Pomar Junction Sidetrack White

Peach Chicken Ricotta Pizza

© Photo by Liz Andrew / Styling by Erin McDowell

Grilled Peach, Chicken and Ricotta Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

  • two 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 peaches, halved
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • one 8-ounce ball of store-bought pizza dough
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil leaves, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Brush the chicken breasts, peaches and onion with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Grill the peaches and onion until they are charred and tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Grill the chicken until it is cooked through, 9 to 11 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Thinly slice the peaches, onion and chicken; set aside.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pizza dough until it is ½-inch thick. Place the dough on a baking sheet and top with the ricotta, peaches, onion, chicken and Parmesan.
  5. Bake until the crust is golden and crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then garnish with fresh basil leaves. 

© Recipe courtesy of Erin McDowell from Pure Wow.

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSide Track White wine bottlePomar Junction
Sidetrack White
Paso Robles, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

The Sidetrack White is a blend of Rhône grapes grown in the El Pomar District of Paso Robles, California. On the nose, there are scents of white peach, spiced pear, and orange blossoms. The palate is well balanced and tropical.  This wine can be enjoyed on its own or enhance various meals.

Varietal: 50% Viognier, 35% Roussanne, 15% Grenache Blanc
Region: El Pomar District AVA
Analysis:
14.2% alcohol / volume
Brix: 24.2
PH: 3.52
TA: 7.0 g/L
Residual Sugar:
0.61%
Production: 888 cases
Aging: 5 months in 10% new acacia wood, 90% neutral oak
 
ABOUT THE WINERY:
The Merrill Family has been growing and producing grapes in California’s Central Coast for the past eight generations. Today, Dana and Marsha Merrill, along with their son, Matthew, and winemaker, Jim Shumate farm the vineyards and produce elegant wines of their own. The finest blocks of grapes are selected from their family estate, along with vineyards in Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties managed by a sister firm, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. All wines produced are exclusively farmed by the Merrill’s who believe that control from planting and pruning through harvest, fermentation and cellaring is critical for success. Learn more here.
 
PASO UNCORKED: Click play below to hear Pomar Junction’s winemaker, Jim Shumate, speak about the El Pomar District with The Krush 92.5 FM.
 
 
 
 
Rachel Lomeli Photography www.rachellomeli.com

Merrill Family © Rachel Lomeli Photography

 

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Persnickety Pinot Gris

Grilled Scallops with Prosciutto and Basil

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 thin slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher Salt
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon crush pink peppercorns

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the prosciutto slices in half lengthwise to make 12 long strips. Season the scallops evenly with the salt. Place 1 basil leaf at the end of a strip of prosciutto, folding it in half lengthwise, if necessary. Place a scallop on its side on top of the basil and carefully roll the scallop inside the basil and prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick or skewer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Drizzle the scallops with the olive oil. Place the scallops on the heated grill or grill pan (preheated to medium-high heat), pressing down gently to make sure the scallops make direct contact with the hot surface. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until nice grill marks form and the scallops are warm in the center (see Cook’s Note below). Remove the scallops to a plate and sprinkle with the pink peppercorns.
  3. COOK’S NOTE: To check if the scallops are done, simply insert a thin metal cake tester into the center and leave it there for 10 seconds. Remove and place the metal against the skin beneath your lower lip. If the tester feels warm, the scallop is done.

© Recipe courtesy of Faith Middleton on Food Schmooze; excerpted from Giada De Laurentiis’ Book Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita

JULY WINE CLUB:

Silky stylePersnickety Pinot GrisEola Hills Wine Cellars
Persnickety Pinot Gris
Willamette Valley, Oregon

SILKY WINE STYLE

A collaboration from Eola Hills Wine Cellars’ Head Winemaker, Steve Anderson, and Assistant Winemaker, Steve Richards. The Persnickety Pinot Gris is pale yellow in color with aromas of tangerine zest and tart apple. The body is crisp, lively, and refreshing with flavors of grapefruit and honey.

Varietal: 100% Pinot Gris
Analysis: 12.9% alcohol / volume
Acid: 0.86
PH: 3.05
Residual Sugar: 0.4 g/L
Production: 800 cases
Brix at Harvest: ~22.2
Sourcing: Legacy Estate Vineyard and Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Food Pairing: The crisp natural acidity and bright fruit flavors of this wine pair wonderfully with grilled jumbo tiger prawns, chicken simmered slowly in a white wine sauce, or prosciutto wrapped sea scallops.

