Friday, April 30, 2010

Honoring Moms Is More Than a One Day Holiday

We're Celebrating Mother's Day for the entire month of May.

Honoring mothers is more than a one day holiday at Olympic Cellars.

“Mothers” visit us in May and/or bring "The Mom in Your Life" to the winery for…

  • Complimentary Wine Tasting for Moms every day
  • Sparkling Twilight (Syrah) poured on Saturday and Sunday
  • Chocolate or other tasty treat served on the weekends

We also have the perfect “just because I love you” gifts…

  • Give her your heart - a Beautiful stained glass heart, all sizes and designs
  • Bracelets with a special “message”
  • Scarves that warm and adorn
  • Beautiful wine glasses that will keep the memory alive of your special day with Mom
  • And, of course, her favorite wine!

Drop by or post on the Olympic Cellars Facebook page “Your Mother’s Best Advice”. (Click on Discussions) We’re awarding a $100 gift certificate for the “favorite” advice at the end of the month.

Let the Working Girls at the winery help in your selection. After all, we’re Moms, too.

Best wishes,
Kathy, Molly and Lisa

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Working Girls, Our Mothers and Their Advice

Last year I did a blog on “Mom-isms”. You know… those one-liners that cause an immediate visceral, flash-back.

I can just see my Mom wagging her finger at me, “Kathleen Ann… if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times…” And one of my favorites, “you’re not leaving the house dressed like that!” It seemed that I might have pushed the limit of her patience a bit too often.

But, one-liners or hand-holding advice… Mom was pretty much always right. There was wisdom and life’s lessons passed on that I will never forget.

My Mom would have loved the Working Girl Wines. She was always supportive and my biggest fan. And, she expected my best at whatever I did… waitress, receptionist, telemarketer, bookkeeper, dog walker, nursing school drop-out, college, and then my first job away from home.

I believe she would have said, “We’re All Working Girls and we can do anything!”

Mother’s Day is a time to “honor” and remember. It would mean a lot if you would share “your mother’s best advice” with me and all who decide to post. Your gem might just be what one of us needs!

I finally set-up an Olympic Cellars Facebook page. Click on discussions. (I guess you first have to become a fan first, I’m still learning.)

I’m not sure how it will be determined right now, but there will be a favorite “Mother’s Best Advice” chosen who will receive a $100 gift certificate to spend as you like at Olympic Cellars or on-line.

Cheers to all our Mothers… Kathy

PS. Mother's are our guests for complimentary wine tasting on Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BYOC, BYOW and a Goat-A-Chino

This past weekend we had a great celebration of All That's Local... Bread, Wine & Cheese.

I strategically positioned myself in the cellar with the cheesemakers and our paired wines and literally sampled all day.... but not the wine till 5 p.m. :)

During Tami Parr's sessions on Artisan Cheeses of the Pacific Northwest, she talked about how closely linked the goat's or sheep's milk were to the quality of the cheese. You really wouldn't expect anything else... just like a great wine, it starts with great grapes.

Tami also talked about how a Chevre was a dead giveaway on the quality of the cheeses made. With a fresh Chevre you are tasting the "milk", no aging.

With our artisan cheeses the industry is still in its infancy. Our "sense of place" will evolve and not be as broad as Pacific Northwest Artisan Cheeses in years to come. Like our Washington wine industry where grapes are defined by Appellations (a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown), I believe cheese making will follow a similar course.

Just think, the Olympic Peninsula may eventually be known around the world for our fresh Goat Chevre because of our temperate climate that allows the goats to graze almost year round on grass and brush islands that makes up our lush terroir.

Mystery Bay, one of the creameries at Olympic Cellars, offers tours at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. You can Bring Your Own Coffee or BYOW... but if you choose coffee... then you can have a fresh (and I mean fresh) Goat-A-Chino.

Picture this, Rachael, the cheesemaker and owner, is milking the goat and you're standing beside her holding out your cup of coffee for some milk!

Got the picture? Rachael was entertaining our guests with stories of the farm and this was my favorite... once you have a Goat-A-Chino, you never go back!

