Maison Louis Latour Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées

Rack of LambGarlic-Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of garlic (cloves peeled)
  • ¼ cup rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 racks of lamb, frenched (2 pounds each)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary and olive oil and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Season the lamb racks with salt and pepper and rub the garlic-rosemary oil all over them. Set the racks fat side up on a large rimmed baking sheet and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roast the lamb in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the racks and roast for 10 minutes longer for medium-rare meat. Transfer the racks to a carving board, stand them upright and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Carve the racks in between the rib bones and transfer to plates. Serve right away.

© Recipe courtesy of Kenny Rochford from Food & Wine.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

pinot noir les pierres dorees
Louis Latour
Pinot Noir Les Pierres Dorées
Burgundy, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Les Pierres Dorées Pinot Noir has an intense, bright red color with red-garnet hues. On the nose, there are notes of flowers, red berries and soft spices. On the palate, it is round and full-bodied. It has a great deal of freshness with long under notes of black fruits.

Varietal: Pinot Noir
Analysis:
13-13.2% alcohol / volume
Region: Beaujolais, France
Village: Les Pierres Dorées
Appellation: Burgundy
Average Vine Age:
7 years
Soil: Clay and limestone with Iron-oxide
Harvest: Mechanical
Fermentation: Traditional in open vats
Aging: 10 to 12 months aging in stainless steel vats and oak barrels
Barrels: Louis Latour cooperage, French oak, medium toasted
Cellaring Potential: 5-7 years
Serving Temperature: 57.2-60.8ºF
Food Pairing: Rack of lamb, quail with grapes, red tuna tartare, sea bass, goat cheese, red fruit soup
Critical Acclaim:
James Suckling 2018, 89 pts

WINERY NOTES:
Maison Louis Latour once again exports its Burgundian know-how outside of the Côte d’Or. After the great successes of Ardèche and Var, they decided to repeat the experience in the heart of Beaujolais with the planting of 20 hectares of Pinot Noir. The calcareous soil rich in iron oxide gives a very particular ochre color, and the high altitude contribute to produce a surprising wine which associates richness and freshness with a beautiful aromatic complexity. This region offers beautiful argilo-calcareous soils, the plots selected by Maison Louis Latour form two islands and are situated on the villages of Morancé and Theizé. With a continental moderate climate, vineyards benefit from an ideal period of sunshine but the temperatures are relatively fresh due to an elevation between 280 and 400 meters.

ABOUT MAISON LOUIS LATOUR:
Founded in 1797, Maison Louis Latour has been apart of Burgundian history for more than two centuries. Authentic and independent, the winery is now run by the 11th generation of the founding family. The family is determined to preserve the winery’s unique heritage. Today, the Latour’s family Domaine spreads over 50 hectares of exceptional vineyards. Learn more about their history here.

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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Skillet Cranberry Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Rub the chicken with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 minutes more. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter, the potatoes, carrots, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, deglazing the pan and scraping up any browned bits off the bottom. Simmer the wine for 5 minutes or until reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and nestle the chicken into the potatoes. Add the lemon juice.
  • In a small bowl, toss together the cranberries, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle the cranberries over the chicken. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Plate the chicken and potatoes and drizzle with the sauce left in the pan. EAT!

© Recipe courtesy of Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

fleurie chateau des dorees wine bottleHenry Fessy
Fleurie Château des Labourons

Burgundy, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color with light hints of purple, the nose has intense flavors of blackberry and blackcurrant. On the palate, the Fleurie “Château des Labourons” is concentrated, with supple and silky tannins. It has a beautiful finish with slightly peppery and violet notes.
 
Château des Labourons dominates the beautiful hillsides of the Fleurie appellation. It is located three kilometers further up the hill from the hamlet of Les Labourons. The combination of the altitude, slope, exposure and quality of the soil have created a promising terroir in the heart of the Fleurie Cru. Château des Labourons’ current architecture dates from the 19th century. It was rebuilt from ashes after a devastating fire, but still retains some of its original architectural character. This Château has a long history, over five generations of the “de Lescure” family, and it was already producing wine by the 18th century.
 
