Happy New Year! How to ring it in right…

Happy New Year

I can hardly believe that it’s 2009.  Where does the time go?  Happily, I can report I am healthy and mostly well, if not gainfully employed.  2008 was an amazing year of new friends, new wines, and the brand new Wine Bloggers Conference!

Now that we are in another month and another year, I am excited to report a full calendar of wine events.

First up, we have Wine Blogging Wednesday.  This month, it is hosted by El Jefe, of Twisted Oak Winery.  He wants us to explore breakfast wine parings, but be warned!  This is no easy task.  We cannot take the easy way out with sparklers or stickies.  My drinking buddy, Liza of the Brix Chicks (@brixchick_liza) has taken the bull by the horns and is hosting a brunch for us.  Have pairing suggestions?  Please check out the menu here!

Amuse ala BrixChick:
1/2 fresh white fig with smudge of creme fraiche and PS Savory syrup

1) Thomas Keller Savory Egg Custard in egg cups.  I think will be either wht or blk truffle infused Will be in ramekins if I cannot source raw egg topper

2) BBLT – fresh baked mini croissant with herb salad mix, little splendids macerated in fig balsamic vinegar/thyme/pinch of lavender salt, bacon, brie

3) Savory Belgian Waffles
1/4 belgian waffle (batter will possibly include cornmeal) with creme fraiche ribbons across, capers in waffle wells and that yum smoked salmon—where did you source it?
with seasonal citrus (cara cara, blood orange, tangelo) supremes with hibiscus salt

4) Brioche French Toast with PS savory syrup and unsweetened anise whipped cream and side of winter fruit salad (figs, nuts, thyme paoched pear chunks)
Is that enough food?  Portions are chi chi small plates.  I can add:

5) Cheese plate – My usual…truffle Tremor, Caved aged gruyere (not comte), roaring 40’s   will crack open the Grandfathers

Next weekend, WineQuesters is hosting a TweetUp at 7 San Francisco wineries.  WineQuesters is a site that provides multiple services, including a social network and GPS enabled maps of wine areas.  I am still exploring it and  I’ve never been on a WineQuesters journey, but hey, there is wine involved!  Wineries pouring include:

  • VIE – previously reivewed HERE
  • Canihan Cellars
  • Blue Cellars
  • Morningwood Wines
  • Treasure Island Wines
  • AP Vin
  • Sol Rouge

For details, please see the WineQuesters event HERE, and don’t forget to sign up!

January 17th and 18th are Winter Wineland in Northern Sonoma.  Over 100 wineries participate, from Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys.  At $40 for two days, this is an affordable luxery, and gives you access to a lot of wineries, many of which are not always open to the public.  You could easily spend that much at a few of the more ultra premium tasting rooms.  I have always enjoyed this event and there are a ton of new places to explore this year, like Truett Hurst, which is in the process of converting to a fully biodynamic winery.

Also on the 17th, is the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers quarterly passport event. 

The Santa Cruz Mountains are really coming in to their own, and are producing some lovely wines.  Several wineries are in the suburban areas of Saratoga and Cupertino, as well as in Santa Cruz, as well as scattered along the ridges in the hill country.

January wraps up with the 11th annual Zinfandel Festival (ZAP), with four days of events all over San Francisco, celebrating America’s hertiage grape.  While the Saturday public tasting can be a bit of a zoo, there are other events that highlight the art of Zinfandel that are really worth a look.  My particular favorite is Good Eats & Zin, where wineries showcase their best zins, paried with delictable foodstuffs.

I hope to see you at many of these evetns, and I look forward to a productive, happy, and luscious 2009!

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