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The Society BLOG

Together, wine, food, and travel make up three of life's greatest offerings. The Society Blog will feature expert experiences and opinions relating to these delicious topics. Here, we will freely discuss the diverse flavors of food, the inviting culture of wine, the vast nature of travel, and the ultimate experience you get when you combine the three!

Carol Foley
August 29, 2013 | Carol Foley

The Inn Crowd with Chef Budi Kazali

Today was so much fun! We had a TV crew up to Montana to film an episode of The Inn Crowd with Chef Budi Kazali. Bill and I are at the Rock Creek Cattle Company with most of the family. Our daughters Lindsay and Courtney, Lindsay’s husband Will, and our son Rob were all able to join in the fun.

Foley Food & Wine Society on TV

The Foley Food & Wine Society is the presenting sponsor of the 3rd season of The Inn Crowd with Chef Budi Kazali-- a great TV show based in Santa Barbara County. Chef Budi is the owner and chef at the lovely Ballard Inn in Solvang, California. Chef Budi has been a friend of ours for a number of years and we were so excited to have him join us in Montana at Rock Creek Cattle Company.  We so rarely are able to get the family together, so it was important to make this occasion really special. Chef Budi and Chef Tim Smith, the Executive Chef at Rock Creek Cattle Company, worked together to create an amazing menu for us. 

They started with an American twist on Shrimp On the Barbie. Tim is from Australia and really enjoyed putting together this recipe. He created a quick marinade of soy, garlic, palm sugar, lime, green peppercorn and jalapeño, soaked the shrimp in the marinade and then grilled them. They were so good--especially with our Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlbrough region of New Zealand. Crisp and acidic, with ripe fruit flavors and mineral notes, the wine was a wonderful complement to the shrimp. 

Next, since we are in Montana, the chefs decided to grill some bison. Chef Budi marinated the bison tomahawk steaks in an achiote marinade. Achiote is harvested from a shrub native to the tropical regions of the Caribbean and Mexico and has a rich earthy red color. It gives a nice smoky flavor with a hint of citrus. The finished product was absolutely delicious. We ordered our steaks medium rare and they were incredibly tender. Our bold, layered Merus Altvs Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect pairing for the grilled bison.

chef prepared bison for Foley Food & Wine Society

We finished the evening with a Huckleberry Semifreddo. Huckleberries are native to Montana and were a delicious element in this dessert. The recipe included ricotta, marshmallows, a little chocolate, egg whites, the berries, and some of our Eos Tears of Dew Late Harvest Moscato—which put this dessert “over the top”! Chef Tim mixed the ingredients, froze them for an hour an a half, then let it soften for 10 minutes before we dove in. Paired with a glass of the aromatic Eos Late Harvest Moscato, the semifreddo was a fantastic finale to a memorable meal.

Bill Foley of Foley Food & Wine Society

Our family dinner was a huge success; the dishes were amazing. We are happy to be able to share the experience and the recipes with you. The TV episode will be airing in California's Central Coast later this fall, so stay tuned!

Time Posted: Aug 29, 2013 at 4:00 AM
The Society
August 23, 2013 | The Society

A Woman's View on Cabernet Sauvignon

I'd like to give my perspective on Cabernet Sauvignon--from the woman's point of view. The myth of women drinking only white wine seems as old-fashioned as fax machines and rotary phones. In the present day of smart phones and social media, today's woman is hip, wine savvy and responsive to new data promoting resveratrol in red wine as beneficial for heart health. Today's woman is as likely to reach for a rich, layered Cabernet Sauvignon as a glass of smooth, oaky Chardonnay.

Red wine is said to be heart-healthy because of the presence of antioxidants--called polyphenols--in red wine that may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, reduce "bad" cholesterol and prevent blood clots. One polyphenol, called resveratrol, has been the focus of this health news.

