2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

I have been dying for some good weather so I can fire up the barbecue and do some of the things that people normally do here in Sonoma County this time of the year.  However, up until this weekend we’ve been getting soaked by the rain.  I”m starting to wonder if this is how people in Seattle feel most of the time.  Anyhow, the forecast over the Holiday weekend was outstanding, the clouds parted and the sun shined through!  I’ve been keeping up with Seghesio on twitter(@seghesio) and they keep telling me I need to have some of their Zinfandel with my BBQ, so I obliged and grabbed the only bottle offered at Safeway while I was picking up some ingredients for the BBQ.

2008 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel

So here is their 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel

The nose: Ripe plums simmer up through a fairly hot nose, there is some spice, a touch of toasted oak/vanilla and that standard issue Jammy Zin character.

The Taste: You are greeted with a 50-50 blast of big fruit and black pepper.  When I first tried this wine the fruit was a bit over ripe or cooked however as it has opened up that seems to have faded and now is on par with the other big jam fruity Zins.

The Mouth Feel: For being such a big fruit bomb there are not enough tannins to support the wine and it comes off a touch flabby.  I would expect more structure for that much fruit.  The mid palate through finish is a bit weak.

The Color: The wine is a dark purple thinning at the edges, very clear and pretty in the glass.

The Nitty Gritty:
15.5% ABV
Barrel aged for 10 months in 75% American (20% new) and 25% French oak
89% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah
Average Brix at Harvest 26.8°
I paid a little over $20 and have seen it online from $20-$28

The Verdict: I’m not a big fan of the big jammy Zins so this one falls out of my favor a bit due to that, but it’s very typical of many other Zinfandels.  There are no major flaws that I could detect and it pairs nicely with the sweet, tart and spicy BBQ sauces I used.

81 Pts. or a C+/B-

Tasting Notes and Seghesio
Tasting Notes and Seghesio

Nitty Gritty reference from Seghesio’s Website http://www.seghesio.com/


DinVenture1: It’s what’s for Dinner

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Major Wine Pairing FAIL:

So I did exactly what I set out to do.  I wanted Chicken Piccatta and that’s what I made.  The Piccatta was legit, the wine choice of Riesling to go with it was not.

Saturday afternoon (after laboring over some Organizational Behavior case study) I ventured out into sunny downtown Santa Rosa for a pint (or two) with my buddy at one of the favorite haunts, Third St. Aleworks.  I enjoyed a nice margherita pizza and some IPA.

Afterward, I headed back to the neighborhood and stopped by the newish little wine shop in downtown Cotati (http://www.cotaticorner.com/worth stopping by).  I popped in and chatted with the saleslady who was “filling in” for the owner, we discussed my thoughts on dinner and Riesling and she said she was more of a Chardonay girl.  Undeterred, I made my selection:

An aside here:  Riesling is an under represented varietal in the store, their focus is definitely on the Reds.

I found a nice 2007 Esterlina Cole Ranch Reisling, and since the register wasn’t working right I got it for a steal at $14.50  (price tag said $17 and saw it at Oliver’s for $20).  Happy with the purchase I was off to Oliver’s for groceries.

I picked up some fresh Rocky’s Roasters boneless/skinless, fresh broccoli, eggs, basil, cappellini and a bottle of Sauv Blanc (we’ll talk more about that in a minute).

Prepping for Dinner:

Ready to get cookin!


All purpose flour
Olive Oil (the extra virgin good stuff!)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
3 Lemons halved and squeezed (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup depending on your preference)
some lemon zest (easier to zest before you squeeze BTW)
Capers 1/3 cup rinsed and drained
Dry White Wine 1/3 cup
Chicken Stock 1/2 cup

1.  using a meat tenderizer/hammer pound the breasts flat to about 1/4″ thickness.  I put the chicken on a good cutting board, cover with saran wrap and beat the hell out of them.

2. in a large skillet 12″ melt 2 tblspn of butter with 3 tblspn of olive oil over high/medium-high heat until it starts sizzling.

3. in 2 9×9 pans or whatever works for you, beat 2 eggs in on, fill the other with flour and add salt and pepper (you can salt/pepper however you want, but this worked pretty well for me).  Dip chicken breast in egg then dredge in flour mixture, place into hot skillet.

4. Brown chicken on both sides (should cook about 4-5 min on both sides), meanwhile fire up the oven to about 250 to keep chicky hot while you’re doing the sauce.

