|Sunday July 6, 2014
Pat is away in San Diego with her two sisters but I had a visit from Kate and her boyfriend, Bryan. We had a great time last night when I made pizza. Kate's pizza was veggie and Bryan I had peperoni and sausage. As I have said before I am baking my pizza now right on the Weber grill but it does need to be controlled to make sure the center burners are turned off when they are hot enough otherwise the bottom of the pizza gets burnt. The back rotisserie burner does a fabulous job of cooking the top of the pizza. I have had no trouble with the dough falling through and thus I will never cook pizza any other way.
Yesterday morning when I made my dough, I used my sour dough starter as usual for some of the dough. I was busy down stairs and forgot to check the replenished starter. I usually use half of the sour dough and then fill it back up with water and flour. At room temperature it usually is rising again in an hour or two and needs to be put back in the frig. This time I went up stairs after 4 hours and some of it had exploded out of the jar. I said to myself: "why not use some of this fresh starter". So it wouldn't stick too much, I decided to mix it with very little King Arthur perfect pizza flour which has, among other things, a little salt and baking soda along with baking powder. I put a little cheese, sauce and mushrooms on it and it was a big hit for the first snack. I did not even kneed it and it was nice and sour and crunchy. My usual dough has some sour dough starter in it but a good amount of garlic, pepper, Cajun seasoning along with caraway seed and fennel seed. I mix it for a long time in my Cuisinart. Next week I will try to use the sour dough flour, mostly, and add my usual seasoning but I won't kneed it and I won't add some instant yeast as I normally do.
........lamb tonight, chicken backs tomorrow and fried chicken in the infrared oven outside for Pat Wednesday......Tuesday I don't know what I will have. Tomorrow we will be bottling so I will have new wine to try..........fun......fun.......fun
Monday July 7, 2014
9:30 Pm: It has been a successful day of bottling.........usually we have had problems the first day. We only bottled some Barbera, Grenache and Petite Sirah but the Petite Sirah is what I like in a young wine. These were all 2013 10 month aged wines so they are young...........I opened all of them. I opened a 16 month 2012 Barbera, 2011 10 month Petite Sirah, along with a 2012 10 Month Petite Sirah. I also tried a 2011 Grenache, 10 month.............the 2013 Petite Sirah..........my new favorite.......remember I like very sharp, intense, tannic, fruity bombs!! The 2013 Petite Sirah is too intense for most light weights like my wife. she likes Pinot, rose.....................So if you like Zinfandel on the light side you will not like the tannins in the 2013 Petite Sirah. I like the fruit in the 2011 Petite Sirah, it is ready......the 2012 Petite Sirah is not ready. I still expect the 2012 Vintage to be one of my best, it is not complex enough at this stage............the 2011 explodes with complex fruit and the 2013 is more intense with everything harsh like intense tannins if you swirl............but
Now I am enjoying the Arrogant Bastard Ale again. I only take a swirl or two because I love the hops. Today I could not believe.......I heard hops may be good for sleep. As I have said before I hate sleeping. I think it is a weakness because I want to live every moment whether in sleep or during the day or in the evening mellowing out. But after my knee surgery and now a broken back, I now am thinking about how to stay a sleep and most important......how to fall asleep without thinking about the next day. I of course consume some alcohol which usually puts most people to sleep within a few hours...........more tomorrow..............
today This is what is usual:::::::::::: ............I started tasting these new wines and a few older vintages........it was real fun.......it took about 15 minutes between cooking Turkey necks and chicken backs BBQ with grilled fresh onions and peppers from our garden but I have a Savior to keep me from consuming too much wine........I can not evaluate wine after an hour in a complete way. I enjoy it, I still know which one I like but I can't taste the complexity, that is what wine is about............
Once back in 1972 or around there, I traveled at about 6 pm......in my 911 Porsche (I always liked nice handling autos, the best was the 914).........down to Palo Alto in the South Bay. I lived in Marin County north of San Francisco in the town of Fairfax........I loved Fairfax, another story...........It took about one hour and a half, I was young and it did not seem too long.......I was excited because I had a half bottle of 1953 La Mission Haut Brion and I had heard great things about the vintage and how complex the wine could be. I was visiting Einar my bunk mate in army Basic Training. He was the only one to put up with me.......nice guy, always...........
