Grateful Palate Warehouse Sale 11/22: stock up on Australian wines!

A Grateful Palate

Slurp up specials on wine, bacon, and other culinary delights perfect for holiday gifts and meals at the Grateful Palate Warehouse Sale in Oxnard this Saturday November 22!

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And yes, the sale is IN the warehouse–so once you get off the 101 freeway between Camarillo and Oxnard and head toward the ocean on Del Norte Blvd, drive around from the front office at 701 Del Norte Blvd Ste 205 to the back where there’s plenty of parking and a large loading dock door open for you to stroll on through first thing Saturday morning.

The sale starts at 9am–get there early for the best deals. You can bet someone will be cooking up bacon–maybe even Dan Philips himself! R Wines chef Greggory Hill will be there, preparing treats for us to eat while we roam the warehouse collecting cases of wine for ourselves and for friends. Grateful Palate sells coffee too–let’s hope a pot is brewing and real half and half to go in it!

In addition to wine, coffee, and bacon, you’ll find super high end soy sauce, real maple syrup, distinctive olive oils, and more.

The postcard I received in the mail promises up to 75% off on select stock. If past sales are any guide, there will be some wonderful wines at amazing prices. For example, I’ve been astounded by a 2001 RBJ Theologicum for $9.99 (that’s a Chris Ringland wine which blends granache and mataro). I will be picking up a bottle or two of Chris Ringland’s Ebenezer shiraz for sure and probably some Luchador as well. MMMnnn and maybe I’ll find an RBJ Mataro and and and…

As many people know, Grateful Palate recently cut back on the number of wines they import and the wineries they represent here in the states (here is Micheal Pollard’s list of what’s in and out). I imagine at this warehouse sale there will be a number of bin ends and previous vintages of these wines as well as wines they will continue to carry marked way way down from the $50-100 range to around $20-25. Pollard also has commented that Australian wines have been over valued. Watch also for “damaged” bottles–last time I picked up a couple of bottles of Majella shiraz for $10.

While the wine most people think of when it comes to Australia is shiraz, think sparkling shiraz for holiday gatherings. It’s festive, fun, and a sure conversation starter. The warehouse sale will probably offer Paringa sparkling red for under $10, as well as Trevor Jones and Majella for under $20.

The Grateful Palate Australian wine that I always have around is actually a port wine–Jonesy port (which Parker scored in the low 90s) which I can buy from Ventura Wine Company on Telephone near Market but will probably be a dollar or two cheaper at the sale. While the Jonesy is great as an every day port, I fell in love with Old Codger and another one with horses on it…I will be on the lookout for some unusual ports and dessert wines too to warm up cold winter nights and liven up the end of holiday meals.

In case you didn’t know, R Winery makes American wines as well–be sure to check out Ringland’s Green Lion cab if just to look at the bottle art. I can’t tell you how good it is because mine is still in the cellar at my mom’s house on the hill, so I’ll be able to keep it longer. If it was here, I would have drank it already!

2005 Dead Letter Office shiraz: worth finding

DAY 2: Grandviews from this Dead Letter Office

Day 2: White Mountains, Inyo National Forest, Eastern California

After an easy oatmeal breakfast with coffee and exceptionally delicious treats from the Alabama HIlls Cafe and Hard Rock Legends bakery in Lone Pine (a croissant and even better a Danish made with locally grown fresh peaches), the boys play more ball and I dive back into Mysore yoga challenges with Barbara Henning (You, Me and the Insects). She’s plagued by bugs and heat; here we have no pestering insects and the temperature is perfect. My life is calm while she is learning how to manuever a scooter in crazy traffic…(has a car gone by yet today? Maybe one or two?) She is surrounded by hordes of people and no one she knows; the two people I love best are laughing and playing together. We can’t see or hear another human; there is no one else within miles.

Too soon, we pack up and continue to Schulman Grove. Random patches of wildflowers including various purple and violet penstamen delight us, and soon we’re at the Visitor Center. The Ranger on duty has been there 18 years; my first visit there was 20 years ago when I was on a college environmental studies field quarter with ecologists Dr. Kenneth Norris and Dr. Stephen Gleissmann. There was no visitor center or much information then; now it is a lovely space, a log cabin with windows and light and a wood burning stove for the plentiful cold days, especially in early season, around Memorial Day, when the days are cold and the popular 4 mile long Methusalah trail still has snow on it.

