Wine of the Week – 2013 Merlot

| Entertainment | July 2, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This coming weekend is July 4, and it lands on Saturday. I know that this past Sunday our governor made a proposal to close bars in certain counties, but to clarify the confusion; I was given this information from the family winemakers of California that the order does NOT apply to wine tasting rooms. However, counties can pull back and modify, so we should advise members to follow their local health orders. We will keep you posted on further developments.

Since, here at Reyes Winery, we strictly enforced social distancing and only allow four people per party at one table, I’ve been informed that we are OK to continue to be open for this holiday weekend. But again, all the rules are enforced – every person must wear a facemask upon arrival to the outdoor tasting room entrance. Only customers wearing masks may enter the tasting room, and we are asking that only a few people enter at a time. When seated at your table, you may remove your mask, but when walking around outside, all masks must be worn. Reservations ARE required for wine tasting or a glass of wine. We are open for curbside pick-up, in-store purchases and wine tasting/glass of wine Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Now, let’s talk wine! Fourth of July always screams Merlot to me, even though we have the month of October to celebrate Merlot. Our 2013 Merlot is a very fruity wine which exhibits a delightful fragrance of ripe blueberries and cassis, complemented by Ceylon cinnamon and toasted oak. We age this wine in French oak for about for 23 months. This amazing wine has won two silver medals from the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition and the 2019 OC Wine Competition. Savor this estate Merlot with a skirt steak or a juicy hamburger. It also pairs perfectly with a blueberry crumble for dessert.

So, as long as we’re open this weekend, I will have your 2013 Merlot open for you to taste. Please check our website and Facebook for any updates or changes when visiting the vineyard.

Wine of the Week – 2014 Quinn’s Zin

| Entertainment | June 25, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

For this week’s Wine of the Week, I have chosen a wine that hasn’t made many appearances yet. It still hasn’t officially been released. I thought it would be fun for another preview of this favorite, 2014 Quinn’s Zin. We sourced the grapes for this vintage locally, from Lake Los Angeles.

A few weeks ago, we were saddened by the news that Efren Chavez from High Desert Cellars and Chavez Vineyards had passed away. He had been growing grapes in the Antelope Valley since 1999. We have sourced many grapes from him, such as the grapes from the 2017 Grenache Syrah Rosé, 2019 Viognier and the 2019 Pinot Noir (that is still aging).

Robert had produced wine for him through the years, such as his 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. It has sold out, but it did win a silver medal at the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Please come and visit us this weekend and raise a glass of our 2014 Quinn’s Zin in his honor.

Our 2014 old vine Zinfandel has intense aromas, with notes of blackberry jam, Bing cherries, black pepper and spice. Ruby in color, this full-bodied wine finishes with soft, velvety tannins. Our locally sourced zinfandel is layered with complex flavors, and pairs beautifully with grilled salmon, Asiago cheese or a blackberry charlotte.

We will be open this weekend, but reservations are required. I will feature this wine outside at our new bar. Remember, tastings/glasses of wine are outside only, and reservations are required. You are able to bring lunch and purchase glasses of wine or bottles and enjoy them outside at our tables. Make your reservation now at http://reyeswinery.com/tastingroom and click on the “pink” reservation link. Don’t forget that masks are also required when visiting the vineyard.

Seats Available for SCV Youth Orchestra ‘Build Your Own Summer Camp’

| Entertainment | June 18, 2020

The Santa Clarita Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) Summer Camp, where students are given the opportunity to “build their own camp,” will take place between June 22 and July 24. SCVYO is excited to present this virtual camp to their students as this will be the first fully online-integrated summer camp for the organization.

Subsequent to the start of quarantine, the Artistic Staff of the non-profit organization have continuously met online in order to prepare an innovative online learning experience for their students. In response to revealing the atypical online summer camp, in comparison with their usual in-person camp, SCVYO has decided to extend the deadline for applying. The original deadline of June 15 has now been extended to June 20 and is open to all new and returning members.

This musical summer camp is unique in that students will be able to choose exactly what types of classes they want to enroll in, in lieu of enrolling in a single all-encompassing camp. SCVYO aims to be more inclusive, as this method will allow classes to be more affordable. As opposed to requiring payment of an entire package, parents can specifically choose for their child what interests them most and enroll in those classes only. The session will include classes geared toward helping students keep up their instrumental skills, and special electives such as “Yoga 4 Musicians,” “Music Theory, Recording, and Composition,” “Conducting Seminar,” “Music from other Cultures,” and many more. For more information, visit www.scvyo.org/sum20-schedule/.

While SCVYO is proud to present their adaptive Summer Camp for students and families, they are currently facing lost revenue from the lack of ticket sales and concessions following the necessary cancellation of their scheduled performances. Last year, SCVYO was awarded a generous 2-year matching grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. It is imperative for them that they match the amount in donations in order to continue many of their programs; to help their young musicians, SCVYO is currently accepting donations at www.scvyo.org/donate.

Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra (SCVYO) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that has served the Santa Clarita Valley community and surrounding areas for over 35 years, providing a variety of enriching instrumental education and performance programs for students eight years and older. To learn more about the SCVYO or to donate, visit their website at www.scvyo.org. For more information about their programs, contact the Executive Director at [email protected]

Wine of the Week – Father’s Day Crab Carbonara

| Entertainment | June 18, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Father’s Day is this week, and my dad loves crab cakes. I made that back in November for his birthday. So, instead of the same dish, I thought, why not pasta with crab? I am making a crab carbonara pasta. The traditional way is with guanciale or pancetta, but I am substituting it with crab.

This Sunday, it’s going to be hot! Having a pasta dish with a cold glass of white wine sounds fabulous! I am going to pair this with 2011 Reyes Muscat. There are just a few cases left. I’ve had a lot of fun pairing this wine through the years. It is a great wine to pair with so many summer dishes.

The 2011 Reyes Muscat received 84 points from the Wine Enthusiast Magazine (05/2018 Edition). This is a lighter tasting Muscat with aromas of Meyer lemon and orange blossom. The 2011 Muscat has been one of the most popular wines. One year, it was most admired by our guests. We are now under 14 cases. It pairs with chicken alfredo with broccolini, lemon stilton cheese, or lemon thyme curd with raspberries.

I will feature this wine outside at our new bar. Remember, tastings are outside only, and reservations are required. Make your reservation now at http://reyeswinery.com/tastingroom and click on the “pink” reservation link.


1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces crab meat (I used claw meat)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
12 ounces pasta (I used tagliatelle)
Salt, freshly cracked (I used guava garlic salt)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more
2 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon


Prepare pasta as the direction state, keep about 1 ½ cups of the pasta water.
In a cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add shallots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.
Add pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
Add pasta to skillet along with ½ cup pasta cooking liquid and ½ the Parmesan cheese (1/8 cup) and mix to coat.
Turn heat off and add egg yolks.
Mix again, adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until a smooth and silky sauce coats pasta.
Add grated lemon zest, lemon juice, and the remaining Parmesan cheese. Mix, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed to loosen sauce.
Serve with lemon zest, freshly grated pepper and Parmesan cheese on top with a chilled glass of Reyes 2011 Muscat.

