John Taylor
 
January 13, 2021 | John Taylor

Delicious Meatless Monday Food & Wine Ideas With Food Writer Karista Bennett

Are you starting off 2021 with a resolution to eat healthier? One terrific way to start building healthy habits into your weekly regimine is to practice Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet, not only for their health but for the health of the planet. The campaign was started in 2003 by Sid Lerner, the Founder of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

Foregoing meat one day a week doesn't have to mean dull dinners with a side order of deprevation. And most importantly, it doesn't mean you have to go without the wine (unless you're doing Dry January, and after the events of last year, believe me, we're not). To prove the point, we turned to our good friend, food writer Karista Bennett. She's the chef behind the wildly-popular food blog and the author of The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook: 101 Homegrown Recipes From The Pacific Wonderland. 

"Meat doesn't have to be the center of every meal," Karista told us. "There are so many amazing flavors and textures to explore, and so many delicious ways to eat healthier!"

Karista shared with us three of her favorite meatless recipes from her new cookbook, and it's our pleasure to present them to you, paired with three of the most delicious varietals Cultivar Wine has to offer:

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushrooms and Herbs

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 3-inch sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 2-inch piece of parmesan cheese rind (optional but it makes the broth taste delicious)
For the mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced fresh seasonal mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
A squeeze of fresh lemon
 
For the Risotto
 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
½ yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 medium lemon, zested
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

In a soup pot over low heat, add the chicken broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf and parmesan cheese rind. Heat the broth to a very slow simmer.

Prepare the mushrooms. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot add the mushrooms and sauté until slightly browned and a little crispy. Then stir in the minced garlic, fresh chopped herbs and squeeze of lemon. Take the skillet off the heat and season lightly with a bit of salt and pepper. Reserve.

In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Then stir in the diced onion and cook until slightly wilted. Stir in the garlic and rice and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

Add the wine and stir until the wine is almost absorbed. Next stir in about 1 cup of the simmering chicken broth (don’t add the herbs or parmesan) and continue to stir constantly until the liquid is almost absorbed.

Continue to repeat this process with ½ cup of broth at a time, stirring consistently and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next ½ cup. This process should take about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is almost tender, al dente.

When the risotto is done, take it off the heat and stir in the grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons butter and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the risotto into four bowls and top each bowl with the crispy mushrooms and herbs. Serve immediately.

Pair it with: 2018 Cultivar Wine Chardonnay, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley.

Sprinkled with notes of ginger, toast, honey, and butter-baked apples, this Chardonnay with the rich, cheesy texture of the risotto.

Rustic Leek Tart with Lemon Thyme Ricotta

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer or 4 as an entrée

Ingredients

5-6 small to medium leeks
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
8 ounces whole milk ricotta, drained
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves coarsely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg
1 teaspoon of cold water
Options for garnish: Handful of pea shoots, watercress, arugula or edible flowers dressed in a little olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Whisk together the ricotta, lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves, garlic and parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reserve.

Trim the root ends of the leeks but be sure not to cut the ends completely off as we want the leeks to stay together during cooking.   Then trim the leeks just at the point where the leeks turn to pale green.  Slice each leek in half lengthwise. 

Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Just as the butter melts and the butter/oil mixture is hot, add the leeks cut side down.  Place a lid over the skillet, turning the heat to medium low if needed and cook for about 2-3 minutes.  With tongs, gently turn the leeks once and let them cook another 2-3 minutes until soft and wilted.

Take the pan off the heat and reserve.  Next, line a baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with a little oil.  Unfold the puff pastry and place it on the parchment. Roll it out just a bit, to smooth out the seams, but not too much as puff pastry needs to be ¼” to 1/3” thick to puff.  Pierce the puff pastry with a fork several times in all corners and the middle of the pastry. 

Spread the ricotta evenly over the pastry, leaving a one-inch border on all sides. Place the butter braised leeks evenly over the ricotta.

