May Premium Club: Iowa

ENJOY CLUB:

Mad HatterBold wine Style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Madhatter Red Blend 2016
Napa Valley, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout Napa Valley. The 2017 vintage aptly continues that commitment, with vineyards in St. Helena, Calistoga, Rutherford and Oakville.   Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance and a long silky finish.

A deep garnet hue precedes aromas of crushed cherries, black plum, warm cassis, and violets.  The palate is fleshy with suggestions of blackberries, licorice, and Indian spices. Chewy and approachable tannins lead into a long, silky finish.

Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec
Analysis: 14.8% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer

Semper Pinot NoirMellow style logoTuck Beckstoffer Estate
Semper Homage 2016
Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, California

MELLOW WINE STYLE

Semper was conceived as a love letter to express enduring faithfulness.  Cultivated in a distinct region of the Sonoma Coast appellation, wines produced in this area have a rare and collectible quality that will only increase in value over time.  During the growing season the vineyard experiences bright sunshine during the day but is subject to a cool blanket of fog that hugs the coastline, creating the ideal conditions for that perfectly slow ripening.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir pays homage to some of the great vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Petaluma Gap appellations.  The primary sourcing is Reuling Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, near Forestville.  In addition to having the ideal climate and well-drained soil for making great Pinot Noir, the vineyard is planted with three of the finest Pinot Noir clones, all of which was used in making the 2016 Semper Homage – Lat Tache, DRC and Calera.   The wine is blended with small amounts of two other vineyards – Sunchase Vineyard and Saltonstall Vineyard, both of which are located in the Petaluma Gap at the southern end of the Sonoma Coast appellation.

The 2016 Semper Homage Pinot Noir showcases powerful fruit with an elegant structure and medium body. Upon entry, this wine expresses aromatics of wild raspberry and strawberry, transitioning into a robust rhubarb and cranberry palate. Aged in French oak barrels for twelve months, the wine shows nuances of baking spices that complement the natural fruit components of the Russian River Valley.  While this wine is drinking beautifully now, it will continue to improve and develop in the bottle over the next five to ten years. 

Appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Winemaker: Tuck Beckstoffer, Philippe Melka

THE BECKSTOFFER FAMILY

Tuck Beckstoffer

Tuck Beckstoffer

It began on back country roads and among the vines. The Beckstoffer family arrived in the Napa Valley in 1975 and the young son of a future pioneer spent his days in the vineyards throughout every growing season, cultivating deep roots.

Brought up to respect the land and its fruit, Tuck naturally sought out the practice of viticulture, learning from the masters around him. Much like his father before him, he is a farmer first. It was only after he mastered the art of first craft that he turned his attention to a second craft—winemaking. Over three decades after he first set foot in the valley, Tuck bottled his first wine. For him, it was not a whim or passion project, but the culmination of a life lived on the land, among the vines.

Today, Tuck is one of the few Napa stewards who is both a grower and a winemaker. It is this pedigree that makes his approach different: the process begins with the land itself and culminates with a reverence for the winemaking traditions of the past—sharing successes and failures among fellow craftsmen and appreciating the fruits of their labor over a beautiful bottle of wine.

The St. Helena estate opened in 2016, offering intimate tours and private tastings as a way to share this passion—connecting visitors to the land and sharing the knowledge of how the art of grape growing translates into every bottle. Since day one, the Estate was designed to exude a sense of genuine care and generosity of time and spirit.

As the story continues the unfold, Tuck is raising the next generation in the same way that he was raised—as stewards among the vines. He invites you to share in this journey and visit the estate.

“It’s my belief that all great wines are an ode to teamwork. The wine in the glass is the apex of each season’s fruitful collaboration—hands on the vines, boots in the soil, and a team of voices carrying throughout the cellar.” – Tuck Beckstoffer

Learn more about our PREMIUM WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines every other month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases! Learn more >

May Sweet Club: Iowa

Tropical Passion Fruit MoscatoSweet Wine ClubTropical Moscato
Passion Fruit
Italy

The grapes were cultivated via the classic Guyot method and state-of-the-art technology is employed during the winemaking process. After pressing, the must undergoes a short fermentation, is rapidly chilled to a temperature just above freezing to stop the yeast activity and racked off the sediment. Just prior to bottling, the secondary fermentation takes place and the tropical fruit is added and blended.  This winemaking process results in a fresh, bright and aromatic Moscato.

The Tropical Moscato is straw yellow in color. It is bright and refreshing with fine structure. The aromas of tropical fruit follow through to the palate for a harmonious finish. In every bottle of Tropical Passion Fruit Moscato, there are two whole passion fruits inside.  This wine is delightful as an aperitif or at the end of the meal, with fruit, aged cheeses and desserts. 

Appellation: Italy
Varietal: 95% Moscato, 5% Natural Tropical Pulp
Analysis: 5.5% alcohol / volume
Residual Sugar: 120g/l
Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l
Critical Acclaim: 93pts San Francisco International Wine Competition

 

Tropical Grapefruit MoscatoTropical Moscato
Grapefruit

Italy

The Moscato grapes for this wine come from vineyards located in Stefano Belbo villages, at 200 to 300 ft. above sea level.  Vinification is via autoclave, according to the Charmat Method, until it reaches 5.0% alchohol.  Next, the wine undergoes cold fermentation and aging in stainless steel vats for one month, after which time it is blended with pink grapefruit juice and natural aroma, and bottled.

This Moscato comes from a grape variety that has probably the highest level of complex aromas of any Piedmont grape.  The wine has the distinctive Moscato aroma and flavor, with added complexity from the concentrated grapefruit juice.  This wine is a perfect accompaniment to fruits, aged cheeses or hazelnut cake, or is great as an aperitif.

Appellation: Italy
Varietal: 95% Moscato, 4% fresh pink grapefruit juice, 1% natural grapefruit aroma
Analysis: 5.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l

 

May Wine Club: Langhe Arneis DOC

Risotto with Arneis

Risotto with Arneis

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

MAY WINE CLUB:

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

SILKY WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

Wines of Rigo Vini

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

May Wine Club: Dolcetto DOC

Mushroom RisottoRisotto with Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

MAY WINE CLUB:

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

MELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

Wines of Rigo Vini

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

May Wine Club: Piemonte Barbera

Milan Pork ChopsMilan Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

MAY WINE CLUB:

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

Mellow style logoMELLOW WINE STYLE

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

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

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

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

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

Wine club logoJoin our WINE CLUB and enjoy these amazing wines and pairing recipes each month. Plus, you’ll receive 10% off all retail wine purchases!

 

May Wine Club pairing recipe

Filet Mignon with Balsamic Glaze

filet mignon with balsamic glazeINGREDIENTS:
• 4 (4 oz) filet mignon steaks
• 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• Kosher Salt
• 4 teaspoons olive oil
• 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
• 2/3 cup Ranch 32 Cabernet Sauvignon

DIRECTIONS:

• Season both sides of the steaks with the salt and freshly cracked pepper.
• In a separate bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar and Ranch 32 Cabernet Sauvignon and set aside.
• Add the olive oil to the nonstick skillet and heat on medium-high for 30 seconds. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the balsamic vinegar and red wine mixture.
• Cover, and cook for four minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.
• Remove the steaks from the pan and place on warmed plates, spoon a bit of glaze over each steak, and serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of D. Fackler at http://www.Epicurious.com

Ranch 32 Cabernet wine bottleBold wine Style logoRanch 32
San Lucas and Hames Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon
Monterey, California

On the west side of the Salinas Valley, directly in the path of Monterey’s relentless afternoon winds, sits Ranch 32. Since the first vine planting in 1972, each vintage is produced in small lots from sustainably farmed estate vineyards that highlight the nuances of the terroir. This Cabernet blends fruit from two estates in the southern part of Monterey County, San Lucas and Hames Valley vineyards. Both sites feature porous soils, hot days and cold nights which are necessary to produce deep, rich, ripe and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon. Harnessing the breezes that blow through the Salinas Valley daily, the winery and bottling operations are 100% powered by wind. The estate vineyards are also certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

Vincent Catalaa winemaker headshot“This Cabernet delivers blackberries, boysenberries, plums, and currants and traces of mocha and violet. On the palate, it is deep, lush, and fruity with balanced acidity and perfectly integrated tannins. Pairs well with grilled steak, barbecued lamb or savory stews.” – winemaker, Vincent Catalaá

Winemakers: Vincent Catalaá
Appellation: Monterey, California
Grape Varietal:  Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume

 

Join our Wine Club and you’ll go home with the wines and recipes each month!

May Wine Club pairing recipe

BBQ-Flank-SteakBBQ Flank Steak with Burnt Cabbage and Oyster Mayo

STEAK INGREDIENTS:
• 2.2 lb (1 kg) flank steak
• 3.5 oz. (100ml) fish sauce
• 3.5 oz. (100ml) light soy sauce
• 2 garlic cloves. microplaned
• 1 knob ginger, microplaned
• 3.5 oz. (100ml) grapeseed oil
CABBAGE SALAD INGREDIENTS:
• 1/2 cabbage, cut into 4, stem left on
•  1.5 oz. (50g) oyster mushrooms
•  1.5 oz. (50g) enoki mushrooms
•  1.5 oz. (50g) shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
•  2 radishes, finely sliced
•  shiso cress
•  1.5 oz. (50ml) light soy sauce
•  1 lime, juiced
•  1 tsp miso paste
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 3.5 oz. (100ml) grapeseed oil
OYSTER MAYONNAISE INGREDIENTS:
• 4 oysters shucked
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 5 oz. (150ml)grapeseed oil
• sea salt
DIRECTIONS:
Marinate the steak in the fish sauce, soy, garlic, ginger & oil for 2 hours.   To make the burnt cabbage salad, place a frying pan on high heat with a little oil. Add the cabbage wedges and cook evenly on all sides until the cabbage is soft and quite blackened. Remove and place onto absorbent paper towel until cool.  In the same pan, quickly fry the oyster mushrooms for 1 minute, remove and allow to cool. Make the vinaigrette by whisking the light soy, lime juice, miso paste, sesame oil and grapeseed oil together.

To make the oyster mayo, in a blender add the oysters, egg yolks and Dijon. With the motor running slowly add the grapeseed oil to emulsify, season and reserve in the fridge for later use.  Remove the flank from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, heat your BBQ until it is very hot. Add the flank and cook for approximately 6 minutes on both sides or done to your liking. Remove and allow to rest in a warm spot.

To serve, roughly chop the cabbage length ways and add this to a large bowl, add the mushrooms, radish and vinaigrette and toss well. Place a mound of the salad to one side of your serving dish, slice the beef evenly and place this next to the salad, spoon a dollop of the mayo next to this and garnish with the shiso cress.  Courtesy of Vasse Felix Restaurant.

VF-Filius-Cab-Sauv-Bottle-ShotBold_stickerVasse Felix
Filius Cabernet Sauvignon
Margaret River, Australia

Vasse Felix was established in 1967 by pioneer Dr. Thomas Cullity and is the founding wine estate of Margaret River. Margaret River experiences the unique combination of a Mediterranean climate, maritime influence and perfect soils for organic and sustainable viticulture. ‘Filius’ translates to ‘son of’ in Latin, reflecting the relationship between this wine and the Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon; the estate’s most historic red wine. Filius is a more approachable, opulent interpretation of Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon, a style renowned for its elegance and power. All fruit parcels were vinified and matured individually before grading post maturation to create a regional expression of the vintage.

virginia-willcock“An intense nose of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, with complimentary coffee and chocolate aromas. These above earthy hints of sage, bay leaf, mushroom, truffle and venison. A juicy and fine up-front palate with dark cherry succulence and a savory dark chocolate sensation, akin to black forest cake. Vibrant fruit is carried with the bright acidity and attractive tannins building to the dry finish with lingering perfume remaining” – Virginia Willcock, winemaker

silverstarWinemaker: Virginia Willcok
Appellation: Margaret River, Australia
Varietal Blend:  85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, 2% Petite Verdot
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume, 3.52 pH / 6.8 TA g/L
Critical Acclaim: SILVER status by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

 

Wine-Club-LogoJoin our Wine Club this month and receive two SILVER STAR rated wines and pairing recipes!

Each month you’ll be introduced to new and different wines from around the world, from various appellations, varietals and wine styles. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the perks that comes with membership, including 10% off wine purchases and 15% off additional purchases of wine club wines.

Premium Wine Club pairing recipe

grilled-lamb-burgersGrilled Spicy Lamb Burgers

•  1 pound ground lamb
•  1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
•  1 teaspoon sherry
•  1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
•  1 teaspoon molasses
•  1 teaspoon ground cumin
•  ½ teaspoon ground allspice
•  ¼ teaspoon salt
•  2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
•  2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
•  2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
•  ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
•  4 pita bread rounds (or burger buns)
•  4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat grill for medium heat.  Place the lamb in a large bowl, and mix with the mint, cilantro, oregano, garlic, sherry, vinegar, and molasses. Season with cumin, allspice, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, and mix well. Shape into 4 patties.

Brush grill grate with oil. Grill burgers 5 minutes on each side, or until well done. Heat the pita pocket briefly on the grill. Serve burgers wrapped in pitas with feta cheese.  Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Bold_stickerstolpman-wine-petite-sirahStolpman Vineyards
Petite Sirah
Ballard Canyon AVA
Santa Ynez Valley, California

Over 20 years ago, founder Thomas Stolpman, discovered what he believed to be one of the greatest viticultural sites on earth. Hidden in the hills of California’s Central Coast, on a rare limestone outcropping and unobstructed from the Pacific Ocean wind, this unique land is naturally suited to grow Syrah and Roussanne grapes. The largest vineyard in the AVA, Stolpman Vineyards is considered the founding vineyard of the Ballard Canyon. The inky, black wine complements the bold flavors of BBQ perfectly. This wine stands up to a wide range of grilled meats, from lamb chops to classic BBQ dishes like ribs and brisket.

Sashi Moorman, winemaker

Sashi Moorman, winemaker

Petite Sirah can often drink so big and ripe the wine becomes monolithic.  Not so with this cooler vintage Petite Sirah.  The nose shows glints of creosote and black pepper.Thanks to de-stemming all of the clusters, the body is lush and forgiving on the finish.  Even more unctuous and seamless after two years in neutral barrel, our Syrah fans will appreciate the Petite Sirah.  This Petite Sirah might be the top pick out of the current releases for grilled steak.” – Sashi Moorman, winemaker

Winemaker: Sashi Moorman
Appellation: Santa Ynez Valley, Ballard Canyon AVA, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Petite Sirah
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume, 3.81 pH, 6.6 TA g/L
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Wine-Club-LogoJoin our Premium “Enjoy” Wine Club this month and receive two delicious wines from Stolpman and pairing recipes!

Every other month, you’ll receive two bottles of “If You Insist” premium wines that you’ll truly adore. These wines are top scoring or limited releases that you will thoroughly ENJOY or impress your friends!  Plus, you’ll enjoy 10% off wine purchases and 15% off additional purchases of wine club wines.

 

Imagine Bonny Doon Vineyard wine pairing

BonnyDoon_Imagine_bottleFruityImagine
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Grenache Mourvedre
Central Coast, California

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

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

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


Seared Scallops with Corn, Sun Golds, Arugla & Basil

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

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

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

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

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

Wine pairing recipe for May Wine club

picpoulcrispPicpoul
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Arroyo Seco, California

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

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

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


Grilled Sardines with Frisee & Whole-grain Mustard Dressing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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