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Trinitas Cellars Blog
Welcome to the Trinitas Cellars Blog! We hope you join us for frequent updates on our vineyards, production, tasting room and wine education.
Grape growers and winemakers in Napa Valley are a lot like 7 year old kids at Christmas Time – kids write to Santa Claus asking for all their wishes to come true. We in the wine business cast our wishes to the Wine Gods as our growing season evolves. We wish for warm, not hot, days; cool, not cold, nights; breezes in the summer, but not the spring; low rainfall, but not TOO low; etc. etc. etc. Normally in the Napa Valley we are blessed with most of our wishes. And, now and then, we get everything we wished for – the 7 year old kid version of the pony on the front lawn on Christmas morning. 2007 was just such a year. We were blessed with perfect growing conditions and our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from that year is our shining example. Big, yet smooth, with mouth filling fruitiness and soft, subtle tannins. Great with a big juicy steak or a dark chocolat tort. It is about to enter the endangered species list here at Trinitas, so come and either get it or regret it!
In a modern age of Facebook and “Facetime,” finding a traditional relationship with same morals and values can be difficult to find. Wine Society Members since June 2013, Elona and Paul Rapp found each other using the modern convenience of Match.com.
Elona’s previous residence was in Lodi and Paul’s in San Ramon. Had it not been for today’s technology, they might have never met. They were so close yet so far from each other. “We never would have been introduced if it wasn’t for online dating.”
From the day that they met, they have not been inseparable. Not only did they share the same family values and traditions but they had so much in common. Their love for wine and travel has led them many parts of the world including Napa.
Elona and Paul have made Trinitas Cellars and the Meritage Resort a part of their love story. “I asked for Elona’s hand in marriage as I knelt in front of her at a look-out that stood directly above the wine cave where we would be married less than a year later.”
Elona found it only appropriate to use our estate cave to hold their wedding ceremony and reception.
“The venue couldn’t have been more magical. Jaws dropped at the sight of the beautiful and warmly lit wine cave where we would eventually exchange our vows.”
We have been so lucky to have Elona and Paul as Wine Society members and to be a part of their love story!
Cheers to you both and your happily ever after!
Photos courtesy of:
Lily Rose Photography
Somehow I just am out of the loop! Apparently you can book your reservations for the Trinitas Library on our website at: /Visit-Us/The-Trinitas-Library
Hope to see you at the Trinitas Library on Wednesday 2.19.2014 when we officially open!
Zinfandel. A grape of many styles, intriguing history and tons of versatility. I chose the El Dorado Zinfandel as my wine of the week, not just because I hail from the El Dorado/Amador areas, but because it has all three of my red wine “R”’s = rich, robust, and refined. Full bodied with juicy raspberry, black cherry and red currant with nuances of tobacco leaf and a hint of black pepper, it could be paired with sirloin steak, tomato based pasta dishes or even josh rogan. This is my wine when I need a hearty wine with hearty food!
For more on the 2010 El Dorado Zin, visit our online Wine Shop, or stop by the tasting room for a glass!
Whether you are cooking for yourself, friends or that special someone, here is a meal that will make any night special!
Fig and gorgonzola salad (Pair with Trinitas 2009 Old Vine Mendocino Zinfandel)
10 black figs but in half
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese (cut into small cubes or crumbled)
Spinach or Frisée greens
Salt & pepper
Truffle honey (optional)
Preheat broiler or toaster oven.
Place figs on lightly greased baking sheet and broil 4-5” from the heat for 2-6 minutes (keep an eye on the figs, you want them to just start to sizzle but not blacked. The insides should be cool).
Place greens on plate, add figs and sprinkle gorgonzola over both.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle a tiny amount of truffle honey (optional) over the salad.
Vegetarian Lasagna for Meat Lovers (Pair with Trinitas 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon)
(Modified for the vegetarian from a tried and true Northern Italian Style Lasagna with Bologna Meat Sauce recipe my mother has used for years, Original recipe this is based on can be found in the Better Homes and Gardens “Italian Cook Book”, 3rd printing, 1984.))
12 ounces lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese or 1 1/2 cups romano cheese
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups milk
For the "meat" filling
1 3/4 cups sausage style tofu, crumbled
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry white wine (Trinitas Cellars 2011 Carneros Chardonnay)
1/3 cup light cream (optional) or 1/3 cup milk (optional)
In a large saucepan (or Dutch oven) cook tofu until browned (10 minutes).
