Hello all, for those of you who haven't met me, I am Tyler and I have been a member of the team at Caliza since August of 2017. I have been working full time here since January of 2019, and you may have run into me in the tasting room or at one of our events over the last couple of years. You also may have run into me at Il Cortile, which up until the middle of March, was my second job.
When crisis strikes, no amount of worrying will make our problems wash away. The world continues to spin, indifferently. COVID-19 has come in like a hard frost and taken with it all sense of stability and certainty that we once shared. Out of necessity, it has been my crusade to look at the silver linings in this whole situation. In my search, I have found a few that I would like to share with you.
As inviting as it sounds to continue working two jobs forever, it is my intention, rather, to build a career solely out of winemaking. This is why I am living on the Central Coast. One area in which COVID-19 has benefitted me is the luxury of having only one job, and lucky for me, it is the one that entertains my future. There is a lot of well documented evidence (and overall common sense) that dictates when you spread yourself too thin, you are not as effective in any given area. Just like a vine that is pumping out too many clusters of flavorless fruit, people cannot effectively handle too many things at once. I have been this vine, recently, and whomever is tending to the universal vineyard has come and snipped off my extra clusters, thinned my extra shoots. The fruit of my labor is now that dark, concentrated Willow Creek delight. In the past month, I have been able to better focus on my work at Caliza, including the mind-numbing tast of bottling and waxing most of the 2018 vintage wines. Regardless of the task, I have enjoyed my work thoroughly. I have taken my boots off at home instead of in my car. I have cooked many meals. I am growing tomatoes at home.
As mentioned before, no matter what happens to the human condition in the coming months, our ecosystem will continue to operate as an independent entity. In Nature, we can find solace. As farmers first, our team is constantly looking to Mother Nature for provisions. Another positive in our current climate is that we have started the growing season in good stride. Right now, Paso Robles is abound with Spring Beauty. I am writing this from our tasting room and there is a wash of green morning light pouring in through the doors. Miracle rains in March (and the first half of April) left us with some much needed moisture and postponed what likely would have been an early budbreak following the warm start to 2020. Despite crisis, we finished pruning and mowing throughout the estate. Also, after many frigid Fall and Winter mornings, we haven't seen any worrisome sub-freezing temperatures since budbreak. Although you never know how the season will unfold, as of now, it looks sublime.
It is an old cliche that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. It has certainly felt like that here at Caliza. In the last month and a half, our small team has rallied to think of new and innovating ways to keep the ball rolling. My last bit of optimism surrounding COVID-19 is that humanity always pulls through. For all of you out there reading this, above all, stay safe. When the chaos of crisis dissipates, rest assured we will once again meet face to face and raise a glass!
Getting stir crazy during this pandemic? Looking for a precipitous evening filled with thrills and chills as well as good wine and food? In an effort to engage our loyal customers and continue to sell wine, we are offering an exciting dine-in experience by pairing a movie, a Caliza wine and a dish crafted by our very own Winemaking Team Associate, Tyler. This week we are Pairing the smoky, meaty, savory 2016 Caliza Syrah with some grilled lamb lollipops, leeks, and a fava puree. The movie to go with it is... you guessed it! Silence of the Lambs.
Make sure to post pictures to Instagram and tag #calizawinery.
The Wine: 2016 Syrah
Glass-coating layers of brilliant magenta and sexy violet segue to an explosion of dried blueberries, freshly baked berry cobbler, grilled meats and bouquet of dried herbs jump from the glass. This is another rich and powerful Caliza Syrah for sure with firm yet approachable tannins and long lingering presence on the palate. In Carl's optinion, the 2016 is a "homerun" that can be enjoyed now or cellared for over a decade.
*Doce members receive complimentary shipping on any order 6+ bottles
*promo available on new orders of any 750mL bottle and valid until April 30th, 2020
The Movie: Silence Of The Lambs
Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.
*movie not suitable for children, make this an adult only movie night!
Rent this movie on Amazon Prime here: The Silence Of The Lambs
The Dinner: Grilled Rack of Lamb with Spring Garlic and Fava Bean Puree
Recipe feeds 2-3 people
1 full Rack of Lamb
4 Medium-Sized leeks
1 cup Fava Beans Shelled
1 tablespoon Fresh Chopped Chives
Two Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
One Knob Unsalted Butter
1) Heat grill to 400
2) Separate each lamb lollipop with a knife. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil and add salt, pepper, and thyme. Set aside.
3) Cut green tops off of leeks, rinse and brush with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil to make a “pocket”. Place in a covered grill for 25 minutes on the upper rack.
4) Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil. Once boiling, quickly blanch favas for 1-2 minutes. Drain and puree. Add a little bit of water until the consistency is smooth but not runny. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste.
5) As leeks near completion, check to make sure it is tender and can be punctured easily with a fork. If not, cover the grill and continue cooking until soft. Once done, melt a knob of butter over the leeks, add a dash of salt and pepper.
6) Place lamb on the grill uncovered. Cook on each side for about two minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.
7) Using a spoon, spread fava puree on the bottom of the plate in an artistic fashion. Place down 1-2 leeks per plate and 3-4 lamb lollipops on top. Add a squeeze of lemon and garnish with fresh chives.
Note: This is a very seasonally inspired dish. If possible, visit your local farmers market for f f f f favas and leeks.
The Caliza Team