Another vineyard image from ednalu:
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“Not sure why it took me so long to get around to trying Locals. This place is AMAZING. I am tired of visiting wineries that look great (nice picture spots!) but make what I can only describe as bad wine that you wouldn’t want to spend $10 on much less $20 or $30.”
“Your source for Praxis wines!
Again, I have so little to say, because they just do it right! This is the only outlet there is for Praxis wines and that’s the reason I stop here any time I’m within 50 miles of the place. Free tasting. Discounts for quantity purchases. Nice folks running the place.”
“Best winery experience we had. Tremendous service and great selections.”
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I’ve been studying menus for years. The bookmarks on my web browser read like a Beard Foundation nomination shortlist. Some of these restaurants are close, some are far; most are places I’ve visited, others I dream of. A few are the spots where I will celebrate the attainment of personal goals in the coming years.
I’m starting to feel my way around the wine list and when I find one posted with the online menu I have whole new detail over which to obsess, research, and cross-reference. I’m also begun to understand the benefit of the corkage fee.
Living in a city famous for barbecue does not offer the same bottle choice as I experience in my travels to the west coast. As my palate is only beginning to develop and I’ve focused my initial exploration of wine on Sonoma County, it often helps for me to bring a bottle I already know I’ll love when enjoying the work of my favorite local chefs.
When Sami offered me a taste of Zero Manipulation from Peterson Winery, I knew exactly where I would take the bottle. My favorite weeknight haunt focuses on naturally raise livestock. Their dishes are inventive and full of flavor, it is almost possible to taste the earthy space from which the animals came. From my sample glass, consumed while standing in a Geyserville storefront to an open kitchen 1,847 miles away, the connection was real.
It took a few weeks to get my wine shipment because of the summer heat, but one evening not so many weeks ago, I headed out with two bottles; one for the owner, who always treats my kids and I well, and one for the table. We feasted on fresh salads, stinky cheese and the sausage from both goat and lamb. Our knives and forks chattered amidst the clinking of glasses, another celebration made better by the hands of local producers.
Peterson Winery ‘Zero Manipulation’ Philosophy:
At Peterson Winery we practice the philosophy of Zero Manipulation. Our definition of Zero Manipulation is using the most gentle winemaking techniques possible to maximize flavors, aromatics and the original essence of the wine. The less you do in the course of a wine’s tenure in the cellar, the more of that essence you’ll have to bottle. Every time you do something to a wine, you take out a little of what you started with.
Great wine has to be about place. Place in wine is only achieved if the bottled wine reflects where the grapes were grown. There is a huge difference between a great wine that carries a sense of place, and a wine made to taste more appealing with the overuse of new oak, or the presence of residual sugar. When you taste a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel or a Bradford Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and you have a sense of where that wine originated, then the essence of place has been captured. Our goal is that every vintage captures that sense of place in every wine we produce.
Over the last few months, wine has become an everyday addition to my life. Well, not every day, but two or three bottles a week if I’m not too busy with work and kids. This fact has created a different response in how bottles are paired with food. I continue to execute an extravagant dinner once a month and carefully select the bottles that complement the subtleties of the fare, but more and more I want to share a bottle with some friends and not go to all the trouble.
A few weeks ago two of my favorite colleagues, the ‘family’ I get to pick, came to the house after an evening advisory board meeting. The buffet of roast beef and not-so-great eggplant parm, provided sustenance, but little more to satisfy any real act of celebration. To right our mood I picked a bottle of One Time Spaceman, Moon Duck, from the row of like bottles on the topmost tier of my cellar rack. It is so much a favorite, that Eric, one of my guests, has given me the nickname, One Time Spaceman. To add to the table, I found a bit of chicken liver mousse, a slice of balsamic/lime headcheese, and a few lardons of home cured pork belly. A jar of canned pickled green tomatoes provided the acid to counter the richness of the charcuterie. We lifted our glasses high and toasted to our continued professional endeavors.
Very little work. A tasty result. Happy guests. This has become what wine is about.
If memory serves taking a right as you leave Locals and a walk of little more than a few seconds, will lead to a nice selection of well-prepared cured meats for you next impromptu gathering.