, try picking up a bottle of Jordan Cabernet from the Alexander Valley. Wonderful!
Like the Merlot, you can't go wrong with the 2009 Syrah. The flavors of blackberry and black currant, with hints of earth and tobacco, make this a wonderful complementary wine with Prime Rib.
Merry Christmas & Bon Appetit!
Christmas Specials Online...
There is still time to get some great Woodworth wines for entertaining, gifts, or just to reward yourself for all of your hard work. You can get 30% of our 2009 Sidekick, an award winning Merlot/Syrah blend. If you are a dog lover, or someone on your gift list is, try our Vineyard Dog Six-Pack. A selection of six wines with the beautiful Vineyard Dog labels...15% off!
Through out the month of December enjoy free shipping when you purchase 4 or more bottles online.
Check out these offers out at Woodworth Wine Store
Gary and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season!
Gary & Marlene
Maggie, Bandit and Hercules
Happening at Woodworth ~ November 2013
Published: Saturday, November 09, 2013
Fall in De Luz...
It's been gorgeous this last few weeks. Bright blue skies and chilly nights. Most people don't think that Southern California has seasons, but we do. They are just more subtle than in other parts of the country. Here are some fall colors SoCal style.
Pairing Wine with Thanksgiving Dinner...
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the fact that the family gets together and we spend the day cooking, talking, watching football and, of course, eating.
At our house Gary makes the turkey and dressing (thank God!). I do what I'm told. He makes the classic roast turkey with bread dressing heavy with sage. It's wonderful. It's brined overnight in a combination of apple cider, kosher salt, oranges and a bunch of spices. He tells me he's thinking about doing something different, but I'm not sure what, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Picking the perfect wines for the holidays doesn't have to be difficult, but it does depend on how you prepare the meal. There are two main ways of determining how to pair wine with your dinner.
1) Complimentary: This means choosing a wine that has flavor profiles that complement the food. If it's bold, serve with bold food, spicy with spicy food. Does the dish use fruit, like a berry infused demi-glace for instance? Serve a wine that has those same berry notes.
2) Contrasting: Choose a wine with flavor profiles that work as a harmonious contrast to the food. If the food is spicy, serve a bright, slightly off-dry, wine to balance the spice. If the food is heavy with cream or butter, serve a wine that's dry with clean acidic notes to cleanse the palate between bites.
Classic Roast Turkey
Pinot Noir is the classic choice with a traditional roast Turkey dinner and the 2010 Pinot Noir is a great choices. Pinot has all the right combinations of flavors and aromoas to both compliment and contrast with the meal.
If you prefer a white wine, try a 'non-oaked', or lightly oaked Chardonnay. Fermenting and aging in Stainless Steel preserves the fruit components of Chardonnay. The Woodworth 2012 Chardonnay is tank fermented and aged and oaked slightly right before bottling. It offers the perfect clean profile to counter the richness of this meal.
In recent years, deep frying turkey has been a popular, not to mention sometimes exciting choice. Deep frying produces a spicy crispy skin with super succulent meat. This method of cooking a turkey has quickly migrated from its southern roots and is now done all over the country. The Pinot Noir is still a great choice, but you should also consider a Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately, we are all out of Woodworth Cabernet, so if this is your choice, look for one with the classic Cabernet notes of black cherries, blackberries, green olive and spice. A good Woodworth alternative would be our 2007 Black Dog. A blend of 65% Cabernet, 25% Syrah and 10% Merlot, you will find layers of blackberry and boysenberry with hints of pepper and smoke.
This is a popular method, especially here in Southern California where November is usually mild and sunny. If it's done with lots of spicy rub and takes on the smokiness of the grill, Syrah is always a good choice. Most Syrahs have a smokey-savoriness that practically screams to be paired with any BBQ'd meat. Try the Woodworth 2009 Syrah. It matches the boldness of the meat while the berries and spice create an added layer of flavor.
Another great choice would be 2010 Wild Bandit, a blend of 56% Syrah and 44% Pinot Noir. It almost seems to have been made for this method of cooking. The Syrah brings out all the complementary elements with the smoke, and spice, and the Pinot Noir with it's cherries and earth creates an added layer of fun contrasts.
If you prefer a white wine, there's one more suggestion for the BBQ method...2012 Golden Maggie. This is an off-dry rosé wine made with 100% Pinot Noir. It's bursting with strawberries and candied cherries. It is bright and fresh; if you're a rosé lover it is the perfect contrast, keeping your palate refreshed between each spicy bite of this spicy. If you can't get a hold of our Golden Maggie, look for an off-dry (only very slightly sweet) rose or blush wine with good fruit characteristics.
This method is similar to BBQ but with added wood chips to get a deep rich smoky flavor in the bird. The classic 'complementary' choice would be the 2009 Syrah. For a 'contrasting' choice go with the 2012 Golden Maggie which will create the contrast needed to keep your palate clean and refreshed.
It's not Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie. A good Pumpkin Pie is rich and spicy. It needs a wine that is sweet enough to hold up, and yet not so sweet that it overpowers. You might look for a light, not too sweet Riesling or a white blend with slightly sweet elements.
