CV, the Wine Guy, talks Biodynamic Wines from Oregon

SVFC_CV Wine Guy_BiodynamicBiodynamic: adj. — a spiritual-ethicial-ecological approach to agriculture, food production, and nutrition.

Biodynamic wines take the concentrated notice of terroir (the geography, geology, and climate of a wine region) to a whole new level. When grapes are grown biodynamically, the wine maker sees the vineyard as an ecosystem: not just the vines, but the soil beneath them — an organism in its own right — the air and water quality, flora and fauna in the area, the cosmos — all of these are growing together interdependently.

There is also the notion that farming can (should?) be attuned to the spiritual element of the cosmos, perhaps linking planting or harvesting in time with lunar cycles or planetary positions.

The immense and careful attention biodynamic growers pay to their vines can’t be anything but good, or, at the very least, interesting. If a wine is biodynamic, it is also organic (but still contains sulfites). Biodynamic wines are the best of the best. This week, we’re going to focus on biodynamic wines from Oregon. The two main varietals for Oregon are Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. We talked last week about the flavor profiles and structure of Pinot Noir (and how well it pairs with salmon); let’s focus on Pinot Gris this week.

Read more CV, the Wine Guy, talks Biodynamic Wines from Oregon …

CV, the Wine Guy, talks Pinot Noir, Salmon & Cedar!

photo‘Tis the (short-lived) season for fall salmon! This week, CV guides us in the right direction: not just with wine pairings for salmon, but also with his recommendations and recipe for cooking salmon. This just in: the typical wine pairing for salmon is… Pinot Noir! Yes, white fish and shellfish are best with white wines, but for salmon, the first choice pairing is Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir #1: Shooting Star 2012
Wine Maker: Jed Steele
Geographic Region: Lake County, California (north of Sonoma & Napa counties)
Price: $13.99

CV Says: Lake County is considered to be the step-son of California’s wine growing regions. It is a famous wine-growing region, just not as famous as Napa or Sonoma. One of the neat things about Lake County is that the land was/is very affordable in comparison to land in Napa or Sonoma, so wine makers can afford to offer their wines at a better price. This is the second label by a famous wine maker, Jed Steele. Shooting Star is considered to be the “declassified” bottle of Pinot Noir from Jed Steele. He makes a good deal of Pinot Noir, and this is the second-tier, lower price point option.

Pinot Noir has subtle flavors of cherry and strawberry. It’s a very dry wine. Pinot Noirs are medium-bodied wines, and that’s one of the reasons why it goes so well with salmon — because it has a very delicate flavor. It won’t overpower the salmon.

Pinot Noir #2:
Line 39
Wine Maker:
Bob Borman
Geographic Region:
Central Coast, CA

CV Says: Line 39 is a value-driven Pinot Noir, from Sonoma Coast, California. As a general rule, Pinot Noirs are more expensive wines, across the board. This is made by a fellow by the name of Bob Borman, who’s been involved in value wines for over 30 years, and Pinot Noir is his specialty. He’s not a grower; he’s a wine maker and blender. He will buy grapes and make wine, or buy Pinot Noirs that have already been made, and then blend them. That’s a very, very, very big business — a tremendous amount of wine on the market is made that way. His job is to get the grapes, or wines, and make a new, more affordable wine. Making or blending wines in this way makes more expensive varieties more accessible and available to the masses. Bob Borman makes several varieties of wine, both white and red, but he is particularly known for his Pinot Noir.

This is a light- to medium-bodied, fruit-driven wine. This will have a nice cherry, strawberry flavor, with a great finish.

+ A note about the region of choice for these two wines: If we went with our friends from Oregon (where Pinot Noir rules the land), we’d been looking at much more expensive bottles. Staying in California allows us to feature more accessible, affordable Pinot Noirs. Read more CV, the Wine Guy, talks Pinot Noir, Salmon & Cedar! …

On Sale Now: Locally Made Envirokidz

SVFCKoalaBuying local is even easier when locally made products go on sale! Look for great deals on Nature’s Path Envirokidz line of organic, gluten free, and non-GMO cereals and granola bars in our Grocery Department.

Nature’s Path’s crispy rice bars 6oz. packages – Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Berry Blast, and Peanut Choco Drizzle – are regularly $4.35 each, now on sale for $2.99! Their popular Envirokidz 14oz. cereals — Panda Puffs, Gorilla Munch, Amazon Frosted Flakes and Koala Crisps — are regularly $4.55, and now on sale for $3.39! Don’t miss this chance to stock up on these tasty pantry staples.

