Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the holiday weekend. Thank you to all of you who have been sharing your “Aha moments” of Riesling with me. Please keep them coming. The gifts will be sent no matter when you share them!

I am excited for all of you who purchased the Riesling four-pack. You will have a great understanding of the different styles of Riesling. Versatility is one of its best attributes. Versatility, as well as Riesling being a high acid grape, are what make it such an amazing food wine. So let’s talk about food pairings today!

Happy Sunday!

PAIRING FOOD AND WINE

The thought of pairing food and wine can be intimidating but it really isn’t. While there are some general principles, it really comes down to how you like the combination. When pairing food and wine, you start with a sip of wine followed by a bite of food. Before that food leaves your mouth, you have another sip of wine. What you are on the search for is that neither the wine dominates the flavors of the food and vice versa. You want one plus one to equal well more than two. The ultimate pairing makes both the food and the wine better.

The rules of food and wine pairing are taught for sommelier certifications as well as to chefs. There are a lot of good articles that can walk you through the basics. One wine professional that does a good job of explaining many topics on wine including the rules of wine pairing is Wine Folly in her article here. And this article gives a lot of specific examples.

You don’t need to create a new recipe every time you want to have a good pairing. Modify your favorite dishes by changing the sauce or the spice by following the pairing rules. It is a fun exploration with endless opportunities!

CHEF NORMA’S RECIPES

As many of you know, we are very fortunate to have Chef Norma who creates new monthly menus for us. There is always a featured pairing but every menu item has a suggested pairing as well. Since we are talking about Riesling, I thought it would be helpful to give you links to the Perfect Pairings she has done that include Riesling.

“Big Bird” Bahn Mi Style Chicken Sandwich with Sweet P Riesling(medium sweet)**
Crispy Pork Belly with Rapini and Apple Puree with Bois Joli Riesling (medium dry)**
Oysters with Pink Peppercorn Mignonette with Sparkling Riesling (dry)**
Truffled Sea Scallops with Hyland Riesling (dry)**
Pan-Fried Pacific Razor Clams with Ara Riesling (dry)**
Seared Scallops with Brooks Estate Riesling (dry)**
Fried Sweet Coconut Prawn with Eclipse Riesling (medium dry)
Pumpkin Truffles with Monks Gate Riesling (sweet)
Paprika and Crispy Pork Belly with a Riesling that is medium sweet or sweet
Spicy Tuna Poke with a Riesling that is medium-dry or medium sweet** This was paired with Rose but would be great with Riesling too!

Besides making me hungry, I do see some themes developing: seafood, poultry, pork belly. Hard to go wrong with those foods when looking for food to pair with Riesling! 

**Every month, Chef Norma and our Director of Marketing, Jillian, get together and make a video of Norma making the perfect pairing. They do an excellent job and the videos can be found on our YouTube channel here.

Whether you make one of these or something else, start taking time to evaluate the pairing no matter what wine you are drinking. The possibilities are endless!


THE PERFECT MOTHER AND FATHER’S DAY GIFT FOR THOSE THAT LOVE TO COOK

Our last two Beyond Brooks for the season will be cooking demos with two amazing stars in the world of food and wine. For the cook in your life, these will make unforgettable and unique gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!

On Saturday, May 8th, join Celebrity Chef Elizabeth Falkner while she leads us in a vegetarian cooking demo of kale salad with cumin and black lime vinaigrette and kitchari, an ancient Ayurvedic dish consisting of mung beans and rice. As part of the package, you receive two wines, special spices from Burlap and Barrel and a mix of additional spices and mung beans! 

On Saturday, June 12th, Jordan Mackay, a James Beard award-winning author on wine, spirits, and food will be our featured guest. Jordan is the co-author of Franklin Steak, the be-all. end all book on how to make the perfect steak. We will be preparing a side dish and grilling steak rubbed with a secret recipe, a collaboration between Jordan and our very own Chef Norma. This package also comes with two wines, the Franklin Steak book, and the special rub.

In light of the conversation regarding food and wine pairings, both Elizabeth and Jordan will have a pinot noir and a Riesling to pair with their dishes. It will be an excellent opportunity to dive into the nitty-gritty of pairings and learn from two of the best!

It is your choice if you cook along or decide to just drink and watch and make the dish another time. Regardless, I hope you will join us!

LET’S COOK WITH ELIZABETH AND JORDAN!


WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

Thank you all for your continued support of our Grower Relief Fund. We are almost to the 100% mark. I committed to my growers that they would be paid from these funds by the end of June. Most of them have already been paid in full. It is my goal to have them fully paid by the end of April, two months early!

It has continued to be emotional to reflect on the 2020 vintage. But, with the new growing season underway, we are all excited for what 2021 will bring. We are anxiously awaiting bud break in the vineyard, the very first signs of growth for the season.

As intended with the Grower Relief Fund and paying our growers even when we didn’t take 2020 fruit, I am happy to report that all of our contracts have been renewed AND we have secured some new blocks of grapes that we are very excited about! Stay tuned!

HELP US GET TO 100%


EVENTS ARE BACK!

Ensuring that we continue to follow ALL COVID safety protocols, we have added our events to the calendar as well as opened reservations through the end of September. Our lower grounds “AKA the lemon shade” will be open beginning May 21st through the summer.

If you are unable to visit, there are a few virtual events including Beyond Brooks and a cooking class with Chef Norma. Please note, as this is our first virtual cooking class with Chef Norma, we are keeping it intimate and only allowing 10 participants. We did a test class with the Brooks team and her secret preparations and tips make the most amazing burger ever! We hope to offer more Virtual Cooking Classes throughout the year.

If you will be visiting Brooks, we have brought back in-person cooking classes, the summer concert series, and some other special events.

CHECK OUT THE CALENDAR


My Sunday will include going to breakfast with my husband and daughter, a date with my husband and a rack of lamb for dinner. Wishing you a wonderful day filled with family, food and Riesling!

I want to hear about your favorite pairings [email protected] or cell 831-238-4828.

Cheers,

Janie