This is how a lot of our conversations started this week when Dick Dore, the handsome, silver fox - strolled into town.
If you REALLY don't know Foxen you should try to. These wines, everyone of them, are delicious, well balanced wines with soul AND a backbone.
And yes they make Seasmoke pinot noir as well. For all of you that don't know what Seasmoke is - its the most sought after and well known Pinot Noir vineayard in America. Some people say its magical wine is intoxicating and as additive as heroin. (wow heroin!) Gotta have me some of that!
Foxen winery is about 40 minutes out of Santa Barbara to the north east. I've had the good fortune of having been there a couple of times - Once about 9 years ago - it was my first trip to Central Coast area and I was crazy excited. Foxen was one of those cult wines that everyone had to have and to be able to go there in the beginning of my blossoming wine career was pretty awesome. The tiny wine shack where they held the tasting was cluttered and dumpy. Yes dumpy. And truly awesome. Another reason I had to love Foxen.....no snootiness. The people were great and the wines....stellar
2 years after that Dick came out to WI. We had a dinner at the Melting Pot.
2 years after that the movie SIDEWAYS came out on the big screen and BAM, as Emerile would say, life changed in that area forever. Dick told me it went from 200 people coming to the winery in a week to 1000. Limos would pull up with kids (21-28) from Beverly Hills to taste wine. The movie made wine "cool" to the Generation Y gang. "If you build it - they will come" so they did. A solar winery with a new tasting room. And people came. And Foxen was on the celebrity map after a 1 minute blurb on a movie.
Now in April of this year I decided to revisit. I brought with me some dear and good friends (a married couple that had never been to a winery before) We pulled up to the comparatively massive winery.....i walked in wondering where was the old, unintimidating one I remember so vividly. We walked in and tried Pinots and Chards. Obviously they get asked where the old winery was often because he told us to drive down half a mile and we would find the old shack. We did and drank the Foxen bordeaux varietals and sat in the sun. The place looked the same and tasted even better. If your in the area you must stop there!
Anyway - We had a dinner at North Shore Golf Club in Menasha. 30 people on a Wednesday night. We had a great time and you can read about it on my last blog.
Thursday Night we headed to The Prestigious American Club in Kohler. We had an intimate table in the Immigrant Rooms Wine vault. The Menu was prepared by Chef Matt and some of the other chefs - check ou the menu
Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
Chef Dan Dries
Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio, Black Truffle Aïoli
Mole Braised Duck Tostada, Chipotle Cream
Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Chef Ryan Anderson (WE WILL MISS YOU RYAN)
Miso Chili-Glazed Sea Bass and Crispy Soba Noodles
Pinot Noir, Sea Smoke Vineyard
Chef Benjamin Sommerfeldt
Salad of Mixed Greens with Duck Terrine
Door County cherries, Gran Canaria cheese and foie gras vinaigrette
Cabernet Sauvignon, Vogelzang Vineyard
Chef Matt Bauer
Duo of Crispy Pork Belly and Braised Pork Shoulder
spring onion bread pudding, baby carrots, English peas, and cassis reduction
Range 30 West Red Blend
Chef Ulrich Koberstein
Pecan and Buttermilk Blue Cheese Pie
double Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream
My stomach is growling just remembering how delicious this dinner was.
I had a great time at the dinner - especially since I sat next to 8 boys that were on their annual golf trip. This was their 20th year. They had golfed Black wolf run all day and were teeing off at 7am at Whistling Straits the next morning. I had a lot of laughs with these guys - especially mark, mark and chris! Hope you guys had fun at Trattoria Stefanos the next night! We definitely tried solving years worth of problems and views that night - the sinaster minaster - Chris' hard ass cover, and maybe guys - he was all that nun ever needed?!
Dick and I had a ton of fun those 2 days. His pinot noirs are truly a step ahead of most and taste the way pinot should taste. His cabernet was the most surprising to me. I havent had Cab that good from that area EVER! go out and pick up a bottle tonight. Worth every penny
Red Red wine i love you right from the start - right from the start- with all of my heart