Posts Categorized: Wine Paired With Life

Wine Paired With Life: Fall Night-In

Fall Night In Image Dry Creek Valley

With October being a busy month for all – sometimes we think the best way to relax is in the comfort of your own home, turn on your new favorite tv show and enjoy the company of your longest friends. This removes the hassle and hustle of going out. While we’re 100% in support of ordering your favorite Chinese take-out for your friends to pair with a refreshing Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc, why not try something new! Here are a few quick, easy recipes to help you look like a pairing-pro and that are sure to delight even your pickiest of friends (looking at you, Karen!)

 

Rhone Whites & Cheesy Pumpkin Chickpea Croquettes

There’s no doubt that the Pumpkin is the ultimate icon for October, so let’s celebrate with this crunchy take on classic fall flavor. Pair these bites with a medium-bodied Rhone white wine, such as Marsanne-Roussane, Viognier or a blend and let the stone-fruit and nutty flavors complement the cheesy goodness of your croquettes.

We suggest these Dry Creek Valley Rhone Whites:

Trattore Farms & Winery – MR (60% Marsanne, 40% Roussanne), $35

Mounts Family Winery – Verah Blanc (52% Roussanne, 37% Grenache Blanc, 6% Picpoul Blanc & 5% Marsanne), $28

West Wines – Viognier, $23

Find the recipe for Cheesy Pumpkin Chickpea Croquettes by clicking here to go to Babble.com

 

Zinfandel & BBQ Turkey Meatballs

We know that turkey doesn’t take center stage until the end of November, but why does turkey only get Thanksgiving in the sun? This versatile and healthy meat works so well with the spices from your favorite BBQ sauce making it a perfect pairing for Dry Creek Valley’s signature red wine – Zinfandel! We won’t tell your friends how many of these you ate before they actually showed up…promise.

Try pairing any of these Dry Creek Valley Zinfandels:

Dry Creek Vineyard – Old Vine Zinfandel, $32

Chateau Diana – Zombie Zin, $9 or $28 for reserve

Seghesio Family Vineyards – Cortina Zinfandel, $40

Whip up a batch of these spicy turkey meatballs with this recipe from Sugar Dish Me.

 

Carignane & Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese

Carignane comes typically bursting with fall flavors of cranberries and baking spice. Making it one of our favorite wines to drink when the leaves turn. This wine is renowned for is food pairing capability so you are welcome to branch off and try your own special recipe. One incredible pairing we can’t get enough of is this savory sweet combination of sweet potatoes and goat cheese.

Stock up on these Dry Creek Valley Carignanes for Autumn:

Frick Winery – Carignane, $26

Peterson Winery – Carignane, Bradford Mountain Estate, $30

Amphora Vineyards – Carignane, Forchini Vineyards, $35

Check out Ciao Florentina for this tasty Sweet Potato Rounds recipe.


What are your favorite Dry Creek Valley pairings to share with friends? Share with us on our social channels for a chance to be featured on our page!

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Get a Taste of Dry Creek Valley at the 10th Anniversary of Outside Lands

Outside Lands & Dry Creek Valley Wineries

Concerts and music festivals have evolved far past the ordinary wine and the pretzel cart. Nowadays, music festivals are just as much about the food and drinks as they are about the headliners. Many festivals see this as a chance to get their own culinary and libation rock stars involved and Outside Lands is the perfect example. This festival has had music legends on their stage, such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Radiohead, Tom Petty and many more. This weekend, The Who, Gorillaz & Metallica take the reins and will entertain thousands in Golden Gate Park.

A Bay Area celebration wouldn’t be complete without a fabulous wine component. And we just so happen to have a few of our own Dry Creek Valley winery members participating!

Going to the festival? Plan ahead and check out these pairings and get the whole #DryCreekValley, Sonoma Wine Country experience in Golden Gate Park.


Dry Creek Vineyard

(Photos from Dry Creek Vineyard’s Instagram)

When you think of Dry Creek Vineyard you think classic. Celebrating 45 years in Dry Creek Valley, they have become a flagship winery & champion for the entire AVA (American Viticultural Area). Daughter of founder and now President of Dry Creek Vineyard, Kim Stare Wallace, has a clear vision for Dry Creek Vineyard, “honor the past while striving to produce wines of outstanding distinction that consistently over deliver and provide great enjoyment to wine drinkers worldwide.”

With this vision in mind, we choose to pair Dry Creek Vineyard wines with the Bay Area Classics found at this decennary celebration of Outside Lands.  Grab your glass of Dry Creek Vineyard wine and stop by the Tartine food stand for a Mortadella Hoagie from this prominent bakery. Or for a classic, nautical pairing visit “Outside Clams,” where legendary Woodhouse Fish Company will be serving up BBQ oysters, clam chowder and lobster rolls.