So I arrived and Cammy, Einar's wife, made us a great dinner while Einar and occasionally Cammy and of course my laying on the floor with Einar for hours just enjoying every sip. Nothing can duplicate enjoyed that great wine........it was the best........12 ounces enjoyed by three people over three hours, sipping
I am so disappointed lately in Bordeaux or even replicas in California. I most admit I have the Coffaro palate so I apologize but even Pat likes these more fruity natural tasting wines that most of us in Dry Creek Valley are producing BUT
When Kate was here I opened many older wines. As you know I like younger wines but I wanted to see what the younger generation likes when I was the same age and traveling down to Palo Alto......I opened a 1999 half bottle of Ridge Montebello Cabernet. The 6 bottles cost me a lot in 2002 on futures and I am sure I could sell it for a lot more now. I think it was rated the highest score then. Three bottles I have consumed now and it still has no fruit and now a little complexity but very disappointing............
Then we tried three Bordeaux wines and they had a similar style.........little fruit and drier harsher tones. We did open my 2003 Cabernet in screwcap.......all the others of course were in cork.............the Ridge Montebello cork disintegrated on impact of a puller. One of the finer corks was a 1999 Rafanelli Cab and the best Cab of the evening.
Unfortunately I am into more complex young wines. The smell, complexity in old wine especially Bordeaux is unique but where is the fruit...........just my opinion.......Bordeaux is famous..............................................
Another great winery around here in Dry Creek Valley is Mounts........Check them out
Tuesday July 8, 2014
9:30 Pm: I am very stressed out........I am bottling which, year after year is the second most intense thing I have experienced in my life. HARVEST is the most intense. I could never do HARVEST all year.
During this intense time I have a problem..........I am being charged more for my electricity than in the past 10 years. No it isn't the Tesla charging.........it is a change of distribution away from my home (the most demand usually........though more power this week is being needed by the winery because we are bottling). PG&E has not finalized the paper work, that is the reason my solar power people say I am losing money. The solar company moved things around.........I am still trying to learn more........I do remember a wire has been removed from my house. I remember the solar company representative say: "Isn't that better now, You don't see that wire". Seriously I never saw the wire, it was way too high to notice. Of course now I know: that wire was connected to my first solar array out at the corner of the vineyard, pointed do South, the best place. The new 450 ft solar array down by the creek is facing to the South West still good from what I hear. I am gaining a great deal of power finally in the last few weeks from this new $100,000+ investment, but, finally working in the last three weeks, it is only allocated to the irrigation SO the irrigation meter is providing way too much power and since PG&E has not allocated my bills, I suspect I will lose all this extra power.........AND then there is the biggest problem:
The guest house is also gaining a great deal of power, I suspect I am losing that extra power also AND of course that power should be going to my Home. Let me make this clear: I am getting no solar to my house......the wire was removed over a month ago so I am receiving bills for my home equal to all of what I spent 12 months of last year. I am not happy...............I am told the house bill will be allocated to the new system even though their is no wire? Of course it is PG&E's fault? They need to allocate the bills?.......The question is when and how much more am I going to lose?
Ok I am happy about the bottling. We bottled Carignan and Escuro today and I tasted some of the wines from last night also. I enjoyed the 2013 Grenache from yesterday. I thought it was the best balanced of the 2011 and 2012. The Escuro needs another night for me to decide, I liked all three, 2013, 2012 and 2011. I preferred the 2012 Carignan to the 2011 and 2013...........tomorrow will be another day.
