January Premium Wine Club

Mellow style logoRuffion-modus-wine-bottleRuffino
Modus Toscana IGT
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, and complex, fruity and intense on the nose. The initial aromas are of mature black fruits, such as cherries, plums, and small blackberries typical of Sangiovese. There are also floral notes that are complimented by hints of spiced cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it is full-bodied and harmonious with modern Super Tuscan finesse and style. This wine is rich with soft tannins and flavors of mature blackberry fruit that lead to a persistent finish.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 37% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
Ruffino’s Poggio Casciano Estate
Soil:
Hilly land with clay, limestone, and a small percentage of silt
Micro-climate:
Variable with good diurnal temperature swings, especially during summer
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
12,000 per acre
Age of vineyards:
Recently planted
First Year of Production:
1997
Food Pairings: Wonderful on its own, or serve with bold dishes such as duck with olives and pancetta, beef-stuffed manicotti with Bolognese sauce, or aged cheeses such as T
aleggio, Pecorino and/or Gouda.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Only the best grapes are selected in the vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness when picked. They are again sorted prior to pressing. Due to a warm and dry growing season, the harvest began earlier than usual, as the high summer temperatures led to beautiful fruit maturation.
Fermentation: Each varietal was vinified independently, fermenting in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 10 days. The wine was then allowed to macerate on the skins for another 2 weeks.
Aging: After completing malolactic fermentation, the 3 varietals were blended and aged for 12 months in French oak barrels of first and second use.


Ruffio-riserva-ducale-wine-bottleMellow style logoRuffino
Riserva Ducale
Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Ruby red in color, the nose has an elegant bouquet characterized by violet, cherries, wild berries and plums. There are hints of tobacco, clove and eucalyptus. On the palate, the Riserva Ducale is balance and constant with delicate tannins. The vibrant acidity characterizes this wine, which is typical of Sangiovese’s grapes. The finish is persistent and a good structure completes the entire taste sensation.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Grape Sourcing:
The Riserva Ducale grapes came from owned vineyards and selected growers vineyards located in the traditional Chianti Classico production area, stretching over the provinces of Siena and Florence. Ruffino traditionally works with a small stable of hand-selected growers, chosen as carefully as the Ruffino vineyards.
Soil: Typical of the Chianti Classico area; a mix of clay and limestone with an abundant presence of “Galestro” rock.
Altitude:
Variable from 951 to 1,476 feet above sea level
Growing System:
Cordon trained
Vine density:
about 12,350 vines/acre
Bottle Aging:
A minimum of 3 months
First Year of Production:
1927
Food Pairings: Enjoy this timeless Tuscan gem with Italian favorites such as prosciutto and other antipasti, mushroom risotto, pasta Bolognese, and chicken cacciatore. Or, pair it with simple grilled meats and roasted vegetables for a classic Tuscan meal.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The vintage was characterized by a very hot season with a good maturation of the grapes, which led to a slightly early harvest.
Fermentation: Alcoholic fermentation and maceration were aided by pumping over, which took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats for approximately 16 days.
Aging: The Riserva Ducale aged for 24 months, 12 in big oak casks and the rest in concrete vats.


Mellow style logoRuffino Riserva Ducale OroRuffino
Riserva Ducale Oro
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Riserva Ducale Oro is also Ruby Red in color with hues of garnet. It is powerfully aromatic with cherry, plum, and violet with notes of eucalyptus, chocolate and spicy black pepper. The complexity is an authentic expression of Sangioveses and Classic Chiantis. The wine is full-bodied and powerfully fruity with elegant tannins, perfectly supported by a good acidity. The finish is characterized by pleasantly sweet tobacco, plums, and balsamic herbs. This Riserva Ducale Oro will age gracefully for decades.

Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
83% Sangiovese, 12% Merlot, 5% Colorino
Grape Sourcing:
Selected from Ruffino’s Gretole and Santedame estates, located in the heart of Castellina in Chianti.
Soil: Hilly land with poor, rocky, ‘galestro’ soils of mixed clay and sand
Microclimate:
Characterized by hot, dry summers with high diurnal temperature swings, which allow for optimal grape maturation.
Altitude:
820-1,300 feet above sea level
Sun Exposure:
Predominantly south, southwest, and southeast
Growing System:
Cordon-trained
Vine density:
10,000 per acre
Age of Vineyards: 
Vine yield: 12 tons per acre
First Year of Production:
1947
Food Pairings: Traditional Italian dishes pair exquisitely with this wine. Try with a pasta Bolognese, wild boar ragu, or eggplant Parmesan. It also pairs beautifully with American dishes such as grilled rib-eye and roasted vegetables.

