Susan Arbios of Arbios Cellars / Praxis Cellars talks about their soon to be released Pinot Noir wine at the Locals Wine Tasting Room during barrel tasting on March 2nd, 2013.
A beautiful roasted outside, pairs with the tender pumpkin flesh inside for a velvety experience as you scoop it out with toasted baguette and pair with the Eric Ross Pinot Noir and the Foggy Valley Pinot Noir. Serve with crusty bread for dipping and scooping or provide spoons for scooping the baked flesh from the shell. – Serves 12
1 medium to medium-large orange pumpkin or 4 small individual pumpkins
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced or grated garlic
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large baguette, cut into 1⁄2 inch slices.
3⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
One 9-oz package frozen,artichoke hearts, thawed and
2 Tbsp shredded basil
Steamed rice or crusty bread for serving
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp about 7 minutes.
Slice the top off the pumpkin and reserve it. Hollow out the core and discard all the fibers and seeds. Make sure the pumpkin sits securely upright by cutting away enough from the bottom to make it flat. Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt and blend oil and garlic and rub into the interior of the pumpkin.
Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roast- ing pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Boy ….you really missed a good time if you did not make it to the Eric Ross Pinot Noir Release event this past Saturday. Folks have been snapping up the new Pinot as well as Eric’s other wines. The Struttin’ Red is right in the zone now. Smooth, yummy and way too easy to drink. The Tempranillo is a treat as well. It is not too late to taste these wines for your self…..and finish up with a little of the Eric Ross Old Vine Zin Port. I dare you to put that one down!
It’s almost 10 pm and after spending all day talking with folks at Locals the wine is half gone (a Foggy Valley Pinot Noir from Locals). Cindy Lauper on the stereo belts out “At Last”, and the candles dwindle to flickering lights that cast a warm glow over a table strewn with the remains of a fresh crab dinner. Life in Wine Country, laughing on the dock with the fishermen, picking out fresh crabs from Bodega Bay, stopping at the Wildflower bakery in Freestone on the way back, to find just the right bread to soak up the garlic and butter sauce from the Crab dish, all a part of Sonoma living. The kind of dinner where you just sit back and laugh with your friends, eat, talk and drink some great wines. Fog drifts up the river, birds sing their night songs and I retire to the deck to finish the Foggy Valley Pinot. Night All. See you next Tuesday.
Hi…this is Carolyn…and I agree with Bill that the current vintage of the Foggy Valley is our best yet! Give us a call in the tasting room at 707-857-4900, and we can tell you all about how it is tasting to us. Then based on your palate we will tell you wether we think you will enjoy it also.
Here is a quick fabulous pasta dish to go with a 2010 Eric Ross Pinot. Serve with a California green salad and Vinegar dressing and your guests will not want to leave the table.
12 oz/350 g dried fusilli
3 tbsp olive oil
12 oz/350 g exotic mushroom, sliced
1 garlic clove 14fl oz/400g m/ 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
9oz/250 g gorgonzola
Salt and pepper to taste
2tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to boil. Add the Pasta, bring back to boil and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender but still firm to the bite.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan. Add the mushrooms and cookover low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional2 minutes.
Add the heavy cream, bring to a slow boil and cook for 1 minute, until slightly thickened.
Stir in the cheese and cook over low heat until it has melted. Do not let the sauce boil once
The cheese has been added. Season to taste with salt and pepper; remove the pan from the heat.
Drain the pasta and pour it into the sauce. Toss well to coat, then serve immediately, garnish with the parsley.
Serve with Eric Ross Pinot Noir.
The complex tasting notes of this wine delivers a gentle roller coaster of spice aromas of black cheery, coffee and ripe Santa Rosa Plums that go magically with the creamy cheese and mushroom flavors of this meal. This is a classic, dress up and serve in February as a prelude to the Valentines Day Dinner you know is coming your way.
