Inman Family Wines 2009 Brut Rosé Nature Sparkling Wine Print

With the holidays already in full retreat, a half-remembered haze of heartwarming social expectations and thrilling adventures in traffic, it’s time that we got serious about sparkling wine.

That’s right. Much of the nation’s sparkling budget is blown during the holidays, to be sure, but I like to think of the remainder of January as “sparkling wine month,” a time to explore the finer iterations of this delightful beverage in quieter moments.

No need for a special occasion. I submit, for your consideration, this idea: Why shouldn’t next Sunday afternoon be a special occasion?

That being said, this wine was created by Kathleen Inman to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary, and during a recent tasting of small-production sparkling wines like this, it was roundly praised as a “perfect wedding wine.”

The 2009 “Endless Crush” Brut Rosé Nature ($68) has a very light, pink rose hue, aromas of fresh-baked fruit muffin, distillation of cherry. The mousse is quite active, and although no dosage was added, the palate is creamy, tart and balanced, not austere, flecked with cherry, strawberry flavor. Made from Inman Family Estate’s vineyard on Olivet Lane, totaling just 138 cases.

Perhaps it is priced for a special occasion, after all, but if you’ve made it this year’s resolution, just for example, to spend more freely on delicious, small-batch Sonoma County bubbly to enjoy with a friend or lover while picking the flesh out of a pair of ragged claws for the express purpose of baking crispy little crab cakes, this is the one.

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Crab & Scallop Cakes

From Kathleen Inman: “I made these little crab and scallop cakes for the party we had at the vineyard in May, and several guests asked for the recipe, so here it is. They can be made small, to serve as passed hors d’oeuvres or slightly larger to serve 6 as an appetizer.”

1 shallot, finely minced
1 large red pepper, diced small
10 large scallops
2 cup crabmeat, (tinned lump crab will work)
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 egg whites
1 1/2 c. cracker meal
1/2 cilantro, coriander, chopped
3/4 green onions, chopped
2 dash cayenne pepper
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
light olive oil, (for frying)

Sauté shallots until just soft, then add red peppers and cook a further minute. Set aside.

In a food processor, puree scallops, add cream and egg whites and process until blended. Fold in shallots, peppers, green onions, crabmeat and cilantro. Season with cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste.

Add ½ cup of cracker meal. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Form the mixture into patties and dredge in remaining cracker meal. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Place a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cakes and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and just crispy. Serve immediately with a roasted red pepper aioli.

Serves 6

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