Whisk together the egg and cold water to make an egg wash. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash and then place the baking pan in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove the pastry from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing.

Garnish with a handful of lemon juice and olive oil dressed pea shoots, watercress, arugula, carrot swirls or edible flowers. Serve warm.

Pair it with: The 2019 Cultivar Wine Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley.
We recommend using Caspar Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Leeks, puff pastry and ricotta call for a wine with a bright acid to bring out the flavors and clear the pallate. With its notes of citrus fruit and melon, our Sauvignon Blanc make the perfect accompanyment to this delicious, savory tart.

Got a Meatless Monday recipe you love? Share it with us on our Facebook page!

About Karista Bennett:
Chef, Food Writer & Author | Girl Mama and Cattle Dog Wrangler | Creating fresh ingredient recipes

"I’ve always had a poetic view of food. Hunger-enticing aromas swirling about my place at the table and causing a most soul-filled joy. With the first bite, I pause, relishing the beauty of the flavors dancing on my tongue. Food is the element that brings us to the table, where life is lived and memories are made. " Karista Bennett

Time Posted: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:45 AM
Gingy Gable
 
February 8, 2020 | Gingy Gable

San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Winners!

We are thrilled to announce that we won many gold medals at the SF Chronicle Wine Competition! The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is currently the largest wine competition in North America. Professional wine judges are sourced throughout the major wine regions in North America to offer diversity of expertise to each judging panel. There were nearly 6,700 entries.


2017 Cultivar Wine Cabernet Franc Oak Knoll District Double Gold
2016 Caspar Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  Gold - in our February Wine Club shipment
2017 Cultivar Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Barrel Aged  Gold - in our February Wine Club shipment
2018 Cultivar Wine Chardonnay Oak Knoll District Barrel Aged Gold
2018 Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley  Gold - in our February Wine Club shipment

These wines are available for purchase on our website and at Cultivar San Francisco - 2379 Chestnut Street in San Francisco's marina district, just a few blocks from the Presidio and the Palace of Fine Arts, minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. At Cultivar SF you can book a wine tasting, have weekend brunch, lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, weekday happy hours and dinner. We offer a Cultivar Wine Club and a mix of Caspar Estate and Cultivar Club as well. Join the club now for these wonderful wines delivered to your door!

Time Posted: Feb 8, 2020 at 10:41 AM
Emily Martin
 
November 30, 2015 | Emily Martin

Making the Perfect Cheese Platter paired with Cultivar Wine Courtesy of Kelly of "A Side of Sweet"

We are thrilled to share with you a post by one of our Cultivar Wine Bloggers, Kelly of A Side of Sweet. This is a sneak peak of the post. Please visit A Side of Sweet for the entire recipe (Cheese, crackers, greenery and other yummyness featured below). Kudos Kelly on such a fabulous casual cheese & wine spread.  We love it and are thrilled to share it with our readers. 

"Putting Together a Fancy Wine & Cheese Spread"

Cheese :: "I figured this was my chance to go crazy and get a whole bunch of cheese! I definitely went overboard, which was fine by me because it meant I got to eat my favorite meal of cheese and crackers for dinner the next few nights."

"My first stop was Trader Joe’s where you can get some delicious options that are great for a budget. The I hit up Whole Foods. Although it’s a bit more expensive, the nice thing about Whole Foods is that the staff is super knowledgable and will go out of their way to help you pick the perfect cheese for your occasion. They also had a better selection of local cheeses. Here are the cheeses I got."

Trader Joe’s

Creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah
Parmesan Reggiano
Italian Truffle Cheese
Le Delice de Bourgogne Triple Cream Soft Ripened Cheese
Assortment of Chèvre

Whole Food’s

Cave-Aged Gruyere
Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese
Point Reyes Original Blue cheese

Costco

Spanish Tapa’s Assortment
Goat’s Milk Feta

Wine :: "I wanted to go with local wine, so I served Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc from Cultivar Wines. Cultivar is a family-run winery in Napa Valley, California. They make their wines from some of the best grapes in Napa and it shows – when we opened our first bottle I almost fell over! This wine is some of the best I’ve had in California, even with all the trips to wine country that we’ve made since we moved here! I think it was one of the highlights of the night – our guests kept commenting on how good it was!"

