Standing Stone Brewing Company

wine & wine on tap

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8 New Northwest Wines to Sip and Savor

As the spring weather invites us outside, our minds move to sunny days spent enjoying refreshments on the patio. As much as we love sitting at a table with a pint on our hands, we also appreciate a glass of fine wine to accompany the fare from our restaurant kitchen.

This season we’ve revamped our wine menu, and regional wines take center stage. It’s another way we’re paying tribute to the diverse selection offered to us by our region’s growers and winemakers. All of our new wines come from the Rogue, Umpqua or Columbia Valleys in Oregon and Washington. Here’s what’s new on our wine list:

Red Wines

South Stage Cellars Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley

Dark and full-bodied with flavors of cherry and cranberry. We love this wine with our Alder Planked Alaskan Salmon.

Folin Cellars Passive Aggressive, Rogue Valley

Blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah and Tempranillo. This well-balanced wine is enjoyable all on its own or with a bowl of  Sweet Potato Fries.

Valley View Winery Merlot, Applegate Valley

Flavors of black cherry and plum with fine tannins. We think the body and up front fruit in this wine make it a great pairing with our Chicken Marsala.

14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA

Aromas of raspberry with subtle spice. Light cocoa and velvety tannins. Try this wine with our Sausage Linguini, or at home with Eggplant Parmesean.

Genesis Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA

Dark, juicy character with upfront fruit and earthy spice on the finish. This wine has the right balance of richness and spice to pair with the Lamb Pita.

White Wines

Daisy Creek Viognier, Rogue Valley

Floral nose, lush fruit and a clean finish. This is a fantastic food wine! Match a glass with grilled fish, cheese or fruit. We recommend our Artichoke Spinach Dip with red grapes.

Roxy Ann Pinot Gris, Rogue Valley

Crisp and delicious, with flavors of pear and citrus. This is our favorite wine to enjoy on a warm day out on the patio. If you’re hungry, order it with a Scallop and Spinach Salad.

Del Rio Chardonnay, Rogue Valley

Honeysuckle and pear aromas with a light acidity. The light oak in this wine makes it a great match for our Alder Planked Salmon. Try a fillet on top of the house salad.

Several of our wines come from vinyards that are LIVE certified (Low Input Viticulture and Enology). LIVE  is a certification for vineyards and wineries that adhere to international standards for sustainable practices in growing and wine production. This includes promoting and maintaining biological diversity in vineyards, and focusing on soil health and fertility. LIVE’s website includes a full list of certified wineries and certified wines.

We love that we are able to offer quality wines from vineyards and winemakers in our regional “backyard.” Please come in, enjoy a glass and toast our community’s growers and vintners.

Celebrating & Appreciating the Best of 2010

As 2011 settles in, we wanted to reflect on all the great things 2010 brought to Standing Stone Brewing, and appreciate everyone who helped make those things happen. Here’s our 2010 Top 10…

Beer

1. Larry Chase came on as master brewer and he’s taken our beer lineup to the next level. He’s tapped his creativity to craft a fabulous specialty beers, including Milk & Honey, Pilot Rock Pale Ale and Farmer Brown Ale, complementing our other excellent everyday offerings. This trend continues with Madrone Red kicking off 2011.

2. We launched “Brewer for the Day” (inspired by our experience with our first-rate intern, Acacia Baldner), which allows beer enthusiasts to work with Larry and brew a batch of beer. One participant wrote a blog and Larry caught two more in action. Check it out.

3. Lallemand awarded a Gold to our Hefeweizen and a Bronze to our Amber Ale in its “Brain of Brewers” contest, plus a cash prize that we invested in equipment to brew more amazing beer!

Food

4. Ultra-local beef and eggs hit our menu thanks to a partnership with Valley View Farm. We purchase Valley View Beef and raise egg-laying chickens on the farm, just three miles away. Kudos to our kitchen team for mastering the art of butchering and to Melza for researching chicken breeds and rearing.

5. The City of Ashland approved our proposal to lease City land and start a farm to raise livestock, chickens and produce. Right now, we buy as much produce from local growers as we can, and thank them for their hard work and wonderful offerings.

Sustainability

6. We started an employee yoga program, inspired by employee and yoga instructor, Lindsey Holy, who developed the concept and teaches the sessions. Our employee bike commuting program turned one year old and keeps growing. Our team members make all the best things happen, and we keep looking for ways to appreciate them and give back.

7. Our well-received kegged wine program expanded with the debut of Misty Oaks Stuckagain Heights Pinot Noir. We enjoy looking for more wines to complement our lineup, delivering the best in quality and conservation.

Events & Community

8. We helped bring American Craft Beer Week to the Rogue Valley in May with events, tastings, a specialty beer, guest beers, food pairings and more. Look for events in 2011.

9. The first annual Siskiyou Challenge Relay was held, supporting Rogue Valley Farm to School, a favorite cause. Standing Stone was a lead sponsor and our team made a great showing. We also took part in annual favorites like the JPR Wine Tasting, Brews and Boogie, A Taste of Ashland, the Food & Wine Classic, the Mt Ashland Hillclimb Run and Car Free Day. We’ll be back!

10. We launched a blog and ramped up our facebook and twitter activity to engage more with our customers and community. Your support is the cornerstone of our success, and we want to make it easier to share news and get your feedback to keep doing better.

Thanks everyone! Here’s to another fabulous year!

New Wine on Tap: Stuckagain Heights Pinot Noir

We love putting drinks on tap, as the tradition delivers both great quality and environmental benefits. In addition to our line of craft beers, we tap our housemade lemonades and root beer, Wandering Aengus Hard Cider and three local house wines from Wooldridge Creek Winery.