Steve Anderson - Photo

Winemaker Steve Anderson

WINEMAKER NOTES:
Rich and vibrant, the Classic Pinot Gris is harvested by hand from our Legacy Estate Vineyards in the Eola Amity Hills sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley. With crisp natural acidity balancing out lush notes of grapefruit, honeyed lemon and orange peel, this juicy wine is a supreme representation of this beloved varietal.” – Steve Anderson.

Steve Richards

Assistant Winemaker, Steve Richards

ABOUT THE WINEMAKER:
Steve Anderson started his wine making career at the age of thirteen with is neighbor’s grapes and a 5-gallon bucket. His project was greatly encouraged by his parents, who gladly partook in the results of his experiments. Steve continued his career by studying Horticulture at Oregon State University. Two years into his degree, he ran out of funds and joined the U.S. Army to receive the Army College Fund. After three years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, Steve graduated from OSU with plans to become a nurseryman. In 1993, joined the Eola Hills Wine Cellars team as a “harvest season cellar rat”. He was quickly promoted to Assistant Winemaker, and eventually became Eola’s head winemaker, producing beautiful wines for them ever since. Learn more about his story here.

 

 

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Duca Carlo Guarini Burdi Bianco

Fish Tacos

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, or more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb tilapia, cod, or mahi mahi

For Serving

  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup Cotija cheese (optional)

Fish Taco Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together vegetable oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
  • Place fish into a dish or gallon size resealable bag and pour marinade over fish (if using a bag seal bag and gently move bag around to evenly coat fish with marinade), allow to marinate in mixture 20 minutes (and no longer than 30 minutes).
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with oil and place fish on grill. Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (cook time will vary based on thickness of fish). To view oven or stovetop methods, click here.
  • While the fish is cooking whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season with salt to taste.
  • Break fish into pieces, layer over warm tortillas. Top with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, cheese if using, and fish taco sauce. 

© Recipe courtesy of Jaclyn of Cooking Classy.

JUNE WINE CLUB:

Silky styleBurdiBiancoDuca Carlo Guarini
Burdi Bianco IGT Puglia
Scorrano, Italy

SILKY WINE STYLE

Burdi Bianco wine is light straw-yellow in color. It is intense and fruity on the nose, while on the palate it is fresh, fruity and balanced. This wine is paired well with fish and seafood.

Varietal: 100% Bombino
Analysis:
12% alcohol / volume

Yield: 120000 kg. per hectare
Vinification:
Two hour’s cold maceration with skins, temperature controlled fermentation

ABOUT DUCA CARLO GUARINI:
Since 1114, the Guarini Family has rooted their vineyards in the Apulia region of Italy, between Lecce and Brindisi, overlooking the Adriatic sea. Today, they own 700 hectares of property, farming grapes, olive groves and other grains and vegetables, including fiber and seed hemp. For centuries, they have kept their family’s traditions without sacrificing innovation. Learn more about their estate 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 Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBenning CheeseBenning®
Mild Goats Milk Gouda
Holland

Benning® Mild Goats Milk Gouda is a semi-firm, pure white, versatile cheese that is fresh and mild in taste. It is made from light goats’ milk that is then formed into classic gouda-style wheels and aged to create a smooth and creamy textured cheese. This cheese is great for the pickiest of eaters. It is mildly tangy and slightly sweet with hints of caramel. 

FOOD PAIRING: This cheese melts beautifully; eat as is, or slice/grate onto your favorite sandwich or pizza.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: The Benning® Mild Milk Gouda pairs well with dark and malty beers such as a malty Amber Ale. It also pairs nicely with a buttery Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or our May Wine Club Chenin Blanc.

WINESTYLES: Silky
BEERSTYLES: Dark & Roasty or Malty & Sweet


midnight-moon-pkg-smallCypress Grove®
Midnight Moon®
Holland

This aged goat milk cheese is made exclusively for Cypress Grove® in Holland. Aged for at least six-months, Midnight Moon® is an ivory-colored goat cheese with forward nutty and brown-buttery flavors, finish with long caramel notes. Similar to classic goudas, Midnight Moon® forms protein crystals as it ages, and lends to a slight crunch to the otherwise dense and smooth cheese. This goat cheese is known to convert even the pickiest of goat cheese critics!

