We totally enjoyed this recent trip with our club members to the cheese caves of France, hope you will too!

Tales from a French Cheese Journey:

Cheese all day, cocktails at night, and mountains in every direction. That’s been my one-second summary to friends who ask about my recent trip to France with WineStyles.  Read more via Tales from a French Cheese Journey — Madame Fromage

Norwood Park location coming soon to Chicago area

WineStyles Franchisee Outgrows Space – Plans Expansion in Norwood Park, Chicago Area.

Park Ridge, Illinois – September 11, 2018 – WineStyles Tasting Station®, a hybrid retail / wine bar concept dedicated to simplifying the wine and craft beer experience, announces the relocation of its Park Ridge location to the Norwood Park neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois.

Emily WildermanThanks to local support, store owner Emily Wilderman’s business has out grown its current space in Park Ridge. Wilderman has been looking to update and expand her store to include more craft beers on tap, full size chocolate counter of handmade truffles, artisanal cheese, gourmet food items and expand the small plate menu to include pizzettes, flatbreads and appetizers.

“With a larger venue, we can host more tastings, education classes and wine dinners,” remarked Wilderman. “I’m excited, as this will be the first location in the Chicago market embracing the new Tasting Station business model”.

Wilderman wanted to stay close to the Park Ridge area and found a space at 6182 N. Northwest Hwy that could accommodate the new concept. The new space would be 2700 square feet compared to current 1200 square feet in Park Ridge.  It’s only 1.7miles from the current storefront in Park Ridge (about a 10-minute drive to Norwood Park). Most likely the relocation will occur after the holidays, early 2019, pending the permitting and licensing in the City of Chicago.

“We are thrilled for Emily’s business expansion and introducing Norwood Park residents to the WineStyles Tasting Station experience,” said Bryan McGinness, CEO of WineStyles Tasting Station. “We believe there is strong growth potential for our franchise concept throughout the Midwest and look forward to more locations.”

Wilderman will continue being an active member of the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce as a Board Director and participate in the community events and support the local businesses.

“We have a great customer base in Park Ridge so I’ll definitely continue to support the community and hope they can follow me down Northwest Highway,” added Wilderman. “I’m also looking forward to being part of the new neighborhood and actively involved in the Edison Park and Norwood Park Chambers.”

10 year Anniversary Celebration

10 Year Anniversary Celebration – WineStyles Park Ridge, IL

To learn more about WineStyles expansion, follow WineStyles Park Ridge on their Twitter, Facebook or sign up for their newsletter.

Soupe au Pistou

Soupe au PistouA Provençal version of minestrone, this is a hearty vegetable soup with summer vegetables, herbs and pasta. Delicious served hot or at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup dried white beans (navy or cannellini), soaked in cold water overnight and drained.
• 1-ounce of pancetta
• 1 small onion, halved
• 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, 2 whole and 2 smashed
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 quarts plus 3 cups water
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small fennel bulb, cored and coarsely chopped
• 2 red potatoes (10 ounces), peeled and halved
• 4 small zucchini (1 pound), cut into ½ inch pieces
• ¾ lb green beans or Romano beans, cut ½ inch pieces
• 3 medium tomatoes-peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice
• 1 table spoon unsalted butter
• 1 cup small shaped pasta, such as elbow or Ditalini
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 cup Classic Pistou (see below)
• basil sprigs, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Put the drained white beans, pancetta, halved onion, whole garlic cloves and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the pancetta, onion, garlic and bay leaf.
• Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the fennel, potatoes, chopped onion and smashed garlic. Cover the pot and cook the vegetables over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel and onion are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the 2 quarts of water and gradually bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. © Photo Quentin Bacon and recipe courtesy of Paula Wolfert, FoodandWine.com

Corbieres wine bottleBold wine Style logoAbbotts and Delaunay
A Tire D’Aile
Grenache, Syrah
Corbieres, France

A Tire d’Aile is a range of delectable, balanced and elegant wines from the Languedoc region’s classic appellations. Respecting both the soil and the vines, healthy grapes are produced with good concentration much to the delight of the birds that live in the plots.