We spread peanut butter and jelly on bread and head up the Bristlecone cabin trail, a new trail built within the last 5 years. The trees may not be that “old” along this part of the trail (maybe a few hundred or a thousand not like the 3-4,000 year old trees on the other side of the mountain), but the child is excited about seeing the old cabins and the mine remnants and that motivates him to keep moving under the hot sun. Continue reading

A Roogle Dream

Dan Philips Grateful Palate & my high altitude dreamin’

When I was in college, my environmental lit and writing class taught by Page Stegner (Wallace Stegner’s son) went on a rafting trip through the goosenecks on the San Juan River in the American Southwest. I traveled there with other students in climber Mike Carville’s brand new VW pop-up Westfalia campervan, and we stopped on the way at his dad’s place at Northstar Lake Tahoe which he was developing. That night I had a very vivid and strange dream which included walking in a leather mini-skirt along a trail in the redwoods; Continue reading

Marquis Philips Roogle 2005 shiraz: 10,000′ high

DAY 1: White Mountain Bristlecones: served with a shiraz mustache

July 5, White Mountains, Inyo National Forest, Eastern California served with
porkloin, grilled corn, and 2005 Marquis Philips “Roogle” shiraz, chilled briefly in a bucket of snow

At 10,000’, we’ve left paved road and the Schulman Grove of the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains of California’s Inyo National Forest to climb steadily up a well maintained dirt and gravel road. Sagebrush, a calf high shrub, dots the hillsides with soft green, and sends up gray green flower spikes which will bloom yellow by late August. Abundant coral red Indian paintbrush bracts burst in color between the sage while purple lupine lines the road and sends wafts of grape through the window to mingle with whiffs of sage.

We’re headed for the Patriarch Grove at over 11,000’ where, Continue reading

Majella 2001 Coonawarra shiraz: a puzzle

summer means salmon

Last winter I proclaimed that when fresh, wild Alaskan salmon came in season, especially Copper River salmon, that we should have it every night that we possibly could.

This June, we have followed through on my proclamation by enjoying salmon several nights a week. The first night we had Copper River salmon, I almost swooned I was in so much ecstasy: this salmon is sweet and rich: it’s like candy and you just can’t get enough of it. It has all the best, classic characteristics that come to mind when you think salmon, or even salmon sushi, combined with the flavor of fresh caught wild trout.

I understand the flavor of the fish has to do with the quality of the river–Copper River in Alaska is super cold, rugged, and glacial fed. Continue reading

Chris Ringland’s Ebenezer Shiraz 2006: rich but not a tightwad

Chris Ringland’s Ebenezer Shiraz 2006: rich but not a tightwad

I’ve been told that in Australia, winemaker Chris Ringland is famous like a rock star, something like Wolfgang Puck, Francis Ford Coppola, and Robert Mondavi all rolled up into one.

Now that I’ve had a few of Ringland’s wines which I picked up from the Grateful Palate warehouse sale, I am starting to understand why: they’re rich, juicy, eminently drinkable and enjoyable with or without food, unpretentious, wines you can sink your teeth and heart into. Continue reading

Majella’s Sparking Shiraz: rubies flash

Majella’s sparkling shiraz & taxes: perfect for a picnic

I have to admit, right here, right now, that in June I had yet to finish our 2007 taxes.

But thanks to Annie, we had all of our numbers squared away in their little boxes in time for Charles to help us use his Turbo Tax program.

And so, to say thanks to Annie, to celebrate the near completion of our taxes, and because of a beautiful, shimmery solstice eve here on the California coast, we popped the cork on a bottle of 2004 Majella sparkling shiraz.

What in the world is a sparkling shiraz, you ask?

Until a few months ago, that was my question too. A red sparkling wine? Good? At the idea, at the very suggestion, my mind immediately flew back in time to my high school prom, and having my date pop the plastic cork of the cold duck: red sparkling wine spilled all over my cream colored dress. We left the beach for a nearby McDonald’s where I washed my dress in the sink and used the hand dryer to dry it off enough for us to head to the prom just in time to get our pictures taken. Continue reading