Tuesday, July 31, 2012

60 Second Wine Expert: Reading a Wine List

America's premier wine expert, Kevin Zraly teaches Delish.com's Elizabeth Shepard how to read a wine list.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Quick Guide to Ordering at a Steak Restaurant

Getting the most out of a visit to a steak restaurant is hard to do without some knowledge about the different options one has. For first-time visitors to a genuine steakhouse, the array of choices for cuts and degrees of cooking may be a bit daunting. Some might even just choose steaks according to price rather than by the cut. Learning even a little about the difference in cuts then can help enrich a visit to the steakhouse.

One of the most common listings on a steakhouse menu is the Filet Mignon. French for "cute fillet" or "dainty fillet", this steak cut is wholly taken from the tenderloin part of a steer or heifer. Because of this, the meat is perhaps the most tender available and thus one of the most expensive choices on a menu.

The Porterhouse or T-bone steak also makes use of the loin meat. Consisting of a T-shaped bone with meat on both sides of it, this contains meat from both the tenderloin and the short loin. The difference between them depends on the amount of tenderloin included.

Not all great steaks are taken from the loin parts, though. The rib eye steak uses meat taken from the rib section. The meat in this section is "marbled" with fat, making it more tender and flavorful. It might be something that those looking for lean meat would want to avoid, though.

Knowing about these three common cuts available at a steak restaurant can help a lot on one's next visit. That way one can enjoy his meal more, knowing exactly what's on the plate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5156602

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meet Chef Peter...

Chef Peter has worked in some of San Francisco and Napa's grteatest culinary icons such as Gary Dankos, Dean & Deluca's, The Brix in Yountville and NV in Downtown Napa.

He has taken his Eastern European roots, combined with the wine country traditions of his home town, Napa, and has fused them together to explode off of the Mankas Steakhouse Menu. Chef Peter is all about locally grown produce and flavor infusions of the Suisun Valley, mixed with a true Californian carnivore's deepest desires.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Choosing Wine: How to Select a Bottle of Wine in a Restaurant

How to choose a bottle of wine in a restaurant - Tips for choosing wine

When you're handed the wine list at a restaurant, are you seized with panic, afraid you'll order the wrong bottle? Ray Isle, Senior Wine Editor at Food and Wine magazine shares his tips for how to order wine from a wine list.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Suisun Valley Winemaking History

Varietal grape growing for premium winemaking in California’s Suisun Valley, has roots dating back into the 1800′s, and represents over a century of continuous viticultural activity.

In the 1800′s, vineyards were more prominently located in the southern end of both Suisun Valley and neighboring Green Valley. They were typified by classic head pruned vines in field-blend plantings. In the latter 1800′s, Mangles Winery(long decommissioned and now gone) sat just to the west of Suisun Valley Road near Cordelia. It represented one of the largest commercial wineries in the United States in its day, and produced wines from fruit grown in and around this location.

While phylloxera (and later Prohibition) did much to disrupt the local grape industry in the early 1900′s, a strong rebound for grapes and wine commenced in the post WWII economic expansion. Wine industry cycles over the years have continued to increase viticultural acreage, change varietal plantings, and influence a continuous pursuit of quality gains.

In 1982, growers of the Western Solano County Grape Growers Association successfully petitioned the BATF, and received formal designation of Suisun Valley as an identified AVA. The 15,000 acre Suisun Valley AVA was subsequently included in the 1983 formation of the North Coast AVA, combining Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino counties, together with Suisun Valley and Green Valley (with elements of Lake and Marin Counties) into one overarching ultra premium growing region, now recognized world-wide.

Benefiting from a Mediterranean climate, properly fertile soils and significant marine air influences during summer months, Suisun Valley growers have incorporated new trellising systems with changes in varietal and clone selections, to continue quality enhancement in wine grape production.

Today approximately 3,000 acres are under vine in the Suisun Valley and that fruit continues to be sourced by numerous Napa and Sonoma wineries for inclusion in multiple product lines.