The grapes come from three terroirs: 65% from the eastern Corbières (coastal vineyards yield grapes that lend freshness and elegance), 20% from the edge of Fitou (a terroir located further south whose grapes offer lovely aromatic richness) and 15% from the Corbières Boutenac cru which give this wine its depth. The grapes are handpicked and brought to the winery in tubs and immediately transferred to tanks without crushing or pumping. Maceration lasts 15 days. The press wine is added to the free-run wine. The wine is aged in barrels (40%) and stainless steel tanks (60%).Laurent Delaunay WineMaker

“Very intense black color. Floral nose reminiscent of violet along with fine spices (white pepper), black olive and notes of humus and tobacco. Rich and full-bodied on the palate with lovely substance and smooth tannins. Flavors of jammy fruit and baked goods on the finish.” – Laurent Delaunay, winemaker

Winemaker: Laurent Delaunay
Appellation: Languedoc, Corbieres, France
Varietal Blend:  Grenache, Syrah
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume

CLASSIC PISTOU

Pistou

From the south of France, Pistou is similar to pesto sauce. It’s an olive oil based basil sauce and made by hand.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups basil leaves, torn into pieces (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely grated Mimolette or slightly aged Gouda (3 ounces)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mortar, pound the garlic with the salt to a paste. Add the basil by the handful and grind the leaves against the side of the mortar until almost smooth. Stir in the tomatoes, then gradually stir in the olive oil until it’s incorporated. Stir in the cheese and refrigerate until ready to serve. © Photo Quentin Bacon, recipe by Paula Wolfert of FoodandWine.com 

Pairing Recipe August Wine Club

August Wine Club

Abbotts and Delaunay
A Tire d’ Aile
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
Cotes Du Roussillon
France

Cotes Roussillon bottleStemmed from the encounter of two passionate winemakers, Abbotts & Delaunay wines embody the know-how of Nerida Abbott and Laurent Delaunay.

A Tire d’Aile is a range of delectable, balanced and elegant wines from classic appellations in the Languedoc region. Respecting both the soil and the vines, healthy grapes are produced with good concentration much to the delight of the birds that live in the plots.

The grapes for this wine hail from three of Roussillon’s famed terroirs; Montner (a temperate zone producing grapes that lend depth to the wine), Tautavel (a hot, dry terroir whose grapes add complexity) and Caramany (a cooler area with grapes that lend elegance). The grapes are handpicked. The Syrah and Grenache grapes are vinified traditionally while the Carignan undergoes whole bunch maceration. Pairs great with grilled meats, poultry in puff pastry and Mediterranean cuisine.

Deep in color with carmine hues, this wine has aromas of raspberry, violet, licorice and blackberry underscored by spicy notes. Full-bodied from the start with soft tannins and long on the finish.” – Laurent Delaunay, winemaker

 

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta

Pairs well, complementing the earthy, fruit forward flavors in a Languedoc red.

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta plate

INGREDIENTS:
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 1b mild Italian pork sausage
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1-½ cups baby kale
• 7 oz. canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 lb dried penne pasta
• pinch red pepper flakes, optional
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 5 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving

DIRECTIONS:
• Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
• In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pork sausage, breaking it up and cook until browned. Add the red onion slices and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low.
• Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.
• Drain the pasta. Add the beans to the sausage mixture, pasta, Parmesan cheese and reserved pasta water. Stir to mix and gently mix in the baby kale. Serve with extra cheese. Serves 4.  © Photo and recipe Always Ravenous, adapted from French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson.

Cliff Lede Tasting Event

Cliffe Lede Vineyard logoAugust Winery Spotlight

Please join us, as we Taste, Learn and Enjoy these ‘rockin’ wines from Cliff Lede Vineyards, Napa Valley.  RSVP at your local WineStyles location.

Cliff Lede Vineyards and FEL wines – Stags Leap District of Napa Valley

Cliff Lede Vineyards was established in 2002 by Canadian born Bordeaux enthusiast, Cliff Lede, following the acquisition of a sixty acre estate in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. With a focus on producing wines from estate vineyards, Lede tapped David Abreu, considered the best viticulturist in Napa Valley, to replant the vineyards. Lede decided to name each vineyard block after some of his favorite rock songs and albums—from “My Generation” to “Dark Side of the Moon,” creating what is known today as the Cliff Lede Vineyards “Rock Blocks.”