AWARDS:

  • Best of Class, World Championship Cheese Contest  2010, 2020
  • Super Gold, World Cheese Awards   2015, 2018
  • Gold, World Cheese Awards  2014
  • Best New Product in Show, sofi Awards  2002
  • Silver, World Cheese Awards  2017
  • Silver Finalist, sofi Awards  2003
  • Third Place, World Championship Cheese Contest   2014
  • Bronze, World Cheese Awards  2016
  • Bronze, sofi Awards   2017

FOOD PAIRING: Serve with fig jams, seeded crackers, or bread

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with Ice Wine, Sweet Sherry, Syrah or Zinfandel. As for beer, look for a Belgian Dark, Stout, or a Tripel.

WINESTYLES: Fruity or Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Dark & Roasty, or Fruity & Spicy

ABOUT CYPRESS GROVE®, ARCATA, CALIFORNIA:
In the 1970’s, when pre-packed TV dinners and processed, rubber cheese were popular, a self-proclaimed “serious hippie” named Mary Keehn was on the hunt for something different. A mother a four, she wanted to find healthier milk for her children. Mary noticed her neighbor owned goats for brush control and asked if she could purchase two, at which the neighbor replied, “if you can catch ’em, you can have ’em”. Each day, Mary went out with grain until eventually she lured in her first two goats: Esmeralda and Hazel. These goats turned into four, and many more from there. With a lot of goats, came a lot of milk, and thus, Cypress Grove® was born! Learn more about their story here.


Monthly Cheese Club

Don’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 specialty and 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 artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

 

Casas del Toqui Barrel Series Chardonnay

Pan-Seared-Salmon-and-Gnocchi-with-Sage-Butter-Sauce

© Photo by Inquiring Chef

Pan Seared Salmon and Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz gnocchi (look for gluten-free if needed)
  • 4 (4-6 oz) salmon filets
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I use grape seed or avocado)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cloves shallots, diced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Boil gnocchi according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, pat salmon filets dry with paper towels. Season it on both sides with some salt and pepper.
  3. Place salmon, skin-side down (or on either side if using skinless salmon), in a room temperature non-stick pan with a thin layer of cooking oil. (This is the key to crisp salmon – the salmon must be placed in a cool pan and then slowly brought up to heat.)
  4. Place the pan over medium heat and cook the salmon, without moving it, until the skin is crisp and easily releases from the pan. (After it has cooked for ~5 minutes, gently nudge it with a spatula, until it easily slides around in the pan.)
  5. Turn salmon with a spatula and increase heat to medium-high. Continue cooking until the side touching the pan is golden brown and crisp and the salmon is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. (It should flake easily with a fork.)
  6. Transfer salmon to a serving platter and return pan to medium-high heat.
  7. Add butter until melted. Add gnocchi, sage, and shallots. Cook, stirring constantly, until shallots are golden brown and sage is crisp.
  8. Pour gnocchi and butter sauce over salmon. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
  9. Serve salmon and gnocchi with extra lemon wedges on the side.

© Recipe courtesy of Jess Smith of Inquiring Chef

MARCH WINE CLUB:

Silky styleBarrel Series Chardonnay 2020Casas del Toqui
Chardonnay
Cachapoal Valley, Chile

SILKY WINE STYLE

This chardonnay has a complex nose, although it still maintains fresh and fruity aromas. There are dominant notes of pineapple and citrus, while the contribution of French Oak offers hints of caramel and vanilla. On the palate it has a great deal of volume, with a pleasant acidity and long finish.

