What’s all the Brewhaha about Mad Fritz?

Mad Fritz Eagle's Nest Double IPAWhat was he thinking? With a name like that it takes me back to episodes of “Hogan’s Hero’s,” but Beer Mad Scientist? Fast forward to early January of 2016, I happen to catch an online story featured in the Napa Register “Farm to Foam: ‘Real beer’ on the rise” profiling one Nile Zacherly. I would have ignored it, except  one of my event captains (Mark Buckley) told me bout this amazing winemaker he worked with in 2009 (during Crush) in Calistoga, Nile Zacherly who makes David Arther wines.

Such a character he was, and thats what I hoped to find in his new brewery. So off I went nonchalant one  late afternoon excursion to a non-descript industrial area of St. Helena. Upon first step inside the brewery, it looked like a small winery operation. Tanks, barrels and the “all important” glasses. I got the enhanced tour of pressurized beer barrels (formerly wine barrels). The methodology steps Nile takes making this beer is very similar to his approach to wine. After getting the overview of the process I sat down for a one-on-one interview.

Question 1.  So why “Mad Fritz”, you must be the character in this beer story… right?
Nile:  Actually, Mad is Madeleine (Maddie) my daughter, and Frederick (Fritz), is my son.
Comment: Awwe, that’s cute!

Question 2:  So what gave you the idea to start making beer? I see you are so passionate for the process?
Nile:  I like beer, but everything I tasted out there was very sanitized and just cranked out to make money. I wanted to make something focused on the quality, no compromise.

mad_fritz_secret_sauce_2016-01-13 18.53.54Question 3: So what makes Mad Fritz different from other craft beers?
Nile: I select the finest single variety barleys that are craft-malted suited to a particular style of beer, add quality locally sourced hops that are farmed organically and Napa Valley sourced water from artesian springs and aquifers. I ferment real slow and cold, sometimes taking six weeks just to complete primary fermentation. Most beer brewers only take 2-3 days and bottle in a few weeks. Then I do all secondary fermentation in bottle, which creates natural CO2 (carbonation).

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Question 4: Wow, that’s intense! That explains your beer being more expensive ($25 a bottle, right)?
Nile: That’s right, we are making very small batches of beer and time and materials are essential. This is age-able beer, barrel aged. Some of our beers are known as barley wines (over 8% alcohol) and take more time and attention to detail to craft. My passion for making wine gets translated in to the process I go through in making the beer. I think you can taste the difference right away.

mad_fritz_beer_lineup_2016-01-13 16.04.55Question 5:  So whats your goal/motivation?
Nile:  I want to produce the best beer I can and to those who appreciate the attention to detail and not to the masses that just care about getting buzzed or drunk off craft beer. I’m about having a cult/hard to get beer and not selling out to scale for distribution.

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Question 6:  Where can I but this beer and is it in restaurants?
Nile:  Our beer is extremely allocated, so you can buy it here at the brewery, or if you join our limited Beer Club, but we are on hold for taking any new members at this time. As far as restaurants, we are only in a few. One that I’m very proud of is The French Laundry in Yountville. Mad Fritz is very food-friendly and we have so many styles that you can probably pair the beer with anything.

 

Question 7:  How many beers are you currently producing?
Nile:  Currently about 20 different styles ranging from Belgian to Double IPA and Barley wines. They are all very unique and made at different times of the year.  You can only get some beers in certain months. Best way to get your hands on them is to join our Beer Club.
Comments: I’m sold! Where do I signup?

Nile: You can fill out our wine club application online at http://www.madfritz.com  and if you want to do a private tasting, email us and we will try and schedule an appointment via email.
Comments: Nile, this was such an amazing experience learning about your process and trying these amazing beer gems. Truly, I’m blown away and excited to try your next batch of beer! Thanks again for giving us a hands-on tour and tasting. I will be sure and recommend your beer to my guests that visit the valley.

Well, there you have it. A unique experience in Napa Valley wine country. If you are a craft beer lover, you are going to be blown away by this stuff. The beers come in unique packaging with a Grolsch style stopper and the beer names and labels are taken from Aesop’s Fables. You will also notice how detailed they are with the ingredients all there on the back of the label. I was super-impressed with every facet of my experience here and I know you will be too.

I’m Crystal-Rose signing off from Concierge of the Valley.