Varietal: 100% Gamay
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Appellation: Beaujolais, France
Soil Composition: Igneous rock – mainly pale pink granite that breaks down into coarse “blockfields”
Harvest: Manual
Average Vine Age: 40 Years
Pruning: Gobelet
Density of Vines: 10,000 vines/ha
Critical Acclaim: 
  • James Suckling – February 2017 – 92 pts
  • Wine Spectator – July 2017 – 88 pts
  • Wine Enthusiast – May 2017 – 88 pts
  • Jancis Robinson – UK – January 2017 – 16.5 pts
  • Guide Bettane & Desseauve – Septembre 2016 – 14 pts
  • Concours Général Agricole – Février 2016 – Médaille d’Or
Suggested Food Pairings: Roasted chicken, grilled meats and cheese
Serving Temperature:
57.2-59°F
Winemaking: The château selects the best grapes, then carries out non-carbonic vinification in open vats. Afterwards, the grapes go through pneumatic pressing and fermentation, the wine is matured in old oak tuns before bottling.
 
ABOUT HENRY FESSY:
The Fessy Family has been based in the heart of the Brouilly appellation since 1888. They have purchased parcels of vineyards in most of the Crus and Beaujolais-Villages over the years, creating an enviable domaine of nearly 70 hectares of vineyards. Their philosophy is to work with sensitivity and intelligence to produce highly characterful wines with little to no intervention. Learn more about the winery here.
 

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Maison Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Premier Cru Vaillons

GougèresGougères

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces (1½ cups) grated Comté cheese or Gruyère
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring butter, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir to combine.
  2. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan and dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and let dough cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between additions. Mix in cheese and pepper.
  3. Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½” round tip (alternatively, use a plastic bag with a ½” opening cut diagonally from 1 corner). Pipe 1” rounds about 2” apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl; brush rounds with egg wash.
  4. Bake gougères until puffed and golden and dry in the center (they should sound hollow when tapped), 20–25 minutes.
  5. NOTE: Dough can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Gougères can be baked 2 hours ahead; reheat before serving.

© Recipe courtesy of Mimi Thorisson of Bon Appétit.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

chablis premier cru vaillonsMaison Simonnet-Febvre
Chablis Premier Cru “Vaillons”
Burgundy, France

SILKY WINE STYLE

The Chablis Premier Cru “Vaillons” has notes of citrus and white flowers. The mouth is long and complex with a pronounced, lingering mineral finish.

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Analysis:
13% alcohol / volume

Appellation: Premier Cru
Soil: Kimmeridgian marl & limestone
Vinification: Stainless steel tanks between 62.6-69.8°F
Aging: 12 months in stainless steel, on lees; then 4-5 years
Average Age of the Vines: 35 years
Yield: 58 hl/ha
Serving Temperature: 50-53.6°F

ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
This vineyard is situated on the left bank of the Serein river, and has an ideal southwesterly aspect. The soils of the left bank are less clay-like than those of the right bank. This wine is one of the most highly-rated left-bank Chablis from Maison Simonnet-Febvre.

ABOUT MAISON SIMONNET-FEBVRE:
Founded in 1840, Maison Simonnet-Febvre has become one of the oldest traditional Chablis wineries in the area. Originally named Febvre-Forgeot, after founder, Jean Febvre, married the daughter of a broker named Forgeot. In 1894, after the death of Jean Febvre, his daughter Melanie took over the company with her husband, Amedee Simonnet, and so, the company changed to benefit the person who would take the reins. Over the years, the winery continued to grow as it has been passed down from generation to generation. Learn more about their family winery here.

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December Beer Club: Iowa

BeerClubLogoSparkling REDSparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Red
United States

A juicy Pinot Noir hard seltzer with sour cherries and a squeeze of lemon.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Pinot Noir Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling WHITESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling White
United States

A crisp combination of floral sauvignon blanc & tropical passion fruit with a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Sauvignon Blanc Grape Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 


Sparkling ROSESparkling Stillwater
Sparkling Rose Rosé
United States

A fruity-floral blend of rose hip, hibiscus, & schisandra berries (the five-flavored-fruit), and a squeeze of lime.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Rosé Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling CITRUS HAZESparkling Stillwater
Citrus Haze
United States

Fresh tangerine & grapefruit, fermented dry & lightly dry-hopped with citra and mosaic hops. This hard seltzer is a premium sparkling beer alternative.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling ELECTRIC YUZUSparkling Stillwater
Electric Yuzu
United States

Yuzu, lemon, and lime gently dosed with sansho + sichuan peppercorns. This hard seltzer offers a tingling experience like no other.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume


Sparkling RITUAL PINEAPPLESparkling Stillwater
Ritual Pineapple
United States

Fresh juicy pineapple & herbal sage tea, with a touch of galaxy hops.

