Watch my latest youtube video to find out!
Fermented food basics:
We crushed, de-stemmed, and pressed Muscat and Old Vine Zinfandel.
I created a youtube channel! I am excited to have finally started making videos to show you more about wine, food, and my winemaking skills…. all with a sparkle of my RedHead attitude! In this weeks video, I pair more “netflix-binge worthy” snacks with RedHead Red Blend. Bare with me - it’s my second video, ever! It’s unscripted and I just go with the flow! Like and subscribe to keep up with my videos every Tuesday around noon. Cheers - Marisa
Do Pop Rocks Pair with Wine?! & much more! by RedHead Wine
As you all know, I am a huge foodie - as a winemaker, being passionate about food comes along with the job, right?! Ironically, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I think this is funny because wine really doesn’t “pair” with breakfast, but I am up for that challenge (stay tuned for when I launch my new youtube series). Once we woke up, we searched for the top rated breakfast spots in Menlo Park / Palo Alto. We landed upon Quattro …and as soon as we arrived I had to order a cappuccino! I usually order black coffee and add cream or milk to it, but since I am on a trip, I decided to feel a little “fancy” with this choice.
This delectable beverage was even served with cinnamon dusted shortbread cookies. Let. me. tell. you…they were too good to be true! 10/10 would order again. I forgot to take a photo of what I ate ( I was too hungry and forgot LOL) but, I ordered a three egg omelette with fresh goat cheese, mushrooms and asparagus.
After breakfast, we went back to the Airbnb to get some work done. When I am away, I always make time to get things done for RedHead so I can keep you all in the loop and ensure the wine is readily available in your markets! I love what I do and love keeping up, regardless where I am. But, in the meantime, I was waiting for my best friend, Lexi, to arrive in Menlo Park. When I used to work in Modesto, Lexi and I met at a mutual friend’s house and have been friends ever since. I haven’t seen her in over 2.5 years (since I moved back to Ohio!), so I was counting down the minutes!
We decided to spend the day walking around Stanford University’s campus and get a late lunch. If you haven’t been to Stanford before, I highly recommend that you do. The campus is beyond gorgeous and full of history, endless opportunities for students, and a place that is fun to walk around and enjoy the beautiful California weather. Here are some photos from our walking tour:
Stanford is so beautiful, that I feel showing you rather than telling you is a better way to showcase my time there. To learn more about Stanford, check out there website here.
After walking for a few hours, we ventured off campus to a well-known (according to google LOL) pho restaurant celled, hometown noodle. It’s a very small and quaint place, but…wow….their pho is probably the best I have ever had in my entire life, thanks google!
Overall, day three was a simple day still filled with adventure, friends and amazing food (are you surprised?!). We really had a great time together and the day flew by fast.
If you’re looking to learn more about my experiences or have questions / comments about what I did, tweet me at @RedHeadWine.
Cheers! - Winemaker, Marisa
Day 4- time spent in Palo Alto (downtown)
We spent the earlier part of the day getting work done and preparing to fly back to Ohio. But most of our adventures happened in the evening- we wanted to hit up downtown Palo Alto which is full of fun places to eat!
We stopped at Salt and Straw, known for unique and delicious flavors of ice cream. I absolutely LOVE anything coconut flavored, so I had to get their Toasted Coconut Milk & Cookies (v)! You can find the description that sold my appetite and heart below:
Salty, sweet, fudgy, and simply unforgettable! We pump up the coconutty goodness of our extra-rich coconut ice cream by blending in dark-toasted shredded coconut, then add in handfuls of homemade (gluten-free!) salted chocolate chip cookies and velvety-soft chocolate ganache made with almond milk.
Uhmm…how amazing does THAT sound???!! I wish I could indulge in a scoop…or two..while I finish writing this blog!
But, even better news, Salt and Straw allows you to pick two flavors, regardless of what size you order. I decided to be a little more adventurous and chose Honey Lavender! Here is the flavor description from the website:
For this dusky purple delight with a cult following, we steep pounds of carefully selected lavender flowers in honey to bring out the buds’ delicate herbaceousness. While other folks use a lavender oil and can tip the scales towards perfume, our method treats lavender like fine tea, extracting just the right amount of flavor for a beautifully round, creamy taste kissed by a bit of honey.