Delightful Del Dotto

Having been a life-long resident in Napa Valley, I have been spoiled by all my experiences in wine-country. There are countless wineries that have sprouted up and down the Silverado Trail and along Highway 29. I tend not to visit new wineries until they have been established several years, as I’ve learned that it takes them a while to “Get their groove on”.

Del Dotto Vineyards is no “new kid on the block”. They’ve been in Napa for almost 30 years, and now in 2 locations. Back in late November I got a special invitation to experience their new Wine Paired tasting at their oldest winery, inside the caves. They did not disappoint!

My hosts were so gracious. The food was prepared by Del Dotto Executive Chef Joshua Schwartz and every course was more stupendous than the last. This is a new tasting experience that isn’t offered daily, but by appointment only.

They started me off with their very own Brut Bubbles from Sonoma Coast paired with smoked sturgeon, Delicious!!! Next up was, a seafood favorite, Maine Lobster on a toasted brioche, was perfect with their Chardonnay. I was tentative on course number three as Foise Gras has always been hit or miss for me, but the black truffle jus and yams balanced everything, including the fabulous Pinot!! The final savory dish was out of this world, Wagyu beef slider pimped with some fine Cabernet from the Villa Del Lago vineyard.

Well no trip to Del Dotto Vineyards is complete without trying their Dolores Red dessert wine. Chef paired this with his bacon butternut chocolate pumpkin seed cake that was to die for. After this experience I needed a serious nap to recover from my food and wine comatose. Seriously, this is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve taken in so many.

The cost was only $95 for this five-course wine paired experience.  If you are foodie, you need to book this next time you are in the valley. Be sure to call me and I will get you hooked up for transportation so you can relax and enjoy your whole day.

That’s all for now, Crystal Rose, Concierge of The Valley signing off.

 

Glen Ellen Getaway!

Glen Ellen has always been a mysterious area. Somewhere between Kenwood and Sonoma lies this treasure trove of vineyards and private estates.
I have the pleasure of managing an enchanted estate in this special place. Off the beaten path and unknown to visitors and locals alike, this is an escape. You won’t find this advertised on TripAdvisor or any other travel magazine. You have to be in the know.
This last weekend we had a couple celebrating their 40th birthday. Special friends and family got to take in the entire “Glen Ellen” Experience.

Here are some  highlights:

I’m sure you will love the Scenery… 

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So you you like food?

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Don’t forget the wine…

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Curious how you can enjoy this estate? Give me a call, I’d love to fill you in on all the details. You can reach me at:

707.738.5205

Do checkout my website for a full list of services I offer at Concierge of The Valley

Hit me with your BottleRock!

Unless you have been asleep in a cave you have heard of the impending music festival coming to Napa next week. As many as 50,000 youthful fans will descend on the valley with abandon. Many wineries have embraced and even sponsored the coming throngs. 60 bands, 42 wineries and 36 restaurants will be serving it up. A-List comedians and other entertainers will also be in attendance. I’m wondering what all the Mother’s Day visitors will think? Cindy Pawlcyn will have food at the Napa Valley Fairgrounds where the bulk of the action will be held. I would love to see Jim Gaffigan, currently my favorite comic.

The Black Keys headline BottleRock

The Black Keys headline BottleRock, Napa

If you are a music lover you can get your fill for $329, a 3-day pass to heaven. Too rich for your Napa Style, try the 1-day pass for only $139. The festival starts on Wednesday, May 8th and goes till Sunday. Downtown Napa should be bustling with extra tourists in town. It might be the perfect time to get up valley and do some wine tasting for locals. I’m curious what the locals near the fairgrounds think? I’ve heard that most of Alta Heights got free tickets to compensate for traffic and noise. Napa hotels are booked solid and many homes are being rented via Air BnB. If you want to get out of town, you might think about renting your place out for the weekend. I can certainly help facilitate those needs.

The event is destined to be epic and bring a more youthful element to the Napa Valley. It has the makings of an annual event like Outside Lands in San Francisco. I’m really looking forward to it!

What are your thoughts? Love to hear your comments.

Checkout the BottleRock website for all the details…

Cricketer’s of the Valley

Napa Valley Cricket Club victory in 2012 by the smallest of margins, 2 runs

Napa Valley Cricket Club victory in 2012

You don’t think of Napa Valley as a very sporting place. Except if you include the Raiders annual preseason visit to Redwood Middle School. Lately I’ve heard funny accents around the valley talking about this new sport of Cricket. I decided to investigate. Turns out this sport was one of the precursors to baseball. Developed in the 16th century and played in most of the British colonies.

