Zinfandel Wine Cupcakes

zinfandel-wine-cupcakesINGREDIENTS:
• 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ devil’s food cake mix
• ¾ cup water
• ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
FROSTING:
•  6 cups powdered sugar
•  1/3 cup butter, softened
•  1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
•  1/8 teaspoon salt
•  ¼ cup Zinfandel wine
GARNISH:
• Chocolate curls and/or Valentine candies

DIRECTIONS:Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, water,  ¼ cup wine, oil and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full).
Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, cocoa and salt with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in ¼ cup wine. If frosting is too thick, beat in more wine a few drops at a time. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with chocolate curls and /or Valentine candies.
24 servings. Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker.

Cline_Sonoma_ZinfandelBold_stickerCline Family Cellars
Zinfandel
Sonoma County, CA

Occupying 50 acres in the heart of Sonoma Valley, the Indian Springs Vineyard produces the grapes for Cline Cellars Sonoma Zinfandel. The vineyard sits on the west side of the Valley of the Moon, near Kenwood, California, and the vines are currently being converted from trellis to head-training and are lightly irrigated. This region of central Sonoma County is known for its rich, loamy soil, and the resulting fruit has big berry flavors and firm tannins. Individual lots of fruit for this Zinfandel were harvested separately according to ripeness and balance of acidity. This wine pairs well with pork shoulder, roasted root vegetables, or red curry chicken.

charlie-tsegeletos

Winemaker, Charlie Tsegeletos

“This Sonoma Zinfandel shows concentrated spicy strawberry, firm tannin structure and a balanced acidity. It has a mouth coating richness and depth and a subtle vanilla quality that compliments the dark fruit flavors.” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Sonoma County, CA
Varietal Blend:  100% Zinfandel
Analysis:
16.0% alcohol / volume, 3.85 pH
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction

lamb-chopsINGREDIENTS:
•  ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary
•  ½ teaspoon dried basil
•  ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
•  salt and pepper to taste
•  4 lamb chops (¾ inch thick)
•  1 tablespoon olive oil
•  ½ cup minced shallots
•  1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
•  ¾ cup chicken broth
•  1 tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl or cup, mix together the rosemary, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture onto the lamb chops on both sides. Place them on a plate, cover and set aside for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place lamb chops in the skillet, and cook for about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or continue to cook to your desired doneness. Remove from the skillet, and keep warm on a serving platter.

Add shallots to the skillet, and cook for a few minutes, just until browned. Stir in vinegar, scraping any bits of lamb from the bottom of the skillet, then stir in the chicken broth. Continue to cook and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. If you don’t, the sauce will be runny and not good. Remove from heat, and stir in the butter. Pour over the lamb chops, and serve.

WineByJoe-RojomellowWine by Joe
Joe Rojo Red Blend
Applegate, Oregon

Nature, Nurture and Artistry… Joe is passionate about bringing forth the natural characteristics of the grapes and letting the flavors and aromas tell the story of their quality upbringing. He fervently believes that the quality of wine starts in the vineyard; therefore, so does he. From early spring until harvest, Joe scrutinizes the vines, selecting the best sites and clones, as well as crop loads with the objective to produce wines true to their varietal character with as much depth, elegance, opulence and balance of flavor possible. His wines are beautifully fruited, rich with aromas and often have a faint impression of sweetness on the palate due to ripe tannins and fruit. Creating his dreams through pure drive and an insatiable passion for his art,  Joe will continue to produce excellence and value through each of his distinct labels.

JoeDobbes“Aging in neutral oak barrels keeps this wine focused on fruit. Ripe, dark berried fruits with complex earth and spice undertones. A warm growing season has resulted in this easy drinking, full-bodied red wine.” – Joe Dobbes, winemaker

Winemaker: Joe Dobbes
Appellation: Applegate, Oregon
Varietal Blend:  40% Tempranillo, 30% Zinfandel, 30% Merlot
Analysis: 14.3% alcohol / volume, 3.92 pH
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

 

Spicy Salmon with Asparagus

WC-March-2015

spicy-salmonINGREDIENTS:
•  2 Salmon fillets, about 1.5 pounds
•  ¼ pound Asparagus
•  ¼ pound red potatoes
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  ¼ teaspoon Paprika
•  Salt and Pepper to taste
•  2 garlic cloves chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Marinate the salmon fillets in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, piri piri (or hot sauce), chopped garlic, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover it and let it marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Take out of the fridge and place the salmon on a greased baking sheet, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the red potatoes into quarters and season them with salt and pepper to taste and the other tablespoon of olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Chop the asparagus in halves and add them to the baking sheet.

Once ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and let it cook for about 23-25 minutes, or until the salmon is well done and the potatoes have browned a bit.
Serve on a plate and enjoy!

QuintaGarridaReserva_redQuinta da Garrida
Reserva Red
Dao, Portugal

Bold_stickerBacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal, S.A., one of the biggest and most innovative wine-making companies in Portugal, has developed a range of wines throughout the years that has ensured a solid reputation and the preference of national and international wine lovers. A family controlled company dating back to the 1920s, they produce wine in the same way we enjoy it: for friends and amongst friends, in our daily lives and in special occasions.  The single estate of Quinta da Garrida in Dão is located in Vila Nova de Tazém, with granitic, light and poor soils, typical from the region, this land allows Bacalhôa to create wines with very specific characteristics.   Ideally pairs well with traditional Portuguese cuisine.

Francisco-AntunesDeep ruby color. Exuberant nose with light floral and ripe fruit nuances.  It also shows some toastiness from the wood where it aged.  Elegant palate with notes of ripe fruit. Full-bodied and persistent aftertaste,” winemaker, Francisco Antunes.

Winemaker: Francisco Antunes
Appellation: Dao, Portugal
Varietal Blend:  70% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz
Analysis: 13.5% alc/vol
Critical Acclaim: Bronze Medal International Wine Challenge 2013