Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wineaux: How do I love thee? Let me count the wines

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
From page A9 | February 09, 2012 | Leave Comment

I love Davis. I love Rebecca. I love chocolate. I love my kids. I love my grandkids. I love wine. I love my friends. I love my neighborhood. (Unlike most folks polled about electronic use, I do not love my cell phone.)

We use the word “love” to express such disparate feelings that it must be difficult for English learners to navigate the territory. On the day we celebrate love, though, we tend to mean it in the narrow sense of romantic love. Too bad really, because the days are still short, the wind rather fierce, the nighttime temps pretty low — any celebration should, to my mind, be embraced with enthusiasm by us all, not just by couples still starry-eyed.

So I vote that we expand Valentine’s Day to include all our “loves.” I vote that we make it a day to celebrate the city we love — by buying our valentine gifts, cards, flowers, wine at locally owned businesses, eating in locally owned restaurants, grocery-shopping at locally owned markets.

I vote that we make it a day — or evening — to spend with someone we love, whether that be a significant other, a friend, a kid. I vote that we use it as an occasion to meet a new neighbor or invite a new acquaintance over for a glass of wine.

I even vote that we keep the “red” motif. Red, as the Chinese know well, is the color of energy, excitement, warmth and, well, life itself. What better color to mark a winter celebration?

If someone asked me to say the first word that pops into my head in response to “celebration,” I’d say “meal.” Nothing, to me, celebrates like food and drink. I guess a lot of folks agree, because restaurant reservations are in great demand during valentine week. (If you want to eat at one of those locally owned restaurants, call now.)

Also in demand: red foods. Red beets, red chard, red meat, red sauce, and, most important of all, red wine. (You knew I’d get to that eventually.)

Since my flexible schedule allows me to spend a good portion of a Tuesday in the kitchen, I’m going to cook to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. I haven’t decided on a menu, but it probably will include my Grandma Leonardi’s red sauce as modified by my own mother and tweaked by me and my cooking kids. I include it as a Valentine’s Day gift to all my readers.

Sauté a chopped onion and a couple of big cloves of chopped garlic in some good extra-virgin olive oil. While they’re softening up, add a few red pepper flakes, and a tablespoon each of dried basil and oregano. Half of cup of red wine goes in next, though you can use broth, water from soaked dried mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes (I put in the soaked mushrooms and tomatoes, too, if I do this) or just plain water.

Bring to a good boil and add a 28-ounce can of organic plum tomatoes (chop them if they’re whole) and a 7-ounce can of organic tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat to its lowest setting and let the mixture simmer as long as you can. All day if possible.

Before you’re ready to serve it (over polenta or some sort of pasta — red pepper ravioli? — topped with fresh-grated Parmesan), add a teaspoon and a half of sea salt (perhaps a pink variety in honor of the day) and many grinds of black or pink pepper. That’s it. Best meal in the world.

If you like a little red meat with your red sauce, get a fresh-made Italian hot (you can see the red pepper) pork sausage at the Davis Food Co-op and brown it with the onions and garlic. My grandmother put good-quality pork and veal in her meat grinder and made meatballs for special occasions, but I’m not enough of a meat lover to bother.

Now, for the wine.

Were I to have friends over for an afternoon glass, I’d have a really hard choice to make between two new local releases — Pink Fiddle Rosé of Pinot Noir from Fiddlehead ($22 at the tasting room on Peña Drive) and Capay Valley Sparkling Viognier (no, it isn’t red, but bubbles count — $13 at the Co-op). Previous vintages of both have been among my favorites, so I’m really looking forward to tasting them.

But I don’t have to choose, because Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday, so I’ll be doing my usual Tuesday afternoon activity — which I love — pouring wine at Monticello Seasonal Cuisine, 630 G St. Special Valentine’s Day wines will be featured from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Join me.

With that red sauce I will, of course, want something hardier. One good choice would be a recent and very local winner at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition — the Putah Creek ’09 Zinfandel, the first Putah Creek Estate Zin (Co-op/Nugget $18). (Putah Creek Winery also won Chronicle medals for its ’08 Cab, its ’10 Viognier and its ’10 Chardonnay — congratulations!)

Or maybe I’ll have a wine I tasted recently, really liked and am eager to try with a meal — the R. Merlo Syrah. More about Merlo Family Wines in the next column.

My third possibility is a wine I have tried with a meal — and it was excellent and fun. The ’09 Petite Sirah-Petit Verdot (otherwise known as Petite Petit) from Langetwins Family Winery in Lodi. Inky, hardy, berry-dominant, it also tastes of earth and currant (and something mysterious baking in the oven) with good tannins and acidity.

The fifth generation farm family’s super-green winery and vineyards follow all the “Lodi Rules” for sustainable growing. And the wine isn’t just the generic California red, which I keep tasting, no matter what the grape or what the price. Maybe this one stands out because there’s no oak at all in it — completely stainless steel fermented. If you’d like to stump a wine lover, try serving him or her a glass.

Right now, the Co-op has this on sale for $13. Be sure to get the ’09. The ’10 is now available, but I haven’t tried it — and it’s higher in alcohol.

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift? John at Valley Wine Company recommends Lavender Ridge Grenache Rosé (Sierra Foothills — $17). I haven’t tasted it, but VWC’s recommendations are always great. I’d buy this wine just because of its beautiful rose color and the elegant “label” — lavender lettering and a lovely spring of the herb painted right on the bottle.

Happy Valentine’s Day — may your loves be many!

— Reach Susan Leonardi at vinosusana@gmail.com. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Susan Leonardi

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Going green at church, school, everywhere

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20