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

 

Winery Spotlight

Rombauer Tasting Event

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

The Story of Rombauer Vineyards – Napa Valley, CA

Rombauer Vineyards was established in 1980, when the Rombauer family harvested their first grapes — Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District. Nearly 35 years later, the winery remains family owned and operated with members of the first and second generations involved in all aspects of the business.  When founders Koerner and Joan Rombauer moved their two children, two horses and five dogs to Napa Valley in 1972, they had no intention of starting a winery. They chose the area because it reminded them of the small-town, agricultural environment in which they had grown up, and it appeared to be a clean, safe place to raise their children. They purchased  40 acres of beautiful hilltop land on the Silverado Trail near the town of St. Helena in California.

Rombauer_FamilyThe Rombauers did have a great appreciation for the role of wine in the fine dining experience. Koerner’s great aunt Irma Rombauer was the author of the internationally renowned cookbook The Joy of Cooking and Koerner’s ancestors were from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal. It didn’t take long for Koerner and Joan to become fascinated with the growing Napa Valley wine industry. In 1976, they became partners in Conn Creek Winery.  Koerner learned the wine business first in the cellar, working hand in hand with the winemaker and learning all phases of winery operations.

In 1980, the Rombauers made their first wines under their own label at a neighbor’s winery. In 1981, they sold their interest in Conn Creek Winery and began construction of the Rombauer Vineyards winery on the property adjacent to their home.  Today, under the direction of Director of Winemaking and Viticulture Richie Allen, Rombauer Vineyards combines traditional viticultural and winemaking practices with the best available technology to ensure the highest quality wine production. The winery produces award-winning Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.

Rombauer-winesROMBAUER WINERY TASTING EVENT:

Chardonnay
Cabernet Sauvignon
Diamond Select Cabernet
Merlot
Zinfandel

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to reserve your seat!

Grgich Hills Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

November Tasting Event

>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Mike_cheersThe Story of Grgich Hills Estate

Miljenko “Mike” Grgich first gained international recognition at the celebrated “Paris Tasting” of 1976. Then, in a now-historic blind tasting, a panel of eminent French judges swirled, sniffed, and sipped an array of the fabled white Burgundies of France and a small sampling of upstart Chardonnays from the Napa Valley. When their scores were tallied, the French judges were shocked: they had chosen the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, crafted by Mike Grgich,  as the finest white wine in the world. Mon Dieu! The results stunned the international wine establishment and immediately earned Mike a reputation as one of the greatest winemakers in the world.

The Paris Tasting served notice to the world that the California wine industry was on the move, and it laid the groundwork for the creation of Grgich Hills Cellar. After his victory in Paris, Mike sat down with Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl, from the Hills Bros. Coffee family, and on Independence Day 1977, they gave birth to Grgich Hills.  With his fierce commitment to making wines of the highest quality, Mike began producing what immediately became signature wines: the exquisite, richly complex Chardonnays that win awards and delight wine lovers across America and throughout the world.

Now 91 years old and still sporting his signature blue beret, Mike was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2008 in honor of his many contributions to the wine industry. While many other Napa wineries pursue strategies of expansion, Mike, along with his daughter, Violet, and his nephew, Ivo Jeramaz, prefer to stay small. Their aim, year after year, is to improve the quality of their grgich-wine-bottlevineyards and their wines, relying on Mike’s unique artistic and intuitive touch. This strategy continues to pay significant dividends.

Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, they farm five estate vineyards without artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides, rely on wild yeast fermentation and use our passion and the art of winemaking to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines.  In keeping with Grgich’s goal of sustainability, the winery switched to solar power in 2006. As Mike often says, “From our vineyard to your glass, naturally!”

Grgich Hills remains committed to making distinctive wines with quality, consistency and longevity.  World leaders such as Presidents Reagan and Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand chose Grgrich wines to serve at state dinners.  More importantly,  Grgich is equally proud that every single day discriminating wine drinkers count on Grgich Hills to turn their own dinners into special occasions.

Grgich-hills-winesFEATURED GRGICH HILLS WINES AT TASTING EVENT:

Chardonnay
Fume
Zinfandel
Merlot
Cabernet

LIMITED SEATING
Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

 

 

Surf and Turf Skewers

surfturfskewersGLAZE:
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, pressed
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
• 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
• 4 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
• 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

SKEWERS:
• 6 skewers, metal or bamboo. If bamboo, soak in water at least 1hr before grilling.
• 18-20 extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 12-18 cherry tomatoes
• 12-18 pieces sun-dried tomato & basil chicken sausage, pre-cooked, cut in 1 inch rounds
• 12-18 red onion wedges, cut 2-layer bite sized section

GARNISH
• Lemon & Lime

DIRECTIONS:
Can be done up to 6 hours ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to grill.  Blend oil, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, sherry wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper in bowl for glaze. Divide glaze into two small bowls. Reserve one for dipping sauce.

Skewer shrimp, cherry tomatoes, sausage pieces and onion wedges, alternating ingredients. 3 shrimp per skewer. Set grill to medium-high heat. Brush each skewer with glaze on both sides. Grill shrimp until opaque in center, about 6-8 minutes. Turn occasionally while cooking, brushing with glaze each time.

Remove from grill and arrange skewers on platter. Serve with reserved bowl of glaze. Garnish with lemon and lime slices. Recipe compliments of Cline Cellars.

Cline_Heritage_ZinfandelCline Cellars
Bold_stickerHeritage Zinfandel
Contra Costa, California

This luscious Zinfandel comes from Cline’s prized Big Break, Live Oak and Bridgehead vineyards located in Oakley, California. All within a two mile radius of one another, these vineyards are planted in deep sand soil, are dry-farmed and head-pruned, and employ farming practices that were originally used by the Italian and Portuguese immigrants that inhabited the area before the turn of the century. Grapes were harvested at natural high sugar levels and almost entirely de-stemmed and lightly crushed, with a large proportion of whole berries remaining in the must. After eight days of gentle “pump-overs” and near dryness, the wine was pressed and put down to French oak for 14 months.charlie-tsegeletos

“The Heritage Zinfandel is big and flavorful, with notes of chocolate, mint, sweet berries, spice and coffee – a classic example of the big-boned Zinfandels for which Cline Cellars has become known. The wine’s acidity and tannins are firm, but balanced, creating a luscious wine.” – Charlie Tsegeletos, winemaker.

Winemaker: Charlie Tsegeletos
Appellation: Contra Costa County, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Zinfandel
Analysis: 15.5% alc/vol