You don’t hear as much about Lake County as you do about neighboring Napa and Sonoma, but it’s an up and coming region that produces some wonderful wines. Though wines have been made here since before prohibition, its modern development as a wine region is relatively recent due in part to affordable property values. It’s the home to two of the newest American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) designations, High Valley and Red Hills Lake County as well as two of the oldest, Guenoc and Clear Lake.

Red volcanic soils, mountain slopes, extreme temperature swings and winds off the lake result in longer ripening periods, a wide variety of grapes and an amazing range of wines. Varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc.

One of the pioneers in this area is Jed Steele, the winemaker who was responsible for the first nine vintages at Kendall Jackson. In 1991 he founded Steele and Shooting Star Wines. His whimsically named wines are reasonably priced and range from delicate to bold.

One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Luella, is holding it’s first winemaker dinner the Steele Wine Dinner on April 3rd with winemaker Jed Steele. This is a great way to try some Lake County wines and hear from the winemaker without heading North. As for the food, you’ll taste a number of dishes that Luella does best, crisp pizzettas, deliciously unctuous slow braised meats and sauces and tender homemade pastas.

Steele Wine Dinner
April 3, 2007
6:30 pm

Greet with
Shooting Star Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County, CA, 2005
Pizzetta with fromage blanc and lemon
Pizzetta with wild mushrooms and gremolata

First Course
Shooting Star Aligote, Washington State, 2005
Oysters on the half shell & fried with tarragon nage

Second Course
Steele Pinot Blanc, Santa Barbara, CA, 2005
Rapini ravioli with hazelnuts

Third Course
Writers Block Grenache, Lake County, CA, 2005
Rabbit sugo with papperdelle

Fourth Course
Stymie Merlot, Lake County, CA 2003
Lamb osso buco with chickpea wafers

Fifth Course
Steele Pacini Vineyard Zinfandel, Mendocino, CA 2004
Seared beef filet en croute with bone marrow butter and horseradish

Shooting Star Black Bubbles Syrah, Lake County, CA 2003
Chocolate and strawberry shortcake

$75 all inclusive

Contact the restaurant for reservations:

1896 Hyde St
San Francisco CA
(415) 674-4343

Steele Wine Dinner @ Luella 21 March,2007Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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