Duck Breast, Lentil and Parsnip Salad

duckbreast-saladINGREDIENTS:
•  ½ cup French green lentils
•  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
•  2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
•  Salt and fresh ground pepper
•  One medium parsnip (about 8 ounces) peeled
•  Vegetable oil for frying
•  Four 5-6 ounce skinless duck breasts (or chicken breasts)
•  5 ounces mesclun greens (10 loosely packed cups)

DIRECTIONS:
Put the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 min.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils and return them to the saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and toss lentils well. Cover and keep warm.

Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the parsnip lengthwise into strips. In a large skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the parsnips to the oil at a time and fry over moderate heat until browned, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the parsnips to paper towels to drain. Lightly season the parsnips with salt.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned outside and medium rare inside, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the duck to a carving board and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl toss the mesclun greens with the lentils. Slice the duck breasts in thin strips crosswise. Add the duck to the salad along with the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Add some crisp parsnips to the salad and toss again and top with remaining crisp parsnips for serving.   Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

TierraYMarPinot silverstarTierra y Mar
Floral Cuvee
Sonoma County, CA

Tierra y Mar translates to Earth and Sea, a nod to the special relationship between land and water.  At Tierra y Mar they produce wines that are the ultimate expression of nature’s balance and harmony, allowing the wines to speak for themselves as they are the unique creation of the grape, soil, water and climate of where they are grown.  Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County.  Sonoma County, with miles of coastline and sun-kissed valleys, provides diversity within its growing regions.

DougFrost“With a delightful, floral character adding interest to the strawberry and raspberry nose, this reflects cool growing conditions, perhaps cooler than many competitive Pinot Noir sites in California and far more appropriate to the grape. This is gentle throughout but not short or simple as a result; it just happens to drink easily.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Critical Acclaim: SILVER STAR rated, Doug Frost, MS, MW
Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume

 

The Hess Collection

March Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Please join us for a special Winery Spotlight event, featuring The Hess Collection winery from Napa Valley, California.

The HESS Collection
Vineyards & Winery

Hess_FamilyStarted in 1844, Hess Family Wine Estates is a family-owned, fourth-generation company with a deep commitment to responsible agricultural and business practices.  Founded in Bern, Switzerland, Hess Family Wine Estates seeks, develops and mentors businesses worldwide that reflect the company’s values of tradition, quality and sustainability.

In 1978, Donald Hess founded the Hess Collection Winery on Mount Veeder, 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley.  True to his vision of what a New World wine should be, Mr. Hess established his winery on the volcanic slopes of Mount Veeder in the Napa Valley and defined a whole new approach to winemaking.  Along with its mountain vineyards, the winery has won acclaim for its other estate vineyards in the northeast and southern ends of the Napa Valley and has been recognized for its successful relationships with family-owned growers who represent some of the finest appellations in California.

The Hess Collection Winery produces three tiers of wines and has distinguished itself as a premium producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

THE HESS COLLECTION WINE TASTING EVENT:

Hess_Wines

The Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay
Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir
The Hess Collection 19 Block Mountain Cuvee
MacPhail Family Wines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
The Hess Collection Napa Valley Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon
The Hess Collection Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Chalk Hills Estate Vineyards & Winery

February Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Please join us for a special Winery Spotlight event, featuring Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery.

Chalk Hill Estate
Vineyards & Winery

Chalk Hill Estate is one of the most spellbinding wineries in California.  Hidden in the rugged foothills of the Mayacama Mountain range that divides Napa and Sonoma County, the winery offers extraordinary scenery, a sense of serenity and seclusion, and one of the most providential climates for grapes in all of California.

ESTATE HISTORY: Founded in 1972, by Fred Furth, Chalk Hill Estate produced its first wine in 1980 from grapes grown on extraordinary vineyards set in the rolling hills of eastern Sonoma County.  Over the intervening years, the winery has helped pioneer and establish the Chalk Hill AVA as one of the top winegrowing regions in California. Today, this 1300+ acre property includes around 350 acres of vineyards, a winery, a hospitality center, culinary garden, residence, stables, equestrian pavilion, sports fields, fishing and swimming ponds and a wilderness area. The winery makes limited quantities of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Red, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Semillon as well as several small lot wines.

VITICULTURE: From dramatic hillsides to vineyard gardens, from dry creek beds to forests of native oak, the most prominent feature of Chalk Hill Estate is diversity. Soils vary with elevations and range from ancient alluvial deposits of sand, gravel and clay to young volcanic soils strewn with rocks and boulders. A distinctive layer of volcanic ash lies under much of the top soil inspiring the name “Chalk Hill.” The viticultural team led by Mark Lingenfelder has spent 35 years studying and mapping the Estate’s complex terroir. Thanks to their efforts, each individual block (60 total) has been planted to the best possible variety, clone, rootstock, trellising system, row orientation and vine spacing.  More than two-thirds of Chalk Hill remains uncultivated. The winery’s vineyards are thoughtfully woven amongst the native oak woodlands, meadows and streams. The vines are maintained using low-input, sustainable viticultural practices to preserve the long-term viability of the ecosystem.

WINEMAKING: Making great wine starts by understanding the nuances within each vineyard site. Harvesting precisely when the grapes have the greatest flavor, balance and concentration is the only way the vineyard expresses its unique character. The winemaker then coaxes the best out of every grape with a minimalist approach and gentle handing. Each vineyard and winemaking step contributes to our world-class red and white wine programs. Recognized by press and consumers alike, Chalk Hill has received 125 scores of 90 or higher from Robert Parker, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator combined.

Bill Foley in Vineyard_chalk_hill

Bill Foley, Chalk Hill Proprietor

“It is a privilege to be involved with such a significant and strikingly beautiful property. For nearly four decades, Chalk Hill has been one of the premier wine estates in California. Our Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, and proprietary Estate Red are all considered benchmarks among their peers. Our commitment to sustainable farming ensures that our land will remain healthy for generations and our wines will accurately reflect their origins in the hills of eastern Sonoma County.” –  William P. (Bill) Foley II, Proprietor

CHALK HILL WINES TASTED:

Chalk_Hill_winesEstate Sauvignon Blanc
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Estate Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Estate Pinot Noir
Estate Red Blend

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Bittersweet Chocolate Bing Cherry Brownies

bing cherry brownie wine pairingINGREDIENTS:
• 2 eggs
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• ½ cup butter
• ½ cup flour
• ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 cup Bing cherries, pitted and quartered

DIRECTIONS:Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar until smooth. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk until incorporated. Sift together the flour and cocoa and fold into the mixture. Fold in the cherries. Spread the batter into a parchment-lined 8-inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just done. Let cool in the pan and cut into 2-inch squares.  Makes 16 brownies

Canyon_Cellars_Steele_CellarsSteele Canyon CellarsBold_sticker
Pinot Noir
Napa Valley, California

Steele Canyon Cellars is located in the rolling, heavily wooded hills of eastern Napa, just south of Lake Berryessa.  It was originally constructed as a custom crush facility to ferment and age small lots of artisan wine made from the local vineyards.  The Scotto Family discovered the property in 2010 during their search for a Napa winery where they could produce limited release, hand crafted Napa wines.  Several months later, they also acquired the rights to all of the harvest from a nearby vineyard on the Silverado Trail, giving them the facility and the premium fruit required for their Napa releases.

Winemaker: Paul Scotto
Appellation: Napa Valley, California
Varietal Blend:  94% Pinot Noir, 6% Syrah
Analysis: 13.0% alc/vol

Cheese for Summertime

MaxInterview with Max McCalman, Dean of Curriculum and Maitre Fromager of Artisanal Cheese

What is your perfect cheese/wine pairing for weddings?
Luscious triple crèmes like Brillat-Savarin or Pierre Robert, and a well-aged Gruyère from Beeler. Pair with fine Champagne — a match made in heaven.

Which cheese and wine pairings do you suggest for Father’s Day?
This is the time of the year when we begin to see the broadest variety of types of cheese. The Lauriers are lovely soft cheeses. To add a little sweet for your dad, include a variety of Gouda that has been aged four years. Pairing these two cheeses from opposite ends of the CheeseClock™ is simple, as they both are complemented quite well by lighter white wines.  Or try two-year-old Cheddar or the Terraluna. Pair either one of these two firm cheeses with a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Which cheese and wines go best when preparing for a BBQ?
Try Petite Syrah, a Zinfandel or Primitivo, or a Tempranillo. These wines are best paired with sheep milk cheeses, such as Stella Royale and Pecorino Sardo.

Cheese_springWhat’s the best way to store cheese in summertime?
During warm weather it’s important to place it in a chilled storage container, especially a soft cheese.

Tell us more about the new cheeses and what wine they would pair with?
One of our newer cheeses is the Terraluna, which is produced in Utah and comes from clean raw Jersey cow milk. This cheese is in the cheddar family yet it is a little less acidic than most. It offers a deep flavor with a longlasting finish. It’s a versatile cheese partner with many wines, especially Pinot Noir. Another cheese in our caves is the Stella Royale. It is a traditional-style pressed sheep milk cheese from northwest Spain. The paste of the cheese is firm and granular and carries a distinct olive oil aroma just before it finishes with a nutty flavor. Stella Royale pairs well with Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.

Zingy Turkey Soup

Perfect pairing for leftover Thanksgiving turkey and Les Florieres Pinot Noir

112137255INGREDIENTS:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 cup diced celery
• 1 cup diced carrots
• 3 garlic cloves, diced
• 2 large bay leaves
• 2 cups diced roasted turkey
• 1 cup white rice
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1 quart chicken broth
• Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot, stir together olive oil, onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves and serve.  Makes 8 servings.  Recipe courtesy of Italia Magazine.

WC_Nov_2013_Label_PinotNoirLes Florieres
Pinot Noir
Burgundy, France

mellow

This Pinot Noir displays shiny ruby red colors with a sense of clarity. Subtle aromas of red and black fruits (raspberry & black current) with notes of warm spices. Wine is medium bodied with notes of wild strawberries and liquorice and finishes with a bright fresh acidity.

Winemaker: Gregoire Pissot
Appellation: Maconnais, Burgundy, France
Varietal:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 12.5% alc/vol
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine