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!
Yes, we're doing it again!
In This Missive
- Bad Taste?
- Return of the Non-Italian!
- Chocolate Wars
- Stop the Presses!
Three Great Tastes That Taste Bad Together!
If you recall from last month's Twisted Missive #1, we asked you to name two foods and a wine, where any two of those items taste good together, but when all three are combined, taste terrible. You folks came up with some great answers!
choosy Jefes choose Petite Sirah with this!
For whatever reason, peanut butter was by far the number one food mentioned, foiled by such diverse ingredients as salsa, corn nuts, chocolate ice cream (!), and... blue cheese? One correspondent (Kevin G.) suggested popcorn, vienna sausages, and Chardonnay as a great pairing, but then offered Riesling, Camembert, and Marmite as a solution (eek). Lara F had a Trader Joe's tapenade and salted pita chips, she said it made her Twisted Oak Viognier taste awful. And Jessica S suggested orange juice, toothpaste, and wine - I think I will not be having breakfast at her place!
And the winner of the contest was Karen S from Virginia, who is still looking for that one perfect wine that goes with peanut butter cups!
A Non-Italian Wine Not Named After a Fictional Boxer
Twisted Few Freak members this month had first crack at a rare treat, something we don't bottle every year, the 2014 Graciano. Some of you may recall that Graciano is one of the components of The Spaniard, along with Tempranillo and Garnacha, giving the blend a bit of earthiness and a long finish. The Graciano grape actually hails from the Rioja region of Spain, and if you pronounce it with a slight Castilian lisp, you're doing it right. Thith pairth, er, pairs especially well with spicy dishes based on Spanish chorizo. We didn't bottle very much, so it is already almost gone. Get some now!
What About Wine and Chocolate?
On Valentine's Day, it seems to be an unwritten law that wine people must address that age old problem of what wine goes with what chocolate. I have wine professional friends who are adamant that the mere thought of combining the two in a single perfect bite is an abomination too horrifying to comprehend.
I mostly take the "if it feels good, do it" approach - but don't ask me about what goes with white chocolate, that isn't real chocolate anyway. I can recommend, at least, that you don't try to pair super tannic young reds with that 80% cacao bittersweet chocolate - that stuff will wrestle your tongue to the ground. On the other hand, a nice port - a little Pig Stai maybe? - paired with that bitter bad boy**, could really sing. It's all about your palate.
**The Queen reminded me that the Firecracker bars we feature in the tasting rooms might also be perfect. Nudge nudge wink wink.
Do you have a chocolate and wine pairing that you really like? Or do you agree with the pros that this is a marriage best left unconsumated? Just like last time, tell us what you think! Please reply to this email with your best match, and I'll compile some of the best responses for the next Twisted Missive. We will 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 like last time: I will choose one reply at random to receive a $35 MasterCluck gift card. Just for fun!
This Just In!
We woke up yesterday morning to the news that two-time Twisted Folk Concert performer Sarah Jarosz received two Grammy awards, including Best Folk Album of the Year! Please join us in congratulating Sarah - and stay tuned for our concert lineup in 2017! (Which we will have for you as soon as we get done scraping it together!)
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!
(I first published this article a lot longer ago than I thought I did... resurrected and updated for your enjoyment! - El Jefe
This is the time of year when newspapers, magazines, the airwaves (and cablewaves), and internet are full of it... er, meaning of course advice on what wine you should drink with your Thanksgiving turkey.
First, we at Twisted Oak would like to caution you against drinking with your turkey. That's a little weird. We suggest getting some friends to drink with instead. Or at least thaw your bird before drinking with it. Drinking with a frozen bird is extra weird.
Second, we (at Twisted Oak, again) believe that is the wrong question. Instead we pick the wine and then decide what turkey to have with it! Here, then, is our guide...
2012 Picpoul: Turkey Fricassee. Get your mind out of the gutter - a "fricassee" is just like Turkey Helper only you make it yourself because it is way easy. Any cooked turkey works great for this, just chop it up (uh, be sure to remove the bones first.) Dice up some carrots, celery and onions, and saute it all in a little butter (saute - that's like frying, but you try to look fancy doing it) for a few minutes until it starts to get tender. Stir in a little flour, just a tablespoon or two, then add some combination of stock, good wine (hint hint!), milk, and/or cream. Cook gently until it becomes a nice sauce, add the turkey, salt and pepper to taste. Green peppercorns and cornichons not required. Serve over nearly anything: rice, noodles, your roommate....
2012 Calaveras Rosa: Definitely Chipotle Turkey. Or maybe a Turkey Vindaloo. I know - Tequila Jalapeño Drunken Derelict Turkey! Whatever it is, it has to be flaming "burns twice" hot. This cool pink skull can handle it!
2011 Viognier: A simple yet elegant unstuffed whole bird, rubbed with salt and pepper and olive oil, roasted over a bed of carrots and celery and onions. 325 degrees until done. I imagine this is how The Martha does it, though I generally prefer not to imagine The Martha doing it...
2010 River of Skulls: Definitely barbecued turkey legs. A light spice rub and then grilled carefully over charcoal. I suppose you can bake them and finish them on the grill if you must. Eat with your hands only - knife and fork prohibited - serving wenches and knaves are NOT optional!
2011 *%#&@!: My traditional stuffed turkey handed down through the generations. You know, the real deal: Mrs. Cubbisons Seasoned Dressing ("It's Melba Toasted!"), not the cornbread crap that is all you can find in the stores 3 days before Thanksgiving. Follow the basic recipe (real butter!), add extra homemade stock to make it all mushy, and stuff that bird up! And if you even think about adding walnuts or oysters, go stand in the corner....
2011 Tempranillo: Definitely deep fried turkey. Could there be anything more American than immersing the National Bird into several gallons of the National Cooking Fluid? Is there anything we won't fry? I've never fried a turkey, but I understand you should have plenty of good quality oil heated to 360 degrees. A six pack wouldn't hurt either. And for dessert - what else but Deep Fried Twinkies?
2010 Petite Sirah: Why not smoke a turkey? I know, right now in your best Cheech-and-Chong voice you're saying "Wow man! I ain't never smoked turkey before!" Ha ha. Besides, it's a lousy buzz. Trust me on this.
2009 The Spaniard: *%#&@! the turkey, I'm having steak!
Twisted Oak Winery is pleased to announce the lineup for our 2013 Twisted Folk concert series. We believe we have come up with a very eclectic lineup everyone will enjoy! (Please share this info with all of your friends!)
May 4: Le Petomaine - Master of the, uh, toot. Flatulent with feeling, Le Petomaine blasts out a selection of traditional favorites. Upwind seats $30, downwind $5. A selection of cabbage dishes will be available for purchase, including our popular "Brussel Pops".
June 8: A Mighty Wind - Accordion & Bagpipe Ensemble. Music guaranteed to cause goosebumps! No cats will be harmed during the performance, despite what you hear. Not responsible for spontaneous incontinence, please plan ahead.
June 29: Crying Spiked Fists - Gothic Folk Angst, at its finest. Playing their big hit "Foggy Mountain, Broke Down, Burn it All, Because it's All About Me".
July 5: Metal Mania - Heavy metal Ultimate Battle of the Bands contest. Sign up now. Get your big hair on! Big metal-y prizes! No survivors!
July 27: Def Poultry - Award-winning cluck poetry! Come out for an evening of Fowl-flavored readings. Don't stay cooped up at home!
Aug 2: Showtune Showcase - Open-mike night. Wear your best sequins. Best Ethel Merman wins a prize.
For more info about these concerts and other Twisted events, please visit twistedoak.com/concerts
TV/Radio/Print Media/Interview/Groupie requests: please contact Maria Camillo firstname.lastname@example.org
Holy *%#&@! a blog post!
...ewe'll have a grand old time!
Across the bay bridge I drove this Sunday morning, delving determinedly into the gray pillow of fog wrapped tenderly around the sleeping City. I wound my way through Japantown towards the Presidio, deftly avoiding bike riders bent on becoming... bent. We arrived with excitement in the old, abandoned Spanish themed Presidio neighborhood of this former Military base, a forgotten village from the 40s with charming clapboard houses surreally set in the foreground of a view of the modern city that glimmered in the reflection off the bay.
