Monday, July 30, 2007

Bonterra Organic Wine

Everything In Balance...

This “post of praise” is long overdue. When I first tried the Bonterra line (last fall), I was surprised that an organic wine could taste so delicious. Sure, I liked the concept, and felt happy to know that Bob Blue, Bonterra’s winemaker, was committed to a biodynamic product. However, I was skeptical. Would it taste as good as traditionally made wines?

Over the course of a week, I tried Bonterra’s Syrah, Cabernet, Viognier, Zinfandel, Shiraz-Carignane and Muscat. Each one was consistently delightful to sip on its own, paired well with food and, well, let’s just say I was sorry when I was left with a pile of empty bottles.

The wines are made from 100% organically grown grapes in Mendocino County. And, the vineyard follows biodynamic farming methods. For those who don't know, the very abreviated definition has to do with rotating fields, to avoid exhausting them. Very fitting, given that Bonterra's motto is "everything in balance." Bonterra’s numerous medals and awards prove I’m not the only one who is impressed with this sustainable product.

The most recent addition to the Bonterra family is the 2006 Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Blue says, “This is a wine that truly is made in the vineyard.” Grapes were picked at varying levels of harvest, capturing both green and ripe fruit notes. It is praised for its layered flavors of berries, lemongrass, kiwi and guava, balanced with vibrant acidity. I also enjoyed an essence of peach and mango.

Playing off the wonderful fruit and freshness of the Sauvignon Blanc, I created an organic “Green” and White Sangria in celebration of summer. I presented this recipe in my Sustainable Sips Cocktail Class, on Tuesday July 24 at X bar in Century City. I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you, Sipsters!

The Liquid Muse “Green” and White Sangria
2 cups chopped organic, seasonal fruits (I used mango, kiwi, peach, plum and pear.)
3/4 cup Square One Organic Vodka
1/4 cup organic raw brown simple syrup
Bonterra Organic Sauvignon Blanc

Place chopped fruit in a glass bowl, and douse with vodka and simple syrup. Marinate in refrigerator for several hours. When ready to serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture into a bowl-shaped wine glass. Then, fill half way with Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc.

Organic Raw Brown Simple Syrup:
2 parts organic raw brown sugar to 1 part purified water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for on low for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool, and refrigerate.

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