December Wine Club Pairing Recipe

© Natasha's Kitchen

© Natasha’s Kitchen

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

Lamb Stew Recipe

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

© Recipe courtesy of Natasha of Natasha’s Kitchen.

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

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

BOLD WINE STYLE

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

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

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

Produced: Six Barrels – 150 cases

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

John Lancaster

Photo by Skylark Wine: John Lancaster

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

Robert Perkins

Photo by Skylark Wine: Robert Perkins

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

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

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November Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Easy Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake

© Little Spice Jar

Malbecs beg to be paired with full-bodied foods such as leaner red meats, dark meat turkey, pepper, sage, creamy mushroom sauces and melted cheese. Reach for Finca Buenaventura’s Aureo Punto Malbec and this Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake for the perfect post-Thanksgiving meal.

Easy Leftover Turkey Pasta Bake

  •  12 ounces cooked egg noodles or Pappardelle
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  •  1 pound baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  •  1 ½ jar (22 ounces total) prepared Alfredo sauce
  •  1 ½ cups turkey or chicken stock
  •  ½ cup ricotta cheese
  •  2 teaspoons garlic powder
  •  2 teaspoons dried basil
  •  ⅛ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  •  1 cup defrosted peas
  •  2 cups shredded or diced turkey or chicken
  •  1 ½ cup shredded (or diced) white cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • PREP: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a nonstick 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • SAUTE: Heat the butter in a large saucepan and saute the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they brown; about 7-9 minutes. Then, stir in the Alfredo sauce, chicken stock, and ricotta cheese. Season with garlic powder, basil, and red pepper flakes. When the sauce is smooth and heated through, stir in the peas and turkey (or chicken.) Then, fold in the prepared egg noodles and stir to combine.
  • BAKE: Add the prepared turkey pasta mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake the turkey pasta for 15-18 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown on top. You could also give it a minute under the broiler at the end to help it along. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley on top, if desired, and serve!
  • © Recipe courtesy of Marzia, Little Spice Jar.

NOVEMBER WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoAureo Punto MalbecFinca Buenaventura
Aureo Punto Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina

BOLD WINE STYLE

Finca Buenaventura means “Great Adventure” in Spanish. Finca is an award-winning winery located in the premier subzone of Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. Recognized with numerous awards from Decanter Magazine and the British press, these wines are now exclusively available at WineStyles for the first time in the US.

Located an hour’s drive south from the city of Mendoza, the region is home to the production of Argentina’s icon grape variety: Malbec. It shines in the Uco Valley, with a distinctive floral aroma. It is considered part of the Mendoza region, but the Uco Valley can be recognized in its own right on several counts. Among Uco’s merits is its higher-altitude location at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The valley benefits from high daytime temperatures which drop to cool temperatures at night; this allows the grapes to produce balanced sugars and acidity while achieving phenolic ripeness. The dry continental climate brings little rain. Soils in the Uco Valley are alluvial and fairly uniform: a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface. These free-draining soils are excellent for quality viticulture as they stress the vines, leading to decreased vigor, lower yields, and consequently wines with a higher concentration of flavor.

Ruby in color with sparkling purple blue notes, the Aureo Punto Malbec has an intense nose of red fruit aromas, raspberries, cherries, pepper and vanilla. The mouth showcases a velvet like sensation with an open start, and a long end.

Varietal: 100% Malbec
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume
pH:
3.7
Acidity: 5.4 g/L
Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/L
Aging: French & American Oak
Harvested: 
Middle of April
Altitude: 3680 feet

Sergio Giménez

Winemaker: Sergio Giménez

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Fernando del Castillo and Ana Maria Delmar started this project in 2003 when they were looking for the perfect spot to establish an innovative idea: produce the best expression of the soil and sky. They found the land situated at the foothill, and on the aquifer, at an altitude of 3852 feet, protected by 180 degrees of mountains. They studied the land for more than one year, and began working. By 2005, the Finca Buenaventura vineyard was complete.

Fernando and Ana Maria belong to a completely different backgrounds. Fernando was a successful lawyer, participating in the Constitutional Reform as a consultant and constituent; while Ana Maria was a language and literature professor at a university.  Both returned to school to be prepared for this challenge; they studied agri-business and marketing and continue to grow their knowledge at the vineyard and winery.

They are proud of having a fantastic, hard working team. Even their son and daughters, who have their own professions – an Oenologist, a Designer and an Agronomical Engineer- are all deeply involved in their family’s project. They understand the family’s idea that wine is an expression of art and are responsible of the vineyard with their 20 to 150 workers in harvest time.

ABOUT SERGIO GIMÉNEZ:
Sergio received his Bachelor of Oenology and Fruit and Vegetable Industry in 1996. He received the titles of Senior Winemaker and Senior Technician in Fruit and Vegetable Industries, awarded by the “Don Bosco” Wine School.  After graduation, Sergio went on to be a secretary, advisor and winemaker for many different wineries throughout Argentina.

In July 2009, Sergio became the first winemaker of Mi Terruño Winery, located in the region of Maipú, Argentina. He helped make premium and super premium varietals, bottling them with the brands such as Uvas, Mi Terruño Reserva and Mayacaba, scored with more than 90 points by specialized journalists.

In March 2012, Sergio became the winemaker at Finca Buenaventura, where he still works today. He has produced premium and super-premium wines with the brands such as Aureo de Colección, Punto Aureo and Aureo a la Obra. His 2012 vintage of Aureo a la Obra obtained the gold medal in the 2013 Vinandino contest.

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July Wine Club: Shrimp Boil Packs

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Photo credit: The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Shrimp Boil Foil Packs

Enjoyable option for a fuss-free weeknight dinner or a weekend backyard cookout on July 4th.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound shrimp (31 to 35 count, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 pound small red potatoes or gold potatoes (cut into small cubes, about 2 inches)
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob (husked, cleaned, chopped into small rounds)
  • 1 (12-ounce) smoked sausage (such as kielbasa) or andouille (sliced into 2 to 3 inch long pieces)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion (medium-sized, thinly sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
  • Garnish: 2 lemons (sliced, about 12 wedges)
  • Garnish: 1 stick butter (melted)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F or the grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F). If using frozen shrimp, place the package under cold water for 10 minutes to thaw.
  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a roaring boil and add the potatoes and the corn. Reduce the heat and bring to simmer. Cook for 10 minutes on simmer and drain into colander. Set aside.
  • While the potatoes and corn are simmering prepare 4 sets of 12×24 inch long aluminum foil sheets. Fold each in half, forming a square.  If using pre-cut aluminum foil simply prepare sheets 12×12 inches. Slightly fold up the edges of the sheets.
  • In a large bowl combine the drained potatoes and corn, the sausage, the thawed shrimp, the onion, and the garlic. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter, season with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.  Mix very well to coat all the ingredients.
  • Divide the shrimp boil ingredients between the four aluminum foil sheets.
  • Neatly fold into packets.
  • Place them onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. If grilling, place the packets directly onto the grill surface and cook for 15 minutes, flipping once after about 8 minutes.
  • Serve the packets slightly opened up, garnished with chopped parsley, a pinch of Old Bay seasoning and a few lemon wedges. Serve the 1 stick melted butter as a side for optional drizzling over the shrimp boil or dipping.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 Sauvignon BlancCrisp Wine StyleRANCH 32
Sauvignon Blanc
Monterey, California

CRISP WINE STYLE

The grapes for this Sauvignon Blanc were grown on estate vineyards in Monterey County, California.  The majority of the blend hails from the San Lucas Vineyard located south of Greenfield in the sub-appellation of San Lucas.  The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the early morning hours. Upon arrival, the fruit was gently whole-cluster pressed, then chilled and lightly settled before being transferred to a refrigerated stainless steel tank.  Fermentation was conducted slowly at cool temperatures to retain the fruit esters and enhance the varietal aromatics.  Stainless steel tanks provide a neutral and reductive environment that serves to accentuate the wine’s crisp, zesty qualities and retain its distinctive freshness.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“The warm days followed by cooling afternoon winds from the Monterey Bay enhance the melon and tropical fruit flavors. Fragrant and zesty citrus aromas with a hint of flora notes lead into a medium-bodied palate with lovely flavors of green apple and guava. The lingering bright fruit finish is crisp and refreshing, making our Sauvignon Blanc an ideal apéritif. –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.44
TA: 6.2 g/l
Aging: Stainless Steel tanks
Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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July Wine Club: Cooper’s Blend

Photo by Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBq, Inc.

Grilled Steak Burgers with Port Wine Reduction Spread

Yummy gourmet burger to grill up and enjoy at your July 4th cook out. Well-seasoned, grilled to perfection with a port wine topping, on a toasted Ciabatta bread. Enjoy with a glass of Ranch 32 Coopers Blend.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds ground beef (preferably lean)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce​
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (coarse ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 4 large Ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (both plain and garlic for drizzling)
  • 8 to 10 large slices of Havarti cheese

INGREDIENTS FOR PORT REDUCTION:

  • 1 1/2 cups port wine
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon beef soup base, plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 3/4 cups mayonnaise

