Tag Archives: cocktails with champagne
Posted on April 21, 2021 in Uncategorized, Wine 101
One year ago, on earth Day 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 shut down, I stood in the vineyard under clear skies, a complete lack of smog with the snow-covered mountains in the background so clear as to almost seem like I was looking at them through binoculars. I mentioned that events like this allow us to give pause and think about the potential quality of life for ourselves and all beings if we learn to make better decisions through a better perspective.
The cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, as a young man, auditioned for the first time in front of Pablo Casals, perhaps the most famous cellist of all time. After he audition Pablo Casals told the young Yo-Yo Ma his playing was good and then offered some advice. He said that he sees himself first and foremost as a human, secondly as a musician, and finally as a cellist. He then he added but don’t forget to make time for baseball.
Earth Day is not necessarily about the earth but rather, what does it mean to be human? The word “human” comes from the Latin “humus” referring to the earth or soil. We still use the term humus to describe the living organic fraction of the soil. The Greeks knew that we are not from this earth we are of this earth. Modern life often leaves us separated from the natural world, separated from our origins.
Change your perspective, change the outcome.
One year ago, I asked why are we so willing to settle for this lower quality of life? What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves, our children and all our fellow creatures large and small. If we have the perspective that we either can have a high quality of life or a robust economy that is the choice we will have. If we have the perspective that we can have a robust economy because of our demand for a high quality of life that is the choice we will have.
As we return to the “new normal” I hope we return a little more human, a little more empathetic, a little more true to who we are, where we came from and where we are going.
I look forward to a future of regenerating ecosystems, economies, and communities where we can enjoy a baseball game under crystal clear blue skies with a glass of regenerative wine.
All the best for Earth Day 2021,
– Greg and the Vineyard Team
Posted on February 17, 2021 in Recipes
Skip the store-bought and make strawberry shortcake from scratch! This mouthwatering Strawberry Shortcake is such a fun, easy dessert and so delicious. Layer your biscuits with juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream for a new spring favorite dessert!
Pairs well with our 2019 Spring White
- 6–7 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Place the strawberries and the sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Pour buttermilk on top. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and bring together with floured hands. Flatten into a thick rectangle with floured hands or rolling pin. Cut into 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter.
Arrange on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the tops with 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before assembling.
Make the whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until peaks form, about 3 minutes. Slice the biscuits in half and layer with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Posted on January 7, 2021 in Wine Musings
Due to the amount of time we have all been spending at home, do you find yourself binge watching movies or a TV series? Sometimes you need just a bit more help deciding these days. Below are some movie pairing suggestions directly from our winemaker expert, Gus.
Viognier has a light straw color with fresh fruit aromas of apricot, peach, honeydew melon and guava, with a floral background.
MOVIE: ROMANTIC COMEDY. The lighthearted nature with a background of fruitiness makes this wine the perfect pairing to a romantic comedy. The movie and wine should be paired in the early evening with light movie snacks.
2018 TANK 15 ZINFANDEL
This supple Zinfandel reveals aromatic notes of sweet red fruit, oak and spice. Layers of cherry, blackberry, and raspberry cascade over well incorporated oak and fine tannins on the finish.
MOVIE: PIRATE MOVIE. Pair this wine with your favorite pirate movie like “Pirates of the Caribbean”. This wine is a treasure chest of flavor with layers of fruit, spice and oak. Think of Blackbeard when aromas of blackberry cascade like the surf in your palate.
Malbec possesses a clean, clear delicate fruit reminiscent of blackberries. Tannins are soft but controlled adding to the wines structure. Subtle light tones of American and French Oak-vanilla.
MOVIE: AMERICAN HISTORICAL. This wine is aged in both American and French oak barrels making this wine well suited for movies featuring the American or French revolutions.
2018 DOUBLE DOG
Named after the Wilson Creek dogs seen at the winery as well as the two distinct grapes that were used in making this wine Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. A balance of fruit and spicy notes with a long silky finish.
MOVIE: DOG MOVIE. It goes without saying but this wine is a natural pairing with dog movies, Lassie Come Home, Ol’Yeller, etc.
2017 PETITE SIRAH
Petite Sirah presents supple aromas and flavors of blackberry, herbal and ripe plum with undertones of black pepper. It is dry and soft with supple tannins and well-integrated American Oak.
MOVIE: HORROR MOVIE. This wine is deep and very red perfect for your favorite horror movie. Serve it slightly chilled at midnight while watching a chilling horror movie.
2017 CABERNET FRANC
A full-flavored Cabernet Franc with a long and lingering finish. This wine distinct aromas of oak marked perfume and spice under-notes on the nose. The palate has pronounced layers of blackberry, spice, oak, and nutmeg.
MOVIE: FOREIGN LANGUAGE MOVIE. Pair this wine with foreign movies that have subtitles. Enjoy a few sips then read the back label on the bottle. Repeat this step throughout the movie. This pairing will help you understand a foreign language.
