August Cheese Club: Iowa

pre-sliced-Olli-calabrese-4-ounceOlli SalumeriaCheese Club
Calabrese
Oceanside, California

A spicy salami that gets its kick from cayenne pepper and paprika. It is zesty, yet not overpowering.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Red Zinfandels make the perfect accompaniment to this salami. For craft beer, reach for a Belgian-style Golden Ale or a hoppy IPA to balance the spice of the salami.

WINESTYLES: Mellow or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean; or Hoppy & Bitter

ABOUT OLLI SALUMERIA:
Owner, Oliviero (or Olli) grew up in a family of salumi makers. In 1850, his great grandfather was already making salami in Norcia, Italy. By 1900, his family moved to Rome, opening many salumi stores throughout a larger market.  By 1950, his grandfather started a manufacturing business, that had later grown to be the most successful salumi business in Rome. Born in Rome in 1978, Oliviero spent many years learning from his grandfather. By 2010, he moved to the United States to start his own company, Olli Salumeria, using the traditional techniques learned from his family. Learn more about their story here >


Cypress Grove humboldt fog cheeseCypress Grove
Humboldt Fog
Arcata, California

The Original American Original® was conceived in a dream, states founder Mary Keehn. Her creation opened the door for soft-ripened goat cheese in America. Each handcrafted wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash. On the palate, there are flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the cream-line develops and the flavor intensifies.

FOOD PAIRING: Drizzle it with honey and serve with prosciutto, tart apple and Marcona almonds; or crumble it over a salad for a delicious treat. Try this recipe >

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING:
Young Humboldt: Demi-sec sparkling or Sauvignon Blanc wines. IPA, Porter or Wheat craft beer.
Ripe Humboldt Fog: Pinot Grigio, Rosé, Sweet Sherry, Vouray wines or enjoy with a Pale Ale craft beer.
Mature Humboldt Fog: Pinot Noir or Zinfandel wines or IPA or Stout craft beer.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Mellow
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean or Malty and Sweet

ABOUT CYPRESS GROVE: Cypress Grove is located on the rural north coast of California. Cypress Grove founder, Mary Keehn, had a dream of a soft-ripened goat cheese that later became an award-winning, recognized cheese; this creation fueled the growth to one of the most popular creameries in the country. Learn more about her story > 


Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.24.47 PMDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

August Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Roast Beef & Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese

Roast Beef Smoked Gouda Sandwich

© Photo by Running to the Kitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1/4 pound sliced roast beef
  • 3-4 ounces smoked gouda, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and sage.
  3. Toss to coat all the onions in the butter, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the onions sauté slowly for 30 minutes, only stirring very occasionally. After 30 minutes they should be nice and caramelized.
  4. Use the remaining tablespoon of butter to spread on one side of each slice of bread.
  5. With the buttered side facing down, layer half the cheese slices on top of the bread.
  6. Next lay the roast beef on top of the cheese.
  7. Spoon some of the onions (you may have extra) on top of the roast beef.
  8. Top the onions with the remaining cheese and then the other slice of bread with the buttered side facing up.
  9. Transfer the sandwich to a skillet over medium heat.
  10. Press the sandwich down using a large spatula and hold pressure on it so that the cheese melts. After about 2 minutes, flip the sandwich over and repeat. The first side should be a nice golden brown. Alternatively, you could use a panini press for this if you have one.
  11. Once the other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove from the skillet, cut in half and serve up with your bowl of soup!

© Recipe courtesy of Gina Matsoukas from Running to the Kitchen.

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoSidetrack RedPomar Junction
Sidetrack Red

Paso Robles, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

Sidetrack Red is a proprietary blend highlighting the distinct flavors from the El Pomar District of Paso Robles. It is vibrant, deep and rich in colors, with aromas of plums, blueberries, red roses and caramel. On the palate, there are notes of berries, dark chocolate, and spices.

