Growing up we would celebrate holidays at our grandparents house in the Napa Valley with all of our cousins.
We would help our grandparents with all sorts of projects; starting with watering the garden. There was a very specific method we were taught and all these years later, I have heard my mother and my uncles explaining it to my son and his cousins the exact same way. It always makes me smile.
For Mother's Day we would make a point to stop at a special little place in North Beach to bring Vee the ravioli and cannelloni she loved. Once at our house we would help Vee in the garden, clipping fresh herbs, then we'd follow her to the kitchen, she would let us make the vinaigrette and toss the salad. Even though we would try to wait on her; she still would not sit down for long, even on Mother's Day. Father's Day was similar except that our grandfather, Caspar, "Pops" to us would wear a "King For A Day" button. At lunch he would do fun and quick magic tricks for us or tell us stories of growing up!
In honor of them we bring you some ideas for celebrating and gifts!
Have a fun and relaxing Mother's Day at Cultivar San Francisco. Mom will sip on her favorite wine while the children order off the kids menu. We serve lunch and sharable plates starting at 12 noon. All Moms joining us for lunch or dinner will receive a gift of Tuscan Olive Oil. Cultivar Wine Club members can make reservations.
Need a gift for your Mother? You will be her favorite when you give her a bottle of Cultivar wine or choose from our wine wall of champagnes and wines to go.
Also ever popular Caspar Estate Olive Oil & Honey Gift Box or the Caspar Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Olive Oil & Honey Gift Box, or a case of our newly released 2017 Cultivar Rosé!
Or an online Gift Certificate from Cultivar and let her choose what she would like! Gift Certificate can be used toward wine purchases on line or at Cultivar San Francisco, an intimate restaurant & wine bar spotlighting locally-sourced seasonal cuisine that pairs perfectly with our hand-selected wine list inspiried by the bounty of Napa Valley. Celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day together and eat lunch or dinner at Cultivar SF or book a tasting experience and sip through our Cultivar Appellation wines and learn about the regions of the Napa Valley.
Father's Day ideas...a year subscription to our Cultivar Wine Club or a mixed case of wine or a Caspar Estate Cabernet Franc Honey & Olive Oil Gift Box.
Or make a statement with a large format bottle, like this 2012 Howell Mountain.
Making your life simple! Our team is ready to help you with your Spring and Summer gifting needs from Mother's Day to Father's Day to the hostess gifts you want to have ready to go!
Happy Mother's Day and Father's Day from our family to you!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you’re being barraged with reminders. Reminders to buy jewelry. Get flowers. Pair chocolate with wine.
Before you rush out and grab your favorite bottle of Cultivar and box of local artisan chocolates or truffles, stop. Not all chocolate and wine is a match made in heaven. (If you’re unsure, finish your wine before sampling your chocolate.)
Between the wine and the chocolate you are looking for a balance of sweetness, fruit, and acidity. To help you achieve this balance, there are a couple of general guidelines to keep in mind.
Truly successful matches go beyond these guidelines.
What are the exact characteristics of a successful match? It depends; it’s a matter of personal taste. Some feel chocolate never pairs with wine. I believe it’s not that straightforward, and matches can only be found through experimentation. When pairing wine with chocolates, I look first to the aromas I’m inhaling when I first raise my glass. Then I think about the nuanced flavors I’m tasting.
Interested in learning more about the art of chocolate and wine pairing? Check out the three-part series on The Nibble: Part 1 – Introduction; Part II – Pairing Chart; and Hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party.
If you want a memorable bite, try one or all of these three pairings.
Rose is the perfect Spring wine. For Valentine’s Day, our 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose is a great way to start your evening, light and crisp with just the right balance of tart cranberry and hint of strawberry.
Why this pairing works: The interplay between cranberry and strawberry notes is why our 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose pairs with a Peanut Butter and Strawberry chocolate. The fresh strawberry jam in the chocolate brings the strawberry notes of the wine to center stage while the creamy peanut butter softens the sweetness of the milk chocolate with its saltiness for a soft finish.
Our 2013 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose (currently only available in keg), on the other hand, which is sweeter than our 2014 vintage, paired with a Candy Cane chocolate. This unusual pairing worked because organic candy canes were crushed into Strauss cream, organic butter, and white chocolate. The peppermint accented the strawberry notes while the cream coated the mouth and balanced the wine’s crisp finish.
A wine for scotch drinkers is how our 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay has been described. This characteristic is why when chilled you can enjoy with an Old Fashioned Chocolate which is a combination of single barrel bourbon, Fee Brothers bitters, a twist of orange all blended into Solstice Madagascar chocolate.
