As a Ram’s Gate Winery member I could not have been more excited when I was invited for a Holiday visit to the winery to enjoy a Palate & Play Wine & Food Pairing. I love any excuse for a visit to Wine Country, especially when it involves not only Wine but food as well as one of my favorite California wineries. Sign me up!
Upon arriving to Ram’s Gate Winery, Jaimie (my plus one for the event) and I were greeted by Brand & Communications Manager Emily Rasmussen and Brand Ambassador Todd Curtis. I had met both Emily & Todd at the Ram’s Gate Member’s Audi Raceway event and they were fabulous so I knew we’d be in excellent hands! We were immediately given a glass of a Pinot Noir Bubbly Rose and explained that we would do a tour of the property, learning about their history, their wines, then proceed to the Wine & Food Pairing. Perfect!! Having been to Ram’s Gate Winery probably 25 times I had never actually done a press tour so I was really looking forward to it. On top of the warm welcome, we met the other three ladies on the tour, Amy Lieberfarb of Sonoma Chat & Sip on Thid Juice, Kelsey Strieter of Senses Wine and their friend Emily also a Wine lover in the PR industry. I love to meet new people, especially other wine lovers like myself so this was another perk of the visit!
The Wine Bar where the tour began
One of the first things I fell in love with when I first visited Ram’s Gate Winery was the architecture. What’s not to love! The building is grand, yet from the road it has a casual unassuming understated look to it. The interior has a similar vibe to a Restoration Hardware with very high barn-like ceilings and a very open, warm feel to it. I learned that Rams Gate Winery was designed by Architect, Howard Backen. He’s also designed resorts such as Meadowood and Solage and wineries including Cliff Lede, Ovid, and Harlan Estate. Howard is in such demand, that in order to work with him you must have a personal relationship or connection to him! Pretty impressive, right? Well I see why and combining Howard’s skill, the Ram’s Gate Winery Team and the delicious Wine created by Winemaker Jeff Gaffner, Ram’s Gate Winery has nailed it all!
After the tour we proceeded to the “Palate & Play Wine & Food Pairing”. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect which always makes press visits more fun… As expected, the tasting was amazing. We tasted four wines:
The 2012 Chardonnay Carneros (which was JUST released the day I was visiting!)
The 2012 Chardonnay Sangiacomo Green Acres, Carneros
The 2012 Pinot Noir, Glass House Vineyards, Sonoma Coast
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley
Of the 4 wines tasted, I fell in love with the Green Acres Carneros Chardonnay. This is not surprising since Ram’s Gate Winery makes some of my favorite Chardonnays. They are not cheap, ranging from $36 to $74 (based on current December 2014 offering) however, but they’re delicious and worth every dime. For those wanting something lighter and less Chardonnay like, I’d recommend the The 2012 Chardonnay Sangiacomo Green Acres, Carneros. It’s extremely citrusy with a light Chardonnay taste to it but not an over powering heavy Oak taste to it.
One of the most interesting things I learned during the Wine & Food pairing lead by Wine expert Lauren was that Executive Chef Taylr Benham creates new pairings with every new Wine Release! This is unbelievable and beyond impressive!! I also learned that Executive Chef Taylr, like me, is a Chicago native. As a result of Taylr’s well thought out menu we enjoyed a Food pairing with each of the four wines we tried. The food pairing included:
(left to right) Hangar Steak – Chili Rojo, Creamy Polenta, Bacon, & Opal Basil
Pork Belly Gougere
Roasted Fuyu Persimmon – Shaved apple, celery root, goat cheese, yogurt-lime vinaigrette
Prawn – Coconut foam, Madras curry, hazelnut, shaved cauliflower
Not only was the food delicious, it paired perfectly with the Wine selections. Of the four dishes the Prawn and the Roasted Fuyu Persimmon were my favorite, possibly since they paired beautifully with the Chardonnays (my favorite White Wine).
As if the tour, wine tasting and amazing food pairing wasn’t over the top and indulgent enough Emily surprised us with a Dessert Wine and a yummy Brownie with a side of deliciously light whipped cream. At this point I was stuffed but being the chocolate lover I am tried the brownie and the light and fluffy cream and was in heaven. Emily sure knows the way to a Wine & Food bloggers heart!
As evident, I thoroughly enjoyed the Palate & Play Wine & Food pairing and the Winery Tour. It was such a fun excuse to get out of the city and out to Sonoma on a beautiful December afternoon enjoying fabulous company, meeting new friends and experiencing delicious Wine and food. Thank you Ram’s Gate Winery for hosting me and Jaimie to this memorable Holiday Event. I look forward to returning again soon!!!
Ram’s Gate Winery’s 12 Days of Christmas Wine Tree. Too cute & festive!
Me and my fabulous dear friend and plus one Jaimie
Some of the seating in the member’s only lounge area
The Palate and Play Tasting group
DISCLOSURE: The JetSetting Fashionista and guest enjoyed a complimentary tasting during this visit. Emily only write posts or features about food, hotels, products or destinations that she personally enjoys and proudly endorses and wants to share with my friends, family and readers. All opinions expressed are her own.
What do you think?