News and marketing for California's coastal vineyards, wineries and food producers.
I write blogs and manage social media for small wineries and artisan food producers in California's beautiful Central Coast region. I have 20 years of experience in wine hospitality and sales. I create customized marketing plans, and provide copywriting, marketing, and media outreach to wine and food artisans. I love my job.
If you'd like to find out more about how to become part of Central Coast Wine Blogs, feel free to contact me any time. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll look forward to hearing from you soon!
Central Coast Wine Blogs provides a full spectrum of services from management outsourcing to individual marketing tasks.
Although I specialize in artisan food and wine accounts, I also engage with a variety of clients and tasks. I've done everything from working on a website about semiotics to drafting an e-book for a former NFL star.
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Dessert wines - Many people just pour them over high-quality vanilla bean ice cream with fresh berries or shaved dark chocolate atop. But a quality dessert wine is so much more than just a sweet pick-me-up or a syrup for frozen milch. During the holidays you should have a few bottles on hand. Don't be shy about using them as after-dinner digestifs enjoyed in a tiny glass, as the basis for meat marinades and vinaigrettes, to splash into Spanish cava or champagne for a festive flair, and to accompany holiday desserts. At the end of a meal, a complex, layered dessert wine is both dessert and digestif, particularly if you serve it with some crisp fruit and mellow cheeses. Some dessert wines, particularly whites, are mellow enough to be served with roasted quail and other savory treats. During the holidays, a good dessert wine makes an instant course for a quickly pulled together dinner, and can even be used as part of the preparation.
Some easy pairings for late harvest and port-style reds:
Dates stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a raspberry
Small puff pastry circlets topped with cream fraiche, berries, and shaved chocolate
Sesame glazed walnuts
Slices of pear and apple
Savory cheeses—Gorgonzola, Stilton, Manchego
Quick pairings for white late harvest and dessert wines:
White chocolate brownies
Puff pastry cups with fresh peaches, crème fraiche and toasted almonds
Fruit and cheese quiche
Tapioca or pudding topped with fruit and crème fraiche
While most people instinctively pair a sweet with a sweet, the oils and sugar in chocolate and dessert dishes coat the palate and subdue the layered flavors of a great dessert wine. When I want the wine to star, I serve nuts, cheese, and savory bites.
Try basting a quail with a dessert white or red while roasting, and prepare a long-grain rice stuffing with fruits that have been steeped in a cup of the wine—dark fruits for a red dessert wine, white fruits like apricots and blood oranges in white dessert wine. The savory elements of the fowl and rice are a great marriage with dessert wines. Look for dessert wines that are not too rich and pruney—they should have lifted acidity and clearly definable varietal flavors.
Learn how to grill lamb ribs with a lavender rub, smoke a duck, and make vodka gravlax. It's easier than you think! Having friends overnight? Start the party with grilled appetizers and dinner on the deck, and continue the next morning with our brunch ideas and creative Bloody Marias. Every recipe uses easy-to-find ingredients, so no matter where you live, you can cook, dine and wine as if you are in wine country!
Fresh garlic chives, bay leaves, thyme and oregano
1-2 cups fresh basil leaves, julienned or sliced
2 cups chopped vine-ripened tomatoes
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
4 flour tortillas
Place the pork tenderloin in a one gallon sealable bag with the olive oil, wine, white Worcestershire sauce, half of the julienned basil, and plenty of chopped fresh herbs. (Strip the tiny leaves off the thyme stems, and gently crush the bay leaves.)
Marinate for 2-3 hours. Grill the tenderloin over medium-hot coals until faintly pink inside, about 10-15 minutes on each side. You can also sear the tenderloin on the stove over medium heat, and then roast it at 400º for 10-15 minutes, or at 300º for 25-30 minutes. Check the tenderloin after 15 minutes, because pork cooks quickly. If you have a meat thermometer, interior temperature should be about 150º, and the center should be hot, yet still pink and juicy.
Chop the tenderloin into bite-size chunks, and serve on warmed flour tortillas with the fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion and peppers.
A while back, I arranged a fundraising dinner and some tours of local food producers as a fundraiser for a culinary association. We started the day at the Cayucos Abalone Farm with a personally guided tour conducted by Brad Buckley. Perched on small bluff overlooking the ocean, the farm produces almost 500,000 abalone a year. They culture only red abalone, under the brand name Ocean Rose.
Our first abalone epiphany was that abalone are not bi-valves like clams or oysters. They are snails. Gross, yet cool. Various strains of abalone also have their own particular flavor.
I recently received compliments on my favorite homemade bread loaf, which I brought to a winery gathering, so I thought I'd share it here. It's great with hearty grilled foods and red wine. Enjoy with friends, family and customers.
I prefer an upright-style bread machine for even rising and baking. If you haven't tried using a bread machine yet, inexpensive models are available used on eBay and similar sites for around $30.
I prefer the upright model to the horizontal pan machines because it consistently produces a thoroughly mixed, fluffier, and uniform loaf. The basic recipe is for a large 2 pound loaf of white bread, but I add two secret ingredients: coriander seed and a saffron mix. Coriander seed gives the bread cubes a citrusy crunch, and the saffron blend gives it a deep yellow color and a toasty, almost tobacco-like aroma which is great with red wine. For another variation, you can also add dried safflower petals, which are frequently available in your grocer's Mexican spice section.
Here's the recipe, which you may want to adjust depending on your basic bread machine recipe . . .
I enjoy going to the Templeton Farmers Market every other Saturday morning. I have a rolling sport cart, which I fill to overflowing with sweet onions, asparagus, and artichokes.
