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Footlights Sauvignon Blanc and North Coast Syrah are BACK!

August 16, 2023

Footlights Sauvignon Blanc and North Coast Syrah are BACK!

Footlights Sauvignon Blanc can be purchased by clicking here!

North Coast Syrah can be purchase by clicking here!

Please note: We can now ship our wines to 39 states!

It's been a minute since we've had our Footlights Sauvignon Blanc and North Coast Syrah both in stock at the winery and I am so glad they are back! Our Footlights Sauvignon Blanc, a light, crisp and grapefruit-y dry white wine, is named in honor of Cleveland's fabulous Playhouse Square theater district. Our North Coast Syrah, a big and bold dry red with notes of plum, raisin, cocoa and clove, features our city skyline from the North Coast Harbor on Lake Erie on its label.

These wines are literally on opposite ends of the wine spectrum - our lightest and driest white to our deepest, chewiest dry red. What do I mean by "chewy"? Well, when you take a sip of this wine, it is so big and flavorful that it feels like you have to chew it in order to swallow! It is a young wine, however, so it is really fruit forward which keeps it from being too heavy or tannic. As with everything our phenomenal Head Winemaker, Dave Mazzone, makes, it is beautifully balanced. In contrast, our Footlights Sauvignon Blanc is so light and breezy that when you drink it is feels like fairies are dancing on your tongue! They are pretty much polar opposites - Footlights Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine for a hot August evening on the porch, and North Coast Syrah is comfort in a glass like a warm blanket when the first signs of fall begin to appear. The grapes that made both of these wines originated from the Columbia Valley of Washington State - we get so many great ingredients for our wines from that grape-growing region!

The name Sauvignon Blanc comes from the French word 'sauvage' which means wild and 'blanc' which means white, due to its origin as a wild vine on the west coast of France. Sauvignon Blanc originated in the Bordeaux region of France - you can tell this because of how it is classically packaged. Footlights Sauvignon Blanc is always packaged in a Bordeaux bottle, which is tall and skinny with a short taper in the neck. Other traditional Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Gris, are also traditionally packaged in these types of bottles.

In contrast, North Coast Syrah is packaged in a Burgundy bottle because Syrah grapes come from the Burgundy region of France, specifically the Rhone Valley. In the northern Rhone, Syrah is the only red grape varietal grown. Burgundy bottles have a wider base and a long, gently tapered neck. Wines you will see traditionally packaged in these bottles include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which are also classic Burgundian varietals. Did you know Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape variety? Syrah is what it is called in France and the Old World, while Shiraz is the name given to it in Australia and other New World countries. It is also one of the oldest grape varieties in the world - it is thought to have had its origins in Shiraz, Iran and was then brought to France around 600BC where it found a forever home!

We served these two wonderful wines to our Community Wine Club members at our August gathering on the 8th, 9th and 10th. Each month, I lovingly create spectacular (and often fun and funky) food pairings for our Wine Club VIPs to enjoy with our featured wines. This month's special pairing with our Footlights Sauvignon Blanc was a Thai Grapefruit Salad, which is a "matchy-matchy" pairing to the grapefruit-y notes in the wine. There is a lot going on in this fun dish, with so many flavors and textures, and the grapefruit does seem to get a bit overshadowed. However, when you taste the salad and the wine together, the "matchy" components of grapefruit come together to enhance each other and the bright, slightly bitter citrus notes really pop! Here's the recipe for the Thai Grapefruit Salad to pair with your glass of Footlights Sauvignon Blanc:

To make the dressing, combine 1/3 cup lime juice, 3 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp brown sugar and 2 tbsp Thai chili sauce in a bowl and whisk together. Set this aside. Add 2 tbsp coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened) to a dry frying pan and over medium-high heat until it gets lightly browned. Set aside in a separate small dish. Chop up one jar of grapefruit segments into bite-sized pieces (or 2 fresh grapefruits) to make 3-4 cups of grapefruit – place into a salad bowl. Add in 1 cup chopped cucumber, 1 diced red pepper, ¼ cup diced red onion, and ¼ cup each of chopped fresh basil & cilantro. Add in the dressing, coconut flakes and ¼ cup cashews and toss to coat. Adjust spice as needed – add S&P, chili flakes or other flavors to balance as you like. Serve immediately (or add dressing when ready to serve).

For the North Coast Syrah, I chose a "ying and yang" complementary pairing in a Vegan Chipotle Chili. "Ying and yang" pairings have different flavor profiles in the food and in the wine, but when they combine, they balance each other out or come together to make something new. This chili has a wonderful smokey flavor (due primarily to the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and chili powder) which when combined with the stewed red fruit and cocoa notes of the Syrah create an experience on the palate akin to Mexican mole sauce. The bold Syrah can stand up to the smoke and spice in the chili and together they create an awesome comfort food experience! Here's the recipe for the Vegan Chipotle Chili:

Start with 3 pounds of vegetarian “ground beef” crumbles in a large pot over medium heat. Add in 5 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp each of cumin & coriander and cook until fragrant. Add in 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 large, diced onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Stir in 1 28oz can diced tomatoes, 1 15oz can tomato sauce, 1 14oz can kidney beans (rinsed), 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (mined), 1 6oz can tomato paste and S&P. Bring to a boil then simmer for about an hour so all the flavors can combine. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese (or a vegan substitute). 

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it! I also hope you will check out our Footlights Sauvignon Blanc and North Coast Syrah for yourself - they are both fantastic wines and I am so glad they are back!