Wine of the Week – 2017 Grenache Syrah Rosé

| Entertainment | June 11, 2020

June 11 was National Rosé Day, and this week I am featuring two rosés on the menu in addition to the wine of week, our 2017 Grenache Syrah Rosé.

This rosé is fermented in French oak barrels for 14 months. A delicate, yet vivacious wine, one can experience aromas of raspberries, flavors of freshly picked strawberries and blueberries, and a hint of mandarin. Its balanced acidity provides a delightful finish and pairs well with a citrus side salad, a tomato and goat cheese quiche, or mixed berry crepes for brunch. Enjoy chilled!

Last week, I was in the mood for an orange sesame dressing on my salad, but I didn’t have any and wasn’t in the mood to go get some. So, I looked into my pantry to see what I could come up with. I did google a few recipes to see how they created this dressing. I noticed one of them made it with marmalade – and since I had marmalade in my fridge, I looked to see if it was doable with the ingredients I had. I had most, so I made some changes. I am including my marmalade recipe, too. Most recipes are triple this. I reduced it because it was just me.

Last night, since I still had some dressing left, I made a quinoa salad with blueberries, red onion, celery, chevre and bell pepper, topped with a drizzle of dressing. This was a fabulous salad on a hot summer night. Enjoy with a glass of our newest release the 2017 Grenache Syrah Rosé.

I will feature this wine outside at our new bar. Remember, tastings are outside only, and reservations are required. Make your reservation now at http://reyeswinery.com/tastingroom and click on the “pink” reservation link.

Directions for the marmalade:

Zest of 5 oranges
2 cups sugar plus ¼ cup
2 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 tsp cardamom
2 cups 2018 Reyes Muscat

Directions for Citrus Marmalade and Sauce
Zest the oranges
Place in a 2 ½ qt cast iron pan with 1 cup of 2018 Reyes Muscat and boil for about 10 minutes.
Turn off flame and add orange flower water to pot. Leave out on stove over night or at least 12 hours or until all liquid is evaporated.
Then add 1 cup Reyes 2018 Muscat and sugar to same pot.
Boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5-10 minutes on medium heat. When the mixture becomes frothy, it should be done. You want the carrots and orange zest to be soft.
Add vanilla and cardamom and stir.
Pour into hot sterile jars.
Once cooled, then you can start the dressing portion.

Orange Dressing Ingredients
• 1/3 cup orange marmalade
• 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
• ¼ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• ¼ tsp paprika
• ¼ cup cider vinegar
• 2/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp honey (use a lighter honey, like wildflower. I used blueberry)
• 11 oz can mandarin orange


Mix all ingredients in a blender or a food processor and mix until combined and the mixture becomes creamy; about 30 to 45 seconds.

Wine of the Week – 2014 Julia‘s Blend

| Entertainment | June 4, 2020

I was debating which wine I should pull out for tonight’s dinner, and 2014 Julia‘s Blend was the one. Julia’s Blend is a luscious blend of Estate Merlot and California Syrah, with aromas of licorice and black cherries.

Aged in French oak for 23 months, this wine has both character and complexity. On the palate you get notes of cherries and spices. It received 86 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine (04/2018 Edition) plus two silver medals from the 2018 Toast of the Coast and 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competitions.

When deciding on a pairing, I take the notes of the wine and think of savory dishes that might complement the wine. This wine has fennel and cherries – a delicious summer red wine. It’s fruity, yet dry. Enjoy with roasted fennel and pork roast, lamb chops and sour cherry rice or a dried cherry quinoa salad with fennel and red onions.

The weather was kind of weird tonight. I felt like it was kind of cool and breezy during the day and then as the afternoon went on, it got kind of warm and humid. When it gets humid in the evening, I’m not always in the mood for hot food, so I looked in the pantry to see what was giving me a little bit of inspiration to pair with 2014 Julia’s Blend. In the freezer I had a bag of frozen cherries. Even though they are in season or starting to be in season right now, I should say I have not gone out to the market this week so I’m trying to use what I have.

Last Friday, when I went to the market, I stocked up on lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I bought carrots, celery, fennel, sweet onions and nectarines. I really did want to get the cherries, but they were just too expensive last week. So, for tonight’s dinner, I’m thinking of making a chilled cherry soup. With the recipe I have, you can make this dish with either fresh or frozen, but don’t use canned. I also used 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé in the recipe. It adds acidity but doesn’t give added color to the dish. Usually I would use the wine I am pairing to cook with too, but in this case I didn’t want the dish to be darker from the red wine.

This is a perfect summer chilled soup to enjoy with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.


2 tbsp canola oil
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped small
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé.
¼ tsp Salt, kosher
Black pepper, freshly ground (I use a mill for my peppercorns)
1 pound fresh or frozen cherries, pitted (don’t break a tooth)
¾ cup coconut or almond milk (Buttermilk is traditional, but I prefer coconut milk)
½ cup sour cream (I used lite, but don’t use fat free. It will make the consistency too thin.)
1 tbsp brown sugar
3-5 cherries for garnish
Chopped dill and parsley, for garnish


In a 3 ½ qt round shallow pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add the onion, fennel, garlic, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat until they are soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé continue to cook for about 5 minutes until half the liquid s evaporated.
Let cool.
In a food processor, add vegetable mixture, cherries, coconut milk, sour cream, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of liquid from the vegetables to the blender and puree until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour. (I left it in the food processor bowl and stuck it in the refrigerator.)
Serve soup chilled and garnish with dill, parsley and a few cherries.
And, of course, serve it with a chilled glass of Reyes 2014 Julia’s Blend or a chilled glass of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes.

Baked Apple and Raisin Bread

| Entertainment | May 28, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This week, I’m going to share a recipe for baked apple that has been reimagined into a bread. Now, you can enjoy these baked apples by themselves, don’t get me wrong – they’re absolutely fabulous. But I like to take it to another level and put it into my bread. Kind of like you would do a cinnamon raisin bread, this is going to be a cinnamon apple raisin bread. And of course, when I bake the apples in the oven, I do add a little bit of wine for that extra complexity and flavor.

Choosing either brown sugar, honey or even maple syrup to sweeten them can also make a difference. For this particular dish, I am using a light brown sugar and 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat. I’m choosing this wine instead of going with a port or pool dessert wine because I don’t want the flavors to fight each other. Maple syrup is delicious on top of baked apples, but it’ll make this dish too sweet. I also didn’t add butter; if I did, it would make the bread too wet. Now, the dough will be a sticky one, so when it is done rising and before you bake it, you will add a little bench flour.

