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

 

The basics of enjoying wine at Home!!!

Originally posted on Bob Bolden:

So…..  you like wine….  you order a glass when you are out for dinner.  You have your favorites that you tend to stick to, but every once in a while you get “out of the box” and try something new.  Wow, your friend said to try a “blend” and you liked it!!!  Alas. your new favorite!!!  Fast forward two weeks later, you try a couple of blends and … not so much!!  What is going on???  Do you stick with a certain grape, region, what do you do????  So, back to your “old reliables” when you stock up at the store… hey, at least you can’t count on em!!  And life continues as you know it…….  Sound like you????

Common wine

Well, time to revolutionize your wine experience!!!  There is a whole world of wine out there that you haven’t scratched the surface of!!  So lets get to the basics.  Some conditions…

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Spicy Salmon with Asparagus

WC-March-2015

spicy-salmonINGREDIENTS:
•  2 Salmon fillets, about 1.5 pounds
•  ¼ pound Asparagus
•  ¼ pound red potatoes
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  ¼ teaspoon Paprika
•  Salt and Pepper to taste
•  2 garlic cloves chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Marinate the salmon fillets in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, piri piri (or hot sauce), chopped garlic, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover it and let it marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Take out of the fridge and place the salmon on a greased baking sheet, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the red potatoes into quarters and season them with salt and pepper to taste and the other tablespoon of olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Chop the asparagus in halves and add them to the baking sheet.

Once ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and let it cook for about 23-25 minutes, or until the salmon is well done and the potatoes have browned a bit.
Serve on a plate and enjoy!

QuintaGarridaReserva_redQuinta da Garrida
Reserva Red
Dao, Portugal

Bold_stickerBacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal, S.A., one of the biggest and most innovative wine-making companies in Portugal, has developed a range of wines throughout the years that has ensured a solid reputation and the preference of national and international wine lovers. A family controlled company dating back to the 1920s, they produce wine in the same way we enjoy it: for friends and amongst friends, in our daily lives and in special occasions.  The single estate of Quinta da Garrida in Dão is located in Vila Nova de Tazém, with granitic, light and poor soils, typical from the region, this land allows Bacalhôa to create wines with very specific characteristics.   Ideally pairs well with traditional Portuguese cuisine.

Francisco-AntunesDeep ruby color. Exuberant nose with light floral and ripe fruit nuances.  It also shows some toastiness from the wood where it aged.  Elegant palate with notes of ripe fruit. Full-bodied and persistent aftertaste,” winemaker, Francisco Antunes.

Winemaker: Francisco Antunes
Appellation: Dao, Portugal
Varietal Blend:  70% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol
Critical Acclaim: Bronze Medal International Wine Challenge 2013

 

Portuguese Fish Supper

portugese-fish-supperINGREDIENTS:
•  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
•  1/3 pound Spanish style chorizo, casing removed and diced or crumbled
•  1 medium onion, chopped
•  2 large cloves garlic, chopped
•  1 small bundle black or dinosaur kale, thinly sliced
•  A few grates nutmeg
•  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  1 cup chicken stock
•  1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
• 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes or fire roasted diced tomatoes
•  1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
•  A couple sprigs fresh thyme, leaves chopped
•  4 (6 to 8 oz) thick pieces cod or haddock fillets
•  Seafood seasoning or sweet paprika (recommended: Old Bay)
•  Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
•  Crusty bread or Portuguese rolls, for mopping

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a high-sided skillet or Dutch oven. Add the chorizo and render for a couple of minutes, then add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kale and toss to wilt, then season with a few grates of nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the stock, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal.

Reheat sauce, covered, in high-sided skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is hot and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Season the fish with seafood seasoning or paprika and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the fish to the sauce and cover. Cook until the fish is opaque and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Ladle into shallow bowls garnished with parsley. Serve with crusty bread for mopping.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network, Rachel Rayhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/reciperachael-ray/portuguese-fish-supper-recipe.html

Silky_StickerQuintaDaGarrida_white_bottleQuinta da Garrida
Encruzado
Dao, Portugal

Quinta da Garrida was bought by Aliança Vinhos de Portugal in 1998.  Situated in the foothills of the Serra da Estrela  mountain range in the Dão Region, Quinta da Garrida distinguishes itself for the diversity of wines it may offer.  Due to the vineyards being divided in separate parcels, the Quinta da Garrida wines are vinified separately preserving the authenticity and character of each vineyard.   Quinta da Garrida white is made from the Encruzado grape variety, typical and unique to the Dão region. Forty percent of the wine is fermented in French oak barrels and suffers battonage (less stirring to increase taste of the wine) during 3 months.  The Encruzado varietal combines very well with light meals, fat fishes and seafood salads.