Cheers, Kathy

P.S. Our Lemberger Rose , (Rose the Riveter) a fresh and young wine, was outstanding with the Fresh Chevre.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wild Harvest Creamery (Only at Olympic Cellars on Sunday)

Northwest Wine & Cheese Tour
April 17-18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Another Creamery not to be missed on the tour and only at winery on Sunday..

Suzanne Tyler is the owner & operator of Wild Harvest Creamery, as well as our resident master cheesemaker (or “Big Cheese”). She has been handcrafting cheese for more than twenty five years, starting out in her kitchen, then studying under some of the best artisanal cheesemakers here in the Pacific Northwest.

Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University in Biology and Genetics and has fifteen years of experience as a veterinary assistant.

Dr. Mike Tyler has practiced Veterinary Medicine for twenty three years in Washington State, including the last fifteen in Sequim at Greywolf Veterinary Hospital .In addition to caring for all our animal’s veterinary needs, Mike is developing a small orchard at Wild Harvest filled with fruits and nuts that thrive in Washington State.

Aaron Tyler is a student at Jefferson Community School in Port Townsend. Aaron helps out in a lot of ways here at Wild Harvest, although now that he is sixteen, his favorite job is driving the tractor.

As stewards of the land, the Tyler Family practices sustainable farming, limiting their size to support their local community.

A rotational grazing system is employed that harnesses the complementary nature of our livestock.

Their Goats (forty Alpine, La Mancha & Oberhasli dairy goats) and Sheep (East Friesian and Locune crosses) feed on the verdant fields that surround our farmstead, allowing them to choose the browse and grasses that best suits their dietary needs. They also do a great job of mowing, leaving less work for our herd of humans!

They strive to ensure that our farm is as efficient as possible. Nothing is wasted. For example, in cheese-making, we separate the curds from the whey.

The curds become our tasty Wild Harvest Cheeses. The leftover whey is fed to our pigs and turkeys. Not only does this honor the contribution made by our ruminants, it also supplies the pigs and turkeys with an excellent nutritional supplement.

It’s a sustainable system in which all parts contribute to the whole. We believe the end result is much greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Specialty Handcrafted Cheeses include Chevre, Smoked Paprika Chevre, Alder Smoked Nettle wrapped Chevre, Positively Pesto Chevre and Dill and Garlic Chevre.

Looking forward to sharing our wines, meeting the cheesemakers and tasting all their wonderful cheeses.

Cheers, Kathy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mystery Bay Farm: Their Goats, Story, Cheeses

It will be a rare treat for you to meet and talk to Rachael Van Laanen, the owner of Mystery Bay Farm during our Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour this Saturday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rachael's mission is to create a dairy where the milk and cheese production is not produced at the cost of the land or the health of the animals, and does not compromise the land’s ability to flourish and produce forage for years to come.

The goats are 100% American Alpine and she has chosen not to dehorn them, so all the goats (yes, even the females) have horns. The goats are bred in the Fall (September- November) which gives us spring kids – born 5 months later.

Rachael makes both Chevre and Ricotta cheeses. Chevre is made with pasteurized goat’s milk and is often rolled in herbs grown on the farm... chives, fresh garlic, basil and thyme, plus other seasonal flavors.

Whole Milk Ricotta Made with pasteurized goat’s milk in Plain or seasonal flavors.

Rachael also conducts three different farm tours (basic, milking or production) by reservation. Guests will learn the basic natural history of goats, their management styles/techniques and see examples of rotational mixed forage grazing. Tours also includes the milking parlor and cheese making facility.

The video below in a great introduction to Mystery Bay and Rachael.

In Celebration of All That's Local,

Cheers, Kathy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Cheese Rap meets UB40 Red Red Wine

I'm winding down this 2 week series of blogs to immerse you in Cheese, Wine and All That's Local. Still have updates for you on Mystery Bay and Wild Harvest Creameries with one last wrap-up blog.

Today, though, the sun is shining, there's Spring in the air and thought you might like a music video or two.

Just to let you know... there are over 183,000,000 videos on wine and 60,800,000 videos on cheese That's a 3:1 ratio in favor of Wine!

