El Bloggo Torcido
("The Twisted Blog" - more or less)
Welcome to the new home of The Twisted Blog! If you are looking for older posts you can find them here. Have fun!
The Twisted Missive!
Slightly Tuneful Edition!
In This Missive
- We got concerts!
- We got wine for the Twisted Few!
- We got great places to sleep!
Twisted Folk Concerts Announced!
We've put together what we think you'll agree is the strongest lineup yet for the 2017 concert season! There are two returning crowd favorites from previous seasons, two multiple Grammy Award winners, two who have been nominated for Grammys multiple times, and one whose latest album is currently #2 on the Billboard bluegrass charts!
|reviving at the oak!||
Returning to the Oak Saturday, May 13th is none other than The Dustbowl Revival! This band of eight talented musicians - considered the "best live band in LA" - wowed us last year with their creative mix of blues, jazz, swing, and soul. And, their favorite wine is Tempranillo! What more could we ask? Bring your dancing slippers for this one! Buy tickets now!
And we incredibly honored and delighted to feature on our stage, Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester! This is not a throwback to Elizabethan times, but is in fact the legendary and world-reknowned dobroist Jerry Douglas - of Union Station and Soggy Bottom Boys fame - and his band of equally talented bluegrass musicians. You won't want to miss this, one of only two stops in California this season! Saturday May 27th - buy tickets now!
|no Dukes, just Earls!|
Other upcoming concerts - which we will expound upon further in future Missives - include:
For our monthly $35 MasterCluck Gift Card giveaway, please reply to this email and tell us which concert(s) you are most excited about, and why! I'll choose one response at random for the winner! (Congratulations to Julie R. for being last month's winner!)
Needless to say, tickets for all shows are now on sale at twistedoak.com/concerts!
Twisted Few Shipment - Coming Soon!
Twisted Few members, watch for a separate email coming soon with details about your next shipment. We can tell you now that it will feature the new vintage of one of your favorites, the 2014 Torcido Garnacha! We think you'll find it goes great with anything that your springtime grilling can rustle up, or even that leftover corned beef hash! (Not currently a member of the Twisted Few? You know you want to! Sign up now at twistedoak.com/few!)
Speaking of corned beef, last month's Missive did produce a wide range of pairings with our favorite St Patrick's feast. Andrew suggested our *%#&@! (which sure sounds like an Irish word), Kelly likes our 2014 Tempranillo, and Debbie called our Torcido "one of the great pairings of all time." (Wow!) On the other hand, Stephen from Reno always reaches for a chilled Viognier. And to split the difference, Kathleen likes a "Cab Rose" (but I don't understand what that has to do with taxis.)
You Gotta Sleep Someplace
Why not a cozy bed with sweeping views of the foothills? We recently were invited to visit and tour one of Murphys best local lodging options - and longime Twisted Few members - the Courtwood Inn. Owner and innkeeper Chris whipped up a nice breakfast of fresh fruit, waffles, and bacon - on a stick! - for us to try. After that we toured the tennis-themed rooms and grounds - which look really cushy, I gotta say. Check them out at courtwoodinn.com!
As always, do reply to this email and tell us which concert(s) you are most excited about, to have a shot at that $35 MasterCluck gift card!
Finally, a programming note: For reasons beyond our control - among other things, the futures market in rubber chickens is completely haywire right now - we have decided to postpone Rubber Chicken Appreciation Day to later this year. Stay tuned to this station for further updates.
That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe
The Twisted Missive!
Slightly Irish Edition!
In This Missive
- Something Corn-y
- Something Rubbery This Way Comes
- Something to Mark
The Great Chocolate Question!
...didn't produce a lot of responses, but the few that did respond were pretty passionate about it. Ward K., for example, reaches his "happy place" with a sip of a medium tannic red, followed by a nibble of 62% dark chocolate, a few dry roasted peanuts, and repeat. Dana M.'s favorite is a peanut butter cup chased by a great Sauternes (yike!), while Trudy H. from away up north keeps toasty with a flourless chocolate cake and Pig Stai. (Now we're talkin'!)
But enough about that. This is Twisted Oak, and so you are expecting something corny.
As I am typing this it is the 14th of March, 3-14, aka "Pi Day". While I like pi, and pie, as much as anyone, at this time of year the denizens of Murphys, California gird themselves for the annual Irish Day celebration. (You should come! It's this Saturday!) And even though corned beef is not actually very Irish, it's a dish that has come to be associated with St Patrick's Day.