Francisco-AntunesVery pale yellow color. Intense but delicate aroma with white pulp fruits and soft toasted hints. Balanced and with long and intense mouth end.  Good acidity, refined and elegant,” winemaker, Francisco Antunes.

Winemaker: Francisco Antunes
Appellation: Dao, Portugal
Varietal Blend:  100% Encruzado
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

WC-March-2015-3clubINGREDIENTS:
spaghetti-carbonara• 1 pound spaghetti
• 8 ounces (8 slices)bacon, cut 1” thick crosswise
• Course salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
• ¼ cup half-and-half

DIRECTIONS:
Set a large pot of water for boil (for pasta).  In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half.  Set aside.
Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it.  Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture.  Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs).  Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan.  Recipe courtesy of Casa Agricola Alexandre Relvas.

Merino-Old-vinesHerdade Sao Miguel
Merino Old Vines
Alentejano, Portugal

Situated in the municipality of Redondo, Herdade encompasses 175 hectares of which 35 are planted vines in loam soil and 97 hectares contain cork trees that were planted between 1998 -1999.   Herdade was acquired by Alexandre Relvas in 1997, who dedicates his efforts to the breeding and conservation of local species in extinction throughout the vineyard’s territory.   The Aragonez is one the most well known grape varieties in the Iberian Peninsula. It originates in Spain, where it is named Tempranillo.  The Aragonez grape develops wines containing a high degree of alcohol, low acidity and greatly aromatic with red fresh fruit.

winemakersA juicy, medium-bodied red, showing dark plum and red currant flavors, with accents of black licorice.  Milk chocolate notes emerge on the spicy finish. Pairs nicely with pasta, poultry and soft cheeses“, winemaker Alexandre Relva.

Winemaker: Alexandre Relva
Appellation: Alentejano, Portugal
Varietal Blend:  50% Aragonez, 30% Syrah, 20% Alicante Bouschet
Analysis: 13.0% alc/vol

Merino_winery

Yay!! Wine from Tuscany!!!! Learn a little… what to expect!

Originally posted on Bob Bolden:

2011-05-15_12-54-25_823Old World Tuscany!!  One of my favorite wine regions!!  A little bit of history before we dive in to the details of what to expect.  (The pic is our group…. about ready to enjoy a meal in Ricasoli Castle!)

  • On average Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine over the last decade.
  • Italy is easily the top exporter of wine in the world
  • Tuscan wine can be traced back to the 8th century BC!!!  Do you think they know how to make vino!!!
  • Two regions within Tuscany really roar!  Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico
  • Brunello is the name of the local Sangiovese grape varietal that is grown around the village of Montalcino.  Higher elevations, drier soil yield a wine that is rich and smooth… Tough to beat a Brunello!
  • Chianti Classico is the original Chianti region in central Tuscany.  Since 1996 by law, these wines must have at…

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Virtual Winemaker Tasting April 18th

Winemaker-tasting-event-Bonny-DoonSPECIAL EVENT

  Virtual wine tasting event with renown winemaker, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard
Saturday, April 18th at 6:30pm EST / 5:30pm CST

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a LIVE virtual wine tasting event with Bonny Doon Vineyard’s winemaker, Randall Grahm.  In real time, taste 5 wines along side Randall and ask him your questions online.  Seating is limited – call your local WineStyles to RSVP.

Bonny Doon Vineyard

BDV_logo_300dpi-900x900While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the (in retrospect) foolish attempt to replicate Burgundy in California, Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success creating more distinctive and original wines working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. Bonny-Doon-BlancThe key learning here (achieved somewhat accidentally but fortuitously) was that in a warm, Mediterranean climate, it is usually blended wines that are most successful. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this continues as the winery’s flagship/starship brand.  Since then, Bonny Doon Vineyard has enjoyed a long history Shelftalker-NV-CigareBlanc.qxdof innovation – the first to truly popularize Rhône grapes in California, to successfully work with cryo-extraction for sundry “Vins de Glacière, the first to utilize microbullage in California, the first to popularize screwcaps for premium wines, and, quite significantly, the first to embrace true transparency in labeling with its ingredient labeling initiative. The upside of all of this activity has brought an extraordinary amount of creativity and research to the California wine scene; the doon-side, as it were, was perhaps an ever so slight inability to focus, to settle doon, if you will, into a single, coherent direction.

Bonny Doon Vineyard grew and grew with some incredibly popular brands (Big House, Cardinal Zin and Pacific Rim) until it became the 28th largest winery in the United Stated.  Since early 2004, Bonny Doon adopted Biodynamic viticulture and biodynamic practices in as many of their vineyards as practicable.

