1969 is a pivotal year in America. Apollo 11 lands on the moon, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the first men to walk on its surface. The first communications are sent through ARPANET and PBS is established. Nearly 400,000 rock-n-roll fans descend upon a dairy farm in the Catskills of New York for the Woodstock Music & Art Fair – billed as 3 Days of Peace & Music that features 32 acts including Arlo Guthrie, Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, The Band, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Iron Butterfly is slated to appear, but is stuck at the airport. Creedence Clearwater Revival makes the show. In November, nearly 500,000 protesters march on Washington, D.C. to call for a Moratorium on the Vietnam War.
I am seven years old. Just after my 7th birthday my family moves to a new house in a new neighborhood. A shy kid anyway, I bury myself in books, news of the war, American Bandstand and my radio. After everyone goes to bed the late night disc jockey plays the B-sides, and that’s where I hear… “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again.”
It is funny how a song from your childhood can shape your impression of a place you’ve never visited.
Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec from Lodi
N’awlins, meet Malbec: The 2012 Malbec from Scotto Family Cellars features bright notes of blackberry, with Mexican chocolate on the nose, with dusty cocoa powder and black cherries on the palate.
This was our first experience with a Lodi Malbec, and we were very pleasantly surprised. We paired it with Andouille sausage, homemade sesame bread, green beans with chopped chives, and mashed potatoes topped with a bacon and chive white gravy. Not your typical pairing but it was on point. The label says 13.1‰ alcohol by volume, we’re sure it was that at one point in time. Priced at just $12.99. What a DEAL! After tasting this wine, I was lucky enough to visit this gem of a California appellation to learn more.
While Lodi is known for Old Vine Zinfandel, it has a wide diversity of grapes planted in the region. Wineries choose from this bounty to create styles found in regions all over the world. From the small-batch Rhône premium white and rose blends created by Susan Tipton at Acquiesce Winery; to the German varietals from Mokelumne Glen Vineyards used in Markus Niggli’s “subventure” Markus Wine Co.; to the Spanish varietals Markus Bokisch grows to honor his Catalan heritage with clean, crisp Albariño, soulful Tempranillo, silky Monastrell and sultry Graciano. Lodi is a place no one should mind being stuck in for days and days and days. A week there was definitely not enough, so I’m planning to head there again next summer to discover more.
In the meantime, we’ll be joining the Brandlive to explore Thanksgiving “Outside the Box” wine pairings created by Chef Tony Lawrence, this evening at 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time. (8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific) These include
– Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque, topped with Mascarpone Citrus Yogurt and Sweet Potato Chip to pair with Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards 2014 Viognier ($23);
– Marinated & Smoked Paprika Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pancetta Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Fennel Ragu to pair with m2 Wines 2013 Alicante Bouschet ($26);
– Slow Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs on Creamy Yukon Gold Parsnip Potatoes, sautéed spinach with caramelized onions and Gorgonzola with berry paint finish to pair with Mettler Family Vineyards 2013 Petite Sirah ($25); and
– Individualized Peach Cobblers topped with French Vanilla Ice Cream to pair with Michael David Winery 2014 Symphony ($15). To find recipes, tasting notes and more, check out this event site from Brandlive.