In our house, corned beef must be prepared in a traditional manner, and in this part of the world the tradition is to boil the snot out of that beef until tender, and then while the beef is resting, use the cooking liquid to boil potatoes and cabbage. This is served with butter for the veg, and mustard and horseradish for the beef.
Local tradition also holds that corned beef is served with beer, but surely there are wines that can stand up to the strong flavors of cured meat and cabbage. So, when I prepared a corned beef dinner recently I decided to try some wines with it to see what might work.
Rummaging around in my wine cabinet produced a 2013 Ol' Chumbucket and a 2014 Tempranillo, and the fridge coughed up a 2015 Albariño. At the outset, the Albariño proved to be a non-starter, that was set aside quickly. Both of the reds proved to be a decent match with the corned beef, but the fruit and spice of the Ol' Chumbucket just clicked for me. I suspect most any spicy and fruity red would be a worthy pairing - think Parcel 17, Graciano, or Torcido Garnacha.
So, this month's survey question is simply, what wine do you serve (or do you think you might serve) with corned beef? Just reply to this email with your response, and I will share the best responses in the next Missive.
Coming up next month we have a brand new event happening at the winery! We're calling it "Rubber Chicken Appreciation Day," and you should too! Not only that, but in the days leading up to the event, there will be all sorts of fun online activities that everyone everywhere will have a chance to take part in. What kind of activities? That would be telling! So stay tuned! (We call this "building excitement"!)
Living in a free society, everyone has the right to appreciate their rubber chicken in their own way. What's yours?
the real reason for corned beef - hash the next day!
We are still diligently working to confirm all of the dates for this year's Twisted Folk Concert Series at Twisted Oak Winery. But you can mark the dates we do have confirmed on your calendar right now: May 13th, June 24th, August 12th.
As always, do reply to this email with your thoughts on corned beef and/or rubber chickens. I will choose one reply at random to receive a $35 MasterCluck gift card. Just for fun! (Congratulations to Dale M for being last month's winner!)
That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe
The Twisted Missive!
Yes, that's right! A moment's indiscretion in providing your email address some time in the distant past now results in this little missive hitting your email box! We hope you will give it a chance - read on!
In This Missive
- New Petite Sirah!
- When Food and Wine Go Bad
- And - little contest!
Why a Twisted Missive? Why Now?
OK, So What's New?
Glad you asked! One of the new releases this month is our 2014 Petite Sirah, a variety that has been absent from our tasting menus for several months. Made from 100% Petite Sirah fruit from Tanner Vineyards, we think you'll find it perfect to warm you up on a cold, rainy or snowy night. (And some Twisted Few members will find it in their next shipment!)
Can Wine and Food Go Horribly Wrong?
Recently I was cruising a favorite website* and stumbled into something called the "Incompatible Food Triad." It goes like this:
It turns out that coming up with three foods that create an "IFT" is not at all obvious. One classic solution is salted cucumbers, sugar, and yogurt. Combine any two - sweet pickles, sweetened yogurt, tzatziki sauce - but mix all three? Yucko!
Wine was not mentioned but - since wine is of course a food, and we do love to match wines with other foods - we think wine should be part of the discussion.
Can you think of an IFT that includes wine? Or do you think there is no such thing? Whatever you think, just reply to this email with your thoughts. I'll compile some of the best responses for the next Twisted Missive, and we'll also discuss it over in our new Facebook group - for discussion of all things Twisted - which you can find at facebook.com/groups/twistedoakies - just click on the Join button and we'll get you set up!
And: I will choose one reply** at random to receive a $35 MasterCluck gift card. Just for fun!
That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe
* The website is "Atlas Obscura", and here's the article.
** Even if you have no idea, you can still reply and enter. Your reward for reading all the way to the end!
When we started our wine clubs way back in 2003, we had one club - The Twisted Few - and you could get two, six, or twelve bottles sent to you in January, March, May, July, September, and October. Life was good.
Pretty soon demand dictated that we offer a reds-only option, so we did. And the Few were happy, and life was good.
After a couple years of this we began to realize that shipping wine in the hot Summer months was not a good idea, unless you want to cook with it. So we began to adjust the calendar away from the heat - into June, and then further into May, and then into October.
We got to the point where, as soon as we shipped off one batch o'wine it was time for another. You probably noticed this. It was running us ragged. Maybe you also noticed that, too.
So it was time to take a step back and rethink this stuff. We did a little market research, made phone calls, reviewed industry practices, had several three martini lunches (shaken, not stirred)... And suddenly the light bulb went on over our heads. (Sorry, we didn't get photos.)
