Wine Family Cookbook
Chances are that when you discover a food-friendly wine you’ll discover a wine family that really loves good food. At the beachside home of Sharon and Norman Beko fine food is as constant as the ocean waves lapping at their property.
The Bekos are the founders and owners of Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard and Winery, which is on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in Santa Barbara County.
One recent sunny winter day, they invited Wine Region News into their home for lunch. Sharon prepared a favorite soup and Norman opened a bottle of wine that pairs well with the spicy nature of the soup recipe.
The afternoon fun began in their wine cellar with light appetizers of olives and almonds, which they roast themselves. They popped open a bottle of the Cottonwood Canyon Estate Blanc de Noir. In the hallway outside the cellar the aroma of soup wafted through the house.
Cottonwood Canyon is east of Santa Maria, just 19 miles from the Pacific Ocean on the northern most edge of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. The roots of its 78 acres of estate vineyards reach down into the sandy gravel created by eons of erosion. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are cooled by the ocean breeze and enjoy a long growing season.
The Bekos founded Cottonwood Canyon in 1988. It’s a natural for the couple who enjoy the interplay of great food and wine. The soup recipe that Sharon selected is a favorite. Sharon Beko, “It has a base of leeks and you sauté the leeks. Add chopped dill, diced tomatoes and a little cayenne pepper and chicken broth. Let it simmer and then puree. Just before you serve it, add a little sour cream, garnish with a bit of cheese and a sprig of dill.”
Norman opened up a Cottonwood Canyon 2001 Syroir – a blend of syrah and pinot noir. Norman, “It’s made in heaven. The flavor of the dill in the soup brings out the essence of the wine. I like blends because it creates something different and the fun part is trying.”
As for great blends how can you beat lunch in the California sunshine paired with a soul satisfying soup and delightful wine?
For more information on Cottonwood Canyon go online www.cottonwoodcanyon.com