News & Events
Summertime is in full swing and with that Paso Robles is bathed in sultry sun all day only to be placated by heavenly cool breezes in the evening. It is a rite of passage for many to fire up the grill or BBQ for the first time of the summer, cracking a beer (because it makes the BBQ work) to keep the beacon lit (figuratively) the whole summer. Food is tastier when charred to deliciousness over hot coals. Grilled steaks charred and peppery, BBQ pork sweet and smoky, thick brats crackling and bursting with flavor- those are the flavors of summer.
Summer’s grilling bounty is earthy and rich, marbled with fat and waiting to be accompanied by something truly fabulous. May we suggest our Syrah? Grown in the warm hilly valley in the south east of Paso Robles so that it might have a bold, spicy flavor all of its own, our Syrah is the perfect accompaniment to your summer grilling dinner needs. Medium bodied with balanced tannins, our Syrah is fruit driven with a healthy amount of spice. You’ll pick out notes of blackberry, smoky earth, deep red cherry, and sweet tobacco. Grilled flavors hold up beautifully to the Syrah’s intense bold flavor, thus lending itself rather gloriously to the cult of summertime grilling.
The following are a few recipes (because honestly who could pick only one?) that would be delicious paired with Still Waters Syrah 2011.
Check these out and let us know what your favorite wine pairing is! We are always anxious to eat and drink delicious things!
It is officially summertime and nothing tastes better in this warm weather than fresh, light fare. Here at Still Waters one of our favorite recipes for the summer are grilled fish tostadas. The combination of creamy, crunchy, sweet, and spicy makes for a flavorful and easy dinner you’ll want to recreate all season long! We love this dish paired with a cold glass of Still Waters Sauvignon Blanc or Cuvee Blanc.
Grilled Fish Tostadas
-Grill your fish of choice-
1/2 Red onion, chopped
1/2 Green or red pepper, chopped
1 Ripe mango
2 Cups shredded cabbage
1 Bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 Can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 Avocado, chopped
1 Cup Sour Cream
Juice of one lime and lemon
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 Package of dry taco seasoning
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and top with sauce. Refrigerate and then serve on hard shell cord or flour tortillas. We add the avocado right before serving so that it stays fresh and colorful.
We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
Last Saturday evening we had the pleasure of hosting our first Wine Maker’s Dinner in the Gardens. We have dreamt of this event for a while now, wanting to find a way to sharing the magical gardens in the evening with our customers. Our vision included delicious food, vintage wine pairings, and a warm summer evening with music and laughter. The night did not disappoint.
The food was prepared by Chef John McDevitt of Farm Stead Catering and his unique take on classic, fresh American fare was a perfect choice for the evening. Our guests were greeted with our Rhone blend Expressions and Brut as well as a cheese platter outfitted with local cheeses, fruits, and nuts.
Hors d’oeuvres were served as well with chilled pea + fava bean shooters, smoked salmon cucumber cups, and mushroom + herb ricotta agnolotti.
The salad course was made of mixed greens from local Windrose Farms, grilled local apricots, spiced pecans, alcea rosea chevre, and orange honey vinaigrette.
Next the Entrée consisted of a unique cut of meat known as Teras Major (similar to a beef shoulder) that was lightly smoked and grilled with thyme and rosemary. This was served with a summer vegetable risotto, sautéed baby California arugula, and beurre rouge.
The Vegetarian option also presented fresh, hearty fare with a grilled vegetable pave and Portobello mushrooms, squash, tomatoes, and fennel. For the Entrée course we had two different pairings for our guests to sample. Cabernet Sauvignon years 2008 and 2012; Clone 3 Cuvee years 2009 and 2012. We wanted to present wines that would really accompany and compliment the dishes with their strong flavors. Our Clone 3 Cuvee is our “inverted Bordeaux”, being a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec that holds up well to smokey meat.
We finished the night with cheesecake with a raspberry glaze and fresh berries. We paired this final course with two different Petite Sirah vintages- a 2011 and a 2013 Late Harvest Petite. We were proud to introduce our first late harvest in many years.
We had wanted to create an event that brought the Still Waters family and our customers together for a great night tasting special wines in our beautiful garden. We are thrilled with how the event turned our and look forward to planning many more like events to enjoy.
