Simple and Complex
Complex yet subtle wines are best served with simple fare. A complex dish might cause the nuances of a wine to be lost. We’ve all seen the movie Sideways where, ironically, the scene with Miles biting into a burger with his bottle of Cheval Blanc shows his purest pleasure. Who needs fancy when you can have sincerity? These meatballs are simple and delicious and serve as the perfect foil to the subtly complex Marcien.
The benefit of bottle age has smoothed the sharp edges of its youth, yet the flavors and aromas of deep plum, sour cherry and graphite with a whisper of dried herb are fresh and vibrant. This is a wine that will continue to evolve for a good length of time but won’t slap you in the face should you choose to drink it tonight.
Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT: Herbed Chicken Meatballs
EAT: Couscous with Currants and Parsley

Simple and Complex

Complex yet subtle wines are best served with simple fare. A complex dish might cause the nuances of a wine to be lost. We’ve all seen the movie Sideways where, ironically, the scene with Miles biting into a burger with his bottle of Cheval Blanc shows his purest pleasure. Who needs fancy when you can have sincerity? These meatballs are simple and delicious and serve as the perfect foil to the subtly complex Marcien.

The benefit of bottle age has smoothed the sharp edges of its youth, yet the flavors and aromas of deep plum, sour cherry and graphite with a whisper of dried herb are fresh and vibrant. This is a wine that will continue to evolve for a good length of time but won’t slap you in the face should you choose to drink it tonight.

Until the Next Wine….   
Maria

EAT: Herbed Chicken Meatballs

EAT: Couscous with Currants and Parsley

Pink Delight Crisp, refreshing, delightfully scented Vin Gris is the perfect foil for this like-minded salad. The toasted sesame in the marinade and the seeds in the salad satisfy Pinot Noir’s penchant for sesame’s unique flavor. When I think of the pink I say bring on the sun and fire up the grill. It’s time for some delicious fun!


Until the next wine… Maria
EAT: Asian Chicken Salad

Pink Delight

Crisp, refreshing, delightfully scented Vin Gris is the perfect foil for this like-minded salad. The toasted sesame in the marinade and the seeds in the salad satisfy Pinot Noir’s penchant for sesame’s unique flavor. When I think of the pink I say bring on the sun and fire up the grill. It’s time for some delicious fun!


Until the next wine…
Maria

EAT: Asian Chicken Salad

A Touch of Sweet…
As I take my first sip of Pinot Gris Late, dessert isn’t the first thing that springs into my mind. The wine’s slight kiss of residual sugar brings out the pear and spice notes of the grape and also a touch of almond-like nuttiness. So instead of saving it exclusively for dessert, try it with a salty blue or a funky washed rind St. Nectare. This ethereally sweet wine balances nicely between savory and sweet. It makes a fitting end to any meal or as an afternoon aperitif. Whether you enjoy it with something savory or sweet, the first sip will have you going back for more.
Until the Next Wine….  Maria
EAT: Oatmeal Biscuits
EAT: Pecan Shortbread

A Touch of Sweet…

As I take my first sip of Pinot Gris Late, dessert isn’t the first thing that springs into my mind. The wine’s slight kiss of residual sugar brings out the pear and spice notes of the grape and also a touch of almond-like nuttiness. So instead of saving it exclusively for dessert, try it with a salty blue or a funky washed rind St. Nectare. This ethereally sweet wine balances nicely between savory and sweet. It makes a fitting end to any meal or as an afternoon aperitif. Whether you enjoy it with something savory or sweet, the first sip will have you going back for more.

Until the Next Wine….
Maria

EAT: Oatmeal Biscuits

EAT: Pecan Shortbread

OMG
The 2011 Los Carneros Pinot Noir possesses a quiet exuberance - so beautifully balanced, it aches to go with food. The beautiful, perfumed red berry fruit overlays subtle notes of “sous bois” that transitions flawlessly from the mid-palate to a long savory and mouthwatering finish, which started me thinking about earth, grains, and mushrooms. 
Farro, an ancient grain, is full of texture grounded by an earthy nuttiness. That earthiness is what captured my imagination when I created the recipes. Little birds stuffed with all kinds of things are a mainstay of so many menus in the Vineyard Kitchen so why not farro? The farro and mushroom stuffing are elevated by these elegant birds and make for a perfect match with this delightful Pinot Noir. The baked eggs nestled in a nest of kale and farro might seem like a mysterious partner to wine, but wait until you taste it. The salsa verde gives the dish a nice bright spark that meets the bright acidity of the wine head on.
Give these recipes a try then crack open a bottle of the 2011 to enjoy with your culinary efforts. Such a lovely wine, I can’t help but let out a happy sigh after each sip. 
Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT:  Roasted Quail with Mushroom and Farro Stuffing
EAT: Farro with Cavalo Nero, Baked Eggs, Pancetta and Salsa Verde

