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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Evolution Lucky No. 9 + Some Thai Favorites #Sponsored

"You're Invited to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Evolution Wines" read the subject line of an email from a colleague. Heck, yeah! A couple of weeks after I hit reply - with a slightly more professional response than that, I assure you - a package arrived on my doorstep.

Back in 2021, I was introduced to the Sokol Blosser family. I tasted their wines, participated in a Zoom call with them, and shared Over the Top Taco Night: Pork Carnitas + 2012 Sokol Blosser Big Tree Block Pinot Noir. Their wines were stunning and so food friendly. So, I eagerly agreed to participate in their 25th anniversary celebration of Evolution wines.

Evolution Lucky No. 9, the 2020 Vintage

Twenty-five years ago, Susan Sokol Blosser asked the winemaker at Sokol Blosser to create a white blend that would complement some of her favorite foods of the day, including sushi, Chinese chicken salad, and other spicy and savory Asian-fusion style foods.

The result: Evolution Lucky No. 9, which was a a blend of nine grapes - Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muller Thürgau, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. While there were nine grapes in the original blend, the 2021 contain eight and the 2020 that I received only had seven. The tech sheet for my bottles indicated that the 2020 Evolution Lucky No. 9 included Riesling, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer but no Muller Thürgau.

Sourced 91% from Columbia Valley and 9% from Willamette Valley, Sokol Blosser produced 20,000 cases of this wine and retails for a mere $16 per bottle.

The wine pours a pale straw color. On the nose, I got waves of the tropics with aromas of mango, papaya, and lychee. There were also notes of citrus such as bergamot. On the palate, the bright acidity lingers with just a tinge of sweetness. That residual sugar makes this a perfect match for anything that has a kick.

Spicy Asian Food

There was a handwritten note included in my package along with the wine, a selection of hot sauces, and a gift card to purchase take-out or ingredients. The note read: "Dear Camilla, My mom Susan Sokol Blosser created Evolution Lucky No. 9 to go with the spicy Asian-fusion dishes that were so popular 25 years ago. ...I am excited to see your savory and/or spicy food pairings to help us mark 25 years of Evolution Wine."

Some Thai Favorites

The first night I opened the wine, I wanted to test some flavors of Thai cuisine to go alongside it. I ran down to our favorite local spot, skipping the perennial favorite Pad Thai, and picked up green papaya salad, roasted duck curry, and tom yum soup with chicken.

From the chili, lime juice, fish sauce, and peanuts in the salad to the lemongrass, galanga, kaffir leaves, and cilantro in the soup, the pairings were spot on. So, on day two, I opted to make one of my favorite Thai salads: Yam Nuea Yang (Spicy Thai Beef Salad).

Yam Nuea Yang

Yam Nuea Yang, a spicy beef salad from Thailand, is usually just meat, tomatoes, and onions in a spicy dressing. My version is slightly less than traditional as I add in many different vegetables. Its spiciness pairs with the freshness from the citrus and herbs to make it a delight for the taste buds. I knew it would be fantastic with the wine that I had corked and put in the fridge for a day two pairing.

A note on the cut because I've seen different discussion streams that people outside of California are unfamiliar with the tri-tip. Tri-tip is a tender, lean beef cut that was primarily marketed in California and is still sometimes called a Santa Maria steak. Other names are bottom sirloin roast and triangle roast. If you don't see it in the meat case, you may need to request it from your butcher.


makes 4 entrée sized portions


  • 1 to 2 pound tri tip roast (mine was cut into three steaks)

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground salt

  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced lemongrass

  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced chilis

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced cilantro

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic

  • olive oil for searing


  • 3 tomatoes, sliced into wedges

  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 4 to 5 mini yellow peppers, thinly sliced

  • 1 to 2 purple carrots, julienned

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 bunch fresh mint, some leaves intact and some chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, some leaves intact and some chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh Thai basil, some leaves intact and some chopped


  • 1 Tablespoon organic dark brown sugar

  • juice from 1 organic Meyer lemon (lime is traditional, but we have a Meyer lemon tree and I use what I have!)

  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoons fresh minced ginger

  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced chilis

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced cilantro

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh minced garlic



Let beef come to room temperature. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, lemongrass, ginger, chilis, cilantro, and garlic till it forms a paste. Rub the paste evenly over the meat until it is completely coated. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat olive oil in large, flat bottom pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then sear steaks for 1 minute on each side. Transfer beef to a rimmed baking dish and roast to desired doneness. Here's a rough guide to internal temperatures...

  • Rare: 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit - the center is red, approximately 25 minutes.

  • Medium Rare: 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit - the center is very pink, approximately 30 minutes.

  • Medium: 140 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit - the center is light pink, approximately 40 minutes.

  • Medium Well: 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit - the center has no pink, approximately 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and tent with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


Arrange all of the ingredients on your serving plates. I just try to balance layers and color.


Place all of your ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust as needed. The key to the dressing is to achieve a balance between the sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavors.

To Serve

Top the vegetables with thinly sliced beef. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

Though most people don't pair beef with white wine, my Yam Nuea Yang was the bomb with the Evolution Lucky No. 9! Susan Sokol Blosser was correct: that wine is a stunning match to spicy Asian food. Now I just need to get my hands on another bottle to try it with other Asian cuisines. I am dreaming of how it will go with Japanese Karaage (such as this one) or Korean Bo Ssäm (such as this one).

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Evolution Wine by Sokol Blosser

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