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Analysis:
13.5% alcohol / volume

Viticulture: Vertical espalier
Vinification:
Fermentation at 80˚F-84˚F, post fermentation maceration and aged in oak barrels for 6 months.
Closure:
Screw cap
Pairing: Serve between 50˚F-53˚F with salmon or white meats

Vincent Johnson

Photo of Vincent Johnson

As a wine region, Chile is truly blessed. It has a Mediterranean climate that is similar to the climate in California and France. The climate and the geographical traits have helped Chile remain one of the only locations in the world that is resistant to phylloxera, the louse that destroyed many of the world’s best vineyards in the 1800’s. Chile is going through a wine revolution and the independents have broken away from Chile’s industrial wine culture to lovingly squeeze out small lots of wines, usually using organic, even spiritually tinged theories of winemaking. This new generation is much more conscious about the environment and committed to healthy, sustainable agriculture and also for the production of wines that have a stronger connection to local traditions.

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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December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’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 specialty and 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 artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

Bubbly Wine Club Learn more about our Bubbly Club >

Skylark Pinot Blanc

Creamy Lemon Pappardelle with Scallops

Creamy Lemon Scallop Pasta

© Spices in my DNA

INGREDIENTS:

For the scallops

  • 1 pound jumbo scallops, side muscle removed
  • small drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

For the pasta

  • 9 ounces pappardelle pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the scallops

  1. Make sure scallops are super dry, pat down thoroughly with paper towels until they’re dry. Season with pepper (no salt yet). Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Once melted, wipe out the pan so that only a thin layer of oil and butter remain. Sear the scallops on one side for about 2 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms. Flip and sear on the other side for 1 minute or until just cooked through. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon.

For the pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water generously. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Be sure to scoop out the pasta water during the last few minutes of cooking, or right before you drain it.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Once melted and hot, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly. If it seems too hot, reduce the heat to medium (you don’t want the garlic to brown). Add the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup), mascarpone, ricotta, parmesan, and lemon zest, and stir until melted and creamy. Add the pasta and toss until coated. If the sauce seems too dry, add another splash of pasta water and toss until desired consistency is reached. Add the chopped basil and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops over the pasta, and garnish with extra fresh basil and parmesan. Enjoy!

© Recipe from Spices in my DNA

DECEMBER WINE CLUB:

Silky styleSkylark Wine Company
Pinot Blanc
Mendocino County, California

SILKY WINE STYLE

Light straw yellow in color. High-toned aromatics of lime peel, roasted lemon, Granny Smith apple and a complicating note of pebbled soil. Intense and penetrating on the palate, the flavors follow through with the roasted lemon and green apple enlivened by natural acidity. Deftly light and concentrated at the same time, with the crunchy fruit streaming into a palate-staining finish.

One of Skylark’s oldest vineyard sources is Bernie Orsi’s Pinot Blanc outside of Hopland in Mendocino, California. Originally planted by John Fetzer in the 1970s, John and Robert walked through the oldest block of this site in 2005. Impressed by the thick, stubby trunks and gnarled old vines, they signed on to purchase that section for harvest 2005.  They have now grown production to almost the entire vineyard for Skylark’s Pinot Blanc bottling. After picking, the fruit is whole cluster pressed into a tank, then racked to Mueller stainless steel barrels for fermentation. Stirred the lees once, blocked malolactic fermentation and bottled with a light filtration. No doubt, this vintage of Pinot Blanc will brighten your day.

John L and Robert P

Photo by Skylark Wine: John L. and Robert P.

Analysis: 13.2% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.28 g/L
TA: 7.1
Aging:
Whole cluster pressed and vinification in multiple stainless steel 75gl barrels

Harvested: Hand-picked
Vineyard: Orsi Vineyard
Cases Produced: 800

“To reflect our palates, the portfolio at Skylark includes crisp, flavorful, aromatic white wines and full-bodied, rich, spicy red wines. As we have long admired the beautiful white wines produced in Alsace and Austria, our Pinot Blanc is a California rendition of a classic European varietal.”

 

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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November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubCrucolo Il Piu SaporitoRifugio Crucolo
Crucolo Il Piu Saporito
Scurelle, Italy

Crucolo “Il Piu Saporito”, which means “more tasty”, is a semi-hard, mild asiago cheese coming from the Trentino region in northern Italy. The milk to make this cheese is selected from the cows that roam the pastures beneath the Trento Mountains. Crucolo has a surprisingly tangy finish to its creamy flavor.