Now it’s finally arrived in Napa Valley. So who plays this game and why? Being the hub of wine in California, Napa has a wide diversity of winemakers. Many travel from as far off as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Wine is perfectly matched to the game of Cricket. Steeped in tradition that enjoys a break for afternoon tea at 3 o’clock, Napa will change it up with wine. About 2 years ago a group of ex-pats as they go by, decided there was enough interested parties in the valley to put together a team. Marin has had a long tradition of cricket going back thirty years. San Jose has a large influx of East Indian engineers who also enjoy the game of cricket  and are highly competitive. Napa Valley is home to Treasury Wine Estates with many Australians working at various wineries all over Napa.

How is this game played I hear you say? That is a very complex answer. Consisting of eleven players per side, a wicket keeper,  bowler, batsmen, Stumps and outfielders it sounds comparable to baseball. I assure you, there is a lot of strategy and rules. For a good overview look at this Cricket Rules site. I suggest coming to watch their opening match this Sunday the 28th of Apri. The Aussies defend their title against the ROW (Rest of the World). See a preview in this Calistogan article here.

The game starts at 10:30 and there will be a BBQ with wine and refreshments open to the public. The whole family will enjoy it with activities for the kids. Join the club on Facebook for this event and be sure and share with your friends.

Mother’s Day Brunch in Napa

So many choices come to mind when I think of breakfast in the Napa Valley. Brunch on the other hand is a different animal.

Fume Bistro

Fumé is nestled in residencia

Fumé Bistro is unassuming, yet local favorite. Napa foodies are tuned in if you’re a regular for Monday Night Burger at the bar deal. $5.55 for half pounder burger and fries at the bar, only. If you like to sleep in on Sunday, Fume is the place for you. Offering such great favorites as Huevos Rancheros with their cocktail specialty, Bloody Mary. For mom and the family, it’s a perfect setting. I would reserve your spot now. I’ve seen groups as large as 20 Fumé Bistro

Grace's Table Brunch

Grace’s Table Brunch

Napa downtown has experienced a renaissance of late. One of my new favorites for breakfast is Grace’s Table.
Located on a 2nd street corner you have the option of sitting outside or enjoying open wall dining. Weather is starting to sizzle and the breeze is much appreciated. On the left you have Eggs Benedict, a brunch favorite. The right is Iron Skillet Cornbread with lavender honey butter and mâche lettuce. You can’t go to Grace’s without ordering this selection. Grace’s is modern in decor with a great wine list. Suitable for couples and groups of 6. Treat your mom this Mother’s Day.

ABC Bakery's French Toast with Pear

ABC Bakery’s French Toast with Pear

Alexis has been baking breads and cakes in Napa for over 25 years. Her dedication to quality and consistency shows in all her food. Be sure to arrive early as there is no reservations here. I highly recommend the spinach omelet with white cheddar and applewood bacon. Comes with country potatoes and  cinnamon toast! Fantabulous! The service and communal atmosphere will make you come back often. Couples  and groups of 4 are best. The communal table can handle 6-8. Treat your mom or the mother of your kids to this awesome treat! Menu available here:

Be sure and follow my blog and share all your experiences. Cheers!

Favorite Foods from 2012 bASH

Favorite Foods from 2012 bASH

This Saturday at The CIA in Appellation St. Helena celebrates food and wine Awesomeness.  Rockstars in St. Helena’s kitchen served up their finest. Extraordinary local vino complements this rich event. My favorites were David Fulton, Corley, Crocker & Starr and Revana. I attended last year’s soiree and was impressed. Napa Valley came out in droves. Dressed up and taking in the wondrous bounty. I won’t even tell you all the ingredients above. You have to be there to experience it. Tickets are almost sold out so I suggest you get yours now! Don’t let the kids keep you from this “Must Attend” event. Email me and I can arrange childcare – Cheers COTV – Email Me

bASH Bottles of 2012

bASH Bottles of 2012

The Flavor of bASH

Napa County Wine Tours!!

Napa County Wine Tours!!

 

When people say Napa County, the first thing that comes to mind is wine! When coming to Napa County, a wine tour must be on the to do list! Let’s be honest, not going on a wine tour in Napa County, is like not going to see the Golden Gate bridge on a trip to San Francisco; it just doesn’t happen. Napa County ‘s winding roads, beautiful sceneries, amazing weather, and endless wineries, make this one of the best places in the world for a wine tour.

