As much as I find the history of a winery interesting, to me the winemakers background and experience is what drives the wineries brand a flavor profile. And as I interview winemakers from all over the world, I find such a great diversity in education, experience, pedigree and winemaking philosophy. A few weeks ago I interviewed the descendant of one the great 2nd growth Bordeaux; clearly pedigreed and born with a silver tastevin (as it were). Today I speak with Julio Basillas of Matetic winery in Chile. A stark contrast to my Bordeaux interview, the passion is the same. Grow the best grapes you can to make the best expression of those grapes in wine. Have a listen and feel his commitment.

 

PK

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Join us on June 17th, 2013!!

 

Elements Kitchen

Ever wonder how to pair wine and food? Ever wonder how the a chef might think of a pairing…

Join me and Chef Jose Luis on a culinary trip through food and wine in fabulous LAS VEGAS!

Hosts Catherine and Jose Luis Pawelek will be our culinary trip advisors and I will be your wine steward. Jose Luis has paired my wine selections with his culinary creations to create a memorable evening of food, wine and fun.

Elements Kitchen has won accolades from around the Vegas dinner scene and garners accolades from Seven Magazine (Best of City), Desert Best City, Urban Spoon and many others. And Yelp has praise all over it!

Please join us:

 

DATE June 17th, 2013
TIME 6:30 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Dinner
WHERE Elements Kitchen, 4950 S Rainbow Blvd #100
Las Vegas, NV 89118 702-750-2991
FARE $75.00/per person plus 15% tip

 
Join us for a (4) course meal, each expertly paired with my favorite wine from the Wine of the Month Club.

Make a date of it and join myself and the Pawelek’s for a great evening.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS HERE:

 http://www.wineofthemonthclub.com/product/wtd/vegas-dinner

 

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Have you ever thought about elevation and wine? Well, believe it or not, elevation plays a key role in wine production. 

Like so many other factors, the elevation of a vineyard is an important aspect of its ability to produce great wine grapes. What’s interesting is that its importance varies based on where the vineyard is. For instance, in South America, which is close to the equator, if vines were planted at, or near, sea level, the temperature would be so hot and humid that the grapes could not produce anything even approaching great wine.


The higher elevation, such as those found in Chile and Argentina, is the most critical factor in ameliorating the temperature. Heat collects at the bottom, but passes through at the top. Therefore, the heat summation in the higher elevations is not even close to that which is on the floor. 

In more temperate climates at sea level, elevation is important because that elevation was caused by geological occurrence which forces rocks and limestone into the soil. That rock and limestone assure proper drainage and supply nutrients essential to a vines health and its ability to produce great grapes for making great wines. 

Check out www.facebook.com/wineofthemonthclub for more information! Loads of fun facts and hilarious pictures.

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Dijon-Rosemary Prime Rib Roast with Pinot Noir Au Jus

 

This is such a wonderful recipe. The strength of the beef cradle in the subtleties of Dijon and Rosemary. My mind went right to Tempranillo. Tempranillo can be pretty forward but I think it  would catch the Rosemary just right but stand up to the marble of the Prime Rib.

Try this month’s new Tempranillo, Broken Earth

and thank you Simply Scratch for this delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

7 pound Standing Rib Roast (bone in)

1 teaspoon of Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon of Freshly Ground Black Pepper

6 Cloves of Garlic, smashed and peeled

1/3 cup Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoons chopped Fresh Thyme

1-1/2 tablespoons of chopped Fresh Rosemary

1-1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Cooking Spray

2 cups Beef Broth

2/3 cup Pinot Noir

 

Directions:

Let the roast sit at room temperature for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray your roasting rack with cooking spray.

In a food processor (a mini processor works great here!) pulse the peeled garlic cloves until minced. Add in the chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, mustard and olive oil. Pulse until combined.

Trim off any excess fat off of the roast and season the entire thing with the kosher salt and black pepper. Use your hands and rub the Dijon mixture over the entire roast.

Place the roast on the prepared roasting rack and set into a large roasting pan and insert an oven-safe digital thermometer into the center of the thickest part of your roast.

Bake at 400 degrees for thirty minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees (DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR) and cook for another 30 minutes.

Pour in the 2 cups of beef broth and return the roast to the oven to cook for another 30-40 minutes or until the internal temp registers at 135 degrees.

Remove the roast and let it rest on a carving board while you make the Au jus.

Place the roasting pan with all of the drippings on two burners and bring to a boil. Pour in the 2/3 cup of Pinot Noir and cook, stirring often for 6 minutes or until it reduces to 3/4 of a cup.

With a carving knife, slice the roast along the bones and set those off to the side. Slice the prime rib and serve with a tablespoon or so of the Au jus over top.

Serves 12-14 people.

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I was recently asked a great question…

“At a recent wine tasting we kept hearing the phrase ‘Malo’ or
‘It’s not 100% malo’, or ‘There is no malo’. What does this
mysterious phrase mean?”
~ M.Z., Milwaukee, WI.

And I answered with this… 

It is encouraging to hear that you are attending wine tastings. It
is time to ‘mellow out about malo.’ Malo is short for malolactic
fermentation, which is the conversion of the strong, harsh malic
acid (which is normally present in new wine and apples) into the
weaker lactic acid and carbon dioxide. Lactic acid is the acid of milk.
This transformation makes the wine less harsh, less tart, and more
supple. It can also add flavor and complexity to both red and white
wines and eliminates the chance of the fermentation occurring
after the wine has been bottled. This result would be a wine that
is gassy and cloudy. The process is not at all related to alcoholic
fermentation. Malo almost always happens after alcoholic
fermentation, which is why it is sometimes called a ‘secondary
fermentation’. Mastery of this fermentation process was one of
the great developments in winemaking in France and the world
in the 20th century. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally
when the temperatures become warmer in the spring. There can,
however be too much or not enough malo which means and a
control system is the key to perfecting the wines.

