New Zealand Sauv Blanc with Zesty Arugula Kale Pesto Pizza #WinePW

Many of my favorite foods pair best with sauvignon blanc: goat cheese and fresh crusty sourdough bread, oysters on the half shell, pesto made of greens, caesar salad with anchovies, greek pizza with artichokes, olives, and feta.

So it was a no brainer when we received a sample of Waipapa Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region to come up with pairing ideas for a warm summer evening with a wine friend visiting from Puerto Rico, David Rodrigues. We added two more wine samples from Brancott and one from Clifford Bay to the round up.

And it was no surprise that the pairings were successful!

Continue reading

5 Wines from Spain Paired With Paella: Red, White, Cava, Rosado?

What pairs with paella?

This seafood saffron infused treat from Valencia Spain is rice that is cooked over an open fire which uses orange and pine branches as well as pine cones; this aromatic smoke infuses the paella. Cooking on the grill outside when it is too hot to be inside makes it excellent summer fare. You can also cut back on dinner dishes if you serve it the traditional way where you eat directly out of the paellera!

But what pairs well with these rich complex flavors? We set out to find out! Continue reading

3 Summer Wines from South Africa Shine for #CheninBlancDay #RoseDay #WinePW

As the days get longer and sunnier in the northern hemisphere here, it’s time to think about wines for summer. We’ve got three suggestions for you from South Africa — where it is actually winter there!

And because #RoseDay is TODAY, June 8, two of our summer suggestions are — you guessed it — ROSE!

And because #CheninBlancDay is June 15, we have a Chenin blanc!

The previous time we focused on South African wine was in August of 2016 we learned the cuisine focuses on: Continue reading

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine:” Biodynamic Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir Paired with Duck #WinePW #OregonWineMonth

 

Located just 10 miles west of downtown Portland, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is located in the far northern reaches of Oregon’s Willamette Valley on Cooper Mountain next to the vines that Dr. Robert Gross and his wife Corinne planted in 1978; Corinne was from the area, and they wanted their three children to grow up there too.

“Our land is our life and our life is our wine.” Cooper Mountain’s Motto

After 10 years of growing grapes, they decided to make their own wine by turning an old horse barn into a winery. By the early 1990s, they evolved to grow organically (certified by Oregon Tilth in 1995) and biodynamically (certified by Demeter in 1999).

Back then there were only a handful of wineries and a few vineyards; today there are over 500 wineries, with many of them making world class Pinot noir and as of 2015, more than half of them (52%)  are certified sustainably farmed with a significant number of them biodynamically farmed (about 2500 acres in 2015 with more added just this year from Troon and possibly others). See below for links to discussions of many of these biodynamic wineries)

Why biodynamic? Continue reading

Yes, it matters where it comes from: Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir #OregonWineMonth

Does it matter to you where a wine comes from?

According to a Swiss Institute study referenced by Willamette Valley Vineyard’s founder and winegrower Jim Bernau, it does: on average, our decision to purchase a particular wine is based 45% on where it comes from; price factors in at 25% and vintage is only 11%. And we want that information to be correct: 94% of consumers surveyed by the Wine Origins Alliance favor laws that protect us from misleading wine labels. Continue reading

Go Biodynamic this Earth Month with Syrah from Narrow Gate and Cab from Beaver Creek #WinePW

 

There was a lot Steiner and his compatriots did not know in 1924. What they did know was that the new chemical farming strategies that were taking over the world were destroying the land and our food. They may not have known why, but they knew something was wrong. At least they had the courage to seek a solution.

Our job as biodynamic farmers is to continue the experiments as he requested until we find why biodynamics works, which it does.

There is something clearly working here and in the face of climate change we better figure out what works.

Striving for Demeter certification is like a jazz musician practicing scales over and over again. It is only after they master their instrument that they can improvise and truly create something new.

So writes Craig Camp in his recent and evocative essay “Looking at Steiner in the Rearview Mirror”  — the Steiner in the title is the “father” of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner.

April is Earth Month, and the Wine Pairing Weekend crew and I invite you celebrate the earth by going green with your wine selection — scroll down to see titles and find links to our suggestions!

And if you ask me, the best way to do that is by choosing biodynamic wines. Continue reading