Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc pairing recipe

Open-Hills-Ranch_SB-bottle-render-300Silky_StickerOpen Hills Ranch
Sauvignon Blanc
Central Coast, CA

With so much terroir diversity in California, there’s a perfect place to grow nearly every kind of grape. In fact, you’ll find more than 100 varieties, giving  winemakers the latitude to create complex varietals and unique, expressive blends. Since the 1700’s, immigrants from all over the world have settled in California, bringing their vines and their skills with them. Hard-earned secrets of soil, climate and vine have been passed from generation to generation, providing California wine with its unique legacy and spectacular range. Always crisp and refreshing, California vintners like to put their own spin on this classic varietal, with flavors that range from vibrant lemongrass and herb, to tart green apple, round melon and fig. Enjoy this wine with oysters, gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce, or a dessert pastry.

DougFrost“Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t have to be grassy like so many New Zealand versions of the grape; California has been growing the grape for longer and offers a more elegant style. Instead of green beans or asparagus (as the Kiwis love it), this shows melons, citrus, white pepper, limes and a bit of lemongrass.”  – Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Winemaking Team: Roxie Ward, Travis Proctor, Anna Clifford
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Sauvgnon Blanc
Analysis: 14.3% alcohol / volume


mahiWood Fired Mahi

MAHI INGREDIENTS:
• Two, 8 oz pieces mahi
• Salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS: Heat a medium sauté pan with 2 tbsp olive oil in a wood fire (an oven will work just fine). The smokiness adds a wonderful flavor. Meanwhile season mahi lightly with salt and pepper.  Place mahi gently in preheated pan and place back into oven for about 2 minutes. Check sear and flip once golden brown. Finish cooking in oven for about another 5-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.

LEMON BEURRE BLANC INGREDIENTS:
• 1 to 2 shallots, chopped fine
• 8 oz white wine
• 2 oz lemon juice
• 1 tbsp heavy cream
• 12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
• Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: Combine the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 tbsp.  Add the cream to the reduction. Once the liquid bubbles, reduce the heat to low.  Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking first on the heat and then off the heat. Continue whisking butter into the reduction until the mixture is fully emulsified and has reached a rich sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

QUINOA: Cook about 1 ½ cups quinoa according to package instructions.

GRILL ASPARAGUS INGREDIENTS:
•  12 asparagus spears
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: Lightly rub asparagus with oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place asparagus on preheated grill and allow to cook until slightly charred.  To serve, place quinoa on plate, top with mahi, beurre blanc and arrange asparagus nicely around circumference of dish. Garnish with lemon wedge if desired. Recipe compliments of Chef Brian Reigle of Terravant Winery Restaurant.

Wine pairing recipe for June Wine club

Open-Hills-Ranch_PN-bottlemellowOpen Hills Ranch
Pinot Noir
Central Coast, CA

The Central Coast AVA is a large American Viticultural Area that spans from Santa Barbara County in the south to the San Francisco Bay Area in the north. The boundaries of the Central Coast include portions of six counties(Contra Costa, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara & Santa Cruz).  This classic Central Coast Pinot Noir has a spicy aromatic profile, with hibiscus, dried sour cherries, forest floor, and a hint of vanilla and smoked bacon on the nose.   This wine features prettiness and complexity as only Pinot Noir can.  Enjoy with pork roast, grilled quail, or bacon and bleu cheese burger.

DougFrost“With the strawberry, raspberry and red cherry tones typical of Pinot Noir, this is a wine with the pleasure principle at work. But this fruity wine never cheats by being sweet (as some do) and the variety of fruit flavors that carry through to its finish, like plums and currants, add to the sense of balance.”  – Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Winemaking Team: Roxie Ward, Travis Proctor, Anna Clifford
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.9% alcohol / volume


Roasted Chicken Breast

roastedchickenbreastINGREDIENTS:
•  2 airline chicken breasts (quartered boneless chicken breast with drumette attached)
• 10 oz purple potatoes
• 1 bunch lacinato kale
• 1 granny smith apple
• 1 red onion
• 1 bunch tarragon
• ½ cup chicken stock
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp sliced almonds
• 2 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS:

Large dice the purple potatoes. Separate the kale stems and leaves; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Peel, core and medium dice the apple. Peel and medium dice the onion. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

In a medium pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7-9 minutes or until browned.

