The Wine & Bread Journey

Our new tasting room has brought to fruition many of the ideas and dreams my family has had for a long time. We are now settled amongst our vines and get to watch the day-to-day life of the vineyard. We are now offering new wines and some are estate grown such as the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, or 2016 Malbec (both “yummy” I may add). With the concept of new food offerings, my dad and I discussed starting with the basics…wine, cheese, and bread. I knew at that moment that we had to do bread in house as there is nothing like homemade bread. It was a daunting thought, but one I knew was necessary to accomplish what we wanted.

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In 2017 my bread journey began when I was by chance watching a cooking episode featuring Nancy Silverton, the founder of La Brea Bakery. The video inspired me and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I began reading about bread science, which in some ways is very similar to winemaking. It’s about yeast, flour, water, and temperature. Of course, it took me a little time to understand this as I am more right brained. Even though I began to understand the basics I felt unsure where to begin.

A month later I had Chef William Carter walk into our downtown tasting room with his sweet wife, Katherine. They are the owners of the gorgeous Canyon Villa in Paso Robles, which is a very special place to me as I had photographed it previously. Chef Wills and I began to talk about bread and before I knew it, I had a teacher and a mentor. He shared his enthusiasm for artisan breads and specifically sourdough. We discussed doing a starter from our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and it was something he could help me with. I was thrilled!

Once harvest arrived, I gathered the grapes and brought a bucket to Chef Wills. He was wonderful enough to begin the starter as I was in the midst of the busy harvest season. He knew I badly wanted to be there by his side, so he texted me updates through the process. Purple, bubbly…there it was, our Cabernet Sauvignon Sourdough.

Almost exactly a year ago in (Jan 2018), I arrived to the kitchen of the Canyon Villa, bread naive and unsure what to expect, but excited none the less for bread lessons. Chef Wills took three days to show me the ropes and then another three days to have me show him what I learned. It was a great time for both of us amongst the lightly flour dusted air. We fed starters, including our Cab starter, which had turned out beautifully. He showed me how to revive a starter. If you are not familiar, bread starters can out live us as long as they are fed!

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I learned about the importance of temperature and baking styles as well as how sourdoughs are a living thing. I began to see how you could combine flours to create more flavor. Sticky hands and happy smiles later I realized not only had I begun a bread journey, but I was further understanding what my dad, husband, and Cody had been doing in the winery.

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There was something about learning how to control yeast that made me connect that much more with the wine process. In winemaking, the yeast is what creates alcohol by feeding on the sugar of the grapes. In bread making, the yeast is what generates energy and growth by feeding on the flour and water.

It was very special time and I am so grateful to Wills for giving me the opportunity.

Nervous. Staring at a new kitchen with new ovens. “Oh, my gosh, can I do this?” I had only really baked on my own for a handful of times and now the pressure to get bread done for customers was real. The time was here. I took baby steps and began with the focaccia. Once I was able to do that, I pulled out the Cabernet sourdough starter and stared at it. I followed the steps and a couple days later the smell of bread filled the upstairs of the tasting room. We began to cut into the first loaf and to my surprise it was perfect. I tried hard not to seem too much like a giddy child as I walked around to the team saying, “try this…it turned out,” but I was like a proud kid thrilled to show the family. Ultimately, I was happy to finally share the work with the customers.

A month in something happened. The sourdough started to be flat and was uncooked in the middle. I was discouraged and frustrated. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted the best for our customers. I pulled out my notes and bread books and began reading. I frantically looked online at discussions for answers. I wanted to call Wills, but knew it was in the midst of his busy season. So, I began testing. I finally figured out it was the starter and due to my busy schedule, I was not feeding it enough. I began working hard to rectify it and the starter began looking and smelling happy again. Our sourdough was back on track and I realized that much like life (and winemaking), you never arrive…you keep learning and growing. It is for this reason I love baking bread, photography, and wine because they are all processes that are a constant learning experience. This realization encouraged me to start playing more like I do with photography.

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Most recently I have started doing a hand ground rosemary with olive oil on top of the focaccia. It’s a small change, but one I like. I use a whisk to flick the oil onto the focaccia sponge and it makes me feel like I’m doing a Jackson Pollock. Also, I started doing a simple white bread (still delicious) to help me on weeks when I know I don’t have time to bake a Cab sourdough.

While I love all the breads, my favorite is still the Cabernet Sauvignon Sourdough as it holds the most memories for me. It makes me think of this whole process…the life of yeast, our vines, my family, my time with Wills, and the joys & trials of bread baking. It has been a lot of work, but I am so beyond grateful for this ongoing journey. To learn one skill such as bread and to have it spur realizations in other areas of life is priceless.

Cheers for reading through this long blog and I hope you’ll stop by soon for some wine, cheese, and bread!

-Cecily


If you would like to start your own bread journey, I really enjoyed Tartine’s book. I’ve spotted it at the General Store in Paso Robles.

