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Prospect Cellars

Prospect Cellars Musings



Jamie Lubenko
July 24, 2018 | Jamie Lubenko

Corn Dogs & Barbera: The Perfect Fair Pairings

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Corn Dogs & Barbera: The Perfect Fair Pairings

“Win, Place, or Show, off to the fair we go!”

This year we celebrate 80 years of the Amador County Fair. It goes without saying that we at Prospect Cellars are highly involved in the fair festivities. Aside from having a display window and a son in the rodeo circuit, we will also be pouring our wines at the fair. With that said, we thought it would be helpful to put together a comprehensive wine and fair food pairing menu for your deep-fried, yet refined, taste buds.

Cooper Ranch Barbera + Corn Dog

I know what you’re thinking: Beer and corn dogs. Well my friend, you’re wrong. It’s all about Barbera and corn dogs. That’s where it’s at. The acidity of this Italian varietal and Amador County sweetheart cuts right through that thick corny crust and adds a layer of sophistication to an otherwise lowly mash of meat parts—our pal, the hot dog.

Fool’s Gold Orange Muscat + Funnel Cake

Life is sweet with this perfect fair pairing. Forget chocolate and port. Enter Muscat and funnel cake. The hint of orange in our Fool’s Gold Muscat adds character and bright fruit to the powdery goodness that is our deep-fried friend, the funnel cake.

Gold Digger + Chicken Strips

If you are a woman who grew up in the country like me, chances are your husband’s favorite food of all time is actually quite simple: Gas station chicken strips. Well, these are next level gas station chicken strips—these are county fair chicken strips! Paired with our Gold Digger Red Blend, this is the ultimate workin’ man’s meal. From rodeo circuit rider to grape grower, this pairing will please all. Ladies, don’t be shy; the duo is an all-around crowd pleaser. 

Paydirt Zinfandel + Steak Sandwich

You’ve got to have a wine with guts and grit to belly up to a steak sandwich. Our Paydirt Zin has both of those things, plus a dash of black pepper on the palate, and who doesn’t like a nice, peppery steak? For something more tannic, try our Pick & Shovel Petite Sirah, which can stand up to any protein profile, but has a gift for muscling against many a marbled red meat.

Quick Silver Sauvignon Blanc + Candy Apple

Our Sauvignon Blanc can take on any Granny Smith, but the acidity stops that thick layer of caramel dead in its tracks. This is the perfect combination of sweet and tart that will quench your thirst on those hot fair days, but also satisfy your county fair sweet tooth.

Join us and 40 other Amador County wineries from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 27 for a fair wine tasting. Visit the Amador County Fair website to purchase tickets.

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2018 at 1:26 PM Permalink to Corn Dogs & Barbera: The Perfect Fair Pairings Permalink
Jamie Lubenko
July 2, 2018 | Jamie Lubenko

Red, White and Blend


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Red, White and Blend

“There ain’t nothing more American than Mama’s apple pie.”
—Before She Does, Eric Church

When you make a pie, you combine different varietals of apples that showcase complimentary characteristics. You might mix a Granny Smith with a Golden Delicious to balance out your pie and provide the perfect marriage of sweet and tart.

It’s the same with a wine blend. Blending breeds balance (How’s that for alliteration? Oh, there’s more.)

I joked with our winemaker Moises “Mo” Acevedo that if he would just apply himself, he could make some excellent apple pies. But, we’ll let him stick to doing what he does best—making mouth-watering wines. Sticking with what we know and do well is something we pride ourselves in at Prospect Cellars; it’s precisely the reason we don’t make a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Pinot Noir. Neither of the varietals fare well in the Amador County heat, and we know it. 

“Napa has the best Cabs in the world. It’s no competition,” Mo says. Most people across the country would agree.

Instead, we feature varietals such as Barbera, Amador County’s darling, and Zinfandel, the grape that pays the bills and provides a sturdy foundation for the rest of the varietals to stand on.

Our sole blend, the Gold Digger Blend is a beautifully balanced bouquet (see, I told you there was more alliteration) of 35 percent Barbera, 30 percent Zinfandel, 15 percent Sangiovese and the rest Petite Sirah. Mo’s tasting notes describe it as “multi layered with all sorts of the goodies you’d expect from each of the varietals involved,” goodies ranging from blue fruit to leather. This “broad-shouldered” beast of a blend pairs well with almost any hearty dish. Think pot roast or meatloaf, but since it’s summer, a prime T-bone on the barbie will do just fine.

I have come to realize that most of a winemaker’s talent comes out in their blends, and that’s easy to see, or taste rather, with our Gold Digger’s Blend. Blends are the fun part—for us to drink and Mo to make! Blends are where Mo feels like he can shine the most.

“This is my pie,” Mo said.

So, we hope you will enjoy a bit of our liquid “pie” this 4th of July, but most of all, we hope you will take the time to appreciate our freedoms as Americans. And, let’s just be thankful the Brits were taxing us on tea instead of wine—or we might still have funny accents and take afternoon tea and biscuits.

Time Posted: Jul 2, 2018 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Red, White and Blend Permalink