Miner Family Winery’s Spring Fling has Flung (aka YAY IT’S SUMMER!!)
Have I ever told you how much I LOVE blogging? It opens up so many opportunities to meet amazing people and do incredible things. For example - a few weekends ago I went to The Miner Family Winery’s Spring Fling Release Party with Vineliving (Mallory) and so many other blogger friends. Let me tell you, this event was LEGIT. It gathered foodie bloggers from around the Bay Area to celebrate the sun, err, the summer. Of course we celebrated in true Napa style - with wine 🍷
Spring Fling was co-hosted by blogger goddess Vine-Living, which should tell you right there just how special this was. And if you don’t know who that is, go ahead and hop on over to Bloglovin and follow this amazing woman right now. She’ll teach you all the things you need to know to be hip in Napa.
Anyway, Miner hosts this party every year to release summer wines into the summer season. You can really feel summer coming on with this event, so if you haven’t pulled out your summer dresses yet, it’s TIME.
I really loved this event because we were absolutely spoiled by Miner! They gave bloggers their entire second story which included unlimited wine, food catered by gourmet grilled cheese sandwich makers @grilledcheezguy (who are so talented they’ve won nine National Grilled Cheese Invitational trophies), and oysters by the infamous @billtheoysterman1996. Did you know he’s literally kidnapped people for private parties before and got paid for it??
Miner Family Winery
Miner is located right past the Oakville crossroad on Silverado trail. It’s absolutely stunning as their winery overlooks opposing vineyards. It was founded in 1996 by Dave and Emily Miner, though the caves there are serious and took 15 months to complete!
Dave and Emily married each other and released their first miner wines in 1999. Five years later Bon Appetit included them in the “Top Five” All-American wines. What a whirlwind! After more than twenty years of Miner, they’re still full steam ahead and their wines are as strong and beautiful as ever.
If you want to learn more about them before making your visit (because you really have to see it and taste it for yourself!), you can check out their blog or find them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Anyway, back to the Spring Fling. If you’re lucky enough to go to one of these, you can expect to be treated to a truly delicious and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Rosato. But the specific blends and flavors are always different, so let me tell you about the wines we tasted this year.
2017 Rosato of Sangiovese
This is probably the summeriest wine of all the wines in the world. The French know how to welcome the sun in style, and it always involves a chilled rose wine! This rosé is made in the traditional Provence style using Sangiovese grapes. They’re pressed gently until a blush color is produced, leaving a dry, medium-bodied wine with cherry-pomegranate flavors. I really love this one, though it is slightly on the sweeter side compared to a red. Luckily it’s dry for a rosé though so I think even you dry wine lovers will enjoy a glass or two.
One of my favorite things to do when trying new wines is to think about the best vegan pairings to really bring forward all the right flavors. So I’ll do that for each of the wines I tried, starting with this one!
The Rosato practically sings with joy when you add a side of flatbread lightly smeared with olive oil. Or of course you can dunk for some added fun. But really any fat will work beautifully with Sangiovese grapes since it helps to balance the tannins. You can try other oils like avocado or walnut, or try drizzling oil over other foods like tomato and basil. If you want something non oil-based, hazelnuts, pistachios and fig work really well here.
2017 Sauvignon Blanc
This is a Bordeaux style white wine that’s crisp in all the right ways. This bright flavor comes from being fermented and aged in steel barrels. When you sip on this beauty, expect to smell stone fruit and fresh herbs while tasting grapefruit and melon. Interestingly this type of wine is best enjoyed in its youngest years, within 2-3 years after bottling.
I love pairing this with an English pea hummus and vegetable crudite. Basalt in Napa does an amazing English pea hummus. Did you know English peas and sweet peas are the same thing, and are actually garden peas? Did you also know I love geeking out about veggies? Ha!!
You can also pair sauv blanc with cucumbers drizzled with coconut aminos and black sesame seeds, seasonal green veggies like broccoli or legumes like green or fava beans. And of course a little vegan pesto pizza never hurt anyone….
