John Taylor
 
December 26, 2020 | John Taylor

Food & Wine Tips For A Festive New Years Day Brunch

We are full of enthusiasm and excitement for 2021! Our plan is to kick off New Years Day with the first epic brunch of the year. To start the day, we'll take a brisk walk in the morning to get motivated and think about what the perfect kickoff brunch of 2021 will look like!

At Cultivar SF, our San Francisco restaurant, we're big fans of brunch, so we'd love to share with you some of our favorite dishes to help get your creative juices flowing. As the name suggests, brunch is like a combination of breakfast and lunch, using a mixture of ingredients we traditionally associate with one or the other. We look at brunch as a combination of light & heavy and sweet & savory. It doesn't have to be super fancy: a Farmers Market Omelette and Applewood-Smoked Bacon with Challuah French Toast is the perfect example of something simple you can make at home. 

But wait - every good brunch starts with Bellinis or mimosas! We love a delicious, seasonal Pomegranate Mimosa like the one pictured above, but we think our new Sparkling Wine makes an amazing Pear Mimosa. Just add 3/4-cup pear nectar to 1 bottle Cultivar Wine's Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine and you have a slightly-sweet, delicious spin on the mimosa. And who can say no to the classic Peach Bellini? We like to make a peach puree by scratch simply peel & pit your peaches, toss them in a blender and blend until smooth (at this time of year you can use frozen peach slices) and add the chilled puree to our Sparkling Wine.

Here's another example of how simple can blend with imaginative. A classic plate of Fried Eggs, Bacon and Rustic Bread paired with Polenta, Poached Egg and Shrimp. And if you're looking for a brunch entree that warm you up and fill you up at the same time, try a Croque Madame or Huevos Rancheros. Pair that with a bottle of 2019 Cultivar Wine Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, and you're on your way to one happy 2021!

Pasta is also a perfect dish for brunch. It's filling, it's easy and above all, it's versatile. Try a simple angel hair tossed with roma tomatoes, Caspar Estate Olive Oil, basil, capers and top it with shaved Parmesean cheese. If you're feeling more daring, try something like this Wild Mushroom Raviloi we created at Cultivar SF. Pasta is also a perfect dish to serve for your friends who love a lighter red wine, like our Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir or even our Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc.

And don't forget the salad! Salads can even be the main course in a brunch. We think a great salad should be inspired by the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in your area. One of our favorites is this Pomegranate and Persimmon Salad with Avocado and Bleu Cheese. Mix greens, goat cheese, candied walnuts and champagne vinagrette. Candied walnuts give it an added touch of sweetness, and our 2018 Cultivar Oak Knoll Chardonnay compliments all the flavors at once.

We'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy 2021, and we hope that the New Year brings you fun, travel and more days spent with the ones you love!

Time Posted: Dec 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Food & Wine Tips For A Festive New Years Day Brunch Permalink
John Taylor
 
December 16, 2020 | John Taylor

Why Sparkling Wine Is The Most Versatile Wine For The Holidays

The Holiday Season calls for sparkling wine! Whether it’s a French Champagne, an Italian Prosecco or a delicious Napa Valley Sparkling Wine, bubbles are the go-to pour for parties, dinners and the big toast on New Year’s Eve.

As a small, sibling-owned winery, Cultivar Wine cherishes the times when our family can be together, and we’ve been proud to have our wines be a part of Holiday celebrations. That’s why it only made sense that we create a sparkling wine for the holidays. The Cultivar Wine Blanc de Noirs, Coombsville, Napa Valley, is now available in our online store in time for your celebrations!

To create our very first sparkling wine, we sourced pinot noir from vines planted in the early 1960’s in Coombsville, a beautiful sub-appellation on the southern tip of Napa cooled by the San Pablo Bay. We crafted this sparkling wine from 100% pinot noir using traditional champagne production methods. It was aged on yeast for two years and then spent another year aging in the bottle.

The result? A delightful, fine-bubbled sparkler that embraces its pinot noir heritage. The woodsy notes of earth, mushroom and fresh baked bread mingle with subtle tones of rosemary, maple and elderberry to create a wine with distinct character. We believe this makes our sparkling wine not only perfect for parties, toasts and celebrations, but to pair with your Holiday entrees as well.

In fact, a great sparkling wine may be the most versatile wine for the Holidays. Hearty, winter dishes call for a wine with enough brightness and acid to cleanse the palate, yet be light enough to enjoy through the whole meal and the whole evening. Sparkling wine is perfect for this, and makes a great accompaniment to turkey, chicken and crab (it’s crab season!) along with a wide assortment of side dishes.

And don’t forget, sparkling wine can be the foundation of some amazing and delicious Holiday cocktails! After our team tasted our new Blanc de Noirs, we decided that these four cocktails would be perfect with our new sparkling wine:

Apple Cider Mimosa

This fun take on the classic Mimosa is a perfect complement to the earthy notes of our Blanc de Noirs:

Ingredients:

• 4 oz. Cultivar Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine
• 2 oz. all-natural apple cider
• 1 oz. cinnamon whiskey
• 1 slice of apple, for garnish

Directions

Mix cider and cinnamon whiskey in a champagne flute. Top with Cultivar Blanc de Noirs, then stir lightly until incorporated. Garnish with an apple slice.

 

Air Mail

Sweet & savory mingle with this one, and it’s perfect with our Caspar Estate Wildflower Honey.

Ingredients:

• 2 oz. golden rum
• 1/2 oz. lime juice
• 1 tsp. Caspar Estate honey
• 5 oz. Cultivar Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine

Directions:

Mix rum, lime juice, and honey thoroughly with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then pour unstrained into a Collins glass. Fill with Cultivar Wine Blanc de Noirs. 