But during our Northwest Wine & Cheese Tour, April 17-18, the cheese gets equal billing!

So in honor of our event speaker, Tami Parr and her Wisconsin childhood roots, enjoy the 'Cheese Rap'.

And if you're a fan of 'UB40's Red Red Wine'... this is a music video version that you probably never saw, is really good and I wouldn't suggest performing at home.

In fact, I'm listening now as I sign-off. Enjoy, Kathy

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mt. Townsend Creamery at Oympic Cellars

We will host Mt. Townsend Creamery during our Wine & Cheese Tour, April 17 and 18 from 11-6 p.m.

As I write these daily blog/emails to share information, funny cheese videos and to immerse you in Cheese, Wine and All That’s Local… I find myself craving anything cheese. (You think?!)

Last night I walked into Sunny Farms (a local country-style grocery store) and instead of heading straight to the cookies, I made a beeline for the cheese, opened a single package of string cheese and inhaled it while waiting at the deli counter.

Well, you know, a ‘Working Girl’ can get mighty hungry and the string cheese was a way better choice then standing there noshing on a large wedge of cheddar or brie.

If "cheese" is also on your mind, not to worry. We've got you covered. Join us and all you have to do is.... Sample, taste, sip, taste, sample taste, sip, taste, sample, taste, sip, sip, taste (Got the hang of it?)

Mt. Townsend will have all their cheeses available for sale and sampling. Featured “wine paired” cheeses will be the Cirrus with our 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Washed Rind Tomme with our 2006 Syrah.

Below is a couple of YouTube Videos on Mt. Townsend owners and cheeses. After watching you’ll understand why we’re so excited to have their cheeses at Olympic Cellars,

Enjoy, Kathy

Cirrus, a Pacific Northwest Camembert, is inspired by the small thin white clouds that hang over the Olympic Mountains, yet is rooted in the tradition of French cheese making. The white mold covering its exterior makes Cirrus come alive with an abundance of flavor as it ages. It is ripened four weeks to an indulgent soft texture with rick, butter flavor. It is a must for those who want to experience camembert as it was meant to be.

Washed Rind Tomme made in the style of Tomme’s from the French Pyrenees this cheese similar to Havarti or Cheddar. A ripe pungent flavor is complimented by the butter and nutty finish.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Monty Python, The Cheese Shop Sketch

Enjoy this classic 1972 Monty Python sketch... thought it was too funny after researching and planning our NW Wine and Cheese Tour. You'll understand why after you've watched it.

And, believe me we've "Got Cheese and even more Wine"! We're hosting three of the five Olympic Peninsula Creameries. Mt. Townsend, Mystery Bay and Wild Harvest Creameries will be at Olympic Cellars on April 17-18 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Cheers, Kathy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tami Parr, Author and NW Cheese Guru, at Olympic Cellars

Olympic Cellars will be hosting Tami Parr at our Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour on Saturday, April 17.

She will give three short, interactive presentations at 11:30 a.m; 1 p.m; and 3 p.m., with input from the cheese makers and Olympic Cellars Winemaker Benoit Murat. Afterwards, she will sign copies of her new book, Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest.

From Parr’s biography she describes herself as a lawyer turned freelance writer and cheese nerd - not necessarily in that order. Since its launch five years ago, Parr's Pacific Northwest Cheese Project blog has become the preeminent source for local cheese news, producer profiles, and cheese reviews.

Her family originally hails from a small farming community in southern Wisconsin. Growing up, she visited Wisconsin just about every summer and while there, spent a lot of time with her aunt and uncle's dairy farm. It was there that she learned about the hard work that goes into creating the food that goes onto the dinner table, the relief of getting the milk check in the mail, and the joy of a good harvest.

Parr is fascinated by cheese as a living, breathing food and a complex intersection of animal, land and craft. Combined with her passion for cheese she incorporates all these aspects in her blogs, public appearances, articles and in her book.

Last May the Seattle Times interviewed Parr in honor of the upcoming Seattle Cheese Festival this weekend at Pike Place Market. It’s a great article for further information on artisan Washington creameries.

