Unlike most of the world’s wine producing countries, Portugal’s wine reputation has been built around its own indigenous grape varieties, and of course, its classic fortified wines – Port and Madeira. Rarely seen are the big ‘noble’ grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the Portugese preferring to reflect the character and style of their wines in grapes best suited to the terrain, topography and climatic variations. It is a country of contrasting climatic conditions from the cooler regions of the ‘Vinho Verde’ in the North with its Atlantic influence to the parched climate of the Alentejo in the South.
There are over 400,000 hectares (1 million acres) of vines producing a diverse range of styles from light dry fruity whites to classic full bodied reds, with sweet dessert wines and a thriving sparkling wine industry. Ultra modern wineries, with all the technology that investment can bring, can be found alongside small traditional wineries where wines are still fermented in tall clay pots and grapes are trodden in ‘lagares’. Portugal is the seventh largest wine producing country in the world.
Fortified wines, notably Port and Madeira, and rosé wines, Mateus and Lancers, account for over 70% of Portugal’s wine exports and yet are only 15% of total wine production. Many dry wines from Dão, Bairrada, Ribatejo, Alentejo and Vinho Verde are making their mark on the export markets, reflecting the typicity and character of their respective regions while at the same time providing excellent value for money in their quality categories. ‘Garrafeira’ wines are another speciality of Portugal and are worth seeking out. These are blended ‘reserve’ wines from exceptional years that have been aged in wood for at least two years prior to bottling, and a further one year in bottle before release.
The rosé wine industry is extremely important where wines are produced in a slightly pétillant, medium dry style, consistent, fresh and fruity and with a special appeal to ‘novice’ drinkers. Production is taken very seriously and involves some of the most technically advanced wineries in Portugal. Another speciality, based on the Moscatel (Muscat*) grape is Moscatel de Setubal, a fortified sweet wine that can be aged for up to 50 years in oak. In practice most are aged from 6 to 20 years and are ready to drink when bottled.
The best known wine from the Duoro valley in central Portugal is, without doubt, Port. This is a fortified wine predominantly red, although some white is made. There are almost 30,000 growers in the Duoro involved in Port production mainly growing grapes for sale to the major Port Houses. Each vineyard is classified on an official scale according to its location, aspect, soil, etc. and grape prices are set according to that scale. By tradition and law (up to 1986), wine for Port that was made in the ‘quintas’ of the Douro Valley had to be shipped in barrel to Vila Nova de Gaia (beside Opporto) for maturation and bottling – some 50 miles away. The barrels known as ‘pipes’, were shipped in flat-bottomed boats called ‘barco rabelo’ – a little like gondolas with sails.
Port is vinified by ‘arresting’ the fermentation of the still wine, when the alcohol level reaches 6-8%. This is done by the addition of a neutral grape spirit or brandy, which kills the fermenting yeast but retains the residual grape sugars. This is what gives port its sweetness and an alcohol level of around 20%. The principal styles of Port are:
Ruby The simplest style, a young port matured in bulk for 2/3 years and bottled for early consumption. Very deep purple color.
Tawny A wood aged Port, often made from paler wines and taking on the russet hue of the wood. Aged Tawnies are generally blends from different years, but resembling the character of a particular year, i.e. 10 year old, 20 year old etc. They take on a nutty characteristic.
Vintage Only ‘declared’ in exceptional years, Vintage Ports are a blend of wines from that year but made from the best grapes. They are normally bottled after 2/3 years in wood and need extensive bottle age to soften and mature. They are unfiltered so consequently throw sediment, and require decanting.
Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) A wine from a single year that has been bottled between the fourth and sixth year. It is generally filtered and stabilized so requires no decanting.
Join us on Sunday for Super Bowl. We open a 2pm. We’ll have eats and treats during halftime.
It’s that time of year again… join us for the BEST Lakers event ever!
Ticket Holders Reception… Make the donation, Help the children & Party With Us.
Food & Drink provided by Giovanni’s Restaurant & Azo Vino Wine Bar
Wild Horse Vineyards “Meet the Winemaker” Tasting & Kim Martin Acoustically
Thursday, Nov 15th, 6-10pm
Join us for this great tasting event! We’ll be showcasing some great wines. You’ll taste five great wines, get a chance to talk with the Winemaker, Chrissy Wittman, our staff and get an early start on the weekend! Also, The Kim Martin Band will rock the house as we continue to party all night long to the classic rock n roll sounds you have grown to love and remember so vividly. Be there as this group electrifies the room with on great song after another!