Four times a year. This makes much more sense, because it saves shipping costs for our shipping customers, and saves a little fuel for our pickup customers - with a nice side benefit of reducing our carbon footprint a little. And, we get to breathe between shipments, giving us more time to think up fun crazy *%#&@! to do.
The other thing it lets us do is offer a fixed price club. At two bottles it's tough to make a fixed price work, but with four or more bottles we can mix and match and make it work within a 20% to 30% discount range - and because we are saving cost, we can give an extra discount for your shipments. You get more bottles for a similar yearly expenditure. (And - bonus! - in every shipment you will receive at least one bottle of one of our best & most loved wines, like The Spaniard, River of Skulls, Torcido, or Parcel 17 to name a few.)
So now we have six club options - all named The Twisted Few - for your enjoyment. We have the basic Twisted Few club we all know and love - receiving 4 bottles 4 times per year (Oct./Dec./Feb./May) - and you can get either a true mix of reds & whites (usually two of each), or just reds-only.
Next, we have what has become a very popular club, The Twisted Few Freaks, also available in mixed reds & whites, or just reds-only. One thing we learned from the original Freaks club is that you folks were really sad when you didn't get a Twisted Freak wine in your shipment. With the new club you will always get your Twisted Freaks in every shipment, for a total of 6 wines 4 times per year.
And there have always been those of you, the Few, who just can't get enough. For you we have the Twisted Few Super Freaks, in mixed reds & whites, or just reds-only. You'll get a case of 12 bottles 4 times a year - including a few bottles of those Twisted Freak wines - and the shipping is included in the price!
If there is a question we've failed to answer, or you would just like to give us some feedback, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know (or leave a comment below). And thanks again for being Twisted!
Last week's post was all fun and games, though I hear we really did fool some people! Below is the real lineup for this year's Twisted Folk concerts.
Visit twistedoak.com/concerts for more information about all of these great musicians!
May 4 – Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band
June 8 – David Lindley, with special guest, Joe Craven
June 29 – Mumbo Gumbo
July 5 – Uncle Bonsai
July 13 – Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks
July 27 – Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys
Aug 2 – The Deadly Gentlemen
Aug 16 – Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore
New this year - we have a season pass!
For Immediate Release: Twisted Oak Winery Announces Summer Concert Series
What: Summer Concert Series – “Folk at the Oak”
Where: Twisted Oak Winery, 4280 Red Hill Rd at Hwy 4, Vallecito
(between Angels Camp and Murphys)
Looking for something that pairs perfectly with a Tempranillo and is more fun than a barrel of rubber chickens? May we suggest a stunning vista overlooking Calaveras County vineyards, a hearty dinner, and a concert under the stars? The location at Twisted Oak Winery in Vallecito, offers a made-for-each other combination of idyllic setting, yummy award-winning wines, and plenty of space to spread out your blanket to enjoy a family-friendly evening of acoustic, folk, bluegrass, and Americana music, with the iconic Twisted Oak Tree serving as the centerpiece.
Confirmed artists include: Bushwalla (May 12); Peter Rowan (June 29); Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum with the Bee Eaters (July 6); Uncle Bonsai (a twisted folk trio from Seattle, July 20); Maria Muldaur (July 27); The Joe Craven Trio (Aug 18); Darol Anger with Emy Phelps, Sharon Gilchrist and Rushad Eggleston (Aug 24); and an evening of classical/world music mandolin duets with Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg (Sept 7). More shows to be added.
“The rubber chickens have been clamoring for years to get more live music up here at the winery,” said Jeff Stai, owner and El Jefe of Twisted Oak Winery. “We’re excited to be bringing such top musical talent to Calaveras County, so maybe those chickens will shut up now.”
Visit www.twistedoak.com and Twisted Oak on Facebook (facebook.com/twistedoak) for concert and event updates.
Dinner, that yummy Twisted Oak wine, soft drinks, and water will be available for purchase. Outside alcoholic beverages are not permitted. Bring blankets and low-back chairs for seating. Seating is first-come, first-served. Pirate attire always encouraged.
Twisted Oak Winery, located in Calaveras County in the Sierra Foothills, produces award-winning fine wines made from grape varieties native to the Rhône Valley of France, Spain, and Portugal. We also enjoy hanging around with rubber chickens and dressing up like pirates.
Press contacts: Jeff Stai, Twisted Oak Winery - email@example.com (winery)
Maria Camillo - firstname.lastname@example.org (music)
Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner starts now and ends April 23rd. This should give you plenty of time to visit Yelp and other web sites to determine which restaurants are rubber-chicken-friendly. Plenty of time.
