Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

CHEERS: Greg and Pam Lockhart (left), hosts of the Redwood Wine Tasting Room at Totem Market, with representatives from J&J Cellars of San Miguel.

Wine-tasting room opens at Totem Market

Dinner featured wine parings from Central Coast vintner
By: 
John Elliott

 

When Greg Lockhart purchased the Totem Market one year ago he saw unlimited potential. What he didn’t realize was how much hard work and long hours it would take to realize that potential.

First, the formerly cluttered retail space had to be totally reorganized. Once that was done, the deli was re-energized, and now with a signature tri-tip grilled daily and wife Pam’s trimmings and baked goods, it’s arguably the best it’s ever been.

But Greg always planned to do more, and that turned out to be a remodeled space in the front of the building that was transformed into the Redwood Wine Tasting Room.

“When the Bullene Winery was in production, Pam and I were frequent visitors, enjoying the local wines and the atmosphere of the tasting room,” Greg said. “When they closed [in 2006], I’ve often thought it would be great someday to have another tasting room in Three Rivers.”

That someday came officially on Saturday, May 3, when Greg and Pam opened the Redwood Wine Tasting Room and hosted an inaugural Wine Pairing Dinner Party. The gala evening of gourmet appetizers, entrees, and dessert, paired with the fine wines of J&J Cellars of San Miguel, proved to be a delectable launch of what the Lockharts hope to be a monthly event.

A dozen fortunate gourmands attended the veritable first feast featuring an array of food and wines to entertain the most discriminating palate.

“In our first wine pairing party, we wanted to start modestly so we could get a feeling for how the room works and what our wine aficionados like,” said Pam, who pulled out all the stops in choosing the menu. “Greg and I really like the coastal varietals so the menu complemented J&J’s offerings.”

The dinner menu was a succession of plates paired with a progression of J&J Cellars’s boutique wines. Highlights of the wine list were an estate-bottled tempranillo, petit sirah, and cabernet sauvignon. 

Ten wines from the limited releases of the J&J list were paired with an organic cheese dip, an organic greens and berry salad, fresh deli-made cornbread and Greg’s special-recipe chili, baby-back ribs, barbecued buttered shrimp, grilled veggies, and topped off by Greg’s award-winning homemade Butterfinger bar ice cream.        

In additional to the unlimited tastings, each diner received a bottle of their favorite vintage to take home. That wine event also marked the kickoff of the Totem Wine Club.

An excellent selection from small-family and hard-to-find wineries is now available at the Totem in Three Rivers at discounted prices. Stop by for a tasting and take home your selection.   

If the Lockharts have learned anything from their love affair with Three Rivers, it’s how to throw a party. So propose your next toast at the Totem’s Redwood Wine Tasting Room — now offering a taste of the good life in Three Rivers.

 

The Redwood Wine Tasting Room will be open throughout Memorial Day weekend offering wine and cheese tastings.
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