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A Simple Easter Brunch

Date March 29, 2010

Don’t you just love the idea of Easter Brunch? Spending a sunny spring day with your family all around the table, eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company. It can be a lot of work though, and if you plan on going to church beforehand, there isn’t much time to prepare. Here’s a quick plan for brunch that uses some purchased items as well as fresh cooked items and will make everyone happy without anyone slaving away in the kitchen all day.

Spring Huevos Rancheros – serves 6

1 package small corn tortillas
1 dozen eggs
1 8 oz container Sukhi’s Cilantro Chutney (available in most Bay Area gourmet groceries)
2 cans black beans, drained
1 small container sour cream
1 8 oz block of Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salt and red pepper flakes to taste

1 package blueberry scones mix
1 jar lemon curd

Make the scones the night before according to package directions. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use two oversize muffin tins with 6 cups each (you can also use ramekins). Put the tortillas in the microwave for about 25 seconds to soften them. Carefully press a tortilla into each of the muffin cups and brush with olive oil. The ends will stand up, forming a little basket. Mix the black beans with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Spoon into the tortilla cups. Crack one egg into each cup, over the beans, and then top with grated cheese to cover. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until egg is set.

Remove from oven and spoon one tablespoon of cilantro chutney into each cup, followed by a dollop of sour cream. Place two egg baskets per plate with a scone and pass the lemon curd to spoon atop the scones. Serve with chilled Foggy Bridge Riesling and enjoy! The very slight lime-citrus sweetness of the wine complements the fresh cilantro sauce and makes for a refreshing combination.

Holiday Wine Cocktail, anyone?

Date November 18, 2009

The International Orange

Serves 4

1 bottle Foggy Bridge Muscat
1 3/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup Campari
Ice, for serving

In a large pitcher, mix the white wine with the fresh orange juice and Campari. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Fill tall glasses with ice, pour the cocktail over the ice and serve, garnished with a slice of orange or blood orange if available.

The Bohemian

Serves 1

3 oz white wine, preferably a dry Riesling such as Foggy Bridge
1 oz Cointreau® orange liqueur
1/2 tsp Giuseppe Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth (available at The Jug Shop in SF)

Shake wine, Cointreau and sweet vermouth together with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and serve.

Holiday Fog Mulled Wine

serves 8-10

4 cups Foggy Bridge Zinfandel (you’ll need  two 750-ml bottles)
1 cup water
1/2 cup cherry brandy
3/4 cup sugar
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
8 whole cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
Zest of one fresh lemon
Zest of one fresh orange
(May use strips of the peel if you like)
4-inch square of cheesecloth and kitchen string

Put cloves, peppercorns, and zest on cheesecloth, then tie closed to form a bag.

Combine wine, kirsch, water, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and cheesecloth bag in a 4-quart saucepan and bring close to a boil, but do not boil. Lower heat, stir and simmer 10 minutes. Serve warm in glass mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Sweet Potatoes – the Healthy Alternative

Date November 9, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8-10

8 medium sized sweet potatoes, the variety with tan skin and yellow flesh
1/3 stick butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
sea salt and white pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin from the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan or soup pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Set on high heat, add a teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a rapid boil. Boil until potatoes are soft and easily speared with a fork. Drain potatoes, leaving just a tablespoon of the cooking liquid in the pan. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash with a hand masher, then add the butter to the hot potatoes so that it melts, then add the cream, stirring with a large spoon until incorporated. Taste and add additional salt or white pepper to taste. If you want a creamier style, add more cream. Can be made ahead and reheated over medium-low heat before serving.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Herbs & Spice

Serves 8-10

8 medium sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
6 leaves of fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch-thick pieces. combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. Lay out potato slices in single layer on a baking sheet or in rectangular baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm garnished with thyme and sage sprigs.

Stuffing and Cranberries, anyone?