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced with grapes meticulously selected during harvest. The picking started the third week of September and ended the first week of October. The vintage 2015 shows a vivid fruity notes, with spicy hints of great elegance.
Fermentation: Aided by racking and délestage, fermentation took place in thermo-controlled stainless-steel vats at an average temperature of 82ºF for 21 days. Post-fermentation maceration on the skins continued for an additional 10 days. The wine was transferred to concrete vats for malolactic fermentation.
Aging: A total of 36 months: the first 12 months in concrete vats, followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels (about 925-2,000 gallons), and finally 12 months in barriques that are four or more years old.

ABOUT RUFFINO WINERY:
In 1877, cousins, Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino, embraced their passion for winemaking by establishing a small winery in the town of Pontassieve, near Florence. Natives to Tuscany, they knew this region already had century-old traditions of growing exceptional wine grapes, but cousins felt that much of the area’s greatness had yet to be revealed. Word eventually grew about the quality wine the Ruffino cousin’s were producing and the winery began to flourish. Ruffino became known for clean, balanced wines. They became nationally and internationally known when their Chianti won Gold Medals and other prizes in 1881, 1884 and 1885 Wine Exhibitions. In 1890, the Duke of Aosta became intrigued by the winery’s reputation, and after trying it for himself, he appointed Ruffino as the official supplier to the Italian Royal family. In 1927, the winery released their first vintage of Riserva Ducale – named after the Duke of Aosta to acknowledge his esteemed patronage.

Today, Ruffino has a collection of estates in Tuscany’s most important wine appellations. They continue to take a traditional approach when making their wines to allow their wines to reveal themselves without manipulation. Ruffino has established itself as a leader in Chianti, as they have become a global ambassador of Tuscan wines around the world. Learn more here. 


Mellow style logoFrescobaldi-Nipozzano-RiservaFrescobaldi
Castello Nipozzano
Nipozzano Riserva
Tuscany, Italy

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Nipozzano 2017 conveys the intense, harmonious character of the vintage with personality, translating the heat of the season into the glass. The ruby-red color is bright and intense. The usual notes of red fruits and citrus are expressed in a seductive combination of elegance and intensity. Tertiary notes due to aging, such as spices and vanilla, enhance the aromas and balance the tasting experience. The palate is rich, dense and balanced, with a great expression of maturity, polyphenolic elegance and final persistence.

Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Varietal:
Sangiovese and complementary varieties
Critical Acclaim:

  • James Suckling: 92 Points
  • Gambero Rosso: 3 Glasses
  • Luca Maroni: 90 Points

VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Harvest: The winter was mild and dry. In the spring, the early sprouting of the vines brought the growing season forward. During spring, the arrival of sporadic rains restored the vineyards’ water table, guaranteeing a good blooming, still ahead of time with respect to the previous season. The harvest began at the end of August/first few days of September, after a hot, dry summer that led to the harvesting of well-ripened grapes, qualitatively rich in body and color. As soon as the grapes were harvested, they were taken to the cellar.
Fermentation: Once de-stemmed, the natural fermentation process began in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats. The wine remained in the vats to complete maceration. After racking, malolactic fermentation took place in steel as well.
Aging: At the end of the year, the wine was transferred into barriques, where it was aged for further months. A further period in the bottle brought Nipozzano to its full expression as a wine with exceptional balance.

ABOUT FRESCOBALDI WINERY:
Beginning in the early 1300s, the Frescobaldi family has been producing wine in Tuscany for over seven hundred years. That family history is filled with illustrious ancestors, from literary figures, explorers, and musicians, to financiers, bishops, and statesmen. Over the years, the Frescobaldi family had established commercial contracts and relationships, and had the opportunity to share their wine with numerous historical names and courts such as the Court of England, the Papal Court in Rome, Donatello, Michelozzo, Michelozzi, and Filippo Brunelleschi.