There are so many wineries out there, how does one decipher which ones to go to? The answer to this question is simple, an experienced concierge service. Wine tours are supposed to be relaxing, tasteful, and elegant; a time when you let your mind rest and simply enjoy the finer things in life, not a time to pull out a cellphone and constantly try and locate best wineries near me. Let a concierge service handle everything for you so that the trip is as stress free and relaxing as possible. Concierge of The Valley is your concierge service; they were voted Napa’s best business for 2014. Their white glove service goes above and beyond to satisfy every customer. They arrange the driving, the tours, the food, and they do so with the guarantee of satisfaction. When setting up a wine tour it is hard to imagine not having the luxury of this company at your side.

Napa Valley and its wineries are simply amazing! The tours are unforgettable so don’t wait any longer, book your wine tour today and see what Napa Valley has to offer. Also, check out Conciergeofthevalley.com and book your trip through the owner, Crystal-Rose. The summer is near so get this trip on the calendar and start counting down the days. Napa County rocks!

Napa Valley Wine Tours

Author: Paul Wilmott

Date: 3/23/2015

Concierge of the Valley Receives 2014 Best Businesses of Napa Award

Concierge of the Valley Receives 2014 Best Businesses of Napa Award

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Napa Award Program Honors the Achievement

Napa, January 15, 2015 — Concierge of the Valley has been selected for the 2014 Best Businesses of Napa Award in the Personal Assistants category by the Best Businesses of Napa Award Program.

Each year, the Best Businesses of Napa Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Napa area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Best Businesses of Napa Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Best Businesses of Napa Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Best Businesses of Napa Award Program

The Best Businesses of Napa Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Napa area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Best Businesses of Napa Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Best Businesses of Napa Award Program

 

 

52 Ways to use a Concierge

52 Ways to use a Concierge

By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

 

One of the questions I get asked by the media is what does a concierge do?  The quick answer is that a concierge will do anything as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.

Everyone single one of us tries to squeeze 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and when you do that you inevitably don’t do it very well. You get stressed …

Which leads to tired …

Which leads to not eating healthy because you’re craving “comfort” food …

Which leads to sickness.

Not good!

A concierge is here to do the things that you have to, leaving you the time to do the things that you want to like spending more time with family and friends, putting more time in at the office, or relaxing with a good book!

That being said, below is a list of 52 ways you can use a concierge. Since the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless, the list below is merely here to get you started.

  1. Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
  2. Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
  3. Travel and Vacation Planning
  4. Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
  5. Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
  6. Pet services
  7. Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
  8. Personalized shopping and delivery
  9. Running to the post office
  10. Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Running to the hardware store
  13. Senior care
  14. Modified house sitting – need someone to wait for the service technician while you’re at work?
  15. Picking up or returning a gift
  16. Meal Delivery
  17. Home Inventory – video the contents of your home and keep it in your safe deposit box
  18. Bill paying
  19. Auto Maintenance
  20. Home Organization
  21. Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can actually come to you.
  22. House Cleaning Services
  23. Courier/Delivery Services
  24. Delivering lunch to nurses and doctors at the hospital
  25. Delivering a Meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner
  26. Prescription Pick-up and delivery
  27. Repair and Service Calls
  28. Returning a library book or a video
  29. Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out
  30. New Mommy Services
  31. Meeting and Event Planning; private parties
  32. Personal Chef Services
  33. Single Parent Helper
  34. Employee Relocation Services
  35. Gift baskets and Flower Delivery
  36. Landscaping Services
  37. Special Day Reminder Service
  38. Charter a Private Jet, Yachts or Helicopter
  39. Hire a concierge to assist you at your event, wedding or conference – also called “event concierge” and “wedding concierge”
  40. Need Security?  They’ll hire a security company to assist you.
  41. Day Spa Services
  42. Fashion and/or Stylist Consultant
  43. Nanny Services
  44. Estate Planning
  45. Arrange for your Tee Time at the golf club
  46. Book your appointments for you
  47. Hire a Butler
  48. New to the area?  A concierge will give you a tour of the town
  49. Catering Services
  50. Get Away Weekends
  51. Office help
  52. Moving assistance – let your concierge unpack those boxes and put it all away!!  All you’ll need to unpack is your toothbrush.

 

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http://www.triangleconcierge.com/2010/09/52-ways-to-use-a-concierge/