Date November 2, 2009

The Best Ever Turkey Stuffing Recipe: Serves 6-8

1 -14 ounce bag of stuffing, herb flavored or plain

1 medium onion, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 Granny Smith green apple

1 stick butter

1-pound sage sausage (Jimmy Dean makes a good one, sold in most grocery stores)

14 ounces chicken broth

(Dried herbs, optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large frying pan, crumble the sausage and cook over medium-high heat until lightly brown and cooked. Meanwhile in a separate frying pan, melt the stick of butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and celery and cook until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Pour the stuffing mix into a large bowl. When the sausage is done, drain off the fat and pour the sausage into the bowl with the stuffing. Then add the onion/celery mixture, including the melted butter. Stir gently and add chicken stock to reach desired moistness, starting with at least a cup and a half. Chop the green apple into ¼ inch pieces, skin on, and add to the stuffing. If the stuffing mix was plain, add some dried herbs. A tablespoon of an Herbes de Provence mix would do, or ¾ teaspoon each of sage, rosemary, parsley and thyme. Mix well.

Pour the stuffing into a shallow baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes and remove foil for last 10 minutes if you want to have a crunchy top. Serve with all the fixings of a great turkey dinner.

Surprisingly Spicy Cranberry Sauce

1 package fresh cranberries

1-cup sugar

1-cup water

1 medium orange

1 habanero pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, mix sugar and water and cranberries. Add ½ teaspoon orange zest and the juice of half the orange. Cook until gently boiling and most of the berries have popped. Remove from heat and let cool. Wear gloves (or immediately wash your hands well after handling) to very finely mince about ¼ of the habanero, more if you want it really spicy. The seeds are a big source of spice so you can add or remove to suit your taste. Better to start with less, you can always add more. Add the peppers to the sauce, stir well, and place into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It gets spicier as the flavors integrate, so taste before serving and adjust as needed.

Parallel Passions: Wine & Chocolate

Date August 25, 2009

For those of us who enjoy a chunk of deep dark chocolate with our Cabernet, the joys of wine and chocolate are well known, but there is more to this than meets the palate. We bring together two San Francisco originals – TCHO Chocolate and Foggy Bridge Wine – to explore this legendary pairing on a deeper level and uncover the similarities in the seemingly diverse worlds of grapes and cacao.

The story of TCHO is a story of reimagining what it means to taste chocolate. The wine conventions currently used, like varietal, origin, and percentage, can be misleading, just as they can be in wine — the same varietal, for example, grown on the same farm in the same growing region can taste radically different depending on the season, how the beans were fermented, or how they were dried. TCHO proposes a better way to discover your chocolate — namely the flavors that are inherent in cacao. They have developed a flavor wheel in an attempt to make chocolate that is the purest expression of the flavors inherent in cacao.

Foggy Bridge is working to bring the winery experience back to San Francisco as it existed prior to the 1906 earthquake that chased many vintners from their urban wineries after barrels of wine spilled into the streets.  We also seek out the best grapes from the finest growing regions for our wines and hope someday to crush, ferment and age them in San Francisco, just as TCHO is producing their finished chocolate at their location on Pier 17.

For our upcoming seminar we have brought together four Foggy Bridge wines as well as a couple of additional surprise wines, and four TCHO chocolates for you to taste and decide which combinations you think pair best together. This will be an exploration – there are no correct answers – rather an opportunity to learn about two of life’s pleasures.  You may be surprised to learn that chocolate can also pair with white wines and that what you expect will go well together may not be a pleasing as the unexpected!

Please join us, Tuesday, September 15th at 6pm

Presidio Golf Café, 300 Finley Road, just inside the Presidio’s Arguello Gate

Tickets are $25 per person and may be reserved by calling 415.561.4661 x209 or write to mperry@palmergolf.com.

Muscat is a Must-have for a Summer Picnic

Date August 1, 2009

Many people enjoy Muscat as a delicious dessert wine – and it is. Muscat is a lightly sweet white wine that is a lovely complement to any kind of fruit dessert such as cobblers, pies, or even just fresh berries with a little whipped cream on top. But if you’ve never tried Muscat as a summer afternoon sipping wine, you are missing out! Here we have assembled a “picnic menu” that we think will change your mind about Muscat.