The winery has been passed down in the family from generation to generation, building many different sub-family estates over the years. Today, the President, Lamberto Frescobaldi, aims to strengthen the uniqueness of the wines of each family estate. The Frescobaldi family believes each family estate, and their vineyards, should express the diversity and individuality of their Tuscan terroir while always respecting their nature and authenticity. Learn more about the family history here.


Wine club logoJoin our PREMIUM WINE CLUB, enjoy amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

Learn more about our Premium Club >

 
 
 

 

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.
 

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!

Learn about our Memberships >

 
 
 

 

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.

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!

Learn More >

 

July Bubbly Club: Iowa

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne_Taittinger_Brut_La_Francaise-bottleTaittinger
Brut La Française
Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

The Taittinger Brut La Française is pale gold in color with fine, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there are delicate aromas of peach, white flowers, vanilla pods, and brioche and the on the palate there are flavors of fresh fruit and honey. Excellent with foods such as seafood and white meat.

Analysis: 12.3% alcohol / volume
Varietal: 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier
Appellation: Champagne, France
Aging: 3-4 years on lees
Winemaker: Alexandre Ponnavoy

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Taittinger Brut La Française is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from at least 35 villages. The high proportion of Chardonnay (40%) is unique among fine nonvintage Champagnes. The presses are located in the vineyard for immediate pressing of the fruit after the manual harvest, and the resulting must is cold fermented under temperature-controlled conditions. After resting until the end of winter, the wine is blended, and then the final cuvée undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle in Taittinger’s cool cellars. The aging of Brut La Française on the lees for almost 4 years, more than double the legal minimum of 15 months. This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Taittinger family has managed the Champagne House for nearly a century. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, grandson of the founder, has maintained this commitment for 40 years and today he shares it with his son, Clovis and his daughter, Vitalie who both work beside him. Their aim is to always achieve excellence with their work. “Having our family name on a bottle places demands and responsibilities on every minute. It conveys both the skills and knowledge of the past and a commitment to the future,” Clovis Taittinger.  Champagne Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. The firm is distinguished for its extensive vineyard holdings of 752 acres, including prestigious Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims regions. Unlike most large houses, Champagne Taittinger relies primarily on estate grapes for its portfolio of Champagnes. Also unique are the higher proportion of Chardonnay in its wines that gives Taittinger its signature style, and the time devoted to aging the wines before release—most often greatly exceeding the legal requirement, in a practice that also has become a Taittinger hallmark.
 Learn more about the family business here.

Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

 

 

Duca Carlo Guarini Burdi Bianco

Fish Tacos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb tilapia, cod, or mahi mahi

For Serving

  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese (optional)

Fish Taco Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  • Place fish into a dish or gallon size resealable bag and pour marinade over fish (if using a bag seal bag and gently move bag around to evenly coat fish with marinade), allow to marinate in mixture 20 minutes (and no longer than 30 minutes).
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with oil and place fish on grill. Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (cook time will vary based on thickness of fish). To view oven or stovetop methods, click here.
  • While the fish is cooking whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste.
  • Break fish into pieces, layer over warm tortillas. Top with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, cheese if using, and fish taco sauce. 

© Recipe courtesy of Jaclyn of Cooking Classy.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Silky styleBurdiBiancoDuca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Bianco IGT Puglia
Scorrano, Italy

SILKY WINE STYLE

Burdi Bianco wine is light straw-yellow in color. It is intense and fruity on the nose, while on the palate it is fresh, fruity and balanced. This wine is paired well with fish and seafood.

Varietal: 100% Bombino
Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume

Yield: 120000 kg. per hectare
Vinification:
Two hour’s cold maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:
Since 1114, the Guarini Family has rooted their vineyards in the Apulia region of Italy, between Lecce and Brindisi, overlooking the Adriatic sea. Today, they own 700 hectares of property, farming grapes, olive groves and other grains and vegetables, including fiber and seed hemp. For centuries, they have kept their family’s traditions without sacrificing innovation. Learn more about their estate here.

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!

Learn More >

 

June Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Grilled Harissa Lamb Chops

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2–3 lbs lamb chops, lamb loin chops or sirloin steaks
  • Grillable veggies – your choice of Zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, onion, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.
  • Spray olive oil (or use regular)
  • 15–20 fresh Mint leaves

Harissa Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds (optional)

Harissa Yogurt:

  • 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste (store-bought or homemade Harissa paste) more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika – optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat Grill to med-high.
  2. Cut lamb chops into single chops or portions. (Use a sharp chef’s knife and slice in between the bones.)  Pat dry.
  3. Mix spices and salt together in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit chop)
  4. Dip both sides of each chop, as well as fatty edge, into the Harissa rub, tap the excess off and place on a sheet pan.
  5. If grilling veggies, lightly toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill these first. Cover, set aside until serving.
  6. Grill the lamb chops. Spray the grill with olive oil spray. Place the chops down and grill 3 minutes (covered) or until good grill marks appear (don’t fiddle with them too much). Spray the top of lamb chops with olive oil, and turn them over. Turn the heat down to medium and grill another 3 minutes. Then, place the fatty edge of the lamb chop on the grill, so they are sitting upright, on their side, leaning them up against each other. Cover and cook another 2 minutes or so, to melt off that fatty layer.  (These are delicious served medium, but feel free to cook through on lower heat if that is your preference.) Remove from grill, cover with foil until ready to serve.
  7. Mix the yogurt with the harissa paste, starting conservatively, adding more to taste. Each Harissa paste has different levels of heat. Chef Sylvia Fountaine likes to a whisk in a teaspoon of smoked paprika to bump up the smoky flavor – up to you.
  8. To serve, cut the grilled veggies into bite-size pieces, and place them on a platter. Top with the grilled lamb chops. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  9. Serve the Harissa yogurt on the side or spoon a little on each chop.
  10. Serve with a cooked grain like quinoa, basmati rice or even couscous.

Notes: If serving with a cooked grain, make sure to season it. ( Olive Oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and fresh parsley is nice.) You could serve it on the same platter, underneath the veggies and lamb, or serve it on the side.

© Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine from Feasting at Home.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoBurdiPrimitivoDuca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Primitivo
Rosso IGT Puglia
Scorrano, Italy

BOLD WINE STYLE

The Burdi Primitivo IGT Puglia Rosso wine is an every day wine, made from organic certified grapes. It is deep ruby red in color, and on the palate it is fruity and soft. This wine is ideal with any kind of food, especially pasta, grilled or roasted meat, and seasoned cheese.
 
Varietal: 100% Primitivo
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Description: IGT Red Puglia
Yield:
100,000 kg. per hectare
Vinification: Five Days maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

 

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:

The Guarini family has lived in Puglia since 1040, when their ancestors moved from Normandy, arriving in Terra d’Otranto. In 1114, Accardo Guarini, Count of Valesio, founded his vineyard overlooking the Adriatic sea in the Pìutri estate. Since then, the Guarini family continues to take care of the same vineyards, maintaining the traditions founded many centuries ago. Learn more here.

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!

Learn about our Memberships >

 
 
 

 

Winery Spotlight Series: June 16 Marietta Cellars

Wine Tasting Event

Marietta Cellars Wines Tasted

Marietta Cellars
Sonoma County, California

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a wine tasting event, featuring Marietta Cellars from Sonoma County, California, with guest speaker Scot Bilbro on Zoom. Owner and Winemaker, Scot Bilbro will be guiding us through a tasting of seven of his Marietta Cellars wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Old Vine Riesling
  • Old Vine Rosé
  • Old Vine Red Lot 71
  • Román Zinfandel
  • Armé Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Christo Red Blend
  • Gibson Block Syrah

To reserve a table and attend the wine tasting in person, please call your local WineStyles store.  Or if you prefer to attend remotely, from the comfort of your home, pre-order a wine tasting kit-to-go and watch on Zoom.

About Marietta Cellars:

Marietta Cellars is a family owned winery in Sonoma County. Chris Bilbro (pictured left) with winemaking roots dating back three generations, founded Marietta Cellars in 1978. Scot Bilbro (pictured right) is now the second generation Winemaker and Owner of Marietta Cellars. Applying his Viticulture and Enology training from UC Davis, Scot keeps yeast happy, manages oxygen’s interaction with the wine, and dials in the temperature range of a fermentation…but the real magic happens in the quiet moments. Hiking the vineyard rows as the fog burns off; checking grapes in the sweltering sun; in the cellar at the end of the night during harvest checking tank temperatures with the palm of his hand. He continues to lead a team that performs magic by transforming hard work, attention to detail, a blessed climate, and exceptional land into beautiful, modern wines. Learn more >

About Scot Bilbro – Owner and Winemaker:

Scot Bilbro grew up admiring his father’s ability to create magic – whether it was with wine, food, or a simple game to entertain Scot and his brothers. Scot learned the ins and the outs of the family’s wine business, and after graduating from UC Davis, decided to return to the family winery to create magic of his own. Scot was uncertain and tentative, but his father gave him the confidence to create beautiful wines of his own. This second-generation winery continues to transform hard work, a blessed climate, special pieces of land, and belief into beautiful liquid expressions of family and place. Learn more here.

June16_Marietta_Eventbrite_header

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

Marietta Cellars
Sonoma County, California

June 16, 2021

6:00pm CST/ 7:00pm EST

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

November Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubBouteille Fiche BrutRidgeview
Bloomsbury Brut
Ditchling, Sussex, England

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our sole focus in the winery at Ridgeview is minimal intervention, to let our exceptional grapes speak for themselves and nurture the juice into making the best wine possible. Balance is at the heart of all of our wines, making the most of the full fruit flavors in harmony with our wonderful cool climate acidity.”

Bloomsbury is light golden in color with a fine, persistent mousse. Citrus fruit aromas with hints of melon, peach and honey. Chardonnay dominance brings finesse, along with crisp freshness. The Pinots add depth and character leading to a beautifully balanced finish. Will age gracefully over time as the Chardonnay matures.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier
Altitude: 5m-65m ASL
Vineyard Age: Between 8 and 22 years old
Exposure: South & Southeast
Soil: Clay & Limestone, Flint & Loam
Bottle fermentation on the Lees: 12-18 months
Memorable Moment: Official wine served for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Critical Acclaim:

  • SILVER Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
  • SILVER OUTSTANDING International Wine and Spirit Competition 2018
  • 90 pts. – Decanter 2013
  • 90 pts. – The Wine Advocate (NV)
  • 91 pts. – AG Vinous (NV)
  • 90 pts. – Wine Enthusiast (NV)
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2015
  • 91 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2014
  • 92 pts. – Wine Enthusiast 2013
  • 90 pts. – Wine & Spirits (NV)

PRODUCTION:
Whole-bunch pressed to limited pressure, and to give a low yield of 62% volume to weight. A natural cold settling takes places without the use of enzymes. Fermentation at a moderate temperature of 60.8-64.4°F in stainless steel using natural yeast. Malolactic fermentation is carried out.

ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Ridgeview story began in 1995, when Mike and Chris Roberts decided to release a vision, nurtured for many years. With a love of England and a passion for wine, they investigated the English wine industry with a view to understanding the type of wine production they felt would thrive best in the cool climate of Southern England. Their research pointed towards traditional method sparkling wine made from the three classic varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. At the time, sparkling wine production in England was largely unexplored and unproven, so the dream to create world class sparkling wine in Sussex was a certainly a risk.

Nestled at the base of the beautiful South Downs with their chalky soils, the perfect site was found – the ridge with an unforgettable view. It was here the journey began. Whilst the vines were gently nurtured towards their first harvest, we were busy creating one of England’s only underground cellars and building a state-of-the-art winery. Ridgeview’s first grapes were harvested and pressed; the wines were bottled, then hidden away in the cellar to age.

Over 20 years later, production has increased to more than a quarter of a million bottles and Ridgeview is sold across the world. Their winery continue to invest in the most modern, specialist machinery and proudly crafts every element of their production methods on site- from hand picking all of their grapes, gently pressing them to extract maximum flavor, bottling, riddling, disgorging and labelling. Learn more about Ridgeview Winery here.

Simon Roberts

Head Winemaker: Simon Roberts

WINEMAKER:
Founder, Mike Roberts MBE, was originally at the winemaking helm ably assisted by his son Simon, to whom he passed his considerable knowledge and experience. Simon Roberts is now Ridgeview’s Head Winemaker, supported by a highly experienced and talented winery team.

A natural winemaker with a skilled palate, Simon likes minimal intervention as a Winemaker and would rather let the grapes speak for themselves. Simon trained at Plumpton Wine College and gained experience in Australia. Now responsible for the day-to-day Winemaking at Ridgeview, Simon has the support of a fantastic team. In his spare time Simon can be found coming up with culinary creations in the kitchen. Learn more about the Ridgeview team here.

Bubbly Wine Club Learn more about our Bubbly Club >

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.