With summer right around the corner it’s time to start gearing up for BBQ’s and potlucks. This recipe is a easy one to make and goes great as a side dish, served with pulled pork sandwiches, or add some chicken to have a complete meal. Serve with a chilled glass of our Still Waters Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and your friends will love it!
- 4 – 6 cups grated cabbage ( I buy the bagged coleslaw from Smart and Final)
- Chopped red onion
- Chopped cilantro
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- 1 small can mandarin oranges (optional)
- First Street Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing (Smart and Final)
- 1 cup crunchy chow mein noodles
Mix the first five ingredients together with a light amount of the dressing and refrigerate for a couple of hours. The cabbage quickly soaks up the dressing, but you don’t want it to become too soggy. Before serving toss in the crunchy chow mein noodles.
So easy and so good enjoy!!
Cabernet Sauvignon: the red grape behind many of the world’s finest wines can be mellow or hearty. It tastes primarily of black currant with overtones of blackberry and mint, and is traditionally aged in wood barrels, which gives it an oaky, vanilla note. Cabernet goes with beef, lamb, and goose and is also a great match for Brie, Cheddar and chocolate.
Chardonnay: The most popular white grape can taste semisweet or sour, depending on where it’s grown. Typical flavors are apple, tangerine, lemon, lime and melon. Chardonnay often has a smooth, buttery finish, and goes best with poultry, richer seafood like lobster or scallops and lighter red meat dishes.
Malbec: Is a popular black grape in Argentina and Chile. It makes an intense wine on its own, so it’s often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to soften it. Malbec is delicious with pork, veal and spicy foods.
Merlot: less tannic red grape than Cabernet Sauvignon but still complex, even a bit chewy. It is known for its flavors of plum, black cherry, violet, and orange. A perfect match for beef and pasta dishes, it’s also excellent with chocolate.
Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio: Different names for the same white grape. In Italy it’s Grigio; in France and Oregon, it’s Gris; in California it can be either names both words meaning gray. These fresh, light wines are flowery and fruity- peach, grapefruit and melon predominate- with mineral aroma. They are an ideal pair with fish and chicken.
Sauvignon Blanc: Typically light white, has pronounced herbal flavors that make it a natural with fish and chicken. It also pair well with fiery, spicy foods.
Syrah: Rich red wine known for its peppery, spicy, blackberry and plum flavors; additional notes include licorice, bitter chocolate and mocha. Try it with hearty meats and Mexican cuisine.
Viognier: Traditionally more complex than Chardonnay, Viognier’s popularity is on the rise. Notable for spice, floral, citrus, apricot, apple and peach flavors, it is full-bodied, relatively low in acidity and great with spicy foods.
Zinfandel: Grapes are deep red, bordering on black. Zin is a bold peppery wine; often high in alcohol with a hint of fruity flavor reminiscent of berries or dark cherries. It is a great match for classic American foods like hamburgers and pizza, but hearty enough to hold its own with red sauces.
White Lightning Chili
I’ve been making this chili for about 15 years now, and I thought I was following the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but when I googled it this morning I realized I have made lots of adaptions. So this is my updated recipe. Glad you guys enjoyed it!
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 diced white onion
- 1 small can diced Ortega chilies
- 1 cup diced peperoncini
- 1 medium can of mild green enchilada sauce
- 1 can cream of chicken soup (plus one can of water)
- 2 cans beans – pinto or Great Northern, drained
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Now the easy part, just dump all these into your crock pot or soup pot. Heat thoroughly. Before serving add:
½ cup sour cream.
You can always add more spice with cayenne pepper or more chili powder. Garnish with tortilla chips, grated cheese, guacamole, or extra sour cream. Serve with warm corn tortillas and a glass of Still Waters Sauvignon Blanc!
Once again, I never make this chili the same way twice, but this is pretty much the recipe I used. Lots of times I use dried beans and soak them overnight, but this is the fast canned version. You can also use chili beans that already come in sauce to make it even easier.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 medium can tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 small can diced Ortega chili
- 2 medium cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon thyme
- 2 Tablespoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown hamburger meat with the chopped onion. Drain and transfer to your crock pot or soup pot. Add all of the other ingredients and heat thoroughly. Use your own palate in judging the spice level. I usually like to cook this for at least a couple of hours on low. Garnish with corn chips, grated cheese, sour cream or chopped cilantro. This pairs great with a lovely glass of Still Waters Merlot!
What a perfect day! The sun was shining and the wine was flowing with 37 barrels to taste and five different varieties, we could have not asked for a better event. Every year we look forward to Roll Out the Barrels. Not only do we get to taste so much delicious wine, we also get to see over 150 of our wonderful wine club members all in one day!
This year we tasted through the 2012 vintage. 2012 was the beginning of our three-year drought. Ultimately, we only received four inches of precipitation for the whole year. Fortunately, a permanent crop like grape vines, takes multiple years before the vines begin to show stress. One unusual advantage to drought conditions is low susceptibility to the extreme cold snaps that usually follow storms. The actual amount of frost days in 2012 was ONE, and that low was only 34 degrees. So unlike 2011, with over ten inches of rain where we experienced a fifty percent crop loss due to frost damage, 2012 had a great yield of about 220 tons of fruit. This is slightly above our average crop.
Therefore, the vines had very uniformed canopies and we were able to ripen the fruit to optimum flavors and stay on our somewhat normal picking schedule. The wines are more fruitful than what we saw in 2011. In our opinion, 2012 was a very good, uneventful year EXCEPT for it was the beginning of the widespread drought in the Paso Robles growing region and throughout the state of California.
What you should have experienced tasting through the barrels are fairly fruity, full flavored red wines. Most of these wines originated in 100 percent new French oak. They should lend themselves to complex, bold flavors with great potential for successful aging.
The following chart shows where each barrel tasted on Saturday ranked overall and what the wine in those barrels will be bottled as. Thank you to all who attended, we look forward to enjoying a bottle of the wine you helped create!
The Paso Robles Chapter of the Rhone Rangers organization is dedicated to the education and promotion of Rhone varietals and Rhone blends to local trade, media, and consumers, and of Paso Robles as a top California region in the production of outstanding Rhone varietal grapes and wines.
-Rhone Rangers Mission Statement
2016 is going to be a good year for Paso Robles. We as a wine region are becoming more well known and loved and continually evolving our approach to wine making and tourism. This includes several educational and fun events from the Rhone Rangers. The first event will be Sunday, February 14th, 2016 at Broken Earth Winery. There will be a “Rhone Essentials” Seminar in which you taste a top example of each of the principal categories of Paso Robles Rhone wines are you hear from winemakers and principals who have chosen the Rhone Ranger route in Paso Robles. The seminar panel will be moderated by Esther Mobley, Wine, Beer & Spirits Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. The wineries and speakers representing the major categories will be:
- Viognier: Four Lanterns (Steve Gleason, Owner)
- Roussanne: Cass Winery (Steerling Kragten, Winemaker)
- White Rhone Blend: Calcareous (Jason Joyce, Winemaker)
- Dry Rose: Halter Ranch (Molly Lonborg, Associate Winemaker)
- Grenache: Broken Earth Winery (Chris Cameron, Winemaker)
- Mourvedre: Adelaida Cellars (Jeremy Weintraub, Winemaker)
- Syrah: Alta Colina Winery (Bob Tillman, Owner/Winemaker)
- Red Rhone Blend: Pomar Junction (Jim Shumate, Winemaker)
- Petite Sirah: ONX Winery (Brian Brown, Winemaker)
Following the seminar will be a Vintners’ Lunch in which seminar participants will be joined by Rhone Rangers principles and winemakers for a gourmet banquet lunch, prepared by local chef Jeffery Scott (click here to see the menu). The members’ Rhone wines will be passed freely among the luncheon and you’ll get to interact with the wine producers. Next, there will be a Grand Tasting & Silent Auction in which you will taste nearly 150 wines from the complete membership of the Paso Robles Rhone Rangers, including top single Rhone varietals and the best in Rhone blends. During the Grand Tasting, bid on lots donated by Rhone Rangers member wineries and help support the Rhone Rangers scholarship fund!
