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August, 2020

WATER WISE

In many of California’s top winegrowing regions, the warmest weeks are right around harvest. Winegrowers must ensure they have enough water in their reservoirs to get vines through the last lap. In some regions, vineyards can be dry-farmed with no irrigation. This allows the roots to plunge deep to withstand hot spells. Limiting yields—by removing crop, in some cases—also lowers irrigation needs. At Spottswoode Winery in St. Helena, a modern optical fruit sorter is used during crush because it’s easier to clean than the equipment it replaced, significantly reducing water use. In California vineyards, every drop counts.

The Pour

Which Wine?

The soaring popularity of rosé shows no sign of slowing. Once you join this wine style’s fan club, you’re a member for life. Vintners who might once have considered rosé a gateway wine for those just getting launched in wine enjoyment know that the audience has shifted now. Some of rosé’s biggest boosters are sommeliers, who appreciate how well it goes with fresh cheeses, crudités, platters of prosciutto and other cured meats, and produce-centered meals. California’s Central Coast produces many charming dry rosés made with Rhône grape varieties such as Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault.

Meet the Grapes: Explore more wine pairings


The Recipe

Harvest Platter with Dueling Dips

Visit a nearby farmers market or farm stand (or your own garden) to find the season’s best produce for your platter. Think about contrasting color, texture and shape as you assemble your masterpiece. 

Wine suggestion: California Rosé or California Sauvignon Blanc

harvest platter

Ingredients

Green Goddess Dip 

  • ¾ cup (175 g) mayonnaise 
  • ¼ cup (60 g) sour cream 
  • 3 anchovy fillets 
  • ¼ cup (10 g) sliced fresh chives
  • ¼ cup (10 g) minced flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice 
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced 
  • Kosher or sea salt 
  • White wine vinegar 

 Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut, and Pomegranate Dip 

  • 1 large red bell pepper, 8 to 10 ounces (215 to 275 g) 
  • 1/3 cup (15 g) soft fresh breadcrumbs 
  • 1/3 cup (35 g) lightly toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish 
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, plus more for garnish 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
  • Scant ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seed, pounded fine or ground cumin 
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo or Maras chili, hot paprika, or other medium-hot ground red chili 
  • Kosher or sea salt 
  • Parsley or cilantro leaves for garnish 

Directions

Green Goddess Dip:

In a blender, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, anchovies, chives, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice and garlic. Blend until completely smooth and green. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt. Taste and add a splash of wine vinegar if the dressing needs more acidity. 

 Makes about 1 cup (.25 l) 

Roasted Red Pepper, Walnut, and Pomegranate Dip (Muhammara)

Preheat a broiler and position a rack about 6 inches (15 cm) from the element. Broil the bell pepper on a baking sheet until blackened on all sides. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then discard the skin and seeds. Pat the roasted pepper dry on paper towels. 

 Put the roasted pepper, breadcrumbs, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, cumin and chili in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt to taste and blend again. Taste and adjust the sweet-tart balance to your liking with more pomegranate molasses or lemon juice. 

 Spoon the dip into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, a few chopped walnuts and parsley or cilantro leaves. 

 Makes about ¾ cup (175 ml) 

 

Wine Institute is an association of California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact communications@wineinstitute.org.