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Welcome to the WineCountry.com Lifestyle Newsletter! This November we bring you highlights of fun Wine Country activities such as wine and cheese pairing workshops and the launch of a fabulous new Napa Valley inn. We also have in store for you a full calendar of events, a tasty fall recipe and recommendations to the best restaurants and tasting rooms the Wine Country has to offer.
WineCountry.com has had an exciting month! We have recently made some changes and are very proud to announce our latest addition, www.SantaCruz.WineCountry.com. We have also given our home site, www.WineCountry.com a new look. Now, you are able to find what you are looking for with even greater ease.
SantaCruz.WineCountry.com now serves as your one-stop-shop for all there is to do in the Santa Cruz, CA area. This new addition to the WineCountry.com family covers a very large geographic region including wineries from as far north as Half Moon Bay to as far south as Watsonville. SantaCruz.WineCountry.com provides a fabulous opportunity for many of the wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains to gain exposure and share with the world their wonderful wines!
As always, we invite you to explore all that the Wine Country has to offer, as the possibilities are endless! The Wine Country embraces new travelers, and for those on a returning journey, we're positive the Wine Country will entice you all over again!
The Wine Country is our home, our workplace and our inspiration Enjoy!!
The WineCountry.com Lifestyle Newsletter is brought to you by the WineCountry.com division of FreeRun Technologies, Inc.
Luna's Wine & Cheese Workshop
When searching for a fun, quick Saturday afternoon getaway look no further than the inviting tables at Luna Vineyards in Napa, CA. Members of the WineCountry.com editorial staff had a wonderful opportunity to entertain guests, become enlightened to the magic of pairing wine with cheese, and enjoy a beautiful array of Luna wines, by participating in a Luna Vineyards Wine and Cheese Pairing Workshop with Joyce McCollum.
On the last Saturday of each month leading into January 2002, Luna is conducting a series of wine and cheese pairing workshops. The workshops are directed by Luna's own, Joyce McCollum of hospitality. Ms. McCollum has been in the cheese making industry for over 13 years and has recently decided during her time at Luna to share her knowledge with others about the union of a wisely paired cheese and wine.
"Enjoy your palate" is a philosophy of Ms. McCollum's as she conducts her workshop. Ms. McCollum believes that enjoying your wine and finding a complimentary cheese is as simple as what tastes good to you. She coaches the workshop participants, as they taste around their plates with the corresponding wine. For her recent workshop, Ms. McCollum paired tasty treats such as the Luna Vineyards 1999 Sangiovese with a Vella Dry Jack Reserve on Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper. Another favorite of the group's was a Mendelson 1999 Pinot Gris Dessert Wine with St. Agur on a Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with a slice of pear.
The workshop provides the guest with a brief history, a delicious treat and a new love for wine and cheese. The workshops are $20 per person and last an hour. Ms. McCollum limits the workshop size to about twelve members to preserve a sense of intimacy and comfort.
Milliken Creek Grand Opening
Milliken Creek Inn - Grand Opening Bash is a Smash!
On October 17, 2001 Milliken Creek Inn opened its doors for a five-hour celebration of the Inn's grand opening. The evening drew over three hundred people to the property along famed Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Guests were treated to live jazz, hors d'oeuvres, and wine tasting from local wineries as they toured through seven of the ten newly transformed rooms and the Inn's lavishly landscaped gardens. Wineries present included Luna Vineyards, Darioush, Sawyer Cellars, Del Dotto Winery, and Truchard Vineyards, with additional wine donated by Robert Mondavi.
The invitees watching the sun set across the river from the panoramic windows saw just one more reason why the luxury property is receiving such rave reviews. And, when not enjoying the view, guests conversed while warming their hands by the fireplaces or dipping their fingers into the bubbling spa tubs. The owners, David Shapiro and Lisa Holt could be seen throughout the evening warmly greeting the many guests. "It's wonderful how the local community has shown up in such force and responded so well. We hope the inn adds a level of style and sophistication to the area. It's been a long haul, but we are very proud of what we have accomplished."
Milliken Creek, which has little or no resemblance to the property that preceded it, The Country Garden Inn, rests on three acres along the Napa River just moments from Copia: The American Center for Food, Wine, and The Arts and is less than an hour from San Francisco. Although invitations brought the guests in for the opening, the inn's chic décor and cool elegance is why Napa welcomes it with open arms. The result of all the hard work dedicated to the three million dollar transformation showed it's worth as the opening was a tremendous success.
For more information about the Inn, please visit their site at www.millikencreekinn.com or call 888-622-5775. Prices range from $225 to $450 per night.
Events For November
November 7 - 18 -- Mendocino Wine & Mushroom Festival
November 18 -- Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer in Concert at the Little River Inn
November 9 - 11 -- The Great Wine Escape Weekend
November 13 -- Ridge Vineyards Tasting at Rancho Cellars
November 3 - 4 -- Harvest Celebration
November 23 -- Napa Valley Ice Art Championship
November 10 -- Mysteries in the Masterpieces
November 30 -- Downtown Holiday Parade
November 14 -- Winemaker Wednesdays
November 2 - 18 -- Grease!
