Summer Sipping - Wine Tasting and Pairing

Sipping New Wines this Summer

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The global wine market in 2015 generated $319,816 million dollars with 24,388.5 million liters consumed. That was 2015 data and I sure, the consumption and revenue generated has only skyrocketed. The world likes its wine! And we all know that in the US, California is the place to go to visit the best wineries.

This last weekend, I was lucky enough to sip some complimentary San Simeon 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. ? I am not too fussy when it comes to wines. I like to try new brands, flavors and varieties. I especially like to try different wine and food pairings. It’s always nice to see what the pros say I should pair with wines but I don’t always listen to that, I try my own pairings with what I like to eat.

Summer Sipping - Wine Tasting and Pairing

For example, I made an amazing baked salmon in lemon and butter this weekend and served it with organic quinoa that took 5 minutes to microwave (Q Cups™ Organic Quinoa from Now Foods) and a side of grapes. It was the perfect weekend lunch. I sat out on my deck and sipped a glass of the San Simeon 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was perfect. Even though most wine enthusiasts would recommend ribs, venison, duck or a beef dish because of the complex structure of a good Cabernet Sauvignon and the complementary flavor of the tannin – I am not an enthusiast. I’m an average person and I prefer fish over beef, which means if I’m drinking a red wine it’s probably with a seafood dish. Perhaps it is a personal preference and because I am not fussy but after a few bites of the salmon, quinoa and a grape or two I washed it down with a sip of the San Simeon 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon and it was delicious. A rich spicy flavor and I could taste the oak from the barrel aging. It was very enjoyable. I can see how most would prefer it with lamb chops or a red meat but I was very happy with my salmon pairing.?

If you like red wines, I highly recommend giving this bottle a spin. It received 91 points in Wine Enthusiast in April 2017 – which is stellar. I am sure they did not try it with salmon but maybe they ought to.? The website describes the wine as having aromas of dark raspberry and black cherry with flavors of spicy plum and currant, complemented by cocoa and cedary oak. I could taste the oaky flavor but I like that.  You can learn more by watching their YouTube video:

A LEED in the Wine Industry Too

What tastes better than wine? Answer: Wine that comes from a vineyard who has received certification from the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Gold Certification from the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Wow, that’s got to be good wine!

I must confess I have not tried any wine from this particular vineyard but I sure would like to. I’m writing about this because I think it’s important to recognize those that go above and beyond in order to provide a good quality product that is healthier for the consumer and the environment (and I like wine).

HALL Wines is owned by Craig and Kathryn Hall who own more than five hundred acres of classic Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. As winegrowers, the Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting-edge vineyard technology. To prove their respect and commitment they adhere to strict standards in order to maintain soil fertility and crop nutrition which does not use chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or herbicides. To date 355 acres owned by the Hall’s have been certified organic. The last of the estate vineyards will receive organic certification this August.

The Hall’s use bio-diesel in their farming equipment and fish-friendly farming techniques in order to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. Not only do they use organic farming techniques but their HALL St. Helena vineyard maintains one acre of solar panels on its roof and uses 100% recycled water throughout it processes.

The Hall’s have worked hard to earn their certification with LEED and the CCOF. To gain certification with the Leadership in Energy and Design, they have to show LEED how well their business performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. They are a state of the art winery with an emphasis on good wine and a healthy environment.

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