Randall Grahm Biography

BonnyDoon-RandallGrahmRandall was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp, excuse me, the prestigious University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Some time later he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with Pinot Noir he was regarded as a bit of a holy terroir in the hallowed halls of the sober and sedate Department of Viticulture and Enology.

With his family’s assistance, Randall purchased property in the Santa Cruz Mountains in a magically quaint eponymous hamlet known as Bonny Doon, intent on producing the Great American Pinot Noir. The GAPN proved to be systematically elusive but he was greatly encouraged by experimental batches of Rhône varieties, and he has been a tireless champion of the grapes of the Rhône since the inaugural vintage of Le Cigare Volant. In 1989 Randall appeared on the cover of the Wine Spectator, clad in blue polyester, as “The Rhône Ranger,” a moniker that has mercilessly followed him ever since. (He has subsequently abandoned the habit of appearing en masque at public events.)

In 1991 Randall was indicted into the Who’s Who of Cooking in America by Cook’s and in the same year Ted Bowell of the Lowell Observatory in northern Arizona named the “Rhoneranger” asteroid in his honor. He was proclaimed Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 1994. Randall lectures frequently to wine societies and technical groups, and occasionally contributes quixotically sincere articles to wine journals. His idiosyncratic newsletters and articles were collected, carefully redacted, and with the inclusion of some very timely new material, published as the award-winning book, “Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology” in 2009. In 2010 the Culinary Institute of America inducted him into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame. He lives in Santa Cruz with his muse Chinshu, their daughter, Amélie and his thesaurus.   Follow Randall’s wine blog.

BonnyDoon-wines-TastedBONNY DOON WINES TASTED:

Imagine Vin Gris
Picpoul
Le Cigare Blanc
Le Cigare Volant
Le Cigare Volant Reserve

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Another Holiday…. and what do I do about wine????

Originally posted on Bob Bolden:

Ok, here we are, Valentines day is upon us!!!  Wine seems appropriate right?  But what do you do??

My fail safe recommendation is bubbly!!!!  What better way to really emphasize that this day is different than with a nice bottle of the bubbles!  And, if you pop a bottle at an unexpected time… all the better!  For example:

  • with Valentines day landing on a Saturday, if you and your significant other are lucky enough to not have to work…. open a bottle first thing in the morning :) that just screams “special”!!;
  • If you are heading to a restaurant for a meal, call ahead and either have a bottle ready or see if you can bring your own (save a little money) a drop it by in time for them to have it chilled for you!  And, as you are seated… bang here comes the surprise… how cool is that!!
  • Before…

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The Hess Collection

March Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Please join us for a special Winery Spotlight event, featuring The Hess Collection winery from Napa Valley, California.

The HESS Collection
Vineyards & Winery

Hess_FamilyStarted in 1844, Hess Family Wine Estates is a family-owned, fourth-generation company with a deep commitment to responsible agricultural and business practices.  Founded in Bern, Switzerland, Hess Family Wine Estates seeks, develops and mentors businesses worldwide that reflect the company’s values of tradition, quality and sustainability.

In 1978, Donald Hess founded the Hess Collection Winery on Mount Veeder, 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley.  True to his vision of what a New World wine should be, Mr. Hess established his winery on the volcanic slopes of Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley and defined a whole new approach to winemaking.  Along with its mountain vineyards, the winery has won acclaim for its other estate vineyards in the northeast and southern ends of the Napa Valley and has been recognized for its successful relationships with family-owned growers who represent some of the finest appellations in California.

The Hess Collection Winery produces three tiers of wines and has distinguished itself as a premium producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

THE HESS COLLECTION WINE TASTING EVENT:

Hess_Wines

The Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay
Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir
The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvee
MacPhail Family Wines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
The Hess Collection Napa Valley Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
The Hess Collection Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

What To Drink On Valentine’s Day

Originally posted on Talk-A-Vino:

BollingerI generally avoid holiday-related wine posts, and I do it for a number of reasons. First of all, every information source on the planet considers it to be their duty to produce some piece of writing with wine recommendations. And then for someone who drinks wine all the time, the holidays are not so much of a special occasion to have a reason to open a bottle of wine. Oh well – somehow I felt compelled to share my thoughts on the wines for the Valentine’s Day, hence this post…

Pink. Red. Extreme. Commercialized beyond belief, still increasingly so year after year. Heart-shaped to the point of insanity. There are many things which turn people away from the Valentine’s Day, and I can understand that. However, I take this holiday as an extra opportunity to celebrate love and life. All you need to do is to find your way –…

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