Add the onions to the pan of browned potatoes; reduce the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes or until the onion has softened slightly. Add the kale, apple and 2 tbsp of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the kale has wilted. Stir in the almonds, mustard and 2 tbsp of water. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until well combined. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the hash cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a separate medium pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down first. Cook, loosely covering the pan with a lid, 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any browned bits in the pan. Set aside in a warm place.

Heat the pan of reserved fond (roasty bits at bottom of pan) on medium until hot. Add the chicken stock, butter, and ¼ cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally to scrape up any browned bit, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  To serve, place hash neatly onto plate, top with chicken breast and garnish with pan sauce.    Recipe compliments of Chef Brian Reigle of Terravant Winery Restaurant.

Imagine Bonny Doon Vineyard wine pairing

BonnyDoon_Imagine_bottleFruityImagine
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache Mourvedre
Central Coast, California

Imagine a dry pink wine. It’s not so hard to do. As it turns out, there are two classes of people who enjoy pink wine, the terminally hip and the terminally unhip. Luckily for all of us, you, dear sipper are in the former category. Proper Vin Gris, for this is what we are talking about, is made from the lightest pressings of red grapes (we’ve taken the liberty of adding some whites to the cuvée); slightly austere and delicately floral, with crisp acidity.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“This Provençal-styled pink, is a rather pale salmon color, owing to the fact that it is made from the lightest pressing of bespoke grapes, harvested at the appropriate maturity.  There is a lovely chalky/smoky gunpowder tea aspect to the nose with a suggestion of bergamot, wild strawberry and maybe even a delicate trace of wintergreen.  The fragrance is discreet and above all,  elegant and draws one to the wine rather than mounts a frontal assault on one’s sensorium.  On the palate, the wine has a sleek, salty, savory, mouth-watering aspect and a refreshing acidity.  There is a wonderful  persistent finish, making this one of the most food friendly wines conceivable.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  35% Grenache, 18% Mourvedre, 16% Grenache Blanc, 12.5% Roussanne, 8% Carignane, 8% Counoise
Analysis: 13% alcohol / volume, 3.33 pH, 5.5 g/l TA


Seared Scallops with Corn, Sun Golds, Arugla & Basil

seared-scallopsINGREDIENTS:
•  6 large sea scallops
• 2 heads Little Gem lettuce,
• 3 ears yellow corn, husked washed, leaves separated
• 1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes
• 1 cup arugula
• 1 tbsp fresh Marjoram leaves, chopped
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup Thai basil
• 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 500° F. Coat the corn with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Wrap loosely in foil and let rest. When soft and slightly cooled, cut kernels from the cob and toss in a medium bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, chopped marjoram, and salt and pepper.

Cut the Sun Gold tomatoes in half. Season with olive oil and salt lightly. Fold into the roasted corn. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat ½ cup olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt and a pinch of black pepper. Sear in the skillet for 2 minutes on each side or until they reach desired doneness. Remove from the heat and drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

In a bowl, toss the lettuce, arugula, and basil together with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt and pepper.

To Plate: Place some corn and tomato mixture in the center of each plate. Arrange three scallops atop the corn mixture. Place the dressed greens around the edges and serve with a chilled glass of 2014 Vin Gris Imagine. Serves 2.  Recipe graciously provided by Chef Charlie Parker.

Wine pairing recipe for May Wine club

picpoulcrispPicpoul
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Arroyo Seco, California

Picpoul, sometimes “pique-poule”, or lip-stinger, is an exceptionally beloved cépage of Southern France, lending balance to cuvées that might otherwise veer off into the direction of the fulsome.  Impressively bracing natural acidity (no acidification was doon), with echoes of the ocean. Beeswax Vineyard, in Arroyo Seco, is after all, only a hop, skip and jump away from the cool breezes of Carmel.  Whether lips are literally stung by a “coup de picpoul” is open to debate, but lips are certainly known to smack at the ultra-savoriness of this unique grape variety. Pairs well with grilled octopus with lemon, moussaka, sardines a la plancha or grilled sardines with frisée & whole-grain mustard dressing.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“On the nose, peach, wet stone and lanolin, a true signifier of the grape’s Languedocian origins. On the palate, grapefruit pith, iodine and brine.  The true saline quality begs for raw oysters on the half shell with shallot-rich mignonette.  Look for oysters grown in or near the open ocean- the brinier, the better my friends; Belon, Wellfleets or Snow Creeks would fit the bill.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Arroyo Seco, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Picpoul
Analysis: 11.5% alcohol / volume


Grilled Sardines with Frisee & Whole-grain Mustard Dressing

sardines-recipeFRISEE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 head frisée
• 2 tablespoons minced chives
• 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons minced shallots

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
• 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
• ¼ cup golden (or white) balsamic vinegar
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

SARDINE INGREDIENTS:
• 12 fresh sardines, cleaned and butterflied (see note*)
• ¼ rice bran oil or canola oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:
Start a fire in your grill 30 minutes in advance, burning the wood down until you have a red-hot coal base. You don’t want flames touching the fish.