The 2012 Sweet Sophie would be a great choice. This juicy blend of Chardonnay and Muscat is bright with a spicy sweetness that will complement the spice in the pie.
Luna de Luz is Released...
After our 'practice bottling' in October, we got everything fine tuned and did the final bottling a couple of days ago. It's now available on line at Luna de Luz or at Crush & Brew. It's a perfect holiday sparkling wine. Or, if you are like me and love a good sparkling, every day's a holiday.
Here is a short step by step video of the disgorging/corking/labeling process from this week.
Barrel Tasting & Pick Up Party
It's time for our annual Barrel Tasting. You don't want to miss this fun party. We'll be tasting our 2011 reds in barrel and some unreleased wines (along with some old favorites). There will be good food and Dave (from 'Dave and the Cousins) will be providing the music. We'll also be pouring our new 'Luna de Luz' Blanc de Noirs.
If you are a wine club member, you will be able to choose the wines you want for the November shipment. Whether or not you are a member, it's a great time to kick off the holidays and stock up with your favorite wines for entertaining and gifts.
Date: November 23
Location: TVWM, 27495 Diaz Rd, Temecula
To RSVP, use this link: Barrel Tasting
Great Special for the Holidays!
Our 2009 Sidekick is on sale online for the holidays! Get a 30% discount.
The 2009 Sidekick is a delicious blend of 61% Merlot and 39% Syrah. You will find flavors and aromas of blackberry and cherry fruit with subtle earth and tobacco notes. Pairs wonderfully with the rich foods of the holidays.
This is a perfect time to stock up for the holiday entertaining and gift giving. While you are online ordering, check out this great recipe for Braised Short Ribs to go with your 2009 Sidekick.
Gary & Marlene
Beef Tenderloin with Hericot Verts and Cherry Bourbon Sauce
Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Beef Tenderloin with Panko Crusted Hericot Verts, Crispy Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Cherry Bourbon Sauce
Cherry Bourbon Sauce:
Heat cherries and bourbon over low/medium heat until alcohol has cooked out. Keep warm on a low simmer until ready to plate.
Preheat oven to 420F. Slice potatoes thin, brush each side with olive oil. arrange flat on baking sheet and dust with paprika and salt. Roast in oven for about 12 minutes, or until starting to crisp on the edges, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and continue roasting until cheese is browned... about 3-4 more minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm for final plating.
Heat oven to 420f, prepare roasting pan with olive oil. Dip blanched hericot verts in egg wash, roll in panko crumbs and arrange on roasting pan - dust with tarragon and kosher salt. Roast in oven until panko is starting to brown... about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm for final plating.
Beef Tenderloin Filets:
Preheat oven to 420f. Rub each filet with olive oil and dust with cracked pepper and salt. Heat skillet to high. Sear steaks until nicely browned on each side (about 3 minutes per side). Place pan in oven and finish cooking to desired temp - 135-140 recommended for med-rare.
Crisscross stacks of 8 hericot verts per plate. Arrange four stacks of roasted potatoes - one in each corner of plate. Place filet on top of hericot verts and finish by drizzling with cherry bourbon sauce.
The 2010 Side Kick is an outstanding compliment with this dish. This is a rich, bold fruit forward wine with beautiful dark cherries and berries thanks to the blend of Merlot and Syrah. The robust flavors in the beef brings out the darker notes in the wine, and the cherry bourbon sauce makes the fruit in the wine open up and expand with each consecutive bite. The black pepper in the wine is in complete harmony with the pepper crusted beef. Together the dish and the wine create a lasting journey of expressive flavors that linger and linger.
Barrel Tasting & Pick Up Party
Published: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Annual Barrel Tasting & November Pick Up Party...
It's time for our annual Barrel Tasting! Join us for a fun time of Wine, Food, Music and Friends. This year we will be introducing our new Blanc de Noir sparkling wine, 'Luna de Luz', and will be tasting the 2011 reds still in barrel. We will also be pouring some not yet released wines including the 2011 Pinot Noir and the 2010 Black Dog.
We always have a great time and it's a good way to kick off the holiday season. You can stock up on your favorite Woodworth wines for gifts and to serve at your holiday parties. If you are a Club Member you will be able to choose the wines you want for your November shipment.
Date: Saturday, November 23
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Location: Temecula Valley Winery Management, 27495 Diaz Rd, Temecula, CA
We hope to see you there!
Happening at Woodworth ~ October 2013
Published: Friday, October 04, 2013
Happening in the Vineyards ...
We finished harvesting on October 1 by picking the Syrah. It was a beautiful morning to pick as you can see by the pictures. Overall it was a good year. We ended up with almost 30 tons of grapes...they looked and tasted great. Sugars were a little low this year for some reason. The vines began shutting down before the sugars got up to where we like, but the wine will be good...maybe just a little lower in alcohol. You can drink more that way.
Here is a short video of our last pick. Sigh...another growing season finished.