BeerStyles: Fruity & Spicy
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 4.5% alcohol / volume

 

ABOUT THE BREWERY:

Stillwater Sparkling is a subsidiary of Stillwater Artisanal. Stillwater Artisanal is the nomadic ‘gypsy’ brewing venture headed by Baltimore native, Brian “Stillwater” Strumke. A former internationally renowned techno DJ and producer who rather quickly made his mark in the home-brewing community for his often odd concoctions and unconventional brewing methods. Competitions often yielded wins in the more esoteric categories and his intricate use of herbs, spices, wild yeasts, and anything else he could get his hands on often came to judges with both intrigue and enjoyment. In 2010, after about 5 years of backyard brewing, Brian has taken Stillwater Artisanal Ales to the public. Traveling the world to collaborate with various breweries hand-crafting small-batch, authentic ales.

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December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

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December Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubKiona Red Mountain Ice WineKiona Vineyards
Chenin Blanc Ice Wine
Red Mountain AVA
Washington

NECTAR WINE STYLE

While the Red Mountain AVA is known for big, powerful red wine, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate Vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, ensuring a consistent freeze year-in, year-out. We don’t pick Ice Wine until the grapes are naturally frozen in the vineyard, typically picking in the early morning hours before the sun rises.

Ice Wine is one of the world’s most elusive and delicious elixirs. Kiona prefers to use Chenin Blanc, a varietal that allows for robust acidity and intense green and tropical fruit flavors. Kiona’s philosophy with this wine is to emphasize acidity over outright sweetness, a tactic that ensures a balanced, crisp wine that dances on the tongue.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Ideal with fruit desserts, including pastries and tarts.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with an herbal cheese, such as a gorgonzola. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Analysis:
9% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.26
TA:
8.63 g/L
Residual Sugars: 175 g/L
Vineyard Source: 100% Kiona Estate, Red Mountain, Washington
Vineyard Blocks Planted: 1976, 1983
Varietal Composition: 100% Chenin Blanc
Winemaking: 100% Stainless, 31.3º Brix @ Harvest

PRODUCTION: Heat accumulation tracked slightly behind the previous vintage on Red Mountain. Bloom occurred slightly ahead of historical averages, and during ideal weather conditions. Crop loads were heavy going into the summer, resulting in the need to perform additional thinning. Weather during harvest (September-October) was ideal. It’s a stellar high acid and high sugar vintage.

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting

Photo by John Vitale of Washington Tasting Room Magazine


ABOUT THE VINEYARD:
While Red Mountain is known for big, powerful red wines, it’s also an exceedingly good place to grow white varietals. The Kiona Estate vineyard has four acres of Chenin Blanc planted in a depression, increasing the likelihood that we are able to produce Ice Wine. They don’t pick the grapes until they are naturally frozen in the vineyard, a process that concentrates the sugar and flavor to unprecedented levels.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
In 1975 John Williams and Jim Holmes’ families planted the first vineyard on Red Mountain, an area now known for producing some of the world’s most powerful, opulent wines of distinction. For three generations their families have worked side by side, hand in hand to craft exciting, vineyard-driven wines that capture the essence of Red Mountain. Learn more about Kiona Vineyards here.

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Sweet Club

Skylark Red Belly

Down Home Dig-in Chili

© Bewitching Kitchen

© Bewitching Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, chopped
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt), chopped
  • 4 cans (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle pale ale (12 ounce)
  • 7 Tbsp chili powder
  • 4 jalapeno chilies, seeded
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce (Tabasco type), to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove vegetables using slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Increase heat to high. Add beef and pork; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Return vegetables to pot. Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder chilies, cayenne and cumin. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 2 hours, adding reserved tomato liquid if chili appears dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Uncover and simmer until thickened and meat is tender, 2 more hours.
  • Season chili with hot pepper sauce. Serve with green onions, cheddar cheese, avocado and sour cream.
  • © Photo courtesy of Bewitching Kitchen; Recipe from Bon Appétit, 1988

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoSkylark Red BellySkylark Wine Company
Red Belly

North Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Purple in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, plum, black licorice and a violet floral top note completes the engaging and complex nose. The red and black fruits on the palate turn creamy, silky and supple; as the medium-bodied palate is polished with lovely fruit viscosity buffered by inner mouth perfume. This is an eminently drinkable vintage for Red Belly, enjoyable now and for the next decade.