Wednesday July 9, 2014
9:30 Pm: I have 5 accounts with PG&E. I spent a few times two weeks ago, when we got back from Vancouver, talking to PG&E. There are different levels obviously in PG&E. I had got in contact with nice people who wanted to help me..............a good thing for any of us.........Before I contacted PG&E I was told by the solar company (Let's now call them "Solar") that their was a problem................ Wow, I have to change my name on the account from David Coffaro to David F Coffaro and Patricia N Coffaro because that is what is stated in the deed. "Solar" said this is what was holding things up for the last month. It was PG&E's fault. Now I am hearing from PG&E one of my accounts is Irrigation, not Business and not Residential SO I have one Irrigation meter, account? one that is business, maybe two if they count the guest house and our water pump just for our water in the house and every where else........That is the smallest bill because we do not pay any district to supply our water........we have a simple pump and a well so the electricity to run our basic water is small. I digress.........we have residential also
Of course the irrigation water is another matter and costs us a lot to run the whole vineyard not just our sprinklers and basic water like the pump does. As I have said the irrigation is now connected to the new array. Now today: Something must be happening at PG&E, I hope, since I can't get into my irrigation account to see what happened the other day (They are two days late with results). I was told there was a transition on going. Yesterday the irrigation meter was going backwards at 100 Kw H's so are they going to give me credit for this lapse...........oh sure I was told. The winery is going forward by 100 Kw H's. Those should offset each other?......I hope
The most distressing thing I was told by PG&E: Your house was disconnected from the solar so you will have to pay the bill...............I guess at $137 a week!!!!!!
I was assured by "Solar" we did not have to re connect the wire to our House. PG&E is wrong............The bottom line: I have automatic paying so my account will be charged for $548.05 tomorrow for the last months bill on our house.
Again the bottling went well. We bottled the Block 4 and Pinot. The 2013 Pinot Noir was more my style somewhat bold compared to the 2011, (which I thought beat all high end Pinot's from that vintage, just my opinion because the style of most Pinot's,,,,,,,..is...........wimpy. I like fruity Grenache from our vineyard better. I liked the 2013 Block 4. We have three more wines to bottle tomorrow so I will have much more to report..........I have to try my new sleep aid, hops extract, but I have several others to try if this does not work. I am getting about 5 hours sleep, better than none.
Friday July 11, 2014
9:30 Pm: Pat is back so we are watching Mad Men..........we are two season back
Nothing more with the Solar issue. I have heard little back from "Solar". But I did find out information that may be good for me in the future. I still think I am going to lose well over $1000 and "Solar" will pay for it. Take a look at this link if you are interested.
The bottling in the last two days went well except I found a bottle with the screwcap coming off in one piece. That concerned Matt so he was on the phone. I think it was an aberration but Matt is looking into it. We bottled 2013 10 month Estate Cuvee, RaiZin and Aca Modot on Thursday and Estate Zinfandel and Dave's Cuvee today. Dave's Cuvee had a lot of fresh fruit more on the par for Pat BUT Pat does not want a wine implying her name. I preferred 2013 Aca to 2011 and 12 because it had more complexity. They are all good. Estate Zin is spicy showing a promise for this Zinfandel vintage. RaiZin was close to Block 4 from a few nights ago and I will have to try them when opened the same night and of course over a few days.
We will end our bottling on Monday and Tuesday when we bottle Terre Melange, My Zin and our special offer for 2013 Zp2C, at $144 a case................
Saturday July 12, 2014
A day off so I will head off to Safeway in Healdsburg, 10 miles away. Our tomatoes and vegetables from our garden are abundant but I need a few other things. I could head down to Santa Rosa, 30 miles away, and have more fun with my Model S but I don't think I need Costco anymore. I have had Costco Business deliver for free if I purchase $250 worth of things SO paper goods and water have been ordered there. Also most everything else I purchase from Amazon, including all the things needed for my two kitties.
The link above to the solar information is working now after a lot of work. The main thing to see is that Net Energy Metering Aggregation, NEMA says all my bills from my 5 meters will be combined and thus looked at for the final bill. It seems I do not have to have the House-Office connected to solar. There are three arrays up near the road where three meters are situated. There is the Home-Office meter, the Winery and the Guest House meters. There is an array out in Block One near the three buildings I mention. There are also two arrays on the back of the Guest House. Right now all three meters are feeding the winery and the Guest House and the Home-House is not connected to solar. It is interesting to see how much power we use now that our Home-Office has no solar. That is where my Model S is charged and it looks like it costs about $1 an hour or 29 miles provided when charging about a 25% of the cost of gas. The new 450 foot array down by the creek is feeding the irrigation. Our basic water pump down by the creek is not connected to solar just like the Home-Office meter. When all is complete I should have nothing to pay to PG&E when all bills are allocated together. The problem remains with PG&E. They seem to be having trouble with the paper work SO in the mean time after paying $548.05 for the bill for the Home-Office, I see a new bill for it over $400 due next month. This aggregation may take another month or two........darn
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