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Iron Horse Vineyards

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Iron Horse Blog

Joy Sterling
 
April 27, 2015 | Joy Sterling

Iron Horse Announcement - A White House Tradition Continues

It’s not every day I start off the week with an Iron Horse “shout out” from the Office of the First Lady.  I’m proud to announce that our wine - 2007 Russian River Cuvee - will be poured at Tuesday evening’s State Dinner for the Prime Minister of Japan.

 

As I’m sure you know, an invitation to a White House state dinner is one of Washington's most sought-after “tickets”. VIP guests resplendent in black tie  and designer gowns dine on an impeccably concepted four-course meal served by America's most famous kitchen.
 
The news that Iron Horse has a ticket as a featured VIP beverage came during an 11AM EST press preview for the State Dinner, led by Michelle Obama (ending speculation over which “patriotic tasting wine” would be chosen). Find the menu announcement here. The guest chef is Masaharu Morimoto. The tables will be decorated with cherry blossoms that symbolize the friendship between the US and Japan … and each place setting will have a set of red lacquered chopsticks.

 

The First Lady unveiled the menu along with the Obama state china service which she had a hand in designing. The china introduces a special blue inspired by the waters of Hawaii being called  “Kailua blue” and the service was made by Pickard China, of Antioch, Illinois. The President was born in Hawaii and Illinois is the First Lady’s home state. Find the Architectural Digest spotlight on the china here.

 

 

Iron Horse is “at home” in the elegant State Dining Room during this Obama administration which has been selective with their schedule of State Dinners. They’ve hosted the fewest since the Truman administration, which seems to assign each event heightened historical significance. Our wine was served at the State Dinner for India in November 2009 (It paired wonderfully with the post-meal Beyoncé performance!) as well as the State Dinner for David Cameron in March 2012. Traditionally, Iron Horse is served as the toasting wine, at the end of the meal.

 

 

The Iron Horse relationship with the Obamas continues our vineyard’s tradition of strong White House relations. Iron Horse has been a favorite going back 30 years and five consecutive Presidential Administrations. Something we’re very proud of. Stay tuned as we continue to chronicle all exciting elements of this soiree - from the bubbles to the fashion & entertainment - with the hashtag #IronHorseintheWhiteHouse

 

Time Posted: Apr 27, 2015 at 9:56 AM
Joy Sterling
 
March 31, 2015 | Joy Sterling

Star Chef Series: Sparkling & Spring with Charlie Palmer

Welcome to the first installment of our Star Chef Blog Series. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing Q&As with our most special friends who serve custom Iron Horse cuvees in their restaurants. In honor of Easter & Passover, and with the spirit of renewal that comes with Spring, we’ve interviewed Iron Horse's great friend Charlie Palmer for a fresh take on a classic.
 
Starting with New York City’s Aureole, Charlie now owns 14 restaurants around the country, two hotels in the heart of California’s wine country and The Mystic Hotel in San Francisco.  Our friendship with Charlie Palmer is as rich as his culinary creations and shines through in the delicious Aureole Cuvee. The current release is our 20th vintage of making this unique, limited production bubbly.

 

When we called Charlie up one early Spring day, we challenged him to walk us through a seasonally appropriate food pairing for our sparkling wine and Pinot Noirs. The season is right for the Sonoma County baby lamb or ham and our Pinot Noirs just received stellar ratings by the editors at Wine Enthusiast which will appear in the June 2015 issue. Here’s what we learned...

 

IRON HORSE INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE PALMER:
 
Iron Horse: What drew you to develop a partnership with Iron Horse?
 
Charlie Palmer: We started with Iron Horse years ago. My team of wine directors and sommeliers aimed to develop a sparkling wine that was both “food friendly” and could be an aperitif. The Aureole Cuvee is just that. We offer restaurant guests a small coup glass as they peruse the cocktail menu. Just 3 ozs of bubbles triggers that feeling of celebration and serves as a palette starter, but you can certainly drink it through the entire meal.

 

Iron Horse: What flavors make the Aureole Cuvee a menu go-to for you?
 
Charlie Palmer: It’s about freshness and balance. It was important that the sparkling wine bring good acidity to compliment richer foods with higher fat content.
 
Iron Horse: Spring has sprung at our vineyards. What celebratory sparkling creations are you preparing for Easter and Passover celebrations at your restaurant?
 
Charlie Palmer: When you think of Easter and Passover, you think of brunch. Our brunch menus at a few of the restaurants will offer a seasonal sparkling wine cocktail which will include 6 oz of the Aureole Cuvee, a few drops of pomegranate syrup to get a blush pink coloring, pomegranate seeds, and half an ounce of absynth.
 
Iron Horse: What’s on the menu for the main course?
 
Charlie Palmer: When I was a kid we always had a big, roast ham for Easter. It brings salty, rich flavors that are perfect for pairing with Iron Horse Pinot Noir. The fatty, smokiness of the cured ham is perfect for balancing the Pinot Noir flavors which bring fruitiness and acidity up front. Lamb dishes would also work wonderfully.
 
Iron Horse: You mention Pinot Noirs, ours were recently honored with excellent ratings awarded by Wine Enthusiast. What makes this Iron Horse red stand out?
 
Charlie Palmer: When people think about Iron Horse - they think about sparkling. But the Pinots have some of the most interesting terrior make-ups. Green Valley Pinot is different from other areas because of its indigenous vegetal overtone which makes them more interesting than some of the bigger fruit bombs from Sonoma Coast and Russian River. They have great depth and finesse that are more Burgundian in style than others you see from California.
 
Iron Horse: Finally, how do you conclude an Easter or Passover meal?
 
Charlie Palmer: I’m not big on sweet wines or Ports. More than anything else I like the idea of closing the meal with dessert and sparkling wine, especially fruit desserts. I would recommend poached green peaches with deconstructed crumble and Aureole Cuvee. This has good acidity and effervescence from the sparkling wine in the poaching liquid.

For more information about Charlie Palmer’s current projects visit charliepalmer.com. Find shop our full selection of Iron Horse Sparkling Wine on our website.