Arts in April in the Napa Valley

by on April 14, 2014

Bob Blumer

Bob Blumer‘s playful piece on Dolce: “Aromatic Wine Mister”

Ah, April – the month when the arts and wine collide in the Napa Valley. In addition to lush hills, poppy-lined roads and vines sprouting the start of the 2014 vintage, wine country will be featuring sights to satisfy your cultural appetite.

Here are some events to consider if you’re planning your Napa Valley getaway this month:

Tuesday, April 15
Art Conversations: Author Alyson Kuhn
7:00 – 8:30 PM at The Oxbow School (Napa)

Wednesday, April 16 to Wednesday, April 30
The Edge of Vanishing by Local Artist Julia Crane
Gallery Hours: Tue – Sat 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Martin Showroom (St. Helena)

Wednesday, April 16
Art Conversations: The Art of Concoction: Jekyll & Hyde
Screening by Allison Fox
7:00 PM at Robert Louis Stevenson Museum (St. Helena)

Thursday, April 17
A New Perspective on Napa Valley
Napa Valley Vintners (St. Helena)
RSVP to the Napa Valley Vintners at 707.963.3388

Friday, April 18
Art Conversations: Photographer Baron Wolman
5:00 PM at Sunroom at Andaz Hotel (Napa)
RSVP by April 11th to napasales@andaz.com

Saturday, April 19
bASH: Annual Food and Wine Pairing Competition
Culinary Institute of America, Greystone (St. Helena)
Tickets are available for purchase for $90

Saturday, April 19
Artist Reception: The Edge of Vanishing
4:00 – 6:00 PM at Martin Showroom (St. Helena)

Saturday, April 19
Art Conversations: Sculptors Lilsa Demetrios and Matt Gill
11:00 AM at Auberge du Soleil (Rutherford)

Wednesday, April 23
Napa Valley Film Festival presents SENSING RED: a Special Evening of Film and Frivolity
6:30 PM at City Winery Napa (Napa)
Tickets are available for purchase for $95

Saturday, April 26
Artist Reception: Molly Corbett
2:30 – 5:30 PM, Blackbird of Calistoga (Calistoga)

Saturday, April 26
Reception with Paul Youngman & Kristine Pallas
2:00 – 5:00 PM, Lee Youngman Galleries (Calistoga)

Saturday, April 26
Indian Springs Art Gallery
2:00 – 5:00 PM, The Gallery at Indian Springs (Calistoga)

Saturday, April 26
Miniature Exhibition & Hands-On Art Workshops
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM Calistoga Art Center (Calistoga)

Saturday, April 26
Venetian Carnival
11:00 AM, Ca’ Toga Galleria D’Arte (Calistoga)
Fee: $30/person

Saturday April 28
Napa Crossroads Release Party
City Winery Napa (Napa)
Limited tickets are $75 per person
Our very own CEO Larry Maguire offers his musical talents on the Napa Crossroads CD!

What’s Happening With 2013 Dolce?

by on March 28, 2014

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With 2013 Dolce fermentations coming to a conclusion, we are now preparing to determine the master blend.

Eleven unique batches of juice were created over the course of harvest, and all but three finished primary fermentation by mid-February. The remaining lots are transitioning into the aging phase – which is both welcome and reassuring. Each lot will have its own sensory attributes and balance of alcohol, acidity and sweetness. Right now, the 2013 vintage is a pale, straw-like color with aromas driven by pineapple notes, like a pina colada. Color and flavor will develop in the coming months.

For the next two years, we will sample all the barrels and prepare myriad blend variants in the lab. Although each batch tastes great now and is “on track,” it is not a foregone conclusion that all will make it to the final blend.

Blending Video

Check out our master blend video with Winemaker Greg Allen and Director of Winemaking, Dirk Hampson, on our Facebook.

2014 Dolce Budbreak

by on March 25, 2014

The 2014 vintage is springing to life in the vineyard! Jaunty leaves on gnarled vines greeted us on this early morning visit, while a timid sun peeked over the mountains. Not only are we excited for the wonderfully picturesque scenes of the growing season, but we are especially looking forward to the Semillon fruit this Coombsville location will yield.

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 Tweet us at @DolceWine with your Napa Valley springtime photos!

How We Enjoy Dolce: Custards, Puddings & Creams

by on March 17, 2014

With rich flavors of honey, caramel, stone fruit and pineapple, one would think that Dolce is a dessert in itself. This could be true – it may be all you need to end a special meal. Then, the waiter tempts you with fresh bread pudding, or your eyes are drifting to the crème brûlée on the dessert menu. Can you have too much of a good thing? We say nay! Simply remember to keep your dessert less sweet than the wine.

Read on for more tips on enjoying Dolce with desserts that are more luscious than light.

Brulee

Style & Preparation
Crème brûlée, crème caramel, tiramisu, petit pots à la crème, soufflés, flan, ice cream, bread puddings, ice soufflés, crème anglaise, puddings (try butterscotch).

Cooking Techniques
Eggs combined with milk or cream creates a velvety texture… Delicious with Dolce! However, too much egg or cream in the dessert can overpower the wine and seem heavy.

Sweetness
For a delicate balance with Dolce, create lightly sweet and gently rich desserts. Very sweet desserts that are also rich will seem cloying and dense.

Tartness
Add fresh fruit, fruit coulis or sauce (such as raspberry, orange, or lemon) to a dessert that is rich. This slight acidic accent will contrast the creamy richness in the dessert and create a beautiful match with Dolce.

Cream & Richness
Avoid garnishing these desserts with additional cream. When measuring and cooking, it is better to have more cream than egg.

Tips & Notes
If the dessert is rich: Use less sugar. Use as little egg as possible, and use natural sugars.

Don’t forget to tweet your Dolce pairing experiences to @DolceWine!

How We Enjoy Dolce: Savory Pairings

by on January 9, 2014

To drink Dolce on its own is a pleasure; as a complement to a delectable dish, it is an experience. With that said, we would like to share with you a series of posts providing a guide to pairing food with our late harvest wine. Transform a simple course into a gastronomical delight!

So far we have only shared dessert recipes from Chef Trevor Eliason, but the balance of rich flavors and delicate acidity in Dolce makes it a wonderful accompaniment to savory bites as well. Impress palates at your next intimate dinner or extravagant soirée with these great tips and tricks:

Most Compatible
Foie Gras, Seared, Chilled Foie Gras Terrines, Foie Gras Mousse.
Noble cheese such as: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola.
Dry-aged, salty cheeses as an accent: Vieille Mimolette, Asiago, Parmesan, Dry-aged Gouda.
Some cured meats: Prosciutto, Bresaola, Coppa, Culatello.

Style & Ideas
Crumbled Blue Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Hazelnuts.
Chilled Foie Gras Terrine with Wine Gelée. Seared Foie Gras with Mango Coulis.
Fig Wrapped in Prosciutto with Curl of Parmesan.
One Perfectly Ripened Cheese with Dried Apricots and Fresh Pistachios.

When to Serve
As a First Course: Foie Gras or Cured Meats.
As the Cheese Course: Served after the Main Course.
As Dessert: Any cheese course with Dolce can be served instead of dessert.

Notes for Savories
Keep these dramatically contrasting flavors very simple. Use very few ingredients. Avoid cluttered plates. Always taste your creation with the wine before serving them, to ensure a dynamic match!

We’d love to hear about your adventures in pairing with Dolce — send us a tweet (@DolceWine) or comment below with your pictures and ideas. Bon appétit!