Wisconsin cheese is a way of life… and it’s fast becoming the same in the Pacific Northwest. Just a few years ago there were no cheese makers on the Olympic Peninsula now there are five and that’s a small industry! These creameries are making delicious, award-winning products using sustainable farming practices.

All five creameries will be represented at the Olympic Peninsula Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour on April 17-18. (Participating cheese makers include Wild Harvest Creamery of Chimacum; Port Townsend’s Mt. Townsend Creamery; Gothberg Farms of Bow, Wash; Mystery Bay Farm of Marrowstone Island; and Golden Glen Creamery, also of Bow.)

It’s going to be a great weekend!

Cheers, Kathy

Monday, April 5, 2010

Loca-Oeno-Turo-Philes Celebrate All That's Local

This is my first in a two-week series of blogs, videos, emails and Tweets that will have you dreaming about wine, cheese, bread and All That’s Local!

I mentioned a Loca–Oeno–Turo–Phile on my Save the Date email yesterday.

You might be thinking… here’s goes Kathy again! Is she making this stuff up?

Yep... I think I just liked the sound of the phrase; it sort of rolled off my tongue.

But, it's not as crazy as it may look. The phrase is the combination of words that describe “a person who likes to eat local and is a lover of wine and cheese”! We all can relate to this.

Bottom line, I’m really visual and we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words.

So I inquired about a local cartoonist who could depict an Olympic Peninsula Loca-Oeno-Turo-Phile and Keith Curtis was recommended.

This is my vision created by Keith… if you have others in mind (cartoons, pictures, etc.) please send them my way. I will post them to the website.

Can't you just almost taste the wine and savor the cheese amid the beauty we call home?

Come visit us for the NW Wine and Cheese Tour at Olympic Cellars on April 17-18 and celebrate All That's Local!

Cheers, Kathy

Keith currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula where he maintains a thriving freelance illustration business and secretly spends his days working at a great metropolitan newspaper. Here’s what Keith says about himself… “I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’ve illustrated jewelry catalogs, prime labels, done logo design, illustrated book and magazine covers and interiors, and taught several digital pre-press workshops at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. I have art degrees from institutes of higher learning that were almost immediately rendered obsolete when desktop printing came to be. Fortunately, I’ve managed to stay at the cutting edge of digital art and printing.”

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bubba Gump, Riesling and Olympic Cellars

Last week I was in California visiting my son and family. We spent one day in San Francisco and walked around all the shops and restaurants around Pier 39.

When we passed the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, I thought of Riesling… why I don’t know, but after my last blog on Riesling, The Magificent Woman, this wine has been rumbling in the back of my mind.

So as we walked, I made a mental note to research Riesling Wine Pairings with Shrimp as I couldn’t get the scenes from the movie, Forest Gump, out of my mind… you know when Pvt. Benjamin Buford 'Bubba' Blue recited all the ways his mama and her mama cooked shrimp.

When I got home I Googled Riesling and Shrimp pairing. There are a lot of shrimp recipes that go with Riesling!
So here’s my list of shrimp dishes in true Bubba style.

Shrimp Risotto – Fried Shrimp – Shrimp & Papaya Salad – Mo Shu Shrimp – Peel & Eat Shrimp with BBQ Spices – Shrimp Sushi – Shrimp with Curry/Coconut Milk – Shrimp Tacos – Shrimp Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing – Simple Grilled Shrimp – And so on… And so on...

And, since I'm so focused on Riesling I decided to make our Dungeness White Riesling our featured wine of April.

April’s Featured Wine:
Olympic Cellars Dungeness White Riesling
Regular $12.99, this month $9.75, a 25% savings
Overall, Rieslings are delicious, versatile wines that are terrific with food (bland to spicy, salty to exotic), playing lively apple, peach or citrus flavors against a zing of acidity. The best Rieslings have an intense brightness—one sip should wake the most jaded palate. This description is our 2008 Dungeness White in the bottle!

And if you’re bit nostalgic today, here's the YouTube video of Bubba’s famous rendition of shrimp dishes.

Cheers, Kathy