If you are planning to spend a Saturday wine tasting in Paso Robles, there is simply no finer way to start the day than by strolling through the farmer’s market. And for lunch, a stop at Farmstand 46 is an absolute must. Enjoy lunch on the outdoor patio with a glass of wine, or pack it up and take it with you for a leisurely wine tasting trip down Vineyard Drive.
In today’s haul I have a seed-strewn flatbread from a local bakery, sold with small, ready-to-serve tubs of orange hummus, and garnished with fresh herbs. My other selections today were bacon avocados, asparagus, red and yellow beets, basil, tomatoes, strawberries, sugar pod peas, and garlic.
Every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Templeton Community Park is the host for the Farmers Market. Come by and enjoy the selection of locally grown fruits, vegetables, organic produce, dried nuts and herbs, and homemade crafts and gifts. For more information call (805) 239-6535.
I have posted this project on Facebook and I’m already receiving recipes from France, New York, Ohio, and Oregon. Before submitting your recipe or photos, please read the following instructions! They are simple but important ...
The core concept of The Crush Cookbook is that it’s not only possible but easy to make a fine meal that pairs well with wine. Think of this as a ‘winery cookbook for busy people.’ There are a number of winery cookbooks in the book market, but none are really geared toward working couples and families with budgetary and time demands. How many people realistically gather their own wild greens and hunt for chanterelles?
Built around the core concept will be the stories, essays and poetry of small, hard-working vintners and viticulturists, illustrated with beautiful black-and-white portraits of people in action.
1. Recipes must be relatively easy. I am particularly interested in recipes that you prepare during harvest for friends and visitors. Preference will be given to recipes actually prepared by the winemakers or winery and vineyard owners during crush or wine festivals. Grilling recipes are welcome.
2. Recipes must be original or have an individualistic spinon a classic dish. We will check to see if recipes have been published elsewhere. Please do not submit recipes that you clipped from magazines or excerpted from a published cookbook! If your recipe is a new spin on a classic—for instance, your own version of risotto or bouillabaisse, please describe what makes your recipe unique, and why you created it.
3. Ingredients must be generally available in all areas of the U.S. and during most seasons. If you want to submit a recipe involving hard-to-find or seasonal ingredients (chanterelles, truffles, etc.) please describe the seasonality and availability, complete preparation techniques, and supply an online ordering source.
4. Include complete ingredient lists and instructions. Ask a friend to proofread your recipe before submitting it, in case you forgot something. We will be recipe testing each submission and we will contact you if we have questions, so don't stress about the details too much, just be sure to include all the necessary ingredients and steps.
5. Include a wine recommendation by varietal or blend type, for instance "a spicy old vine zinfandel," "a rich, smoky syrah," etc. If you wish you can also talk about how the flavors in the recipe interact with your choice of wine.
Each recipe submission must include:
Name of the recipe
Number of servings
Ingredient list with accurate measurements
Complete instructions for preparation
A wine recommendation (or beer, whatever)
Name of the person who created the recipe
You may submit more than one recipe.
All recipes will be tested for accuracy. We will contact you if we have questions, but the recipe testers and editor reserve the right to adjust, correct and edit each entry.
By agreeing to submit a recipe and otherwise participate in this project, the recipe author agrees to relinquish all publication rights to the material.
Essays and Stories
Please include a brief, 250 to 600 word essay or story about either the recipe, or your harvest activities. I am not looking for winery brochure copy—essays must be touching or humorous (I have a strong preference for funny anecdotes).
Include the name of the writer, even if it is the same as the recipe originator.
Why you prepare this recipe during harvest
Cooking and grilling disasters during harvest or festivals
Humorous anecdotes, harvest disasters (full tanks imploding, grape trolleys tipping over, case goods falling off the truck, you get the idea . . .)
Why you just love crush, the excitement, the energy . . .
Beautiful and memorable moments
If you would like to provide photos, we are looking for high-quality action photos—images of cellarmen and vineyard workers wearing rubber boots and getting all wine-stained, busy on the bottling line or in the vineyard, or relaxing in the shade with a beer. W'e are looking for 'people' shots showing how hard we work during harvest.
All photos must be action photos.All shots must show winemakers, cellarmen or vineyard workers performing physical labor. No vineyard landscapes please, no shots of winemakers holding up glasses of wine or demonstrating how to use a wine thief. Tasks need not be limited to crush labor—photos can include shots of vineyard crews pruning, winemakers filtering, or any other task as it occurs during the year.
Only digital photos delivered via email or on a CD or DVD can be considered.
Please send photos in the highest resolution you can, but reduce the size to no larger than 400 x 600 if emailing. Please keep a backup of the photo in case it is selected and we need a larger size.
Either color or black-and-white photography can be considered.
Please send or include the name and address of each person in the photo. If the subject is currently a winery employee an address is not necessary. (This is so I can secure model releases for selected photos.)
Include the name of the photographer, or indicate if the photo belongs to the business. Individuals will be given photography credit, and photos submitted by a winery or vineyard will be designated as "courtesy of."
I retain full publication and financial rights to the completed compilation (but not the individual recipes) and full authority to invite, select and edit the material. I reserve the right to edit and change recipes. I reserve the right to change the title or subtitle and make any other changes that I feel may benefit the project.
Thank you in advance for your participation. I look forward to working with you!
"With harvest approaching, what is your dream fridge stocked with? I'm guessing hoagie ingredients, potato salad, steaks, hard-boiled eggs, beer, gallons of iced tea, and bottled water, for a start ... what else?"
To those of who are wondering how to pamper your hard-working enologists during harvest, here are the comments and shopping lists we received from men and women winemakers around the world. What would you add to the list?
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