This year has been unpredictable, to say the least. As a small, family-run business, we’ve learned to be very flexible this year. The temporary closure of our tasting room due to COVID-19 restrictions has been tough, but the health and safety of our members, guests, employees, and ourselves remains paramount. Through it all, wine, friends, and family (from a distance) have been there for us, and we’re ready to welcome the New Year with open arms and a new sense of hope. To wrap up the year on a positive note, we’re diving into what we’ve been watching, reading, eating, and, most importantly, drinking to get us through these last few months of 2020.
What We’re Watching
This year has been THE year of streaming. While everyone was stuck inside doing puzzles and baking bread, we were watching all of the Great British Baking Show and Somebody Feed Phil and are currently indulging in holiday favorite movies like Elf and Planes, Trains & Automobiles. All of these have one thing in common – you feel great after you watch them.
Somebody Feed Phil speaks to our foodie hearts. It follows Phil Rosenthal and his fun and interesting friends on an eating tour of the world. The thing we liked most about this show was that we felt like we had traveled the world without leaving the couch. We also felt inspired and ready to get back in the kitchen! We’ve been picking our favorite Baer wines to pair with the extraordinary dishes Phil comes across.
We want to end the year on a good note, and the Will Ferrell classic, Elf, always brings the belly laughs. Following a grown man who was raised as an elf in the North Pole on his journey to New York City to find his birth father, we highly recommend this if you haven’t seen it yet! You can’t see this movie too many times, and we’ll probably watch it at least once more before the New Year just for good measure.
What We’re Reading
Besides Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, and Wine Folly, we read President Barack Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, cover to cover (ok, maybe we listened to the audiobook, but still!). We’ve also been revisiting some classics like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement. Up next, we’re looking forward to laughing through the new David Sedaris The Best of Me, as well as the latest by former Seattle resident, Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile. In our opinion, there is nothing better than curling up by a crackling fire with a glass of 2016 Arctos and diving into a different world.
What We’re Eating
Now we’re getting to the good stuff! We think the question is more like, “what haven’t we been eating?” We’ve had a focus on comfort these past few months, so we can recommend meatballs in a tomato basil sauce, seafood paella, roasted red pepper and smoked gouda soup, and homemade pizza on sourdough crust. The big plus about these four dishes is that they pair wonderfully with any Baer red blend.
Here are a few insider tips on flawlessly recreating these dishes…
For the meatballs, instead of breadcrumbs, use crispy onions. Then, for the sauce, just heat up a can of crushed tomatoes and simmer with fresh basil (from your new quarantine herb garden) – voila – an easy, delicious, weeknight meal. We suggest pairing this dish with any vintage of our Callisto red blend.
https://baerwinery.orderport.net/product-details/0138/2017-Ursa–750-ml?utm_source=Newsletter/Blog&utm_medium=blog_link&utm_campaign=ASTRA_NL_Jan21_2020_wrap_up_blog&utm_content=2017_ursa_vintage Don’t be intimidated by paella. It may seem like a complicated dish, but if you can make a small family-size batch. Follow the process correctly, and make the broth extra rich and flavorful, you can’t go wrong. We know we said that all our wines go well with any dish, but we recommend sipping on our 2018 Shard. This crisp, unoaked Chardonnay will pair perfectly with the seafood and saffron.The only tip we have for the roasted red pepper and smoked gouda soup is to double the cheese. Trust us on this one and pair with any vintage of Ursa. We’ve been sipping on the newly released 2017 and can’t recommend it enough.
Everyone has been making sourdough in 2020, so why not experiment with a sourdough pizza crust? We’re partial to chicken sausage and goat cheese for our toppings, but this dish is one to have fun with and build to fit your own tastes. The 2016 Malbec is the wine for pizza. Concentrated and expressive, it will complement whatever toppings you choose.
We hope that the challenges that 2020 has presented to you are not too great and that you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy life through movies, literature, and, of course, food and wine. Cheers to a New Year and new opportunities. Let’s raise a glass to 2021.