Almost Summer

It appears the rains are over for the season; and a long season it was! Rain right up to Memorial Day weekend affected at least some vineyards, as hail and strong wings were experienced in certain areas of the county. Long range effects will soon become more clear. My own vines in Dry Creek appear in pretty good shape, and over the past couple of weeks I’ve spent a good number of hours suckering and trellising. In the cellar much time and effort is going into bottling. Our schedule if pretty much full through July, for client bottling as well as the bottling of our 2009 Russian River Chardonnay. We tasted some tank samples last weekend, and the wine is extraordinary (as usual). May was a busy month for the sales folk. I spent a week in the Massachusetts market, and then went to Wisconsin the following week. Opened a number of new accounts, met enthusiastic fans of Taft Street, and sold a bunch of wine. Laurie continued her assault of the California market, with trips to So Cal, Sacramento and the Bay Area. Where ever Laurie goes people buy our wine. Our Wine Club party was a roaring success, as over 200 people tasted new releases, enjoyed the sounds of local favorites Bottle Shock, and dined amidst the tanks on a glorious spring afternoon. The very next weekend we hosted a private party, where a group of friends sat down to an evening of wining and dining. The month was capped off by a visit from a wine appreciation class from Stanford University(65 strong). I wore my GO BEARS! hat while serving lunch to this responsive group. Mike Martini led a tasting of different components of our 2009 Russian River Chardonnay. This month should be a little less hectic; although this weekend we’ll have our annual shareholders’ meeting and dinner, and on Sunday the 8 AT THE GATE group of local wineries holds their biennial wine club tasting. Yes, the season is upon us. When in the area stop by this friendly little corner of the Russian River Valley. Cheers, Mike Tierney President, Taft Street Winery

Summer Potato Salad

For the next couple of months it’s picnic season, and potato salad is a go-to dish. Here is a recipe that works.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 red pepper, cored
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley
  1. Place onion and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside 15 minutes
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and place in bowl.
  3. Place garlic, capers, olives and pepper in blender and roughly chop.
  4. Pour garlic mixture and onion over potatoes. Add oil and mix.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley as garnish.
Serves six. Right now I’m thinking barbeque ribs, this potato salad, and some Taft Street Zin.