Our tasting will include the following wines:
Wild Horse Central Coast Chardonnay Selecting fruit from a variety of vineyards throughout the Central Coast allows us the freedom to create a wine that exhibits the diversity of aromas and flavors that Chardonnay is capable of when grown in different soils and climates. Barrel fermented and aged sur-lie, Wild Horse Chardonnay is both a creamy and complex wine that is very food-friendly.
Wild Horse Central Coast Pinot Noir The name Wild Horse is synonymous with incredible Pinot Noirs. Offering up vibrant aromas and flavors of cherry, pomegranate, cola, and Asian spices, this Pinot Noir is consistently praised for its complexity and good balance. It is, without a doubt, the most food-friendly red wine we produce.
Wild Horse Cheval Sauvage Pinot Noir 2009 Contrary to the 2008 Sauvage which was a true blend of several vineyards, the 2009 is 100% from Sierra Madre Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Oriented east to west, the Santa Maria Valley is influenced by the fog and coastal breezes introduced by the Pacific Ocean. This makes for a longer growing season and the ability for the vineyards to produce lower yields increasing the aptitude for concentrated fruit and even ripening.
Wild Horse Central Coast Merlot Paso Robles provides us with exceptional Merlot fruit that is typically more intense and structured than its cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon. Wild Horse Merlot is a wine that provides rich ripe fruit flavors balanced by bright acidity. The soft, rich tannins, acidity and long finish make this wine an age worthy contender.
Wild Horse Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon Distinctive for its bold, fruit-forward character, our Cabernet Sauvignon comes through with rich aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, cedar, and clove, coupled with a lush mouthfeel yielding smooth tannins. The vibrant fruit and balanced acidity found in this wine make it a perfect match for a variety of foods including rosemary seasoned pork loin, rack of lamb and aged cheeses.
A little history…
They made their first wine in a plastic tub. Stirred it with a baseball bat. It was a senior project at Cal Poly that very quickly became a reason to be. In 1981, they bought the winery’s first vineyard and two years later released their first two wines: a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Our unconventional roots made it possible for us to become who we are today–the leading luxury winery on California’s Central Coast. We named the winery Wild Horse as a tribute to the herds of mustangs that once roamed the hills above the vineyards. And quite possibly we also had in mind the Cal Poly mascot – a galloping horse.
Winemaker, Chrissy Wittman, born and raised in the big city of Los Angeles, Chrissy’s entire career has been spent in decidedly non-urban settings. She joined Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards in 2007 after ten years of winemaking experience at Scheid Vineyards, Courtside Cellars and Meridian. She earned her degree in Biology and a Masters Degree in Agriculture from Cal Poly. Chrissy, a big SF Giants fan, says working at Wild Horse makes her feel like a kid in a candy shop with so many great vineyards to choose from.
Join us as the Z-Man Blues Band rocks the house with soulful blues and early rock ‘n roll, reminding us of a time long past, but fondly remembered. Be there as Memphis Hall of Fame bluesman Zollie Polk along with friends, Johnny Castillo and Andy Denerson bring it home one more time. Enjoy your favorite glass of wine or a cold beer served in a frosty glass. Sit back, relax and enjoy! Along with the great music, we will have, Reyes Catering will be on the patio with their near famous Taco Bar, serving up chicken, spicy pork and beef tacos. Join us for a great night of wines, beer, music and friendship.
Soundbytes – Saturday, Nov 17th, 8-11pm Be there as the incredible group, Soundbytes lights up the night with the music you have grown up with and love to hear, over and over! This trio will electrify your night with great jazz vocals and classic rock ‘ roll, so come relive the great memories you enjoy so much. The patio is open, so bring a friend, sit back, relax and enjoy a great glass of wine by the fireplace as the night slowly draws to an end.
Holiday Parties and Get-togethers… Plan Now, Don’t Wait! The calendar is filling up quickly, so if you are planning an intimate party of 100, don’t wait till the last minute to reserve your space. Call us or stop by for details.