PORT REDUCTION DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather ingredients, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot.
  • Add Shallots and cook on medium-high heat, for 1 to 2 minutes.  Once translucent, pour in the wine.
  • Allow mixture to come to a quick boil, add the beef base, water and stir.
  • Reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir mixture occasionally.
  • Once reduced more than half and mixture has thickened (consistency of syrup) remove from heat and allow reduction to cool.
  • Once cooled, mix 2 tablespoons at a time into mayonnaise until well incorporated. It will take on a lavender hue.
  • Place in air tight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

BURGER DIRECTIONS:

  • Gather the ingredients. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  • Combine meat with corresponding seasons. Form into four large patties or two smaller ones, depending on the size of the bread. Do not make patties too large, as you run the risk of them breaking on the grill.  Patties should be about 1 inch thick.
  • Place burger patties onto grill and cook for 7-8 minutes per side.
  • Once cooked, remove from heat and place onto a large platter or cooking sheet. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Cut Ciabatta bread in half, lengthwise.
  • Drizzle with plain olive oil and a touch of garlic olive oil. If you do not have garlic oil, just dust light with garlic powder.
  • Place onto grill cut side down for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once lightly toasted and warmed through, remove from heat and promptly add Havarti slices, burger patties, a generous helping of port wine spread and top halves of Ciabatta.
  • Cut into three pieces each or two if the bread is smaller. Enjoy!
  • © Recipe courtesy of The Spruce Eats Derrick Riches

JULY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCoopers Blend Ranch 32RANCH 32
Cooper’s Blend
Monterey County, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Nestled on the west side of Salinas Valley, directly in the path of the region’s relentless afternoon winds lies Ranch 32.  Here, warm sunny days are tempered by evening coastal fogs that often linger until mid-morning the following day.  This ideal climate lengthens the growing season, allowing the fruit to develop complex flavors and intense varietal character. 

The fruit was picked at optimum ripeness during the night and brought to the winery in the very early morning hours. The grapes were sorted, destemmed, crushed, and fermented dry in open top fermenters.  The firm cap of skins and seeds that bubbles up and forms on the surface during the red fermentation was gently punched down several times a day.  To add complexity and retain character, each variety was fermented separately, then aged with a mix of American, Hungarian and French oak. During the blending process, just prior to bottling, the proportion of each variety was chosen to accentuate richness of flavor and to maximize depth, complexity, mouthfeel and finish.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

“Our Cooper’s Blend is a harmonious blend of six varieties that each contribute unique flavors and characteristics to the final wine.  The Petite Sirah brings very dark, purple-edged color and intense black fruit flavors. The Merlot and Syrah offer bold blueberry and juicy cherry and the Petit Verdot contributes exotic violet aromas and concentrated structure. The Tempranillo adds a subtle spice, while a small amount of White Riesling brings heightened fruit aromatics to the blend. The result is a wine of complexity and structure, with layer upon layer of flavor.  The gentle tannins make this well-balanced wine a natural partner for a wide range of foods .” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 33% Petite Sirah, 28% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 9% Syrah, 7% Tempranillo, 3% White Riesling
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.62
TA: 6.1 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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July Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Marinated Beef Kabobs

Infusing the beef with a marinade will provide flavorful and juicy steak pieces. For extra flavor, baste the kabobs with reserve marinade while grilling.  Try to purchase the beef in a block, making it easier to cut into cubes.  Makes 8 skewers.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs beef tri tips, sirloin tips or other steak cut
  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 1 large red onion

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp minced garlic (2 large garlic cloves)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or sub with garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

COOKING ITEMS:

  • 8 flat metal skewers
  • olive oil, for drizzling and cooking
  • finely chopped parsley, garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cut the beef into 1.3″ wide cubes.
  • Mix Marinade in a bowl. Add beef. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours, minimum 20 minutes.
  • Cut bell peppers and onion into 1.3″ wide squares.
  • Thread beef (reserve Marinade), vegetables and mushrooms on each skewer.  Use two pieces of vegetables between each piece of beef. Thread loosely, don’t smush together tightly (helps even cooking).
  • Brush kebabs lightly with reserved marinade (including vegetables), then drizzle with olive oil.
  • Heat BBQ or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil, then when smoking, cook kebabs in batches for 2 minutes on each side until slightly charred (4 sides = 8 minutes in total), basting with reserved marinade as you go.
  • Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.
  • See link below for more tips and dipping sauces.
  • © Recipe courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

JULY WINE CLUB:

Ranch 32 MeritageBold wine Style logoRANCH 32
Vintner’s Reserve Meritage
Monterey, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

On the west side of the Salinas Valley, not far from the town of Greenfield, directly in the path of Monterey’s relentless afternoon winds, lies Ranch 32. Vineyards were originally planted in 1972 by the founder, Al Scheid.  Several decades later, the Ranch 32 Vineyard is still the heart of the business where the winery operations reside. All of the vineyards are certified sustainable and growers are deeply committed to the principals of environmental stewardship.

The grapes for the Ranch 32 Meritage were grown on the southernmost estate vineyards in the San Lucas and Hames Valley AVAs. Although these properties experience some of the cooling effects from the Pacific Ocean, they are sheltered from the strong winds that scour the Salinas Valley each afternoon.  Daytime highs are similar to Paso Robles, but at night, the temperatures can drop as much as 50 degrees.  The combination of hot days and cold nights produce red wines that are deep, rich, concentrated and chewy.

Vincent Catalaa Winemaker

Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

The fruit was picked in the early morning hours based on ripeness, acidity, pH and flavor.  In the winery, the fruit was sorted, crushed and fermented in small tanks then aged with oak. Gentle handling and minimal intervention throughout the winemaking process ensures that the distinct characteristics of each vineyard’s terroir are preserved.

“This deep, dark wine delivers opulent aromas of blackberries, plums, black cherries, cassis, violets and vanilla. The palate is ripe and powerful with notes of fresh fruit, earth and new oak. The tannins are solid, but seamless.  This Bordeaux blend is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or hearty stews.” –  Vincent Catalaà, Winemaker

Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 22% Petit Verdot
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 6.4 g/l
Aging: 12 month on 35% new oak, 15% French, 15% American, 5% Hungarian
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 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

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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

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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!

 

Maison L’Envoyé Pinot Noir

Salisbury Steak with GravySalisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

STEAK INGREDIENTS:
• ½ onion (white, brown or yellow)
• ½ cup panko bread crumbs (or 1/3 cup ordinary bread crumbs)
• 1 lb ground beef (mince)
• 1 garlic clove , minced
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp ketchup
• 1 beef bouillon cube, crumbled
• ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tsp Dijon mustard or 2 tsp dry mustard powder

GRAVY INGREDIENTS:
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves , minced
• ½ onion , finely chopped
• 5 oz mushrooms , sliced
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 3 tbsp flour (all purpose / plain)
• 2 cups beef broth / stock
• 1 cup water
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• Salt and pepper

STEAK DIRECTIONS:
• Place bread crumbs in a bowl. Use a box grater and grate the onion over the bread crumbs. Mix with fingers, leave to soak for a few minutes.
• Add remaining steak ingredients into the large bowl. Use your hands to mix until just combined – don’t over mix.
• Divide into 5 and pat into oval patties around ¾ inch thick.

DIRECTIONS:
• Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the steaks and cook the first side for 1 minute or until browned, then flip and brown the other side (they will still be raw inside). Remove onto plate.
• If skillet is looking dry, add a touch more oil. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until onions are a bit translucent.
• Add the mushrooms into the skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until golden.
• Turn heat down to medium. Add butter. Once melted, add flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
• Gradually add in beef broth, stirring as you go. Once mostly lump free, whisk in remaining gravy ingredients. Add steaks along with the juices on the plate. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until gravy is thickened, stirring occasionally around the steaks. If the gravy thickens too quickly, add more water.
• Remove steaks onto a plate. Taste gravy, salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaks topped with the mushroom gravy, over mashed potato is ideal. Sprinkle with a bit of parsley if desired.
© Recipe courtesy Recipe courtesy of RecipeTinEats.com

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Maison L'Envoye Pinot NoirMaison L’Envoyé
The Attaché
Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Mellow style logoMELLOW WINE STYLE

Driven by a tireless hunt for elusive sites where Pinot Noir shines, Maison L’Envoyé (House of the Messenger) traverses the globe with the intention of presenting the acme of regionality and winemaking styles. They champion many unsung growers who have farmed their vineyards for decades and generations, some mere feet away from more illustriously cited neighbors. This project has been a standout since it debuted in 2011, named a ‘Winery to Watch’ by Wine & Spirits in 2015. The Attaché is a barrel selection culled from both alluvial and volcanic vineyard sites. An indigenous whole berry fermentation took place employing a gentle infusion technique to extract color and depth without excessive phenolics. The wine then matured for 12 months in French oak barriques, 35% of which were new.

Felipe Ramirez“Vibrant aromas of wild berries, dried flowers and sage with touches of spice and woodsmoke. The palate fills the mouth with fleshy red fruits, cherry cola and earthy layers. Gentle tannins provide a structured yet soft frame to the fruit which is kept in line by a satisfying minerality. The wine finishes long with clarity and focus.” – Felipe Ramirez, Winemaker

Winemaker: Felipe Ramirez
Appellation: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.6% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim: 92 pts Vinous, 90+pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate

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!