November 2 - 10 -- The Masque of the Red Death & The Medium at Cinnabar Theater
November 10 -- A Holiday Affair at Villa Fiore
This Month's Recipe
Battle of the Appellations
This month WineCountry.com decided to highlight our November recipe a little differently. We invited over two dozen wineries to participate in a contest, "Battle of the Appellations," and help us select the perfect wine compliment to our latest recipe. Our invitation included this month's recipe and requested that each winery send WineCountry.com a sample of their best wine suggestion. The distinguished palates of WineCountry.com's editorial staff then tasted the recipe with each submission and chose a winner.
This month's perfect pairing is from Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards in Saratoga, CA and are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region. Savannah-Chanelle was very gracious and provided WineCountry.com with a 2000 Pinot Noir--Santa Lucia Highlands, which complemented this month's recipe, Mushroom Royale perfectly. Thank you, Savannah-Chanelle!
Keep your eye out for next month's winner!
Each mushroom cap holds a spicy golden stuffing.
Heat oven to 350 degrees, wash and trim mushrooms. Remove stems, finely chop the stems. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet. Cook and stir mushroom stems, green pepper and onion in butter about 5 min. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
Melt last tablespoon of butter in shallow baking dish; fill caps with stuffing, place filled side up and bake for l5 minutes. Then set oven control at broil. Broil for 2 minutes with mushrooms 3-4 inches from heat. (Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.)
Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.
When visiting Healdsburg in Sonoma County, Carolyn Lewis our Director or Sales and Marketing and resident restaurant "reviewer" suggests that you try Manzanita. From the moment you enter the restaurant you are ensconced in an inviting and professional environment--you just have that feeling the food will live up to your expectations.
The main dining room has an airy look with an earthly minimalist interior, well spaced tables and non-intrusive music. The menu is quietly creative, and as you sneak a look at what your fellow diners are having along with the delicious aromas floating about, you will find it difficult to decide what to order.
After mulling over the menu Carolyn decided to begin her meal with Manzanita's Oysters on the Half Shell-Shallot and Green Peppercorn Mignonette. Followed by the delicious Pear and Celery Root Salad-Pancetta, Butterleaf Lettuce and Dijon Crème Fraîche. For Carolyn's main course she selected Pan Seared Sea Scallops-Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onions, Endive and Truffle Oil. The Chef, Bruce Frieseke prepared the dish with a mixture of flavors that not only pleased the palate, but also complimented and completed the Manzanita dining experience.
Carolyn also suggests Manzanita's wine bar. The wine list has a great mixture of wines from various appellations to provide the visitor with several choices. There are also several excellent French and Italian selections-just in case (GASP!) you might want to compare California wines with some other place!
Overall, Manzanita had great ambiance, a delicious menu with an interesting selection and is fairly priced. Manzanita is located at 336 Healdsburg Ave Healdsburg, CA 707-433-8111. Doors are open at 5:30pm Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. As their web site is currently under construction, keep your eye out for their link on www.Sonoma.com.
Tasting Room Recommendation
Tasting With Tom
This month WineCountry.com's Sales Engineering Support Associate Tom Biggs chose two very different Sangiovese to taste.
The purpose of this taste test was to compare an American and Italian Sangiovese and to celebrate their differences. I chose Rancho Cellars - Fine Wine Merchants in Carmel, California as the tasting location as they are known to have the best selection of esoteric and cult wines throughout. On any given day, they have 3,000 different labels to choose from.
The Italian Sangiovese was a Le Corti Chianti Classico, a very small appellation in Chianti region. We also tasted a 1999 Renwood Sangiovese from Amador County Appellation, the western foothills in the Sierra Nevada in Central California.
Right from the start, there were noticeable differences. In the New World tradition, the Renwood Sangiovese puts it's fruitiness forward and a distinct vanilla taste was both pleasant to smell and taste. The Le Corti was very smooth with showing a wonderful bright berry with earth aromas and fresh, delicious flavors. I would not hesitate to pair either Singiovese with a Filet Mingnon, or better yet, a Risotto with pork slices and porcini mushrooms. Going out on a limb, this the Renwood Sangiovese will do well with BBQ'd ribs. At least that is what I am going to pair it with this weekend.
The price range for these two bottles range from $13.00 to $22.00 and both are recommended.
Rancho Cellars is a great place to learn about wines. The casual taster can definitely learn more from a flight tasting beginning at $2.00 per taste depending on the wine. For those wishing to learn more about pairing wine with food, Rancho Cellars has wine tasting classes starting at $20.00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays complete with gourmet food. An example of this will be November 13, 2001, when Rancho Cellars will taste and feature the world famous Ridge Vineyards-A must see!
Because Visiting the Wine Country for FREE Only Happens Once in a Lifetime!!
Win a luxurious trip to the Wine Country! Snuggle under a lush feather comforter with all the accompanying amenities and fragrant vineyards outside your bedroom window . Journey on the Wine Train while you tease your palate with a delicious and decadent five-course dinner . Relax with a private and romantic wine tasting at an exclusive tasting room of the Napa Valley
On January 7, 2002 you could win a two-night stay at the Napa Valley Marriott, tickets for two on the famous Wine Train which includes a five-course dinner, and two tickets for an exclusive wine tasting at the private tasting room of Koves-Newlan Vineyards and Winery.
No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected January 7, 2002 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.
Visit Napa Valley Marriott at: www.napavalley.com/lodging/napa.html
Visit the Napa Valley Wine Train at: www.winetrain.com
Visit Koves-Newlan Vineyards and Winery at: www.kovesnewlanwine.com
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