Chardonnay has a great affinity for malolactic fermentation,
creating soft, creamy almost buttery textures. Chenin Blanc,
Riesling and Gewurtztraminer show their true colors with the
fresh fruit acidity that makes them so great tasting. A wine that
is bottled and meant to be drunk immediately would not
need malo. Most red wines naturally go through malolactic
fermentation. It is the white wines, generally Chardonnay,
that are monitored and stylized. It all boils down to the
winemaker’s discretion and the style of wine she/he wishes
to produce. It is fun to buy several different styles and see
which ones suit your tastes and recipes. So have fun and
see what you prefer.

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This looks so good…..I sat imagining the flavors and it hit me. A Sicilian Grillo! This wine was the leanness to hold up to the cheese and the saltiness (not really sodium) to compliment the tapenade….can’t wait to try it!

Today's Sandwich: Olive Tapenade Grilled Cheese (Homemade)

Olive Tapenade

Grilled Cheese

Makes one big sandwich

Ingredients:

2 slices rustic bread, sliced
4 tablespoons black olive tapenade
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 slices tomato
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Pat tomato slices dry, sprinkle with salt, and set aside while you assemble the other ingredients. Spread each slice of bread with two tablespoons of the tapenade. Top with cheese, and the sliced tomato. Butter outside of sandwich, and cook in a skillet over medium heat until cheese melts and bread is golden brown.

 

You can find the wine here: Sicilia Grillo, Wine of the Month Club

and the recipe here: From Away

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What’s New….

I was validated last week, at least in a small slice of my life. Certainly, for any of us to find complete validation of our existence cannot be known until we are gone. But along the way, little snips of life can keep us going because we feel like something is right about what we do and believe. My validation is wine related.

I was asked to entertain some young professionals in a short on-site wine tasting with a brief discussion about what WOMC does and how it was formed. You see, these young professionals are all successful (businesses anyway) in their domain. I like to think we are successful in our mission at WOMC as well (evidenced by all you “raving fan” members). Happily, I received these folks and to be immediately disappointed in their respect toward me and the company. One guy was on his phone texting the entire visit, and while on the tour, no one asked any questions about, well, anything!I opened ten wines for these folks and those were met with virtually not even fake enthusiasm. I work hard to make these wines happen and I want people to enjoy what I do. So where was my validation?I realized that wine is for sharing and camaraderie, for discussion and conversation; it is not for attempted snobbery or “one up-manship”. It was clear to me that we are doing it right and for that I appreciate your patronage.

If you’re looking for some great new wines to try this month, check out our April selections at www.wineofthemonthclub.com. Also, follow our daily updates about what’s going on at WOMC by LIKING our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/wineofthemonthclub or by following us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/wineofthemonth

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Yesterday during tasting day (tasted about 56 wines); I had a visit from a sales manager of a large distributor. He was rather inquisitive about what was happening with our business. I felt a bit uneasy with some of the questions. Usually when a salesman is trying to understand my business, the questions are not so direct. It seems he was trying to get at whether or not I am getting enough wines to sample in the price ranges that we offer.

You see, there have been short crops in California for the 2010 and 2011 season, however the 2012 season was amply larger. What this gentleman didn’t understand was that we get wines from all over the world, and from many sources including: vineyards, brokers, suppliers, imported in tankers, cases, barrels, and tanks.

We get wines direct from the vineyards from all over the world because we have licenses to sell, import, and manufacture wine. There isn’t a method in the wine industry we don’t employ to find the best values from the best places. His reply… “Oh”.

PS. As I write this, I received an email from one of my operatives in Napa Valley who just found some great Chenin Blanc; another WOMC winner!

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wineofthemonthclub

Click on the images below to check out our newest additions!

 Los Andes  

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This event has become so popular…the wineries and restaurants call us now! They want in on the action and plenty of action there is:

Wine tasting. Horse racing. Fine cuisine. Art show. Silent auction. And just a plain ol’ good time.

This is really fun. Living in Arcadia, California we are fortunate to have one of the great horse racing facilities in the country right in our back yard. I can’t tell a lie…I like the ponies.

So when they approached me to sponsor a wine tasting event, how could I say no…and when they added that the proceeds will benefit the youth of the San Gabriel Valley, I was sold

We are on it…We will have the opportunity to taste 105+ wines, taste the cuisine of 20 plus restaurants and enjoy a day at the race track. Included in the $60.00/per person ($40.00/under 16) fee is parking, cuisine, wine tasting, a grandstand seat, art exhibit, daily racing program and a souvenir wine tasting glass. The event starts at 12:00 pm (first post is at 12:30 pm).

 

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I can smell this recipe just reading it…wow…and another tough pairing. Most dishes with Indian spices are hard to pair and wine just doesn’t do well with spicy foods.  Traditional wisdom puts a Riesling or Gewurztraminer with this dish…I am out on a limb suggesting our Picpoul de Pinet from Felines Jourdan.

You can find the recipe here: The Amateur Gourmet

Don’t forget to check out the wine here: Wine of the Month Club

 

nepalesechickendown

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