 

Perfect Thanksgiving Recipes

Spice up your Turkey Day recipes with a few favorites from our Harvest Weekend! Below are a few recipes to recreate at home.
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Wilted Kale and Butternut Squash Salad 

1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoon whole seed mustard

2 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon truffle salt

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1  teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1 butternut squash ,pealed and cubed

1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped

1 cup pistachios

1 cup dried figs, chopped

Directions- preheat oven 450′, mix vinegar, garlic and spices, whisk in olive oil.  In large bowl pour 1/2 of the dressing, add chopped squash and mix so the squash is coated, add squash flat on baking sheet, salt and bake 15min (depending on size of squash check to see if done with a fork).  While squash is cooking, using same bowl that squash was in, add chopped kale, pistachios and figs. Add dressing slowly to not over dress and massage kale with fingers so it begins to break down.  Add warm squash over kale mixture and let sit 5 min so kale wilts.  Toss right before serving.

Enjoy with our Silken!


 

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Dark Chocolate Baklava

1 box filo dough, defrosted

1 1/2cup honey

1 1/2 cup water

3 cinnamon sticks

1 bag (16oz) cocoa nibs

1 bag (16oz) bittersweet chocolate pieces

16oz hazelnuts, toasted and cooled

16oz butter, melted

Directions- melt butter, in food processor chop hazelnuts and chocolate, in 9×13 pan line 1 sheet of filo dough and brush with butter, continue this until you have 8 layers.  Add 1/3 of nut and chocolate mixture, layer filo and butter for 4 more layers, add another 1/3 of hazelnut chocolate mixture, another 4 layers of butter and filo, remaining hazelnuts chocolate mixture and finish with 8 layers of filo and butter.  Let sit 25min room temperature. Preheat oven 350′  In saucepan add water, honey, nibs and cinnamon sticks. Bring to boil and then remove heat and let sit for 30min. Strain into bowl so you have a dark chocolate cinnamon syrup.  Slice baklava in squares and then diagonally to make a triangle (makes 24)  Place in oven 25 minutes on 350 uncovered, then turn heat to 300′ and bake 50 minutes. Remove from oven and ladle syrup on top, let sit 2hrs before serving.

Enjoy with our Cabernet Sauvignon!

 

Rain in the Forecast – Time to Pair

With more rain in the forecast, at least in some parts of the country, it means staying in. Here’s some fun pairings for staying in this weekend!

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2014 Zinfandel paired with Games – The lighter body, raspberry notes, and playfulness of the Zinfandel will pair perfectly with game time.

We love games in the family. Chinese Checkers, Bananagrams, Yahtzee, Scribblish…there’s too many! One fun game to check out is Bubble Talk, which is like Apple to Apples but with photos. A fun twist is to add some personal old photos to the stack for more laughter…the more embarrassing and ridiculous the better. Another game that we love/hate is Clue. We love it because it’s a classic, but some of us hate it because SOMEONE always wins (David Parrish, no fair Professor Plum!).


2013 Petite Sirah paired with Reading – The moody Petite Sirah will lend itself to a thoughtful and quiet time with its large palate of purple fruit and rich tannins. It will give you something to think upon, just like a book.

Growing up my parents read a lot, but unfortunately, I never got into reading quite like they did. My parents, David & Lynn, love reading mysteries and James Herriot books because the stories remind them of our farm life. After meeting Ethan, my interest for reading has grown. We sometimes read together and there is something so idyllic about it for me. We usually read something for personal growth like C.S. Lewis. Lately, I can be found with my nose in a book about bread…there are so many bookmarks. The great thing about reading is that it can be for groups, solo, and with wine!


2013 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a Blanket & Fire – The Cabernet will be another great lingering wine for the palate with its black cherry and cocoa notes making it perfect for savoring the moment. This might even be perfect with some cheese…make a picnic by the fire with maybe some gouda, charcuterie, and bread.

This is almost a duh, but there is nothing like watching the weather with a cozy blanket and a warm fire near by. I like to pull my two fur ball dogs into the blanket, while we sit on the floor and watch the wonderful drops of rain. It’s peaceful and relaxing…something we all can use in our busy lives.


What about a white?! Okay, okay. So, I’d say get to cooking or baking with the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. I find this to be my cooking wine as it gets my creativity going with its lightness and brightness. Maybe make a pizza from scratch, or learn a new recipe.

Lastly, all that’s missing is music…what’s your jam in the kitchen? I must be an old soul as I listen to a lot of acoustic guitar, instrumental music, and a little French cafe. My go to for a rainy day is Dave Brubeck.


Whatever your plans are for the weekend, may they be enjoyed and stay dry!

-Cecily

 

Serving Wine

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Happy Friday!

The seasons have surely changed here in Paso Robles with cloudy skies, showers, and autumn leaves. It’s definitely gotten chillier. With the drop in temperatures, it brings up what temperature is recommended to store and serve wine at? We get this question quite a bit in the tasting room, so with Thanksgiving just around the corner it makes sense to serve up some tips in preparation. I’m sure there have been moments of “How to serve Cabernet Sauvignon” when planning for the holidays, well at least this girl has.

