The title of this post sounds more like a new Game of Thrones installation rather than a recap, but the summer of 2014 truly has been an epic season for us at Stag Dining Group. Together, with our friends and collaborators, we’ve had some amazing firsts and some bittersweet lasts. And as the days get shorter, nights get a bit chillier, The Stags say farewell to another sweltering summer.
In the past 4 years, we’ve had the great fortune of being surrounded by amazing innovators in the food and wine industry that inspire us to push forward in our own endeavors. In June, we had our first ever Napa Valley clandestine dinner hosted by Baldacci Winery. The outdoor dinner offered a unique opportunity to fully embrace the full terroir of Stags Leap District.
Baldacci Family Vineyards has added to the rich tradition of Stags Leap District by making superb wines from one of California most historic AVAs. However, Baldacci has more recently introduced some incredibly compelling white wines with their 2012 Sorelle Chardonnay, taking home the Best Overall White Wine at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Our partnership with the Baldacci family is a tradition we hope to carry well into next year, holding another dinner in January of 2015.
Our love of wine and the cultivation of local harvests have been apparent in many of our past dinners, and it’s a tradition that we hope to expand and grow along with the Stag Dining brand. This summer, we were proud to announce our partnership with Bodkins Wines in making our very own private label wine, Deerblood, at our Guns ‘n Rosé event in our Clandestine Dinner Series.
After many years of great parties and hunting trips with Chris Christensen, Stag Dining formed an alliance with Bodkin Wines in the fall of 2013 with the ambition of making a beautiful Provencal style rosé. We released the wine at the Pacific Rod & Gun Club, appropriately, after some skeet shooting. Diners snacked on a charcuterie bar supplied by our friends at 4505 Meats. Guests sampled Deerblood, along with other rosés provided by our pals at Wilson & Wilson and Kivelstadt. With a menu that included Venison Tartar and Charred Summer Corn, a glass of Deerblood was the perfect way to end another balmy night by the lake.
And as summer comes to a close, we also had an opportunity to say goodbye to our friends at Drakes Bay Oyster Company in Shucks for Shelter: A Benefit for the Workers of Drakes Bay Oyster Company.
With the help of Fine & Rare, Careneros Wine Alliance, and Anchor Brewers and Distillers, the event raised $5,000 to help the workers of Drakes Bay during this time of transition. Many of them have been working for Drakes Bay for 30 years. It was a touching and inspiring morning as fellow companies from around the bay area lent their support when only hours beforehand, the South Napa earthquake occurred. Carneros Winery, despite suffering damage from the earthquake earlier that morning, still attended the benefit to lend a helping hand. It’s that sort of support and outpour of generosity that is the perfect reminder of why we take part in events like these.
We’d like to leave you now with an unforgettable moment of our very own from this summer. Stag Dining surprised long-time friend and collaborator, Aloe Blacc, in Los Angeles for a 2 part episode of Yahoo Screen’s Culinary Beats. Natural Curiosities Art House in LA was our backdrop for the episode where we surprised Aloe with a Panamanian-inspired meal. Click here to check out episode 1.
We have much more in store for autumn and well into winter. As you plan out your holiday seasons, we hope that you keep us in mind and participate in one of our amazing dinners and create moments with us that will last seasons to come.