Last stop of the night before wrapping up the trip was a quick stop at Signona’s Farmer’s Market. Before heading to the west coast, my grandma requested that we pick up authentic jumbo CA raisins. We were worried we would not find any, but, Signona’s for the win! They had a dried fruit bar at the store- full of endless options!
Stumbling upon Signona’s was the perfect way to end the trip - a great place to shop and find unique foods while grabbing some authentic CA raisins!
All foodies sound the alarms, sharpen your knives, and dust off your cutting board, today is National Cheese Lover’s Day and it’ll be a crime not to celebrate! Wine’s perfect marriage is a well-done meat and cheese board, and I have a long resume decorated with cheesy experience, pun intended. To celebrate, I’ve compiled a simple guide to help jump-start your party.
Dare to buy beyond cheddar.
Trust me, I am guilty as charged! Sometimes I am busy and bee line through the grocery store grabbing my go-tos and do not think outside the box. More often than not, I grab a block of white cheddar and call it a day. But, in order to indulge and explore the cheesy flavors of life, we need to buy cheeses other than those in the cheddar category. Most grocery stores have a decent cheese section. If you have absolutely no idea about what to chose, buy with your eyes! What looks good? What names sound appealing? Just go with your gut and buy small samples of each. Most cheese counters have various sizes of the same type of cheese. You can invest in your experience without completely breaking the bank. Artisan cheeses can be pricey, but the way I see it, I like to invest my money in food and experiences. We are what we eat, you know! ;)
2. Not fond of a messy kitchen? Go grab Fondue!
I am a sucker for The Melting Pot. If you’re close to a major city, they usually have a location. They have amazing cheese fondue selections and eating here will make National Cheese Lover’s day a very memorable and delicious experience. I’ve made homemade fondue before (this requires a double boiler and a lot of patience) but, going out to the Melting Pot can help avoid the mess! But, if you’re feeling adventurous, here is an “easy” recipe for house-made fondue.
3. Don’t have any cheese on hand? Learn how cheese is made, instead!
I absolutely love learning new things. Although it is great to learn while enjoying a snack, you may be snowed in right now (like most of the Northeast) and are most likely unable to grab the cheese this day (and yourself) deserves. (But that’s ok!) you can still celebrate this amazing holiday thanks to technology, but in a different way….Here is a great video on how cheese is made!
Share with me how you are celebrating #NationalCheeseLoversDay by tweeting me at @RedHeadWine
Cheers! - Winemaker, Marisa
Did you know what California has it’s own cheese trail?! I absolutely did not - but my best friend from college, Kayla, did! Kayla and I both went to Cornell together and studied winemaking there. We planned to meet up during my trip, and our time together is never bland- she suggested that we go on a cheese tasting adventure through the cow covered hills of Petaluma! How could you say no to that?! (unless you are lactose intolerant *insert sad trombone sound.
As someone who creates and sells a product in a store, I am always thinking about marketing. The fact that some dairy products picture having beautiful rolling hills of green with cows happily grazing on their packaging seemed like a scam to me, but the photo you were greeted by in this blog is the real deal!
Part of our tour of the Achadinha Cheese company was going through the farm and learning every single process of making cheese. This included what foods are best to feed cows for a larger or smaller butter fat percentage. For example, many yogurt brands advertise that their cows are grass fed because it leads to a smaller butter fat percentage, which in turn, makes their yogurt less fatty. But, Achadinha Cheese is not afraid of fat (nor am I!) and they feed their cows barley and other healthy non-GMO foods to will create a lot of butter fat. They emphasized that they only feed their cows and goats what is in season to have an optional butter fat percentage. Their cheeses can vary in butter fat due to the season, which is really cool to have learned!
We also saw their cheese caves, pasteurization process, and learned how to properly taste cheese, butter and yogurt!
We tasted cheeses from what they offered by most mild to strong. This way, we were able to enjoy each product while not overwhelming our taste buds! Just like wine, you should taste from most mild (usually a white) to most tannic (aged reds).
After we had our fill of cheese….and fumes of the dairy farm (they were PUNGENT lol) we were ready to head to Napa to visit Signorello Estate, where one of my friends, Alan G. works for. He called me up to see if I’d like a tour. How could I say no to wine?! But, before I get into that, Kayla, Gino (her boyfriend) my sister and I made a pit stop to good ol’ In n’ Out burger.