The whole wheat flour I used was a blend of 10 grains. It is one of my favorite flours. It is a blend of spelt, millet, rye flakes, barley flakes, quinoa flakes, chia seed, amaranth, teff, buckwheat, and sorghum. Regular whole wheat will work, but if you can get this blend, I would. It makes bread magnificent!
Now, let me talk wine. I am pairing my apples and this bread with 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat. It would be perfect if you made a chicken salad sandwich with the bread, or even scrambled eggs and toast. You could also make a roast turkey and Swiss sandwich or bread pudding with this bread.

This delightful wine has aromas of peach and honeysuckle. Your taste buds will be fancied by the taste of honey, orange blossoms, and Eureka lemons. It won a bronze medal from the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition. It pairs well with this bread served with brie cheese and a drizzle of orange blossom honey.

Until June 1, all Renaissance by Reyes Wines including this one, are on sale. Save 15 percent off with this online code: MemorialDay.

Baked Apples
1 apple, diced (I used a Sugarbee, but a tart apple is best)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
¼ tsp salt, kosher
2 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat
1 tbsp butter, unsalted (if just eating the apple and not adding it to the bread)

Bread Ingredients

3 ¼ cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur Premium Super 10 Blend)
1 tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp instant yeast
1 ¾ cups warm water
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup flame raisins
½ cup of baked apples without the juice


Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Core and chop the apples, leaving the skins on.
Toss the apples with the cardamom, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Spray non-stick spray in a baking dish, spread the apples out evenly.
Sprinkle the 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat on top of the apples. If you were just eating the apples, I would add the unsalted butter to the top of the apples.
Bake the apples for 20 minutes, until they’re fork tender and have concentrated some of their juice.
Set aside to cool.
If you have a bread machine, use the dough cycle and add all the ingredients except the apples, raisins and walnuts until your machine beeps for them to be added.

Mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir, and then use your hands or a dough whisk to mix and form a sticky dough.
Work the dough just enough to incorporate all the flour.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so use a large bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and work in the roasted apples and nuts.
Place on parchment paper in a 3 ½ cast iron pan. I use a round shallow pan.
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Let the dough rise in the pan for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating.
When the oven reaches 475°F, put the bread in, but turn the oven down to 350°F.
Leave the lid off and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.

Wine of the Week – Stuffed Bell Peppers

| Entertainment | May 21, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Saturday would have been my mom’s birthday. It’s been three years, yet it feels like yesterday she was here. I was thinking about making something that she would have loved. And while I was thinking about different things she liked, I noticed this pan she had in the kitchen that she used for a few things like stuffed bell peppers, Thanksgiving stuffing balls, and a few other dishes. It held six peppers perfectly. It was a 12×7. Sometimes, I cut this recipe in half for only three peppers and use a pan that is half that size.

I wanted to create a twist with this recipe, so I made a vindaloo sauce instead of the traditional tomato. Vindaloo is an Indian meat dish that is marinated in wine and garlic. The sauce has evolved into tomato paste sauce with many aromatic spices. This recipe has medium heat, and you can easily add more chili to make hotter if you prefer.

Now let’s talk wine pairing with spicy foods. With medium heat, an off-dry wine would pair well, but the spicier you prefer, the sweeter the wine should be. Think opposites – with a very spicy creamy curry dish, 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Muscat would be perfect. But, with medium heat and a red sauce, I suggest 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé.

These stuffed peppers with vindaloo sauce will pair with the 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé. This unique Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Symphony and a touch of Syrah for a bit of color. On the nose, you get grapefruit and strawberries. It’s fruity with medium acidity. On the palate are notes of light orange blossom honey, grapefruit and mixed berries. It received 85 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine (12/2017 Edition). It pairs with brie topped with a drizzle of honey, pasta carbonara, pink velvet cake or a strawberry-stuffed cannoli. Enjoy chilled!


• ½ cup. uncooked rice (I used brown basmati rice)
• 2 + 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, minced
• 1 tbsp. tomato paste
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno, minced (2 for spicier)
• 2-3 tsp fresh ginger, grated
• 2 tsp garam masala
• 2 tsp ground turmeric
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
• ½ cup 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé
• 1½ cups Vegetable broth or chicken broth
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 6 bell peppers, tops and cores removed (mince the tops)
• Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the rice as directed on the package but use vegetable broth instead of water. Then set aside.
In a food processor, mix the following ingredients until blended; tomato paste, garlic, jalapeno, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and coriander.
In a 3 ½ qt cast iron pot, heat the pot for about a minute and then add olive oil.
Cook the ingredients from the food processor for about 3 minutes.
Remove from pot and set aside.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and brown the ground meat for about 5 minutes, then add onions and the minced tops from the bell peppers. Continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes until onions are translucent.
Add ½ cup of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Add the paste mixture, rice and stir together.
Fill the peppers with the mixture.
Add stuffed peppers and ½ cup of broth to pan and cover with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes
Serve with a chilled glass of 2016 Renaissance by Reyes Rosé. Cheers!

A Man Who Can Dance

| Entertainment | May 21, 2020


by Jason Downs


Will Bradley thinks he has a lot in common with his soon-to-be father-in-law.

John Dykstra doesn’t think he and his soon-to-be son-in-law have as much in common as the boy thinks they do.

They both adore Kimmie, that›s for sure. And because of that, John Dykstra began allowing Will Bradley to tag along when he›d head to the shooting range, or an early morning trawl for a few fish in the reservoir, or the occasional Monday night football game. They partake in these activities without speaking more than a few words to each other.

They›re both big guys, well proportioned, former athletes. Have that in common too, Will Bradley would think to himself as they sit with a beer clutched in hand. Will Bradley finally felt like he’d found a home. Not just in Kimmie, but in Mr. Dykstra as well. You see, Will’s dad had passed when he was only six years old and that had left a hole about the size of John Dykstra in the boy’s heart. He felt lucky to have found someone to look up to in his soon-to-be father-in-law.

“You’re gonna dance with me at my wedding, Daddy, you’ve got to,” Kimmie said as she stood in front of the TV, blocking the game. “And I don’t mean swaying back and forth all stiff like Frankenstein, neither.” Will Bradley regarded John Dykstra closely, to clock his response. (He wasn’t looking forward to the ‘dancing’ part of getting married, if he was being honest.)

“Baby, you know I don’t dance. A man doesn’t dance, not even if they love their daughters.”

“I’m not taking no for an answer, daddy. Me and mama are taking classes down at the Legion Hall and you and Will are coming with us.”

John Dykstra laughed, on the outside. On the inside he felt nervous and conflicted. “I never set foot on a dance floor in my life…not even at my own wedding,” he said, without letting his forced smile fade.

“And that’s exactly why you’re doin’ this. Not just for me but for Mama too.”
“I’m sorry, baby, but the answer’s no.” And he went back to drinking his beer.
Will Bradley felt conflicted too. He wasn’t eager to make a fool of himself on his wedding day, looking like an idiot on the dance floor in front of all his buddies. He knew folks danced at weddings, like he’d seen in movies, but he was the first of his friends to get married. His momma hadn’t remarried and hardly got off the couch much anymore. Then again, he’d do anything for Kimmie. Even dance. But that’s not really what he felt torn about. What would his soon-to-be father-in-law think of him if he just went along with the ladies. Would he think less of him as a man? Would he quit hanging out with Will like he was part of the family? Laugh at him?

