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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Wine Club: Langhe Arneis DOC

Risotto with Arneis

Risotto with Arneis

This risotto is made with Arneis, an intense aroma wine that comes from the sunny hills of Langhe. All products of the Langhe bring in their taste and the warmth of the sun between the vineyards and the damp scent of the misty land, dug up by the dogs in search of truffles. Or try Risotto with Shrimp and Fennel, another great Piedmont recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces (350 grams) of rice
  • one medium onion
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of butter
  • white wine, 2 glasses of Arneis
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams), grated Grana cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a sauce pan, melt half the butter, add the finely chopped onion and cook gently without browning it.
  • Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes.
  • Wet everything with a glass of Arneis wine and let it evaporate.
  • Continue cooking by wetting with the broth.
  • When the rice is almost cooked, add the other glass of Arneis and finish cooking.
  • Lie the risotto with the remaining butter, sprinkle with the grated Grana cheese and serve.
  • TIPS: Before serving the rice, taste it, if the bitterness of the wine prevails add a pinch of sugar to eliminate it.  Know that wine used in cooking does not retain the initial alcoholic properties because the alcohol evaporates leaving only the aroma of the drink.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Rosalina, Mondo Del Gusto.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Silvano Rigo ArneisSilky styleAzienda Agricola Silvano Rigo
Langhe Arneis DOC
Piemonte, Italy

SILKY WINE STYLE

The Rigo Wine Estates is a family run winery, managed by Silvano Rigo, his father and an oenologist. Rigo Wine Estates is located in the town of Diano d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe region, where the terroir has the best characteristics to cultivate the renowned Dolcetto wine.  Rigo Wine Estates vinify their own grapes and they are cultivated and produced respecting the CEE environmental protection rules.

Their prestigious vineyards cover approximately 10 hectares and are located in the Sori Piadvenza, at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level. With a mixture of limestone soil and southern exposure, the vineyards yield high quality grapes, along with winemaker Silvano Rigo combining traditional and modern winemaking techniques resulting in quality wines of great value.  Combining the old teachings of the people from Langhe and the innovations of new technologies, the winery uses both stainless steel casks and a dedicated room for aging wines in wooden casks and barriques, with constant humidity and temperature.  

The rolling hills of Langhe-Roero in Piemonte Italy are covered with medieval towns, ancient castles on the hilltops and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, for its distinctive landscape and winemaking traditions that go back hundreds of years. Learn more about the wine region >

Winemaker Silvano Rigo“Aged in stainless steel tanks, unoaked to preserve freshness. Straw-yellow in color, with greenish hues. Floral bouquet, with apple and mineral scents. Taste of white fruits, white flower, apple, pear and mineral notes. Classic wine of Piemonte.  Very good as an aperitif. Pairs well with fish, rice dishes and vegetable dishes, salads and appetizers. Or pair with classic Piemonte recipe of Risotto Arneis, a perfect match.” –  Winemaker Silvano Rigo.

Winemaker:  Silvano Rigo
Appellation: Diano d’Alba, Italy
Varietal: 100% Arnes
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Harvest: Early September
Aging: Stainless steel, no oak to preserve freshness
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wines of Rigo Vini

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May Wine Club: Dolcetto DOC

Mushroom RisottoRisotto with Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 pounds mushrooms thinly sliced (you choose more or less)
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • 2 Shallots minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice – must use Arborio rice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese freshly grated

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth to simmer.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove mushrooms from the pan and set them aside.
  • In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the shallots for 1-2 minutes and then add in the Arborio rice. Toast the rice in the olive oil for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden or shiny.
  • Add a ladle full of chicken broth (it should still be simmering) to the rice, stirring constantly.
  • Once the rice absorbs all of the liquid, reduce the heat to medium and continue adding stock (1 ladle at a time) until it absorbs. Then add another ladle and repeat as it absorbs.
  • After about 20 minutes, the rice should be cooked. Taste it to make sure you like how cooked it is.
  • Once you are happy with the texture of the rice, stir in the mushrooms, butter, and the cheese (to taste).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • TIP: Make extra chicken stock, just in case you need to add it to the rice if it is not cooked enough. You can refrigerate the extra stock too.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Silvano Rigo.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Dolcetto DOCGMellow style logoAzienda Agricola Silvano Rigo
Dolcetto Di Diano d’Alba DOCG
Piemonte, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Rigo Wine Estates is a family run winery, managed by Silvano Rigo, his father and an oenologist. Rigo Wine Estates is located in the town of Diano d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe region, where the terroir has the best characteristics to cultivate the renowned Dolcetto wine.  Rigo Wine Estates vinify their own grapes and they are cultivated and produced respecting the CEE environmental protection rules.

Their prestigious vineyards cover approximately 10 hectares and are located in the Sori Piadvenza, at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level. With a mixture of limestone soil and southern exposure, the vineyards yield high quality grapes, along with winemaker Silvano Rigo combining traditional and modern winemaking techniques resulting in quality wines of great value.  Combining the old teachings of the people from Langhe and the innovations of new technologies, the winery uses both stainless steel casks and a dedicated room for aging wines in wooden casks and barriques, with constant humidity and temperature.  

The rolling hills of Langhe-Roero in Piemonte Italy are covered with medieval towns, ancient castles on the hilltops and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, for its distinctive landscape and winemaking traditions that go back hundreds of years. Learn more about the wine region >

Winemaker Silvano Rigo“Aged in stainless steel tanks, unoaked to preserve freshness. Ruby red color with purple shades. Bouquet of cherry, rose, herbs, with a classic Dolcetto nose.  Taste of bright fruit, herbs, showing Diano d’Alba terroir of cherry, spice and classic bitter almond. Diano d’Alba is one of the best growing areas for Dolcetto and is recognized as DOCG area of production for Dolcetto. Perfect with soups, salads, charcuterie, pasta, chicken and cheeses.” –  Winemaker Silvano Rigo.

Winemaker:  Silvano Rigo
Appellation: Diano d’Alba, Piemonte, Italy
Varietal: 100% Dolcetto
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Harvest: Early September
Aging: Stainless steel, no oak to preserve freshness
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Wines of Rigo Vini

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May Wine Club: Piemonte Barbera

Milan Pork ChopsMilan Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices old bread
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flower
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • olive oil
  • lemon wedges for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pound pork chops thin, until about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Season the chops on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Use a food processor to pulse the bread into fine crumbs.
  • Pour the crumbs onto a large plate, or bowl. Season flour with salt and pepper.
  • Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
  • Dredge the chops through the flour, then dip into the egg, and then in the bread crumbs. Push the crumbs into the chops to help them stick.
  • Place on a rack to rest for 10 minutes.
  • In a large skillet, or frying pan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil until hot.  Add the chops and cook, turning once, until browned and crisp on the outside, but moist on the inside, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Serve with a nice, fresh arugula salad with a vinaigrette. © Recipe courtesy of Silvano Rigo.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Silvano Rigo BarberaAzienda Agricola Silvano Rigo
Barbera d’Alba DOC
Piemonte, Italy

Mellow style logoMELLOW WINE STYLE

The Rigo Wine Estates is a family run winery, managed by Silvano Rigo, his father and an oenologist. Rigo Wine Estates is located in the town of Diano d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe region, where the terroir has the best characteristics to cultivate the renowned Dolcetto wine.  Rigo Wine Estates vinify their own grapes and they are cultivated and produced respecting the CEE environmental protection rules.

Their prestigious vineyards cover approximately 10 hectares and are located in the Sori Piadvenza, at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level. With a mixture of limestone soil and southern exposure, the vineyards yield high quality grapes, along with winemaker Silvano Rigo combining traditional and modern winemaking techniques resulting in quality wines of great value.  Combining the old teachings of the people from Langhe and the innovations of new technologies, the winery uses both stainless steel casks and a dedicated room for aging wines in wooden casks and barriques, with constant humidity and temperature.  

The rolling hills of Langhe-Roero in Piemonte Italy are covered with medieval towns, ancient castles on the hilltops and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014, for its distinctive landscape and winemaking traditions that go back hundreds of years. Learn more about the wine region >

Winemaker Silvano Rigo“Intense ruby red color when young, but tending to become garnet-red with aging. Fruit notes of black cherry with hints of licorice. Round and juicy taste, resulting from naturally low tannins.  Red cherry mingled with black cherry. A hint of spice. Good structure and freshness. Uncork ahead of time, before serving. Ideal with most savory dishes from the Piedmontese cuisine, especially Tajarin, ravioli al ‘plin’, red meats, strong cheeses and game.” –  Winemaker Silvano Rigo.

Winemaker and cellar of Rigo ViniWinemaker:  Silvano Rigo
Appellation: Diano d’Alba, Italy
Varietal: 100% Barbera
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Harvest: Late September / Early October
Aging: Stainless steel, no oak to preserve freshness
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!

 

Maison L’Envoyé Pinot Noir

Salisbury Steak with GravySalisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

STEAK INGREDIENTS:
• ½ onion (white, brown or yellow)
• ½ cup panko bread crumbs (or 1/3 cup ordinary bread crumbs)
• 1 lb ground beef (mince)
• 1 garlic clove , minced
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp ketchup
• 1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
• ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tsp Dijon mustard or 2 tsp dry mustard powder

GRAVY INGREDIENTS:
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves , minced
• ½ onion , finely chopped
• 5 oz mushrooms , sliced
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 3 tbsp flour (all purpose / plain)
• 2 cups beef broth / stock
• 1 cup water
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper

STEAK DIRECTIONS:
• Place bread crumbs in a bowl. Use a box grater and grate the onion over the bread crumbs. Mix with fingers, leave to soak for a few minutes.
• Add remaining steak ingredients into the large bowl. Use your hands to mix until just combined – don’t over mix.
• Divide into 5 and pat into oval patties around ¾ inch thick.

DIRECTIONS:
• Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook the first side for 1 minute or until browned, then flip and brown the other side (they will still be raw inside). Remove onto plate.
• If skillet is looking dry, add a touch more oil. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until onions are a bit translucent.
• Add the mushrooms into the skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until golden.
• Turn heat down to medium. Add butter. Once melted, add flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
• Gradually add in beef broth, stirring as you go. Once mostly lump free, whisk in remaining gravy ingredients. Add steaks along with the juices on the plate. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until gravy is thickened, stirring occasionally around the steaks. If the gravy thickens too quickly, add more water.
• Remove steaks onto a plate. Taste gravy, salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaks topped with the mushroom gravy, over mashed potato is ideal. Sprinkle with a bit of parsley if desired.
© Recipe courtesy Recipe courtesy of RecipeTinEats.com

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Maison L'Envoye Pinot NoirMaison L’Envoyé
The Attaché
Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Mellow style logoMELLOW WINE STYLE

Driven by a tireless hunt for elusive sites where Pinot Noir shines, Maison L’Envoyé (House of the Messenger) traverses the globe with the intention of presenting the acme of regionality and winemaking styles. They champion many unsung growers who have farmed their vineyards for decades and generations, some mere feet away from more illustriously cited neighbors. This project has been a standout since it debuted in 2011, named a ‘Winery to Watch’ by Wine & Spirits in 2015. The Attaché is a barrel selection culled from both alluvial and volcanic vineyard sites. An indigenous whole berry fermentation took place employing a gentle infusion technique to extract color and depth without excessive phenolics. The wine then matured for 12 months in French oak barriques, 35% of which were new.

Felipe Ramirez“Vibrant aromas of wild berries, dried flowers and sage with touches of spice and woodsmoke. The palate fills the mouth with fleshy red fruits, cherry cola and earthy layers. Gentle tannins provide a structured yet soft frame to the fruit which is kept in line by a satisfying minerality. The wine finishes long with clarity and focus.” – Felipe Ramirez, Winemaker

Winemaker: Felipe Ramirez
Appellation: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.6% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: 92 pts Vinous, 90+pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate

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!