Here are a few of my favorite organic wine producers. Visit their websites for more information on current varietal and vintage selections.
Grgich Hills, grgich.com
Bonterra Vineyards, bonterra.com
Frog’s Leap Winery, frogsleap.com
Frei Ranch Vineyard, gallosonoma.com
Ceãgo Vinegarden, ceago.com
Robert Sinskey Vineyards, robertsinskey.comWhen I was told that the topic for this month’s issue of CH&L was “eco-friendly living” I panicked. Though I try my best to be mindful of the choices I make, I certainly do not consider myself an environmentalist. But, as I began to consider the topic, I realized that the subject I do know, “stylish living,” can also be eco-friendly! All you have to do is eat seasonally.
That’s it; these two simple words can dramatically improve your contribution to the environment. Without exception, when creating a menu or deciding what to order at a restaurant, the season is by far the most important factor that determines what I serve or eat. In March, spring is right around the corner. And as the weather warms up, your cravings for a hot bowl of chili give way to that subtle urge for a crisp, refreshing salad. Even if your own cravings are not the first indicator, the produce you begin to see at the grocery store will clue you in.
Eating seasonally means basing your meals off the ingredients that are most bountiful (and flavorful) at any given time of the year. By resisting the urge to buy corn on the cob in winter, you are doing much more than avoiding the chance that your meal will feature a chewy, limp piece of corn. In fact, you are also helping sustain the farmers whose livelihood is based upon their ability to sell the abundance of just-harvested mangoes. A simple Internet search of “seasonal produce chart” returns more than one million results. And, while different charts reflect slightly different guidelines, you get the idea why strawberries (imported from South America) can set you back a hefty $4.99 per pound in the winter.
There is no doubt that an environmentally friendly lifestyle can peacefully coexist with the concept of stylish living. In fact, supporting our Colorado farmers (and restaurants who do the same) makes you more stylish than your neighbor who shops for strawberries in January. With this in mind, I have created an elegant spring dinner menu featuring some of the best ingredients this season has to offer. Pair it with organically produced wines and you are on your way to more eco-friendly and stylish living.