Check the prepared foods or deli section of your market (most Whole Foods have an extensive selection) for roasted pork meat and purchase enough for everyone in your group to have a few slices. Visit the mustard aisle for a spicy sweet variety – we like Mendocino Mustard Company’s Hot Sweet Mustard. Buy a bunch of fresh asparagus, some Black Mission figs,  fresh strawberries, caramelized hazelnuts, almond biscotti and a jar of lemon curd. Choose a creamy bleu cheese such as Gorgonzola, Camembert, Beenleigh Blue or Hubbardston Blue. Ask the cheese folks at Whole Foods or Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building for a suggestion.

The morning of your picnic, clean and trim the asparagus and drizzle with a little good quality olive oil and salt. Roast in in a 350 degree oven until tender, but still crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature and pack it in a plastic container. Pre-slice the pork and bread and place in airtight plastic containers. Pack everything along with plates, napkins and some wine glasses, a couple of bottles of our chilled 2007 Foggy Bridge Muscat, and you are ready.

Once you are settled, bring out all the goodies. You can enjoy the pork as slices with a dollop of mustard, or make a sandwich. The asparagus will taste great dipped in the mustard as well. Spread the blue cheese on a small piece of walnut bread and nibble the figs and hazelnuts alongside. For dessert, dip the strawberries in the lemon curd and finish with the crunch of an almond biscotti. Keep the muscat chilled and enjoy throughout the repast. A great way to spend a summer afternoon!

The new wine reviewers: Bloggers and the art of speed-blogging

Date August 1, 2009

We continue to meet great people as we go out and about around the Bay Area, pouring wine and connecting with wine lovers wherever we go. We’ve poured at Giants games at AT&T Park, at the San Mateo Wine Walk, at a recent Bridal Faire at the Ritz Carlton, and something totally new – a speed blogging session at the annual Wine Bloggers Conference that just took place in Santa Rosa. As technology changes our daily lives, it is also changing how we receive information and the world of wine is by no means immune to the forward march of innovation. Speed blogging was sort of like speed dating. There were 21 round tables in a large ballroom at the hotel where the conference was held. At each table were eight to ten bloggers, laptops aglow, waiting anxiously to taste the wines of the twenty some-odd vintners who signed up to pour. Each vintner worked in teams with one person pouring samples, the other speaking about the wine poured. We had five minutes at each table, then a signal would sound, and we had to move on to the next table. It was chaotic and fun and so different from the formal structure of traditional media tastings. It is refreshing to have a community of wine aficionados sharing their impressions as a complement (or antidote) to the more authoritative views of the few power critics. The bloggers were furiously typing their impressions of the wines to Twitter or their own blogs and their readers were seeing, real-time, what they were experiencing as they tasted the wines. If you’d like to see some of the comments, go to www.twitter.com and search for #wbc09 and you’ll see the myriad of comments that were shared. We are interested to hear your thoughts on this new source of wine information, so please share your comments here. We poured our 2007 G.E.O Chardonnay and it was very well-received and considered to be a great value – a very positive trait, and one we are proud of in these challenging economic times.

July means BBQ and the perfect wine is Shiraz

Date June 25, 2009

HAPPY JACK’S Slow-Cooked Barbecued Pulled Pork
Total time for prep and cooking is about 6 hours
Serves 4-6

1 – 4-6 lb pork shoulder
Favorite dry rub or pre-made seasoning salt
2-3 bottles Foggy Bridge 2005 Shiraz (1/2 bottle to be reduced for the sauce, the rest to drink)
1 bottle of Foggy Bridge 2007 Sauvignon Blanc
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Season the pork shoulder with the dry rub or seasoning salt at least a couple of hours before cooking and return it to the refrigerator. When you light the charcoal in a Weber BBQ or other charcoal grill with a lid, take the meat out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
When coals are ready, sprinkle with soaked wood chips or small chunks of hardwood such as oak or fruitwood. Keep the fire low and slow and banked to one side of the kettle. Place a disposable foil pan with clean kitty litter to catch the drippings under the pork.
Roast slowly through indirect heat (do not place the meat over the coals) for a couple of hours, rotating every 20 minutes. Add more charcoal as necessary and then wrap the meat in foil for the last two hours of cooking. It gets mighty warm tending to the heat of the BBQ. Pour a glass of chilled Foggy Bridge Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy while the meat is smokin’!
While the meat is cooking, pour half a bottle of Foggy Bridge Shiraz into a saucepan and reduce on low heat to about 2/3 to one half of original volume. Pour in 12 ounces of premade BBQ sauce and mix well. Remove the meat from fire and rest for 20 minutes before serving.  With a couple of large forks, shred or “pull’ the pork apart and serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.