The center is white and buttery with diffused and uniform holes, making for a very characteristic cheese. The sub-crust is evenly distributed – an indicator of great attention to detail during the ripening period. The ripening process lasts over 60 days, and must be performed under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In the aging period, the cheese forms are wetted and washed with water, then turned twice a week. The final product boasts flavors that are sweet, slightly sour, and perfectly salty with a slight bitter-spicy note.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Reach for our November Wine Club wine, Finca Buenaventura Aureo Cabernet Sauvignon, when pairing with this cheese. For beer, grab a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT RIFUGIO CRUCOLO:
The company takes its name from the place where it was built, and still today is the restaurant Rifugio Crucolo, on the “top” of the mountain in the heart of Val Campelle- halfway between the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range.

The Crucolo Refuge has entered the register of historic businesses, as it has remained in the same family management since 1782. Thanks to the love and loyalty of customers, the Crucolo company continues to grow each year. Today, they are exporting their own brand of cured meats, cheeses, and liqueurs worldwide.


GarrotxaSant Gil d’Albió
Garrotxa
Catalonia, Spain

Gorratxa, pronounced ‘ga-ROCH-ah’, is a semi-ripened cheese with a natural flowery rind. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, it is creamy and compact texture in the cut. This moist and cakey Catalonian import is fast becoming Spain’s most famous goat cheese. Crafted in the foothills of Northern Spain, Garrotxa offers a white pepper piquancy and looks like a river-stone. Its milky, delicate taste is not at all typical of a goat’s cheese. The full-bodied cheese is rich in flavor with a soft paste and a moist, creamy, yet almost flaky, texture. It is covered by a velvety grey mould coating that lends it a woody aroma, yet the rind is not ideal for eating. Garrotxa’s flavor is reminiscent of damp earth underlined by slightly nutty & herbal essences.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, then aged for several weeks in caves to ensure the delicately, cakey texture won’t harden up.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For wine, pair with a Cava or the Finca Buenaventura Aureo Chardonnay from this month’s Wine Club. The clean, lactic qualities of the cheese strike harmoniously with the fruitiness of these two wines.  For beer, look to pair with a Farmhouse Ale or Sour from our Sour, Tart and Funky or Fruity and Spicy sections.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Nectar, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Sour, Tart and Funky, or Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT SANT GIL D’ALBIÓ:
Sant Gil d’Albió is a family business in Catalonia, Spain, with 35 years of experience in the production of artisanal cheeses. Currently produce close to 90,000 kg (about 198,416 pounds) of cheese a year; their products are made in an artisanal way, producing only the highest quality of cheeses. Sant Gil d’Albió exports about 40% of their production, mainly shipping to the United States and throughout Europe.

Sant Gil d’Albió is a dynamic, growing company; expanding their range of products and modernizing their facilities, without forgetting their roots. They are a leading company in the production of artisanal cheese in Catalonia, receiving various awards for the quality of their products, including Garrotxa cheese, Lactium d’Or 2019 award.

The family business is part of the ‘Lal de Cabres Catalanes’ label, a group of farmers and cheesemakers that defend the consumption of products made with local milk. They continuously maintain the quality of all cheeses and ensure all products are sold at a fair price.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

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If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and 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 artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

October Collector’s Wine Club: Iowa

Collectors Wine ClubBandeau Cave

Extrait BlancDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Blanc
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

Rich WineStylesRICH WINE STYLE

Vinified, aged in an ovoid concrete vat and selected from an outstanding terroir: this wine is truly “Haute Couture”. This Blanc Extrait has a very pure nose, mineral and saline coated by a fruit white white flesh; powerful, elegant and creamy mouth feel. Pairs well with Provencal and Mediterranean cuisine, foie gras, lobster, scallops, and king prawn.

“Freshly cut pear, fairly full in body. with a pear juice texture and flavor. Acidity is low but balanced, with a little positive bitter twist accentuating the freshness. Fairly long finish, not hugely deep, but very well put together Organically grown on clay soils in lieu-dit Palestor to the north of the village. Fermented then matured for 10 months, half in demi-muid, half in concrete tank.” – 93 pts, Matt Walls – 2018 En primeur tastings, Rhône Valley

“The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc Extrait is 80% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc, with roughly half made in demi-muids and the other part in concrete. A bit reticent right now, with just hints of pineapple and tangerine, it’s full-bodied but tightly wound and tense, seemingly in need of time to unwind. It’s by no means unapproachable now, but it should be better in a year or two and will drink well for close to a decade.” – 91+ pts, Joe Czerwinski – The Wine Advocate 2019