Varietal: 44% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 1% Grenanche Noir
Region: El Pomar District AVA
Analysis: 14.08% alcohol / volume
Brix: 24.5
PH: 3.54
TA: 6.6 g/L
Residual Sugar:
0.40%
Production: 1235 cases
Aging: 9 months
Critical Acclaim: Silver Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Food Pairings: Roast beef, cabernet braised cabbage, gouda & cheddar cheeses
 
WINEMAKER NOTES:
“Pomar Junction Vineyard has a unique terroir, as our limestone soils, cooling Templeton Gap breezes and expert sustainable farming techniques (SIP Certified Vineyards) combine to produce this outstanding wine. The Sidetrack Red makes a fantastic, food-friendly wine.” – Jim Shumate, winemaker.
 
ABOUT POMAR JUNCTION VINEYARD & WINERY:
Dating back at least eight generations, the Merrill Family has been growing and producing grapes on California’s Central Coast since the 19th Century. Originally, the family was growing grapes for other wineries in California – from premium small producers to large international brands. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill, along with their son, Matthew, and winemaker, Jim Shumate farm the vineyards and produce elegant wines of their own.
Learn more here.
 

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

Learn about our Memberships >

 
 
 

 

July Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubKynthos HalloumiKynthos
Halloumi
Cyprus, Greece

A traditional cheese of Cyprus, Greece, the Kynthos Halloumi will have you feeling like you’re surrounded by the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of Greece. Made of cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and goat’s milk, this cheese has a very low acid content, making it the perfect grilling or frying cheese. Halloumi often resembles a much firmer and saltier block of clean, light mozzarella. 

FOOD PAIRING: This is cheese is a great blank slate to all sorts of dishes. Try grilled, fried, baked, sautéed, or simply on its own. Chop up with watermelon for a fun summer salad, or add any sauce on top of your baked cheese – perfect for a summer BBQ. Try one of Kynthos’ Grilled Halloumi recipes here.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Crisp and fruity wines, such as a Rosé make a perfect accompaniment to this cheese. Look for a Greek wine – what grows together, goes together! For craft beer, reach for a crisp and clean brew.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

“Halloumi has been increasingly eaten all over the world since its creation in what is now known as the Middle Eastern island country of Cyprus back during the Medieval Byzantine period which started in 395 AD. Halloumi is widely recognized throughout the Mediterranean as the crowning cheese jewel of Cyprus cuisine as well as in neighboring Turkey and Greece.” – Kynthos

Gril


Regular-kefalotyriKourellas
Kefaloytre
Grevena, Greece

Kefaloytre is a classic cheese of Greece. It is a hard, aged cheese made up of pasteurized sheep and goat’s milk. The Kourellas family keep things traditional by salting the cheese by hand as it matures. Dating back to the Byzantine era, Kefalotyri is believed to be the ancestor of most hard Greek cheeses.

FOOD PAIRING: This cheese is an essential ingredient in classic Greek dishes, such as moussaka, pastitsio, or spanakopita. Grate over pasta, serve shavings with pears and grapes, or fry a couple slices with your eggs.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Similar to the Halloumi pairings, search for something crisp and fruity, such as a Rosé. Even better, look for a Greek wine to accompany your cheese! For craft beer, stick with a crisp and clean brew.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

ABOUT KOURELLAS DAIRY:
Greece’s first organic dairy, the Kourellas family has been making traditional Greek dairy since 1960. Their family farm sits in Grevena, a region known for its exceptional dairy products. Although over the years they have outgrown their original dairy, they continue to maintain the same standards of quality and recipes passed down from generation to generation. Learn more about their story here.


Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.24.47 PMDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

July Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto

© Photo by Matt Armendariz

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound wild mushrooms torn or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • chives to garnish
  • lemon wedges
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 7-9 minutes until they are soft and starting to caramelize. Season with salt and transfer to a clean plate.
  2. In the same skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the Arborio rice to the skillet, making sure to stir it around in the olive oil so that each granule is coated with it, and toast it for about 90 seconds.
  3. Add the white wine and stir the rice until all the wine has been absorbed and then start adding the chicken stock ½ cup at a time, making sure not to add more until the previous addition has been absorbed.
  4. Once the rice is tender, add the Parmesan and Mascarpone cheese and combine. Add the previously sautéed mushrooms and carefully combine into the risotto. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and a squeeze or two of lemon juice and serve.

© Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin from What’s Gaby Cooking.

JULY WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoPersnickety Pinot NoirEola Hills Wine Cellars
Persnickety Pinot Noir

Oregon

MELLOW WINE STYLE

A collaboration by Head Winemaker, Steve Anderson, and Assistant Winemaker, Steve Richards, of Eola Hills Wine Cellars. The Persnickety Pinot Noir is violet in color. The nose highlights aromas of black cherry, raspberry and toasted oak; while on the palate there are flavors of black fruits, toast and caramel. This is a full-body wine, that is rich and expressive with a polished finish.

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.8% alcohol / volume
TA: 0.56
PH:
3.6
Residual Sugar:
0 g/L
Brix At Harvest:
22.5-24.5
Production: 800 cases
Sourcing: Premium vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley, Eola-Amity Hills, Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley AVAs.

Food Pairing: It is recommended to pair this Pinot Noir with earthy dishes such as a creamy wild mushroom risotto. For cheeses, look for a selection of Camembert, Gruyere or Goat Cheese.

Eola-Hills-Steve-Anderson-winemaker-1-600x900

Head Winemaker, Steve Anderson

WINEMAKER NOTES:
“Forecasts for end of season rains in Northern Oregon had some growers worried about early picking, but others took their chances and were rewarded with longer hang time and a great finish. Southern Oregon vineyards balanced out lower yields making our Classic Pinot another premium representation of this distinctive grape in Oregon. A dark-fruited, juicy profile is balanced by toasty spice and vanilla notes from an oak regime combining time spent in both French and American barrels.” – Steve Anderson, Head Winemaker.

ABOUT EOLA HILLS WINE CELLARS:
In the early 1980’s, Oregonian Tom Huggins found himself intrigued by the notion of creating great regional wines in the heart of the Willamette Valley. With close friends and family members, they invested in purchasing 35 acres that Tom thought was ideal for growing grapes. Today, Eola Hills Wine Cellars is still locally owned and operated and one of Oregon’s largest wineries, farming over 325 acres of prime vineyard land. They produce over 80,000 cases of fine wines that are enjoyed across the country and internationally, capturing the spirit and flavors of Oregon.
Learn more here.

 

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

Learn about our Memberships >

 
 
 

 

June Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Grilled Harissa Lamb Chops

INGREDIENTS:

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

Harissa Spice Rub:

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

Harissa Yogurt:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

© Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine from Feasting at Home.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

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

BOLD WINE STYLE

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

 

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:

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

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

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May Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds fatty tips trimmed)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 small garlic cloves (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and garlic and cook until the chops are browned, about 2 minutes longer for medium meat. Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
  2. Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.

© Recipe courtesy of Janet Mendel from Food and Wine.

MAY WINE CLUB:

Bold wine Style logoCircle-of-Life-RedWaterkloof
Circle of Life Red

Stellenbosch, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

A perfectly integrated blend with great length, combining the spiciness of the Syrah, the fresh fruits of the Petit Verdot and juiciness from the Merlot. The introduction is fresh and fruity with good acidity, evolving into riper flavors and herbaceous notes, and with elegant tannins and light acids on the finish. It is very versatile and will complement numerous dishes, but the winery recommends enjoying it with a hearty piece of lamb.
 
Varietal: 26% Syrah, 24% Merlot, 26% Petit Verdot and 24% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.52
TA: 5.2 g/l
VA: 0.7
Residual Sugar: 2.3
Production:
17,400 bottles produced
 

Circle of Life tells the story of Waterkloof: A once conventionally farmed vineyard with great potential, that – since Paul Boutinot took over the property – has been transformed into a living, breathing organic and biodynamic vineyard by Farm Manager Christiaan Loots and his team. Waterkloof winery strives to produce distinctive, yet balanced wines using traditional, organic and biodynamic methods. They work with nature, not against it. Chickens, sheep and work-horses have unique and integral parts within the vineyard. Their soils are free of chemicals, and instead are kept healthy using plant extracts, fungi and bacteria from their own organic compost. The winery continuously works to understand their vineyards to harness the individual characteristics of each vineyard block. Waterkloof’s objective with Circle of Life was to produce two blends that encapsulate all the varying terroir characteristics and grape varietals found on Waterkloof.

