March Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines

J Lohr Women
J. Lohr Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

March is National Women’s History Month, what better time to celebrate the remarkable achievements of J. Lohr female team members with a special wine tasting event!

Daughter of wine industry pioneer Jerry Lohr, Cynthia Lohr spent much of her youth in the vineyards and at the wineries.  As an adult, she chose her own path working with a who’s who of leading internet and technology companies.  In 2002, Cynthia joined the family business. Today, she’s co-owner and the winery’s Chief Brand Officer.

Winemaker Kirsten Barnshisel, brings 20 years of viticulture and enology experience spanning three continents to her role as winemaker for J. Lohr’s white wines.  Kristen followed her family’s deep winemaking roots and is known for her gifted palate and technical skills. She presides over J. Lohr’s winery in Monterey County.

Please join us for the J. Lohr Winery Spotlight tasting experience. Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or reserve tickets on Eventbrite.com

J. Lohr: American Winery of the Year

“J. Lohr has been a continual force in the California wine industry for nearly four decades, passionately championing the Central Coast winegrowing regions of Paso Roble and Monterey County, and offering great leadership within the wine industry. In addition, the people at J. Lohr have dedicated themselves to producing high-quality wines, while making significant contributions in the areas of sustainability, education and social responsibility. We are thrilled to acknowledge them as our 2010 American Winery of the Year.” – Wine Enthusiast

J Lohr Family Members

 

Legendary Winegrower, Jerry Lohr

J. Lohr Wine LegendIn the early 1970s, Jerry Lohr first planted grapes in Monterey’s Arroyo Seco district.  In the 1980s, he saw potential for great Cabernet Sauvignon in the Paso Robles region and began vineyards there.  For more than four decades, Jerry Lohr has been synonymous with pioneering innovation on the Central Coast.  Let’s celebrate Jerry’s 80th birthday with a remarkable tasting event featuring his amazing wines.  Learn more.

Join us for a tasting experience, featuring J. Lohr wines: Flume Crossing, Wildflower, Pure Paso, October Night, Hilltop, Tower Road, Fog’s Reach and Carol’s Cabernet.  Please RSVP to save your seat at your local participating WineStyles location.

Carol's Vineyard

Taste, Learn and Enjoy® with us! 

Winery Spotlight Tasting Event:

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Monterey / Paso Robles / Napa Valley
California

RSVP for at your local WineStyles location

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

February Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

Hess logo

The Hess Collection

Please join us for the Hess Winery Spotlight tasting experience, featuring wines from their Mount Veeder, Allomi and Napa Valley collections. Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or reserve tickets on Eventbrite.com

THE HESS STORY

Since 1844, the Hess family’s unparalleled passion and pioneering spirit has spanned across five generations, leading up to Donald Hess. Donald Hess became interested in mountain winegrowing during a trip to the Napa Valley in the mid-1970’s.  He discovered that Mount Veeder’s vineyards had the ideal combination of soils and microclimates to produce grapes of distinctive character and flavor.  Thus, began The Hess Collection’s love for unique mountain and valley fruit expressed through artfully crafted wines. Learn more about their story.

Hess wines

Nurture the Land and Return What You Take

Hess embraces this philosophy.  The wines cultivated at The Hess Collection follow the dictates of the Napa Green certified land and winery programs, as well as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.  The Hess Collection has been at the forefront of the green movement for many years and actively participates in several programs that are shaping the future of the wine industry.  Learn more.

Hess Family

The Next Generation

As fifth generation Hess family, Tim and Sabrina consider themselves stewards of the land and the brand. They continue Donald’s legacy carrying on the tradition and his commitments to craft world-renowned wines from the Napa Valley while introducing wines that speak to the vision of their future. Together, they continue to advance the Hess Collection as one of the premiere family-owned and family-led companies in Napa Valley. They are hopeful that someday their children too will carry on the Hess Family heritage. 

Hess wines

Taste, Learn and Enjoy® with us! 