Red Belly is Skylark’s ode to the South of France where blending varietals to create a unique synergy is the way of life. Blending compatible varietals together is a centuries old tradition, and the Skylark team loves the challenges and complexities that come with that tradition. The Red belly is comprised of 40% Niemi Vineyard Carignane, 36% Ashurst Vineyard Syrah and 24% Sawyer Vineyard Grenache. Each varietal is fermented separately, then after secondary fermentation in barrel, the cepage is finalized after multiple blending sessions. The goal for Red Belly is juicy fruit, integrated tannins and early accessibility with mid-term aging potential. Skylark has definitely have achieved that here.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Varietal: 40% Carignan, 36% Syrah, 24% Grenache
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.61
TA: 6.2
Aging: Native yeast vinification of individual varietals in neutral French oak

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyards: Niemi Vineyard – Ashurst Vineyard – Sawyer Vineyard
Produced: 37 barrels – 925 cases

“While we continuously explore the fertile California landscape for red wine vineyards that excite us, our current releases are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Our single vineyard Syrahs are inspired by the Northern Rhone wines of Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Our Grenache is reflective of the great wines produced in the south of France in tiny villages such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We love the style of these wines and have discovered vineyards in Northern California that allow these varietals to truly shine.”

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Skylark Pinot Blanc

Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Scallops

Creamy Lemon Scallop Pasta

© Spices in my DNA

INGREDIENTS:

For the scallops

  • 1 pound jumbo scallops, side muscle removed
  • small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

For the pasta

  • 9 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the scallops

  1. Make sure scallops are super dry, pat down thoroughly with paper towels until they’re dry. Season with pepper (no salt yet). Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Once melted, wipe out the pan so that only a thin layer of oil and butter remain. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and sear on the other side for 1 minute or until just cooked through. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water generously. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to scoop out the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, or right before you drain it.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly. If it seems too hot, reduce the heat to medium (you don’t want the garlic to brown). Add the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup), mascarpone, ricotta, parmesan, and lemon zest, and stir until melted and creamy. Add the pasta and toss until coated. If the sauce seems too dry, add another splash of pasta water and toss until desired consistency is reached. Add the chopped basil and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops over the pasta, and garnish with extra fresh basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

© Recipe from Spices in my DNA

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSkylark Wine Company
Pinot Blanc
Mendocino County, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

Light straw yellow in color. High-toned aromatics of lime peel, roasted lemon, Granny Smith apple and a complicating note of pebbled soil. Intense and penetrating on the palate, the flavors follow through with the roasted lemon and green apple enlivened by natural acidity. Deftly light and concentrated at the same time, with the crunchy fruit streaming into a palate-staining finish.

One of Skylark’s oldest vineyard sources is Bernie Orsi’s Pinot Blanc outside of Hopland in Mendocino, California. Originally planted by John Fetzer in the 1970s, John and Robert walked through the oldest block of this site in 2005. Impressed by the thick, stubby trunks and gnarled old vines, they signed on to purchase that section for harvest 2005.  They have now grown production to almost the entire vineyard for Skylark’s Pinot Blanc bottling. After picking, the fruit is whole cluster pressed into a tank, then racked to Mueller stainless steel barrels for fermentation. Stirred the lees once, blocked malolactic fermentation and bottled with a light filtration. No doubt, this vintage of Pinot Blanc will brighten your day.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Analysis: 13.2% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.28 g/L
TA: 7.1
Aging:
Whole cluster pressed and vinification in multiple stainless steel 75gl barrels

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyard: Orsi Vineyard
Cases Produced: 800

“To reflect our palates, the portfolio at Skylark includes crisp, flavorful, aromatic white wines and full-bodied, rich, spicy red wines. As we have long admired the beautiful white wines produced in Alsace and Austria, our Pinot Blanc is a California rendition of a classic European varietal.”

 

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December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

© Natasha's Kitchen

© Natasha’s Kitchen

The spice in Grenache begs to be paired with herb-heavy dishes such as roasted meats, vegetables and stews. This simple one-pot lamb stew is loaded with hearty, healthy ingredients perfect for the winter months. The lengthy simmering time in the oven makes the tender lamb morsels and vegetables just melt in your mouth.

Lamb Stew Recipe

  •  4 oz. bacon (4 strips, chopped into 1/4 inch strips)
  • 2 lbs. boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Tbsp sea salt for the lamb plus 1 tsp for stew
  • 1 tsp black pepper for lamb plus 1/2 tsp for stew
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups good red wine
  • 1 lb. button mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs small yellow potatoes halved or quartered into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots 10 oz, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 5 quart dutch oven, sauté chopped bacon over medium heat until browned and fat released. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a large plate.
  2. While bacon cooks, season lamb pieces with 1/2 Tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and toss to coat. Cook lamb in 2 batches in hot bacon grease over medium heat until browned (3-4 min per side) then transfer to the plate with bacon.
  3. Add diced onion and sauté 2 min. Add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 1/2 cups wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Add sliced mushrooms, bring to simmer then cook uncovered 10 min. Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
  4. Return bacon and lamb to pot and add 4 cups broth, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 2 bay leaves. Stir in potatoes and carrots, making sure potatoes are mostly submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil then cover and carefully transfer to preheated oven at 325˚F for 1 hr and 45 min. When done, potatoes and lamb will be very tender.