HARVEST AND PRODUCTION:
All grapes are hand-picked and sorted in the vineyards, then brought to their cellars by their work-horses. The grapes are then hand-sorted again at the winery to ensure only the best berries are being used. The sorted grapes are then placed into wooden fermenters using their gravity system. This fermentation process starts naturally with yeast present on the grapes to enhance the flavors from the vineyards. Throughout the fermentation process, the winery performs soft punch downs twice a day to gently and slowly extract the tannins. The wines will spend around 30 days on the skins – give or take depending on taste. After the maceration time on the skins, the wine is ran down using gravity, no pumping is incorporated. The grape skins also fall through into the basket press and are softly pressed to gently extract every last bit of wine, aroma and color. The varietals are then aged separately in French oak for about 18 months. After the aging process, Waterkloof blends the Syrah (26%), Merlot (24%), Petit Verdot (26%), and Cabernet Franc (24%) together, then keeps in wooden fermenters for another 9 months. This wine is unfined and gently filtered.

ABOUT WATERKLOOF:
In 1993 Paul Boutinot commenced his search for a vineyard site with the potential to produce truly fine wine with a defining sense of origin. The classic areas, capable of growing naturally balanced grapes such as the Cote d’Or, Chablis, Paulliac, Barolo, etc. were either unavailable or unattainable (rich men’s toys), so he had to find a new classic. It took ten years to narrow the search down to a small area on the south-facing slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay in the Cape. As soon as he was led up a steep ravine opening out into a hidden amphitheater of potential, all his experience and intuition told him: ‘THIS IS IT!’ Just like that, Waterkloof was born, and the hard work began. Learn more about the history of Waterkloof here.

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

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April Wine Club Pairing Recipe

Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Shallots

Beef Tenderloin with Shallots

© Photo by All Recipes

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ pound shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • ¾ cup port wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin roast, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 sprigs watercress, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a 9-inch pie pan, toss shallots with oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are deep brown and very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine beef broth and port. Bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste. Set aside.
  3. Pat beef dry; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan, set over medium heat on the stove top, sauté bacon until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add beef to pan; brown on all sides over medium high heat, about 7 minutes.
  4. Transfer pan to oven. Roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 125°F (50°C) for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent loosely with foil.
  5. Spoon fat off top of pan drippings in roasting pan. Place pan over high heat on stove top. Add broth mixture, and bring to boil; stir to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer to a medium saucepan, and bring to simmer. Mix 1 ½ tablespoon butter and flour in small bowl to form smooth paste; whisk into broth mixture, and simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in remaining butter. Stir in roasted shallots and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cut beef into ½ inch thick slices. Spoon some sauce over, and garnish with watercress.

© Recipe courtesy of Christine L. from All Recipes.

APRIL WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoChateau-de-Bel-Air-Lalande-de-Pomerol-bottle-webChâteau de Bel-Air
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Lalande de Pomerol, France

MELLOW WINE STYLE

On the nose, Château de Bel-Air presents notes of red fruit and floral aromas; on the palate, a harmonious balance between flesh and tannins means it can be enjoyed after just a few years of cellaring. A delicate wine that is a perfect partner for refined dishes.
 
