Saturday, November 27, 2010

Touring Monterey County is now as Simple as Clicking a Button


Monterey County California is situated south of San Francisco and north of Santa Barbara.  Over 90 miles of the most fertile farm and vineyard land is located right in this very special area of California.
 
 
 
 
 
On January 1st 2011 exploring the wines of Monterey just got a lot easier.  The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association will launch their Mobile phone application that puts a plethora of wine touring and directions at your finger tips.





The application will use location based services to provide detailed itineraries and the ability to view tasting rooms near by.  The free application includes information on over 30 tasting rooms in Monterey, Carmel and River Road Wine Trail area ,  and wine tasting menus to help guide visitors to tasting rooms they way want to visit.  In addition, wineries are able to update their tasting menus with new wine releases with real time information for guests.





“This application will allow guests to make quick decisions that fit their lifestyle and travel plans. Traveling with a dog so you need to stop at a tasting room that is pet friendly, but want to make sure the tasting room has Pinot Noir on their tasting menu? We’ve got you covered!  The user friendly application will allow you to develop your itinerary from criteria that are most important to wine tourists “said Rhonda Motil , Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association.




Wine tourists  can even mark their favorite destinations within  the application, with the ability to add comments to aid  future visitors as well.  This very nice application also allows users to “Make your own Itineraries” function and full integration with Twitter and Facebook.





An application like this has been long overdue  and its ability to give tourists real-time , “on the fly “ information is a major benefit.  After seeing a pre-view of this fine application, this  should be the first download of the year for any wine lover who has plans to travel to this remarkable area.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rosemarys Restaurant Executive Chef / Owner Michael Jordan and Renown Showket Vineyards in Oakville team up for a very special evening of Food and Wine



Rosemarys Restaurant in Las Vegas has been a delightful dining venue for us for many years . We have met many good friends while at the bar for their Wednesday ladies night and their very popular Sunday 1/2 price bottle night as well. 
 Chef Michael and Wendy Jordan  draw from a variety of culinary influences to create French-inspired, creative American cuisine with regional twists from New Orleans, the Deep South and the Midwest. Most important of all is that they are real  people and treat their dining guests as a member of their family.



Rosemarys Restaurant is not only well known for its food but their wine list as well. Of course they have some of the big names that many would come to expect at a Restaurant of this caliber . However , their list also features many boutique wines,  many of which may not be found anywhere else in town. Showket  Vineyards from the hollowed ground of Oakville California is one of these very special wines and recently had a 5 course wine dinner that showed off this incredible wine and great pairing skills of Chef Michael Jordan and Wine Director James Repman.




The Story of Showket is a very interesting one.After searching for three years, in October, 1988, Kal and Dorothy Showket bought a beautiful property in the hills overlooking Oakville in the heart of Napa Valley.








The Showkets knew they had a unique location, but they also knew they had much hard work ahead of them in order to bring the vineyard up to its potential.


The soils of Oakville are known to be one of the top winegrowing regions in the world for Cabernet Sauvignon. The concentration of cult wineries in this area is a testament to the high quality of wines this part of the world can produce.



Within the Oakville appellation, Showket Vineyards with an elevation of approximately 600 feet is perched in the hills above Silverado Trail. With neighbors like Dalle Valle, Vine Cliff, Phelps’ Backus vineyard, Oakville Ranch, Turnbull’s Weitz Vineyard and sitting above Screaming Eagle and Rudd Estate , they are in very good company.



Before producing wines under their own label, the Showkets sold some of their fruit to top wineries like Caymus, Dalle Valle, and Shafer.
 Because of the elevation and orientation of the vineyard no frost protection is required. The soil is clay-loam type that is very rocky. The vines are stressed sufficiently to produce excellent wines.




To get the evening started guests were treated with a Mushroom Duxelle Stuffed Profiterole with Fennel Aioli :
For the opening cocktail , a favorite of Hemingway himself , " Death in the Afternoon " Champagne Cocktail. It was a very interesting start to what should be a great dinner.


Rabbit Terrine with Vanilla Bean Tossed Arugula , Kiln Dried Cherry Relish , Toasted Brioche & Red Wine Syrup

 Showket Sangiovese 2007

This very big wine with black cherry  and plums went well with the spicy Arugula and Cherry Relish for a nice paring that showed off the subtle flavors of the dish.




Gorgonzola Risotto Stuffed Faro Quail on a bed of Swiss Chard & La Quercia Prosciutto with Rasperry Sangiovese Berre Rouge & Fried Sage Leaves

Showket " Asante Sana " Super Tuscan 2007





This was the most complex dish of the night with layer after layer of flavors.  The blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot and Cabernet Franc each took turns accenting each delicious layer of this incredible dish. And for those who are curious Asnate Sana means " Thank you very much" in Swahili which was inspired by the Showket's recent trip to Africa


Trinity Smothered Bison Filet with Whipped Garnet Yams & Creole Bordelaise Sauce

Showket "Proprietary Blend" Bordeaux Blend 2007





The meatiest dish of the night  fared well with the Merlot's dark chocolate accents  coming through  first and  followed by the Cabernet and its classic cassis notes for a very balanced  dish that kept these usually big flavors in perfect harmony.

Cuisineist Editor -In -Chief Elaine Harris

Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cabernet Anglaise & Cassis Sorbet
Showket Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

What a better finish could one ask for than an excellent contrasting  pairing.  The dark chocolate bread pudding with the Cabernet's classic cassis and blackberry notes made the first bites a nice treat of contrasting flavors and adding the cassis sorbet was like putting an exclamation point at the end of a sentence.

Guests could not help but go home with smile after such a very special dinner that featured a small vineyard from a premier appellation teamed up with  the culinary genius of Chef Michael and Wendy Jordan and their staff.



Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott