December Wine Club pairing recipe

Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary & Garlic

roast pork loin rosemary with garlic imageINGREDIENTS:
• 8 garlic cloves
• ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 four-pound boneless pork loin
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups dry white wine

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 400° F. Finely chop garlic and rosemary with ½ teaspoon salt on a cutting board. Holding knife at an angle, drag blade over mixture until a coarse paste forms. Transfer paste to a small bowl and mix in oil.
• Place pork, fat side down, on another cutting board with a short end toward you. Holding a sharp knife parallel to board and about ½ inch up side of loin, make an incision along entire length of one side. Continue cutting, lifting meat with your free hand as you go, until loin is open and flat (or ask butcher for butterfly cut). Spread garlic mixture over inside of loin and season with salt and pepper. Roll pork tightly; using kitchen twine, tie at 1 inch intervals.
•Season pork with salt and pepper; place, fat side up, in a large shallow baking dish. Add wine; roast pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of loin registers 145° F, 1 ½ –2 hours. Transfer to a carving board; let rest at least 10 minutes.
• Spoon fat from surface of pan juices; discard. Slice pork; serve with pan juices.
PREPARE AHEAD: Pork can be stuffed and tied 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before roasting. Recipe courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli Canteen in Solomeo, Italy via Bonappétit.com. © Photo by Julian Broad.

Santa Venere Speziale Rosso bottle wineMellow style logoSanta Venere
Speziale Rosso
Calabria, Italy

The site of the Santa Venere estate is a hill overlooking the Ionian Sea, and it is named after the stream of the same name that flows through the estate. Grapes here have always been cultivated in accordance with the strict dictates of organic agriculture, respecting the soil’s natural resources, characteristics and biodiversity. In the past, Marsigliana Nera grapes were frequently confused with Greco Nero (Black Greek), which is also harvested in Calabria. Grapes grown from the vineyard Speziale were harvested within the first ten days of September. Maturation was in stainless steel tanks for five months and in the bottle for two months.

Riccaro Cotarella winemaker“This purplish red wine is made from an ancient Calabria grape variety, Marsigliana Nera, and its crisp mouthfeel makes it ideal with shellfish and seafood, and also as a pre-dinner drink. Drink cold at a temperature of 55 degrees”. – Riccardo Cotarella, winemaker

Winemaker: Riccardo Cotarella
Appellation: Calabria, Italy
Varietal Blend:  100% Marsigliana Nera
Analysis: 12.0% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

August Wine Club pairing recipe

Hazelnut CakeTorta di Nocciole (Hazelnut Cake)

INGREDIENTS:
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; OR 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (see NOTES)
• 2 ¼ cups toasted, skinned hazelnuts, cooled (see NOTES)
• ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 packet lievito pane degli angeli or 2 teaspoons baking powder (see NOTES)
• 4 eggs, separated
• 1 cup sugar
• Pinch of fine salt
• Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
• Warm heavy cream sweetened with sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
• Heat the oven to 350℉. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Place a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and coat the parchment with butter. Set the remaining melted butter aside.
• Process the cooled toasted hazelnuts in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until they are finely ground. Take care not to let them get pasty. Transfer them to a bowl and stir in the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. The mixture will be very thick and cling to the whisk. Drizzle in the remaining melted butter (or melted butter and hazelnut oil, if using), a little at a time, whisking until the butter has been fully incorporated.
• Using a sturdy silicone spatula, stir the hazelnut-flour mixture into the egg yolk-butter mixture. It will be as thick as nut paste. This is fine.
• In a clean, stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Scoop about ½ of the egg whites into the bowl with the nut paste mixture and begin stirring and folding it in with the spatula. This will help to loosen the batter a bit. Add half of the remaining egg whites, folding rather than stirring them into the batter to prevent them from deflating too much (the batter will still be thick and sticky). Finally, add the last of the whites and continue folding until they are incorporated into the batter. The batter will be thick but spreadable. Scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
• Bake the cake for 40 – 45 minutes, until puffed and browned on top and the center is no longer jiggling (a cake tester inserted in the center should come out clean). Be careful not to jostle the cake when you’re checking for doneness.  Transfer the cake to a cooling rack,in the pan for 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto a plate and peel off the parchment. Re-invert and let cool completely. Serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar and with warm sweetened cream for drizzling.
NOTES:  Hazelnut oil is not cheap, but an optional splurge to enhance the nut flavor of the cake.  To toast and skin hazelnuts: Heat the oven to 350℉. Spread the shelled nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until the skins have begun to crack. Wrap the hot nuts in a clean kitchen towel and let stand 1 minute. Roll the nuts back and forth in the towel to loosen and rub off the skins. Not all the skins will come off, which is fine. Let cool before processing. Lievito pane degli angeli is a vanilla-scented powdered leavening agent used in Italian baking. It’s sold in packets and found in most Italian groceries. You can substitute 2 teaspoons baking powder.

Luca_Bosio_Barbera_Alba_BottlemellowEgidio
Luca Bosio Vineyard
Barbera D’Alba
Piedmont, Italy

In the center of the Langhe, among the hills celebrated in Cesare Pavese’s poems, you can find Luca Bosio Vineyards winery, in a world where technology and rural tradition coexist. Egidio was the founder of the Bosio’s farm, father of the owner Valter, profound expert of the wines of that zone.  The grapes from this wine come from vineyards located in Santo Stefano Belbo and Alba Villages.  The average age of the vines is 40 years.  Grapes are pressed and the must is fermented in steel  tanks after a short period in contact with dry ice to increase complexity and aroma.  This wine is a perfect accompaniment to read meats, braised beef and pork, as well as an array of Italian cheeses, pastas and risotto.

Luca Bosio, winemaker

Luca Bosio, winemaker

“Ruby red in color, this Barbera exhibits aromas of red fruit chocolate and vanilla.  The aromas follow through the round and smooth palate. A well integrated wine with silky tannins leading to a smooth finish.” – Luca Bosio, winemaker

Winemaker: Luca Bosio
Appellation: Piedmont, Italy
Varietal Blend:  100% Barbera
Analysis: 14% alcohol / volume, 3.5 pH, 5.5 g/l TA
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Giving thanks for Olianas Italian wine!

Cherry Corn Bread Stuffing

Cherry-stuffing-recipeINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. frozen sweet cherries, thawed
  • 1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage (or turkey sausage)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  •  6 cups crumbled day old corn bread
  •  1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:Drain cherries in a sieve and press between several layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture and coarsely chop; set aside.

Remove sausage from the casings and crumble into a medium skillet.  Cook for 10 minutes or until no longer pink; drain excess fat.

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add the onion and celery; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.  Mix together the sausage, vegetables and corn bread in a large bowl with the broth and rosemary.  Season to taste with pepper and fold in the cherries.  Makes enough stuffing for a 16 lbs. turkey.

Or transfer to a buttered 13” x 9” baking dish and bake at 375 °F for 45-60 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned on top.  Makes 12 servings.

Bold_stickerOlianas_Cannonau_NVOlianas
Cannonau
Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, Italy

Olianas is the first entirely Bio-integral winery. Over the years they have developed a new concept of ethical agriculture that is based on the protection of the environment as an essential prerequisite for the future. Olianas works their soils with cart horses, to improve the vitality of the soil and allow the plants to root in the deeper layers of the soil to ensure the longevity of the plants.  A young, fresh and lively wine, ideal with appetizers and main courses.

An explosion of small berries with hints of dark chocolate and tobacco, on the palate shows silky tannins and a good concentration, well-balanced by the pleasant acidity.” – Stefano Casadei, winemaker

winemaker-StefanoWinemaker: Stefano Casadei
Appellation: Cannonau di Sardengna DOC, Italy
Varietal: Cannonau
Analysis: 14% alc/vol
Aging: Partially aged in French oak barriques of second use for 5 months.  Rest aged in stainless steel for same period.

Tuscan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Thyme and Potatoes

shutterstock_203107033INGREDIENTS:
•  4 boneless chicken breasts
•  4 twigs of thyme
•  4 twigs of rosemary
•  2 cloves of garlic
•  3 medium sized potatoes
•  5 large carrots
•  Dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Rub the chicken with thyme, rosemary and garlic, then salt and pepper.

Coat a roasting pan with oil, place the largely cut potato pieces in the bottom and arrange the chicken on top of the pieces.  Place chicken in oven cooking at 375 °F for about 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven when it has browned and keep it warm.

Peel and slice the carrots and partially boil in salted water for 2 minutes.  Drain and add carrots to the pan, cooking them in the natural juices from the chicken.

Cut up the chicken once it has cooled a bit and serve warm with the potatoes and carrots.  Top it off with a drizzle of the chicken’s natural juices.  Serves four people.  Recipe adapted from Gallo Winery.

Bold_stickerCasadei_sardinia_2013Casadei
Sardinia Blend
Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Italy

Made from the best selection of Bovale, Carignano and Cannonau, the most representative varietals of Sardinia, this wine of great complexity, power and elegance is the flagship of Casadei’s  estate in the middle of the Mediterranean sea.  The result is superb grapes which magnificently express their terrior.  Like an orchestra conductor, the most difficult task is to find the perfect melody, blending these “natural talents.”

Casadei-winemaker“It has very appealing and intense aromas with notes of blackberry, blueberry and chocolate. On the palate it is dry but silky and mouth-filling, with a very long and pleasant aftertaste with hints of toasted coffee beans.” – Stefano Casadei, winemaker

Winemaker: Stefano Casadei
Appellation: Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Italy
Varietal Blend:  50% Bovale, 50% Carignano + Cannonau
Analysis: 14% alc/vol
Aging: 12 months in new French oak barrels

Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Frittata Pairing Recipe

WC_Nov_2014_Olianas

Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Frittata

pumpkin-frittataINGREDIENTS:
•  2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•  1 small onion, diced
•  6 oz. pumpkin (butternut squash), cut into 1/2 dices
•  6 medium eggs
•  1/2 cup milk
•  4 oz feta, crumbled
•  1 teaspoon dried oregano
•  1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
•  salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oil in an ovenproof pan.  Add onion and pumpkin and cook for 2 minutes.  Place the pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Beat eggs and milk.  Stir in the cheese, herbs, salt & pepper.

Lift the pan from the oven and pour over the egg mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes on stove top until eggs start to solidify.

Take the pan back to the oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing to serve warm.  Recipe courtesy of Peter Howard and Gallo winery.

Olianas_Vermentino_NV_webcrispOlianas
Vermentino
Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Italy

It was 2000, the dawn of a new millennium and dawn of Olianas in the heart of Sarcidano, north of Caglirair, Italy.  Olianas’ bio-integral philosophy involves the utmost respect for grapevines and soils.  The use of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and synthetic products for pest management of the plant is banned. The use of tracked or rubber-tired vehicles is limited, as they involve excessive soil compaction; instead they favor the use of animals, including horses. The harvest is strictly manual, with selection of the grapes in the field. The management of soil fertility is through organic fertilization and green manures.  A straw yellow color, this Vermentino has strong aromas and orange blossom floral notes. In the mouth it is fresh, fruity and elegant.

Casadei-winemaker“Intense and clean notes of grapefruit and citrus with hints of spice and bread crust.  On the palate is refreshing and quite round with a very pleasant finish.  Perfect as aperitif and with dishes based on fish.” – Stefano Casadei, winemaker

Winemaker: Stefano Casadei
Appellation: Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Italy
Varietal:  Vermentino
Analysis: 13% alc/vol
Aging: Partially aged in small barrels for six months, the rest refined in stainless steel for same period.

Marco Barbanera, Super Tuscan wine and pasta pairing

Pasta Bolognese

INGREDIENTS:pasta-bolognese-wine-pairing

• 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes with juice or crushed tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 ounces pancetta or 6 slices bacon, finely chopped
• 1/4 pound ground pork (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
• 1/4 pound ground veal
• 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound small pasta such as orecchiette or rotini
• Garnish: Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

DIRECTIONS:

If using whole tomatoes, in blender or food processor, purée tomatoes with juice. Set aside.  In large, heavy pot over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and sauté until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beef, pork, and veal and sauté, breaking up meat with back of spoon, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add onion and carrot and sauté until vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in red wine and simmer, scraping up browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and brick-red in color, approximately 30 minutes. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until almost tender. Drain well and toss with sauce. Serve with grated cheese. Yields 6 servings. Recipe courtesy of Epicurious.com, Chef Joseph W. DiPerri, The Culinary Institute of America.

mellowBarbanera_Rosso Toscana SuperTuscanMarco Barbanera
Rosso Toscana IGT
Super Tuscan
Tuscany, Italy

Marco Barbanera’s winery is a supreme example of how traditional methods of winemaking have benefited from the careful introduction of modern techniques.  The experience and knowledge of many generations enable the Barbanera family to select the right vine for a particular vineyard with its particular microclimate.MARCO-BARBANERA-winemaker-Blog The work in the cellar demands a special degree of sensitivity and attention to detail. “It’s like composing a painting”, according to Marco Barbanera, “when it’s almost complete, with a last decisive brush stroke you can transform it into a masterpiece”. Pairs well with grilled or roasted red meat and spicy chicken dishes.

Winemaker: Marco Barbanera
Appellation: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal Blend:  Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13% alc/vol

Fontanafredda Food Pairing

177409170Veal Tonnato

As the centerpiece of an elegant buffet table this classic Piedmontese dish will never fail to impress.

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 1/2 lbs veal tenderloin
• 1 celery stalk
• 1 carrot peeled
• 1 medium onion quartered
• 4 sprigs parsley
• 1 bay leaf

SAUCE:
• 1 seven oz can tuna packed in oil
• 6 anchovy fillets
• 3 Tbs capers, drained if in vinegar
• 3 Tbs lemon juice
• 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS:

Place veal, celery, carrot, onion, parsley and bay leaf in a large pot and add water to cover. Then remove veal and set aside. Cover pot, bring contents to boil; then add veal. When water returns to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat and leave meat to cool in its own broth.

Drain tuna and place in food processor with anchovies, capers and lemon juice. Blend to a smooth, creamy consistency. Remove mixture from processor and fold in
mayonnaise. Taste for salt.

When veal is cold, retrieve from broth and cut evenly into thin slices. Smear the bottom of a serving platter with some of the tuna sauce. Spread over it a layer of the veal slices and sauce until veal is used up. Leave enough sauce to blanket final layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Before serving, bring to room temperature, smooth off top with spatula and garnish with some or all
suggested garnish ingredients (thin slices of lemon, sprigs of fresh parsley or pitted black olives cut into wedges).  Serves 8 , prepare a day ahead of serving.

Fontanafredda_BarberaFontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera
FruityPiedmont DOC, Italy

The Briccotondo Barbera has sweet, soft tannins that come together in a closely-woven texture that combines with great fruit character and crisp freshness, culminating in a long, tasty finish. A perfect match for starters, cured meats and a variety of fresh and mature cheeses.

Winemaker: Danilo Drocco
Appellation: Piedmont DOC, Italy
Varietal:  100% Barbera
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol

Villa Barbi Orvieto Pairing Recipe

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts, Capers and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Chicken Florentine Artichoke BakeINGREDIENTS:

• 1 pound pasta of your choice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 large clove of garlic, minced
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
• 1/4 cup finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil or dried are both fine)
• 1 (15 or 16 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained
• 1/4 cup drained capers
• Lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Put on water to boil in order to cook the pasta.

While the water is boiling, heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly cook the garlic until very fragrant (don’t let the garlic burn or your sauce will be bitter). De-glaze the pan with the white wine. Add the chicken stock, and the sun-dried tomatoes. Let the mixture cook down until reduced by about half. Add the artichoke hearts and capers. Cook about a minute more (enough to warm up the newly added ingredients.) Set aside.

Cook the pasta, and when it is finished, drain it and add the sauce immediately. Toss the mixture together and serve. Garnish each serving very generously with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4-6.

Villa_Barbi_Ovieto_BiancoVilla Barbi Orvieto Classico DOC
crispUmbria, Italy

A vibrant straw color.  Highly aromatic with white fruits, citrus and a hint of almonds. Round yet clean on the palate with bright acidity and a slight bitter almond note on the finish. This wine has excellent balance and beauty. Villa Barbi Bianco expresses the Orvieto tradition at its finest as upheld by Decugnano dei Barbi. It is a fresh wine, fine on the palate and harmonic.

Winemaker: Riccardo Cotarella
Appellation: Orvieto Classico Zone, Umbria, Italy
Varietal Blend:  Grechetto, Procanico, Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 12.5% alc/vol

Villa Barbi Umbria Rosso Pairing Recipe

84466114Eggplant Parmesan

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
• 6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
• 1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 °F .

Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.

In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.   8-10 servings

Villa_Barbi_RossoVilla Barbi Umbria Rosso
Umbria IGT, Italy
mellow

A vibrant garnet with purple hues. On the nose red and black fruits combine with hints of spice and saddle wood. The rich flavors of blackberry, cherry, and currants are moderated by soft and supple tannins. The well-balanced body is soft and full. The aromas and flavors carry through on the long finish.

Winemaker: Riccardo Cotarella
Appellation: Umbria IGT, Italy
Varietal:  40% Sangiovese, 40% Syrah, 20% Montepulciano
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol
Critical Acclaim: SILVER STAR, Doug Frost, MS, MW