© Recipe courtesy of Natasha of Natasha’s Kitchen.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSkylark GrenacheSkylark Wine Company
Grenache
Mendocino County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color. Juicy red fruit aromatics are interwoven with forest floor notes, though the red cherry fruit takes center stage. The palate delivers ripe cherry fruit flecked with a savory white pepper spice complexity. The spice notes then turn ripe and creamy on the finish leaving an impression of dark cocoa with a deft touch of barrel sweetness. Ethereal and exuberant.

Skylark Grenache is sourced from Charlie Sawyer’s beautiful vineyard high above Ukiah in Mendocino County, California. With clonal material sourced from Chateau de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this is one of the premier sites for Grenache in Northern California. Expertly farmed by Peter Chevalier, this classic vineyard has been our home for Grenache since the 2007 vintage. After green harvesting, the fruit is hand-picked, mainly de-stemmed and then fermented in an open top tank with daily punchdowns. A splash of 8% Syrah from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard lends a touch of color and spice. After secondary fermentation in seasoned French cooperage, it is then bottle unfined and unfiltered with minimal intervention.

Varietal: 92% Grenache, 8% Syrah
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.66
TA: 6.0
Aging: Native yeast vinification in neutral French oak
Harvested: 
Hand picked
Vineyard: Sawyer Vineyard – Rodgers Creek Vineyard

Produced: Six Barrels – 150 cases

ABOUT SKYLARK:
Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest and the Skylark Wine Company was born.

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

ABOUT JOHN LANCASTER:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, John Lancaster is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. He resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

ABOUT ROBERT PERKINS:
Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

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Winery Spotlight Series: Dec. 9th Skylark Wine Company

Skylark Wine Company Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

Skylark Wine Company

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Please join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring the co-proprietors of our December Wine Club, John Lancaster and Robert Perkins, from Skylark Wine Company. During our virtual event, John and Robert will be guiding us through a tasting of our December Wine Club wines and other Skylark wines too. The following 6 wines featured during the tasting will be:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Skylark Pink Belly Rosé 
  • Skylark Orsi Vineyard Pinot Blanc
  • Skylark Red Belly
  • Skylark Grenache  
  • Skylark Las Aves 
  • Skylark Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah 

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside John and Robert with a front seat on Zoom!  Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.Skylark Wines

About Skylark Winery:

Skylark Wine Company is collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant wine directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past fifteen years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. This partnership has created long-term relationships with the entire scope of the wine industry, from winemakers to vineyard managers to owners. With these relationships, their next logical progression was the realization of a dream: making fine wine from select vineyards in Northern California. While the original plan was simply a barrel, they jumped in with 14 barrels of Syrah from the 2002 harvest. Skylark Wine Company was formed. Learn more about Skylark Wine Company here.

John Lancaster – Co-Proprietor

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. His passion for wine grew while working in the restaurant industry and brought him to the culinary destination of San Francisco. As the Wine Director of the wildly eclectic Cypress Club, he was recognized by the Wine Spectator for his wine list. For the past eleven years, John has been the Wine Director at the James Beard award winning Boulevard Restaurant. During his tenure at Boulevard, John has traveled extensively throughout the world’s wine regions studying wine production. In addition to his professional duties at Boulevard, John is also a professional wine judge and consultant. John resides in San Rafael with his wife and two daughters.

Robert Perkins – Co-Proprietor

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

Co-proprietor of Skylark Wine Company, is a graduate of Fine Art Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. His paintings have been shown throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art-Artist Gallery, Canessa Gallery and Mesh Gallery. His designs are featured on every Skylark Wine label. When Robert is not in his studio in San Francisco, he is pursuing his other creative outlet, wine. Robert has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years and has worked at Greens in San Francisco, Willowside Café in Sonoma and at Boulevard Restaurant as a sommelier for the past nine years. With his expertise in the wine industry, Robert has been a wine consultant for several Bay Area restaurants. He has also worked hands-on in production at several small wineries including Nalle, Scherrer and Sean Thackrey. He resides in San Francisco with his wife Kristine.

“We strive to produce wines that crystallize our passion within each bottle. Because of our relationships with meticulous and respected grape growers, we have been able to produce wines of distinction and character that represent the best of what Northern California vineyards have to offer. We are proud of Skylark and hope to continue share these wines with family and friends, old and new.”

 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Skylark Wine Company
Mendocino County, California

Cheers!

WineStyles.com