 

Preston Farm & Winery

(Photos from Preston’s website & Instagram)

Preston is one of the best known family-operated, organic and biodynamic property in Dry Creek Valley. At the roots of biodynamics is a community that works to create ecological harmony. Preston embraces the spirituality, organic treatments and respect for nature as a means to achieve what they believe to be their duty as farmers. Their mission? “A dedication to the protection and enhancement of this dynamic through the practice of enlightened farming, the honoring of tradition, and the sharing of agrarian experience.”

It only seems just to pair Preston wines with one of the many organic food stands at Outside Lands. Pair with the aptly named, The Farmer’s Daughter, for a Sausage, Avocado & Kimchi Melt and bond with Mother Nature, or simply stroll through the Farmer’s Market area at the festival and grab a giant watermelon slice to pair with your Preston wine and bring you back to earth.

 

Reeve Wines

(Photos from Reeve Wines’ Instagram)

Reeve Wines was created by wine lovers, Noah & Kelly Dorrance as their gateway to creative winemaking. Their ‘passion-project,’ as they call it, is a winery that crafts composed and sophisticated wines all while mining the best of what California grapes can produce.

It is rightfully so that you pair Reeve Wines with a food that pars a creative level and affection for California diversity. We’d suggest an “Ethnic Confusion Burrito” from Festival newbies & San Francisco locals – Dabba or a Lamb Sloppy Joe from the 7-year vets at Azalina’s.


Even if you’re not attending the festival this year, we encourage you to be adventurous with your wine pairings! Try a varietal you’re unfamiliar with. Pair your favorite with a new ethnic cuisine. It may surprise you.

And be sure to share with us on social media if you’ve tried any of the above pairings using the hashtag #drycreekvalley. We may even choose your photo to be featured to our 25k+ fans.

 

WHERE ARE OUR WINERIES NOW? FOLLOW US AND STAY IN THE KNOW:

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Planning a Girls Weekend in Wine Country

“Planning a girls’ weekend in wine country can be fun. Loving wine goes beyond the bottle — all the way back to where it starts in the vineyard. Long rows of vines cut through valleys and coastal hillsides to set the scene. Throw in a cast of seasoned confidantes and trusted sisters and you’ve got the makings of a weekend to remember.” – California Winery Advisor

Get social with your favorite winegrowing region and share your Dry Creek Valley Wine Country adventure with us . We may even feature you in our next post!

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Need some help getting started?

Check out our Itineraries for some inspiration.

Get social with your favorite winegrowing region and share your Dry Creek Valley Wine Country adventure with us . We may even feature you in our next post!

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WINE COUNTRY ETIQUETTE

As summer approaches, we thought it might be best to recap on our Wine Country Etiquette, because as our parents told us growing up, “manners matter.” Use this blog to freshen up on your tasting skills or perhaps prepare for your first time out in the Valley.


PLAN YOUR DAY OUT

-During summer, many wineries in Dry Creek Valley are open to the public seven days a week. But there are some places where this isn’t the case. Use our Winery Map and plan your route ahead by amenities, varietals, location or even dog friendly locations. On this map, you’ll also find contact information to call ahead to schedule a personalize appointment for a more exclusive moment with the winery. If you are travelling with a group larger than 6, your best bet is to always call ahead. Especially with the smaller, family owned wineries, accommodating a large group is sometimes difficult if unexpected.

 

-With a 16-mile long Valley and 60+ wineries, you’re bound to see some places along the way that weren’t on the original itinerary and want to drop in. There is no problem with stopping by and sending a representative from your group in and explaining your situation, you could say something along the lines of, “we saw your winery on our route to XX winery and would love to taste here. We are a group of XX – would you be able to accommodate us now? Or we can come back after our next stop.” Respect the host if they say they are unable and simply plan to schedule ahead on your next trip.

 

-Plan for someone in your group to be a Designated Driver or hire one of your own. Cell service is limited throughout the valley so rideshare apps can be difficult to use to their full potential.

 

Bring your lunch & snacks. Unless you are visiting a winery specifically for their food & wine experience (again, reserve these ahead of time!), then plan on bringing your lunch in a cooler. Before you bring out the cooler, ask the winery if it is okay if you can picnic there after your tasting. Do not bring outside alcohol. Some wineries offer selections of cheese, salami, bread and snacks but it’s best to be prepared for a day of tasting.


TASTING KNOWLEDGEABLY, RESPECTFULLY & RESPONSIBLY

-Taste in the suggested order of the tasting menu. Feel free to skip varietals if you have a strong aversion, but your palette will thank you for sticking with the winery’s tasting menu.

 

-Ask questions! If you’re unsure what a varietal is, where a region is, or what that one red fruit note is that you’re tasting, feel free to ask! There are no silly questions when it comes to wine.

 

-Swirl your glass. Sniff the aromas. Taste the wine. And don’t be embarrassed to ask for a spit cup from the winery. They will not be offended if you spit out wine. This is the responsible way to taste especially if you are tasting at multiple wineries. Same goes for pouring out wine into the dump buckets.

 

-Make room for other guests at the tasting room bar. Some tasting rooms can get crowded very quickly. When in duos, you can line-up behind each other or if you are in a group you can back away from the bar after receiving your taste to make room for others.