Posted on December 22, 2020 in About
Shushi Shiraga, the Founder & CEO of a wine e-commerce startup SoCalization Inc (Tokyo, Japan |www.socalization.com ), was a regular customer at Wilson Creek during his 7 years of life in San Diego, working as an expat, then studying as a grad-student. He became interested in wine because of Wilson Creek’s signature Almond Sparkling.
SoCalization Shushi at Wilson Creek
In 2019, as he graduates from Sports MBA program at San Diego State University, he went back to Japan to work as a consultant to projects at Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
However, something was missing for him. It just felt wrong. Living a happy, stress-free life in a SoCal city changed his perspective so much. A workaholic, who was on international conference calls regularly until midnight, questioned “Why are people in Japan working so late?”, “Why are people here not enjoying their personal life?”, “Why are people not having a quality time with their family?”. He was culture-shocked to his own country.
That feeling just got stronger and stronger, every time he recalled receiving unconditional love and support from his American “family”, a Christian family in San Diego who had been accepting international students to live together at their home.
Shushi was intrinsically entrepreneurial as he built his career at start-ups prior to MBA degree. However, if he was to build a company, he wanted to do something impactful to the society. So, he founded SoCalization, to promote relaxed and loving SoCal people’s value to Japan through SoCal food culture.
“I need an ‘Ace’ product…” Shushi thought. Something that is unique and has potential to become nationally popular but also represents SoCal value. Wilson Creek Almond Sparkling wine, he thought. He flew back to San Diego and drove to Temecula without an appointment with us (Wilson Creek), January 2020. We welcomed his passion and agreed to do business once he incorporates and receives necessary licenses.
He came back with them, but the pandemic hits the US. With both of us patiently and carefully checking off the boxes, Almond Sparkling Wine landed to Japan for the first time in October 2020!
Almond Sparkling is gradually gaining awareness and served at wine bars in Tokyo. Shushi and SoCalization promote family-first value to Japan through the taste of Almond Sparkling – like the “stick” of cuttings clones and shares Wilson Creek’s founding values through their branches and vines.
For former SoCal-residents in Japan, below is the direct link to purchase our Almond Sparkling wine in Japan from SoCalization! (English check out process available from link below.)
For those of you moving to Japan, now you know where to get us! 😉
Celebrating his brother’s birthday at the first restaurant in Tokyo to serve Almond Sparkling
Posted on December 1, 2020 in Giving Back
Wilson Creek Winery’s chosen charity for the holiday season is Oak Grove Center.
The Holidays are a time for family and friends, a time when many people think of Joy and Hope. Yet, for a child living in foster care, the Holidays can be heartbreaking with constant reminders of broken homes and families lost. Oak Grove Center is asking for your consideration to help provide gifts for the 76 Residential Youth. Your support can help bring the youth joy and hope, and reminds them that they are valued.
Here is how you can help:
Bring in an item from the list below and be entered into a drawing to receive an amazing gift from Wilson Creek!
Gifts accepted from December 1st-December 18th.
Posted on November 17, 2020 in Recipes
Gather your ingredients and learn how to prepare Kurobuta Pork Shank Colcannon with Chef Steve. Ryan McCormick pairs this delicious recipe with our Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel and Bill Wilson joins the cooking fun as the official taste tester!
You can view Chef Steve’s Cooking Demo on YouTube here:
KUROBUTA PORK SHANK COLCANNON (3-4 servings)
Pair with Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel
2 Kurobuta pork shank
Kosher salt & white pepper, or your favorite bbq rub
1 Tablespoon canola oil
½ cup Sliced leeks
1 cup green cabbage, cooked al dente and cut into 1” pieces(can be done 1 day ahead)
3 cups of mashed potato
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
For the pork, season liberally with salt & pepper or bbq rub. Smoke in a smoker or roast in an oven slow and low until the meat can be shred. Shred the meat from the bone. This can be done 1-2 days ahead. If pork shanks are not available, you can substitute por shoulder.
For the Colcannon, heat the oil in a pan. Add leeks and cook until tender. Add cabbage and pork and cook until both are heated through. Add whole grain mustard and mashed potato. Mix to evenly combine. Check seasoning.
Posted on November 11, 2020 in Wine & Food
Thanksgiving is already here! With so much to be thankful for, we wanted to take time to thank all of our Wine Club Members and Guests who enhance our lives everyday! You are the reason we love bringing you fine wine, delicious cuisine, and good times!
To celebrate you all and all the things we have to be thankful for, Wilson Creek put together a few wine pairings to go with your favorite Thanksgiving Pies! Because nothing says celebration like sweet treats and bubbly!
Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Once again, THANK YOU!
Posted on October 7, 2020 in Wine 101
Dear Somm, how is a Rosé wine made? I see so many and their colors are so different. Why? – C. Watkins, Royal Oak, Michigan
This past summer, and now this fall, are times to experience the beauty of a good Rosé wine!