To read more about the Charcuterie, Crackers and other tips for this amazing dish visit A Side Of Sweet. 

Time Posted: Nov 30, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Gingy Gable
 
November 22, 2015 | Gingy Gable

Pair Cultivar Wine with your Thanksgiving Meal

Happy Thanksgiving!


Rain, rain, rain! Everyone is ecstatic that it is raining here in the Napa Valley! We are looking forward to Thanksgiving with our family and friends. We are joyous as we contemplate all the things that we are thankful for; you, our customers, rain and a wonderful harvest are all at the top of our list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From our family to yours,
Jody & Gingy

What wine will you serve for Thanksgiving?

May we recommend the following wines for your Thanksgiving celebration...
The 2013 Cultivar Coombsville Syrah is a medium bodied wine with the perfect acidity to pair with your Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, classic sweet potatoes, and roasted chestnuts. We love its opulent fruit, the balance of fruit and spice, and the dark red raspberries seem to jump from the glass along with aromas of allspice with a touch of vanilla. On the palate, it is rich and mouth filling with perfectly balanced tannins. $42.00 a bottle, $428 a case, $403 for club members.
 
The 2012 Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon has just the right amount of spice to pair perfectly with your savory Thanksgiving dishes, turkey or ham. On the nose it has dark cherry and currant fruit intertwined with sweet oak. On the palate it is rich and full bodied. $72 a bottle, $734 a case, $691 a case for club members.
The 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll Chardonnay is a pure expression of Chardonnay and pairs perfectly with a classic roasted turkey with all the trimmings. On the nose it has baked apples, pear and melon notes with nuances of spice and flower aromas. On the palate, it has beautiful weight and balance with a touch of richness. $28 a bottle, $296 a case, $278 a case for club members.
 
Make it a Thanksgiving to remember!
Bring the 2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 3L or 6L large format bottle and sharpie markers and see what unfolds! You'll have amazing wine, a centerpiece and you'll have fun writing the reasons you are thankful on the bottle. Memories to last all year long! 2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 3 liter $190

What will you write on your bottle?
Buy Cultivar 3 Liter
 
The 2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon strikes that perfect balance of intense, dark fruit with sweet tannins and refined structure. This 
wine is dark and rich with ripe black currant, plum and dark cherry flavors, complemented by a truly elegant finish. We like it for Thanksgiving because it is always a crowd pleaser! 2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvinon 6 liter $450
Buy Cultivar 6 Liter
 
Need help with placing your order or have wine or gifts to send to multiple locations? You can call 707-400-9280 or email Dianne Jones and she will help you with all of your customer service needs.
 

Rethinking your Thanksgiving meal?
Turkey Osso Buco

Looking for a less traditional turkey dish? Ready for something different? Try Turkey Osso Bucco made in our Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon. Perfect for Fall! Here is the recipe.

6 turkey drum sticks; crosscut into osso buco - (have your butcher do it)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tbsp. juniper berries, smashed
1 Tbsp. fennel seed, crushed
6 bay leaves
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch sage
1 750ml Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
1 quart stock or broth (turkey, chicken or mushroom)