Pop the Cork!!!
I know it's hard to believe, but after 2 wildly unsuccessful tries, we finally have a sparkling wine. Our 'Luna de Luz' Blanc de Noir, is made form 100% Pinot Noir in the traditional Method Champenoise way. We have only disgorged, corked and labeled 2 cases so far, just to make sure everything is ok. We will finish up bottling this month so that it will be available in November...Yea!
What is Method Champenoise?
There are six steps in this traditional method of making a sparkling wine. The first step is harvest and the initial fermentation. We picked a portion of our 2011 Pinot Noir at a lower brix (sugar) level, around 22 vs the normal 24. The initial fermentation was in tank.
The second step is the blending and bottling. The wine is blended with additional sugar and yeast and then bottled and capped using a crown cork. Here is a picture of the yeast and sugar being added to the wine prior to bottling.
The wine, now bottled and capped, goes through a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The wine is then aged on the lees for at least 15 months. We laid the bottles horizontally in bins in a very cool environment.
The third step is riddling. As you can see by this picture, riddling used to be done by hand in specially made racks. The purpose is to move all of the yeast sediment into the neck of the bottle. Manually, it was a process that could take up to 8 to 10 weeks. Now, most riddling is done by a mechanization. Since we did not have access to a mechanical riddler, we accomplished this step by storing the wine up side down for a month or so and agitating periodically. Not nearly as romantic, but it was effective.
The fourth step is disgorging. The neck of the bottle (with the lees or sediment) is frozen. Usually, the bottles are placed neck down in a solution of liquid nitrogen to quickly freeze the lees or sediment.
In keeping with our apparent need to do things the hardest, longest and most labor intensive way, we put our bottles neck down in coolers filled with rock salt and ice. Once the neck is frozen, the crown cork is popped off and the ice plug with the lees shoots out. The goal is to not lose too much wine in the process.
The fifth step is the dosage. Immediately after disgorging but before the final corking, the bottle is topped off with more wine and typically a little sugar. The sugar is used to balance out the high acidity, or is some cases to make a sweeter sparkling wine. Again, a manual process for us.
The sixth and final step is to cork, put the metal cage on and finish with the label and foil top. The corks are quite a bit larger than regular wine corks because sparkling wine is under pressure, so need to be sure that the pressure will not pop the cork. The metal cage provides additional support.
Well, that's it. We finally have a sparkling wine, just in time for the holidays.
A Gorgeous Recipe to Pair with Sweet Sophie..
Pan Seared Chicken with Medley of White Rice, Red Peppers, Fresh Corn, and Black Beans with Cumin infused Serrano Chili Tomatillo Sauce and Mexican Crema with Fresh Cilantro
It's a mouthful of a name (excuse the pun) but absolutely beautiful as well as delicious.
Paired with 2012 Sweet Sophie. This Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli blend is slightly off and spicy with good aromatics. Off dry wines can work as an aperitif with a great cheese plate and with desserts that are lighter in flavor like Cheesecake or Shortbread, but it also offers a great contrast to bold spicy flavors.
This recipe was developed to showcase the wines bright fruit and palate cleansing attributes between each bite of the spicy bold dish. This dish offers a melding of flavors from the fresh cut peppers and corn, the savory chicken, spicy tomatillo sauce, and cooling crema. The wine also offers a melding of flavors and together they make magic. The final addition to this dish is the fresh ruby red grapefruit - this was added as a nod to the sweet grapefruit notes in the wine and is a fun expression for both the dish and the wine
For the complete recipe, along with some beautiful pictures on how to plate, use this link: PAN SEARED CHICKEN
November Pick Up Party & Barrel Tasting...
It's time again for the annual Barrel Tasting. This year we will be tasting the 2011 reds still in barrel. We will also be able to sample the 2011 Pinot which was bottled in the spring, and we will be pouring the new 2011 Luna de Luz!
Come an join us for a fun evening of wine, food, music and friends. Those of you who are wine club members will be able to choose the wines you want for your November shipment. It's also a great time to stock up for the holidays.
Date: Saturday, November 23
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Location: Temecula Valley Winery Management, 27495 Diaz, Temecula, 92590
To RSVP, just send me an email at Marlene@WoodworthWine.com. Give me your name and how many people will be coming. If you are a Wine Club member and one of your guests joins the club at the Barrel Tasting, we will give you a bottle of your favorite Woodworth wine as a thank you.
We look forward to seeing you in November. Here are a couple pictures from a past barrel tasting. You don't want to miss it!
Woof Notes ~ Remembering Black Dog...
Many of you are fans of Black Dog, named after our black Lab 'Angus'. We lost Angus last week while we were on vacation. He was a big goof of a dog. Loved to chase balls, hoard toys, mooch food and beg for attention. Angus was a big part of our family for over ten years and he is missed. Here are some of Angus' Woof Notes from the past several years.
Posted by: Bob Blunck
Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 2:19:55 PM
Gary and Marlene, Nice website! I enjoy it. Hope all continues to go well for you. God's blessings! Bob
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