This is a beautiful Rhône style white wine that’s also fermented in stainless steel, but in tanks instead of barrels. Before they make it to the tanks, they’re whole cluster pressed, which gives it a really bright tropical flavor. It’s a well balanced wine that’s also best enjoyed within the first few years of bottling and should be served chilled.
Viogniers pair best with a salad course. I like to make mine super colorful by adding fresh fruit like apricot, peach, blackberries, or mango. You can continue playing with your salad by adding microgreens, homemade dressings (it’s actually pretty easy and fun to make these!), nutritional yeast, and slivered almonds, sesame seeds, cucumbers, or anything that adds a little crunch.
If you’re not feeling salad vibes, first of all, I think you just haven’t found your salad soulmate yet, but ok ok, you could also pair with sweet root veggies like sweet potato, carrot or parsnips. Eating them raw will give you the highest nutrient bang for your buck, but feel free to roast them with a little cinnamon, ginger or turmeric if you’d prefer to eat them warm.
2014 Grenache Sierra Foothills
Miner offers two grenaches, which are Rhône-Style red wines. We tried their Sierra Foothills grenache, which comes from the Naggier family vineyard. Their other grenache is sourced from Hudson Vineyard. The Sierra Foothills blend has a light body, a strawberry/raspberry flavor and a floral and spicy scent. I know it’ll be hard, but try to drink it within four years of bottling. This one should be served chilled just below cellar temperature.
As far as food goes, Asian, Thai and Indian curries are my favorite to pair Grenaches. Any of them work, but if you’re really getting creative you can look into curries from other countries too! Grenaches usually have a fruity characteristic like strawberry, black cherry or raspberry. Vegan paella or vegan risotto works really well too, and honestly any world food works perfectly here because of the spices in Grenache.
2014 Syrah Stagecoach Vineyards
Instead of trying their other grenache, Miner treated us to another Rhône-Style red - their Stagecoach Vineyards Syrah. Stagecoach is located on Atlas Peak and offers classically dark, fruity flavors with a fun smoky spice.
Because of the smokiness, I love pairing syrahs with Mediterranean food like dolmas, falafel, hummus and pita, or Greek salad.
2015 Emily’s Cabernet Sauvignon
We ended with a Bordeaux style red wine - the classic Cab Sauv. In fact, it’s so classic that they offer 3 different varieties. Emily’s was named after the co-founder of Miner named…. You guessed it, Emily. They gave this one the honors of sharing her name because it’s as beautiful and expressive as she was. The wine is decadent and smells of black fruit, toasted oak, espresso and mocha. Though it’s labelled a cab sauv, it’s actually got a little merlot and petit verdot in there too.
This is my go to dinner wine and the one I was most excited to try. Whenever I am out I always get a cab. The bold flavor just calls to me and I know I’ll be happiest with this! So in my mind it pairs with every vegan dinner I make. Really this is the wine I would buy over and over again and love it equally the same at every dinner.
Now that you’ve heard all about these delicious summer releases, I hope you can make some time over the next couple of months to check Miner out for yourself. Whenever you’re ready to live a life of luxury and try these bad boys out in a CAVE, they’re ready for you. Bring your phones (haha, as if you’d forget!) and they’ll even snap some pics of you and your friends. Remember to use the hashtags #MinerGals, #MinerWines, and #DrinkMinerWines to get Insta famous. And don’t forget all their summer releases pair perfectly with vegan dishes, so have fun and get creative!
PS - for those of you event lovers like myself, Miner hosts a stage at BottleRock (May 25th - 27th) that will have music, shade and games. It’s super fun so make sure to stop by. There’s also going to be a First Friday Sunset Lounge Tasting Event on July 6th. If you’re into eating, drinking and sunset viewing, this is your jam. Space is limited so make sure to snag your spot while you still can.
Thanks for the help Talia Chakraborty
Just another girl who is trying to inspire others. Passionate about health and fitness. And a love of coffee and peanut butter.