March Wine Friday: Ribs and Zinfandel


From Left:
2005 OZV — Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
2006 Bogle — Old Vine Zinfandel
2007 Angels Creek — Lodi Zinfandel
2002 Laurent's Palo Alto Reserve
2006 Pescorosso Primitivo
2007 Barefoot — Lodi Zinfandel
2006 Query — Napa Zinfandel
2006 Kenwood — Sonoma Zinfandel
2006 Storybook — Mayacamas Range Zinfandel
2005 Boeger — El Dorado Zinfandel

that was a whole lot of Zin!  I think my favorite was the OZV actually,
it had a really good weight to it but kept the fruit-forward bang that
makes it a Zin.  Did everyone notice the difference between the
American Zinfandel and the Italian Primitivo?  I would characterize it
as more earthy and less fruity.  I hope everyone loved the ribs as
well, the Tequila Lime recipe was a big favorite — I suggest you give
it a try next time! 

Food Pairing:

Since we are doing two different ribs with one oven, we use 275 F to slow cook them together for 5 or 6 hours. The results were good – the meat felt out the bone and still juicy and tender.

1. Soy Sauce–Marinated Ribs (Hawaii Style)

2. Tequila and Lime Baby Back Ribs with a Guava and Ginger Glaze.

Pasta with Artichokes, Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Peas. Download Pasta Recipe
This dish was great but it take a lot of efforts to go the artichokes.  Make sure you buy larger size of artichokes to make it worth it.

4. Asparagus with Citrus and Oregano. You have to try this one.  It's so easy and tasty that you won't believe how easy it is to make.

5. Rhubarb Plum Tart With Orange Glaze. Since it's not Rhubarb's season yet, we use Plum to replace it. The taste still great.

Local sales data for Santa Clara County — February 2009

It has now become clear that sales of high-priced properties throughout Santa Clara County have slowed dramatically.  This is what I basically call a move-up buyer type of purchase.  Homes in the $1.5M price range are usually a target for a buyer who may want to sell their current home and “move-up”.  To do this, they would sell their current home where they may have lived for many years, have a good deal of equity built up, and roll that equity into a bigger home in a different area.

However, the current housing market has temporarily stunted that movement.  The seller of the $900k home is having a hard time selling or they can’t get an assurance of financing for the $1.5M home they want to buy so there are not as many buyers of the $1.5M homes as there normally would be.  It may take some time to normalize before that transition buyer comes back.

Each chart here shows the percent CHANGE over the prior year in both the Average Sales Price and the Median Sales Price for single homes only, not condos — enjoy!

Chart Analysis:

Almaden Valley seems to be bouncing back.  Since there were only 5 sales in January, Almaden would surely bounce back as sales picked up.  Although there are still a few foreclosures on the market, I think Almaden remains somewhat steady as far as average price year-over-year.


* * * * *

Blossom Valley is continuing to look for a solid bottom.  It is still a VERY competitive because there are foreclosures everywhere but sales are strong.  Many homes around the $400k point have multiple offers and the best values are going fast.  With sales off 30%-40% from one year ago levels we continue to find great values here for our first time buyers.


* * * * *

Willow Glen is showing a slight recovery after the rough numbers in January.  Clearly the foreclosures in the northern side near 280 and 87 are pulling down the average sales price for WG.


* * * * *

Downtown San Jose continues to be dominated by distressed sales and prices are still struggling to stabilize.  I will continue to recommend buyers to look for great deals on downtown, the Burbank area, and the Rosegarden where first time buyers or investors will find the 50% discounts very hard to believe.


* * * * *

Cambrian has a chart that suggests it is beginning to stabilize.  I still believe that most of Cambrian is ON SALE right now and there are some great opportunities out there in the very nice Cambrian school system.


* * * * *

Campbell is behaving like nearby Cambrian.  Many of the short sales are now turning into bank-owned foreclosures.  Campbell is a very desirable location so well priced properties are still moving quickly.  Some listings have dipped into the $499k range and are being sold quickly.


* * * * *

Los Gatos cannot avoid the pricing slowdown for much longer.  We should see the same price correction in Los Gatos as we have in Palo Alto and will see in Saratoga.


* * * * *

Saratoga has just begun to start their price correction.  Saratoga has 154 Active listings right now and only 14 Pending so this gives an 8% Pending:Active ratio.  I still believe we have not yet seen seller capitulation in Saratoga, yet.  Once Sellers get frustrated with their increasing Days On Market count and still want to get moved, we will begin to see prices adjustment down in Saratoga.