 

Avoid wearing perfume, scented lotions or cologne while tasting. Smells strongly effect how you taste wines. Wearing additional scents will only impair this for yourself and for the entire tasting room.

 

-A standard pour at wine tasting is an ounce to ounce-and-a-half. This is plenty to decipher the nuances. Don’t expect a full glass of wine of each varietal on the menu. Many wineries offer sales by the glass if you are interested. Typically at the end of your tasting your host will ask you to “revisit” any wines. This is your chance to taste again and see if there’s anything you want to bring home with you!

 

-Clear your palate between tastes with either a sip of water, a bite of bread or other neutral foods.

 

-The best way to taste wine is to use four out of five senses – notice the color and hue, sniff for any distinct aromas, taste for flavors and feel the texture it leaves on your tongue and in your mouth. Tip: if a wine makes your mouth feeling like it’s dry – that’s the tannins playing around!

 

(Want to learn how to taste wine from the experts themselves? Join us at Winemakers in Conversation this July for an incredible summer food & wine experience. Use the code EMAIL25 for 25% off! Click here to learn more.)

 

-To learn more about the technique behind tasting wines – visit Wine Folly’s guide!

 

-Make notes as you taste. You’ll usually be provided with a tasting menu and pen for this very reason. This will be a great reference when you are looking to purchase wine or join a new wine club.

 

-Tipping your tasting room host is not so much an obligation as if you were going out to eat, but it depends on the experience. If someone at the tasting room has gone out of their way to make your visit incredible, a tip is appreciated but not expected. When tastings are private, seated or if a food component is involved you should plan on tipping your associate.

 

-If you have an experience above and beyond hospitality – remember and send a review to the winery via mail or email.

 

-Remember – have fun! Wine is fun, social, delicious, and not to mention the wine country views are not to be beat. Each winery has its own personality and style for you to experience. And it’s all waiting just for you, here in Dry Creek Valley.

 


Share your pics from tasting in Dry Creek Valley using #DryCreekValley for a chance to be featured across our social media channels!


Wines for Graduation

It’s the Pomp & Circumstance of the wine world! Whether you’re celebrating your own graduation or coping with your child graduating school. Here are some Dry Creek Valley wines to celebrate this important milestone in your life.


The Pre-Ceremony Lunch

Kokomo Rosé – Pauline’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

“The subtle hue and aromas of watermelon and strawberry introduce the senses to this wine.  Melon, peach and strawberry juice explodes on the palate with hints of minerality, vibrant acidity, and a long mouth-watering finish.” – Kokomo Wines

A post shared by Kokomo Winery (@kokomowinery) on

This not so traditional Rose has received high-praise for its summer qualities. This wine is perfect to drink with lunch pre-ceremony as it is light, refreshing and tastes like celebration in a bottle.

 

The Toast

West Wines Seafoam Sparkling Wine, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

“Made from our estate grown Chardonnay grapes, this elegant sparkling wine has aromas of green apple and Asian pear which contribute on the palate in addition to fresh citrus and rounder tones of brioche.” –  West Wines

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Skip the name-brand for the toast on graduation day and go with something unique and as rare as the graduate! West Wines new Seafoam Sparkling is the perfect fit for that toast you’ve been working on for weeks (or minutes!)

 

The BBQ Dinner

Gustafson Zinfandel – Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

“Bright strawberry, ripe bing cherries, an enticing hint of sweet vanilla, and a delicate floral note that contributes to the wine’s delightful buoyancy. The palate is smooth with soft tannins and an inviting touch of spice, and the finish is clean and pleasantly lingering.” – Gustafson

Gustafson’s Zinfandel is a crowd pleaser. It epitomizes Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel and is perfect to pair with anything grilled. This is the wine that will impress all of your family and friends!

 

The Gift

A. Rafanelli – Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

“A well-structured wine with the inviting flavors of black cherry and plum, shaded by a touch of toasted oak. The rich flavors wrap around the fine tannins to coat the palate and end with a measure of finesse and grace. Sip on this Cab with a slice of decadent mocha cake.” – A. Rafanelli

Who not love Cab from Dry Creek. Wonderful day to walk into the vineyard.

A post shared by Hedonist Girls (@wine.partners) on

This wine is one for the new (or seasoned) collector’s cellar. This aging-worthy wine is one to get your hands on and not let go of. You’ll be tempted to drink it now, but trust us when we say let this wine take it’s time.

 

Something Sweet

Bella Winery – Late Harvest Zinfandel

“Late Harvest zinfandel is a beautiful blend of fruit and spice. On the nose, savory herbs interlace with blackberry cordial. Aniseseed and dark fruit lead into a lingering, full mouthfeel.” – Bella

This tasty sip is the perfect way to end a celebration. Without being cloyingly sweet, it’s the holy grail of late harvest wines. Pair this with a dark chocolate peanut butter cake – and you’ll be ready to take on whatever the world has for you (or your graduate) after graduation day!


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