While the rest of the world is usually dusting of their BBQ and breaking out the sunblock in June, we here in Santa Cruz are usually stuck in “June Gloom” which means heavy fog, cold temperature and some evening fires. This year we have been blessed with an anomaly in the jet stream and have had weather the rest of the country would envy. It was on just such a perfect summer evening that Troya and I ventured to Soquel to partake in our first Soquel Supper Club. These events are hosted by Back Porch and Uncie Ro’s and held at the Everett Family Farm. The concept is simple, great food made from local ingredients paired with local wine on a local farm, what’s not to like? Everett Family Farm is located on old San Jose Road back in the valley. A gorgeous property by the creek where they grow organic vegetables and fruit and raise chickens for eggs. All of these can be purchased at their stand on the property or at the local farmers markets. Both Uncie Ro’s and Back Porch are locally famous chefs who specialize in local/organic fare that can be found at the farmers markets but also do special events such as this.
The evening started with a glass of sparkling which we both enjoyed, not too sweet and not a lot of yeast that some sparkling are prone to. It lost its bubbles quickly, but that was likely due to the fact that we were drinking out of wine glasses. The wines of the evening were from both Odonata Wines and Armida Wines. Neither of them have a sparkling on their list so I do not know where it was from but I think it was from Odonata. The first course of the evening was Tuscan style Panzanella paired with a 2011 Gewurztraminer from Armida. Troya did not enjoy the salad as much as I did with several types of tomatoes, cucumbers and bread crumbs. The pairing was very nice and the Gewurztraminer was a perfect summer sipping wine, not too sweet with a nice clean, floral body. Next came a Tomato Bisque with a Brie Panini paired with a 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay also from Armida. This was the hit of the evening and for a second we almost wished it was cold and
foggy and we could have had more of the bisque and Panini by a big fire. The Chardonnay was a bit on the dry side, not much oak or butter and I do not think I would have wanted to drink it alone, but it went perfect with the bisque. The main course was a wood fired steak with a blue cheese and tomato reduction paired with a Barbera. The meat came from el Salchichero, a butcher shop on the west side that is dedicated to local, sustainable meats. They smoke their own meet in house and also make their own sausage (we have yet to try but will be doing so very soon). These steaks had a great flavor, much more then big store bought meet, and the reduction added just enough flavor without being overbearing. The Barbera, I believe from an Armida off brand, was very soft with some tannic flavor at the end. I thought it went very well together, Troya not so much. The desert was roasted stone fruit in a honey glaze over vanilla ice cream paired with the 2011 Syrah Desert from Odonata. The stone fruit was a perfect ending to the evening, and while the Syrah Desert was good, we both thought it was a bit big for the stone fruit. Having been in BC recently we both thought a nice ice wine would have gone much better.
So, if you are in to this kind of thing, great local food paired with great local wine in a picturesque setting, the Soquel Supper Club is something you have to try. Your next opportunity will be on July 25th followed by August 22nd.