Once the Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes came in (both on the 9th, not staggered like planned) we didn’t harvest anything else this week. The cooler temperatures over the last couple of weeks slowed ripening enough to make us put off bringing in more grapes. Between this enforced plodding pace, some might call it a sane pace, and having a WWCC EV intern with us this year there is much less action on the harvest front. All good, but I am a bit antsy as I look forward to the rapid-fire, hard work of harvest each year and it isn’t happening so far. Note, I took video of the Pinot Noir crush for you since I wasn’t the one on the ladder.
I did work a ‘Cigarbeque’ on Sunday evening selling cigars for Locati Cellars during a delicious barbecue put on by Chef Nathan Carlson (whose day-job, if you will, is at Cameo Heights Mansion outside of Touchet). The humidor in Locati Cellars is carefully stocked by Nathan. My previous experiences told me once a cigar was lit, I wanted nothing to do with it. Jason, owner of Viva Republica, and Ed, rep out of Portland, were on hand to answer questions about their wares, like when and why to choose a cigar. Then smelling the different smoke as people lit up brought about a whole different understanding for me. As with wine, tea and food, quality ingredients means quality experience. I have no intention of taking up smoking cigars (nor do I encourage you to), but at least now I have a bit better idea of what someone who enjoys it is after. The following day the t-shirt I wore smelled like a good cigar rather than acrid smoke (good = pleasant smelling).
Nathan, remembering my food allergies, left a rack of ribs unglazed for me (thank you Nathan). It tasted fabulous, super smokey and just right with the cigars actually. When we were leaving he wrapped the remaining ribs up and sent them home with us. I picked at it for a couple of days before deciding to chop up the meat (bones in the freezer broth bag) and make my dearest Hubby a pot of chili; there were a few tomatoes that needed to be used too which was ideal for this.
- 2 lb smoked meat (beef, pork, chicken), cubed
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 sweet bell pepper coarsely chopped
- 1 lb fresh tomatoes chopped into 1″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons dried red pepper (we grew Anaheims that I dried)
- 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh horseradish
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 to 1 cup stock or water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground red pepper, to taste
Chop all of your vegetables and the meat. Open, drain and rinse the two cans of beans. In a dutch oven or stock pot, saute’ the onions to translucent, add the bell pepper until fragrant, and toss in the tomato pieces. With the heat on medium low, add the meat, beans, seasonings and enough liquid to ensure nothing will stick or to make the chili more soupy as you prefer. Toss well, heat to low and cover to cook for an hour. I remove the cover and cook another half hour to reduce the liquid and thicken it. Then, while it is still warm, I add the horseradish and stir it in to warm and release its bite.
Serve it with corn bread, over burgers, rice or potatoes. Top it with fresh onion, sour cream and cheese, or what ever you usually do. Try it with a smokey red wine of your choice.
We have some mid-high eighties temperatures for almost a week; Dolcetto and Cabernet Sauvignon are slated to come in Saturday and Tuesday respectively; about nine tons of fruit for this week between those two grapes. Actually a good number of bins to do punch downs on, so a definite perk to the current, sane, pace. Cheers!