Paco García Junior Tempranillo

Prawn and Bacon Brochettes

Praw Bacon wrap

The Spanish love bacon, this combination of prawns and bacon can be found at most Tapas bars. It’s a delicious treat for guests or backyard BBQ. Makes 12 units.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 oz jamón or thinly sliced bacon
  • 24 medium to large uncooked, headless prawns, peeled
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • cherry tomatoes / bamboo tooth picks (optional serving)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut the bacon (or jamón, if using it) into pieces which will wrap generously round the prawns. Place the wrapped prawns down flat on a board and skewer them through the fattest part and the tail, making sure the jamón is firmly fixed.  Season generously and drizzle with the oil.
  • On a high heat griddle, grill or barbecue the prawn and bacon brochettes for 2-3 minutes on each side, so the jamón crisps up.  Alternatively, roast in a hot oven at 425°F on an oiled baking tray for 8-10 minutes. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon wedges and serve immediately. Optional serving on bamboo toothpicks on top of cherry tomatoes.  © Recipe courtesy of Spain Recipes

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoPaco Garcia Junior TempranilloBodegas Paco Garcia
Junior Tempranillo

Rioja, Spain

BOLD WINE STYLE

Consider native to Rioja, Tempranillo is the wine region’s most typical grape occupying 75% of the vineyards.  The name comes from the Spanish word “temprano” (early) because of its short ripening cycle.  Rioja is the origin of the Tempranillo’s identity and one of the great grape varieties in the world.  Dating back to Roman times, numerous archaeological remains of wine presses and wineries were found in Rioja lands two thousand years ago. The centuries-old economic importance of viticulture for the region started when it became a marketable good during the Middle Ages to the French Revolution.

The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested at the “Ventas Blancas” vineyards, 510 meters above sea level. “It’s a relaxing wine, perfect as a first step into the world of wine.  Easy to notice the floral notes and fruity young wine. It’s a palatable wine for your mouth and nose. A wine that will leave an imprint, a wine to remember.” – Juan Bautista García, winemaker

Intense purple color with cherry red rim.  On the nose, wild berries, predominately blackberry and raspberry.  Balanced palate with a strong underlying taste.  Leaves a long and pleasant aftertaste.  Pairs well with potatoes, cheese, salad, pasta, pizza and white meat.

Appellation:  Rioja Alta, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Analysis: 13.58% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.65
TA: 5.29 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.9 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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Paco García Tempranillo Blanc

Croquetas de Bacalao Tapas (Salt Cod Fritters)

salt cod tapasBacalao (salt cod) is a Spanish delight.  Enjoy these bite size fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy, garlicky allioli. They are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb salt cod
  • 1 1/4 floury potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 3 1/2 oz dried white breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for shallow frying
  • lemon wedges and salad leaves, to serve

ALLIOLI INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water two or three times. The cod should swell as it rehydrates. Sample a tiny piece. It should not taste unpleasantly salty when fully rehydrated. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.

Pour the milk into a pan, add half the spring onions and bring to a simmer. Add the soaked cod and poach very gently for 10-15 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding bones and skin.

Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potato to the cod and beat them together with a wooden spoon. Work in the olive oil, then gradually add the remaining mashed potato. Beat in the remaining spring onions and the parsley.

Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste – the mixture may also need a little salt but taste it before adding any. Add one egg to the mixture and beat it until thoroughly combined, then chill until firm.

Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.

Meanwhile, make the allioli. Place the garlic and a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Using a small whisk or a wooden spoon, gradually work in the egg yolks.
Beat in about half the olive oil, a drop at a time. When the sauce is as thick as soft butter, beat in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue adding oil until the allioli is very thick. Season to taste, adding more lemon juice if you wish.

Heat about 3/4 inch oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and cook over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 4 minutes on the other side, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with the allioli, lemon wedges and salad leaves.

© Recipe courtesy of Spain-Recipes.com

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Paco Garcia Tempranillo BlancoBodegas Paco Garcia
Tempranillo Blanco
Rioja, Spain

Silky styleSILKY WINE STYLE

In 1988, a local grower in Murillo de Rio Leza discovered that one of his red Tempranillo vines produced both red and white grapes at the same time. This spontaneous genetic mutation, very similar to what would be a case of albinism, gave birth to a new cepage, Tempranillo Blanco.  It has been harvested by hand in Paco Garcia’s “La Finca del Yergo” vineyard (2014) on clay laden soils; altitude of 550 meters above the sea level.

Winemaking Process: Once at the winery, after stemming, the berries are placed by gravity in stainless steel tanks to macerate for several hours so as to maximize extraction of structure, aromas, color and acidity from Tempranillo grapes.  They’re then presses (separating the skins from the pips) and the resulting must is taken to tapered and inverted tapered stainless steel tanks of 10,000 liters each, with double cold water sleeves to begin fermentation at low temperature.

Afterwards, the wine is kept on its lees for six months, half in stainless steel tanks and half in French oak barrels. This ensures the wine is rich, smooth and creamy, yet displaying the citric fruit and floral character typical of the Tempranillo Blanco variety.  The resulting wines are then blended together and bottled, expressing their round character and persistent bouquet once released.

Tasting Notes:The wine shows a unique bouquet of citrus notes (lemon and orange blossom) and fruits (pineapple and banana) with hints of mint, honey and cedar wood, displaying a subtle minerality.  And the mouthfeel benefits from the original Tempranillo’s volume, structure and length.  Try is now and later, to see the evolution that its acidity, structure and time spent in the barrel provide.  A couple years of bottle aging will appease its freshness and increase its finesse. It’s up to you to decide when and why you prefer to drink it, but it’ll always be a beautiful drop of loveliness.

 

Appellation: Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo Blanco
Analysis: 12.90% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.23
TA: 6.81 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.5 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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August Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Pimientos del Piquillo Rellenos Tapas (stuffed Piquillo peppers)

piquillo stuffed peppers tapasConsidered a Navarran speciality, neighboring La Rioja also enjoys the celebrated peppers.  Stuffed in Longroño style, the capital of the region, which is a good starting point for visiting local wineries.  Start the recipe the previous evening, allowing meat to marinate over night. Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jamón (dry-cured ham)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1 jar preserved whole piquillo peppers (about 18 peppers)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

DIRECTIONS:

In a mortar, pound together 2 of the garlic cloves, 1  1/2 teaspoons of the parsley, and 1 tablespoon of the water until a paste forms. Place the veal and pork in a bowl, season well with salt, add the garlic paste, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Add half of the grated onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until shiny and tender. Add the veal and pork mixture, decrease the heat to medium, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon and then stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until the meat starts to crumble a little.

Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add the jamon, 1 of the eggs, and the bread crumbs to the bowl. Mix well and reserve.

Drain the piquillo peppers in a sieve or colander placed over a bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the brine and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining grated onion and saute for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden. Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound together the remaining garlic clove, 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley, and 1 tablespoon water until a paste forms. Add the garlic paste to the onion in the saucepan and mix well. Add 1 teaspoon of the flour, stirring to incorporate with the onion. Add the pepper brine, increase the heat to high, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cook the sauce for 10 minutes longer, or until thickened. Remove from the heat, let cool, and then pass through a food mill fitted with a medium plate held over a large cazuela.

With a small spoon, carefully fill each pepper with the meat mixture, taking care not to tear the pepper by overfilling it. Close the opening of each pepper by gently folding the edges. Spread the remaining flour in a shallow bowl. In a bowl, combine the remaining 2 eggs and the milk and whisk them together lightly.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over high heat. One at a time, lay the peppers in the flour, coating them on both sides and shaking off any excess, and then dip into the beaten egg and set aside on a plate. When the oil is hot, add 5 or 6 peppers, decrease the heat to medium, and fry for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers in the same way, always making sure the oil is hot again before adding the next batch.

Just before serving, place the peppers in the cazuela (shallow unglazed earthenware) with the sauce, place over medium heat, and heat through. Serve hot. © Recipe courtesy of Spain-Recipes.com

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Paco SeisBold wine Style logoBodegas Paco Garcia
Seis Tempranillo
Rioja, Spain

BOLD WINE STYLE

Julia Pablo and Francisco Garcia

Julia Pablo and Francisco Garcia

Francisco (Paco) Garcia and Julia Pablo founded the family winery in their town, Murillo de Río Leza, in 2001. The hand logo is the original hand tracing of Paco Garcia, the soul of the winery.  It represents the hand craftsmanship and handwork of each and every wine.

Bodegas Paco Garcia winery owns 40 hectares of vineyards spread over seven estates in the central area of La Rioja, near the provincial capital Logroño.   The winery is situated in the town of Murillo alongside the Rio Leza river, in the Rioja Denomination of Origin in Spain. The winery has vineyards in a small valley between the Sierra Cantabria and Clavijo Mountains. The average age of the vines is 30 years and in some cases, reaches up to 80 years.

Since 2008, his son Juan Bautista has been managing it with his wife Ana, and together they have brought a new air to the winery as well as the wine.   “We are focused on the production of quality wines respecting the most deeply rooted traditions of Rioja but without forgetting the most modern oenological techniques.” – Juan Bautista.

Juan Bautista

Juan and Ana Bautista

This young Rioja wine was aged six months in barrels, seeking the highest expression of the varietal, embracing all possible flavors of the Tempranillo grape and maintaining a sweet and harmonious palate. The result, Paco Garcia Seis, with great aromatic power, velvety mouth and awakening of the senses.

Blackberry and ruby red color, clean and bright.  Aromatic explosion on the nose, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and violets.  On the palate, tons of fresh red fruit, floral tones (violets), sweet blackberries. Round mouth, full and pleasant. Hint of oak and caramel. Very harmonious with long finish.   Pair with light cheeses, salads, white meats and fish. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.  

Rioja map

Appellation: Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Analysis: 13.84% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.55
TA: 4.7 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.4 g/l
Aging: 6 months French oak, semi-new, low toasted
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

July’s Collectors Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubClos du Clocher

About Clos Du Clocher

Clos du Clocher wine estate is located in the Pomerol wine growing region in France. With three parcels of vineyard and just 300 yards south of the church in Pomerol, it is surrounded by the most famous growths of the appellation.   Founded in 1924, when the first parcel of vines were bought by a successful Bordeaux negociant,  Jean Baptiste Audy.  Today, the estate is owned by his grandson Pierre Bourotte and his great-grandson Jean-Baptiste.  The soils are composed of the famous dense iron-rich clay that is found in Pomerol.  The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc with an average age of 39 years old. Grapes are hand harvested into small baskets and double sorted.  Winemaking is traditional and carried out in stainless steel and cement thermo-regulated vats.  After 4 weeks in the vats, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak barrels or vats, depending on the parcels and the vintage.  The wine is aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels (two thirds new and one third one year old).

Clos du Clocher PomerolBold wine Style logoClos du Clocher
Pomerol
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Bordeaux, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

This month’s Collector’s Club includes both the 750ml and 1.5 Magnum bottle of Clos du Clocher.

In the very center of the famous Pomerol plateau, under the shadow of the eponymous bell tower of the neighboring church, this vineyard is home to some truly ancient vines that translate into a tremendous wine in bottle. This is without a doubt “A beauty from the high plateau of Pomerol” to quote Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. 

Clos du Clocher is an elegant Pomerol style and a wonderfully pure expression of the vineyard’s terroir. Perfect for short-medium term drinking for the vintage.  Annual production at Clos du Clocher is about 2000 cases and the legendary consultant Michel Rolland consistently produces wines of real elegance from a modest 7 hectares. In a diminishing field, this elegant style is one of Pomerols very best values. 

“Has a lightly roasted feel, with ganache and espresso notes lining the core of plum and blackberry fruit. Roasted alder hints fill the finish, while the roasted edge provides the texture. Shows more guts than refinement.” Wine Spectator

Appellation: Bordeaux (right bank), Pomerol, France
Varietal: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume
Aging: 18 months French Oak barrels
Winemaker: Michel Rolland

About Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.

Domaine Chante CigaleBold wine Style logoDomaine Chante Cigale
Rouge 2016
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

Today, the Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Bright violet. Ripe cherry and raspberry on the deeply perfumed nose, lifted by suggestions of pungent flowers and cracked pepper.  Nicely concentrated but lively as well, offering sappy red berry, candied cherry and lavender flavors that show very good clarity and smooth, seamless texture.  Finishes sweet and silky, displaying spicy persistence and gentle tannic grip.” – 91 pts. Vinous 2018

It boasts silky tannins, plenty of cherry fruit and a dusting of ground pepper and all spice on the long finish. Drink 2018-2028.” – 91 pts, Robert Parker 2018

Appellation: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Varietal: 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvédre, 5% Cinsault
Analysis: 15.5% alcohol / volume
Aging: 12-14 months in 35% new French oak

 

 
 
 

July Premium Wine Club

Scheid Vineyards logo

Al Scheid

Al Scheid

About Scheid Vineyards

Al Scheid set his roots in Monterey County in 1972, embracing his role as a pioneer of wine growing in the region. Al’s outlook has always been that life is an adventure and this attitude served him well as he embarked on the journey of his lifetime.   For the first 15 years, Scheid Family Wines was known as Monterey Farming Corp, a grape grower that sold all its production to winery clients for use in their own brands. Fast forward to today, Scheid Family owns 12 estate vineyards located along a 70-mile stretch of the Salinas Valley. They now focus on building their own brand that is produced at their state-of-the-art winery, as well as a smaller Reserve Winery where the small production wines of Scheid Vineyards are crafted.

Mellow style logoScheid Vineyards
Pinot Noir Clone POM Reserve
Monterey, California

Scheid’s Clone series was created to highlight the different nuances that each Pinot Noir clone exhibits.  What do we mean by “clone”? Grapevines in general and Pinot Noir in particular, are generally unstable and can mutate slightly over time. Each grape variety is actually made up of many subtypes, called clones. These clones can result in different flavors, intensity, color, etc.  Scheid Vineyards grow 20 different clones of Pinot Noir. Pommard is one of the Dijon clones and is known for earthy, fruit forward characteristics, as well as structure and density.  A dramatic and vibrant wine, Scheid Vineyards Clone POM has aromas of black cherries, blackberries and currants with notes of vanilla, mocha, and oak, mingled with a hint of clove. it is a classic Pinot Noir, with soft tannins and round, rich, red, fruit on the palate.

The Pommard clone is one of the oldest clones planted in the U.S., where it was originally sourced from Chateau de Pommard in the early 1950’s. The fruit for this Pinot Noir was sourced from the Riverview Vineyard, adjacent to the Pinnacles National Park.  This 215 acre vineyard is nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River and is an ideal site for ultra-premium Pinot Noir. The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and the southwestern exposure maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.73
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Aging: 100% French oak

Stokes Ghost

Stokes Ghost Bold wine Style logoScheid Family Wines
Stokes Ghost
Petite Sirah
Monterey, California

In 1833, British sailor James Stokes jumped ship in Monterey with a booty of stolen medicine. Passing himself off as a doctor, he opened a downtown pharmacy and launched a thriving medical practice as “Dr. Stokes”.  Despite a knack for killing his patients, he landed a commission as the personal physician to California Governor Jose Figueroa. Within a year, the governor was dead. The phony physician was astonishingly successful for someone so poor at his job. He grew wealthy, married the widow of one of his patients, and served as mayor of Monterey. Eventually the gig was up. According to legend, Stokes’ sons confronted him of his devious deeds and he ingested poison, falling lifeless at their feet. His former home still stands today and haunted by the ghostly figure of a man dressed in 1800s garb. This is the legend of Stokes’ Ghost.

Deep and brooding, this Petite Sirah is brimming with aromas of blackberry, plum and black currant.   The intense, jammy fruit provides the drama while subtle notes of mocha and hazelnut bring finesse. Stokes’ Ghost is full-bodied with balanced tannins and a finish that lingers on the palate.  This rich, lush wine is just what the doctor ordered.

The Petite Sirah grapes in this wine were harvested at night in the southernmost reaches of Monterey appellation, an ideal location for growing this dramatic, heart-stopping variety. Upon arrival to the winery, the grapes were crushed and fermented in small lots to extract the full flavors and tannin structure for which Petite Sirah is so well known.  The wine was then pressed and racked at dryness for oak aging.

The fruit for Stokes’ Ghost hails from Scheid’s estate vineyard in the Hames Valley, an inland enclave at the southern end of Monterey County. Considered a “Goldilocks” region – not too hot, not too cold – it offers ideal conditions for Petite Sirah. The wine was aged in American and Hungarian oak barrels to add complexity and soften the tannins.

Winemaker Dave Nagengast

Dave Nagengast, Winemaker

Winemaker: Dave Nagengast has a strong connection to Petite Sirah. As winemaker for Stokes’ Ghost, he is passionate about this powerhouse variety and well-acquainted with its deepest, darkest secrets. He knows where to grow, how to farm, when to harvest, and how to vinify Petite Sirah to create a wine that is not only big, dark and bold, but also lush, balanced and aromatic. Says Dave, “Petite Sirah is not for those with delicate sensibilities. But for those of us who revel in a muscular, full-bodied wine packed with flavor, character and soul, Petite Sirah has no equal.”

Appellation: Hames Valley, Monterey, California
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l
pH: 3.54
Aging: 12 months in American, French and Hungarian oak

 

July Wine Club: Shrimp Boil Packs

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Photo credit: The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Enjoyable option for a fuss-free weeknight dinner or a weekend backyard cookout on July 4th.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound shrimp (31 to 35 count, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 pound small red potatoes or gold potatoes (cut into small cubes, about 2 inches)
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob (husked, cleaned, chopped into small rounds)
  • 1 (12-ounce) smoked sausage (such as kielbasa) or andouille (sliced into 2 to 3 inch long pieces)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion (medium-sized, thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 lemons (sliced, about 12 wedges)
  • Garnish: 1 stick butter (melted)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F or the grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F). If using frozen shrimp, place the package under cold water for 10 minutes to thaw.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a roaring boil and add the potatoes and the corn. Reduce the heat and bring to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes on simmer and drain into colander. Set aside.
  • While the potatoes and corn are simmering prepare 4 sets of 12×24 inch long aluminum foil sheets. Fold each in half, forming a square.  If using pre-cut aluminum foil simply prepare sheets 12×12 inches. Slightly fold up the edges of the sheets.
  • In a large bowl combine the drained potatoes and corn, the sausage, the thawed shrimp, the onion, and the garlic. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter, season with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.  Mix very well to coat all the ingredients.
  • Divide the shrimp boil ingredients between the four aluminum foil sheets.
  • Neatly fold into packets.
  • Place them onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. If grilling, place the packets directly onto the grill surface and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once after about 8 minutes.
  • Serve the packets slightly opened up, garnished with chopped parsley, a pinch of Old Bay seasoning and a few lemon wedges. Serve the 1 stick melted butter as a side for optional drizzling over the shrimp boil or dipping.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 Sauvignon BlancCrisp Wine StyleRANCH 32
Sauvignon Blanc
Monterey, California

CRISP WINE STYLE

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were grown on estate vineyards in Monterey County, California.  The majority of the blend hails from the San Lucas Vineyard located south of Greenfield in the sub-appellation of San Lucas.  The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the early morning hours. Upon arrival, the fruit was gently whole-cluster pressed, then chilled and lightly settled before being transferred to a refrigerated stainless steel tank.  Fermentation was conducted slowly at cool temperatures to retain the fruit esters and enhance the varietal aromatics.  Stainless steel tanks provide a neutral and reductive environment that serves to accentuate the wine’s crisp, zesty qualities and retain its distinctive freshness.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“The warm days followed by cooling afternoon winds from the Monterey Bay enhance the melon and tropical fruit flavors. Fragrant and zesty citrus aromas with a hint of flora notes lead into a medium-bodied palate with lovely flavors of green apple and guava. The lingering bright fruit finish is crisp and refreshing, making our Sauvignon Blanc an ideal apéritif. –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.44
TA: 6.2 g/l
Aging: Stainless Steel tanks
Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

July Wine Club: Cooper’s Blend

Photo by Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBq, Inc.

Grilled Steak Burgers with Port Wine Reduction Spread

Yummy gourmet burger to grill up and enjoy at your July 4th cook out. Well-seasoned, grilled to perfection with a port wine topping, on a toasted Ciabatta bread. Enjoy with a glass of Ranch 32 Coopers Blend.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds ground beef (preferably lean)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce​
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (coarse ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 large Ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (both plain and garlic for drizzling)
  • 8 to 10 large slices of Havarti cheese

INGREDIENTS FOR PORT REDUCTION:

  • 1 1/2 cups port wine
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon beef soup base, plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 3/4 cups mayonnaise

PORT REDUCTION DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather ingredients, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot.
  • Add Shallots and cook on medium-high heat, for 1 to 2 minutes.  Once translucent, pour in the wine.
  • Allow mixture to come to a quick boil, add the beef base, water and stir.
  • Reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir mixture occasionally.
  • Once reduced more than half and mixture has thickened (consistency of syrup) remove from heat and allow reduction to cool.
  • Once cooled, mix 2 tablespoons at a time into mayonnaise until well incorporated. It will take on a lavender hue.
  • Place in air tight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

BURGER DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  • Combine meat with corresponding seasons. Form into four large patties or two smaller ones, depending on the size of the bread. Do not make patties too large, as you run the risk of them breaking on the grill.  Patties should be about 1 inch thick.
  • Place burger patties onto grill and cook for 7-8 minutes per side.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and place onto a large platter or cooking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Cut Ciabatta bread in half, lengthwise.
  • Drizzle with plain olive oil and a touch of garlic olive oil. If you do not have garlic oil, just dust light with garlic powder.
  • Place onto grill cut side down for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once lightly toasted and warmed through, remove from heat and promptly add Havarti slices, burger patties, a generous helping of port wine spread and top halves of Ciabatta.
  • Cut into three pieces each or two if the bread is smaller. Enjoy!
  • © Recipe courtesy of The Spruce Eats Derrick Riches

JULY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCoopers Blend Ranch 32RANCH 32
Cooper’s Blend
Monterey County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Nestled on the west side of Salinas Valley, directly in the path of the region’s relentless afternoon winds lies Ranch 32.  Here, warm sunny days are tempered by evening coastal fogs that often linger until mid-morning the following day.  This ideal climate lengthens the growing season, allowing the fruit to develop complex flavors and intense varietal character. 

The fruit was picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the very early morning hours. The grapes were sorted, destemmed, crushed, and fermented dry in open top fermenters.  The firm cap of skins and seeds that bubbles up and forms on the surface during the red fermentation was gently punched down several times a day.  To add complexity and retain character, each variety was fermented separately, then aged with a mix of American, Hungarian and French oak. During the blending process, just prior to bottling, the proportion of each variety was chosen to accentuate richness of flavor and to maximize depth, complexity, mouthfeel and finish.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“Our Cooper’s Blend is a harmonious blend of six varieties that each contribute unique flavors and characteristics to the final wine.  The Petite Sirah brings very dark, purple-edged color and intense black fruit flavors. The Merlot and Syrah offer bold blueberry and juicy cherry and the Petit Verdot contributes exotic violet aromas and concentrated structure. The Tempranillo adds a subtle spice, while a small amount of White Riesling brings heightened fruit aromatics to the blend. The result is a wine of complexity and structure, with layer upon layer of flavor.  The gentle tannins make this well-balanced wine a natural partner for a wide range of foods .” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 33% Petite Sirah, 28% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 9% Syrah, 7% Tempranillo, 3% White Riesling
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.62
TA: 6.1 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

July Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Marinated Beef Kabobs

Infusing the beef with a marinade will provide flavorful and juicy steak pieces. For extra flavor, baste the kabobs with reserve marinade while grilling.  Try to purchase the beef in a block, making it easier to cut into cubes.  Makes 8 skewers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs beef tri tips, sirloin tips or other steak cut
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 1 large red onion

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp minced garlic (2 large garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or sub with garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

COOKING ITEMS:

  • 8 flat metal skewers
  • olive oil, for drizzling and cooking
  • finely chopped parsley, garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut the beef into 1.3″ wide cubes.
  • Mix Marinade in a bowl. Add beef. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours, minimum 20 minutes.
  • Cut bell peppers and onion into 1.3″ wide squares.
  • Thread beef (reserve Marinade), vegetables and mushrooms on each skewer.  Use two pieces of vegetables between each piece of beef. Thread loosely, don’t smush together tightly (helps even cooking).
  • Brush kebabs lightly with reserved marinade (including vegetables), then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Heat BBQ or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, then when smoking, cook kebabs in batches for 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred (4 sides = 8 minutes in total), basting with reserved marinade as you go.
  • Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  • See link below for more tips and dipping sauces.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 MeritageBold wine Style logoRANCH 32
Vintner’s Reserve Meritage
Monterey, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

On the west side of the Salinas Valley, not far from the town of Greenfield, directly in the path of Monterey’s relentless afternoon winds, lies Ranch 32. Vineyards were originally planted in 1972 by the founder, Al Scheid.  Several decades later, the Ranch 32 Vineyard is still the heart of the business where the winery operations reside. All of the vineyards are certified sustainable and growers are deeply committed to the principals of environmental stewardship.

The grapes for the Ranch 32 Meritage were grown on the southernmost estate vineyards in the San Lucas and Hames Valley AVAs. Although these properties experience some of the cooling effects from the Pacific Ocean, they are sheltered from the strong winds that scour the Salinas Valley each afternoon.  Daytime highs are similar to Paso Robles, but at night, the temperatures can drop as much as 50 degrees.  The combination of hot days and cold nights produce red wines that are deep, rich, concentrated and chewy.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

The fruit was picked in the early morning hours based on ripeness, acidity, pH and flavor.  In the winery, the fruit was sorted, crushed and fermented in small tanks then aged with oak. Gentle handling and minimal intervention throughout the winemaking process ensures that the distinct characteristics of each vineyard’s terroir are preserved.

“This deep, dark wine delivers opulent aromas of blackberries, plums, black cherries, cassis, violets and vanilla. The palate is ripe and powerful with notes of fresh fruit, earth and new oak. The tannins are solid, but seamless.  This Bordeaux blend is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or hearty stews.” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 6.4 g/l
Aging: 12 month on 35% new oak, 15% French, 15% American, 5% Hungarian
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

May Bubbly Club: Iowa

Gönc winery is a family tradition going back to the year 1936 when Peter Gönc’s great grandfather built their first wine cellar and planted the vineyard around it in the small town of Dobrovnik in Slovenia. After World War II his grandfather moved to the city Ptuj the oldest town in Slovenia, located between the wine-growing hills and the River Drava. He started working in the Ptujska Klet – Ptuj wine cellar as a cellar cleaner and worked his way up to head winemaker and CEO of the oldest winery in Slovenia now know as Pullus.

Peter’s father also worked at the same winery but on the side, he also planted 28 acres of vineyards to keep up the family tradition. When Peter came of age they built a new cellar in Ptuj and started Gönc again. Peter is the 4th generation of winemakers and winegrowers in the family.

Fun fact, Gönc is actually a name for a barrel produced in Hungary with 136 liters volume. There are 136 dots on each bottle of their wines with each dot representing 1 Liter.

Canvas Sparkling Rose Wine

Bubbly Wine ClubCanvas Pet Nat Brut Rosé
Sparkling Rosé
Pinot Noir
Slovenia

Slovenia vineyards are located in the center of the European wine-growing belt.  The belt is similar to those in Burgundy and the climate influences and soil allow Slovenia to grow a diversity of 52 vine varieties. Slovenia has three key wine regions, Primorska, Posavje and Podravje. Located in the east, with densely planted vineyards, Podravje produces the majority of the country’s wines. Stajerska Slovenia is a wine-growing district within the Podravje wine region. The grape varietals, wine styles and terroir of Stajerska are similar to the over all wines produced in the Podravje region.  Click to learn more about Slovenia wines >

Appellation: Stajerska, Slovenia
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Analysis: 12.0% alcohol / volume

Canvas Sparkling White Wine

Bubbly Wine ClubCanvas Pet Nat Brut
Sparkling White Wine
Pinot Blanc
Slovenia

This effervescent, refreshing wine offers scents of fresh lemon and minerals, with hints of crisp pear and almonds. On the palate, the bouquet opens to flavors of green grapes, lemon peel and herbs with a slight hint of black pepper on the finish. Cloudy and wild, with big juicy bubbles, it’s a perfect aperitif or complement to seafood and other light fare.