Terroir: Clay – Limestone 70% (lieu dit: Palestor), Rolled Pebbles 30% (lieu dit: Cabrières)
Age of Vineyard: 40 years old
Varietal: 70% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc
Aging: 9 months on fine sediments
Aging Potential: 10 years
Serving Temperature: 50-53.6° F
Production: 1,700 Bottles

About Domaine Chante Cigale

Domaine Chante Cigale has been in operation in Southern Rhone Valley for more than 150 years. Founded in 1874, Hyppolite Jourdan named roughly 28 hectares of family property Clos Chante Cigale. In 1936, the same year the Chateauneuf de Pape AOC was created, the estate was renamed to Domaine Chante Cigale.

Today, Domaine Chante Cigale is one of the most important family estates of Châteauneuf du Pape.  Alexandre Favier is now carefully running the winery by keeping up with the winemaker’s tradition of the family.

The Estate now stretches over 40 hectares on the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation, divided into 45 parcels, scattered all over this exceptional terroir.  The diversity of its soils and of the grape varieties allows the elaboration of a unique and exceptional wines.  Alexandre Favier and his team are taking good care of every step of the wine production themselves, respecting the spirit of the Domaine. 

Domaine Chante Cigale VineyardsDomaine Chante Cigale Harvest

 

Bold wine Style logoExtrait RougeDomaine Chante Cigale
Extrait Rouge
Châteauneuf du Pape, France

BOLD WINE STYLE

A genuine and rustic wine that will go through decades. Showcasing a deep, red color, with a complex nose of black fruit and licorice. The Extrait Rouge has a very powerful mouth, that is fleshy and concentrated, with very fine and dense tannins. Pairs well with roasted meat, pigeon, lamb, pecking duck and sheep’s cheese.

A broad, muscular style, with chestnut and tobacco leaf notes and roasted cedar accents framing a large core of lightly dried plum, red currant and blackberry fruit. Cuts a broad swath on the finish, offering a long echo of humus. Will likely age toward a more rustic profile. For fans of the style.” – 92 pts, JM 2017

The smallest production cuvée is the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Extrait. An uncommon blend of 70% Mourvèdre and 20% Grenache, aged in demi-muids and older barrels, its deep ruby color is followed by rich, concentrated and ripe aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, toasted spice, licorice and roasted herbs. This big, mouth-filling and structured 2015 will need to be forgotten for 3-4 years and will have two decades of overall longevity.” – 92-94 pts, Jeb Dunnuck – The Wine Advocate 2016

Terroir: Rolled Pebbles (lieu-dit: Le Calada)
Age of Vineyard: 100 years old
Varietal: 80% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache
Aging: 30 months in demi muid
Aging Potential: 15-20 years
Serving Temperature: 60.8-64.4° F
Production: 800 Bottles

Bandeau DomaineAbout Chateauneuf-du-Pape

In the 14th Century, under the reign of Pope John XXII, the Avignon village became the summer residence of the papacy. As for the precious nectar produced in this area, he granted it the rank of “Vin du Pape”, opening the doors of the great European courts.  More than likely, during Gallo-Roman times the vines covered the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, the first written evidence of its existence dates from 1157. In keeping with local tradition and planting himself, Geoffroy, bishop of Avignon, had a vineyard within the territory of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, it’s the popes from the fourteenth century that were the real promoters of the wine growing business of the appellation.

By the 19th Century, the wines were very well known, enjoyed by famous people, poets, literary and cultural associates in Paris.  By the 20th Century, winemakers were anxious to defend the growing reputation of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the beginnings of the current system of AOC.  The 1919 wine appellation law on “designations of origin” was too general and didn’t prevent fraud. The constituent meeting of the “Châteauneuf-du-Pape winegrowers union” took place in October 1923. After several years of legal proceedings, the decree of the appellation is published and Châteauneuf-du-Pape becomes the first wine-making AOC of France on May 15, 1936.  Still in force today, it continues to protect and guarantee the quality of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. The vineyards now cover 7900 acres in the towns of Châteauef-du-Pape, Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgue.


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