Whole Lotta Love vineyard sign

In 2005, a state of the art, 25,000 square foot winery and cave system was etched into a hillside overlooking the estate vineyards. Not only did Cliff create a beautiful property, he also assembled an unrivaled team that shares his passion for quality. Today, Winemaker Christopher Tynan crafts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, with the flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the steep eastern hillside portion of the estate.

Cliff Lede and FEL wine bottles

In 2015, Cliff Lede vineyards were awarded with a Napa Green certification which focuses on farming and production methods that meet and exceed more than twenty local, state, and federal “best practices.” Cliff Lede wines are an exuberant expression of Napa Valley vineyards and reflect the natural harmony and balance of sustained vineyard management.Napa Green Award plaques

Breggo Cellars was renamed FEL Wines as an homage to Cliff’s mother Florence Elsie Lede, who dabbled in home winemaking. Two years later, the Lede Family acquired the Savoy Vineyard, a benchmark vineyard for Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to the Savoy bottlings, FEL Winemaker Ryan Hodgins crafts Anderson Valley appellation Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris, and a collection of vineyard designate Pinot Noirs from select vineyards within the Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast.

Join us! 

RSVP for the Winery Spotlight Tasting at your local WineStyles location

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

Happy Red, Wine and Blue!

July Wine Club with red grapes, white grapes and blue grapes and American Flag

Chicken Paella

Chicken paella dishINGREDIENTS:
• 1 lb ground chorizo
• 1 small onion, fine dice
• 1 small can spicy peppers (chipotle, piquillo, hatch)
• 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
• 20 chicken drums, seasoned with salt & pepper
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 2 tbsp tomato puree
• 1 lb Bomba paella rice
• 6 oz. white wine
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 lemon

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat the oven to 350°F.
• Cover large skillet with olive oil, medium-high heat. Add chicken drums, browning on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.
• Add chorizo and onions to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the peppers, tomato puree, and paprika. Stir and cook for 4 minutes.
• Add the rice and stir well for 3 minutes. Add wine and stir for 3 minutes.
• Add the chicken stock and stir into rice until absorbed. • Add frozen peas and parsley and bring back to boil. Arrange chicken drums on bed of rice.
• Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
• Remove from oven and cover lightly with foil.
• Garnish the dish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Horten Tempranillo bottle imageEncomienda de Cervera
Horten Tempranillo
Almagro, Spain

Located within the distinguished cultural city of Almagro, between valleys and mountains thick with holm oaks and juniper trees, rosemary and thyme. The mountainous terrain that forms three drainage basins has a peculiar micro-climate, with cool nights providing release from the blistering heat of the day. The Encomienda de Cervera Estate was established in 1758 with a total of 1200 hectares of land, that included vineyards and olive trees. The old vineyards have been renovated and expanded to 50 hectares. The best hills and altitudes have been chosen for each varietal, along with the best soils. From the grapes of their young Tempranillo vineyards, this wine was aged for short time in new French oak.Horten Espinosa winery owner

“Deep and intense red color, with aromas of fresh red berry fruit and spice with toasted vanilla flavors of the oak. Round and spicy with full body, but easy to drink with a long and pleasant after taste.” – Horten Espinosa, owner

Appellation: Campo de Calatrava, Almagro, Spain
IGP (Protected Geographic Indication): Vino de la Tierra de Castilla

Soil: Clay and stony with a smooth layer of volcanic origin
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Analysis: 13.7% alcohol / volume

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Pairing Recipe for Ananoa White Blend

Catalan Shrimp with Paprika

catalan shrimp recipe photoINGREDIENTS:
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1/2 lbs ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
• 12 large, raw shrimp, peeled or not
• 1 tsp Paprika
• olive oil
• lemon
• salt & pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
• Add olive oil to sauté pan, on medium heat. Add tomatoes and stir for 1 minute. Add garlic cloves, paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for 4 minutes. If pan is dry, add some white wine and lemon juice.
• Add shrimp and cover pan. Lower heat to medium-low. After 4 minutes, shrimp should be pink and cooked.
• Serve immediately with crusty bread.