(2011 Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week winning photo by Tina Caputo)
Ready to go? Just a few simple rules:
- Go to someplace to eat, not your own home, and take your rubber chicken with you. (This seems obvious, doesn't it?)
- The rubber chicken(s) (you may take more than one) must be made of some rubber-like compound (does it stretch a little? bingo!) and must look like a chicken (absolutely no *%#&@! duckies!) It does not have to be a Twisted Oak Original Recipe Rubber Chicken. But it wouldn't hurt either.
- Take pictures or video of your rubber chicken at dinner. Pro tip: One good picture is more likely to win than a bunch of average pictures. Please just send your best, we recommend sending six or less. (We also reserve the right to select a few of your many for the voting.) Another hint: FOCUS!
- Send us your high resolution photo(s) or video (email email@example.com), or post them up someplace and send us an email telling us where they are. (Hint: if you post them, make sure they are publicly accessible! You may even choose to post them on the wall of the Twisted Oak Facebook page.)
- You have until April 23rd (that's 11:59pm PDT if you MUST get technical) to send us your entry. We will acknowledge your entry. If you don't hear back from us in a day or two, panic.
- Fabulous compensation will be awarded for the best photos and videos submitted. The Twisted Judges will select a number of semifinalists, and the best entry will be chosen by public vote. If there is a tie in the final voting the best entry will be chosen by Twisted Oak Winery staff. (Hey, it could happen.)
- Submissions will be judged for humor, originality, humor, creativity, humor, and technique. Did we mention humor?
- You must be 21 years or older to enter.
- By sending your photos or videos to Twisted Oak Winery LLC, you agree to let us publish them to twistedoak.com and to our social media, and publish them in any printed matter. We don't expect this permission to be exclusive, and we can't and won't transfer that permission to anyone else without asking you first. And when we do publish your photos and/or videos, we will always give you full credit. That's forever.
- Twisted Oak Winery reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the spirit of the event, is a no-no where you live, or does not follow the rules. We also reserve the right to disqualify any votes that are determined to constitute ballot stuffing. Play nice!
- Twisted Oak Winery is not responsible for bad food, bad service, bad wine choices, overcooked meat, mushy peas, or the tab for dinner. That's on you. Besides, this is supposed to be fun!
And the compensation? All qualified entries will receive a $10 MasterCluck gift card, which can be used to order wine online at twistedoak.com. Finalists will receive a $75 MasterCluck gift card, and the best entry will receive a $250 MasterCluck gift card!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A little disclaimer: Twisted Oak Winery LLC compensates photographers for good work, for use in its marketing efforts. Compensation is in the form of "store credit". We hope that's clear enough.
[Updates] More info:
So, yes, it does kind of look like the old web site, at least the colors. We hope you like the new, more piratical and chicken-y look. But we also hope you spend a moment to check out the cleaner navigation, snazzy product page, and maybe spot a ghost or two in the machine...
Click over on the first menu item and check out the new product page. Instead of a drab list of wines you get some groupings that actually make some sort of Twisted sense. Move your mouse over one of the bottles and you'll see a button that says "Quick View". Give that a clickeroo....
I'm digging the new Quick View because it organizes everything you want to know about each wine - Overview, Profile/tasting notes, Geek-y stuff, and Reviews - yet it still easy to drop it into your Shopping Sack. (And I especially like that our Twisted Few and Twisted Freak members can clearly see their special pricing.) If you want, just click on the bottle and you can see the full page view.
The content of the rest of the site is pretty much unchanged, except of course the fact that we have brought El Bloggo Torcido back in from the cold and given it a home inside our cozy warm web site. In the coming months we'll be adding more content in the form of local info and resources - kind of like Your Twisted Concierge - only different - and of course, new wines! In the meantime, stay tuned because I plan to continue blathering here on a very regular basis.
A new web site, and a new home and look for El Bloggo Torcido. And an actual blog post, even!
First a bit of business: older El Bloggo Torcido content still exists at http://twistedoak.typepad.com/
We thought long and hard about whether to bring that content over to our vin65.com host, but decided the hours required would not be worth it. Instead, we'll be going back and scouring the old blog for some of the more fun posts to ressurect for your enjoyment.
In the near term, we'll be talking about the changes to the web site - it may look similar to the old one, but there's some new coolness under the hood - and getting on with the business of 2012.
And, as always, a bit of fun! Bwa ha ha!
November 2, 2017
June 15, 2017
April 21, 2017
March 16, 2017
February 14, 2017
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February 8, 2015
July 23, 2014
June 16, 2014(2 Comments)
November 25, 2013
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