The day approached for their first dance lesson at the Legion Hall and Will Bradley still felt like he was holding his breath. “What was Mr. Dykstra gonna do?” Will wondered.

When he showed up at the Dykstra residence on the night of (it was a Wednesday night, 6:30 in the evening), Will could hear loud words being spoken inside the house. It was Mr. and Mrs. Dykstra goin’ at it pretty good. After a moment, Kimmie came bursting out the door lookin’ steamed. She opened the door of the truck, climbed in, and slammed it shut. Will didn’t dare say anything.

An eternity passed as the soon-to-be bride and groom sat in silence while the argument continued indoors.

By the time the foursome walked into the Legion Hall a half hour later the dance class had already begun.

To both Will Bradley and John Dykstra’s surprise, a man was teaching the class. A young guy not much older than Will himself. In fact, he kind of looked familiar to Will, like he may have played for a rival football team in high school.

“Hey, folks, so glad you could make it,” the instructor said, “Jump on in here. I’m Blake and this is Stacie.” He indicated a perky blond woman to his right. She smiled and waved the two reluctant couples toward the middle of the floor. “Come on…no need to be afraid,” she said. “We’re all in the same boat here, aren’t we, ya’ll?” The small group of three other couples nodded, shyly.

John Dykstra could barely summon a thought in his mind, he was so angry. He didn’t want to be in the same ‘boat’ with these saps. He had already shut down back in the kitchen before they left the house. He had shut down every day over the past week as his wife and daughter guilted, griped and goaded him into this room. The sensation was familiar, this feeling of shutting down, and it came up a lot in reaction to many different things in John Dykstra’s life: arguments of any kind with his wife in which he eventually lost track of his position, whenever politicians came on the news (especially damn Democrats trying to turn this country soft), TV shows that inserted gay persons into the plot, being alone in a room with his aging father, dealing with complaints from customers at the shop, and definitely, as it turns out, dancing.

“This class is mainly for the men. We’re here to make our women happy and that’s about the only reason we’re here, am I right?” Blake said, to grunts of agreement and a few snickers from the ladies.

Lynn Dykstra swatted John Dykstra on the shoulder by way of apology and to perhaps break a little ice. She couldn’t tell if it worked or not.

Will Bradley’s palms were sweating as he continued to check in with Mr. Dykstra, watching carefully his every move, while trying his best to look as though he was intent on Kimmie.
“Listen, here’s the truth. I had never danced till I met the love of my life,” Blake said, pulling Stacie to his side, “and I still can’t dance a lick.”

This got both Will Bradley and John Dykstra’s attention.

“All I do out here, is show off my lady. Here’s what I mean…” and he walked over to the record player and placed the needle down. The familiar intro to Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash filled the room. This also surprised Will Bradley and John Dykstra. Good taste, they both thought.

As Blake returned to Stacie’s side, he said, “Watch how I just walk around her, in rhythm to the music or not, doesn’t matter, and allow her to be the beauty she is…I’m giving her focus; my attention…I’m giving her my strong arms to fall back on…I’m giving her support…I’m allowing her to spin free.” Everyone watched as Blake took Stacie’s hands and swung her away from him and back, all the while walking around in a circle, sometimes fast, sometimes slower. He’d occasionally take her by the small of the back and spin her under his arm, then support her body as he dipped her down onto his bended knee. It looked effortless. And Stacie looked so happy gazing up at him.

Will Bradley and John Dykstra had the same thoughts at the same time: “I can do that” and “I wanna make my woman smile like that.”

The wedding came and went. Will Bradley danced with his beautiful new bride. They cut it up. They shocked and impressed the guests. But no one shocked the onlookers more than John Dykstra, who danced with his wife…and his daughter…and half the extended family. Everyone wanted a turn. Even Lynn’s gay cousin from Minneapolis. John Dykstra became the star pupil at the Legion Hall. Blake and Stacie used him as an example so often they handed over the class to John and Lynn after eventually deciding to move away to the city.  The class size grew so large at the Legion Hall they had to start using the high school gym instead. Then it got so big they had to break up classes into beginners, middlings and advanced. Will and Kimmie eventually outshone everyone. Blake and Stacie began inviting them to statewide competitions, which they won some years later.

Back home, and to this day, John Dykstra always starts his classes the same way. He shakes his head, looks down at his feet and says, “I never knew I was a man who could dance. But if you got someone who can open your heart just a little bit wider, like my wife and daughter do everyday…like my son-in-law too…doesn’t matter who they are, then you can learn to show’em off the way they deserve…and have fun doing it yourself cuz it feels so dang good. You see, dancing is just one more way of loving folks who deserve to be loved.”

Turns out, Will Bradley and his father-in-law have a lot in common.

Strawberry BBQ Sauce, Shredded Beef Sandwiches and 2011 Reyes Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

| Entertainment | May 14, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Last week I wrote about our newest release, our 2018 Rose’s Choice Rose, and I was wondering what wine inspires me this week to share with you. The 2011 Cabernet spoke to me, and I’ve been thinking what dishes I am going to make for dinner that would pair the best.

Every night I try to find something to prepare that we haven’t had for a little while, just so that there’s variety every day. This week, we have had potato pancakes, poached salmon, ricotta gnocchi and a beef stew. So for tonight‘s dinner, I am thinking roast beef sandwiches. It’s kind of warm tonight, and a good hearty sandwich sounds enticing.

Last week, I made pretzel rolls for dinner and we had them with amazing hamburgers. And then, of course, the following day I had it with tuna fish. So, this week I’m thinking to make a roll that’s a little bit different than I did last week. I am leaning towards an onion rye or a potato peppercorn roll. (I ended up making a roll that had all four ingredients). Either one will pair really well with a shredded beef sandwich – even a sloppy Joe. Last fall, if everybody recalls I made a cranberry barbecue sauce. It’s spring and strawberries are in season, so I am thinking of a strawberry barbecue sauce to go on top of my shredded beef to go on this roll. For the meat, you can use brisket or try tip. You can even use ground beef, turkey or chicken if that’s what you have in your refrigerator or freezer.

Now I’m thinking about what to eat with it. Do I want mashed potatoes, potato salad? My dad has mentioned an orzo salad. So, I don’t have to go out, what is in my fridge will be in it. I have arugula, fresh roasted corn, olives and a shallot.

This outstanding rich and luxurious wine exhibits flavors of intense dry strawberry with a hint of cracked black pepper and finishes with soft and detailed tannins. I will share that we are almost out of this fabulous wine. We are now under 15 cases. It has received 88 points in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine (12/2017 Edition) and a bronze medal in the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition. It pairs well with duck cranberry, pepper and garlic herb rib roast, peppercorn crusted chevre, or strawberries with a balsamic reduction.

