May 25, 2012
I am enjoying “wine month” so far, traveling the countryside to experience the best our local wineries have to offer. Mother Nature has been cooperating and for the most part, giving us warm and dry weather on the weekends for our wine tasting wanderings. Thanks for the great weather, “Mom! “
Back home, the caneberries (called that because blackberries and raspberries grow on a tall cane-like stem) in my farm garden are already blooming profusely, and the bumble and honey bees are a-buzzing their delight, poking their tube-like tongues called proboscis in the flowers and sucking up the pollen.  They store this nectar in their stomachs and carry it to the beehive. The nectar mixes with proteins and enzymes in their stomachs, converting the nectar to honey.  
The caneberries came to mind because of a delicious wine I sampled. I was at King’s Raven winery, located 25 minutes east Wilsonville on the Canby Area Farm Loop, at 11603 S. New Era Road, Oregon City. Wine expert Kim Walton poured me their 2009 Marechal Foch. The first essence to strike me was black fruits – a strong blackberry note that was as enjoyable as the notes Kim’s father David was playing on his keyboard while I was savoring this vintage. 
The dry red wine was also forthcoming with flavors of toasted wheat, fresh coffee, bitter chocolate, vanilla bean and musk.  Marechal Foch is very fruit forward and compares to Syrah.  It’s no wonder this wine has built a dedicated following.
In May and on through the season, King’s Raven will be pouring at their tasting room and at many events.  I plan to visit King’s Raven over Memorial Day Weekend as they mark the one-year anniversary and Grand Opening of the King’s Raven Estate Tasting Room. For $10 I will get a logo wine glass, wine tasting and light appetizers. In the summer I’ll be back there for Movies in the Vineyard, and some summer concerts including Becker Heads on August 3. And just to prove how healthy wine can be for you, there’s a Yoga in the Vineyard group Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. from July 17 through August 28.
Check their website and contact [email protected] for more information. The Marechal Foch inspired me to make the following quick and delicious recipe:
Mary Stewart’s Steak Pot
2 lbs       tender beef steak, cut 1” thick and trimmed of fat. 
2 Tbl       butter
2 Tbl       olive oil
1 tsp      garlic or seasoned salt
⅔C          Marechal Foch red wine
¼ C         catsup, or tomato paste mixed with 1 tsp sugar
2 tsp      cornstarch
¼ tsp     dried dill or tarragon
                Freshly-ground pepper to taste
Cut steak into ½” cubes. Brown steak cubes quickly in butter and oil to rare or medium-rare stage.   Removed cubes and cover with foil or lid to keep warm.  Now make your sauce by blending the wine, catsup, cornstarch, dill and pepper to taste; stir into rich pan drippings. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.  Combine steak cubes and sauce and serve over hot rice or noodles. These steak cubes also make a nice appetizer – try serving with a choice of dips.