Happy New Year! While welcoming a new year is always exciting, we know it can be a bit of a drag coming up with resolutions, so here’s an idea. Let us do it for you!
Suggested Resolutions from B.R. Cohn
Increase your wine tasting awesomeness: We know you love wine. Now take it to the next level and impress your friends with your tasting prowess. Use words like herbaceous, minerality, austere, brawny, and cloying, and make sure your less experienced tasting buddies know that only amateurs use “legs” as a serious indicator of… anything.
Join the B.R. Cohn Wine Club: No seriously. We’re kind of a big deal.
Visit Wine Country: We have fans and club members from all over the country and we love when you visit! What better New Years gift to treat yourself to than a relaxing and rejuvenating visit to our beautiful piece of heaven out here?
Do some cooking with B.R. Cohn Olive Oils and Vinegars (and send us your recipes!): B.R. Cohn not only makes great wine, but a wide variety of olive oils and vinegars as well! Try them with Avocado Shrimp and Grapefruit salad, Fish Tacos, Lamb with Cabernet Vinegar, Blood Orange Corn Muffins, and even ice cream! Do you have a favorite dish you make with B.R. Cohn Gourmet Food products?
As we celebrate moving forward, here’s a short recap of some of 2013’s highlights:
27th Annual Charity Fall Music Festival – Despite some pouring rain on Saturday, people came out in droves for some great music and a great cause. The concert raised over $200,000 this year distributed to local charities. It was also the first year of our Wine Club Pavilion, a separate area for wine club members where we tasted library wines and barrel samples!
Wine Club Harvest Party – In October we held a harvest party for our Wine Club Members, which was a huge success! The weather was gorgeous and it was a perfect way to welcome Fall. Click here for information on becoming a wine club member!
Harvest – This year’s harvest was one to celebrate! A very mild year weather-wise, gave us a beautiful growing period. 2013 is in barrel now and we can’t wait until it’s time to taste it!
A new year a new tradition: Product highlights!
In addition to our varietal of the month feature, we’ll also be highlighting estate products and merchandise available in our Tasting Room and Gourmet Shop. To kick off 2014 we’ll begin with a staff and customer favorite: Meyer Lemon California Olive Oil.
This olive oil has been a staple for us and its popularity has kept it coming back year after year. It’s made by pressing fresh Meyer Lemons with the olives, rather than adding lemon to the olive oil later. This helps the flavors combine seamlessly, with both the olive and lemon tones complimenting each other perfectly. It’s a fantastic olive oil for cooking and baking; try it drizzled over chicken, in salad dressing, or substituted for butter in lemony desserts!
Gift Ideas: Our Meyer Lemon, Lime, and Blood Orange Olive Oils make a great trio (and they look pretty snazzy too)!
Varietal of the Month: Merlot
Quiz time: Name the event in 2004 that led to the now much maligned Merlot grape’s reputation.
Answer: The release of the movie “Sideways” starring Paul Giamatti.
Despite the unfortunate effect “Sideways” has had on Merlot’s popularity, it is still widely produced, and has steadily made its way back into the consumers favor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tasting with friends who express genuine surprise upon tasting a Merlot and liking it. “Oh that’s actually quite good!” they say with wonder. Suffice to say, “Sideways” merely presents one point of view and really could have chosen any poor grape varietal to poke fun at. They could have just as well said “I will not go anywhere that serves Petite Verdot!” True, as a lesser known grape it probably would have packed less of a punch, but you get the point.
Merlot is indigenous to the Bordeaux region and, similar to Cabernet, is a very hearty varietal, not difficult to grow. It typically matures early, allowing it to grow in cooler climates, escaping the more unpredictable weather in the middle of harvest time. Because of its resilience it is often used in blends to bolster more finicky varietals that may require a little more definition in weaker vintages.
While it is extremely helpful in blends Merlot is also quite delightful on its own. Merlot grapes have thick skin and are fairly big, meaning there is a lot of flesh between the seeds and skin. This leads to a very soft texture in the wine, accompanied with beautiful round fruit tones. It nicely balances between a light and dark red and so can be paired with a multitude of foods, including seafood if you’re daring! (It’s a new year after all…take a walk on the wild side!). If you need a suggestion to get you started, try a swordfish dish with a flavorful, spicy sauce. The steak-like texture of the meat will work well with the velvety red wine texture and the spicy-ness will compliment the lighter fruitiness typical of Merlot.
Try some new things in celebration of the New Year and let us know your favorite pairings!
Bring on 2014!