Happy New Year Cordillera Ranch

By Jeffery Cohen, Wine Specialist

My return to Cordillera Ranch has been so uplifting and welcoming. It has been incredible to reconnect with so many people and, at the same time, get to meet new families.

As we look back at 2017, we have all had great times with some hardships along the way. Many, like me, have made resolutions to become better. This is where I will need all of your help!

I am determined to talk to every member at The Club this year. If we haven’t met yet, please take a moment to introduce yourself as I will be doing the same thing. I am also equally determined to bring new, (out of the box) programming so we can all learn more about wine, beer and spirits. I hope to have everyone participate and attend our many events throughout 2018.

With this in mind, our first Wine Dinner of the year will be on January 27 with a reception at 6:30pm followed by dinner at 7:00pm. We will all enjoy the fine wines of Napa Valley and the Silverado Vineyards.

Silverado has been a storied winery since 1978, when Diane and Ron Miller purchased the 93 acres and were one of three to plant Cabernet in the Stag’s Leap District. 1981 saw their inaugural vintage of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, although the Cabernet was not released until 1984 to allow proper aging.

Silverado Vineyards has been the topic of much press in the industry, and especially as pioneers. Just one accolade from the past was the #3 Wine Spectator ranking that the 1990 Limited Reserve Cabernet received.

Stephanie Eberle of Crawford Malone will be our Guest Speaker for the Silverado Dinner. Please sign up early because the limited seating will fill up quickly.

Moving on in the schedule, we will all have a chance to bring out the bubbles again, so to speak. St. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and Cupid is circling. This is always a great time to remember all of the loves in our lives.

Everybody has a different idea of their perfect celebratory meal so I will leave you a couple of mine and then, of course, talk about the wines that make the meals harmonious.

For many, Filet Mignon and Lobster is the go-to perfect meal, but not always the easiest to pair wines with. You have the question of “do I do red, do I white or do I do both?” I would recommend a nice buttery Chardonnay, such as Chappellet or Rombauer, both out of the cool climate of Carneros. These will not overpower the delicate Lobster. If you enjoy wines from France, especially Burgundy, you would enjoy a Puligny Montrachet.

If pairing for the Filet Mignon, I would advise again from Burgundy an outstanding Gevrie Chambertin or Nickel and Nickel’s En Route Pinot Noir. If you are a Cabernet drinker all the time, then I would suggest a Cab from the Horse Heaven Hills growing area of the Columbia Valley. The Cabs from Washington are just a little softer than their southern counterparts in Napa and Sonoma. This will allow you to enjoy your Filet as well.

My next pairing will take us to Italy. I LOVE a slowly braised Osso Bucco. It is rich, umptuous and I accompany it with a ragu of vegetables. For this, I go to the great Super Tuscans of Bolgheri. Many have heard of Sassicai and Ornelaia, however, there are so many to choose from. A very nice one that is reasonably priced is the Solaia by Allegrini. It is a Cab and Merlot blend with just a touch of acidity from Sangiovese.

I’ll leave you with one more tip that I say often.  If you cannot think of the perfect wine for any meal, you can always go to the bubbles. There is not a food or cuisine that will not pair with Champagnes from France, Cavas from Spain, Proseccos from Italy and Sparkling Wines from the good ol’ USA.

May your New Year be filled with health and happiness and outstanding friendships!

Jeffery M. Cohen is the Wine Specialist for The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at jcohen@cordilleraranch.com.

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