Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Steve's visit with Sean Thackrey, the hidden Mastermind   <-- this is a MUST-see website for winos and history buffs

Walk into the 'barn' of Sean Thackrey and prepare to be shell-shocked with reality and long-lost passion that California winemaking once was.

Deep in the thicket of Bolinas, California...past the winding beach towns of Stinson Beach, across the inlet bay, sits the mastermind at work at his over-sized wooden table.  Notebooks, tasting sheets, winemaking books, beakers, and vintage Russian plastic glove molds line his shelves.  This is where the winemaker/ philosopher/storyteller conducts his business.

Sean has been making small quantities of wine in a 2 story wooden barn, the size of a single-family home, with the rustic feel of a mountain cabin for many years.  I have been carrying his wine for awhile because it is so delicious and unique, but I didn't know the full extent of how minimalistic and old-world his practices were until this highly-anticipated visit came to fruition.

This guy is awesome.  His barn is full of very mature barrels that he is conducting real experiments in.  4 different clones of pinot noir, grown in the same vineyard, with the same exact conditions, and now being made into wine in the exact same style.  Sean feels what he is doing is revolutionary, and it is.  The best part about it, is how humble and real he is about wine.  I can't tell you how many times he exploded into laughter just talking about the wine industry, how much it has changed, and how "funny" its people are.

As Sean unleashed the fury of his technical wine knowledge, background and stories making wine, he kept refilling my glass with something new of his.  His 'Orion' blend is his flagship wine and what he is known for.  However, his 'Pleiades' wine is something to really talk about (side note: all his wines are named after constellations, and bear a little gold moon on the label which symbolizes how wine changes and reveals itself in time).  It's a non-vintage wine that he makes and consists of pinot noir and viognier. He also has some syrah, mouvedre and sangiovese to name a few more, along with grapes that are unknown.  That is what makes this wine fantastic- his attention to detail with homage given to the past.

All of his wines are expressive, rich in color and flavor, and just taste raw (in a good way).  After hours of conversation with Sean, I can honestly say this guy loves wine and everything about it and those are the kind of winemakers worth knowing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The big 1.0!

Hey all you Carpe Diem family members!  A big thank you is in order: we are approaching our 1 year anniversary this June 16th, and we are so pumped! Without our amazing family of locals and extended family of tourists that treat us so well, we would not be where we are today-busy, busy, busy!  There is nothin' like a packed house on a Wednesday night in Napa.

ALSO-by popular demand, we bring you this blog.  This online gateway to the secrets behind our menu, wine list and adventures in Napa will be updated frequently, as  new juicy information presents itself.  So please, follow us and check up regularly for recipes, winemaker tidbits, and fresh inspiration from the valley.

Whether you live in the heart of Napa and visit us on the regular, or just stopped in to see us on a vacation to this gorgeous valley, we invite everyone that comes into our home to be a part of the Carpe Diem experience.   We are committed to seeking out innovative dishes that will be sure to satisfy, and special wines that keep you on the edge of diversity and uniqueness.  And so, we look forward to keeping the spirit of Carpe Diem alive with amazing food, wine and hospitality for many years to come.

Our spot on 2nd and Main St. downtown has really become part of our identity and is the center of our world.  We love it here!  Please come visit, and visit often.

Until Next time,


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Love Game: Taken and Available release party!
A big THANK YOU to this dynamic duo for coming out to Carpe Diem in the middle of the week and pouring their delicious, fun wines for our favorite people.  The Sauvignon Blanc hit the spot on this sunny Napa day, and the rich red was super tasty with our steak skewers; we are looking forward to having them back soon for some more of their wines that raise the question: Are youTaken? or Available? (Choose your wine wisely guys) 

Monday, June 6, 2011

June: What's new in the Cellar

Producer to know: SCRIBE WINERY



Why we love them: the obvious reasons; kick-a*s wines, a crazy history on their property that has a gnarly old hacienda that they are remodeling, and they like to throw awesome parties for their club members up on hillsides with gourmet picnics and firepits.  Its hard to find such down-to-earth, soulful people like those at Scribe.  A must-see quaint tasting room off of Napa Road, heading into Sonoma.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June: What's new in the Kitchen

As the weather finally cooperates and begins to feel like the promised summer, we begin to start dreaming of the beautiful new bounty of fruits and vegetables.  From the delicious sweet figs which we will be serving with gorgonzola, walnuts, caramelized onions and a house-made balsamic glaze atop of our flatbreads, to the prized Big Ranch heirloom tomatoes served on both our caprese salad with locally sourced mozzarella as well as the delicious heirloom margarita flatbread. We are very excited for what’s in store for the coming summer months!!!