Every week, for the past few years, we have offered the “Wine of Week” in the Tasting Room. Now we are offering this special wine online at a special price. Our website shop is reyes-winery.square.site. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon will be on sale until May 21.

Strawberry BBQ Sauce


¼ cup tbsp butter
1 cup Reyes 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon Strawberry Peppercorn Jam (website has recipe)
1 onion, minced
1 20oz bottles of ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (truffle mustard is best)
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tsp Worchester
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of red pepper flake, opt
2lbs of prepared of a beef brisket or chicken


1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Sauté onion and chopped garlic with salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes. You want the onion to be translucent.
3. Add brown sugar, mustard, cider vinegar, Worchester, and ketchup. Cook for 10 minutes at medium heat.
4. Add Reyes 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and cook until bubbly, about 20-30 more minutes.
5. Add shredded beef or chicken and Cabernet Sauvignon Peppercorn Jam to the sauce and bake in 325 oven for 30-45 minutes.
6. Serve with Reyes 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Wine of the Week – 2018 Rosa’s Choice Rosé

| Entertainment | May 7, 2020

Yesterday, for the first time, I made pretzels and pretzel buns. They came out perfect and they were so delicious. We had hamburgers with the buns.

But, I was trying to figure out what I should do with the fresh strawberries I bought at the farm on Monday. I was running out of eggs and I wanted to use one for the hamburgers, so I kept thinking about what to do. Then it hit me as I stared into the fridge – strawberry lemon cake!

I took a fresh lemon from our tree and I ended up changing my quick bread recipe slightly. Instead of oil and eggs, you can substitute with applesauce or yogurt. I ended up using the Bulgarian yogurt I usually eat for breakfast. So, for dessert, I opened one of our newest wines, 2018 Rosa’s Choice Rosé. I usually take a photo of it before I eat it, but looked so yummy I forgot and we dug in. It was so tasty, and who knew? No eggs or oil!
A few months ago, we ran out of one of our most popular wines, 2015 Rosa’s Choice Rosé. Many came into the Tasting Room this month wondering how we ran out, but we did. Hopefully, everyone will love this blend that I made. Well, two weeks ago, we bottled our newest vintage of Rosa’s Choice Rosé. This 2018 wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Muscat, Viognier, Symphony and Syrah. It has aromas of watermelon, strawberries and peaches for a fruity and scrumptious rosé wine. Enjoy it chilled with strawberry cheesecake trifle, grilled chicken with a strawberry red wine balsamic sauce, or a watermelon granita topped with mint.
Every week for the past few years, we have offered the “Wine of Week” in the Tasting Room. Now we are offering this special wine online at a special price. Our website shop is reyes-winery.square.site. For the month of May, the 2018 Rosa’s Choice Rosé will be specially priced.
½ cup Buttermilk
1 cup of yogurt, plain
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
6-8 strawberries, sliced
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt, kosher
2 ¼ cups all-purpose Flour
½ cup sliced almonds (optional)
¼ cup of powder sugar
In a mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
In another mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, strawberries, lemon zest, juice of ½ lemon, vanilla paste, yogurt, and sugar.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Don’t over mix.
Add mixture to greased 9×9 baking pan.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes.
In small bowl, mix powder sugar and ½ juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
Take out of oven and cool for about 15 minutes, then drizzle icing.
Serve with a chilled glass of 2018 Rosa’s Choice Rosé.

Wine of the Week – 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Winery Merlot and General Tso’s Osso Bucco

| Entertainment | April 30, 2020

So again, I went through the pantry and did a raid as to what we should have for dinner tonight. I ended up making Osso Bucco Asian style. I gave it a General Tso’s flair to it.  All that means is I added soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili pepper and a few other fun ingredients.
Hoisin pairs very well with our 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Winery Merlot. This is definitely a great year of Merlot. That year, we ended up having a frost in April and losing part of our crop. This particular wine we brought in grapes from another Vineyard up in Amador County.
This soft, medium-bodied Merlot has aromas of molasses, mocha and plums with notes of anise. On the palate you get intense ripe plum, a soft balanced acidity, silky tannins and a lingering finish of spicy toasty oak. The velvety ruby color and aromas will inspire anyone to have another glass. It won a silver medal in the 2014 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, plus a Silver and 88 points in the 2016 Toast of the Coast wine competition. It pairs well with duck or with a coffee-crusted pork roast with a Merlot au jus. Through the years, I have paired this with cupcakes. And now I have with paired this with this great dish.
Normally, General Tso’s is prepared with fried chicken, I have my twist. I do love fried chicken and this week my dad and I have been talking about it an awful lot, but we usually don’t do fried anything. This dish was named after a real general, except no one in the region he was from ever heard of this dish. There are different stories as to who created this dish, one is from Taiwan and another from New York. All I know is that I love this sauce.
Directions for the Osso Bucco
1lb of Osso Bucco
1 tsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil
Freshly cracked pepper and salt
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Merlot
2 cups of beef or vegetable broth, low sodium
2 bok choy, chopped
1 green onion, sliced thinly
In a 3 ½ qt cast iron pot, on medium heat, add olive oil to heated pan.
Add flour, salt and pepper to shallow pan, like a pie pan. Coat the meat with the mixture.
Then sear the meat on all sides.
Add onions and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until the inions are translucent.
Add the 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Merlot, cook for a few minutes.
Add the broth and carrots.
Cover and place in 300-degree preheated oven and cook for 60 minutes.
Then make sauce below.
When the meat is done and falling off the bone, drain liquid. (It can be used later for a broth for a soup)
Mix in sauce
Add bok choy and green onion.
Close lid for 5 minutes. Do not continue to cook. The heat from the pan will cook it on its own.
Serve on top of rice and with a glass of 2011 Renaissance by Reyes Merlot.

Directions for the sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce, low sodium (I found one that is 120mg)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
¼ cup chicken broth (low sodium/no salt added)
¼ guava juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more depending upon how spicy you like it)
1 tbsp cornstarch
In a medium pot, add all the ingredients and whisk to combine.
Place it over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until it starts to simmer.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken.
Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat.

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | April 23, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Back in November 2015, I wrote about our 2013 Amber Chardonnay for the first time. I introduced the style of “orange” wine to you. In modern Georgia, along the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountain range, archaeology finds have confirmed that wine making existed as early as 6,000 B.C. The word wine is thought to have originated from the Georgian word “Ghvino”. Georgia can be considered where wine originated in the world. Georgia borders the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

There have been different methods of aging wine; steel containers, oak barrels, qvevri and a few other not as common methods.  Qvevri are clay pots that are buried underground for wine to age.  The clay pots are lined inside with beeswax or melted fat. Good quality qvevri can last more than a hundred years without affecting the flavor of the wine.

