intr.v. gam·boled or gam·bolled, gam·bol·ing or gam·bol·ling, gam·bols To leap about playfully; frolic.
Last week I was so fortunate to spend the evening at JAQK Cellars in San Francisco. What a fantastic evening it was! Once a month JAQK offers tastings of their DELICIOUS wines in their downtown San Francisco tasting loft. (I call it a loft – I think it better describes the cool uber chic atmosphere.)
Turn the clock back to last fall when I was first introduced to JAQK wines while at the Carmel Harvest to Table event. Admittedly, I was drawn to the wines by their stunning graphics and marketing.
After I chatted with the wine maker Craig MacLean about food and wine and pairings – I had an immediate need to pair Black Clover with Beef Short Ribs Braised in Merlot with Rasberry Chipotle glaze -it turned out that Craig saw my vision and agreed with me enough to give me a bottle to use to write the recipe. God only knows why I was thinking about braising beef on a near 100 degree day, all I can say is I was inspired, and it was all Craig McLean’s fault I did create the recipe and I’ll share it later in this post.
Fast forward almost a year and several shipments into my Society of the Tipsy King membership and I’m hooked. It’s not just the wine – it’s the stories and the people. Why do you think it’s so easy to love wine when you’re on that euphoric Napa (or Paso Robles, CA, Herman, MO, Long Island, NY, or Northern Virgina) wine tasting weekend? It’s the stories that a wine maker or a tasting specialist a founder, or even a Sommelier was willing to tell you, trusting you with their passion and the stories of ‘growing up’. (Okay, well it’s also because you’re a little drunk… )
So, here’s my recommendation: support your local winemakers – regardless of where you live – give them a try, hear their stories. If you like what they offer, tell your friends, visit often and tell them how great they are- winemaking is a labor of love and very few are loaded [with money]. When you visit cities, look for local food, wine and arts and craft resources and experience something a little more rich and flavorful (literally and figuratively) than what’s on the tour guide script. If you visit San Francisco, get a taste of Napa without leaving the city! (There’s a party minimum so just call me and I’ll grab a few friends!)
There’s only a few places you’ll get this iconic San Francisco view – one of them is from the JAQK Cellars rooftop lounge.
Some details: I love JAQK High Roller and you’ll buy it for the bottle and die over what’s inside. I love Black Clover Merlot with its berries and fruit and love affair with beef. I adore both of the Chardonnays Pearl Handle and Her Majesty and cannot wait to crack open my bottle of Charmed now that I know more history about Craig MacLean’s passion and success with Sauvignon Blanc. I came home with a couple of extra bottles of 22 Black and can’t wait to have some friends over with a hearty helping of Tri-Tip and grilled vegetables.
Now before I go any further and share my recipe, I have to thank Mister, my wonderful Mister who not only took these pictures, he drove our silly drunk butts to and from this great evening.
See the next post for the Braised Short Ribs recipe, you’ll love it!