Even though the health findings need to be confirmed, one fact stands out: according to a recent Nielsen poll, the majority of wine is purchased by women--55% compared to 45% bought by men. In a recent study in California, Cabernet Sauvignon was found to be the most popular wine for both men AND women. As a woman, I'm happy to know that I will be joined by both men and women in enjoying a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon--and when we toast to our health--we really mean it!

Our week-long celebration of Cabernet August 26th-30th brings a wealth of information from Foley Food & Wine Society winemakers. Five of our winemakers will be online, holding “virtual” tastings via Google+ Hangouts. Simply order your selection of Cabernet today. Then, sign up for Google+ Hangouts by clicking "RSVP" next to the chats you'd like join and taste along with the winemakers.


Time Posted: Aug 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM
The Society
August 5, 2013 | The Society

Celebrate Cabernet Sauvignon August 26th – 30th!

Five of our Foley Food & Wine Society winemakers will be hosting online chats on Google+ Hangouts. These innovative live chats are simple: just sign up for Google+ Hangout by clicking "RSVP" next to the chats you'd like to join. Then, select the Cabs you want—when the shipment arrives, you can sip and savor with the winemakers as they comment on the wines in  “virtual” tastings.

Sign Up Here!

Brad Warner, winemaker for Foley Johnson, kicks off the celebration on Monday, August 26th, with a tasting of two of his Napa Cabs. We are proud of the world-class wines Brad is producing at our estate winery in the heart of America's preeminent wine growing region.

On Tuesday, Jesse Katz, winemaker for Lancaster Winery and Roth Estate Winery, both nestled in the rolling hillsides of Alexander Valley, shows off a select Cab from each winery.

Kuleto Estate‘s winemaker Dave Lattin will transport us to the mountains of eastern Napa Valley discussing a pair of his Cabs on Wednesday. Kuleto has gained recognition for his bold, tightly structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Both winemakers Mark Lyon, of Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, and Paul Warson, of Firestone Vineyard, will be hosting on Thursday, with a selection from each winery. Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery was one of the first producers in Sonoma County, with a history that stretches back to 1904. Firestone Vineyard is in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.

Friday, August 30th is the grand finale to our week of celebration. We share our experiences and comments on the delicious Cabs we tasted with a  "Tweet Up" on #CABWEEK13 @Sebastiani. I look forward to sampling the wines, learning from the master winemakers, and sharing with you the enjoyment of our great Cabernet Sauvignon.

For more information, please visit Cabernet Week 2013


Time Posted: Aug 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Carol Foley
August 1, 2013 | Carol Foley

Summer at Chalkboard

I love this time of year. Everything is blooming, the weather is gorgeous, and the sun is always shining. This has been a particularly busy and exciting summer for us in Healdsburg, California, as Bill and I just opened up our new restaurant Chalkboard! Located on North Street, right beside Hotel Les Mars, Chalkboard is led by Chef Shane McAnelly, who is previously from Va de Vi, in Walnut Creek, California.

The menu is just incredible! It focuses on small plates, using the freshest of ingredients, along with a fantastic wine list and a number of wines by the glass. What’s really fun for me is that many of the ingredients on Chef Shane’s menu come directly from the culinary garden here at Chalk Hill Estate. It’s a great collaboration between Chef Shane and our culinary gardener Brad Agerter.

Chef Shane McAnelly

Brad Agerter

Shane and Brad meet nearly every day to review what is growing well and to see what interesting items they can add to the menu. The other day, Brad walked me through the garden where we sampled items such as oregano, cauliflower, summer squash, beets and English peas, all featured ingredients on the Chalkboard menu.

Since Shane like to use all of the seasonal items from the garden, the menu will be constantly changing. For now however, my favorite is the Fava Bean and Baby Artichoke salad, which has a delicious lemon citronette dressing. It tastes like summer and is light enough that you're able to leave room to enjoy desserts from our incredible Pastry Chef!

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2013 at 11:23 AM