The one thing I love every week, is doing research for my articles. This week I am reading about a Georgian food and a particular dish called Khinkali. The first time I had it, we bought them frozen to try something different. A local company makes frozen food that we love, so we thought we would experiment, and the rest is history. They’re absolutely delicious. It’s a dumpling that is stuffed generally with meat and then boiled. Every region has its little variation to it. As I was reading other things pop up and then you start reading about that and then of course I get sidetracked, which I do all the time. But I absolutely enjoy spending an afternoon reading about topics that I adore.

As I was searching, I found a restaurant in the Washington D.C. area that focuses on Georgian style wines. Their offerings for wines are so amazing, that I can’t wait to go visit my family, just to go try this restaurant. They offer over 60 styles of Georgian wine, that’s modern and fermented in the qvevri. Alone, they have over 20 styles of orange wines.

I wanted to pair the 2017 Amber Chardonnay with something sweet and yummy, so I thought maybe a chocolate khinkali stuffed with dried apricots and ricotta. Think of it like a sweet ravioli shaped in a different package. Being home more, I have been wanting to make something with my “Onyx” cocoa. This rich cocoa will make the darkest chocolate desserts you’ve ever seen. I think this will be perfect. It sounds like a lot of steps, but the result is fabulous!

The Pasta Dough:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
Directions for pasta

1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend.
2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and place the eggs in the well.
3. Using a fork, whisk slowly to combine the eggs into the flour until completely mixed.
4. Transfer the dough to a work surface and, using the palm of your hand, lightly knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes.
5. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour on the kneading surface.
6. When the dough is done, (The dough is ready if, when you make an imprint in it with the tip of your finger, and the dough bounces back.) shape into a flat disk and tightly wrap in plastic film.
7. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
8. Separate the pasta dough into 4 pieces. If you have a pasta machine, one at a time, roll out each piece from the widest to the thinnest setting. Keep the remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out. If you do not have a machine, separate into 8 pieces and use a rolling pin.
9. To make the ravioli, dust a work surface with flour. Place one pasta sheet on the work surface.
10. Cut the ravioli into 5” circles by using a cookie cutter.
11. Place a teaspoon of filling on the dough. * see below for ingredients for filling.
12. Brush the pasta dough with water, fold the dough over, and press to seal using a fork. Be careful not to trap air inside the ravioli (or they will burst during cooking).
13. Set the finished ravioli on a baking sheet lined with parchment and dust with flour, to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should get at least 24 ravioli.
14. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

The filling:
6 oz ricotta
Zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
Directions for filling
Mix and set aside until ready to make the ravioli. *Step 11

Directions for the Marmalade and Sauce
Zest of 5 oranges
10 oz bag of carrots, shredded
2 cups sugar plus ¼ cup
2 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tbsp Vanilla
1 tsp cardamom
2 cups 2018 Reyes Muscat

Directions for Citrus Marmalade and Sauce
Zest the oranges
Place in a 2 ½ qt cast iron pan with 1 cup of 2018 Reyes Muscat and boil for about 10 minutes.
Turn off flame and add orange flower water to pot. Leave out on stove over night or at least 12 hours or until all liquid is evaporated.
Then add 1 cup Reyes 2018 Muscat, carrots and sugar to same pot.
Boil until sugar is dissolved, about 5-10 minutes on medium heat. When the mixture becomes frothy, it should be done. You want the carrots and orange zest to be soft.
Add vanilla and cardamom and stir.
Pour into hot sterile jars.
***For the sauce; take 1 cup of the jam and add ½ cup of Reyes 2018 Muscat and cook on low-medium heat for 5 minutes and then its ready to serve.

Directions for ravioli continued
15. To cook the ravioli, bring the water to a boil in a large pot.
16. Add the ravioli to the pot and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.
17. Serve with carrot orange jam sauce with a dusting of powder sugar and maybe some whipped cream and of course a chilled glass of 2017 Reyes Amber Chardonnay! Cheers!

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | April 9, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Moules à la Marinière and 2017 Reyes Amber Chardonnay

I knew that I wanted to write about a specific wine this week, but there are just so many things to share about this fabulous new wine. So, next week will be about this wine but with a different angle. I am sure you had enough of the suspense: it’s the 2017 Amber Chardonnay.

The style in which it is made fascinates me.  Every time I share what Amber is, I reminisce to when I read my first article about “orange” wines back in 2013. Trying to find a store that carried one, so I could try it, was very difficult. Seven years and four vintages later, many wineries have produced their style and made it available to purchase.

Three years ago, a friend and I went to Solvang. As we were wine tasting, one winery mentioned that they had a skin-contact white wine. I was captivated to try it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected by their description. It was a Pinot Grigio with an orange hue. It was very light with notes of strawberries and marzipan. Technically it is an “orange” wine but tasted more like a fruity rosé. They aged the wine in stainless rather than oak that we use. The French oak creates a complexity that makes our Amber Chardonnay delicious.

Just a few weeks ago, we bottled our newest vintages of wine, including our 2017 Amber Chardonnay. It was aged in French oak barrels for 24 months. This Estate Chardonnay has well-balanced acidity with evolving layers of complexity.  It is a skin-contact white wine with notes of apricots, kumquats, honey and whispers of orange blossoms. These notes are the signature of this extraordinary “orange” wine. Enjoy this wine chilled with Mussels Marinière, shrimp scampi or Pecorino Romano cheese.

When I was writing the label to this wine, I was reading a book about a food critic that visits the French countryside. All through the book, the story was based upon a restaurant and its Mussels Marinière. Or as Julia Child called it, Moules à la Marinière.  I remember as a child sitting in front of the television watching with my notebook taking notes as she cooked. I am the worse note-taker ever, yet I still have them, and I can understand what I wrote all these years later. All of this has made me want to enjoy a bowl and which I did…and made me think that it would be a great pairing with this fabulous new wine.

2 lbs. mussels, cleaned
2 Tbsp flour
½ shallot chopped finely
1 cup 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Sauvignon Blanc
1 bay leaf, fresh (or ½ if dried)
4 parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs leaves removed and chopped (about 1 tsp)
4 Tb butter, unsalted
Salt and pepper to taste


Sprinkle flour in a bowl with cleaned mussels with about a cup of water and toss gently. Set aside.
In a 3 ½ qt pot, bring the butter, shallots, herbs and salt and pepper to a boil. Allow to reduce slightly (about 4-5 minutes).
Add 2013 Renaissance by Reyes Sauvignon Blanc and continue to cook for 5 additional minutes.
Rinse mussels well then add the mussels and close lid on the pot.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mussels all open. If there are any closed mussels, discard those.
Serve the mussels in wide bowls. Use a ladle to spoon mussels in bowls first, then use the ladle to pour wine sauce over the mussels.
Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with 2017 Amber Chardonnay and crusty French bread.

