One of the reasons I chose Florence, Italy as our home in 2009 was the knowledge that a dear friend, Kay Bouchard, lived just outside in the Chianti Region. She was a great source of information and inspiration…my security blanket.
I had known that she and her husband Vincent were developing a winery on the Douro river in Portugal but it was only after sharing many glasses at their table in Chianti that I realized how special it was. It was around that same table that we discussed the possibility of bringing the port and wine into the United States…and in particular, into our Rutherford store. It seemed like a dream at the time but Kay and Vincent are active dreamers….it wasn’t long after I arrived home that our first shipment was on its way.
Fast forward to our third shipment of Quinta Do Tedo…larger every time but never large enough to introduce it to our online audience….until now. It is still extremely limited…the largest amount we have is 120 bottles of the Tawny Port…the favorite…and that is before I take my share.
There are so many wonderful stories about Kay and Vincent that I could share but find out for yourself and visit their website and follow Kay’s blog. You will get lost in Kay’s posts and perhaps wake up someday in the Douro Valley…..tell them we sent you.
HOW THE BUZZ BEGAN…..
In the spirit of our life in Italy, I decided to offer complimentary glasses of Quinta do Tedo wines and port in our Rutherford store. We set up the back bar for people to help themselves to a glass. They can walk the store or sit in the theatre seats and catch a bit of Food Inc. I hoped to sell enough to break even on what we served as I do have two hungry teenagers to feed but again, I was open to whatever it was to bring…as the spirit was in sharing. The CPA in me watched the numbers carefully and they jumped out at me the first day…people were buying the port in multiples…and raving. I was not surprised at the reactions but did not expect to start a cult following…ha…be careful what you wish for, right? We sold out quickly and it took months to get it back in…and then we did it again…before i could even get it on the website.
We ordered as much as our cash flow would allow this time but still very limited…we have the most stock of the Tawny Port (120 bottles) as it is the favorite.
Needless to say, I’m excited to share Quinta Do Tedo port and wines with all of you but even more pleased to share in the connection to the beauty of the product, the producer and the planet. Come share a glass with us in Rutherford or buy a bottle of your own and lift your glass to Kay, Vincent, and all others who follow their dreams.
A Recipe from Kay: Olive Oil Cake with Balsamic Fruit Sauce
Makes 6 Servings
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil (You can also use any of our plainExtra Virgin Olive Oils for less citrus flavor)
3/4 Cup Milk
Grated zest of 2 oranges, plus 1 sliced orange for garnish
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Big Pinch Fleur De Sel
Whisk eggs and sugar together until blended, add olive oil, milk, orange zest; mix well. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to egg mixture and stir until just blended, do not overmix. Pour into buttered and floured loaf pan, bake a 350º F until set, 35-40 minutes.
Balsamic Fruit Sauce:
3 Cups plums, cherries or berries; or 2 cups dried prunes, apricots, or pears.
1/2 Cup sugar
2-4 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Methode Tradizionale
Cook fruit, sugar and water until fruit softens, remove fruit and reduce syrup if very liquid. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve with cake, a dallop of whipped cream, and a glass of Quinta do Tedo Fine Tawny Port!