I waltzed with wine in hand into a historic room of the Golden Gate Club and was warmed by the smell of hickory smoke and cooking meat... instantly my salivary glands took action. From table to table we walked with our rubber chickens - reading the menu descriptions that each chef would be preparing to pair with the celebrated wines of Northern CA. I could hardly wait to wrap my lips around some tender meats...
Our pouring table was a raucous celebration (as per usual) with the staff (moi) and guests making crass jokes and playing with the rubber chickens all day. Most entertaining was our "Slow, Adults at play" sign, which started a semi-serious, live spontaneous auction among 10 or 12 of the enthusiastic tasters gathered round to the curious surprise of the rest of the room (sorry!). I think they LOOOOVE us, They wanna Kiiiiiissss us!
We even had a proud moment when we made our most delicious Spaniard come out of that one guys nose as we pretended to be a wine pouring robot, complete with robotic dance and arm movements with bottle in hand...not a bad used for a $49 a bottle red!
I was lucky enough to be the subject of an original cartoon artist on site - with his rendering of a terrifying "Ali monster" and a giant "Cockzilla" wreaking havoc together on the Golden Gate in fine twisted fashion.
The afternoon light streamed in and the next hours took on a life of their own as we greedily gobbled up tangy lamb tacos, gently roasted shanks on creamy clouds of polenta and succulent rare bites of barely browned herbacious tenderloin between frantically beckoned pours for our charmingly impatient wine drinkers. This party was one that no one wanted to leave and I dare say, we were one of the reasons why!
I am proud to say that we closed down the party, being the last (and most popular) table pouring wine at the event (why would you quit when you're all having so much fun!?) "You are the MOST fun winery we have ever met!" "We want to drink your Garnacha as our last glass of the day because we want to end with the BEST!...don't stop, keep pouring...more...ok great thanks!" were among the slippery sweet words gifted us by our silver tongued slightly soused support group as the party wrapped up.
Packing up the car with exhausted stray chickens and empty wine bottles (you drank all my wine people!!!), I smiled with satisfaction watching the happy couples lolling on the lawn awaiting their taxis with full hearts and ewe filled bellies. Those loooong days of pouring, of chatting and laughter, of childish jokes and silly behavior, they fill me with energy and I can live to pour another day. Yes, I know, I am so noble for being willing to sacrifice my days to pour you wine, and yet I am so humble and shy also... so to avoid the limelight, you can send all my rewards and accolades care of "El Jefe" to our own Twisted Oak Winery in Vallecito, CA. Come and party with us in the tasting room sometime!
Lamb jam was a major slam, this ham is hoping I am...able to pour for you again next year ma'am.
"The Adventures of Private Chicken... as clucked to SGT F"
SGT F is a Twisted Few wine club member, serving in the US military someplace in Afghanistan, with his (t)rusty sidekick, Private Chicken. SGT F will be sending us periodic transcriptions of Private Chicken's tour of duty. Here (such as it is) is the first installment...
Greetings from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. I figured Tuesday would be a great day to blog about Private Chicken, as it is the only day we have off. Some complain about work weeks that are twelve hours long, six days a week. Personally I wonder, what else are you going to do? Travel outside the wire to do some shopping? I figured for the twenty-six weeks or so that we have left over here, I would try and enlighten the masses about what we do over here, our accommodations and what we do when we are not working.
Private Chicken and I work in communications and computer-system-network operations (funny thing since the net is really horrible here). The pictures here show our accommodations - and he is not happy since he allegedly is a “free range” chicken. Whatever - embrace the suck, Private….! Imagine if you will a “POD” system they deliver to your driveway (only longer). We are all of seven feet wide by twenty feet long (thank goodness my roommates are on my team). Showers and latrine are down the hall - the Private has been notified that he can not just crap wherever he wants. We gotta live here!
He is kind of upset that, coming from winery, there is no alcohol anywhere (hell, we don’t even have a vineyard...) Again, I told the Private to embrace the suck (a very common theme around here….) We stay very busy and with that being said, there may be a week or two where we won’t be around. But next week…….he gets to visit the cigar bar……… SGT F.
Well, THAT should be interesting! Stay tuned for next week's episode!
March 16, 2017
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