Appellation: Stajerska, Slovenia
Varietal: Pinot Blanc
Analysis: 12.0% alcohol / volume

Vineyard Cottage Jursinci Slovenia.jpg
By Topjur01Traditional vineyard cottage in the Ptuj region, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

May Premium Club: Iowa

ENJOY CLUB:

Mad HatterBold wine Style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Madhatter Red Blend 2016
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout Napa Valley. The 2017 vintage aptly continues that commitment, with vineyards in St. Helena, Calistoga, Rutherford and Oakville.   Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance and a long silky finish.

A deep garnet hue precedes aromas of crushed cherries, black plum, warm cassis, and violets.  The palate is fleshy with suggestions of blackberries, licorice, and Indian spices. Chewy and approachable tannins lead into a long, silky finish.

Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer

Semper Pinot NoirMellow style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Semper Homage 2016
Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Semper was conceived as a love letter to express enduring faithfulness.  Cultivated in a distinct region of the Sonoma Coast appellation, wines produced in this area have a rare and collectible quality that will only increase in value over time.  During the growing season the vineyard experiences bright sunshine during the day but is subject to a cool blanket of fog that hugs the coastline, creating the ideal conditions for that perfectly slow ripening.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir pays homage to some of the great vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Petaluma Gap appellations.  The primary sourcing is Reuling Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, near Forestville.  In addition to having the ideal climate and well-drained soil for making great Pinot Noir, the vineyard is planted with three of the finest Pinot Noir clones, all of which was used in making the 2016 Semper Homage – Lat Tache, DRC and Calera.   The wine is blended with small amounts of two other vineyards – Sunchase Vineyard and Saltonstall Vineyard, both of which are located in the Petaluma Gap at the southern end of the Sonoma Coast appellation.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir showcases powerful fruit with an elegant structure and medium body. Upon entry, this wine expresses aromatics of wild raspberry and strawberry, transitioning into a robust rhubarb and cranberry palate. Aged in French oak barrels for twelve months, the wine shows nuances of baking spices that complement the natural fruit components of the Russian River Valley.  While this wine is drinking beautifully now, it will continue to improve and develop in the bottle over the next five to ten years. 

Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer, Philippe Melka

THE BECKSTOFFER FAMILY

Tuck Beckstoffer

Tuck Beckstoffer

It began on back country roads and among the vines. The Beckstoffer family arrived in the Napa Valley in 1975 and the young son of a future pioneer spent his days in the vineyards throughout every growing season, cultivating deep roots.

Brought up to respect the land and its fruit, Tuck naturally sought out the practice of viticulture, learning from the masters around him. Much like his father before him, he is a farmer first. It was only after he mastered the art of first craft that he turned his attention to a second craft—winemaking. Over three decades after he first set foot in the valley, Tuck bottled his first wine. For him, it was not a whim or passion project, but the culmination of a life lived on the land, among the vines.

Today, Tuck is one of the few Napa stewards who is both a grower and a winemaker. It is this pedigree that makes his approach different: the process begins with the land itself and culminates with a reverence for the winemaking traditions of the past—sharing successes and failures among fellow craftsmen and appreciating the fruits of their labor over a beautiful bottle of wine.

The St. Helena estate opened in 2016, offering intimate tours and private tastings as a way to share this passion—connecting visitors to the land and sharing the knowledge of how the art of grape growing translates into every bottle. Since day one, the Estate was designed to exude a sense of genuine care and generosity of time and spirit.

As the story continues the unfold, Tuck is raising the next generation in the same way that he was raised—as stewards among the vines. He invites you to share in this journey and visit the estate.

“It’s my belief that all great wines are an ode to teamwork. The wine in the glass is the apex of each season’s fruitful collaboration—hands on the vines, boots in the soil, and a team of voices carrying throughout the cellar.” – Tuck Beckstoffer

Learn more about our PREMIUM WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases! Learn more >