Firstly, a Rosé can be made from most any red grape. I have tasted Rosés from Nebbiolo, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Merlot, etc. This last summer we released a Cabernet Rosé that was tasty. It’s all about the skin contact. The color in a red or Rosé wine come from the anthocyanin pigment in the red grape skins. The more skin contact with the juice results in more pigment. One method of Rosé winemaking is maceration which is the time of skin contact with the juice. The longer the maceration, the more color will be in the skins. With a red wine, during fermentation the maceration can be from 5-15 days. With Rosé wines the maceration can occur prior to fermentation called a cold soak. The skins stay in contact for 6-12 hours in a chilled tank so any native yeast does not kick-start fermentation. The pink juice is then pumped away from the skins and then fermented in another tank. A Rosé wine is typically fermented cooler (at 42-48 degrees) vs. red wines ferment hotter at 80-100 degrees. A cooler fermentation retains the delicate flavors in a white or Rosé wine. This method is popular in Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon regions. The other method is called Saigneé (Sawn-yay) which is based on the French word for “bleeding”. The winemaker will bleed off about 10% of the juice from the red skins during fermentation. The remaining 90% creates a more intense red wine. The 10% of the bled wine is fermented separately into a Rosé wine. Typically, this method will produce a Rosé wine that is darker pink than the maceration method. We do both methods at Wilson Creek. Maceration will yield a lighter wine with more perfumed aromatics and delicate flavors. Saigneé will produce wines that are richer and darker in color.
Mick Wilson is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers as well as a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators.
Drink Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each of us knows a friend, sister, aunt, mother, daughter, or grandmother that has been affected by breast cancer. Wilson Creek Winery is joining the fight by donating a portion of the proceeds of each bottle of Rosé of Cabernet or Custom Labeled Rosé Sparkling Wine to an organization close to our hearts, Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center.
Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center was created as a dying wish of Michelle Watson. Michelle was a 26-year-old victim of breast cancer. As a Temecula resident, Michelle was frustrated with the lack of local resources available to her while facing the challenges of cancer treatment. Sadly, Michelle succumbed to her disease on July 23, 2000. In the wake of Michelle’s passing came a mission of service to make it easier for others touched by this unrelenting disease. Family, friends, and the community have come together and created a mission to serve the local community.
Posted on September 22, 2020 in Recipes
If you are a frequent guest to Wilson Creek Winery, you have probably had an entertaining wine tasting with servers Massie or Chris! Their energetic personalities and knowledge of wine guarantee any returning or new guest an educational, but fun wine tasting. They know know how to read a guests’ palate and will recommend a perfect wine whether you prefer sweet, dry or bold. Along with sampling the excellent selection of Wilson Creek Wines, they have probably thrown a few wine mixes in there! Wilson Creek is well known for our selection of Sparkling Wines, our most popular being our Almond Champagne! Our Sparkling Wines now consist of Watermelon, Yuzu Lemon, Peach Bellini, Coconut, Sangria, Rosé, and even an Orange Mimosa! All these flavors gave our Tasting Room Servers the idea to create some fun wine mixes. They have become very popular over the years with more and more guests coming to the winery and requesting their favorite mix or even making them at home!
We thought it would fun to get our two master wine mixers together, Massie and Chris, to go LIVE for a Virtual Mixology Session and show you how they create some of their favorite wine mixes! After you watched the session on Tuesday, 9/22 at 5:30pm on Facebook and Instagram LIVE, below are the wine recipes used in the live and also a link to view even more wine mixes created here at Wilson Creek.
SPARKLING WINE RECIPES BELOW:
PEACH + SANGRIA
COCONUT + MOSCATO
PEACH + ORANGE + CAB/ZIN
THE UNICORN: PEACH + ALMOND + WHITE CAB
SANGRIA + DECADENCIA
Are you ready to make these wine mixes at home for your friends and family?!
Take advantage of our Mixology Online Sale
Purchase 12 or more bottles of any Sparkling Wine and receive FREE SHIPPING through Friday, September 25th!
USE PROMO CODE: MIXOLOGY
Excludes celebration and giving back labeled wines. Not available to ship to LA, AK and HI.
Posted on August 17, 2020 in Recipes
We love a good summer dessert, especially in the Temecula heat! This mouthwatering Peach Cobbler is such a fun, easy dessert and so delicious. Top with our whiskey whipped cream and this will be your go-to summer dessert from now on!
Pairs well with our 2019 Wilson Creek Riesling
- 4 cups peeled sliced peaches
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- ½ cup water
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
for the whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Whiskey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
- Remove from the heat
- Put the butter in a 3 quart baking dish and place in oven to melt
- Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping
- Pour mixture over melted butter
- Do not stir
- Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup
- Batter will rise to top during baking
- Bake for 30-45 minutes
for the whipped cream
- Using a stand or hand mixer whip cream and sugar together until soft peaks form.
- Add whiskey and vanilla mix until combined.