This winter, we’re building on this tradition with our newest wine on tap: Misty Oaks Stuckagain Heights 2009 Pinot Noir, which comes to us in kegs from the nearby Umpqua Valley.

Why do we love kegged wine so much? It’s simple to store, saves thousands of pounds of glass bottles and associated resources every year, and easy to transport. A full sized 15 gallon keg takes up little more than the backseat of a car. The same amount of wine in bottles would require six cases. We save a trip or two a month – and a lot of fuel and emissions – by purchasing in “bulk.”

The wine industry has fine tuned every aspect of the process to ensure you enjoy the same flavorful, fresh, high quality experience that you’d get from bottled wine. Positive customer response to our current lineup convinced us to expand. Indeed, several vintages of the Misty Oaks Stuckagain Heights Pinot Noir have garnered awards. The 2006 release won the Greatest of the Grapes’ only Platinum Award while the 2007 vintage received a Silver Medal from Oregon Wine Press. We’re proud to offer this well-received wine, merging quality with sustainability and serving the smartest product choices.

Misty Oaks

Misty Oaks Stuckagain Heights Pinot Noir rounds out our already popular assortment of wines on tap. Since June 2009 we’ve been tapping three selections from Wooldridge Creek Winery: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. As our region is well known for producing fabulous Pinot Noir, we felt we needed to add this varietal to complete a missing link in our program.

Food & Wine Pairings

Misty Oaks’ flavor profile offers a light body and smooth velvety texture, so it matches well with some of the lighter fare on our menu. Try pairing a glass with the Chicken Marsala or Olive Trio. Or, play off its creamy vanilla and oak aroma and enjoy with a bowl of our sometimes-daily soup special, sweet potato and coconut milk. Its soft tannins and easy finish are palatable for most wine enthusiasts, and it serves as a great pre-meal wine to warm the appetite.

Prepare Your Palate for the 30th Annual JPR Wine Tasting

We’re excited to join the 30th Annual Jefferson Public Radio Wine Tasting. This annual extravaganza takes place December 9th from 6-9 PM at the Ashland Springs Hotel.  It’s one of our favorite events to participate in, and supports our local public radio station, JPR.

This gathering offers a sampling the best wines from 37 highly-acclaimed, favorite regional wineries, as well as plenty of savory and sweet fare from food artisans, fine restaurants and confectioners in the Rogue Valley. Tasting tables fill the hotel’s conference and ball rooms, so there will be plenty to keep you satisfied for the entirety of the evening. Attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass, which helps eliminate waste and make this more sustainable. We like that!

The event also features a “Not So Silent” auction, which is a great place to get unique holiday gifts that benefit a great cause, and live music from Pachanga and the Flat Five String Band.

Last year, Standing Stone Brewing Co.’s Goat Cheese Spinach and Artichoke Fondue with Multiseed Crackerbread was a big hit, and we promise to please your taste buds again this year with another of Chef Eric Bell’s creations. Don’t forget to stop by our friends at Noble Coffee Roasting as well to refresh your palate and reawaken your senses between wine and snacks.

We look forward to seeing lots of our favorite local customers, JPR supporters and community members, and meeting new folks, just as we have in years past.

Advance tickets are available online, at the Ashland Food Co-op and Adam’s Deli & Catering (Medford) or by calling 1-877-646-4TIX. This event is sponsored by the Ashland Food Co-Op. If you’re visiting from out of town, the Ashland Springs Hotel is offering a reduced rate for attendees who request the “JPR Block of Rooms.”

Wine on Tap Continues to Sparkle

By now, most of our frequent customers know about the kegged wine we offer in cooperation with Wooldridge Creek Winery in the Applegate Valley. After a year of pouring this great vintage we want to rave about it again and recap our success with this progressive program.

Last June we contracted our first order of Wooldridge Creek wine in 15.5 gallon kegs. We started with three varieties: Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Tempranillo. The goals of the using wines in kegs are to offer customers quality house wine at a lower cost, and reduce our natural resource use and carbon footprint by shrinking the materials used for packaging and the fuel consumed in distribution. The concept is catching on nationally as winemakers seek to save costs, eliminate waste and help the planet.

Customer feedback and our own taste testing assures us that quality is never compromised. Customer conversations are engaging and positive. More and more, we are pleasing guests by showing them bulk wine is good to the last drop.

We asked Wooldridge Creek winemaker, Greg Paneitz, to share some facts about the overall environmental impact that Standing Stone and Wooldridge Creek have made by serving kegged wines. Here’s what kindly he broke down for us:

We have delivered a total of 634 gallons of wine in kegs since we started about a year ago.

That is equal to:

267 cases

3210 bottles, corks, labels and foils

10,680 pounds of glass (Over 5 tons)

Just to give you an idea of what that looks like; 267 cases is 7 pallets of glass.

Wow, pretty cool reality check.

We know that glass is the largest contributor to a winery’s carbon footprint. Together, we are doing a nice job of mitigating that fact.

Wine deliveries have gone from once a week to once every four to six weeks. A single vehicle makes one 65 mile round trip, with enough space saved from eliminating bottles to fit everything securely inside one regular sized delivery car.

Recently, we have added a sparkling Brut to our taps for customers to enjoy. Following the same principles as the other wines on tap, the Brut stays sparkling and fresh pour after pour. How nice to enjoy a glass with dinner or dessert, or as a delicious palate cleanser between courses.

To learn more about Standing Stone and Wooldridge Creek’s cooperative relationship, follow this link to an article in the Ashland Daily Tidings. The trend is expanding to other local restaurants as well. Oregon Winepress featured a story on the winery’s growing distribution to 4 Daughter Irish Pub in Medford, Ore. and several other regional eateries.