Varietal: 73% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
Analysis: 13-14% alcohol / volume
Viticulture: Culture Raisonnée, soil tilling or cover cropping
Harvest: Mechanical, with sorting in the cellar
Winemaking: Parcellary, in thermo-regulated concrete vats


Mentioned in the Cocks & Feret guides as one of the best wines of the appellation as early as 1922, Château de Bel-Air is situated on a sunny plateau that gently slopes southward. The historical quality of its wines and its privileged position, which guarantees the vineyard ideal sun exposure year-round, inspired owner Michel de Laet Derache to acquire the property in 2011. The vines, averaging 40 years of age, are planted on a terroir of gravel brought from the volcanic Massif Central by rivers during the quaternary era, with layers of iron rich clay. In order to best express the nuances of the site, the vineyard is managed and vinified plot by plot, with a respect for the different ages of the vines, varietals, and rootstocks. Vinification takes place in thermo-regulated concrete tanks. The wine is then mostly aged in oak barrels (45% new) for 12-18 months. 

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

Learn about our Memberships >

 
 
 

 

Casas del Toqui Barrel Series Pinot Noir

Simple Spaghetti Carbonara

pasta-carbonara_Chelsie Craig

© Photo by Chelsie Craig at Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 4 oz. guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl), pancetta (Italian bacon), or bacon
  • 2 oz. Parmesan
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, bucatini, or rigatoni

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat 6 qt. water in a large pot over high. When water starts to steam, add 3 Tbsp. salt and cover pot with a lid (this will bring water to a boil faster).
  2. While you are waiting on the water, do a little prep. Remove 4 oz. guanciale from packaging and cut into about 1 x ¼” strips. Finely grate 2 oz. cheese and set aside one-quarter of cheese for later.
  3. Whisk 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs in a medium bowl until no streaks remain, then stir in remaining grated cheese. Add several cranks of pepper and set aside.
  4. Working next to pot, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Add guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp around the edges, 7–10 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Using a wooden spoon, fish out guanciale and transfer to a small bowl. Pour fat into a heatproof measuring cup, then add back about 3 Tbsp. to pot. Discard any remaining fat.
  6. Cook 1 lb. pasta in boiling water, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes shy of package instructions. Just before pasta is finished, scoop out 1¾ cups pasta cooking liquid with same heatproof measuring cup.
  7. Add 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high. Drain pasta in a colander, then transfer to Dutch oven.
  8. Cook pasta, stirring constantly and vigorously, until al dente and water is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
  9. Whisk ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid into reserved egg mixture, then very slowly stream into Dutch oven, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and egg is thickened to form a glossy sauce. Season with salt, if needed. Thin sauce with remaining ½ cup pasta cooking liquid, adding a tablespoonful at a time, until it’s the consistency of heavy cream (you most likely won’t use all of it).
  10. Mix in guanciale and divide pasta among bowls. Top with pepper and reserved cheese.

© Recipe courtesy of Claire Saffitz from Bon Appétit

MARCH WINE CLUB:

Mellow style logoCasas-Toqui-Pinot-NoirCasas del Toqui
Barrel Series Pinot Noir

Cachapoal Valley, Chile

MELLOW WINE STYLE

The Barrel Series Pinot Noir is ruby red in color with medium intensity. It has an elegant nose, with aromas of red berries and a hint of vanilla. The palate is soft, with good balance and a long finish.

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis:
14% alcohol / volume
Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification:
Fermentation at 80.6ºF-84.2ºF, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 6 months
Closure: Screw cap
Pairing: Serve between 57.2ºF-60.8ºF with pasta or a variety of cheeses

Vincent Johnson

© Photo of Vincent Johnson

Casas del Toqui Winery was created with the intention to develop and produce high quality fine wines, to be shared both domestically and internationally. They are committed to excellence by continuously managing their quality, labor safety and environmental sustainability; allowing them to be a role model for the Chilean wine industry. Their philosophy is to achieve maximum balance, quality and identity to each of their wines, to ensure they are a direct reflection of their terroirs. The majority of Casas del Toqui’s vineyards are located in Alto Cachapoal, about 100 kilometers south of Santiago. Here, the alluvial soils and the Mediterranean climate provide ideal conditions for grapevines. 

