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Pairing Wine and Food – a Primer for the Holidays

Thanks to the "Working Girls" at Olympic Cellars Winery for this "sip"sational primer on pairing holiday foods and the perfect wine! Just in time for our annual listing of just a few of the many delicious Thanksgiving feasts being prepared all around the LOOP. YUM! If you can’t visit Olympic Cellars, and  all the other OCL member wine and cideries this weekend for the annual Harvest Wine Tour, Olympic Cellars has put together a few suggestions and a three pack wine special to help you on your way.  This party pack of Dungeness White Riesling, Cranberry Jubilee and Dungeness Red is specially priced at $50.00.  Click here to order on-line.

On to the Pairing Principals!

Depending on where you are in your wine journey, the idea of pairing wine to food can be overwhelming.  This is especially true during the holidays when preparing a meal for several guests. Match Acidity with Acidity Acidic white wines, like our Madeleine Angevine have a crisp, citrusy tang. They pair well with any simply prepared shellfish, particularly oysters, but also seafood salad and vinaigrette. Acidic red wines, like our Dungeness Red Lemberger taste like a basket of fresh berries.  The acidity cuts through rich side dishes and doesn’t overpower lighter meats. Dungeness Red is delicious with a classic Thanksgiving Dinner. Offset Spice or Salt with Sweetness A slightly sweet white wine helps to cool spicy dishes.  Our Dungeness White Riesling pairs beautifully with Thai curry. Also, salty food like ham will pair well with a sweeter wine.  Think spiral ham glazed with cranberry orange sauce served with our Cranberry Jubilee. Yumm! Pair Light with Light Pork is a lighter meat, so you want to pair it with a medium bodied red wine.  Our 2014 Zinfandel is perfect with roast pork.  As a side note, Washington State Zinfandel is very different from California Zinfandel, which tends to be big and taste of purple fruits.  Washington Zin tends to be a little lighter and taste of red fruits like raspberries. These are dry red wines – not sweet Zinfandel Rose’ which is referred to as White Zin. Big Flavors with Big Red  Big reds, pair with hearty red meat.  A classic pairing is grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms and a Bordeaux Blend.  Our Winemaker’s Signature pairs beautifully with heartier foods. The tannins help balance the richness of a steak dinner allowing the flavors of the wine to shine. Sweet Wine with Dessert  The sugar in the dessert and the sweetness in the wine will balance.   My Sweet Syrah pairs well with anything chocolate, but pumpkin pie might be better with a fruitier white like our My Sweet Angevine or even Cranberry Jubilee.  Sweet Rose’ wine pairs well with creamy, mild desserts. Give Them What They Want If you know that Aunt Julie only drinks sweet, white wine, don’t bother trying to convince her that she will enjoy a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with her Beef Wellington.  It just won’t work for her. Pick up a bottle of something you know she enjoys and don’t wine shame.

Local growers encouraged to think outside the plot

Agritourism trend brings weddings, concerts and more to farms

OITFHH1-e1509749748452What is being wrestled with in Massachusetts is mirrored here on theLOOP. Join OCL and stay up todate on pressing B2B issues affecting the growth of Olympic Peninsula's Agri and Culinary Tourism.  Many farmers in Massachusetts are increasingly discovering a new source of revenue and exposure. They are using their farms to host everything from live music performances to obstacle races to wedding receptions. “A lot of people are used to apple picking, pumpkin picking and that sort of thing,” said Brad Mitchell, policy director for the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation. “Now, we’re seeing people who want to have their weddings on farms, concerts, charity running races, bachelorette parties at wineries. Fifteen years ago, I didn’t know too many people who’d want to get married on a farm.” Those types of activities, which fall under the umbrella of “agritourism,” give a boost to many farms in Massachusetts. But the growing trend is not without controversy.

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20171102/agritourism-trend-brings-weddings-concerts-and-more-to-farms  

Kathy Charlton signs her new book, "Working Girl: Behind the Cellar Door", at Olympic Cellars.

