Friday, November 11, 2016

The Feast Nearby: Ian Brand Wines + Donkey & Goat + Autumn's Bounty #Sponsor

#WinePW Goes Local and Seasonal
Wine Pairing Weekend - #winePW - happens on the second Saturday of the month. And this month - November 2016 - I am hosting. Click to read my invitation.

As hostess, I asked the group to showcase - and share - wine from their favorite local vintner along with some dishes featuring seasonal foods. They may define 'local' however they wish. Make it a 10-mile radius, a 100-mile radius, or maybe it's from their home town - even if they don't live there anymore. As far as seasonal foods, I had truffles, persimmons, apples, and pumpkins on my mind.

Live #winePW Twitter Chat November 12, 11 a.m. ET: Participating bloggers and others interested in the subject can connect via a live Twitter chat. It's a nice bring way to bring in others interested in the subject who didn't get a chance to share a blog post. Follow us with hashtag #winePW this weekend.

The Line-Up...listed alphabetically by post title
Grateful for...
...seasonal produce! I try to incorporate whatever fruits and vegetables are in season in our weekly menu. For this event, I did receive produce from Melissa's Produce* to help with recipe creation. The persimmons, parsnips, acorn squash, and chestnuts were a great inspiration!

...great wines! I tried to decide which one(s) of my many local favorites to feature; I was able to narrow it down to two. First, I picked up two wines from vintner Ian Brand. Second, I paired a Donkey & Goat* wine with my dessert course.

My Pairings...
Back in 2014 I interviewed a local-to-me winemaker named Ian Brand who was named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine to its "40 Under 40: American Tastemakers" in 2012. Since I discovered his wines, they have been on my table whenever I can get my hands on a bottle. I paired his Fieldfare 2013 Chardonnay our first course. Click on the titles below to go to my original recipe post.

paired with Fieldfare 2013 Chardonnay by Ian Brand, Monterey County

TASTING NOTES: This Chardonnay is an alluring blend of European and Californian-style of Chardonnay. It lacks the sometimes unctuous qualities from many California Chardonnays and shines with an acidic brightness and distinct aromas of orange blossoms.  On the palate, you also get the softness of vanilla and the sophistication of some warming spices. It paired well with the two dishes and added a liveliness to my course.

For our second course, I poured the La Marea 2014 Grenache. Click on the title below to go to my original recipe post.

paired with La Marea 2014 Grenache by Ian Brand, Monterey County

TASTING NOTES: I wouldn't typically describe a wine as 'savory.' Odd though since I would describe a wine a 'sweet.' But, no, this Grenache is decidedly savory. It has a elements of juniper and wild herbs such as mint, rosemary, and thyme. On the nose, I get leather and tobacco. It a wonderful wine to pour with slow-braised beef short ribs.

And my final course came about because I was emailing back and forth with another favorite vintner who is not quite as local. Donkey & Goat is based in Berkeley; though I haven't lived there in two decades (I can't believe it was my 20th reunion from Cal this summer), Berkeley still has a warm spot in my heart.

Then, there's Jared and Tracey's manifesto: read it here. These are two winemakers I'd really love to meet in person. Maybe someday. Until we can meet in person, we email and I ask for his wine pairing advice. "What should I pair with a parsnip dessert?"

The following week, a box arrived with their new Meandering. It was so new, there wasn't even a label...just a craft paper tag. Love, love, love! It's nice having friends in the wine industry. And I especially love having friends in the industry who are crafting beautiful, unique wines.

paired with Meandering by Donkey & Goat, El Dorado County

TASTING NOTES: This is a Roussanne-Marsanne blend, 50-50. The Roussanne lends the higher acidity while the Marsanne adds to the depth and interest on the tongue. There is also a distinct floral note that brings out the floral qualities of the parsnips. I'd say it's a match!!

Coming Up...
Thanks to Lori at Dracaena Wines the #WinePW crew will be celebrating Cabernet Franc Day next month. Stay tuned for more information from her! Cheers.

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*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsors. I have received no additional compensation for my post. My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.


  1. Looks like you hit it out of the park on this one! Each course sounds so good, and you sure picked some wine makers that sound wonderful. They aren't local to me but I'd still like to try!

  2. Brilliant pairings, I think. Marsanne/Roussanne with the parsnips sounds like the perfect combination - all those floral aromas! Once our temps dip below 75, I'm going to try your short rib recipe.

  3. Great post Cam and wonderful and appropos choice for this month's theme. Thanks for all your hard work.

  4. You had me at the soup and Chardonnay!! Thanks so much, Camilla-great job! Cheers~

  5. Beautiful pairings as always. Thanks for hosting.