Tod Hill – Locals Wine Club member….and friend
Climate change be damned, there is nothing like a drought-on-the-horizon mid December day in Sonoma County. Yesterday I awoke to brilliant sunshine, frost on my roof and all three dogs under the covers. By mid day, I was sweating in the garden pulling beets, clipping kale, picking the last of the serrano peppers, and wondering if I needed sun block. By sunset, I was lighting a fire and contemplating a stew for dinner. No time for slow-braised short ribs or coq au vin. A sea food stew would have to do. I remembered a fish stew served in a whole pumpkin that I had at a hole-in-the-wall Brazilian restaurant on Valencia & 24th back in the 80s. A tropical stew for a cold winter’s night that came hours after a what felt like a warm summer day. Here’s what I did:
- Slice the tops off of two sugar pie pumpkins (the small ones about the size of a softball or grapefruit)
- Scoop out the seeds
- Bake at 350 for one hour; then turn off the oven and allow the pumpkins to sit in the oven for up to an hour more
- Dice, separately:
- 2 red, ripe Serrano peppers
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 of a fennel bulb (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 leek
- 1 large carrots
- 1/2 lb Crimini or white mushrooms
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot
- Add the pepper, shallot, and fennel and saute for about 3-4 min until soft
- Add the leek and carrots and saute for about 3-4 min until soft
- Add the crimini mushrooms and 1 cup dry white wine, cover and let cook until the mushrooms have released their juices
- Chop into 1/2 inch cubes: approximately 8 oz. snapper or other flaky white fish
- Add the fish along with 1 cup water, cook until the fish dissolves
- In the mean time, rinse and mix together 1/2 lb selections of other seafood (I used bay scallops, tiger prawns and calamari). Squeeze the juice of one lime over the fish along with 1/2 cup white wine, salt & pepper, 1/2 cup chopped italian parsley and 1 one diced Serrano pepper. Let sit while the snapper dissolves.
- 10 min before serving, add the fish to the stew, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 min
- Place the pumpkins into plates or soup bowls, ladle the stew into the pumpkins, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and enjoy.
So what wine should we pair with this creation? A Praxis Viognier to capture the tropical mood? A Saracina Sauvignon Blanc to meet the citrus notes? Nope, I chose the Eric Ross 2009 Pinot Noir. Red wine with fish? A Pinot with spicy sea food? No problem. The fennel and mushroom based stock met the earthy tones of the Pinot perfectly. And the fruitier notes mingled with the sweetness of the pumpkin and the shellfish provided a perfect counterpoint to the spice of the Serranos. Fish and white wine pairing orthodoxy be damned.
In the spring of 2009, the 2006 Ensueños Tropicales Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, $20) made a brief but sublime appearance at our tasting room. Now, with an exclusive, limited allocation of wine, this popular, fruit-forward pinot noir returns, all grown up!
As before, this wine ably shows off the by-now classic Russian River pinot noir flavor profile. Built on those bright red cherry and subtle cola flavors, the wine is also exquisitely balanced, with a lush mouthfeel and solid tannins on the finish. 100% French oak barrels were used.
The extra time in the bottle has been good to this wine. Fall deep into this dandy daydream…and get a great buy too…while it lasts only!
Arriving to rave reviews is the new Foggy Valley Pinot Noir. This exciting wine hails from a renowned Anderson Valley vineyard in Mendocino County, not too far to the north and west of Geyserville. The high quality fruit on this 2008 vintage was a special opportunity during the recent business downturn.
Tantalizing the palate, this savory wine opens with a little fresh clove and caramel on the nose and tip of the tongue. A perfect balance of dark red cherries and cranberry flavors flows sprightly across your mouth. A slight sweetness of flavor and a mouth-watering finish beg for the next sip.
If you are a fan of fruity Russian River Pinot Noir, you will probably enjoy this wine. At the same time, a nice minerality is reminiscent of the Burgundy region of France, the origin of Pinot Noir. With the spice from 100% French Oak, 30% new, the wine is also very food friendly, with low alcohol at 13.5%. This standout wine has good acidity to enjoy with food, yet is soft and luscious enough to sip and sip again.
A stunning value at only $24, better hurry on this one, there were only 155 cases made. Speaking of cases, the case price is a real deal at $288 minus a minimum 10% case discount of $28.80, even more if you’re a Locals Club Member!