Former Olympic Cellars Owner Kathy Charlton Authors New Book, Royalties Support Local Charity 

Cover-front

Kathy Charlton, Olympic Cellars’ former owner, is author of book, "Working Girl: Behind the Cellar Door"

Winery to host book signing on October 24  Port Angeles, Wash., October 24, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. –  Join Kathy Charlton, Olympic Cellars’ former owner and original Working Girl, will greet the public and sign her new book, Working Girl: Behind the Cellar Door, on Tuesday, Oct. 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Olympic Cellars. Royalties from the sale of the book, which shares Charlton’s story of “an entrepreneur’s journey from a bankrupt winery to gold medals,” will support a local charity to be announced at the book signing event. Charlton intends that support for this charity will become part of her legacy.  

“You might want to pour yourself a glass of wine and put your feet up. I’m a Working Girl and have a story to tell you from Behind the Cellar Door,” Charlton laughed relaying a quote from her book. “Seriously though, the winery, its land and historic barn are part of the heritage of the North Olympic Peninsula and Washington State’s wine industry and became my heritage to preserve. My book is part memoir, part business book with a focus on owning and marketing your small business in today’s Amazon driven marketplace.”

Sixteen years ago, Kathy Charlton made a hard-right turn, the new owner of a bankrupt winery, knowing nothing about running a small business, nor wine other than she liked her red wine served cold, sometimes over ice if she was in a hurry. Bucking tradition Charlton rolled-up her sleeves and began to rebuild her winery. Driven by a personal motto of “out of sight, out of mind, out of business,” marketing became her middle name sparking a new passion for off-the-wall guerilla tactics. Women and wine became the platform to reinvent the winery through creative labeling, philanthropic initiatives in support of women, and a series of ongoing unique winery events that piqued the interest of consumers, industry players and the media. “Sipping wines at sunset it wasn’t.” Charlton details battling everything from a leaking septic system that shut the winery down, exploding wine presses, shortchanged bottle inventory and now-legendary lawsuit brought forth by the United States Olympic Committee. How did she do it? Well, that’s where the hard work and yes, the fun began as Charlton takes a winery with little name-recognition and massive quality issues and parlays it into an award-winning operation with double-gold medals to prove it. This in the trenches book captures winery life, the ups and downs, in poignant and sometimes laugh-out-loud stories. It’s real life with a dose of laughter, a few tears and some zany antics to keep things interesting. Throughout Charlton shares her own Working Girl approach to business including her constant focus and passion for her customers, without whom she emphatically exclaims, “There is No Business.”   About Kathy Charlton Charlton worked for the high-tech giant, Texas Instruments, for 25 years. A born entrepreneur, she earned a reputation as a highly effective manager by “making things happen”. Recognized early on for her abilities to get-to-the-bottom of a problem, analyze it and come up with a workable solution – Fast, it wasn’t long before her assignments moved outside her comfort zone of finance into the business sectors. Then in 1999, life threw Charlton a winery! The opportunity to turn the business around and take it in a whole new direction lent itself to Charlton’s skills and experience and set her enthusiasm on fire. She jumped on an early retirement package offered by Texas Instruments in 2001, packed-up her Dallas home, and together with her husband headed north to begin an exciting second career at the age of 51. Charlton was honored when Leslie Sbrocco wrote the foreword for her book. Leslie was voted one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business and is an award-winning author, speaker, consultant and television host. Both ladies focused on women and wine and in 2003 Kathy launched the Working Girl Wines; at the same time Leslie published her first book, Wine for Women, A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine.  

Serving up memorable CX at Olympic Peninsula Tourism Summit - Lunch & Learn

Join Olympic Culinary Loop for a "Lunch & Learn" deep dive into an interactive session directed at providing hospitality pros - be you culinary, lodging, retail, tourism activities, or other - insightful take-aways to improve your whole organization's reputation through a customer experience that's as memorable as our Olympic Peninsula. This "Lunch & Learn" is a special part of the entire 2017 Olympic Peninsula Tourism Summit conference. "Raising the Tide - A Culture of Collaboration" Port Angeles, Washington, THURSDAY & FRIDAY - October 26 & 27, 2017 You are encouraged to sign-up and attend the entire Tourism Summit conference. Yet if you can only attend the "Lunch & Learn" know that your OCL membership is here to help! Deeply discounted, luncheon only, tickets are available on-line. Sign-up today!