Winery Spotlight Tasting Event:

The Hess Collection

RSVP for at your local WineStyles location

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

February Wine Club pairing recipe

moroccan chicken tagineJacqueline’s Moroccan Chicken

Inspired by North African tagines.
INGREDIENTS:

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
• 1 large thinly sliced yellow onion
• 3 medium carrots, sliced, 3 inch spears
• 1  tablespoon  fresh ginger, peeled and minced
• 1  teaspoon  cumin
• ¼  teaspoon  salt
• ¼  teaspoon  coriander
• ¼  teaspoon  cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon  fresh ground black pepper
• 4  garlic cloves, minced
• 1 ¼ cups  chicken broth
• 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 7 ounces dried apricots, halved

DIRECTIONS:Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken to pan, browning on all sides (about 5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add onion to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger, cumin, salt, coriander, cinnamon, pepper and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in broth, scraping pan to deglaze. Return chicken to pan and simmer covered 1 hour or until tender.

Remove chicken using a slotted spoon; cool slightly then cut into bite-sized pieces and return to pan. Add chickpeas and apricots, then cover and simmer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with preserved lemon slices and serve over couscous or rice. Serves 6.

PRESERVED LEMONS:
• 2 wide-mouth pint jam jars
• 10  lemons
• Coarse sea salt

Sterilize jam jars in your dishwasher set on hot. Wash and dry lemons and sterilized jars.  Cut 6 lemons lengthwise into quarters without cutting through the bottom.  Remove seeds. Pour coarse sea salt into the cut lemons, making sure all the sides/quarters are coated. Place 2-3 lemons in each jar, or as many will fit. Squeeze juice from remaining lemons to jars, covering fruit. Close lids tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Rinse lemons before using. Recipe courtesy of Cline Cellars.

Cline_SingleVineyard_LosCarneros_Estate_SyrahBold_stickerCline Family Cellars
Estate Grown
Syrah Single Vineyard
Los Carneros, CA

A family-owned vineyard and winery in the beautiful Carneros regions of Sonoma County, California, Cline Cellars is situated on a historic 350-acre estate with sustainable farming.  Los Carneros is their finest Syrah offering. Grapes come from their 18-acre hillside estate vineyard in Sonoma’s Carneros district. Fog and afternoon winds from the nearby Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay cool the growing region, allowing the grapes to develop intense flavors. Grapes were handpicked and destemmed without being crushed. Enjoy this wine with big, spicy foods with plenty of zip, such as Blackened Ahi. 

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“This is our flavor-intense Syrah and is one of the most concentrated wines that we make at Cline Cellars.  The combination of tannin, acid, fruit and great mouth feel come together to created a big, well balanced wine” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Los Carneros, California
Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Zinfandel Wine Cupcakes

zinfandel-wine-cupcakesINGREDIENTS:
• 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ devil’s food cake mix
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
FROSTING:
•  6 cups powdered sugar
•  1/3 cup butter, softened
•  1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
•  1/8 teaspoon salt
•  ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
GARNISH:
• Chocolate curls and/or Valentine candies

DIRECTIONS:Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, water,  ¼ cup wine, oil and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).
Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, cocoa and salt with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in ¼ cup wine. If frosting is too thick, beat in more wine a few drops at a time. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with chocolate curls and /or Valentine candies.
24 servings. Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker.

Cline_Sonoma_ZinfandelBold_stickerCline Family Cellars
Zinfandel
Sonoma County, CA

Occupying 50 acres in the heart of Sonoma Valley, the Indian Springs Vineyard produces the grapes for Cline Cellars Sonoma Zinfandel. The vineyard sits on the west side of the Valley of the Moon, near Kenwood, California, and the vines are currently being converted from trellis to head-training and are lightly irrigated. This region of central Sonoma County is known for its rich, loamy soil, and the resulting fruit has big berry flavors and firm tannins. Individual lots of fruit for this Zinfandel were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. This wine pairs well with pork shoulder, roasted root vegetables, or red curry chicken.

