Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil

Quick and easy, and perfect after a long day harvesting fruit and veggies.


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine or sake
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced shallots
  • 3 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped red fresh chile
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 red onion, peeled and cut into julienne slices
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ cups basil, leaves rinsed, drained, and coarsely chopped
  1. Cut chicken into 3 inch x ½ inch x ½ inch pieces. Mix ingredients 2 – 4 and toss in chicken to marinate.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to skillet until quite hot, add ingredients 6 – 8, and cook 2 minutes, or until onions are tender. Push to side of skillet.
  3. Add remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil heat until quite hot. Add chicken and cook 2 minutes. Mix ingredients 9 – 12 and pour into pan. Bring to boil, add fresh basil and mix. Scoop chicken on serving platter and serve with rice and vegetable, if desired.

Serves 6. Try this with Taft Street 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir. You won’t be disappointed.

The Waiting Game, Take 2

Perfect summer weather has finally come to the Russian River Valley, with daytime temperatures in the mid-eighties, and nighttime temps 30 degrees less. The harvest is well behind schedule, at least two weeks by most estimates. Most growers foresee a smaller than average crop this year, especially on valley floor vineyards. Many of the larger wineries are buying up inventories of wines on the bulk market, as a hedge against lower than expected inventories. We know one thing after 30 years in the business, predicting grape production is never a sure thing.

Wine critics continue their affection for Taft Street wines. The September issue of WINE ENTHUSIASTsaw our 2010 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc awarded 89 points, and the editors had this to say:

“A clean, bone dry Sauvignon Blanc with plenty of mouthwatering acidity to get those tastebuds whistling. It has polished flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, vanilla and white pepper. GOOD VALUE. EDITOR’S CHOICE (wines that offer excellent quality at a price above our Best Buy range, or a wine at any price with unique qualities that merit special attention)”

In the August edition of CONNOISSEURS’ GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA WINE our 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon received 88points, and the editor said:

“… this supple, nicely balanced effort has the feel and structure and curranty flavors to leave no doubt at all as to from what it is made. It is neither overly ripe nor so much as hinting at greenness, and it has the polish and easy grace of a wine that will come into its best in no more than a few years. 1 STAR (fine example of a type or style of a wine)”

September is always an active month at Taft Street, and this year is no different. This weekend we will pour at the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, a wine and food affair put on by Sonoma County Vintners, a trade a marketing group which we have recently joined. Dinner follows at nearby Dutton Ranch. Later in the month I’ll attend a trade tasting in New York City, and will return for the Sonoma County Harvest Awards dinner on September 14th. This opens activities for the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair, October 1 & 2.

Our new picnic area is up and running, and we have already had the pleasure of hosting a pre harvest dinner.

As we all anxiously await Harvest 2011, it’s a good time to visit the Tasting Room. The weather is perfect, fall colors are starting to appear, and grapes are but one of many Sonoma County bounties. Stop in for a taste.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery