Happy New Year!

Whereas the last days of 2014 were noted for welcomed rain and mild temperatures, 2015 began with icy and dry conditions. The vines are not threatened by the days of frost as they are dormant this time of year; more people are worried about their citrus trees. The hills have turned a brilliant green, local reservoirs have almost filled to capacity, and the annual pruning of the vines is well underway. However, the Sierra snowpack remains scant, so our overall drought conditions are still very much with us.

This week it is back to business as usual in the cellar. Bottling will begin, with several clients’ wines scheduled; as well as our own 2014 Rose of Pinot Noir and our 2014 Pinot Gris, both from the Russian River Valley appellation.

Last year turned out to be our best year for direct to consumer sales. We hope and plan to continue having a strong presence both in the Tasting Room and online. However we are not forgetting out distribution network; and it is back to business for our sales team, with trips planned in upcoming weeks to Florida, Boston and Southern California.

The major event on the horizon in the Tasting Room is the 23rd Annual Winter WINEland, being held January 17th and 18th. The Wine Road presentation will feature over 140 wineries offering limited production wines, new releases, and special surprises. Come join the fun!

The folks at Taft Street hope all have a safe and enjoyable 2015!

Cheers!
Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup – Pho Ga

It is that time of year to start eating healthy again, and what can be more nutritious than chicken-noodle soup? Here is a classic Vietnamese spin to a worldwide favorite. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts with bones
  • 4 ounces thin rice noodles
  • 8 ounces baby bok choy, chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped

On the side: Sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced chilies

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In large pot, bring stock to a simmer. Add ginger, garlic, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel, sugar, fish sauce, one half of the cilantro, one half of the mint, and the chicken. Cover, simmer, and cook for ten minutes. Remove from heat and allow chicken to cool (15 minutes).
  2. Soak noodles until soft, about ten minutes. Drain and rinse well.
  3. Remove bones from chicken breasts and discard. Thinly slice breasts and set aside. Strain broth, return to heat and cook bok choy (3minutes).
  4. Divide chicken and noodles into six bowls. Pour hot broth and bok choy over the mixture, and top with scallions, remaining cilantro and mint, and accompaniments to taste.

We recommend this dish with the Taft Street Medallion – a refreshing blend of Pinot Meunier and Syrah. It compliments the spicy Asian accents.