On The Town With Jason Downs

| Community, Entertainment | April 2, 2020

Or perhaps we should call this column On the Down Low for the foreseeable future, friends, since we’re all keeping a low profile these days. There’s not much going on around town as we embark on the unknown together during these historic times. Still, fellow Santa Claritans, we are extremely fortunate to live in this town, in this county and this great state. We can be proud of our leadership and proud of each other for meeting these unusual circumstances with speed, an open mind, and love.

As everything has closed around town, we all find ourselves in the same boat, asking the same questions, and adjusting to this new reality.

What? We have time on our hands?

What? I don’t have to drive the kids all over town and be at this meeting by when and across town by then?

What? I don’t have to sit in traffic for three hours a day? I can work from home, school from home, and sleep a little more?

This is perhaps the magic ‘pause button’ we’ve all wished we could press from time to time, yes?

It’s unfortunate it takes something like a global pandemic to force the world to slow down and take stock of itself, but let’s take this opportunity, folks. While the wellbeing of our families and friends is top priority (and the very reason we’ve all taken such drastic measures to protect each other), this unprecedented moment in history could also be a once in a lifetime chance to regroup, rethink, refresh, revitalize, reorganize, and reimagine ourselves and our lives.

Again, taking the spread of this virus as seriously as possible is paramount, but it gives me real joy to go on my daily run and pass multiple families along the way. It used to be that only a couple a weeks ago I would pass a total of three people on a three mile run. Now, I’m passing three and four full and complete families along the way…and I don’t just mean core family units, I’m talking multi-generational families out for a stroll in the sunshine. This is a beautiful thing. Grandparents walking hand in hand with grandkids while mom and dad push the stroller. Talking, laughing, meandering. No one’s in a hurry. This is a silver lining if I’ve ever seen one.

As my wife and I ran past the park (something we don’t usually get to do together either), there were kids proudly doing cartwheels for their mom, dogs catching frisbees, and a family playing a baseball game. I don’t wish for anyone to suffer during this pandemic, or ever, but the nuclear family has been suffering at the hands of our nonstop, hustling-bustling society for years now and this global emergency could go far toward healing the issue. That would be my wish, anyhow.

As far as things to do with each other, the kids and I helped completely redecorate the dining room in anticipation of my wife working from home beginning this week. Her request was Hogwarts and Harry Potter themed. We had a lot of fun and the result was better than any of us expected.

Over the past week or so the family ratatouille recipe was perfected, oh yes, cookies were baked, and french toast was elevated to new heights with the use of croissant bread. (I believe I stumbled upon the greatest thing to happen to french toast since sliced bread: FRENCH French Toast, I call it!)

In addition to his ‘distance learning’ school work, I gave my son an assignment which has turned out to be a lot of fun as well. His orders were to play with every single toy in his room at least once, and decide whether to keep it or donate it. He has since pulled out tons of untouched toys from under his bed and chest of drawers. We’ve laughed at some of the amazing discoveries and old favorites he’s uncovered from the dark recesses. Who knew cleaning and reorganizing his room could be so fun! (Wink, wink.)

The wife and kids took an impromptu trip to the beach today, which allowed me some quiet time to sit and write this column…the screen door open, birds chirping, and the fresh green leaves we’ve gotten from all this amazing rain up against a robin’s egg sky and billowy white clouds…it doesn’t get much better, folks. For now, at this very moment, no one I know has been harmed by COVID-19 and it’s hard not to feel exceedingly lucky during this strangely stolen, yet solemn, more silent than usual spring season.

Love, safety and health to you and yours. Never since the dawn of man has the entire race found itself bound together for one cause the way we do today. Let’s be our best selves and arise from this collectively better than when it started.

So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you’re up to, especially during this unusual time; or if you simply want my wife’s ratatouille recipe.
([email protected])

Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 26, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

This past weekend, we bottled our latest vintages of wine. Now I’m back in isolation at home, deciding what new wine we’re going to have for dinner tonight. There are so many delicious choices.

I must say, we have a brand new rosé that I would love to share with everyone. It is our new 2017 Grenache Syrah rosé. The grapes were locally sourced from the Vineyard about 45 minutes from here. This is wine that is fermented in French oak barrels for 14 months. This is a delicate, yet vivacious wine with aromas of raspberries and flavors of freshly picked strawberries and blueberries with a hint of Mandarin.

Enjoy this with a citrus side salad for brunch, with a tomato and goat cheese quiche or with mixed berry crêpes. I also feel that a little bit of spiciness will pair just perfect. So, tonight I am making Indian food. Going shopping in my pantry is always fun. The other day we re-organized the freezer to make sure I knew what we had. As I was re-organizing I realized we had a package of naan. So that’s where my dinner plans began. Since vegetables seem to be the easiest to purchase at the market lately, I’ve decided to use a bunch of vegetables with some chicken that we froze. We are pairing this with braised eggplant, sautéed spinach and chicken biryani.

Just a reminder to everyone, the tasting room is not open for tastings until further notice. We are open for pick up only. If you prefer we can ship your wine. Please check out my shop page with all the new wines that we just bottled. https://reyes-winery.square.site/ Then click on the tab SHOP NOW!

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 19, 2020

Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

Due to the hoarding of a few people in town, certain types of staples are non-existent. While I am looking in my pantry to figure out what I am going to make, I’ve decided to make eggs Benedict. I am making English muffins which I haven’t made in a while from scratch. When you have a bread machine, there are endless possibilities to create. I don’t have ham, but I do have lox. So, tonight’s dinner will be a yummy twist to the classic. Since, we have just released our 2017 Viognier, this is a perfect match. On the side, again since potatoes seemed to be extinct, I am making a sweet potato hash and a spinach salad with heirloom tomatoes with a citrus vinaigrette.

This wine exhibits aromas of ripe peaches, which blend with pineapple and soft whispers of honeysuckle. On the palate you get silky peach, nectarine, vanilla and tangerine combining to create a delightful crisp lingering finish. Enjoy chilled with a kale citrus salad, tangerine glazed ham or a nectarine goat cheese crostini.

In response to state and federal government recommendations regarding reducing the spread of coronavirus, several events have begun to be postponed across the Santa Clarita Valley. Because we share your concerns about safeguarding the health and wellness of our community, we have decided to postpone our annual Bottling Event.

The health and safety of our staff and guests is our top priority. For now, the Reyes Winery Tasting Room will be open on weekends from 11 am – 5 pm for pick up only. We will not be offering tastings temporarily. As soon as we can reopen full time, we will announce our next set of events. I hope everyone understands that in this time of need, this is the best option.