Wash the frisée and snip the green tips off the leaves, leaving behind only the white and yellow part of the head. Cut off and discard the core. Tear the remaining leaves into medium pieces. Place the frisée in a bowl, toss in the herbs and shallots, and set aside, undressed, until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper until combined. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream until the dressing is thick and emulsified—it should come together pretty quickly. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Set the dressing aside.

Brush the sardines on both sides with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the parsley. Place the fish on the hot grill, skin side down, and cook until their flesh turns opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the fish from the grill and set them aside on a plate with the skin side up.

Toss the frisée salad lightly with the dressing, add salt and pepper to taste, and arrange salad on a platter. Place the sardines on top, skin side up. Enjoy with a glass of 2014 Picpoul.

* Note: Cleaning Sardines: Using a sharp knife, slice open the belly of each fish and remove its innards. Cut off the head, open the fish with your fingers, and pull out its spine (this should remove most of the bones, though there may be a few stragglers). Keep the fish butterflied for grilling.

Recipe from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price, published 2009.

May Wine Club pairing recipe

BOURGUIGNONBourguignon

INGREDIENTS:

•  3 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil
• 2 pounds grass-fed buffalo or venison or beef or lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1 pound Crimini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
• 4 cups Bonny Doon Vineyard 2014 GSMC
• ½ cup dry sherry
• ¼ cup Bonny Doon Vineyard Pinotheosis Pinot Noir port
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 cups beef or bison stock
• 1 pound pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup gluten-free oat flour or 3 teaspoons tapioca flour/starch mixed with ½ cup cold water (shake in a glass jar)

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large Dutch oven or stainless steel soup pot sauté meat in 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until brown on both sides. Set meat aside. In the same pot, sauté mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil until tender. Return meat to pot. Deglaze pan with sherry and Pinotheosis; cook until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in flour/water mixture and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Cover pot and bake on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 1¼ hours, or until meat is very tender. Remove from oven and pull out stems of thyme and bay leaf. Salt and pepper to taste.

CROCK-POT DIRECTIONS:  Put everything into a medium to large sized Crock-pot, except flour or kudzu, and cook on high for 2 hours; turn down to low for 6 more hours or until meat is very tender. Add flour or kudzu mixed in cold water for the last hour.

Serves 6-8. Serve with a glass of 2014 GSMC. Recipe created and perfectly paired by Chef Lauren Hoover-West, NoWheatNoDairyNoProblem.com

GSMC14_bottle_lowresBold_stickerGSMC
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsaut
Central Coast, California

Life is indeed short. Perhaps it is for this reason communication between humans can be at times a bit terse, even runic/slash/cryptic. Hence (G)renache, (S)yrah, Mourvèdre, and of course (C)insaut, see?  For these grapes truly love each other, put up with each other’s kvetches and shortcomings, support each other through thick-and-etc. GSMC is a bit of (G)e(m)i(s)(c)h, but then aren’t we all. That is the (m)e(s)sa(g)e, (see), in this particular bottle. Bonny Doon’s Vineyard winemaking practice exceptionally light-handed, with minimal intervention and manipulation. Created from hand-harvested grapes from four Central Coast vineyards.

Randall-Grahm-winemaker“This GSMC blend contains what we like to call weapons-grade Grenache from our sundry Grenache vineyards. Exceptional spicebox nose, with raspberry, bing cherry, black pepper and hints of thyme. Plush tannins in the mouth with a refreshing savory texture.  This wine will pair well with a variety of grilled meat.”  – Randall Grahm, winemaker.

Winemaker: Randall Grahm
Appellation: Central Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  50% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 12% Cinsaut, 10% Mourvedre, 4% Counoise
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume

It Is Rose Time!!!

Originally posted on Bob Bolden:

I absolutely love this time of year!  Spring time, flowers, trees, plants, starting to pop….  grill’s come out, people are outside exercising….  and Rose is released!

Rose has really taken a bad rap in our country.  What is the first thing you think about when I say “Rose”?  Most people would say sweet blush wine.  Matuse anyone???  You will show your age if you know what that means….  I don’t even know if I spelled that correctly.

