Tag Archives: Wine Wednesdays

Wine Wednesday: Comanche Cellars At Annieglass This Weekend

unnamedWe are excited for a special wine event this weekend at our winebar in Watsonville. We are delighted to share our most recent wine find – Comanche Cellars, a tiny winery located in Monterey. Winemaker Michael Simons named his winery Comanche after a horse he had when he was 10 years old, and an image of Comanche’s old worn horseshoes graces the label on every wine bottle.  Simons makes very handcrafted wines, sourcing his grapes from renowned neighboring vineyards. The Mesa del Sol Vineyards in the Arroyo Seco Highlands is located on a mesa overlooking the river — the air is dry here with a marine influence, and the soil is lean and rocky. The land is famed organically and vines are irrigated from a thriving trout pond feeding them with living water. The Syrahs from this vineyard are consistent award winners. Mission Vineyards has a long legacy in the region, having been planted by the fourth and fifth generations of the Mirassou family. They grow amazing Pinot Noir. Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a small, family-owned operation centered in southern Monterey County’s San Antonio Valley appellation, an area known for growing robust, fully mature fruit. Jolon Vineyards sources fruit to a number of prominent California wineries who all say that their grapes are the best of the best, year after year.
We will be pouring a selection of their award winning wines including a Chardonnay, a 2012 and 2011 Pinor Noir and a 2011 Syrah. Come try these amazing wines!

Saturday - Jan 17th | 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Annieglass, 310 Harvest Drive, Watsonville


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Wine Wednesday: Sparkling Wine For New Year’s Eve

file4651244751176Tonight is New Year’s Eve. Will you be celebrating with a bit of bubbly? Not all wine that sparkles is Champagne. Here’s a quick guide to the sparkling wine on the shelf.

Champagne By French law, anything called Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France, and is normally made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes.

Crémant Crémant wines are also from France and are produced in the Loire, Burgundy, Alsace and the Jura. These wines are often more affordable than Champagne and they also have a more delicate flavor profile.

Cava Cava comes from Spain and is slightly dry.  The New Year’s Eve tradition in Spain is to fill your glass with cava and have a dozen grapes ready. When the clock strikes midnight, toast and start popping grapes into your mouth for good luck in the new year.

Prosecco and Franciacorta Both of these wines hail from Italy. Franciacorta is drier and has more of the biscuity taste that you may associate with Champagne, while Prosecco is lighter and fruitier.

Sparkling Wine In the U.S. most effervescent wines are called simply sparkling wine. American sparkling wines can be found all price points, be sure to explore any sparkling wine offered by your local vineyards.

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Wine Wednesdays — Mulled Wine Recipe for the Holidays

Photo by Bekathwia

Mulled wine is a traditional holiday drink throughout the colder countries in Europe from glogg in Sweden and gluhwein in Germany to vin chaud in France.

The origins for mulling wine are based more in practical matters than festive and romantic holiday traditions. Once upon a time, wine was not something to be collected and aged in cellars. It was an everyday product that was meant to be consumed soon after it was bottled. Less than perfect bottling methods meant that wine, which was traditionally bottled after harvest in the early fall, had started to go off by winter. Spices were added to postpone spoilage and, well, make wine that had gone off taste a little less nasty. Hence, the consumption of mulled wine became a mid-winter, holiday tradition. We now drink mulled wine for tastier reasons. Plus it makes the whole house fragrantly festive!

The exact combination of spices change from country to country, but mulled wine generally starts with a red wine base —like Merlot or Cabernet — and adds cinnamon, cloves, star anise, juniper, ginger, citrus or cardamom. Think seasonal, warming spices and add orange or lemon peel for brightness. It’s kind of like a warm winter sangria. Play around to find the combination that you like best.  Here’s a historical British recipe adapted from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (first published in 1861)

Mulled Wine

  • To every 600ml (1 pint) of Wine allow:

    Photo by maoquai

  • 235ml (8 fl oz) Water
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Spice (Cloves, Grated Nutmeg and Cinnamon or Mace), to taste

Per Mrs. Beeton: In making this, it is very difficult to give the exact proportions of ingredients like sugar and spice, as what quantity might suit one person would be to another quite distasteful. Boil the spice in the water until the flavour is extracted. Add the wine and sugar and bring to boiling point, then serve with strips of crisp dry toast or with biscuits. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg and cinnamon or mace. Any kind of wine may be mulled, but port and claret are those usually selected for the purpose and the latter requires a very large proportion of sugar. The vessel that the wine is boiled in must be delicately clean and should be kept exclusively for the purpose.

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Wine Wednesdays: Passport Weekend At Annieglass


We are so looking forward to Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day this Saturday. You can find a full list of the wineries participating by clicking here. There are lots of local favorites pouring, including us at our Watsonville wine tasting bar! We are excited to be hosting Loma Prieta Winery who will be pouring some of their handcrafted, medal winning wines. Among the selection being poured by Loma Prieta Winery is a Platinum & Gold Medal winning 2010 Amarosa Vineyard Pinotage, and a double Gold Medal winning 2009 Petite Sirah. They will be at our Watsonville wine bar – 310 Harvest Drive in Watsonville  on November 15th, from 12:00pm – 4:30pm.

These passport days, which happen four times a year, are a great way to meet and celebrate local vintners and growers of the Santa Cruz Mountain area, some of which are too small to have tasting rooms of their own regularly open to the public.  The region, which includes the three counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo, was first recognized as an official American Viticultural Area (or AVA ) in 1981 — though grapes have been grown and great wine has been made here for much longer than that — and it was one of the first AVAs to be defined  by it’s elevation and topography rather than strictly geographical lines or borders. This is because the grapes grown at these heights are very different than the same varietals grown at lower elevation. The AVA basically follows the fog line along the coast — the lowest points are 800 feet in the east and 400 feet in the west and the highest ridgetops are at 3000+ elevation, with most of the area at about 2,000 feet. The combination of fog, mountainous terrain, thin soil, often cooler temperatures, and different sun exposures makes for unique growing conditions and lots of microclimates. The region is known primarily for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, but other varietals, especially Merlot and Zinfandel thrive here as well. The Santa Cruz mountains are home to some of the oldest and most acclaimed wineries in California.

Passports are $45 online or can be purchased at any participating winery. They entitle you to one visit to each winery but are good for 2 years from the date of purchase, so that gives you 8 chances to get to every winery!

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Wine Wednesday: Lucia Highlands Vineyard Winemaker Event

2_591_pinotThis weekend we are thrilled to be welcoming Carol and Bret Sisney at the Annieglass Tasting Room, where we will be pouring their wonderful Lucia Highlands Vineyard wines. I’ve known Carol & Bret for years, since our children were in school together, and have always been impressed with how they became grape growers and winemakers in one of the most sought-after grape growing regions in the state. Located in the northern region of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Lucia Highlands Vineyard has  proximity to the cool maritime influences of the Monterey Bay which gives and long slow growing season and allows the fruit to ripen gradually, which makes for a great fullness of flavor. You can read my interview with Carol and Bret by clicking here. And please do stop by our Watsonville wine bar on Saturday October 4th, between noon and 4:30pm.

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