Located just across the border in Richmond, B.C., Nature’s Path is a family-owned and -operated company that produces an impressive array of natural and organic whole grain foods. Here’s their back story: In 1971 Arran Stephens founded Canada’s first health food store. Read more On Sale Now: Locally Made Envirokidz …

CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin!

SVFC_CV Wine_Bargin RedsThis week, CV The Wine Guy is giving us the scoop on three bargain wines that the Co-op frequently carries. The first two wines can be found stacked around the column that is just in front of the Bakery case in the Deli area. The third is at the column near the Deli to-go case (on your way to or from the cheese island). All of them are a steal at $7.99 each!

Bargain Red
: 2012 Codice (pictured on the left)
Producer: Dominio de Eguren
Geographic Origin: Castilla (Vino de la Terra)
Varietal: Tempranillo (Spain’s most native grape type; good for full-bodied wines, with spicy red fruit flavors and aromas)
Price: $7.99
CV Says: Margarette is the wine representative that sells us this wine — she has wonderful wines at great prices. The bottle does not list the varietal, and really — that’s not necessarily important. Codice means tradition, or the codes, in Spanish. There are a lot of rules and regulations for wine making in all of the European countries. In Spain, in the last 10 years, the new generation of wine makers got permission to not follow those rules “to law”, or, at least, could ignore them without getting fined. It was decided that, as long as the new ideas were shared amongst the wine makers of a region, an individual wine maker could go off on their own. This has created a nice synergy in Spain; there’s a lot going on there. Some of the old funkiness that was carried on by tradition, maybe in a negative way, is gone. And that’s really been a positive thing. This bottle of wine has probably seen just a little bit of wood. It’s going to have lovely berry and cherry flavors to it. This is a bottle of wine that will go well with a simple meal — pastas, pizza, any  kind of hearty sauce. It will hold its own. It’s not going to be dry in any sense; it’s going to have a fair amount of fruit on it. It’s a bottle of wine that pleases many. 
Read more CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin! …

Skagit Brew Corner: Guide to Autumn Ales & Ciders

SVFCOktoberfestPyrIt’s official: fall is here. From crispy amber leaves to cool evening breezes, the Pacific Northwest is in full on autumnal mode. Drink accordingly and catch some of these delicious microbrews while you can. Most seasonal beers and ciders are limited releases.

Browse this handy guide to delicious fall beers and ciders with the following information: ABV = alcohol by volume; IBU = international bittering units (the higher the number of IBUs, the more bitter the beer)

Oktoberfest from Pyramid Brewing of Seattle/Portland/Berkeley – 6.7% ABV / 35 IBU. This strong, malty Marzen-style beer is brewed with a bouquet of Northwest Nugget and Mt. Hood hops and handful of flavorful malts including Pilsner, Munich, Carapils, CaraRed, and Caramel. With 35 IBUs, it’s a zippy unfiltered Oktoberfest with a hazy, deep amber color and higher than average alcohol content for typical harvest ales. Try serving this craft beer with hearty Co-op Handmade Sausage, from our basic Mild Italian Sausage to spicier Andouille and Chicaoji varieties. Saute the sausage, sliced onions, and sauerkraut in 1 cup Pyramid Oktoberfest for a delicious and flavorful meal.

SVFCPumkingCiderPumking Imperial Ale from Southern Tier Brewing of Lakewood, NY. 8.6% ABV / 25 IBU. One of the most magical pumpkin flavored ales I’ve ever tried. This year’s release is no exception. Crack open one of these 22oz. bottles and you’ll catch a whiff of honest to goodness pumpkin pie. One sip reveals tastes of whipped cream, hearty pumpkin flesh, and modest spicing. Toasted pecans? Vanilla? Buttery crust? Yes, these layers of superb flavors keep on going until the bottle is gone. So stock up, Pumking is an extremely limited release, and will age well due to its high alcohol content. A slower drinking, savoring beer, try this Imperial ale with desserts such as gingered apple crisp or the original pumpkin pie. Many beer snobs will agree that Pumking is truly a dessert in itself.

Pumpkin Spice Hard Cider from Seattle Cider Company – 6.9% ABV. An outstanding locally crafted seasonal cider from the first cidery in the city of Seattle since Prohibition. Seattle Cider Company is also a sister company of Two Beers, makers of the popular Evolution IPA. This moderately spiced hard apple cider is made from handpicked Pacific Northwest apples and is fermented with a blend of nutmeg, clove, allspice, and cinnamon. A touch of pumpkin helps to round out the warming spices and tart sweetness of fresh pressed Granny Smith, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Gala apples. Copper in color and semi-sweet, pair this seasonal cider with sharp cheddar, carrot cake, and roasted pork loin. Read more Skagit Brew Corner: Guide to Autumn Ales & Ciders …