OMG

The 2011 Los Carneros Pinot Noir possesses a quiet exuberance - so beautifully balanced, it aches to go with food. The beautiful, perfumed red berry fruit overlays subtle notes of “sous bois” that transitions flawlessly from the mid-palate to a long savory and mouthwatering finish, which started me thinking about earth, grains, and mushrooms.

Farro, an ancient grain, is full of texture grounded by an earthy nuttiness. That earthiness is what captured my imagination when I created the recipes. Little birds stuffed with all kinds of things are a mainstay of so many menus in the Vineyard Kitchen so why not farro? The farro and mushroom stuffing are elevated by these elegant birds and make for a perfect match with this delightful Pinot Noir. The baked eggs nestled in a nest of kale and farro might seem like a mysterious partner to wine, but wait until you taste it. The salsa verde gives the dish a nice bright spark that meets the bright acidity of the wine head on.

Give these recipes a try then crack open a bottle of the 2011 to enjoy with your culinary efforts. Such a lovely wine, I can’t help but let out a happy sigh after each sip.

Until the Next Wine….  
Maria

EAT:  Roasted Quail with Mushroom and Farro Stuffing

EAT: Farro with Cavalo Nero, Baked Eggs, Pancetta and Salsa Verde

Olive Oil - A Love Story
I grew up with olive oil. My mother kept a large silver and gold can of it in a cool, dark lower cupboard. I loved and craved the taste of it at an early age. I would dip soft chewy chunks of Italian bread into small bowls of oil for a snack. My mother would drizzle it on prosciutto and salami sandwiches, vegetables - raw and cooked, and grilled meat, fish, and poultry. Each time my mother was finished with the oil she would run her hand up the side of the can to capture the remains of the clinging oil and rub the precious drops into her hands to keep them soft. None of the oil went to waste.
I travelled to Italy early in my relationship with Rob and we stayed for a night at Tenuta di Capezzana, high in the Tuscan Hills. When I first tasted the Capezzana oil, I fell in love with it. It had a beautiful balanced acidity with a slight peppery note that caught me at the back of the throat. That evening, we dined on Bistecca grilled in the coals and drizzled with this beautiful oil. We drank lusty red wine with this simple and delicious meal as I fell deeper in love with the man that was to become my future husband. The oil remains a staple in my kitchen to this day. My daughters dip their bread in it as I did with my mother’s olive oil. Each time I twist the cap off the bottle, memories of that evening at Capezzana come flooding back.
A rich, juicy grilled steak and Cabernet Sauvignon are a natural fit. The graceful cassis and black berry fruit, combined with underpinnings of graphite, dried woody herbs, and a hint of cedar and spice from fine French oak, makes RSV Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon a mighty match for a meal of steak and potatoes. The wine is sleek from balanced acidity, and possesses just enough ripe, well-managed tannin to support the fruit. The result is a slinky, sexy Cabernet with a long, lingering, savory finish. A high quality extra virgin olive oil forms a bridge between the pepper crusted steak and the wine, making it a rare and delicious match. Don’t skimp on the oil or the wine.
Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT: Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Arugula and Parmesan
EAT: Golden Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt Potatoes

Olive Oil - A Love Story

I grew up with olive oil. My mother kept a large silver and gold can of it in a cool, dark lower cupboard. I loved and craved the taste of it at an early age. I would dip soft chewy chunks of Italian bread into small bowls of oil for a snack. My mother would drizzle it on prosciutto and salami sandwiches, vegetables - raw and cooked, and grilled meat, fish, and poultry. Each time my mother was finished with the oil she would run her hand up the side of the can to capture the remains of the clinging oil and rub the precious drops into her hands to keep them soft. None of the oil went to waste.

I travelled to Italy early in my relationship with Rob and we stayed for a night at Tenuta di Capezzana, high in the Tuscan Hills. When I first tasted the Capezzana oil, I fell in love with it. It had a beautiful balanced acidity with a slight peppery note that caught me at the back of the throat. That evening, we dined on Bistecca grilled in the coals and drizzled with this beautiful oil. We drank lusty red wine with this simple and delicious meal as I fell deeper in love with the man that was to become my future husband. The oil remains a staple in my kitchen to this day. My daughters dip their bread in it as I did with my mother’s olive oil. Each time I twist the cap off the bottle, memories of that evening at Capezzana come flooding back.