Falling into Mushroom Fest!

There are several types of mushrooms found wild in the Northwest and even on the Olympic Peninsula. Locally Chanterelles, King Boletes (Porcini) , Oyster Mushrooms, Morels, Lobster Mushrooms and more are wild harvested. Two great opportunities to learn all about and to taste these seasonal salutes to Fall: [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="343"] Northwest Wild Mushrooms[/caption]

October 13th & 14th - Michael's Fresh Northwest Seafood & Steakhouse 

MUSHROOM FEST MENU

Lobster Mushroom Bisque
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Chanterelles & Crispy Bacon
Crab Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms
Cauliflower Mushroom Croquettes
Mixed Pate Bruschetta (Chanterelle & Foie Gras Pate)
Matsutake Mushroom Ice Cream

As always Michael's will be pairing these with tasty ciders, wines, beers, and spirits. Reservations encouraged, 360-417-6929.

15th Annual Mushroom Festival 

Friday, October 20, 2017 - Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lake Quinault Lodge
Mingle with experienced mushroom enthusiasts to share the art and science of mushroom collecting. Guest speakers, guided mushroom walks, oyster mushroom kit workshop, forest health, mushroom identification classes and much more!

Mushroom Festival Event Schedule

MUSHROOM FESTIVAL RESERVATIONS

Lake Quinault Lodge - Mushroom Dining Events

Bring an appetite for these delicious Lake Quinault Lodge dining events that are featuring mushrooms for our Mushroom Festival. Please note that these dining events are not included in the Mushroom Festival ticket price.

Breakfast Buffet

The buffet will be featuring mushroom specials in celebration of the Mushroom Festival.

Better hold your breath...

"Every 2nd human breath is oxygen produced by phytoplankton. Without phytoplankton, life dies." According to Dr. Boris Worm, marine research ecologist at Dalhousie University and head of the Worm Lab study of marine biodiversity: The planet has lost 40 percent of plankton production over the past 50 years, primarily as a consequence of climate change/global warming.
For a real time example of changing ocean chemistry, professional hatcheries of shellfish in America have already experienced too much ocean acidification. Ocean water intakes for inland shellfish hatcheries killed off shellfish larvae because of excessive acidity. Taylor Shellfish Farms (100 years of farming some of the World’s Best Oysters) Bill Dewey claims: “The rate of change that we’re seeing in the ocean and the changes it’s going to create in our food chain, it’s going to be dramatic and it’s going to be in our lifetime. The things that we’re used to eating may not be available any more, and we’ll need to transition to eating jellyfish or something like that.” (Source: Racing Extinction)

Bon appétit, tonight’s menu: Boiled Jellyfish.

“No one knows exactly how marine life around the world will fare as the seas continue to sour, but fear is spreading. ‘People who are aware are panicked,’ said Dewey, who recently traveled to New York to speak at the United Nation’s first Ocean Conference. ‘The level of awareness is increasing rapidly and the story is getting out there.” (Source: Lisa Stiffler, Investigate West, Climate Change Turns Puget Sound Acidic and Region’s Signature Oysters Struggle to Survive, July 10, 2017). Breath deeply and read the rest of the story.  https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/222413-A-creeping-threat  