Note: Our dear friend and avid cook Happy Jack served this delicious pork with some grilled white corn on the cob and some crisp green beans garnished with crunchy bacon bits and it was delicious! A fantastic summertime meal!

Winemaker Dinner at Indigo Restaurant – March 23, 6:30pm

Date February 26, 2009

Join Foggy Bridge winemaker Daryl Groom at Indigo Restaurant for a special four-course dinner prepared by Chef Michael Whang, paired with Foggy Bridge Winery’s newest releases!

Plated hors d’oeuvres:
Foggy Bridge 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County
Blackened Tuna over English Cucumber
Risotto Fritters with Reggiano and Balsamic Reduction
Roasted Red Fingerling Potato with Truffled mushroom Duxelle

First course:
Foggy Bridge 2007 Riesling, Columbia Valley
Grilled Sterling Salmon with a Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad & a Ginger-Soy Beurre Blanc

Second course:
Foggy Bridge 2007 Zinfandel, Sonoma County                                                                
Pink Peppercorn Crusted Pork Tenderloin over Braised Cabbage, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, and a Honey-Zinfandel Reduction

Third course:
Foggy Bridge 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Polenta, Blue Lake Green Beans, and a Red Wine Sauce with Caramelized Shallots

Fourth course:
Foggy Bridge 2007 Tradewinds Muscat
Warm Lemon & Poppy Seed Cake, Vanilla Whipped Cream and Caramel Glaze

Dinner will be held at Indigo Restaurant, 687 McAllister (at Gough) in SF’s Civic Center District. Dinner is on Monday, March 23rd at 6:30pm. Price is $69 per person, which does not include tax or gratuity. Please call Indigo directly to make reservations: 415-673-9353

Greg Medow, proprietor of Indigo, says, “I wanted to create an atmosphere that had the feel of a Manhattan lounge, but also with the charm and warmth of San Francisco. We brought the elements of simplicity and elegance together by using Indigo colored fabrics and textures. A distinctive bar, high ceilings, draped archways, rich wood paneling and velvet covered banquettes create an inviting interior that is…Indigo – beautiful, inviting, warm and relaxing.”

2nd Winemaker Dinner just added – Feb 10, 2009

Date January 29, 2009

Due to popularity of our first Winemaker Dinner, we have scheduled another! Join us at the Presidio Cafe on Tuesday, February 10th at 7:00pm.

Enjoy some of our favorite Foggy Bridge wines with our winemaker Daryl Groom, while relaxing in the beautiful, intimate setting of the Presidio Golf Course. Daryl will host the four-course meal, prepared by Presidio Café chef Adam Hrebiniak.

Menu -
Foggy Bridge 2007 G.E.O. Chardonnay, San Francisco Bay
Seared Potato-flake Crusted Day Boat Scallops on Shaved Fennel and Cara Cara Orange Salad with Vanilla Bean Butter and Caviar

Foggy Bridge 2006 Classic Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Pan Roasted Pheasant Breast on Butternut Squash Puree with Chestnut Bread Pudding and Red Wine Glaze

Foggy Bridge 2004 Classic Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Braised Lamb and Roasted Root Vegetables on Creamy Mascarpone Cheese Polenta

Foggy Bridge 2007 Classic Muscat

A Variety of Local Artisan Cheeses with Accompaniments

Cost is $55 per person. Space is very limited, and reservations are required. To RSVP, please contact Michael Perry (mperry@palmergolf.com or 415-561-4661 x209).

The Presidio Cafe is located at 300 Finley Road, San Francisco, CA 94129