Heat a Dutch oven on high. While the pot is heating up, pat dry the osso buco legs with paper towels. Season the legs with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the Dutch oven. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the legs one at a time. Sear each side of the osso buco until a dark golden brown color. Remember, the more color the meat gets the more flavorful your sauce will be. Once all the pieces are seared, remove from the pot and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, juniper berries and fennel seed. Let sauté for 5 minutes with a lid on the pot. Next add the bay leaves, parsley, sage and cabernet sauvignon. Let the wine boil for 5 minutes, add the osso buco back to the pot and cover with stock. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and place into a 350 degree oven. Let cook in the oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the osso buco is tender enough to cut with a fork. Remove the osso buco from the Dutch oven; strain the liquid into a different pot. On high heat, boil the liquid until it reduces to half of its original volume. Taste, season with salt and pepper. Pour the reduced liquid back over the osso buco. To plate, place generous scoop of stuffing on the plate, top with osso buco and ladle on some of the sauce.
Serves 6-8.
Thanksgiving table setting with Osso Bucco photo by Deborah Evans.






Time Posted: Nov 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM
Lucy Pinto
 
September 15, 2015 | Lucy Pinto

Excitement at Cultivar – Two New Releases – Order Now

 

Become a Member of Cultivar Wine Club Today and Let the Good Times Flow


Join Cultivar Wine Club to become a part of the Caspar Estate and Cultivar family and gain access to the best Napa Valley wines delivered to your door. Inspired by the ideals and lifestyle of a modern day Gentleman Farmer, you will be delighted with the most distinct wines of Napa Valley and given all the stories and behind-the-scenes details of a truly sustainable organic farm.

We are thrilled to share two brand new September Releases available for the next 30 days exclusively for our beloved Wine Club Members:

Can't to wait to get them? Join our Cultivar Wine Club today! You can sign up here and choose from the 4-bottle or 12-bottle Wine Clubs, or if you want to select your own wines, join our Cultivar Custom Club. We look forward to sharing and savoring with you the best small production wines from across the Napa Valley.

Join Now
2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll Chardonnay 

Want to catch up with your best friend over a perfect bottle of wine?

Perfect for reminiscing, our 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay is a pure expression of Chardonnay. Comforting, friendly, natural, and just a bit sentimental, this Chardonnay delivers fruit on the nose and on the palate taking one back to an age where fresh pies were set on windowsills to cool. On the nose this perfect-for-Fall Chardonnay has baked apples, pear and melon notes with nuances of spice and flower aromas. On the palate the wine has beautiful weight and balance, being fermented in neutral oak barrels to add just a touch of richness. The palate delivers more baked apples and a touch of creme brûlée for a beautiful delicate finish.

As we roll into Dungeness Crab season here in San Francisco, the Cultivar Chardonnay is a perfect match.

Drink now and over the next two years.
 

2013 Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc

Better than your favorite television drama, our Cabernet Franc is mysterious, deep, romantic and just a little bit dangerous.

Our Cabernet Franc comes from the cooler growing region of Oak Knoll. We believe our Cabernet Franc has both characteristics of The Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions in France. The 2013 is deep dark red with a distinct brightness. On the nose, black cherry fruits are intertwined with notes of roses and violets, along with hints of tobacco and pepper. On the palate it is rich, medium to full bodied with great balance. The black cherry fruit follows from the nose to the palate with hints of plums and blueberries. The sweetness of the fruit is balanced with the perfect blend of vanilla and warm Asian spices. This wine has a long mouth finish that draws you back to the glass.

This is perfect with roasted game and rich Asian inspired dishes.

Drink now or over the next 5 years. 

$52/bottle
$530/case $499/club case


Available now only to Wine Club Members.
2013 Cultivar Coombsville Syrah

The ultimate expression of a classic with a twist!

Fresh and eclectic with a unique and distinct sense of purpose, this is the second Syrah offering from Cultivar and our first Syrah from the Coombsville appellation. The 2013 Coombsville Syrah shows a bold spectrum of deep red fruit varietals. Dark red raspberries and dark cherries seem to jump from the glass, along with notes of pretty roses and violets and aromas of allspice with a touch of vanilla.  On the palate it is rich and mouth filling. The tannins are perfectly balanced giving the red fruit its structure.

This is the perfect wine to share around the BBQ or paired with classic Fall dishes.

