The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2010

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 79 of 96

by liza Gershman A lthough wineries are usually best known for their wines, their soil or their dramatic edifi ces, Sonoma’s Matanzas Creek, tucked away in lush Bennett Valley just outside Santa Rosa, prides itself on its estate lavender, not only for its soothing applications but for its culinary uses as well. It is the marriage of food and wine that Matanzas Creek really focuses on. In June, Matanzas Creek celebrated its 14th annual “Days of Wine and Lavender.” Analogous to the winery’s considerable attention to the pairing of food and wine, the property itself is an artful blend: native grasses, olive trees and vineyards are complemented by lavender fi elds, where vast acres turn a vibrant purplish hue every year, typically beginning in late May. “Lavender really adds something quite beautiful,” says Pat Ross, the winery’s lavender sales supervisor. Since the fi rst vintage in 1978, Matanzas Creek’s wines have been widely respected and sought-after. Sourced from the 110-acre vineyard at Jackson Park, 930 feet above Sonoma County’s valley fl oor, the winery’s Merlot—one of the most notable wines in the portfolio—has been served at some of the fi nest restaurants in America, as well as at the White House. Bordeaux-born associate winemaker Alex Réblé, who has been with the winery since 2001, prides himself on the Merlot’s ability to pair well with food. Réblé’s father was a chef who worked in Paris and served wine with every meal. “This is what started my philosophy about wine and food,” says Alex. “In Bordeaux, wine was everywhere, and cooking and enjoying wines was a daily routine in our family. Wine was not just for special occasions, and it was not intimidating.” Chef Constantinos “Taki” Laliotitis heads the food pairings at the estate and has created extraordinary meals at world-class restaurants around the globe, including the legendary French Laundry in Napa. “I’ve always known food and wine to be a cause for celebration,” says Taki. “It’s about bringing people together and sharing the experi- ence with family and friends.” His creative use of Matanzas Creek’s signature product proves that lavender is not just for the bathtub anymore. ����� CLASSIC.HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. “A new gold standard for a non-grain vodka. Worth every bloody cent.” F. Paul Pacult The Spirit Journal Vermont Gold Vodka is a pure, delicate vodka distilled from the sap of maple trees, the very essence of Vermont. WWW.VERMONTSPIRITS.COM THE ESSENCE OF VERMONT SPIRITS IS RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION. VERMONT SPIRITS, ST. JOHNSBURY, VT 40% ABV PHOTO COURTESY OF MATANZAS CREEK

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - July 2010