Recipe: Cornmeal Crackers

March 15, 2018 by


In last month’s email newsletter Chef Henry shared four of his current wine choices along with a recipe for cornmeal crackers, a diverse base for all of your favorite toppings.
 
These decadent crackers also served as the base for smoked duck breast and Ayer’s Creek preserves as part of Chef's Flight in our Tasting Room. We are such a fan of these golden rounds that we wanted to share the recipe with you.


 
Ingredients
 
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal (white or yellow)
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbl sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2oz butter, melted and cooled

Preparation

1. Set oven to 375°
2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the buttermilk and butter.
4. Add the wet to dry and gently mix with a spoon or spatula until wet dough forms.
5. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
6. Roll to 1/8 of an inch on a floured surface and cut with favorite cookie cutter or squares.
7. Bake on a nonstick baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown, remember that the crackers will continue to cook for a few minutes afterward. Allow to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
 
Suggested wine pairings: 2014 Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2016 Dundee Hills Chardonnay, 2014 Old Vineyard Block Pinot Noir, and 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir.

As we expand our culinary program we are excited to offer experiences like last month's Chef's Flight and our ongoing Farm & Forage experience. To learn more about Farm & Forage and to book your seat, click here
 
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Recipe: Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Sauce

January 8, 2018 by


These flavorful meatballs are the epitome of comfort food, paired perfectly with our 2014 Big Tree Block Estate Pinot Noir, which has bold flavors of black cherry, licorice and blackberry balanced by smooth tannins. 


Cooking with Chef Henry: Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Sauce


Ingredients - Lamb Meatballs
1 pound ground lamb
½ yellow onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 tablespoon vinegar, sherry or red wine
1 egg
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
 
Harissa Sauce
1 cup Guajillos chile, toasted and seeded
½ cup carrots, medium dice, cooked
½ cup beets, medium dice, cooked
½ tablespoon cumin seed, toasted
½ tablespoon coriander seed, toasted
¼ tablespoon caraway seed, toasted
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon salt
 
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
 
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 300°. In a small pot saute the onion, carrot and garlic over medium-low heat about 6 minutes until tender. Cool completely.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the lamb and remaining ingredients with your hands until the mixture starts to become a little sticky.
  3. Take a small amount of the meatball mixture and saute on medium heat until cooked. About 2-3 minutes. This is just to taste for seasoning. Adjust salt/pepper/vinegar as necessary.
  4. Portion into 16 equal sized balls. Over medium heat in a large saute pan, brown the balls evenly in two batches. Be gentle, the balls will be fragile, but will firm up after cooking.
  5. Place the balls and all of the sauce in an oven proof pan (approximately 8”x10”) and cover with foil.
  6. Cook for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Serve with black rice or in a pita as a sandwich. Makes four servings.
 
 
 
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Harvest 2017 Wrap-Up

November 13, 2017 by



After the last of the fruit came in, the harvest team took a well-deserved moment to celebrate.


Harvest 2017 is complete, and another one for the books. As we transition from picking and crushing fruit, to fermentation and barreling down, this is the perfect opportunity to share our reflections on the vintage with you.
 
Unlike the 2016 vintage, where harvest started August 18th, this year we started picking for our sparkling program on September 5th. On September 15th we started bringing in pinot noir grapes from our Concert Block for our still Rosé, our “official” start to harvest, and we were off!
 
Our 40th vintage (and 46th harvest) tied with 2015 as our largest harvest to date! We brought in 750 tons of grapes, despite dropping 20-40% of our fruit back in August to help concentrate flavors in the grapes left on the vine. A harvest of this magnitude meant many late nights for our harvest crew, lots of dinners ordered in, and lots of baked goods from our colleagues consumed!
 
Despite the high volume of fruit that came in, what started as a “normal” vintage ultimately ended that way as well. The quality of the grapes are high this year, and our two rain events during harvest didn’t pose any issues – the fruit came in very clean. It reminds our team a lot of the 2012 vintage.
 
This year we’re excited to expand our work with ambient fermentations, trials in our concrete egg, and a few new techniques we have up our sleeve, including a 10-day cold juice settling for our Rosé of Pinot Noir.
 
We look forward to introducing you to the 2017 vintage. 
 
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Harvest Update: October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017 by




We are officially a month in to Harvest 2017 and a busy month it has been!
 
Vineyard Report for October 6, 2017
  • Our team kicked off harvest on Tuesday, September 5 with Early Muscat for our Evolution Sparkling. It was a smoky, sooty, hot day to kick off the season.
  • After two of the earliest harvests in Sokol Blosser history (2015 and 2016) we are somewhat back to normal this year.  
  • Our team sent a salute to the official start of Harvest 2017 with a yearly ritual: sabering a bottle of sparkling rosé.
  • A week into harvest we started picking Concert Middle Pinot Noir for our new Evolution Sparkling Rosé program.
  • We wrapped up picking for our 2017 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir just before the rain started in mid-September. The grapes are looking good!
  • After six days off due to rain we were ready to start up again by bringing in the first of the pinot noir for our Single Block program.
  • Harvest 2017 is shaping up to be our largest harvest ever! Stay tuned for more information on that subject.

 
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Harvest Update: The Countdown Begins

July 14, 2017 by




Each summer, our vineyard crew carefully checks the vines looking for that first sign of bloom. Once we have bloom we can expect harvest to begin in approximately 100 days. Let the countdown begin!
 
Alex Sokol Blossers Pre-Harvest Vineyard Update:
  • Bloom started for our warm site in the Dundee Hills around June 20th, which puts the start of harvest out to around September 20th.
  • We are expecting more of a normal harvest start date unlike 2013-2016.
  • After one of the wettest winters on record, summer has finally come and it fortunately has not been too hot.
 
Check back soon for our Harvest Updates! 
 
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