Ananoa White Blend wine bottle imageSilky styleEncomienda de Cervera
Ananoa White Blend
Almagro, Spain

Established in 1758, Encomienda de Cervera takes great care of their vineyards, resulting in grapes of the best quality, without losing identity and tradition. Established at the turn of the 19th Century, the winery has been restored, expanded, and modernized, always respecting the environment, and improving the quality of their wines. In order to choose the best soil for each varietal, extensive edaphologic studies were performed on the soils to select among the best volcanic, clay-calcareous vineyards at the estate. The unique terroir and micro-climate makes this wine different and special. The volcanic soil contributes to the mineral expression and the refreshing acidity in the wine. This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks, and aged for 6 months on its lees to obtain a higher complexity. Everything is blended in perfect balance and flavors.

Horten Espinosa winery owner“Medium straw yellow in color, floral note aroma with white fruit, like gooseberries and hints of aromatic herbs. Mineral palate, elegant and complex with a refreshing acidity and a long creamy finish.” – Horten Espinosa, owner

Style: Silky
Appellation:
Campo de Calatrava, Almagro
IGP (Protected Geographic Indication): Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Varietal Blend: 
Chardonnay, Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc
Soil: Clay and stony soil with a smooth layer of volcanic origin
Analysis:
12.6% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim:
Bronze Decanter, Silver in Mundus Vini and Bruxelles

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July Wine Club pairing recipe

Spanish Roasted Chicken

  • Spanish Roasted ChickenINGREDIENTS:
  • 4 lb whole broiler chicken, preferably brined, rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2-3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size or diced
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 425 °F.
• Boil medium pot of water. Add potatoes and two lemons. Cook for 5 minutes and drain.
• Poke lemons with a knife. Insert lemons and crushed garlic into cavity of the chicken.
• Place chicken on a foiled baking tray. Surround the chicken with the potatoes. Sprinkle chicken and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Cook for 80 minutes until chicken has an internal thigh temperature of 165-175 °F. Remove chicken.
• Stir potatoes and return to oven for 10 more minutes to crisp.
• Cut chicken. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, potatoes and a salad.

Ananoa Syrah wine bottleBold wine Style logoEncomienda de Cervera
Ananoa Syrah
Almagro, Spain

Located in the heart of the Volcanic Massif of Calatrava Estate, Encomienda de Cervera was founded in 1758. Initially, the estate had 2,375 olive trees, an oil press, 10,000 black and white poplar trees and a country house. By the end of the 19th Century, the estate had a 22-hectare vineyard and a 200,000 liter winery. The volcanic black soil and red ochre gave the city of Almagro its name. Surrounding three river basins, its micro-climate of cool nights and hot days, provide the ideal growing conditions for this Syrah. All vineyards are in trellis, oriented to the North/South with controlled trickle irrigation systems and humidity sensors at different levels. The grapes are harvested during low-temperature hours, resulting in excellent quality and well-matured wines. The volcanic soil contributes to the mineral expression and the refreshing acidity in the wine.

Horten Espinosa winery owner“Picota cherry red in color, with intense aromas of red fruits with toffees from aging oak barrels. Volcanic soil enhances minerality. It’s fresh in the mouth feel, has a delicious structure and smooth tannins. Expansive and well-rounded.” – Horten Espinosa, owner

Appellation: Campo de Calatrava, Almagro, Spain
IGP (Protected Geographic Indication): Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Soil:
Clay and stony soil with smooth layer of volcanic origin
Varietal Blend:  Syrah
Analysis:
13.7% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: Bronze Decanter, Gold Bruxelles

 

Wine club logo

Languedoc Style Olive Tapenade

olive-tapenadeINGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup olives (black or green olives). If you use black olives, stick to Kalamata or Niçoise.
• 2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 Tbsp capers, drained
• ½ lemon, juiced (about 1 Tbsp juice)
• 1 Tbsp olive oil*

DIRECTIONS:

• Place all the ingredients in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until combined and the desired consistency is reached. • Serve with toasted baguette slices and wine. Yields one cup of tapenade, 4 servings. * The oil listed in the ingredients is for a chunkier tapenade. For a more traditional, spreadable tapenade, use 2-3 Tbsp olive oil. Recipe courtesy of CuriousCuisiniere.com

Domain de Nizas wine bottleSilky styleDomaine De Nizas
Les Terres Noires
Languedoc, France

The vineyard of Domaine de Nizas lies in a triangle between the towns of Pézenas, Caux and Nizas and also between two lava spurs that form a natural amphitheater which protects against extreme weather. The name ‘les terres noires’ translates to ‘the black earth’, referencing the Basalt soils that provide complex aromas and elegant structure to the wines. The Vermentino and Viognier juice were fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain varietal freshness. The Roussanne juice was fermented in seasoned French oak. The wine in oak, then underwent regular lees stirring for eight months to build texture and palate weight.