Seminar and Luncheon 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Silent Auction Preview 10:00am-10:30am)
Grand Tasting and Silent Auction 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Tickets for the seminar and lunch are $90, and seminar/lunch attendees will receive free entry into the Grand Tasting. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $35, and free to qualified trade and media (advance registration is required).
Purchase tickets to the Rhone Rangers Experience
Sign up for the Rhone Rangers email list here
2016 “Varietal Nights” Series
Beyond the Rhone Rangers Experience, there will be eight smaller tastings throughout the year, each focused on a grape or a style of wine and hosted by a different Paso Robles Rhone Rangers winery. The 2016 schedule is below; tickets for each event go on sale about 6 weeks before the event:
- January 19 (at Derby) Petite Sirah
- March 8 (at Thacher) Red Rhone Blends
- April 19 (at Alta Colina) Mourvedre Seminar & Tasting
- May 24 (Venue TBA) Rose
- June 21 (at Eberle) White Rhone Wines of Summer
- August 16 (at Cass Winery) BBQ Dinner & Tasting of Best White & Red Rhone
- September 16 (at Tooth & Nail) Grenache
- December 6 (at Niner) Holiday sit-down dinner & Syrah tasting
As the year winds down, we want to thank each of one you for your continued support of Still Waters Vineyards. This past May we celebrated our 11 year anniversary and what a great 11 years it has been! The property continues to change and become more beautiful each year and we feel the wine has done the same. We hope you would agree. We love knowing that Still Waters’ wine has been on your dinner table, shared with family and friends.
We have a great year planned for 2016 and hope you can take part in some of the upcoming activities.
Happy Holidays and Cheers to a great 2015 and an even better 2016!
Paul, Pat, Kasey, Taylor, David, Carlos, Jesus, Pedro, Charlie, Jesus Jr., Martha, Sheila, Shelly, Rick, Carmen, Rachel and Lee
To cellar, or not to cellar? That is the ultimate question when it comes to aging wine.
Some assume the longer you keep a wine, the better it will taste, but multiple factors can influence the quality of a wine over time. Our winemaker and owner, Paul Hoover has some answers to your wine aging questions!
Ready to Drink
With 90% of all wine purchased being consumed within 12-18 months of production, there is a demand among winemakers to produce wines that are ready to drink now. These wines are delicate, soft, and smooth. In comparison, wines meant for aging may seem harsh and acidic, but those are the characteristics that will allow the wine to age beautifully into the future. With proper aging, some wines that are high in acid and tannins can develop into amazing wines. Once the tannins are allowed to soften, the fruit develops and the acidity comes into balance.
Ask the Winemaker
The structure of the wine – meaning acid, alcohol, and tannins will play a determining role in how long a wine will last. Ask the winemaker or tasting room attendant about these key components to learn if the wine will age well.
- Acidity: As wine ages, the acidity will fade. Typically a wine with a higher acid level and lower pH will have better aging potential.
- Alcohol: The best wines for aging will be 13.5-14% ABV.
- Tannins: Tannins are a structural component of a wine which allows the wine to change over time. Tannins come from the contact the juice has on the skins during fermentation and also from oak barrel aging.
Know the Variety
Know the variety. Certain varieties have intrinsic characteristics that allow them to age better than others. Although there are exceptions to every rule, white wine is traditionally meant to be consumed now. Varieties with smaller berries such as Cabernet Sauvignon have a very high skin to juice ratio. This creates higher tannins from the skins and seeds leading to wines that can age over 10 years.
One tool I use to test the wine is to leave about 1/4 of the bottle of wine overnight for sampling the next day… if you can! If the wine still tastes good the next day after the oxygen exposure there is a good chance the wine has many years to go.
Taste for Time
If an older wine still has good acidity on the finish, it still has more time to age. When purchasing a wine you think may age well, it is always best to buy at least six bottles. Taste one bottle each year to be able to learn how the wine evolves over time to develop a sense of how the wine will age.
Age for Memories
My favorite reason to save and age wines is to remember the year the wine was made. Maybe a marriage took place or a new grandchild was born. One tradition we have at Still Waters is to save a wine from the year each grandchild was born to drink at their 21st birthday or wedding.
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