Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Straight from Somerset Ridge!

In anticipation of temperatures in the 50s this weekend, they are making a Spring Citron Martini with 2 parts Somerset Ridge Citron, 1 part lemon sparkling water, a slice of lemon and a few home-grown raspberries for charm! What a great way to spend the evening!
 Cindy and Dennis are still celebrating!

Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery
wins prestigious 2010 Jefferson Cup Invitational award!

Traminette Oktoberfest by Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery wins a prestigious 2010 Jefferson Cup Invitational award. Of the more than six hundred US wines invited to participate in the annual competition, only twenty were recognized in 2010.

 Midwest wines are on a roll. In the center of the United States, a new type of crop is taking root: wine grapes. With the passing of the Kansas Farm Winery Act in 1985, the state better known for fields of corn and magical red slippers started down a path to rebuild the once world-famous Midwest grape growing and wine industry.
Before Prohibition, most of the wine produced in the US came from Missouri and eastern Kansas. Prohibition devastated the once-thriving industry but in the past 20 years, the region has been reasserting itself in quantity and quality. Now, Kansas is producing some of the most attractive wines in the country.

In only five years - since 2005 - the number of licensed wineries in Kansas has risen from 13 to 25. Says owner/winemaker Dennis Reynolds: "At Somerset Ridge, we have made it our mission to show the world what Midwestern soil is capable of."
Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery, just twenty miles south of the emerging cultural hub of Kansas City, has made one of the best white wines in the nation, as recognized in the 2010 Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition. The event took place on November 18-19 in Kansas City, Missouri. More than six hundred wines had been pre-selected as outstanding examples of viticulture and winemaking in America. In addition to winning a prestigious Jefferson Cup, Somerset Ridge also garnered gold and silver medals for five other wines.

Awarded with a Jefferson Cup in the category Best Non-Vinifera White for its Oktoberfest, Somerset Ridge has joined the ranks of the local wine revolution in the United States. Dennis Reynolds says: "This is a validation of our region's re-emergence as a world-class wine producing area. We are excited about what the Jefferson Cup recognition will bring for the growing Kansas - and Midwest - wine industry."

Alongside winners from California and New York's Finger Lakes region, there were two other Kansas wineries awarded (for a total of four cups) as well as two wineries from Missouri and one from Ohio. "The local food movement is very strong in the Kansas City area, providing an incubator for the local, sustainable wine industry," owner Cindy Reynolds says.

The Jefferson Cup Invitational has been organized by Doug Frost MW, MS, each year since 2000. Other judges include wine merchant and past chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Wayne Belding MS; Laura dePasquale MS, vice president of fine wine at Palm Bay International; and Guy Stout CWE, MS, corporate director of beverage education at Glazer's. The annual selecting of both Vitis vinifera and non-vinifera wines for the Jefferson Cup aims to respect the diversity of American viticulture and Thomas Jefferson's own celebration of native varieties and hybrids.

About Somerset Ridge
Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery was started in 1998 by former corporate executives Cindy and Dennis Reynolds when they planted their first vineyards in Somerset, Kansas. Since then, plantings have grown to more than 8000 grape vines of 14 different varieties, both Vitis vinifera and American hybrids. Sustainable farming practices are key at Somerset Ridge. The winery makes both red and white wines, under 18 labels, and a limoncello.

This was taken from the Chamber of Commerce article, released today. The word just keeps spreading!

Here is a recipe I embellished from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine back in 1996....some things are indeed timeless! It is so much better made with our Oktoberfest wine!

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

1/4 cup Tasteful Olive's Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup Somerset Ridge Oktoberfest Wine
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)*
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
For soup: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, wine, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons: Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker