Friday, July 27, 2007

Life's a Bowl of Cucumbers... Without Pits

Here's an interesting and refreshing warm weather recipe from Elisabeth Kahan who, with her husband, own the Vineyard Canyon Ranch Olive Oil Company. She first sampled it at the Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival.

Their olive oil, btw, recently won a Gold Medal at the L.A. County Fair.

Check out the Wine Whisperer's (pictured below) buy of the week. It's a wine that would go perfectly with this soup.


4 English Cucumbers, peeled and diced

½ Honeydew melon, peeled and diced

2 Green Onions, chopped

1 Serrano Chile, seeded and finely chopped

1 Celery rib, finely chopped

Leaves from 2 springs fresh mint, chopped

Leaves from ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

½ Cup Rice Wine vinegar
Vineyard Canyon Ranch Olive Oil

Salt – Sea or Kosher to taste

Pepper – Freshly Ground to taste

2 Tbsp. Low-fat Plain Yogurt

1 Lemon (juiced)

1 Tbsp fresh Flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Combine cucumbers, melon, onions, chile, celery, mint, cilantro, and vinegar in large bowl. Drizzle with Vineyard Canyon Ranch Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir till well blended. Puree in blender or food processor. Refrigerate until well chilled. *

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, and a teaspoon of Vineyard Canyon Ranch Olive Oil. Refrigerate.

To serve, spoon soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of yogurt mixture.

*Soup may be poured into a bowl and the bowl placed into a large pot of ice water to chill for 30 minutes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Winery Music Award Winners! Dominic Castillo and the Rock Savants

By receiving the most points of all five July semi-finalists, 87.88 out of 100 possible points, Dominic Castillo and the Rock Savants will automatically advance to the Winery Music Awards Final Competition on October 7 at River Oaks Hot Springs and Spa in Paso Robles.

The standing room only Round Two event was held at Stacked Stone Winery in Paso Robles and the venue couldn't have been more scenic or more fun.

Great music, great Stacked Stone wines, great fun-loving crowd, perfect weather and the biggest BBQ grille I've ever seen.

If you haven't checked it out yet, go immediately to because the next event (Round 3) is coming up August 11th at Silver Horse Vineyards.

It is becoming the "Sundance Festival of Independent Music on the Central Coast."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wine O My! And... Is Vodka the New White Wine?

The two states that start with "O" are trying to make it legal for our wineries to ship to their wine-O's.
If signed by the governor, an Oregon bill passed by the state’s legislature will allow all wineries and retailers to ship up to two, nine-liter cases a month directly to Oregon consumers. An amendment to the 2008-2009 Ohio budget bill allows in-state and out-of-state wineries producing less than 150,000 gallons of wine annually to ship up to 24 cases of wine per year per customer directly to Ohio consumers.
Source: Distinguished Brands International

A bill passed by the New York State Senate and Assembly in June 2007 would allow farms to make and sell apple vodka on site, if the Gov signs off. The new law would also allow local wineries to begin making vodka from grapes, an idea being explored by at least one Finger Lakes winery, Montezuma Winery in Seneca Falls.

Of course, any resulting hangover from this one would soon be known as "Montezuma's Revenge."

Already I'm envisioning some hip California winery making, "Viognier Vodka."

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Another GrapevineRadio Scoop!

Ace Grapevine Radio reporter, Cliff "Scoop" Stepp, pictured here, turned in this report.
"First I stumbled upon an ice cream company from upstate New York who won a gold medal at a national dessert expo for their wine ice cream. Yes, an adults only, 5-6% alcohol wine confection."

"I mentioned this one afternoon last week to Heidi at the Old Vienna Restaurant, Bar & Biergarden in Shell Beach and she told me that our very own Doc Bernstein's Ice Cream Parlor in Arroyo Grande is in the process of making a wine ice cream utilizing some fine wines made by our winemaker friend Don Peters at Cerro Caliente Cellars in San Luis Obispo."

If you can't wait for Doc and Don's version here's a recipe from

Red Wine Ice Cream

Red Wine Ice CreamUnusual as it may sound this Red Wine Ice Cream is a delicious ending to any holiday meal. I was served this at a private party in New York City...and have kept the recipe ever since. Give it a try...and let us know what you think.

serves 8

2 bottles full-bodied red wine, like a cabernet sauvignon
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
9 yolks
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Pour wine into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon sticks and peppercorns. Simmer until the wine is reduced to 1 cup (this should take about 1 hour)

2. In a large pan, bring the milk, cream and half of the sugar to a boil and run off heat. In a bowl whisk together yolks and remaining sugar. Temper the yolks into the boiling milk by gradually whisking about 1 cup of milk into the yolks and adding this back into the pot with the remaining milk. Stir in the salt and the vanilla. Whisk in the reduced wine.

Set pan over a bowl full of ice to cool. Pour the chilled ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer. Process the base in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.