Did you know that the number one selling wine in France is Rose?  And it isn’t sweet, it is totally dry!!!  Some of my best wine experiences have come from a nice chilled dry rose.  We took a group to Tuscany, and at one of our vineyard visits.. the hosts, a husband and wife team greeted us with a beautiful chilled dry Sangiovese Rose!!!  The temperature was in the low 80’s at about…

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Alexander Valley Vineyards

May Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Alexander Valley Vineyards
Sonoma, California

AlexanderValley_VineyardSonoma County’s Alexander Valley was mostly prune orchards and pastures when, in 1962, Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased a large portion of a homestead built by Cyrus Alexander, the valley’s nineteenth century namesake. Here, in a rural community of family farms and ranches, the Wetzel family settled. They raised livestock, cultivated bountiful gardens and restored Alexander’s original home, making it the center of family life.
With an eye to their neighbors in nearby Napa Valley, the Wetzels boldly planted premium grape varieties, among the first in the area. Then the family built a small winery and Hank Wetzel, oldest son of Maggie and Harry, produced Alexander Valley Vineyard’s first wine in 1975.  His wife Linda set up the books and managed the winery office.  AVV quickly established a reputation for estate grown wines with distinctive varietal character. Acclaimed for luscious Chardonnay and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards brought recognition to the appellation and became a leading winery in Sonoma County.
AlexanderValley_Winery
Today the Alexander Valley is a prominent appellation known worldwide as the source of rich, age worthy wines. As the twenty-first century begins, the Wetzel Family Estate grows fourteen grape varieties, on diverse sites stretching from the banks of the Russian River up onto the hillsides. Each grape variety is matched to a specific soil type and exposure. Vineyard Manager Mark Houser and Winemaker Kevin Hall work as a team to maximize fruit flavor in the vineyard and to create balanced wines that capture the grapes’ varietal characteristics.
Linda-Hank-Wetzel

Linda and Hank Wetzel

2015 marks the family’s 53rd year on the historic property and will be the winery’s 41st vintage.  The 3rd generation of the Wetzel Family produces award winning wines that are sold throughout the United States and was voted Sonoma’s Best Winery in 2011 by Bay Area wine lovers. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot constitute over one-half of total production.  Other varietals include Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.  Proprietary wines include CYRUS, their limited production Bordeaux style blend, Gewurz, and trio of Zins: Temptation Zinfandel, Redemption Zinfandel and Sin Zin, their voluptuous Alexander Valley Zinfandel.

Please join us for a Winery Spotlight tasting, featuring AVV wines.

ALEXANDER VALLEY VINEYARDS:

AlexanderWines
Estate Chardonnay
Estate Cabernet
Estate Merlot
Pinot Noir
Cyrus

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Teriyaki Glazed Spare Ribs

teriyaki-ribsINGREDIENTS:
•  2 (4 pound) racks pork spareribs, trimmed of excess fat
•   ½ cup Chinese Five Spice
•  Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 cup low sodium soy sauce
•  1 cup grapefruit juice
•  ¼ cup hoisin sauce
•  ¼ cup ketchup
•  3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
•  ¼ cup brown sugar
•  1 fresh red chili, minced
•  2 garlic cloves, smashed
•  2 inch piece fresh ginger, whacked open with the flat side of a knife
•  2 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish
•  Chopped fresh Cilantro and green onion, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Rub the ribs all over with the five-spice powder, then season generously with salt and pepper. Put the ribs in a single layer in a roasting pan and slow roast until they are almost tender, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the glaze. In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, grapefruit juice, hoisin sauce, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, chili, garlic and ginger in a saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce and reserve.

When the ribs are about 30 minutes away from being done, baste them with the teriyaki sauce. Cook until the meat pulls easily from the bone.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler. Baste the ribs again and brown them under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes (or to desired level of crispness, keep an eye on them, they can burn quick). Separate the ribs with a cleaver or sharp knife, pile them on a platter and pour over remaining sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro and green onion as desired.  Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

LimitedSyrGren-prnt Cambridge Cellars Limited
Syrah Grenache
Dry Creek Valley, CA

Cambridge California Cellars strive to produce wines that embody the designations from where they are grown.  Their “Limited” wines represent those rare, exceptional lots from distinguished appellations throughout California’s wine country.  The Syrah Grenache is sourced from Dry Creek Valley, specifically the Simpson Vineyard that sits on the northern end with a cooler climate.  Situated between the Russian River and Lake Sonoma, the vines are well-irrigated and produce ripe, plump styles of wine.  Most known for growing exceptional Zinfandel, Dry Creek has expanded its reputation over the years and is now growing excellent Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

