Monday, June 29, 2009

napa know how.

as i mentioned previously, i was in napa valley last week...which quickly became one of my favorite places to visit. it has all you need: great weather, world class food, laid back people and most importantly an endless abundance of magnificent wine.

on a tip from a friend, i hired a private
"tour guide" (contact gordy larum at to hire yours) to take me around the valley.
this eliminated waiting in line, boarding a hot bus with tourists and their fanny-packs and allowed the opportunity to taste and see some really unique wines and wineries.

to give you an idea of the scale:
sterling vineyards (shown at right) produces something like 18 million cases a year, whereas lava vine is under 1000 case production. the difference is palpable, without a doubt.

so for fear that i may have started sounding like a napa valley pamphlet, lets discuss how this affects you (my loyal audience)...

wine and events go hand in hand. or they should. and selecting wine can be intimidating and overwhelming. some
tips of the trade to get you through:

sticker shock.
good wine does NOT need to be expensive and dont be talked
into the most pricey bottle on the list. there are
great wines out there for less than $40 a bottle, even some as little as $15. higher prices usually mean a smaller yield, making it rare or a "reserve". save those for small, special occasions. a midrange bottle is entirely acceptable to serve to guests at a large gathering.

blanco y rojo.
the age old adage that white is for fish and red for beef is simply not true. to me, it depends more on the preparation of the dish (sauce and sides) than the actual protein itself. lighter reds pair surprisingly well with fish or chicken. dont be afraid to take risks and try new things, you'll be glad you did.

because wine can be potentially overwhelming to your guests and food tastes SO much better when paired with the right wine, do the pairing for them at your dinner. simply passing by with a bottle of white and a bottle of red at each course doesn't showcase the wine or the food like it should. i like to start with a sparkling because its light and celebratory. pair that with your amuse bouche or first course. next, pair a wine with your salad, entree and even
into dessert. it is AMAZING how different the meal will taste and feel when the wine is thoughtfully selected. most restaurants and event venues have a sommelier on staff, use it.

hope your summer is off to a sunny start and thanks for your loyal readership. i enjoy your feedback and am open to topic suggestions too. next week, in honor of the 4th of july, ill be blogging about chinatown. until then...


lindsay piram
event planner & producer

1 comment:

Vanessa Kimball said...

Love the biking picture. Too cute!