Peppery and terrific award-winning 2017 oil
by Ari Weinzweig
Shots of whiskey…shots of espresso…but what about a third kind of shot? One that’s savored much more slowly and is probably the healthiest of the bunch. It’s time to think about ordering olive oil by the shot.
I’ve been friends with Cristina Salas-Porras and her winemaker and farmer husband, Lee Hudson, for a good twenty-five years now. I’m honored and touched to have their great oil available at the Roadhouse.
Lee started growing grapes right around the time we opened the Deli in the early ‘80s on his property in Carneros, an ideal location, with it’s cool bay breezes and stony, volcanic soil. Shortly after beginning to produce his own wine in 2004, he started growing olives. The farm also grows vegetables that are sold to top Bay Area restaurants like Chez Panisse, Bix, A16, and Quince (all places I eat at regularly when I’m out that way).
This year’s oil has been recognized by the Good Food Awards as one of the country’s best (congratulations, Lee and Cristina!—Cristina is posing with the oil and the award above). It’s made with classic Tuscan varietals resulting in a really wonderful peppery, green, front forward, fresh-tasting oil.
“The oil is the result of many hands coming together at the farm to make something we are all proud of,” Cristina told me. “Having been a long-time admirer of all things Zingerman’s, we are honored to have a place at the Roadhouse table.” The flavors are big, bold, meaty and memorable; the agriculture is sustainable, and clearly, after all these years, so are the relationships.
Visit us at the Roadhouse and order up a “shot,” pour it out on a plate, and enjoy it with some warm sourdough bread from the Bakehouse. Kudos to our courageous Roadhouse kitchen crew for presenting it in a way that most folks aren’t used to! If you like olive oil even half as much as I do, for $5 (like seriously—$5) you can take your evening from average to excellent.
P.S. Hudson Vineyards is right across the road from one of our favorite wine suppliers and long-time ZingTrain client, Domaine Carneros (they love open book management, you might too!) in Napa, California.
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