Why this pairing works: Our 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay, fermented in neutral oak barrels, delivers fruit on the nose and hints of baking spices that finishes with caramel and brown butter. These apple, pear, and melon notes in the wine balance the bitters and hint of orange in the chocolate for a richer experience. Where alone the wine has a delicate finish, the single barrel bourbon in the chocolate intensifies the wine’s caramel finish and adds a touch of oakiness.
At first glance, our last pairing looks as if the caramel might be sweeter than the wine. It’s not. Passion fruit is a tad bit sweet and yet also slightly sour. It is this contradiction that makes this match complementing the structure of our 2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon.
Why this pairing works: On your inhale, nutmeg and cinnamon tantalize with a hint of mocha and cedar. These aromas scream for caramel and passion fruit. The Passion Fruit caramel combines these flavors into a creamy decadent bite that’s slightly bittersweet. Because the chocolate isn’t overly sweet and the flavors are those present in the 2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon you have a match made in heaven.
Which ever way you enjoy your chocolate and your wine--together or separately, have fun this Valentine’s! Jot down notes about what you like as well as what you dislike. Then, the next time you’re standing in front of a chocolate counter pick up a few more to try.
Want to be daring while reducing the likelihood of a mismatch? Check out The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Simply find the wine you’re trying to match, for example Cabernet Sauvignon, and see what fruit flavors or dessert ingredients work with it, for example strawberries. (If there’s no fruit or dessert ingredient such as butter or cream, start with one of the aromas or one of the flavors on your palette that you experience with the wine.) Then look up strawberries (or the other fruit).
What chocolates do you enjoy with your Cultivar Wine?
Hosting a holiday gathering at your place? Be sure you have enough wine for your guests. Unsure how much wine you need for an event? Don't worry!
When planning all you need to know is how you plan on serving your wine, how many guests will be drinking, and how long your guests will be there. Think about:
How long will your guests be over? Assume each guest drinks about two glasses of wine every two hours.
How many guests will be drinking? Each standard 750-ml wine bottle is roughly four servings of wine (assuming a six ounce pour). A magnum bottle (1.5 liters) has eight to twelve glasses of wine (assuming four to six ounce pours).
For a twelve-person dinner for Thanksgiving, with guests arriving around 5pm and dinner at 6pm, assuming all guests are over 21 and will be enjoying wine, plan on consuming six bottles. Over the course of five hours, twelve guests will drink two glasses of wine very two hours, a total of 30 glasses or eight bottles.
Are you pairing wines with individual courses? If you’re pairing wines with individual courses, you’ll need more bottles to ensure that everyone gets enough. The exact number of bottles you need depends on whether guests are drinking full glasses (four to six ounces) or tasting pours (two ounces).
If you’re serving tasting pours at your twelve-person dinner, you’ll want two bottles of each wine for every course you’re serving. To ensure you don’t run out wine over the course of five hours at a three-course meal, plan on eight bottles of wine. For full glasses, you’ll want three bottles of each wine for every course you’re serving; in this example eleven bottles of wine.
When planning your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations keep these dates in mind to ensure your wine cellar is well stocked:
Remember that when you order 12 or more bottles of Cultivar Wine you receive a 15% discount, so for your twelve person dinner, why not make it a case?
This year has flown by! We’re excited that harvest is over, and we're looking forward to gathering with our family and friends to give thanks.
As you get ready to join your family and friends around the table, we wanted to share some of our favorite red wine pairings for smoked turkey. (Come back next Wednesday for tips on how much wine to have on hand!)
2012 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc, with its sweet black cherry, plum, and blueberries with hints of vanilla and Asian spices, will leave your guests talking when you serve it up with either a curried pumpkin or sweet potato soup as your first course.
Or be a little daring and pair it with dessert. May we recommend a pecan pie or a rich pumpkin pie?
2012 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc: Case $530 / $500 Wine Club
2011 Cultivar Phoenix Ranch Syrah, with its blueberry, black currant, and plum fruit, offers the perfect counterpoint to a smoked jalapeño turkey.
We especially love it with mushroom and sausage stuffing.
2011 Cultivar Phoenix Ranch Syrah: Case $571 / $537 Wine Club
2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with its ripe black currant, plum, and dark cherry with a hint of vanilla, violets, and warm spices, softens the tartness in some cranberry sauces.
Tired of canned cranberry sauce? Try your hand at a Cabernet-cranberry sauce with figs. Your guests will thank you.
2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Case $286 / $269 Wine Club