A rich, juicy grilled steak and Cabernet Sauvignon are a natural fit. The graceful cassis and black berry fruit, combined with underpinnings of graphite, dried woody herbs, and a hint of cedar and spice from fine French oak, makes RSV Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon a mighty match for a meal of steak and potatoes. The wine is sleek from balanced acidity, and possesses just enough ripe, well-managed tannin to support the fruit. The result is a slinky, sexy Cabernet with a long, lingering, savory finish. A high quality extra virgin olive oil forms a bridge between the pepper crusted steak and the wine, making it a rare and delicious match. Don’t skimp on the oil or the wine.

Until the Next Wine….   
Maria

EAT: Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Arugula and Parmesan

EAT: Golden Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt Potatoes

Once Bitten, Not Shy…
Merlot is known for its fruity plum and dark cherry aromas and flavors. But good Merlot isn’t just about plump fruit, a high quality rendition can carry a good dollop of tannin and a slight herbal note that adds complexity and balance to its luscious red fruit.
RSV Merlot is not shy. It sports a dark cherry core, a dusting of mineral, and a hint of dried herb character for a deep and complex wine. A Merlot such as this begs for a bit of tart fruit and the soft kiss of herbs like sage and rosemary - both found in the Rib roast and Delicata Squash recipes that follow.
Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT: Pork Country Rib Roast with Cranberries
EAT: Roasted Delicata Squash with Cranberries and Sage
EAT: Cranberry, Pecan and Fennel Seed Biscotti

Once Bitten, Not Shy…

Merlot is known for its fruity plum and dark cherry aromas and flavors. But good Merlot isn’t just about plump fruit, a high quality rendition can carry a good dollop of tannin and a slight herbal note that adds complexity and balance to its luscious red fruit.

RSV Merlot is not shy. It sports a dark cherry core, a dusting of mineral, and a hint of dried herb character for a deep and complex wine. A Merlot such as this begs for a bit of tart fruit and the soft kiss of herbs like sage and rosemary - both found in the Rib roast and Delicata Squash recipes that follow.


Until the Next Wine….   
Maria

EAT: Pork Country Rib Roast with Cranberries

EAT: Roasted Delicata Squash with Cranberries and Sage

EAT: Cranberry, Pecan and Fennel Seed Biscotti

The Power of the Ram
The earthy, juicy power that is the 2010 vintage of Aries makes an excellent match for fungi… the kind that grow in a soft mat of leaves in the forest.  As a lifelong fan of mushrooms, I couldn’t help myself and created these mushroom recipes to enjoy with the deep, dark, sour cherry and muted forest floor notes of this vintage. Powerful yet sleek. Drink up and muse on the joys and wonder of mushrooms!Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT: Taleggio Mushroom Toasts
EAT: Chanterelle, Ricotta, Sweet Onion and Pancetta Tart
EAT: Mushroom Pâté
EAT: Poppy Seed Onion Crackers

The Power of the Ram

The earthy, juicy power that is the 2010 vintage of Aries makes an excellent match for fungi… the kind that grow in a soft mat of leaves in the forest.  As a lifelong fan of mushrooms, I couldn’t help myself and created these mushroom recipes to enjoy with the deep, dark, sour cherry and muted forest floor notes of this vintage. Powerful yet sleek. Drink up and muse on the joys and wonder of mushrooms!

Until the Next Wine….  
Maria

EAT: Taleggio Mushroom Toasts

EAT: Chanterelle, Ricotta, Sweet Onion and Pancetta Tart

EAT: Mushroom Pâté

EAT: Poppy Seed Onion Crackers

Perfect Versatility
Pinot Noir is the most versatile red wine with food and RSV’s Perfect Circle Pinot Noirs are exceptional examples of this versatility. The earthy, deeply brooding, plum fruit of the Vandal Vineyard and the delicate, perfumed floral fruit of the Three Amigos Vineyard, reflect the unique terroir of each site. While each Perfect Circle Pinot Noir is distinctly delicious, The Four Vineyards Pinot Noir’s elegance comes from the selection of small, complimentary lots from within each vineyard to make a sum that is greater than the parts. Whether you are roasting a duck, pig, or vegetable, each one of these Perfect Circle Pinots has a place at the head of the table. Enjoy!
Until the Next Wine….   Maria
EAT:  Pork Roast with Balsamic & Figs
EAT:  Caramelized Duck Breasts with Pinot Noir Grapes
EAT:  Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Sauce
EAT:  Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants

Perfect Versatility

Pinot Noir is the most versatile red wine with food and RSV’s Perfect Circle Pinot Noirs are exceptional examples of this versatility. The earthy, deeply brooding, plum fruit of the Vandal Vineyard and the delicate, perfumed floral fruit of the Three Amigos Vineyard, reflect the unique terroir of each site. While each Perfect Circle Pinot Noir is distinctly delicious, The Four Vineyards Pinot Noir’s elegance comes from the selection of small, complimentary lots from within each vineyard to make a sum that is greater than the parts. Whether you are roasting a duck, pig, or vegetable, each one of these Perfect Circle Pinots has a place at the head of the table. Enjoy!

Until the Next Wine….   Maria

EAT:  Pork Roast with Balsamic & Figs

EAT:  Caramelized Duck Breasts with Pinot Noir Grapes

EAT:  Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Sauce

EAT:  Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants

Muscat RocksThe aromatic, musky-vinous quality of this wine, with its zippy edge of citrus zest and slight, pleasant bitterness on the finish, screams “MUSCAT!” to me. The complexity and freshness of this wine makes me pine for it once the bottle has been drained of its last drop. The basil adds a floral note with a bit of herbaceousness that mimics the wine perfectly. Bake one while the tomatoes in the garden are at their peak. If you can manage to put away a few bottles for colder weather, serve the Muscat with sausages, sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Either way, the Muscat rocks.
EAT: Sun-ripened Tomato and Herbed Goat Cheese Tart
Muscat Rocks

The aromatic, musky-vinous quality of this wine, with its zippy edge of citrus zest and slight, pleasant bitterness on the finish, screams “MUSCAT!” to me. The complexity and freshness of this wine makes me pine for it once the bottle has been drained of its last drop. The basil adds a floral note with a bit of herbaceousness that mimics the wine perfectly. Bake one while the tomatoes in the garden are at their peak. If you can manage to put away a few bottles for colder weather, serve the Muscat with sausages, sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Either way, the Muscat rocks.

EAT: Sun-ripened Tomato and Herbed Goat Cheese Tart

Sunshine and Sea Breeze…
Orgia is reminiscent of sitting in the warm sun with a salt-scented sea breeze gently ruffling your hair. Its saline tang lies underneath delicate and restrained citrus and melon fruit. Pale yellow in color, with a hint of orange, Orgia mimics the color of the sun. Its texture, derived from skin contact during fermentation makes my mouth snap to attention and take notice that this wine is unlike any other. Sipping Orgia is an experience.
Orgia gives the chef a lot of room to play. When I have Orgia in my glass, and the sea comes rushing to my door, I gravitate towards its fruits: prawns, clams, fish and sea urchin. As Mediterranean cooks have done for centuries, I lean toward the distinct flavors of saffron to complement the seafood and bring out the bright saline character of the wine. This intoxicating mix is perfection for Orgia.  Until the Next Wine….  Maria
EAT: Saffron Tagliatelle with Clams EAT: Saffron Pasta Dough EAT: Prawns with Saffron Herb Butter EAT: Emerald Salmon with Saffron Rice EAT: Steamed Saffron Rice

Sunshine and Sea Breeze…

Orgia is reminiscent of sitting in the warm sun with a salt-scented sea breeze gently ruffling your hair. Its saline tang lies underneath delicate and restrained citrus and melon fruit. Pale yellow in color, with a hint of orange, Orgia mimics the color of the sun. Its texture, derived from skin contact during fermentation makes my mouth snap to attention and take notice that this wine is unlike any other. Sipping Orgia is an experience.

Orgia gives the chef a lot of room to play. When I have Orgia in my glass, and the sea comes rushing to my door, I gravitate towards its fruits: prawns, clams, fish and sea urchin. As Mediterranean cooks have done for centuries, I lean toward the distinct flavors of saffron to complement the seafood and bring out the bright saline character of the wine. This intoxicating mix is perfection for Orgia.

Until the Next Wine….
Maria

EAT: Saffron Tagliatelle with Clams
EAT: Saffron Pasta Dough
EAT: Prawns with Saffron Herb Butter
EAT: Emerald Salmon with Saffron Rice
EAT: Steamed Saffron Rice