Eden Hensley
October 8, 2014 | Eden Hensley

Our Balboa & Cultivar Wine Bus Party

Guests Enjoying Cultivar Wine and Plumpjack Catering Light Bites at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley









What better way to spend a Saturday than being surrounded by our wine club members and friends enjoying delicious food and drinking fabulous Cultivar wines? And a couple of Saturdays ago, that's exactly what we did!

Our first stop: Balboa Cafe in San Francisco. We got the party going with our Cultivar Napa Valley wines (2013 Cultivar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Cultivar Napa Cabernet Sauvignon).

     Alejandro Pours a Glass of 2012 Cultivar Napa Cabernet Sauvignon   


















After a quick headcount, we left overcast San Francisco in search of the sun, which we found just on the north side of the Rainbow Tunnel in Marin County. While on the bus, guests enjoyed our 2013 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose (currently sold out in bottles, but still available in kegs). 

At Balboa Cafe, situated in downtown historic Mill Valley, we introduced our September 2014 wine club selectionsThere on the outside patio while sampling our wines, we enjoyed light bites styled by executive chef, Rick Edge, and live music by Tom Rhodes.

The light bites provided by PlumpJack Catering that we enjoyed were:



Shrimp Gazpacho Shooters with Chilled Prawns   










To learn more about the pairings, some classic and some others daring, check out our Food Pairings for Our September 2014 Wine Club Selections where we break the matches down for you.

Braised Chicken Meatballs










Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos from the event. Also, if you'd like to hear about further upcoming events in San Francisco and Wine Country, be sure to like our page. In addition to news about events, you'll get behind the scenes peeks into how we make our wines along with recipes and pairing tips for entertaining in your home.

Time Posted: Oct 8, 2014 at 10:30 AM Permalink to Our Balboa & Cultivar Wine Bus Party Permalink
Eden Hensley
October 1, 2014 | Eden Hensley

Food Pairings for Our September 2014 Wine Club Selections

Plumpjack Catering Light Bites for Cultivar September 2014 Wine Club Selections











When it comes to pairing wines with food there are two options: classic or unexpected. To showcase our wines and give you ideas for what to serve with your wines, executive chef of Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, Rick Edge, prepared four appetizers for us to nosh on at our September Balboa & Cultivar Wine Club Bus Party.

Rick Edge Executive Chef Balboa Cafe Mill Valley

The Wines

The wines Chef Rick was matching with the perfect appetizer were one of our vineyard designate wines, 2011 Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and three of our appellation wines: 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Cultivar St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2011 Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon.

2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc in Glasses and on ice

The Dishes

Chef Rick prepared four dishes for six pairings. Here are the flavors to look for when planning your own dinner. Where a pairing is daring, we included some tips to ensure a perfect match.

Shrimp Gazpacho Shooters with Chilled Prawns 

Shrimp Gazpacho Shooters with Chilled Prawns

Tomatoes and Sauvignon Blanc: a classic pairing. When you think gazpacho you're probably imagining a soup dripping with acidity. Not so with this refreshing shooter. Guests reached for taste after taste enchanted by its rich unctuousness. The smooth creaminess of this shrimp gazpacho amplified the richness of our 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, blinding one to any other pairing for the Sauvignon Blanc.

Caramelized Onion and Carmody Cheese Skewers

Caramelized Onion and Carmody Cheese Skewers with Sherry Vinegar Glaze & Piment d'Espelette

At first glance you may wonder how a dish can be paired with both a red and a white wine. The key lies in the balance of peppery, sweet, and creamy components. The green citric notes of our 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc balance the heat in the Piment d'Espelette, a variety of chile pepper cultivated in Southern France, and the tartness of the sherry vinegar glaze. The rich sweetness of the caramelized onions and the buttery flavor of the Carmody cheese soften the tannins found in our 2011 Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

When trying this pairing at home be sparing with the glaze. Too much of the sherry vinegar and your tastebuds will shrink in horror effectively stealing the thunder from either the Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc or the Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a travesty as both of these wines otherwise have a lengthy finish that deserves center stage.

Braised Chicken Meatballs with Arugula Pesto

Braised Chicken Meatballs with Arugula Pesto

Who says you can't have chicken with red wine? Successful pairings are made with sauces and this match is no different. Our 2011 Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon brings earthy notes reminiscent of some Pinot Noir that complement the arugula pesto, offsetting its peppery nature with the sweetness of Bing Cherry and plums.

The meatballs, because they are made with chicken, have a more delicate flavor than their beef and pork counterparts. So, if it takes you a couple of bites to finish your meatball, you may not have any of the pesto left for your pairing. Not to fear! Try a sip of either our Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, cabernets less earthy than the Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon with smooth finishes that complements rather than overpowers the chicken.

PlumpJack Sliders

PlumpJack Sliders, Beef Sliders with Cheddar and Pickles

You can never go wrong pairing beef with a Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes some matches more memorable than others are the toppings. With the selection of cheddar over a blue cheese the 2012 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon was a solid choice. If you prefer the earthiness of a blue cheese over a cheddar, you want a wine that's more of a meal by itself. Think of it like a boxing match, it's more interesting when both fighters are the same weight class. If a heavyweight and a featherweight are in the ring together it won't be as exciting. With its earthiness, the Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon is the heavyweight while the St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon is a featherweight. Had the slider been topped with Blue Cheese instead of cheddar the St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon would have been down for the count.

Time Posted: Oct 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM Permalink to Food Pairings for Our September 2014 Wine Club Selections Permalink