Monthly Archives: November 2011
A delicious meal, football and family—a few of our bloggers share what they’re up to this
Aaron Fishleder, Viticulturist
I am going to spend this Thanksgiving enjoying time with my family, watching the Niners improve to 10-1, and thinking about how my crew and I survived another eventful harvest and growing season.
Daniel Townsend, Landscape Designer
A Thanksgiving fit for a king: sleeping in, lounging by the fire, a walk around Lake Hennessey and then straight to the kitchen. This year’s dinner will be a white risotto with braised rabbit from my property, wild foraged white chanterelles harvested yesterday, roasted local chestnuts, fresh marjoram, organic stewed prunes and a drizzle of reduced braising liquid upon plating. Oh and let’s not forget the shaved white truffles … The best to all and to all the very best!
Mary Grace, VP Marking and Communications
We spend Thanksgiving on our own, since our relatives are far flung. It’s my job to make sure everyone in the extended family has wine on hand when we connect over the phone or Skype for a coast-to-coast toast. This year, I’m looking forward to enjoying some Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet at the Thanksgiving meal.
Trevor Eliason, Executive Chef
In our family we have a tradition where we cook two turkeys every year. We always have one traditional oven roasted turkey and then we mix it up and try something different. In past years we have done deep fried, BBQ, slow cooked in duck fat, wood oven roasted and Peking. This year we are going to smoke the turkey over night with Cabernet chips. This not only gives us some nice variety at the table but also plenty of leftovers. My favorite part of Thanksgiving is making a giant sandwich that night.
As winter grows near I am getting ready for two of my favorite events at Nickel & Nickel. Our employee Holiday Luncheon is the first. The entire staff gets cozy in the beautiful Gleason Barn to enjoy a four-course lunch prepared by my staff and me. After a long year and a busy crush it is really enjoyable to be able to cook for all of the employees. It feels like a family coming together for the holidays, and everyone is so happy and thankful for what they have. For some employees it may be their first year with the company, and others are celebrating their 25th year, but everyone feels at home. What am I cooking this year? I’m keeping that a surprise …
The second event is the holiday reception for wine club members Saturday, December 10th. This is a fun and festive event, where we get to see wine club members and wish them a happy holiday. It’s great to see the same members every year and be able to enjoy good wine, food and their company. The Sullenger House is decorated beautifully with a glowing fire, festive décor and sweet treats. I’ve heard there may be Dolce eggnog…
Winter may be a little cold and wet at times, but there are so many great opportunities to enjoy old friends and make new ones.
How does a winemaker celebrate Thanksgiving? We asked our winemaker Darice Spinelli to get the inside track. Well, we won’t keep you in suspense—Darice doesn’t know what she will bring to the holiday table yet. “Honestly, 2011 is the only vintage I’m thinking about right now,” she says, laughing. “I’ll bring Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente and Dolce with me for sure.” With that selection, she can’t go wrong, never mind the vintage.
But before the big dinner, she and her family will converge at the local park for the Turkey Bowl, where neighbors battle it out each year in football. Now that the kids are teenagers, the games are rougher than they used to be. “We all take Ibuprofen two hours before the game!” she says.
Football and a meal with family sounds wonderful to us, and no matter how you choose to celebrate the coming holiday, may you find Nickel & Nickel in your glass.
We have been pressing off the Cabernets. It isn’t to make room for more as all of the grapes are safely in the barns.
Right now, the wines are finishing fermentation. Tasting them isn’t easy as our palates deal with “spritzyness” and the last of the residual sugar. However, while the vineyards had extremely low yields this year and it was a very cool season, the results are showing lovely structure, classic proportions, and tannins that are gentle and graceful.
Darice and I both see these as very pretty wines that are likely going to be prized for their elegance and length. This is a huge relief given the scare that we got from the storms during harvest.
The nice thing is cleaning up, putting away the crusher and catching up on some overdue sleep before the end of daylight savings time.