“Surprisingly expressive southern French white wine that embodies the Nizas style of balance and elegance. It is beautiful pale yellow in color with golden tints. On the nose, there are pronounced aromas of citrus, white peach and wild fennel. The fruit-driven palate is round and balanced expressing all of its complex flavors through a lingering finish.”

Winemakers: Nathalie Arnaud-Bernard
Appellation: Languedoc, France
Varietal Blend:  46% Roussanne, 36% Vermentino, 18% Viognier
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume

June Wine Club pairing recipe

CHICKEN CASSOULET

chicken cassouletINGREDIENTS:

• 4 slices bacon, preferably low sodium, cut crosswise into ½ inch strips
• 5 bone in chicken thighs (appx 2 lbs)
• 1 lb chicken sausages (Andouille or garlic/herb)
• 2 ½ cups white beans (great northern or cannellini), soaked overnight
• 1 large onion, minced
• 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
• 1 stalk celery, chopped into 2 inch pieces
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 cloves
• 2 tsp chicken demi-glace (optional)
• 2 sprigs rosemary
• 2 sprigs parsley

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 300°F.
• Spray cooking oil to coat a Dutch oven or similar size oven proof copper pan. Heat on medium high. Add the bacon and cook about 5 minutes per side until just starting to get crispy. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate with a paper towel.
• Add the chicken to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes without moving to brown the chicken, then turn over to cook for a few more minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside on a platter.
• Add the sausage to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes to brown, turning occasionally. Remove the sausages and set aside along with the chicken. Move the meat items to the fridge while you cook the beans.
• Add the onion to the pan, cook on medium for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the carrots, celery and garlic to the pan along with the beans. Stir to combine. Add the stock along with the bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, parsley and demi-glace (if using). Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook the beans about 45 minutes, until just tender.
• Remove the cover from the pot. Use a slotted spoon to remove the carrots, celery, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves and cloves. Add the chicken thighs, sausage and bacon back to the pan. Stir to combine with the beans. Arrange the chicken so that the skin is facing upward near the top of the pan.
• Move the pan to the oven and cook uncovered for two hours. A bit of a crust should be starting to develop after two hours. Remove the pan from the oven, gently stir, and return to the oven.
• Continue cooking uncovered in the oven for two more hours, stirring to break up the crust every 30 minutes.
•After 4 hours total cooking time in the oven, let the cassoulet cook for 1 more hour undisturbed to let the crust build up a bit more. After 5 hours cooking time in the oven, your cassoulet should be ready to enjoy! Remove carefully from the oven, and scoop into bowls to enjoy with a Languedoc red wine. Bon appétit! © Photo and recipe courtesy of David at www.CookingChatFood.com

Bold_stickerDomaine De NizasDomaine De Nizas
Les Galets Dorés
Languedoc, France

Located near the medieval village of Pézenas in the heart of the Languedoc region, Domaine de Nizas was created in 1998, by John Goelet, an American descendant of a family of Bordeaux wine merchants. He gave Bernard Portet, of Clos Du Val fame, the mission of selecting the most promising terroirs around Pézenas to establish the estate. Portet acquired individual plots that represented different soil types ultimately creating a rich and diverse source of grapes for crafting artisanal wines of extraordinary quality and depth. Surrounded by garrigue (local wild herbs), the vineyard is a unique mosaic of three deep, well-drained soil types. River pebbles impart freshness and fine tannins while limestone creates powerful wines with red fruit aromas. Domaine De Nizas has been certified sustainable since 2007.

“Expressive, fleshy and fruity, this wine offers pleasant notes of ‘garrigue’. The palate is round and approachable, with flavors of dark fruit and herbs. This wine is ideal with roast rack of lamb with thyme or pork tenderloin casserole with braised vegetables.”  – Nathalie Arnaud-Bernard, winemaker.

Winemaker: Nathalie Arnaud-Bernard
Appellation: Languedoc, France
Varietal Blend:  60% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Syrah
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume