What Makes Priorat Wines Special?

The remote, rocky hills of the Priorat wine region are the birthplace of intense,  reds that many wine writers and collectors consider to be Spain’s most elite wines. Priorat wines have risen from being almost unheard-of on the international wine market to being one of the world's most expensive wines.

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Priorat’s best wines are concentrated and full of character thanks to the very low yields produced by the region’s harsh conditions: hot, dry, and low nutrient content in the soil.  Yield is closely linked to quality: lower yields mean higher quality.

Those low yields, in addition to the intense manual labor required to make wines here, mean that Priorat wines are some of the most expensive in Spain. They are also, in the eyes of many, among the best wines produced in the country. Expressive, fresh and less oaky than many traditional Spanish reds, Priorat wines have earned a devoted following in Spain and beyond.

The remains of the monastery where wine began in Priorat. 

The remains of the monastery where wine began in Priorat. 

Priorat's relatively recent rise to fame and glory belies the region's long history of winemaking. Winemaking dates back at least as far as the 12th Century, when monks of the Carthusian Order established a the Priorato dei Scala Dei monastery and planted vineyards there to make wine to serve at mass. The monastery's ruins can still be visited today, and vines still hug the hillsides below it.

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We will be serving this particular Priorat wine for our Tapas and Wine dinner. Currently there are only 36-40 bottles in the United States!  It retails for $56 a bottle.

Our lovely wine rep has been saving her stock for us and we are able to offer a small pour tasting at our Tapas dinner! There will be very limited bottles on hand for purchase as well, with a limit of one bottle per person. 

We have chosen 6 lovely wines from this region to compliment our 8 course tapas menu. You may just find YOUR new signature red! 

What a fantastic experience at Old Quail Run Farm. We are excited and hope you will join us! 

The Power of a Good Chicken Soup

I don't have to tell you that the flu is BAD in Texoma this year. It has (thankfully) skipped over our household, but I don't know too many people who have NOT succumbed over the last 30 days. Along with my beloved Thieves oil and hand washing like a madwoman, I have a secret weapon...chicken soup, which has both preventative and healing properties. 

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Chicken soup contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, phosphorus, gelatin and antioxidants, which are known to build a strong immune system and fight off viruses. The protein from chicken provides amino acids that are used to build antibodies to fight infection. 

In a physicians backed study researchers found that chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis, giving it anti-inflammatory properties that helps relieve the symptoms associated with upper respiratory infections. So in addition to "improving hydration and nutritional status," chicken soup has the potential of "accelerating mucosal clearance," which is science's fancy way of saying that it helps make your sniffles better.

In addition, chicken contains the amino acid cysteine, which is released when released when cooking the chicken is awfully similar to a drug called acetylcysteine, which doctors prescribe for patients with bronchitis and respiratory infections. The cysteine helps release mucus.  So yeah, when you look at it that way, chicken soup is actual medicine.

I originally made this Tuscan Chicken Soup with noodles, but subbed the potatoes to accommodate a gluten free friend I was hosting at the farm.  Feel free to experiment with the amount of seasoning. Go with your instinct and play around a little. And that whole bag of celery and carrots? Talk about getting your veggies in, which is incredible for prevention and healing. 

Share the recipe with a friend or better yet, make an extra large pot and share with a family struggling with the crud, because we're all in this together, right friends? 

*And if time is short and you need a helping hand next week, this soup will be Bon Appetit Ya'll's "Soup for you Wednesday." You can call (903) 868-2100 to order,  comment on their Facebook post when the menu is posted this Friday, or use FB messenger to order. Like Bon Appetit Ya'll's Facebook HERE.

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Christmas Has Arrived at The Farm

It's feeling a bit more like Christmas, right? This cold snap in North Texas is just what I needed to pull out the decorations and dress up this ole farmhouse!

In 5 more months, we reach our 2 year anniversary of living on the farm. And I'm going to be totally honest with you. Celebrating the birth of Jesus in this old Texas cottage totally lives up to all the hype and imagined stories I had running through my head when made the leap to country life.

Warm cookies and cups of hot cocoa, friends and family mingling and then settling down with a cozy throw over their lap in front of the fireplace; it all happens here. But not because I have it all together or my house is perfectly tidy. Let's dispel that myth right now!

When we took on the remodeling of this farmhouse, we were being molded and taught to let go of perfection; one old house project at at time. A 100 year old farmhouse will never be a new build. There are quirks; doors that stick, floors that creak, walls that lean in and drafts that creep in from time to time. But through the process, our response to each oddity transformed from frustration to acceptance, and now, to joy!

So in this beautifully imperfect and rushed season of life, we invite the neighbors in for impromptu fellowship (and whatever I have in the pantry), we swing the doors open wide for a gaggle of teenagers that need a place to hang out, or poof the pillows for overnight guests that pop into town.

Just as this home will never be "perfect", I've exchanged (only through grace) being the "perfect" hostess for a joyful and grateful one. My hope and prayer is for each one of you to do the same, one baby step at a time, and never be too hard on yourself!  

Keep following our social media and blog for easy ways to host and give this Holiday season.

Merry Christmas, my friends!

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One Foot In Front Of The Other

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Along with the half-hearted Texas promise of fall, October brought the Vintage Barn Sale and our Farm to Table Dinner series. Some close to me, might have quietly (or not with so much subtlety) called me crazy for hosting these events on back to back weekends, but even before we had moved in, the vision I had for the land and barn was taking shape, and it was in the cards as they say. 

At the core of that vision was EXPERIENCE. I was personally just so tired of driving 40 minutes or more to an event in McKinney, Frisco or Dallas because I wanted that particular experience. And while the events were absolutely fabulous, I would look around and realize, Hey...we can do this (and do it just as well & if not better) in Texoma.

We had the first Vintage Barn Sale just 5 months after moving in. When God shares His will, I learned that life is much sweeter when I follow. 

The result of just putting one foot in front of the other led us to this October's experiences at Old Quail Run Farm. We planned an Early Shopping Event, complete with sangrias and tacos that felt  like a casual Friday night gathering with friends: It was lovely. And with the threat of weather looming, we moved our Farm to Table Dinner series INSIDE the barn, and WOW, I may NEVER move those tables out again.

Well, except they will need to be relocated for the next barn sale, which is scheduled for May 5th, 2018. We are also day dreaming of a specialty dinner experience the first of the year, and you better believe our incredible wine reps will be there to share their latest, under the radar finds with us!  

More importantly, we have a head (and heart) full of ideas and experiences we want to bring to the Texoma region; vintage barn sales, farm to table dinners, workshops, weddings, charity events. Old Quail Run Farm has blessed us, and we want the EXPERIENCES of Old Quail Run Farm to bless this region! #ExperienceOldQuailRunFarm #TexomaIsAwesome #StayLocal 

 

Vintage Barn Sale. October 2017

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Images from our Farm To Table dinner series coming soon!

 

A Glass of Vino, Please.

The romanticism of clinking glasses over a noonday meal is captivating, isn't it? But I am a southern gal. So Sweet tea is still well, my cup of tea, but if I'm in the mood to feel a little less American, and a little more laid back European, then it's a glass of vino to accompany my lunch.

When my Southern Glazer's wine representative calls to introduce new wines, I jump at the chance to schedule it over a lunch for that very reason! Channeling my inner Lidia Bastianich, it's a simple fare of flatbread drizzled with olive oil (local, of course), then topped with tomatoes, basil and cheese for an appetizer, and then for the main course; fettuccine cooked al dente with the added oomph of bacon and fresh baby spinach. 

The bottles are lined up, lunch is plated, and we begin the arduous task of eating and drinking. Since these particular wines are from small family owned wineries with Spanish heritage ( Artesa,  Septima, and Anna Codorniu), I'll exchange the French "C'est La Vie" for the Spanish equivalent of "Asi es la vida".

Escaping from the usual rush of the day doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes, it's just having the right ingredients on hand and popping the cork a little before 5pm. We highly recommend it! 

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The wine we choose to serve at our Farm To Table dinners is small batch, un-available in your local grocery store, and always gets my seal of approval first. Likewise is the same for the wines we sell (and serve while catering) at Bon Appetit Ya'll, which makes purchasing a bottle for a gift or a special occasion a REAL treat for the lovely people enjoying the bottle.