Old Dominion Headlines Hot Entertainment Line-Up at Grays Harbor County Fair

The Grays Harbor County Fair runs August 9-13 at the fairgrounds in Elma, Wash. Oh, the food, the fun, the festivities! Carnival rides and games, that unique and blissful “fair food” and the hometown entertainment, as well as livestock and home crafts—could it get any better? Yes! And it does. As always, there’s world class music coming to the Grays Harbor County Fair. And, this year’s headlining entertainment on the Pepsi Stage is no exception, featuring one of Billboard’s Top country artists, 2016 CMA nominee Old Dominion. Also appearing on the grand Pepsi stage are the locally popular Olsen Bros. Band from Olympia, a popular fan favorite that continues to grow in popularity. For something different, enjoy a cappella group The Coats from Puyallup and Portland’s Petty Fever—an award-winning Tom Petty tribute band.
[caption id="attachment_13445" align="alignright" width="300"]Old Dominion Billboard chart topping group Old Dominion will be the Grays Harbor County Fair’s headlining act in 2017, performing on Wednesday, August 9. Photo courtesy: Old Dominion[/caption]
RCA recording artist Old Dominion’s music has what reviewers call an “old-fashioned country charm, lyrical wit and rock n’ roll grit” that features “radio-friendly hook-heavy pop nuggets.” The band hits the Pepsi Stage on August 9. According to their website the band has “emerged as one of the hottest breaking bands in country music.” When they released their first full-length album Meat and Candy, ‘Entertainment Weekly’ called it a “deceptively smart, occasionally cheeky, stellar debut.” Gray's Harbor County Fair Admission prices are as follows: Adults are $10, Seniors (63+) $7, Youth (6-15) $7, Kids (under 5) are free. Thursday is “Kids Day” with a $2 discount for Youth Admission and a Military Discount is offered throughout the entire Fair. Plus, Admission is FREE for one hour only (from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.) on Sunday of the fair. Parking is $5 per day. Carnival Wristbands, for unlimited rides, will be on sale at the Fairgrounds Office, plus three Anchor Banks in Grays Harbor County (Elma, Montesano and Aberdeen)—pre-sales are $22; day of fair price will be $27 each.

CrabFest is calling creative Chefs on-stage

Cooking demos are an annual crowd favorite at the Dungeness Seafood & Crab Festival in Port Angeles Laurette of Sweet Laurette''s Cafe and Bistro shared her talents with us, along with Chef Ashley of Kalaloch Lodge, and Chef Dan of Resort at Port Ludlow.  This year we'll welcome Lissa from Hama Hama Oysters and maybe you!  Sign-up fast as only a couple of cooking demo slots remain.
Full details and an imbedded RSVP form on-line

Olympic Cellars Summer Concert Series

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="500"] The Olympic Cellars 2017 Concert Series Line-Up starts Saturday, July 22 with the West Coast Women’s Blues Revue ![/caption] Treat yourself to a Summer Concert at Olympic Cellars this summer! The Olympic Peninsula is a very special place to visit and an awesome place to live.  Our community is somewhat isolated from the rest of the United States. So, out here at the edge of the world we make our own fun.  During the summer months, when the sun sets late and the days are warm and filled with sunshine, our community comes together at The Barn to dance the night away. The music is always toe-tapping and the wine flows.  Our venue is absolutely spectacular.  The concerts are held outside with a big, in your face view of the Olympic Mountains.  As the sun sets and the moon rises, the band plays.  And boy do they play. As those of you who have attended know, our concert attendees love to dance and they are up on their feet beginning with the first song.  In return, the bands love the adoration creating a positive feedback loop. We put the FUN in fundraiser with our annual Summer Concert Series.  These concerts are a great way to spend an evening having fun with a purpose.  All of the concerts are partnered with a local, non-profit organization.  In return for providing us with volunteers; all of the tips, dollar dance money and a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales are donated to the non-profit group. Through our concerts, we have raised over $150,000 for local, non-profit organizations. The doors open at 6:00.  All concerts begin at 7:00 p.m.  Sequim restaurant, Nourish will be onsite with food available for purchase; wine will be available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle. All concerts are family-friendly but 90% adults over 21. Arrive early for best seating. The cover charge for each concert is $13.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online through BrownPaperTickets.com. Search for “Olympic Cellars.” A Season’s Pass is available for just $75.00, and includes admission to all 2017 concerts. Passes can be purchased online at Season's Pass.

Planting seeds for a new website

In Agritourism terms Olympic Culinary Loop is moving from transplanting propagated seedlings from the greenhouse into the fields. With every expectation and confidence of a bumper crop of goodness will be harvested later this summer! Thanks to the hard, thoughtful, work of the dedicated Olympic Culinary Loop Board a full RFP (Request For Proposals) has gone out seeking contract web designers. http://www.olympicculinaryloop.com/web-rfp/ Watch this space as the web offerings from Olympic Culinary Loop improve over the next couple of months.

Question - What "must have" website features are you hoping to find on the soon-to-be-new Olympic Culinary Loop site?  Let us hear from you!