Picking Up the Pace

The hills are green and covered with mustard. It’s warm and cool and warm again – within minutes. It is springtime in Sonoma County, and the vines are coming back to life. Fortunately we had another series of storms in February; and California’s North Coast, which is dependent upon lakes and reservoirs, should be ok as far as water supply this year. Not the same, however, for much of the rest of the state, which relies on the Sierra snowpack. A very serious drought continues.

This weekend (March 6 – 8) marks the beginning of the 37th annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting, where over 100 wineries in the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley give the public a glimpse of wines which are still aging in barrel. The event continues through next weekend (March 13 – 15). We at Taft Street will pour two Bordeaux blends – a 2013 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, and a 2013 Sonoma County Medallion. The Cabernet (77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec) was aged in French and American oak for 18 months. It will be bottled in the summer of this year. The 2013 Medallion (58% Petit Verdot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec) was aged in French and American oak for 18 months. It will be bottled later this month. We will also pour a selection of currently available wines.

March is another busy travel month for the folks at Taft Street. Mike Martini is currently working the Florida marketplace, and will be joined later by Susan for a week of family time. Mike will be in Texas at month’s end. I am on my way to the Southern California market next week, and Evelyn will be assessing the wine scene in South Africa. Not to be outdone, Jake took the lead and is in London this week.

Our concert series – A Little Street Music 2015 – has been put together. Old favorites The Daniel Castro Band, The Pulsators, Twang Ditty, and David Luning will be back. McKenna Faith, who was recording in Nashville last year, is scheduled again. Gator Nation, The Harvest Band, and Annie Sampson and Her Band round out this stellar lineup. See www.taftstreetwinery.com for details.

All this plus daylight savings, March Madness, and St. Patrick’s Day – make sure you have sufficient stocks of Taft Street wine.



Mike Tierney

President, Taft Street Winery


I love this quick alternative to paella. You can substitute or add shrimp, clams, mussels and sliced sausage to this versatile one-dish meal. The wine possibilities are varied as well; with everything from Sauvignon Blanc to a young Pinot Noir completing the service. Serves four.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 12 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into small pieces
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime


  1. Preheat broiler. Preheat broiler.
  2. Add olive oil to a preheated large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper and cook for a couple minutes. Then add bacon, ginger and paprika and cook a couple more minutes. Add pasta and continue cooking for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add scallops and hot stock, season with chili flakes and salt, and simmer for a couple minutes.
  4. Place in broiler until browned on top.
  5. Finish with cilantro and lime juice.