Our PFV Wine List:

Sauvignon Blanc: 45˚-50˚ F for serving

Chardonnay & Viognier Blend: 50˚-55˚ F for serving

Rosé: 45˚-50˚ F for serving

Zinfandel (cool grape,lighter style): 55˚- 60˚ F for serving

Petite Sirah: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Cabernet & Petite Sirah Blend: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Cabernet Sauvignon: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Of course some prefer 40˚F white wine, or 70˚F red wine, and that’s totally fine. It reminds me of Blast From the Past with Christopher Walken’s character preferring Dr. Pepper warm, while most of the public prefer cold. Everyone has his or her preferences and that’s what makes wine like art, it’s subjective.

Wine Storage

For wine storage, the recommendation for long term storage is 55˚F. If you do not have a wine fridge (understandable), I generally recommend a regular fridge over a dark closet because wine ages 4 times faster in those conditions. What does this mean? It means that it will loose structure, color, and could possibly develop faults. I just wouldn’t plan on long term storage in a regular fridge.

Hopefully this information was helpful. We hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth, love, and memories. I feel so thankful to have my family, good food & wine, and a home as I know that not everyone has these things. If you are looking for a way to give this season, we work with Must! Charities and Paso Robles has a free meal at the Centennial Park on Nov 23rd that needs support. And lastly, there is a wonderful wine event to continue the support of Santa Rosa/Napa/Sonoma in December!

Cheers & Blessings,

Cecily

 

Foodie Friday: Rosé & Berry Quinoa Salad

Hi all!

It’s almost the weekend and it is going to be a hot one here in Paso Robles! This calls for a crisp wine and light, refreshing dishes. First thing that comes to mind is our newest release, the 2016 Rosé. This Estate Grenache was stomped after harvest. Yes, like I Love Lucy, but with clean rubber boots and probably less hilarity…well, maybe not, I found it pretty funny. Anyways, this light, pastel pink wine has a nose of rose petals and a refreshing palate of strawberries, hibiscus, citrus, and a little bit of minerality. This could be enjoyed on its own, but if you are like me, we love food pairings, so what to pair with this wine?

A quick, fresh, and light Berry Quinoa Salad. The berries are in peak season right now, so it is the perfect time to showcase them. I love eating straight berries, but I think we all know that they are delicious on a salad as it’s a great contrast…vegetal meets sweet. The quinoa and candied pecans add some depth with earthy, nutty flavors. Then the vinaigrette picks it all up with a little zip and herbaceous notes. This is a beautiful and simple compliment to the wine. AND by the way, healthy with great antioxidants.

What would you pair with a lovely Rosé?

Cheers to your weekend and happy Friday!

-Cecily

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Berry Quinoa Salad
2 cups Mixed Greens
Hand full of Blueberries
¼ cup Sliced Raspberries
4 Sliced Strawberries
½ cup of Quinoa
Sprinkled Candied Pecans
Mango Basil Vinaigrette
(optional) Parsley Buds
(optional) Chèvre


Quick Candied Pecans
1 cup Pecans
1 tablespoon of Agave Syrup
¼ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Two pinches of Sea Salt (or to your taste)

Heat a saucepan, sprayed with cooking spray of choice, over medium heat. Add pecans, agave, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir consistently making sure the pecans are covered and don’t burn. It will take about 5 minutes for them to reach perfection. Watch towards the end not to burn the pecans because it can happen fast.


Mango Basil Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons of Basil Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Mango Balsamic
Optional salt & pepper.
Can’t find Mango Balsamic, try a Champagne Orange Vinegar.



Pantry Links

Pasolivo Basil Olive Oil

Mango Balsamic

Champagne Mimosa Vinegar

Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa

Candied Pecans

Chevre

Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA

Wine & Cheese Séminaire

cheese event

Wine & Cheese Séminaire
Saturday, October 15th • 11am
122o Park Street, Downtown Paso Robles

Join Cecily Parrish Ray of Parrish Family Vineyard & Sophie Broban-Doering of Fromagerie Sophie for a guided journey of wine, fromage, viande (meat), and other accoutrements. Learn details of your favorite wines along with how they pair them and the background on the fromage. The experience will feature six Parrish Family wines and twelve delicious pairings.

$50.00 per person
wine club discounts apply

Tickets Available at parrishfamilyvineyard.com

-limited seating available-

Cool Off with White Wine

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It’s hot today!  It only makes sense that white wines are on our minds. Here’s what the PFV staff daydreams about…

“The Sauvignon Blanc, Sutter Creek on a patio with my daughter Dakota enjoying the the mountain air..ragtime music in the background enjoying truffle salt marcona almonds and lemon citrus gruyere.” -Lynlee, Lead Tasting Hostess


“The Sauvignon Blanc at Concerts in the Park. Enjoying a nice evening listening to local music and watching people have fun and enjoy life. Just being around neighbors and the community.” -Cyndi, Executive Administrative Assistant


“I’d pick the Silken Blanc. Sunset under an oak…a gentle breeze. My husband, family, and closest friends at a table with candles and fresh lavender. Lots of joy and laughter. Roasted rosemary chicken, grilled market veggies, and fresh baked bread with either olivet foin or fromage d’affinois.” -Cecily, General Manager


And it’s still Wednesday, but at least tomorrow is Concerts in the Park here in Downtown Paso bringing us that much closer to the weekend!