Just a few weeks ago, we were soaking up Sonoma County sun, fun, and wine. In just a few days, here in Boston, it might snow. While that is incredibly sad and unseasonal, the silver lining of leaving Sonoma is bringing a little bit of it with us, which is just what we UPS did.
In addition to being a beautiful property and a very sweet story (read it!), the Inmans’ winery and surrounding vineyards operate in a way that is friendly to the environment. They practice sensitive farming, using things such as “four course compost”, restaurant scraps from San Francisco restaurants, as compost, organic soil enhancements such as worm casting, cover crop, and natural pest control through birds of prey to reduce vineyard damage from gophers. In the above photo, Kathleen is showing us where waste water is captured and stored for vineyard irrigation.
They bottle their wine using bottles that use the lightest possible glass, have designed their winery and tasting room using recycled and upcycled materials and employ solar panels for energy. They even have a charger for electric cars in their parking lot!
The Inman family prides themselves on natural winemaking, letting the sense of place or terroir of the Russian River Valley really shine through. And while we will return for their phenomenal Pinot Noirs, this time around we were on the hunt to stock up on whites. After tasting lots of Chardonnay on our travels through Sonoma, it was Inman Family Wines’ Pinot Gris, made to be the perfect shellfish wine, that spoke to us most.
On our visit to NJ this weekend, we were finally able to pick up the wine that we shipped there from California, and when we got home I went straight for the Inman Family 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris. While I imagined opening up a bottle of this wine on a warm day, I just couldn’t wait for that day to come. I wanted shellfish, and I wanted it with this wine, so I decided to crank up the heat and pretend it was warm!
Dinner could not have been easier. I picked up a bag of Prince Edward Island mussels at my local grocery store. After learning last week that PEI mussels come cleaned and just need a quick rinse, I was eager to check this out for myself. It was completely true!
I quickly rinsed the mussels in a colander, picked through to make sure none were already open (toss those!) and poured them carefully into a big pot.
I got the heat going and drizzled the mussels with a generous amount of sriracha and fresh chopped ginger. Over that I poured a can of coconut milk and then a half can of water.
I put the lid on, turned the heat to medium, and let the mussels go for about five minutes while I cut a baguette and drizzled it with blood orange olive oil. I planned on broiling the bread, but yesterday was long, complicated, and tiring; for some reason cooking the bread felt like too much.
Once the mussels were nice and open, I served myself a huge bowl, along with a glass of Inman Pinot Gris and bread. I had this serving, two times. It was SO good. This dry, nicely acidic wine did pair perfectly with this meal, both with the sweet mussels and the spicy ginger-sriracha flavors of the sauce, and I can see it being an excellent addition to a broth for cooking both clams and mussels, maybe with mustard and fennel. I also can not wait to test out this perfect shellfish wine with some Duxbury oysters.
Do you have a favorite wine in the spring/summer?
In other news, our garbage disposal broke yesterday, and cleaning up the kitchen has been a nightmare since. I had no idea how much I used it, but apparently I put a lot of stuff down there. Now even water won’t go down. Fingers crossed we get it up and running soon.
What appliance are you lost without?