Into the Woods-TX (+CA) Tuesday

When something becomes a high enough frequency, it seems silent.


Between adding a part-time job (with full-time responsibility), trying to replace my car (part-time efforts with full-time stress), family health hiccups, and trying to maintain my volunteer positions, this SAHM (can I still call myself that?)has gone silent.

Oh, I’m still sampling wines and practicing self-care in the kitchen, but I’ve been drowning a bit and my creativity was the first thing to sink. Well, at least in words. I’ve made some tasty comfort worth sharing, if for no other reason than to have record of what it did. Ironically, the denser the responsibilities, the more sieve-like the brain.

Any organization/time-management experts out there?

I digress.

One of the grapes that grows really well here, especially on the coast, is a hybrid called Blanc du Bois, which translates loosely, white wood. Rich perfumed notes, floral and citrus. It is used as a single variety, blends, and to make madeira. It is especially resistant to Pierce’s disease. One of the names synonymous with Blanc du Bois is Haak Vineyards. They produce several wines using the grape but one of the most renowned is the Madeira.


I was recently looking to create a sauce to take our weekend steaks up a notch. We’d opened at bottle of 2012 Hoopes Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon* and it is a beast. A beauty and a beast which could stand up to even the richest sauces. I considered the gauntlet thrown. In the wine I was getting blueberry and Marionberry, mint and rosemary so I went from there.

All good sauces begin with butter so I used equal parts butter and olive oil to sauté a shallot. I added about 2 teaspoons of very coarsely ground black pepper. Then I deglazed with the Haak madeira. I added about a few sprigs worth of fresh rosemary and finished with about a tablespoon of half and half.

Oh my.

My children raved that it was the best steak ever. My husband said it should be on every steakhouse menu. They drizzled their potatoes and even wanted me to bring out the pan so they could get the last of it. So, in short, it was a hit.

With the richness of the sauce, and the gift of time, the wine opened into Bing Cherry and pine trees with gentle tannins. Gorgeous. A pleasure to drink.

Inspired, I continued my exploration of sauces with Blanc du Bois, but if you read the first paragraphs, you know that will have to wait until next Texas Tuesday. In the meantime, check out what Texas Wine Journal and their panel of experts had to say about the 2015 releases of Blanc du Bois. Cheers!

*The Hoopes was provided as a media sample from Public New York City. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.




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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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