Monthly Archives: June 2013
We are fast approaching our favorite time of year: the release our newest vintage of Single-Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernets. Each year our August Cabernet Release event draws friends and fans from across the country, eager to be among the first to taste these wines.
Guests enjoying 2009 Nickel & Nickel Cabernet at last year’s release party.
This year we are excited to present 12 Single-Vineyard Cabernets. From small bottlings (like Dragonfly Vineyard or Martin Stelling Vineyard) to vineyards with slightly more production (like State Ranch or Sullenger Vineyard), these wines are beautiful expressions of their vineyard sites.
For more information and to RSVP for this event, click here. We look forward to seeing you!
Whether you are able to attend or not, you’re invited to follow our Cabernet Release Day fun by using the hashtag #NNCabDay. Feel free to tag your own posts or pics!
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We’re hedging our rows in Sullenger Vineyard right now to not only make the vineyard neat and tidy but to help the vines send energy to what will soon be beautiful clusters of Cabernet Sauvignon.
This is a very simple dessert–just remember to assemble when everything is fresh and warm. This dessert goes great with all kinds of seasonal fruit: in springtime, source ripe strawberries and raspberries; in summer, look for beautiful stone fruit such as peaches or cherries; and in the fall, consider poaching apples or pears. This dish pairs well with Dolce because of the soft textures that come from the pudding and the fruit-forward nature of Dolce.
Brioche Bread Pudding with Berries and Whipped Cream
Download the recipe
1 loaf brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart half-and-half
½ vanilla bean
10 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 220˚F and place the brioche cubes in an 8” X 10” baking pan.
Heat the half-and-half in a heavy-bottomed, medium sauce pan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the half-and-half and add the bean pod. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, but not to a boil.
In a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until combined. Once the half-and-half has simmered, slowly temper into the egg mixture—whisking the egg mixture while adding the hot liquid a little at a time. This process helps infuse flavors without cooking the egg. Discard the vanilla bean pod. Pour hot pudding base over the brioche and cover with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap into the mixture to help the brioche absorb the liquid, then cover the plastic wrap with a sheet of foil.
Place an empty jelly roll pan on the center rack of the oven and place the pan of brioche bread pudding on the cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet with warm water, forming a water bath around the pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 220˚F. When you check the pudding, the liquid should still be loose and will provide a delicious sauce for the pudding
Serve immediately, or set aside and re-warm when ready to serve with fruit, whipped cream and a glass of Dolce.
Download the recipe
Should you take wine camping? Maybe… but you better answer a few questions. It is not as simple as it may seem.
To bring, or not to bring: that is the question!
1) Are you backpacking? Wine does not fit with the concept of light and portable. Therefore, it is best to leave the wine as a reward when you get home or use my brother’s method: stuff it in a friend’s backpack when he isn’t looking and then share it with him when you are cooking in the back country. Advice remains split as to whether you should reveal that he lugged the extra weight.
2) Are you driving to your campsite? Easy answer: bring wine and be nice to the people in the camp sites near you. But, did you remember wine glasses? A corkscrew? Bear-Be-Gone?
Wine glasses give a certain “je ne sais quoi” to your camping but if you try to speak French in the campground, people may look at you funny. I prefer the waiter’s corkscrew but some of those nifty Leatherman tools can make you look pretty “handy” around the campsite.
Wine is better enjoyed out of wine glasses but they are a pain to clean. Go for standard Libbey glasses. Riedel are too fussy and so fragile that you won’t want to clean them—cleaning up all the shards of glass by the light of your headlamp after a bottle of wine is not a great vacation or team building activity!
Corks also are a sign of living BIG in the world of camping, where bag-in-a-box simplicity seems to trump tradition.
Bear-Be-Gone? What is that doing in a wine blog?
Turns out that bears like camping.
Turns out that bears like camp grounds.
Turns out that bears like WINE!!!!
You need a bear strategy.
You can’t use bear spray, as that will ruin your campground and your wine. What about using those bells that people use on their walking sticks? Nope, they’re proven to attract bears.
We are still looking for the answer, but this picture, taken by our very own Jennifer, proves that this is a subject worth your consideration before heading out to our National Parks and National Forests this summer.
Suggestions include: a) shouting b) playing Fiddy Cent really loud on your iPod (there will be certain follow-up questions if you have that on your iPod), c) taking photos knowing that you were smart enough to bring another bottle to enjoy after the bear meanders over to the neighbor’s campsite, or d) all of the above. (This is just like the SAT without a math section.)
However, if the bear sniffs, swirls and then enjoys… It may be a pretty fancy campground and enjoy the Kodak moment.
I may have said this last year about this time but I’m going to say it again: I am amazed how alive the valley is during May and June. I know Napa Valley Wine Auction has a lot to do with it—that weekend alone brings in people from all over the world. Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente also have some great events during these months, including the Nickel & Nickel Futures Barrel Tasting is always has a good showing.
We replanted both of our gardens two weeks ago to summer vegetables and we are already reaping the bounty of our labor. We’ll showcase our wines and garden through the summer at our private and winery events. This week’s excitement is Bacchanalia—an extravagant wine club dinner we hold at Nickel & Nickel in the barrel cellar. We will serve a five-course dinner paired with rare, library wines. It’s shaping up to be a great party!
It was a treat to have Lamborghini at Nickel & Nickel during Auction Napa Valley!