It’s not a trip to California if you do not stop at In-N-Out burger. They make the best burgers, fries and milkshakes, ever. (simply my opinion!) We only had thirty minutes between our appointments in Petaluma and Napa, so we had to find food, fast, in order to be timely. As you can tell in the photo, I was very happy to be there!
Our visit to Signorello was nothing short of magical. The wines were absolutely fantastic, and the property was straight out of a dream. The winery sits on top of a hill in Napa and as you climb the hills of the property, you can see other houses and wineries. It’s a great spot to take a deep breath and take in all of earth’s beauty. A view like you have here… makes you appreciate the little things in life- fresh air, greenery, vines, sun and those around you.
Our hosts drove us around the properly on golf carts and allowed us to roam the vineyards and surrounding areas. Once we were done, they drove us down to the tasting room. Sadly, their original tasting room was destroyed in the Northern CA fires in 2017- although they lost their buildings in the devastation, they did not lose what was most important— the vines.
If the vines were taken by the flames. it would have taken 5-6 years to grow them back. Vines take at least that amount of time to produce a viable crop for winemaking. Luckily, Signorello had insurance so they could quickly rebuild! They are still under construction but are looking forward to changing things up with a build that has a modern look. Take a virtual tour of the property to check things out!
Overall, we had an amazing day in Petaluma and Napa - full of nature’s beauty, cheese, wine…and in-n-out burger. But, most importantly, I was able to spend time with my best friend, Kayla, whom I haven’t seen in 2.5 years!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about my second day in California, tweet me at @RedHeadWine
Cheers to you! - Winemaker, Marisa
As a winemaker, I like to venture to the west coast as often as possible. California was once my home: I have missed In n' Out Burger, my freinds and, of course, wine country.
My sister, Michelle, had an interview for residency (post-med school graduation) at Stanford's Children's Hospital, so of course, I volunteered to come with her and visit my favorite spots!
During our first day, I absolutely could NOT wait to have my favorite bubble tea from a place called T4. I have not had my Okinawa Milk Tea 30% Ice and 30% sweetness in over 2.5 years! Once my sister and I picked up our rental car, we went straight there. If you're not familiar with bubble tea, it's pretty much regular tea (can be with milk, etc) with little tapioca pearls at the bottom. It's fun to drink because you get a little piece of chewy candy with every sip. If you haven't had this before, the candies can be shocking- they pop into your mouth very fast! The Okinawa Milk Tea tastes like a light carmel sugar; it's the perfect balance between sweet and refreshing.
We stayed in Menlo Park, which is about 15 minutes away from Stanford’s campus. We rented a cute AirBnb that had it’s own patio and a yard full of succulent plants. The AirBnb was very close to San Francisco, too! Earlier before my trip to CA, I messaged my friend Krystal whom I met at the Forbes Under 30 Summit last October, to see if she would be around. She is from LA, but was interviewing near SF and suggested that we meet at a local bakery, Tartine.
Tartine is located on a small corner in the busy streets of SF - it’s a local place and you can definitely tell once you walk in. It’s small inside, seating is very limited. I’d say there were only 6 tables total in the whole place! Regardless of space, people kept walking in and the line to order was always long. Everyone in line seemed to be calm and not frustrated with the wait - that means that the food and coffees must be worth waiting for. We ordered a hot chocolate, an open faced Croque monsieur, vegetable frittata AND, of course, a piece of chocolate mousse cake.
My sister is famous for being the “prepared” one in my family - she always conducts a detective style search of the best restaurants and places to visit when we travel. During our trip to Tartine, she discovered a spot called The Saratoga, that is known for their cocktails. Unfortunately, I was the DD and could not indulge in their pages long cocktail menu, but I was happy to spend time with my sister and Krystal. Instead, I feasted on their seasonal crispy chicken of the woods mushrooms and chicken sliders. I have to say, they were quite excellent! Here are some photos of us at The Saratoga.
We didn’t last too long at The Saratoga - Krystal had to catch her flight back to LA and Michelle and I were ready to head back to the Airbnb. We wanted to rest-up and prepare for a full day in Petaluma and Napa!
If you have any questions about my trip or want more details about the places we visited, feel free to tweet me @RedHeadWine
Cheers! Winemaker, Marisa