Grilled Chicken Ready to become piccatta

5. After chicken is done cooking (fully cooked) put on a plate and put in over to keep hot.  Pour lemon juice, wine, chicken stock, 2 more tblspn butter, 2 more tblspn olive oil, and capers stir and scrape up brown bits for more flavor reduce a bit.

6. After sauce starts thickening add chicken back to pan and simmer for another 5-10 min.

7.  Pasta:  I used cappellini which was pretty good, but you can use any I’m sure.  Get this ready (maybe this should be step 4 or something, I ain’t no Chef)

8. Veg:  I had broccoli, but thought about green beans (they didn’t look good at the store so I skipped em)  Asparagus might be yummy with this too.

9.  Okay, dinner should all be pretty much ready at this point.  Put chix on the plate, some pasta and veg next to it.  Pour remaining sauce over pasta and chicken.


Chicken Piccatta con Cappellini e Broccoli

Now, on with the mangia.  The chicken was awesome, perfect lemon flavor, not too overpowering,  just right.  First sip of the Riesling…

D’OH! I don’t know what I was thinking.  I totally blew it.  The Riesling chasing the lemon from the piccatta came across insanely sweet.  I should have known better.  Fortunately, I picked up a great Sauvignon Blanc, Honig Napa Valley.  I used this for cooking (some might think that’s a waste, but why not cook with good wine?).  Anyhow, this paired very well.  The light and crisp grassy notes blended superbly with the lemon and capers.  Fwew!

Anyhow, all-in-all another yummy dinner at the Wing house.


I want some chicken picatta.  So, I’m off to some markets today to go get what I need.  I’ll be updating this post with pictures (maybe some video too).  Tweet me some suggestions for wine, I’m thinking Reisling

What do you call a bull masturbating?

Beef Stroganoff.

So I tried to do the beef short rib recipe herre http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/beef-stroganoff-with-buttered-noodles-recipe/index.html. I watched the program on my flight to NYC a couple weeks ago. I clearly didn’t give myself adequate time to cook the shortribs. A good deal of the comments regarding this recipe lambaste the chef for utilizing this cut of meat.

Anyhow, Moving on.

Tonight I attempted this recipe with one substitution. I used some ribeye steaks for the beef instead of shortribs. In this episode, the chef says he uses the herb rub for his prime rib so I figured, why not ribeyes!

Oh aye! I grabbed a bunch of rosemary from the garden, and the rest of the thyme from my poor attempt of the shortribs about a week ago.

So I fired up the oven at 305 for a while and about 3 hours later had some super yummy pulled prime rib. I’m thinking this would have been friggin awesome on some garlic bread as a po’ boy sandwich.

I used a good bit less shrooms and cut the cream/sour cream in half and instead of regular Dijon mustard, I used a stone ground with horseradish (oh yeah). I also substituted the cognac with some gentleman Jack (gotta support the wife’s company).

We served it up on some yolk free egg noodles (damn Olivers for being so hippyish!). And paired it up with a ceasar salad and paired it with some Alexander Valley Merlot from Sebastiani.

Damn this was a good dinner. If I don’t say so myself.


Sunday January 10th Dinner….

Pulled pork, Mac, and mustard greens, with Coro Mendocino.

Okay, tell me what you think…
Pork Roast, 1 1/2 lbs, boil in 4 qt of water with one whole onion sliced, 4 cloves of garlic, smashed/sliced.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2hrs.
Mac-and-cheese.   Kraft mac, make like recipe says, place in 9×9 pyrex, shred 5 oz each cheddar and jack, stir,  cover and refrigerate,  this will get baked later.

After 2hrs simmering, remove pork from stock pot, shred with fork.

Bake mac-n-cheese for 20 min at 350, when finish sprinkle chopped green onions on top.
Chop up bunch of Mustard greens, removing thick stalks, about 1/2 inch slices.  In large sautee pan use 1/2 cup of pork stock and onions to blanch greens until wilted but still green.  Remove from stock and place in serving dish. Serve pork with bbq sauce, and wholegrain or stoneground mustard to accommodate all tastes.  I’ll be having mine with Sweet baby ray’s spicy BBQ sauce!  Pair din-din with good beer (Eel river IPA perhaps?) or a Big Zinfandel, or maybe a Pinot Noir or Petite Syrah. yeah, Sunday dinner is good!