* * * * *

Santa Clara seems to be stabilizing nicely with a 20-25% discount off last year’s prices.  Foreclosures are being bought very quickly as they are priced aggressively.  If you are looking to get into Santa Clara there may not be a better time as prices are very attractive.


* * * * *

Sunnyvale looked like it was bouncing back, but now seems to be slowing down again.  At least it is stabilizing at about 30% off last year’s prices.  The Lakewood Village areas North of 101 have dozens of foreclosures and short sales that are selling in the $300s and low $400s.  As more of those sales close, the average and median prices for Sunnyvale will be pulled down as you see in the chart.


* * * * *

Cupertino is showing the same weakness as Sunnyvale.  As mentioned last month, we have seen our first Cupertino foreclosure and there may be more to come in the months ahead.  As in many markets of the Bay Area, Cupertino is not immune to the price pressures so if you are looking to move into Cupertino, there may not be a better time.


* * * * *

Los Altos prices continue to slide as there were only 6 sales for February.  We currently have 8.5 months of inventory at the current sales pace, which reinforces my thoughts from last month where I believe in the coming months we may see some actions needed by Los Altos sellers who are forced to reduce their listing prices if they want to get moved.


* * * * *

Mountain View is amazingly stable.  Currently 86 Active and 26 Pending giving us a 23% Pending : Active ratio, which as you can see is a much more stable price chart than either Saratoga or Los Altos.


* * * * *

Palo Alto prices are surely trending down, but not quite as sharply as a couple months ago.  We are finally seeing many properties under $1M for the first time in a long while.  As these homes turn into recorded sales, the downward trend of the chart will continue.  However, I still feel that the “on sale” season for Palo Alto may be just starting so if you are thinking to get into Palo Alto, 2009 may be the best time you have to negotiate your way into a great home.


* * * * *

We are Realtors.  We are in the market every day representing Buyers and Sellers throughout the areas above.  Everyone has a reason why they are making the move (buying or selling) at this very moment.

We bring you this information to help you make an intelligent decision about your next move.  Timing the market is impossible and unwise.  Your motivation for buying or selling should outweigh your concerns of market timing.  The market is always here, people are buying and selling every day, people are getting financing every day — the real question is ‘when are you ready to make a move?’


February Wine Friday: Anywhere But Here — Non-California U.S. Wines

So it turned out that finding “out of state” wine
was a challenge for everyone.  Of course the majority of wines were
from Oregon and Washington who are making some good Pinot Noir for
sure.  But I have to say how I was really impressed with the New York
Finger-Lakes Riesling.  I guess I need to apologize for the
Pennsylvania red wine that basically tasted like Martinelli grape juice
— who knew?!

The food was great as always and we must have had 30 people this month!  Thanks for the great time and see you again next month.
Feb 09 Wine-5
From left to right:
2004 Columbia Crest Merlot – Washington
2005 Red Diamond merlot – Washington
2006 Hedge Red Mountain – Washington
2006 Gruet Chardonnay – New Mexico
2007 A to Z Pinot – Oregon
2004 Harvest Red – Pennsylvania
2005 Chateau Ste Michelle Cabrent Sauvignon – Washington
1996 Silver Lake Cabernet Merlot – Washington
2006 Washington Hill Cabrenet Sauvignon – Washington
2005 Chateau Ste Michelle Melot – Washington
2006 Papillon Pinot Noir – Oregon
2004 Sakonnet Red – New England
2006 Hermann J. Wiemer – New York
2007 Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling – Washington
2007 King Estate Pinot Gris – Oregon
2006 Sokol Blosser White – Oregon

Food Pairing:
1. Triple-Fennel Salad with Pink Grapefruit and Black Olives.
Feb 09 Wine-3

2. Pulled Pork and Goat Cheese Quesadillas (which require for Braised Pork Shanks, but we substitute with Pork Butt).
Feb 09 Wine-2

3. Porcini Mushroom Tart (I scan the recipe to a jpg file View this photo).
Feb 09 Wine-1

4. Shrimp Saganaki.
Feb 09 Wine-4

5. Whole Roasted Chicken Infused with Tangerines and Rosemary with a Tangerine Glaze. Forgot to take a photo and the food is gone.