Savor now or over the next 5 years, if you can keep it that long without opening it.

$42/bottle
$428/case $403/club case


Available now to only Wine Club Members.

 

2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Look out world! Cabernet from Howell Mountain has become known for its boldness, tannic structure, and intense fruit.

Deep, powerful, rich, intense, intelligent and decadent, our 2012 Cultivar Howell Mountain is all that and more: dark in color almost bordering on black, with a nose of dark cassis, currant, and blackberries. Intertwined with these powerful fruits are notes of cedar and wood smoke and hints of truffle-coated blackberries, licorice, and espresso. The distinct long finish on the palate and note of tannins on the top of your mouth will have you dreaming of mountain cabins and the great outdoors.

This Cabernet screams for a beautiful rib eye steak or to be decanted for this Christmas Holiday and paired with a perfectly standing rib roast.

While tempting to drink now, this wine will age for another 10 years, if you can keep your hands off of it in the cellar. 

$72/bottle
$734/case $691/club case

 

With the opening of your very first bottle of Cultivar Wine, we encourage you to explore your own dreams, share your own desires, and cultivate your own passions, with each and every sip in each and every shipment.
 

More Juicy Details
Time Posted: Sep 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Eden Hensley
 
February 18, 2015 | Eden Hensley

New Release: 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

We are excited to announce our first Napa Valley Chardonnay: our 2013 Oak Knoll District Chardonnay. This Chardonnay is the perfect wine to drink now: on its own, with a light meal, or with your starter course at dinner.

Stock up now to be ready for the Spring weather that’s just around the corner! Bottles are $28 / $22.40 Wine Club and Cases are $285 / $268 Wine Club.

Tasting Notes

Swirl your Chardonnay to coat the glass and then bring up to your nose. Inhale aromas of baked apples, pear and melon with a hint of spice. Close your eyes and savor the wine as it hits your tongue. Enjoy baked apple, caramel, and a hint of brown butter that ends with a delicate finish. Serve chilled.

2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

About the Oak Knoll Appellation

The Oak Knoll appellation, located south of Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley is known for a climate that is cooler and more moderate than any region in Napa Valley outside of Carneros. This cooler climate delivers restrained, delicate Chardonnays with the perfect balance of sugar and acid.

2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

Pairing the Oak Knoll District Chardonnay

One of the most popular and traditional California Chardonnay pairings is with Dungeness Crab or crab cakes. And you won’t go wrong with this match up.

Black Bean Corn Salsa served on Slice of Cucumber

To shake things up a bit and truly delight the taste buds of your guests, pick a few goat cheeses to start your evening: Bucheron, a fresh French goat cheese; Garrotxa, an aged Spanish goat cheese; or mild American goat cheddar. Goat cheese further heightens the fruit in the 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay.

Another less common match you should experiment with is sweet corn. For something off the beaten path that our guests may not have enjoyed, match our Chardonnay with either a Corn Chowder or Corn Salsa.

What will you pair your Chardonnay with?

Time Posted: Feb 18, 2015 at 6:00 AM
Eden Hensley
 
February 4, 2015 | Eden Hensley

Pairing Chocolate and Wine for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you’re being barraged with reminders. Reminders to buy jewelry. Get flowers. Pair chocolate with wine.

Before you rush out and grab your favorite bottle of Cultivar and box of local artisan chocolates or truffles, stop. Not all chocolate and wine is a match made in heaven. (If you’re unsure, finish your wine before sampling your chocolate.)

 

2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose

 

Basic Guidelines for Pairing Wine with Chocolates

Between the wine and the chocolate you are looking for a balance of sweetness, fruit, and acidity. To help you achieve this balance, there are a couple of general guidelines to keep in mind.

 

  1. Your wine should be sweeter than the chocolate. When the chocolate is sweeter, you run the risk of an astringent finish where your mouth ends in a pucker.
  2. The wine you’re pouring determines the type of chocolate you want to consider first. I tend to prefer white or milk chocolates with Roses and Chardonnays and darker chocolates with higher Cacao percentages with more full-bodied wines higher in alcohol content.