Add undrained tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, tomato paste, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper to tofu. Stir. Stir in wine and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in boiling water just until tender; drain. Rinse with cool water.
Combine cheeses in bowl.
For the sauce melt butter in saucepan. Stir in flour, pepper, nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly (don’t let burn!).
Arrange a single layer of the pasta in the bottom of a greased 13”x9”x2” baking dish. Spread 1/3 white sauce over noodles. Spread 1/3 Tofu “meat” filling over white sauce. Spread 1/3 cheese over tofu. Repeat layers of pasta, sauce, tofu mix and cheese 2 more times.
Cover with foil and bake at 350degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes and serve.
Chocolate Wine Glasses (Pair with Trinitas 2010 Petite Sirah)
2 wine glasses
1 cup chocolate (I recommend milk or dark to pair with the wine)
In a dutch oven or microwave, slowly melt the chocolate.
Take a clean, dry wine glass and dip the rim of the glass into the melted chocolate.
Place dipped glass (bowl or chocolate side up) in your refrigerator.
Chill until chocolate is set (approx. 15 minutes).
Carefully add wine to glass.
Serve and enjoy kissing off the chocolate “smiles” that occur ;-)
Our Wine Club Manager, Lucy, loves her fiancé Daniel, her puppy Diego and our Trinitas 2011 Carneros Chardonnay. Between the butterscotch and caramel apple notes Lucy can’t resist pouring herself a glass of this Chardonnay. For those that are craving the taste of crème brûlée and have an addiction to caramelized sugar this 2011 Carneros Chardonnay is just for you!
Check out more details on the wine in our wine shop!
Many of our members and patrons have recently been asking if we are vegetarian/vegan and/or gluten-free friendly. In short, yes, we are! Please read below for the specifics.
To start, let’s give some very basic definitions:
Vegetarian: Someone who does not eat meat. There is really no one type of vegetarian; some are okay with dairy products (lacto), others are okay with eggs (ovo) or consume poultry or fish/shellfish, some are even okay with gelatin (animal byproduct) or rennet (found in cheeses, traditionally an animal byproduct used as a curdling agent) .
Vegan: No animal byproducts at all (ie. honey, leather, silk, wool, gelatin, rennet, white sugar (due to it being filtered with an animal byproduct), etc).
Gluten: Protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and associated grain species, like barley and rye. Wine is fundamentally gluten free, as it is made from grapes. There are two places in winemaking where gluten may be introduced, though neither is usually used in the US of A. The first is the practice of using a flour paste to seal oak barrels. The other is the practice of fining.
Fining: Substances that are usually added at or near the completion of the processing of brewing wine, beer, and various nonalcoholic juice beverages. Their purpose is for removal of organic compounds; to either improve clarity or adjust flavor/aroma. An alternative to using animal products for fining is bentonite, a clay mineral, or gluten.
Isinglass: Substance obtained from fish. It is a form of collagen used primarily for the clarification of wine and beer.
Bentonite: Special type of very fine clay of the aluminum-silicate type used for fining.
Technically speaking all wine contains some degree of contamination of liquefied spiders, bugs, etc, so producing a 100% vegetarian or vegan wine is more or less impossible regardless of the type of fining agents used.
Now that we have covered the technicalities of what means what, let’s see what Trinitas Cellars uses:
White Wines: Isinglass from Sea Sturgeon (for fining)
Red Wine 2005 and before: Gelatin (for fining)
Red Wine after 2005 to present: bentonite (for fining)
Barrels: oak barrels without a gluten sealant
So, over the course of our history, Trinitas Cellar has employed various methods to fine our wine. Please note, that when gelatin and isinglass were used in the fining process, we thoroughly filter the wine and any residue is in the parts per trillion. In other words you consume more animal products (insects, arachnids, what have you) each day in processed foods, than you will drink in a few bottles of wine each week.
In the end, Trinitas Cellars is 100% gluten free. We are vegetarian or vegan depending on your point of view.
Also, most of the cheeses for sale in our tasting room are usually vegetarian (rennet free).
All in all, we hope you enjoy our wine!
Note about the writer: Brianna Pickens has been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for 17 years.
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