DougFrost“Syrah and Grenache, these two grapes play well together. Grenache for its raspberry, white pepper and mint notes and Syrah for its more brooding black pepper along with darker fruits like cherry and plum. This is just tannic enough to ask for food to accompany it.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW


Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  60% Syrah, 40% Grenache
Analysis: 15.9% alcohol / volume

Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut with Asparagus Sauce

INGREDIENTS:
Halibut•  5 tablespoons unsalted butter
•  4 scallions, thinly sliced
•  1 pound asparagus, spears sliced ½ inch thick, tips separate
•  1 cup water
•  1 cup packed baby spinach
•  salt and fresh ground pepper
•  8 thick slices of prosciutto
•  4 skinless halibut fillets (about 5 ounces each)
•  8 small sage leaves, halved length wise
•  1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the scallions and cook over low heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus spears and the water and cook until tender and the water reduces to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and keep warm.

Arrange the prosciutto slices in pairs, overlapping them slightly. Place a halibut fillet in the center of the prosciutto and top each fillet with 2 sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper and wrap the prosciutto around the fish.

In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in olive oil. Add the halibut and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and add the asparagus tips to the skillet. Transfer to the oven and roast the prosciutto wrapped halibut for 5 minutes.

Spoon the asparagus spinach puree onto plates, arrange the prosciutto wrapped halibut and asparagus tips alongside and serve immediately.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine.

TIerraYMarSB Silky_StickerTierra y Mar
Big Ranch Road Vineyard
Sauvignon Blanc
Napa Valley, CA

Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa and Sonoma.  This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Big Ranch Road, in the Oakville District of Napa Valley. Oakville is known for its success with Bordeaux varietals, which includes Sauvignon Blanc. Warmer temperatures and gravelly, sandy soils help produce excellent Sauvignon Blanc.   Delicate straw and alluring aromatics shine in this racy stunner.  Notes of dandelion, honeysuckle and bright pineapple open on the nose with a mouth-feel of fresh fruits like green apple and pear.  This wine offers great acidity and a long fruit finish with a touch of a fresh herbs and clover rounding out the palette.

DougFrost“If all you know of Sauvignon Blanc is its herbaceous New Zealand side, this easy drinker offers another view: honeydew melons, red apples and even peaches to go along with the hints of lemongrass and chervil. It’s a tiny bit sweet but that just adds to the easy, tasty character.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Winemaker: Douglas Danielak
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume

Duck Breast, Lentil and Parsnip Salad

duckbreast-saladINGREDIENTS:
•  ½ cup French green lentils
•  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
•  2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
•  Salt and fresh ground pepper
•  One medium parsnip (about 8 ounces) peeled
•  Vegetable oil for frying
•  Four 5-6 ounce skinless duck breasts (or chicken breasts)
•  5 ounces mesclun greens (10 loosely packed cups)

DIRECTIONS:
Put the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 min.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils and return them to the saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and toss lentils well. Cover and keep warm.

Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the parsnip lengthwise into strips. In a large skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the parsnips to the oil at a time and fry over moderate heat until browned, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the parsnips to paper towels to drain. Lightly season the parsnips with salt.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned outside and medium rare inside, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the duck to a carving board and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl toss the mesclun greens with the lentils. Slice the duck breasts in thin strips crosswise. Add the duck to the salad along with the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Add some crisp parsnips to the salad and toss again and top with remaining crisp parsnips for serving.   Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

TierraYMarPinot silverstarTierra y Mar
Floral Cuvee
Sonoma County, CA

Tierra y Mar translates to Earth and Sea, a nod to the special relationship between land and water.  At Tierra y Mar they produce wines that are the ultimate expression of nature’s balance and harmony, allowing the wines to speak for themselves as they are the unique creation of the grape, soil, water and climate of where they are grown.  Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County.  Sonoma County, with miles of coastline and sun-kissed valleys, provides diversity within its growing regions.

DougFrost“With a delightful, floral character adding interest to the strawberry and raspberry nose, this reflects cool growing conditions, perhaps cooler than many competitive Pinot Noir sites in California and far more appropriate to the grape. This is gentle throughout but not short or simple as a result; it just happens to drink easily.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Critical Acclaim: SILVER STAR rated, Doug Frost, MS, MW
Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume