Into Action

Northern California is something special in the spring. I just return from a quick trip to Boston, where I was met with windy snow and temperatures in the low 20’s. Getting off the plane at SFO it was 88. Now there is some rain in the forecast, with dry and warmer weather due next week. Everything is in bloom – great picturesque landscapes at the cost of allergic reactions to the pollen-filled air. The vineyards look healthy after a real winter, and hopes are high for a quality vintage.

Our early wines – 2015 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir and 2015 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc – are in the bottle, with the Rose of Pinot Noir available at the Tasting Room as of this weekend. Another debut this weekend will be made by our 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir “Garagistes”, a wine with a following that assures a quick sell out. The Rose  and “Garagistes” will be available at our 32nd Birthday Party this Sunday, April 10th. It was April Fools’ Day 1982 when we opened our doors up the road in Forestville; the start of a long, strange, wonderful trip.

Our staff has been busy. Winemaker Evelyn White poured Taft Street at Vin Diego, a huge consumer event in San Diego. I returned from a quick trip to Boston for a trade tasting (and got caught in their latest snow storm). Jake worked the Bay Area market with Henry Wine Group reps. Kaitlyn is home taking care of Baby Clara.

Next month we take it up a notch. Our Club Party, California trade tastings, the start of our annual concert series, plus the usual chaos all suggest the season is soon upon us.

Come share the fun!


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Grilled Octopus with Ancho Sauce

Just returned from a quick visit to Mexico, and couldn’t get enough of the grilled fresh seafood. Here was one of my favorites, which will be enhanced by a glass of Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc as well as a cervesa or margarita.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One cleaned octopus, head and tentacles separated
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups sherry
  • Oil/salt
  • SAUCE (Refer to Mike’s Kitchen, March 2016.)


  1. Preheat oven to 300. In a large casserole heat oil. Add half the octopus and cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining octopus.
  2. Add shallots and garlic to casserole cook until lightly browned. Add paprika and stir. Add sherry and bring to boil. Return octopus to casserole, cover and cook in oven until tender, perhaps an hour and a half. Let octopus cool in the liquid.
  3. Make sauce, as per Mike’s Kitchen, March 2016. Briefly heat peppers on a hot skillet – 10 seconds per side. Place them in a pot with stock, bring to boil, then set aside to cool (30 minutes). Mix together garlic and spices, add to pepper stock, and put in blender until smooth.
  4. Remove octopus from liquid and wipe off skin with a paper towel. Cut head in half.
  5. Light grill and brush with oil. Grill octopus until charred, about 5 minutes. Brush with chile sauce and serve.