Kathleen Hill: Vegan wines, local girl bakes good and more
Rethinking our food supply
Vegan is no longer a bad five-letter word.
It you prefer to call it a “plant–based diet,” please do. Because that’s what it means.
For centuries whole societies have survived on the plants that grow naturally around them, with the hunter of the tribe occasionally bagging a wild animal. People lost in forests survive on berries, plants, bugs and the occasional water stream. I guess those bugs can be considered meat and protein, if you like ants and crickets without the chocolate coating.
We need to think seriously about our food supply, partly because of the Trump Administration’s loosening of requirements that imported foods (meat) be labeled by country of origin, and partly because of the administration’s threatened tariffs on avocados, tomatoes and everything else produced in Mexico and China. Such political moves have made us think of how precious our food supply is, as well as the fact that the growing of some poultry and cattle in mass production is damaging the world’s air, water and climate.
My parents ate roast beef every Sunday night and, later in life, my mother ate filet mignon almost every night, along with a baked potato, salad and her Vitamin V. Occasionally we had chicken, snapper or lamb. Still I have problems taking a bite of lamb, always thinking of the Woolly Weeders we see eating grass and fertilizing the land around Sonoma Valley.
Cleanse the vegan palate with vegan wines
Since we are on vegan topics, enter vegan wines. Yes, vegan wines.
Michelle Rulmont, who owns and leads La Belle Vie Tours, offers a tour of vegan wineries to her clients.
According to Rulmont, wines that are not vegan might use things “like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatin, egg whites and sea shells, among other things, to filter their wines prior to bottling. Apparently, these products grab onto the impurities and make it easier to catch them in the filters, though there are many animal-free alternatives in use.”
Here are vegan Sonoma Valley wineries she knows about: Adastra, Hall, Scribe, Bump, Schug, Gloria Ferrer, Obsidian, Anaba, and Hansen vodka Distillery in Sonoma. Glen Ellen vegan wineries include Little Vineyards, Benziger reds, and Scheirmister in Glen Ellen. Then there are Deerfield Ranch, En Garde, Loxton, and B Wise in Kenwood. Labellevietours.com. 338-5606. (See page B4 for more local vegan food news.)
Top 100 al fresco restaurants in U.S.
Open Table just named the top 100 alfresco restaurants in the United States.
The Girl & the Fig was the only Sonoma restaurant that made the list, joining Bistro Don Giovanni and Bistro Jeanty in Napa County, Foreign Cinema in San Francisco, and Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay as other northern California winners.
Meanwhile, Sonoma magazine named its “Where to Eat Outside: The best restaurant patios in Sonoma county” and included the Girl & the Fig, Sunflower Caffé, El Dorado Kitchen, La Salette, and Depot Hotel & Restaurant.
Local girl bakes good
Beth Bailey, a Fortuna resident who grew up in Sonoma, won various elimination rounds on Netflix’s “Nailed It” baking competition.
The daughter of Sonoma resident Sandra Lowe, Bailey eventually won $10,000, a sparkly gold hat, threw out the first pitch at Humboldt Crabs baseball game, and received the honor to judge a fifth-grade version of the show, according to the Eureka Times. Bailey works in the Humboldt County Juvenile Hall cafeteria.