Gleason Barn

Monthly Archives: July 2012


Tahiti on My Mind

by on July 9, 2012

Larry Maguire, Far Niente President and CEO, looks forward to a cruise he and his wife are taking this October – and invites you to join them!

Last month we sent an email to our wine club members about the upcoming cruise in Tahiti with my wife, Karen, and me. We heard back from a number of people who indicated that they wished they could join us but were unable to attend. A few people said that the cruise was exactly what they needed and they will see us on board. Vincent, one of our wine educators, and Donna, our wine club concierge, both had 20 good reasons why they should go along, too.

I’ve been wondering why Tahiti is so alluring to me. Perhaps it comes from growing up in the shadow of Disneyland’s Tiki House. After years of audio-animatronic macaws, maybe I need to see the real thing. The Gauguin thing is a no-brainer. Before teenage boys know what Impressionism is, they notice the works of Gauguin and his Tahiti. What movie buff wouldn’t want to see the exotic islands and people who inspired crew of HMS Bounty to mutiny? Yes, it’s all of that plus the thought that Captain James Cook navigated the islands and that Charles Darwin visited Tahiti while aboard the HMS Beagle. I want to see this land that inspired people to write about a utopian society.

On board the beautifully renovated Paul Gauguin this October, we plan on hosting relaxed wine tastings, casual seminars and sumptuous dinners with magnificent wines all in serene, Polynesian settings. I imagine myself standing in waist-deep water with a glass of Far Niente Chardonnay and my arm around Karen. I’ve always been a romantic, so off we go on a small cruise ship to experience the ultimate “Dolce Far Niente,” a land where we can sweetly do nothing. We couldn’t be happier. Why not join us? Click here to find out more and to reserve your space.


Summer Chardonnay Pairing

by on July 9, 2012

A perfectly seared piece of tuna is as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate. The fish melts in your mouth, while also giving the flavor of the seared, robust outer edge. Combined with the creamy avocado mousse, the interplay between flavor and texture makes a perfect foil to the 2010 Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay.

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.


1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha (Thai hot sauce)
1 inch of ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 pounds Ahi tuna, sushi grade, cut into rectangular blocks 2 inches in width
2 avocados, diced
2 teaspoons yuzu juice (Japanese citrus found in specialty stores)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 bunch red radishes
1 cup vegetable oil
1 package wonton skins, cut diagonally into 12 – 15 pieces
3 tablespoons rice or grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, ginger, garlic and sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, about two minutes. Place the tuna in a deep baking dish and cover with the soy liquid. Cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator for two hours.

While tuna marinates, make the avocado mousse. Set up a food processor and add the flesh of the avocados, yuzu juice, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth and place into a piping bag. Refrigerate until needed.

Slice radishes as thinly as possible. Place into cold water until needed.

Place a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add one cup of oil and heat until hot. Add the triangular wonton skins one at a time to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden in color, adjusting the heat as you go. Remove from oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a plate covered with paper towels. Continue this process until all wontons are fried.

Remove tuna from marinade and pat dry with cloth. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add rice or grape seed oil. When oil appears to be almost smoking, add the fish to the pan. It is very important not to overcook the fish, but the pan should be very hot to achieve a beautiful sear. Sear each side for 30 seconds to a minute, using tongs to turn the fish. Remove from pan when all four sides are seared, leaving the interior of the fish raw. Chill the fish until cool to the touch, five to ten minutes, and slice very thin.

To assemble, lay fried wontons on a plate, top with a slice of tuna, then pipe a teaspoon of avocado mousse onto the tuna and garnish with a slice of radish.

Makes 12 – 15 hors d’oeuvre portions

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.


Cabernet Release Day: Experience the 2009 Vintage

by on July 9, 2012

A one-of-a-kind experience awaits at the Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Release Day on Saturday, August 11, 2012. Cabernet aficionados will savor the opportunity to taste through all 13 of our 2009 Single-Vineyard Cabernets—each a stellar representation of its vineyard and AVA.

Winemaker Darice Spinelli describes the 2009 Cabernet vintage as big and bold, with dark fruits supported on a generous structure, yet with subtle flavors giving the wines layers of interest. “Favorites of mine with compelling fruit are Stelling and Tench, while Copper Streak and Quarry offer delicious, complex layers that seem to never end,” she says.

We hope you’ll join us for this special day and put your own palate to the test, discovering your favorites among our collection of single-vineyard Cabernets. Click here for information on how to reserve your place.