 

Truly successful matches go beyond these guidelines.

What are the exact characteristics of a successful match? It depends; it’s a matter of personal taste. Some feel chocolate never pairs with wine. I believe it’s not that straightforward, and matches can only be found through experimentation. When pairing wine with chocolates, I look first to the aromas I’m inhaling when I first raise my glass. Then I think about the nuanced flavors I’m tasting.

Interested in learning more about the art of chocolate and wine pairing? Check out the three-part series on The Nibble: Part 1 – Introduction; Part II – Pairing Chart; and Hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party.


2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay with Chocolate

A Trio of Cultivar Wine Paired with Chocolate

If you want a memorable bite, try one or all of these three pairings.

 

2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose with Peanut Butter and Strawberry Chocolate

Rose is the perfect Spring wine. For Valentine’s Day, our 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose is a great way to start your evening, light and crisp with just the right balance of tart cranberry and hint of strawberry.

 

Why this pairing works: The interplay between cranberry and strawberry notes is why our 2014 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose pairs with a Peanut Butter and Strawberry chocolate. The fresh strawberry jam in the chocolate brings the strawberry notes of the wine to center stage while the creamy peanut butter softens the sweetness of the milk chocolate with its saltiness for a soft finish.

 

Our 2013 Cultivar Napa Valley Rose (currently only available in keg), on the other hand, which is sweeter than our 2014 vintage, paired with a Candy Cane chocolate. This unusual pairing worked because organic candy canes were crushed into Strauss cream, organic butter, and white chocolate. The peppermint accented the strawberry notes while the cream coated the mouth and balanced the wine’s crisp finish.

 

2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay with Old Fashioned Chocolate

A wine for scotch drinkers is how our 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay has been described. This characteristic is why when chilled you can enjoy with an Old Fashioned Chocolate which is a combination of single barrel bourbon, Fee Brothers bitters, a twist of orange all blended into Solstice Madagascar chocolate.

 

Why this pairing works: Our 2013 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Chardonnay, fermented in neutral oak barrels, delivers fruit on the nose and hints of baking spices that finishes with caramel and brown butter. These apple, pear, and melon notes in the wine balance the bitters and hint of orange in the chocolate for a richer experience. Where alone the wine has a delicate finish, the single barrel bourbon in the chocolate intensifies the wine’s caramel finish and adds a touch of oakiness.

 

2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon with Passion Fruit Caramel

At first glance, our last pairing looks as if the caramel might be sweeter than the wine. It’s not. Passion fruit is a tad bit sweet and yet also slightly sour. It is this contradiction that makes this match complementing the structure of our 2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon.


2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon with Passion Fruit Caramel

Why this pairing works: On your inhale, nutmeg and cinnamon tantalize with a hint of mocha and cedar. These aromas scream for caramel and passion fruit.  The Passion Fruit caramel combines these flavors into a creamy decadent bite that’s slightly bittersweet. Because the chocolate isn’t overly sweet and the flavors are those present in the 2011 Cultivar Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon you have a match made in heaven.

 

Which ever way you enjoy your chocolate and your wine--together or separately, have fun this Valentine’s! Jot down notes about what you like as well as what you dislike. Then, the next time you’re standing in front of a chocolate counter pick up a few more to try.

 

Want to be daring while reducing the likelihood of a mismatch? Check out The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Simply find the wine you’re trying to match, for example Cabernet Sauvignon, and see what fruit flavors or dessert ingredients work with it, for example strawberries. (If there’s no fruit or dessert ingredient such as butter or cream, start with one of the aromas or one of the flavors on your palette that you experience with the wine.) Then look up strawberries (or the other fruit).

 

What chocolates do you enjoy with your Cultivar Wine?

Time Posted: Feb 4, 2015 at 6:00 AM