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February Wine Club Pairing Recipe

delish-191015-slow-cooked-pork-shoulder-0369-portrait-pf-1572470102

© Photo by Parker Feierbach of Delish

Slow-Cooker Pork Shoulder

  • 1 boneless, skinless pork shoulder, Boston butt about 6 lbs.
  • 20 cloves garlic 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided 
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. salt 
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper 
  • 3 tbsp. oregano leaves 
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice 
  • 1 Serrano pepper, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped fresh cilantro  
  • White rice, for serving, optional 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dry pork shoulder with a paper towel and make 1” incisions with a knife all over.
  2. Pulse garlic, ¼ cup oil, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano in a food processor until a paste is formed. Remove 2 tablespoons of the paste and set aside.
  3. Rub pork shoulder all over with remaining paste, pushing some of it into the incisions.
  4. Place pork in slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until meat is fork-tender but not yet completely falling apart, 7 1/2 to 8 hours.
  5. To make the sauce, heat remaining ¼ cup oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add reserved 2 tablespoons garlic paste and let sizzle, stirring continuously until fragrant, just about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool before whisking in orange juice, lime juice, serrano pepper, and cilantro.
  6. Serve sliced pork over rice with sauce drizzled on top.

© Recipe courtesy of Kat Boytsova of Delish

FEBRUARY WINE CLUB:

Rosso Di SeraBold wine Style logoMartellotto Winery
Rosso Di Sera
Santa Barbara, California

BOLD WINE STYLE

“Martellotto’s ‘Evening Red’ Bordeaux blend steals the Spotlight! Greg Martellotto believes blends are better and this wine highlights the symphonic harmony of three Bordeaux varietals: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.” – Martellotto Winery

Aromas of luxardo cherry, cedar, and fresh Mediterranean herbs entice; while flavors of ripe plum, blueberry and oak dance on the tongue. This Rosso Di Sera is a stunning value; rich, opulent and easy to gulp; and a wonderful expression of the AVA.

Varietal: 40% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc
Analysis:
14.2% alcohol / volume
AVA:
Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Soil:
Sandy/Clay Loam
Farming:
Sustainable
Production:
60 barrels
Aging:
10 months in tank, 20% new oak
Critical Acclaim: 90 pts. Wine Enthusiast; 90 pts. Jeb Dunnuck

HAPPY CANYON OF SANTA BARBARA:
This new, small AVA was established in 2009. Located in the southeast part of the larger Santa Ynez Valley- the hottest part of the valley and furthest from the ocean. Rolling hills sit atop a serpentine-laced terroir that is primarily planted to Bordeaux varietals.

Photo from Martellotto Winery

© Photo from Martellotto Winery

ABOUT MARTELLOTTO WINERY:
The Martellotto family roots back to a 17th century winery in Alberobello in Puglia, Italy. Over four centuries later, winemaker Greg Martellotto continues his family’s viticultural legacy, by making enticing, vibrant wines that speak to his own viticultural passion.

Located in Buellton, California, Martellotto Winery focuses on vibrant Bordeaux varietals from the hottest new AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. Indeed, Martellotto Winery is one of the few California wineries bottling and producing varietal wines from each of the five noble Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Since 2005, Martellotto Winery has produced unique and exciting wines designed to surprise and ignite discerning palates of wine lovers everywhere. Martellotto has a vineyard first philosophy, and sources sustainably farmed grapes from California’s choicest vineyards. Gentle handling and minimal intervention result in wines that are consistently vibrant and a joy to share. Learn more about the Martellotto Winery here.

Greg Martellotto

Winemaker, Greg Martellotto

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER – GREG MARTELLOTTO:
Greg has been making wine since 2005. His peripatetic path has led him to winemaking experience in Mexico, Italy, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. He holds a degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Masters degree from the University of Texas. His global wine experience has provided opportunities to travel to most of the major winemaking regions of the world as both a buyer and a consumer, which informs his style. Equally important and unique among most winemakers, Greg’s experience as an importer and wine buyer provides insiders access to the greatest wines and wineries in the world. In this capacity, he regularly tastes more than 400 wines per month and he knows great wine.

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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.”

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!

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