Showing posts with label vineyard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vineyard. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Day of Wine and Spirit Tasting in Cape Cod with Truro Vineyards and South Hollow Spirits

When summer arrives, Cape Cod comes alive. With beautiful beaches, seafood shacks, and more, this New England coastal getaway draws massive amount of tourists each year. If you're planning a visit to the Cape this year, consider a visit to Truro Vineyards for a tour of their vineyard and distillery. This relatively off-the-beaten path destination offers a great day of wine and cocktail drinking with grape vines in the backdrop.
Actually, Truro Vineyards is not a completely hidden gem - it's a popular spot for bachelorette parties and other celebrations, and once you get there, you can easily see why. Day drinking at its best!
Truro Vineyards has been producing and tasting wines for a while, but there's a recent addition to the family: South Hollow Spirits. Started by the son, Dave Roberts, South Hollow Spirits is producing rum and gin that are definitely worth a taste. We actually started out with the spirits tasting first before moving on to wines. I have to say , I loved all three spirits.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Certified Angus Beef and Wine at Bogle Winery

I was recently invited on a trip to the Sacramento area with Certified Angus Beef, learning about what the brand and organization is all about while eating plenty of beef (Certified Angus, of course). As part of the tour, we had lunch at the lovely Bogle Winery in the Sacramento Delta.
A bit about Bogle: it is a family-owned winery and vineyard. The current owners are sixth-generation farmers and 3rd-generation winemakers. The family settled 20 miles from where the vineyard is now back in 1870, at Grand Island. They were growing produce and selling them to the gold rush people. Their grandfather moved to the current area during depression and started planting Petit Syrah back in 1968, being the first to plant grapes in the area. First, he grew them for other wineries but 10 years later started bottling for themselves with Petit Syrah and Chenin Blanc. When the grandfather passed away, their father decided to convert all their acreage to wine grapes.
Not a bad setting for lunch, eh?
For lunch, we had some coulottes. This is the cap of the top sirloin, which is a highly marbled cut and acts like tri-tip. If you've gone to a Brazilian steakhouse like Fogo, you'd know this as the picanha. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Silvestre: The Ultimate Al Fresco Vineyard-side Dining, Baja Style

Our van turned into an unmarked vineyard and parked on a dirt road. The 25 or so of us food bloggers/writers/chefs/restaurateurs found ourselves at a place markedly different than the rest of our Baja adventure. Quiet and unassuming - I thought we were in the middle of nowhere, but follow Street Gourmet LA, our group leader.

Then we saw the small green sign on the tree, almost hidden behind the leaves. Silvestre.
We've tried two other of Benito Molina's restaurants down in Ensenada earlier that day, Muelle 3 and Manzanilla, but this one was it. If Thomas Keller has French Laundry, Benito Molina has Silvestre. Both in the wine country setting, but markedly different. While FL is classic French that makes you feel like a royalty, Silvestre is super casual. Hey, you're in Baja!

We walked pretty far down the road and I still didn't see any building that looked like a restaurant. That's because there wasn't one to be found. Silvestre is outdoor dining all the way through. The kitchen is an open air kitchen that's only covered with fabric to avoid the rain. Benito mans the kitchen every summer with the help of three people both in the kitchen and the dining area.
Right nearby you'll also see the outdoor grill - a rabbit was cooking on top when we got there.

And where do we fit in? It's like a picnic in the vineyard - foldable plastic chairs, long tables with very simple settings. And a wondrous view of the vineyard and the mountains in the distance. Gorgeous.
Jamaica and wine started to flow on the tables. The jamaica here is light and unsweetened. We started with a 2008 Filidith from Estacion, Benito's own Zinfandel. This was a clear and crisp white wine.
To get our appetites going were some jicama and cucumber with a dose of chili powder.
As I've mentioned, Benito had three total helpers at Silvestre, so not only was he cooking, he was also serving us our food and wine with that friendly smile of his.

Unlike our shotgun eat and run method we've employed throughout our marathon so far, Silvestre was assigned as our last real meal, to be enjoyed slowly and thoroughly, and we set out for a relaxed meal.

The meal began with a locally farmed bluefin tuna in soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, serrano chile and garlic.
We actually saw this farm on the bus ride down to Ensenada - quite local, indeed, and tasted so fresh. The simple marinade was so flavorful yet remains not overpowering - a favorite of many of us during the night.

Next was a farm-raised abalone (4 year old) ceviche with tomato, green olive, white wine, and cream.
Another fresh and flavorful seafood preparation, this abalone was more tender than most I've had before. Rich and creamy, this became my own favorite.

Grilled rocot (ocean perch) with nopales salad.
This white fish was extremely moist and tender. It had a wonderful texture reminiscent of a butter fish. The mesquite grill gave a nice flavor and paired well with the pickled nopales (prickly pear cactus).

Yucatan-style pork shank with orange juice, achiote, anatto paste.
The tender meat was truly infused with the flavors of the broth.

Then came a plate of local cheeses from the an Italian family-run ranch Rancho a la Campana in the town of Ojos Negros just southeast of Ensenada. We had four cheeses: fresh cheese, pepper, rosemary, and aged.
I loved the texture of mexican queso - firm but tender and airy. Out of the four, my favorites were the fresh cheese and the rosemary. The aged cheese had a more intense flavor but was also firmer and did not have the same chewy texture.

The meal ended with a simple fruit bowl, lightly doused in syrup.
Benito's seemingly simple and casual cuisine at Silvestre mirrors the lovely al fresco ambiance. We took our time dining here, taking in the view of the valley and at one time even played in the rain. Come here on your summer vacation and just relax over some great food.

open Saturday and Sunday from June to October.
Located on Carretera Ensenada-Tecate HWY 3 at KM 83
Valle de Guadalupe, Baja, Mexico
(no I couldn't find an address, that's how awesome it was. How to make a reservation? I have no idea but I'm sure Street Gourmet LA knows!)

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