Source: http://svvga.com/appellation-facts/history/

Monday, July 16, 2012

Banquet Offerings

Mankas Tapas Bar & Steakhouse is a historic site which has been beautifully restored for memorable events:
  • Weddings
  • Parties
  • Corporate Events
  • Non-Profit Organizations
    Private Gardens:

  • 25 - 150 People
    Off-Site Venues:
    Vezer Estates - Surrounded by rolling hills, one of the most stunning view in the valley.
  • 25 - 200 People

  • Blue Victorian - Step back 100 years in this elegantly restored Victorian home and barn, now Winery with Spectacular Barrel Room and Outdoor Tented area.
  • 25 - 200 People

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Mankas Tapas Bar & Steakhouse Is An Active Member Of The Suisun Valley AVA

    The Suisun Valley AVA, is an American Viticultural Area in Solano County, California, at the southern end of the Coast Range bordering the Napa Valley region. It was established as a wine appellation of origin on December 27, 1982.

    Suisun Valley lies within the southern end of the Coast Range, between the Vaca Mountains and the Mt. George Range to the west, and ends at Suisun Bay to the south while to the north it starts at the Napa County line. It is approximately 3 miles (5 km) by 8 miles (13 km). It contains about 15,000 acres (61 km2 of which approximately 2,200 acres (9 km2) are planted with grapes.

    Mankas Tapas Bar & Steakhouse is an active member of the Suisun Valley AVA. We shop weekly at the local Farmer's Markets to purchase and serve the freshest, local produce to our customers in our restaurant. Much of this produce is also organically grown.

    We pour wines that have been rated some of the best in the region; including a wide selection from the Vezer Family Vineyard.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    The Origin of Tapas

    The Origin of Tapas
    There are several stories about the origin of tapas, which are a part of the folklore:

    It is told that King Alfonso X, el Sabio or "the Wise One," made sure that Castilian taverns served wine accompanied by something to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients' heads.

    Another story claims that while on a long trip, King Alfonso had stopped to rest in the town of Ventorillo del Chato in the southern province of Cádiz, and he ordered a glass of jerez or sherry. There was a gusty wind, so the inn keeper served him his glass of sherry covered by a slice of ham to prevent the sherry from getting dirty. King Alfonso apparently liked it, and when he asked for a second glass, he requested another tapa or "cover" just like the first.

    Whatever the true origin of tapas, prepare one or several, then enjoy them like the Spanish do – with a glass of wine and a relaxed attitude. ¡Ah! Divino… or Divine…

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    What Are Tapas?

    Question: What are Tapas?

    Tapas are snacks, canapés or finger food that originated in Spain. Tapas come in many different forms and can vary from town to town! But, what are they?

    Answer: Tapas can be practically anything from a chunk of tuna, cocktail onion and an olive skewered on a long toothpick, to piping hot meat with sauce served in a miniature clay dish - or anything in between. Tapas are served day in and day out in every bar and café in Spain. So much a part of the culture and social scene that the Spanish people invented the verb tapear which means to go and eat tapas!

    In most regions, you must order and pay for a ración or serving, but in the province of Granada, one small tapa is complimentary with each round of drinks ordered. Tapas keep the Spanish fueled for their long journeys from bar to bar before their midday meal, as well as in the evening before dinner.

    Tapas have received a lot of attention in the last 10 years or so and consequently have gained popularity all over the world. In Spain, they are simply a part of life. Tapas, Spain's appetizers are eaten any time - day or night. Put a few of these little dishes together and they can make a meal on their own! Going out to eat tapas is such a big part of the culture that there is even a verb "tapear", which means "to eat tapas."

    Source: http://spanishfood.about.com/od/discoverspanishfood/f/faqtapas.htm

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Vezer Winery:The Blue Victorian Tasting Room

    In the 2nd part of my profile of the Vezer Winery in Suisun Valley, CA, I visit the Blue Victorian property for a visit to the tasting room and cellar

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Vezer Winery-Blending Clip

    Short version of a longer profile of Vezer Winery just outside of Fairfield, CA with onsite Sommelier and Director of Sales Ron Plunkett. This short version was submitted to this years Wine Spectators Video Contest (2010).