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“This Sonoma Zinfandel shows concentrated spicy strawberry, firm tannin structure and a balanced acidity. It has a mouth coating richness and depth and a subtle vanilla quality that compliments the dark fruit flavors.” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma County, CA
Varietal Blend:  100% Zinfandel
Analysis:
16.0% alcohol / volume, 3.85 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Mediterranean Lamb Sliders

lamb-slidersRAITA SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
•  1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt, plain
• 3 Tbs chopped fresh mint
• 2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 1-2 tsp lime juice
• 1 ½ tsp finely grated lime peel
• Coarse kosher salt

BURGER & VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS:
• 4 Tbs olive oil, divided
• 1 ½ cups chopped onion
• 2 Tbs minced peeled fresh ginger
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp coarse kosher salt, divided
• 2 tsp Madras curry powder
• 1 ¾ pounds ground lamb
• 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 ¼ tsp cracked black pepper, divided
• 3 medium zucchini (about 12 oz), cut lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices
• 6 green onions, trimmed
• 1 fresh poblano chili, quartered, seeded
• 13-15 slider buns, or 6-8 hamburger buns or pita
• 1 large tomato, thinly sliced

RAITA DIRECTIONS: Mix yogurt, mint, cilantro, and lime peel in small bowl. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Cover; chill until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
BURGER DIRECTIONS: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and ¼ teaspoons coarse salt. Sauté until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in curry powder and stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat Cool onion mixture to room temperature, at least 15 minutes.
Place lamb in large bowl. Add onion mixture, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper. Blend mixture gently; shape into six ¼-inch-thick patties.
VEGETABLES: Combine zucchini, green onions, and chili in another large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper; toss to coat.
PREPARE BARBECUE (medium-high heat): Place vegetables and burgers on grill. Cook until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes, then turn. Cook vegetables until tender, about 3 minutes. Cook burgers to desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Cut zucchini and green onions crosswise into 2-inch-long pieces. Cut chili into thin strips.  Toast buns if desired. Top with burger, tomato slices, vegetable mixture and a dollop of raita. Serve with remaining raita.  Recipe courtesy of Cline Cellars.

Cline_Sonoma_ViognierSilky_StickerCline Family Cellars
Estate Grown Viognier
Sonoma Coast, California

These grapes were grown in four of Cline’s vineyards, in the Sonoma Coast appellation, which has a world renowned reputation for producing excellent fruit. The soil is mineral-rich and needs very little irrigation. The vines are bathed in early morning fog and warmed by afternoon sun.  Viognier grapes are late to ripen and picking them at the right time is very important. Grapes were hand picked and de-stemmed without being crushed and immediately pumped to the tank press where the juice was gently removed. Fermentation at a cool 50°F in stainless steel tanks and neutral barrels allowed Viognier’s flavorful fruit characters to shine through. Serve this wine slightly chilled, and enjoy with salmon, shrimp fettuccine, or cayenne chicken salad.  

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“Cline’s Viognier offers distinctive aromas of pears, apricots, orange blossoms and honeysuckle with a fresh, bright demeanor” , winemaker Charlie Tsegeleltos.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal Blend:  99% Viognier, 1% Riesling
Analysis:
14.0% alcohol / volume, 3.42 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc pairing recipe

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

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

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

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


mahiWood Fired Mahi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine pairing recipe for June Wine club

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

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

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

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


Roasted Chicken Breast

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

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

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

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

Imagine Bonny Doon Vineyard wine pairing

BonnyDoon_Imagine_bottleFruityImagine
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache Mourvedre
Central Coast, California

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

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

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


Seared Scallops with Corn, Sun Golds, Arugla & Basil

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

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

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

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

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

Wine pairing recipe for May Wine club

picpoulcrispPicpoul
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Arroyo Seco, California

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

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

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


Grilled Sardines with Frisee & Whole-grain Mustard Dressing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May Wine Club pairing recipe

BOURGUIGNONBourguignon

INGREDIENTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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