On behalf of Reyes Winery, I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Live Music

| Entertainment | March 13, 2020

Mar 13, Fri
6:30–9p Wolf Creek Brewery Dan Kirkpatrick Classic rock
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Dole – Humphries Pop, bl, ctry
7–10pm Alchemy Valencia Dennis Atlas Piano rock
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Guilty As Charged Live music
8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop, rk

8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Wildside on the patio Rock covers
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR

9–1am Doc’s Inn Frankly Speaking Rock classics
Mar 14, Sat
12n–10p Pocock Brewing Co Darryls & Monkey Bump St Pat event
5–11pm Amer Legion Newhall John Davis Travelin’ Band Fundraiser
6–8pm Telco Brewery Los Carnies Live music
6–10pm Vincent Hill Station John & Terri Live music
6:30–9p Backyard Grub & Brews G – 3 Band Classic rock
7–10pm Sweetwater Cafe Robert Heft Band Blues-CR mix
7–10pm Hyatt/Greater Pacific Lance Allyn Classic covers
7–11pm Chuy’s in Stev.Ranch The Black Canyon band Classic rock
7:30–10p Vincenzo’s Newhall Right Side Up Classic rock
8–10pm Double Trouble Wines Sidney & the Detours Classic rock
8–11pm Wine 661 Ron Suffredini Classic covers
8–12m VFW 6885 Lee Harper band Country
9–12m Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Alan Wright band Blues mix
9–12m Mabel’s Road House Tongues of Fire Rock classics

9–12m Eighth and Rail Snareheads Dance rock

9–12m Salt Creek Grille Galo Pacheco Acoustic CR
Mar 15, Sun
10a–2p Saugus Swapmeet Emerald City Classic rock
1–4pm Backyard Grub & Brews Mojo Filter Blues Blues
3–5:30p Double Trouble Wines Doc Ventura Jazz & bl
3–7pm Vincent Hill Station Moldy Marvin’s open mic Various
5–9pm VFW 6885 Robert Heft band Bl-ctry mix
5–9pm Amer Legion Newhall Thom Teresi’s Jazz Jam Jazz Jam
5:30–8p Vincenzo’s Newhall Nikki Hahn & Jet Juurgensmeyer
Mar 17, Tues
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Just One Guy Acoustic
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse SRBQ Band Blues – CR
7–11pm Chuy’s in Stev.Ranch T.Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock
Mar 18, Wed
6–8pm Alchemy Valencia Monaco’s happy hour Piano
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Guitar James (Hackett) Classic rock
5–9pm VFW 6885 Magnolia Drawl duo Country jazz
Mar 19, Thur
6–9pm Tomato Joes in CC Daphne Winters Live music
6:30–9p Brewery Draconum Sean Wiggins duo Rock, bl, ctry
7–10pm Old Town Newhall Senses – Luck of the Irish Block party
7–10pm Bergie’s steakhouse T.Peacock & the Feathers Funk rock
Mar 20, Fri
7–9pm Rock Inn – Lake Hughes Nathan on piano Piano
7–9pm Alchemy Valencia Dennis Atlas Piano rock
7–10pm Hyatt Valencia lounge Various artists Live music

8–11pm The Local Pub & Grill Nick Horn R+B, pop, rk 8–11pm Wine 661 Bill Cinque & friends Classic rock

8–11:30 Vincent Hill Station Mudfish on patio Classic rock
8–12m Amer Legion Newhall Heavy Metal night Hard rock
9–12m Salt Creek Grille Lance Allyn Acoustic CR
9–1am Doc’s Inn Route 69 band Rock classics

Wine of the Week

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery

The cold weather is making me not want to go out at all; so, I decided to make some chicken soup. And yes, like all my other dishes my soup contains wine! Since our newest release is our 2017 Viognier, I thought my dinner should focus on this tasty delight. If you’re familiar with our 2013, it is slightly different; just like every vintage of the same wine; it does vary slightly based upon the weather. This year we seem to have a lot of rain again, which means that if our summer is moderate, we will most likely have softer wines.

This wine exhibits aromas of ripe peaches, which blend with pineapple and soft whispers of honeysuckle. On the palate you get silky peach, nectarine, vanilla and tangerine combining to create a delightful crisp lingering finish. Enjoy this wine chilled with a kale citrus salad, tangerine glazed ham or a nectarine goat cheese crostini.

I must mention that this weekend we are bottling another Viognier. Most likely from the whole run we will see it being bottled on Sunday. So, if you’re a fan I would love to see you on Sunday!
Our 2019 Viognier is locally grown: our winemaker, Robert Reyes, hand-picked these grapes which are exceptionally aromatic with notes of Bartlett pears, apricots and honeysuckle. This full-bodied dry white wine has medium acidity. Enjoy slightly chilled with a pear and Gruyère tart, cream of cauliflower soup topped with hazelnuts or lobster tails with wildflower honey garlic butter. This wine pairs well with St. Patrick’s Day goodies like corned beef and cabbage, colcannon and soda bread!

For more information, visit www.reyeswinery.com

Last Year Marked Highest Film Numbers On Record For Santa Clarita

| Entertainment | March 12, 2020

Santa Clarita reached its best year of location filming ever in 2019, with the Film Office recording 576 film permits and 1,490 location film days generating an estimated economic impact of $35.9 million to the local community – a significant increase of 9 percent from 2018.

This is the sixth consecutive calendar year the Santa Clarita Film Office has recorded more than 500 permits, over 1,300 film days and $30 million or more in estimated economic impact generated from location filming alone. Not included in the reported numbers are the film days and economic benefit from filming that takes place on certified sound stages, which do not require a film permit.

“Our City continues to raise the bar, welcoming dozens of film productions to our versatile City,” said Mayor Cameron Smyth. “Productions continue to choose Santa Clarita for our diverse locations, including picturesque neighborhoods and rugged landscapes. These productions result in high paying, local opportunities for our 6,000 plus residents who work in the entertainment industry – plus more customers for local businesses.”

More than half of the filming days in 2019 were attributed to television production alone, many of which were from shows based in Santa Clarita including “Bless This Mess,” “68 Whiskey,” “Good Trouble,” “Mayans MC,” “NCIS,” “Party of Five,” “Picard,” “S.W.A.T.” and “Holey Moley.”

TV shows weren’t the only productions taking advantage of Santa Clarita locations in 2019. Numerous feature films were also shot in the area last year including “SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge,” “Yes Day,” “Call of the Wild,” “Ad Astra,” “Palm Springs,” “Badlands” and more in addition to many commercials, music videos, still photo shoots and online content.

Santa Clarita is consistently one of the most filmed places in California because it offers thousands of film-friendly locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world, more than 30 sound stages, over 10 movie ranches, a one-stop shop Film Office, low-cost permit fees and expedited permit processing in addition to being located within the industry’s coveted “30-Mile Zone.”

Several other factors have contributed to the continued success and appeal of filming in Santa Clarita, including the City’s own Film Incentive Program and Movie Ranch Overlay Zone. The Santa Clarita Valley has also benefitted tremendously from the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program as numerous approved projects have filmed and continue to do so on location in the area.

For more information about filming in Santa Clarita, visit FilmSantaClarita.com or contact the Film Office at (661) 284-1425. For an insider’s view of filming in Santa Clarita, follow the Santa Clarita Film Office on Instagram (@FilmSantaClarita).

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Doug’s Rant – Video Edition

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