What used to be Roche Winery has blossomed into a new concept that is sure to spread like wildfire through this wine area. Tasting great paired food with excellent wines will surely make you rethink any traditional wine tasting experience you have ever had, it takes the art of wine tasting to a whole new level.
I met Adam Betts at Pinot Days in Los Angeles in late November of 2015. We talked about my coming to Ram’s Gate and possible using these glorious wines for my cooking segments. What he did not tell me was that this tasting would be a game changer for my worldly wine experiences and me.
Ram’s Gate is so elegant, you really should get dressed up to wine taste, but on the other hand, it is a casual vibe with many upscale wine aficionados imbibing. They know what they are in for. There is no typical tasting bar, you sit down at a table like civilized people and all is served to you like a restaurant. At my tasting I had a private room with a view of the wetlands and was in such great hands with Zack Melendrez, lead sommelier. Zack is a storyteller and brought such great dimension to an all out stupendous day, cheers to you.
I had the “Palate Play”, which is the art of wine and food pairing for 2-6 guests. “It begins with the wine.” So states our Executive Chef Taylr Behnam, whose pairings are each crafted to bring out the best in its corresponding Ram’s Gate wine. This wine-focused design applies to every part of Ram’s Gate Winery. It is $90 per person but would be waived upon joining membership or with six-bottle purchase; the whole experience is around 90-120 minutes.
Here’s what I tried:
2013 Pinot Blanc, Ram’s Gate Estate Carneros – Asian pear salad, endive, tarragon, pickled quince, date, cider vinaigrette, sourdough. I just love anything Carneros, having lived up here for many years; I really appreciate this region for their outstanding grapes. This wine went perfect with the sweet pear and the tangy vinaigrette, what a great combo.
2012 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard Reserve Selection, Carneros, with seared scallop, cashew cream, citrus, crispy golden beet, smoked sea salt. This was my favorite pairing; the scallops were just perfect with the creamy buttery Chardonnay, what more could you ask for.
2012 Pinot Noir, Ram’s Gate Estate, with black truffle and mushroom arancini, black garlic aioli. There are very subtle nuances in this wine that add delightful notes to this succulent dish.
2012 Syrah, Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast, with grilled short rib, Japanese sweet potato frites, pomegranate, bacon, za’atar aioli, parsley. This jammy big wine worked so brilliantly with the shortribs, truly genius at work.
“The best things in life don’t happen by accident. They require passion, attention and above all time. We’re crafting a winery of exception. One bottle at a time”, says, Jeff O’Neill Ram’s Gate Co-Owner.
Next time your doing some wine tasting in Sonoma Valley, Ram’s Gate is really a must do. It is so upscale but not snobby, and will show how things have changed, in a good way, in the art of tasting wine. I highly recommend this fantastic experience.
Ram’s Gate Winery
28700 Arnold Dr. Sonoma, CA. 95476