Nov 15 3rd Thursday – Kim Martin Band, Acoustically Yours 7-10pm
Wild Horse Vineyards Winemaker Flight Night, 6-9pm
Nov 16 Z-Man Blues Band, 8-11pm
Nov 17 Soundbytes, 6-9pm
Nov 20 “Holiday Wines” Mini Tasting, 6-9pm
Nov 21 “Last Minute Wine Buys Tasting” – All Day
Nov 22 Give THANKS – Enjoy Family
Nov 23 Black Friday Party
Don’t Miss the Field of Valor – Nov 4th – Nov 11th
Located at the corner of Grand Ave and Puente St, in the Sierra Vista Middle School Athletic Field, over 2000 American Flags stand silent witness to the commitment and honor of our American service personnel and Veterans. Placed in such a manner as to greet the morning sun, these 2000 flags, stir thoughts of friends and family, current and passed that have helped to make this Nation great. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the Field of Valor, which will be open from 8am-8pm, Sunday to Sunday.
A list of activities is available on line, the Opening Ceremonies are Nov 4th – Today at 1pm, and will be highlighted by an antique aircraft flyby. On November 12, the flags will be lowered. Between now and Veteran’s Day, daily events will be planned, honoring our soldiers. Once the event is over, the Rotary Club hopes to take those flags and poles and re-use them for next year’s event. 100% of all proceeds received through this event will be donated to local active duty families, local veterans and their families, and our local USO.
If you are interested in purchasing a flag in honor of a family member or friend, you can do so at the Field of Valor. Those people who purchase or adopt a flag can also designate a veteran who they want to give the flag to. Those flags that are not adopted will be given to a soldier from a list of names generated by the Covina Rotary Club. And as Covina gets new sponsors, they can get involved as well. A Diamond Sponsor will have the ability to adopt 100 active duty soldiers; the Premium Sponsor will adopt 50 soldiers; the Gold Sponsor will adopt 20; the Silver Sponsor will be 10. Single contributions are also available.
Anchor Christmas Ale – Now Available, Quantities are Limited
Anchor Brewing Company officially announced their Christmas Ale for 2012. This year marks year #38 for the brew. That’s 38 recipes. Each label is as different as the beer itself, each label is a hand drawn tree.
Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. For this year’s Christmas Ale, we have selected the Norfolk Island pine. Captain Cook discovered this South Seas isle and its native tree in 1774.
These tropical-looking conifers, which thrive in sandy soil and coastal climes, were first planted in California in the 1850s. The Norfolk Island pine on this year’s label resides in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Each year our Christmas Ale gets a unique label and a unique recipe. Although our recipes must remain a secret, many save a few bottles from year to year. Properly refrigerated, the beer remains intriguing and drinkable for years. Different nuances emerge as the flavor mellows slightly, much like the memories of great holiday seasons past. Celebrate the holidays with Anchor Christmas Ale, an Anchor tradition since 1975.
Anchor Christmas Ale is very cellarable, so drink some now, and some for years to come
Style: Winter Warmer Availability: 12oz bottles, 1.5 L bottles, Draft. ABV 5.5%
A good friend of mine from Phoenix sent us this recipe as part of a discussion around wines for spicy foods. She thought some of you might enjoy trying it, so we are passing it along… If you have a recipe to share, please send it to us so we can share.
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese softened
12 large Jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 pound of bacon
coarse black pepper
Slice the fresh Jalapenos lengthwise and take out the seeds and the veins. Wash thoroughly. Using a tablespoon fill sliced Jalapeno with cream cheese. Once you have filled all the Jalapenos with cream cheese wrap each Jalapeno with a strip of bacon. Sprinkle with coarse black pepper and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes or until the bacon is done. Serve with ranch dressing if desired.
Your wine selections might include: Riesling, Syrah or a 100% varietal Mourvedre (my choice)
Hey! Try out this great new recipe from Cheryl Delicato and our friends at Domino Wines.
Burrata, a creamy, fresh mozzarella, can be purchased at your local specialty cheese shop.
- Burrata, desired amount
- Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Baguette, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
- Preheaet oven to 450°F.
- Place Burrata in center of serving platter and lightly drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the cheese as desired.
- Combine olive oil and minced garlic into a small bowl.
- Coat one side of each baguette slice with olive oil/garlic mix using a pastry brush.
- Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place bread slices on sheet, olive oil/garlic side up.
- Place sheet on top oven rack and toast for 5-6 min or until the bread turns golden brown.
- Once toasted, place slices on a serving platter around the burrata cheese, olive oil side up.
- Place a couple of cheese knives on platter for guests to serve themselves and enjoy!
- Serves 4-6 people.
Wine Pairing: Domino Chardonnay, of course!