Nora-Schlesinger

Rosemary Champagne Spritz

Rosemary simple syrup brings out the woodsy & herbaceous notes of the pinot noir grapes in this delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

• 1 tbl. Rosemary Simple Syrup
• 3 oz. gin
• 3 oz. grapefruit juice

 

Directions:

Make the simple syrup by combining ½ cup sugar, ½ cup water and a small bunch or rosemary in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and then let cool. Combine a tablespoon of syrup, the gin and grapefruit juice and stir. Top with Cultivar Wine Blanc de Noirs and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Barbotage

Cognac, Grand Marnier and Cultivar Blanc de Noirs? Now that’s a Holiday cocktail!

Ingredients:

• 1/2 oz. cognac
• 1 tsp. Grand Marnier
• 4 oz. sparkling wine

Directions:

Pour cognac (or another brandy) and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute. Top up with Cultivar Wine Blanc de Noirs.


ioan-f

However you choose to celebrate, we’re hope you’re able to do so with family, friends and loved ones, and that your New Year is happy, safe and joyous. Cheers!

Photo credits, by order: Bob McClenahan, Quinten Rude, Nora Schlesinger, ioan-f.

Time Posted: Dec 16, 2020 at 11:31 AM Permalink to Why Sparkling Wine Is The Most Versatile Wine For The Holidays Permalink
Eden Hensley
 
November 17, 2020 | Eden Hensley

The Perfect Brisket (And Wine) For A Perfect Chanukah

 

Holiday gatherings this year are going to be a little different especially depending on where you live. We’re in San Francisco, and since March 2020 we’ve been sheltering in place. With a vaccine for COVID-19 still under development, we’ll be celebrating Chanukah with just our immediate family. And we’ll be enjoying a mouthwatering brisket that’s perfectly sized for our family of 3. 

There are tons of recipes for entertaining hordes on the Internet. Few explain how one might make a brisket for themselves and their partner. This recipe is for an intimate Chanukah dinner—a couple, two roommates, a parent and a teen, a parent and two littles.

This recipe is the result of years of research, experimentation, and troubleshooting. So, rather than simply modifying another recipe - a hit or miss proposition at best - give this stress-free recipe a try.

Four Tips for a Mouthwatering Brisket

I’ve found there are four things that increase your odds of serving a mouthwatering meal your family will reminisce fondly about for years to come...and none of them involve browning your brisket before tossing it into the slow cooker. Browning your brisket won’t save your meal if you make one of the following rookie errors:

1. Don’t even proceed with this recipe if your well-meaning butcher trims the fat off your brisket. (It won’t work so don’t even try it; make a lovey beef stew instead.

2. If you can’t find brisket, don’t blindly toss a different cut of meat into your slow cooker. Brisket is the toughest of cuts, so the length of time in the slow cooker is too long for other more expensive cuts like Prime Rib.

3. Cooking on HIGH for half the time will not save you from poor time management skills or lack of planning. Wake up early if you want to eat it the same day you make it; start it the night before to rest when you rise and finish in the oven later; or just make it the day before, let it rest overnight, and finish in the morning.

4. Make sure you have the same size brisket as the recipe. Your liquid-to-meat ratio as well as cooking time won’t be the same if you’re using more or less than 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds of beef brisket. Also, you need one cut that’s 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds. If your portion is less than a pound, chop up and make beef stew.

And now...the recipe!

 

The Ultimate Brisket

This slow cooker recipe doesn’t require you to use your oven or stovetop. You’ll chop your vegetables and toss them, the brisket, and sauces into your slow cooker and basically forget it for a few hours.

Note: Because you’ll flip the brisket halfway through the cooking process, this isn’t a good recipe to start before you go to bed. If you’re planning on eating Chanukah dinner earlier in the day, you can leave it to cook overnight, just flip the brisket in the morning and cook on slow for an additional hour.

Before you start assembling ingredients, we need to chat about cooking with wine. To save money you may be tempted to select a bottle of “cooking wine” from your grocery aisle. Don’t do that. My cousin, a chef, chastised me for doing this years ago. “If you wouldn’t drink a wine, you shouldn’t cook with it.”

Now, this doesn’t mean if you’re serving an expensive bottle that you need to use it for cooking. He recommends choosing the same varietal of wine or in a pinch same color. We enjoyed our brisket with 2016 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon Leaky Lake Vineyard ($98) and added Merlot to our brisket in the slow cooker.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

3 yellow gold potatoes, quartered
A bunch of baby carrots, cut in thirds
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound beef brisket, flat cut
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy or tamari sauce
1 1/2 cups beef or mushroom broth
1/2 cup Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet Sauvignon (if you don’t have wine, substitute with broth)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pepper
Salt
1 large yellow or red onion, sliced in half moons
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

Instructions (cooking time: 8-9 hours)

  • Add your potatoes and carrots to your 6.5 Quart Slow Cooker first.
  • Next place your brisket, fat side up, on top of your potatoes and carrots.
  • Pour Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, broth, and wine into your slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle your garlic, pepper, and salt on top of your brisket.
  • Arrange your onions to the side of your brisket.
  • Add your mushrooms on top of everything and close the lid of your slow cooker.
  • Cook on LOW for 8 hours, flipping halfway through cooking time. If you need to cook overnight, flip the brisket when you wake up and cook on LOW for one more hour.
  • Using two turners (tongs will shred your meat), transfer the brisket and vegetables to a 9x13” baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate overnight.
  • Transfer the broth to a quart container and refrigerate.
  • About an hour before dinner, preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Let baking dish with brisket and vegetables come to room temperature. Pour 1/2 pint of reserved broth over the brisket and vegetables.
  • Reheat for 30 to 40 minutes at 300 before serving.

Wine Pairing

Red wine lovers will rejoice when you bring out this brisket. Because of the subtle flavors in this dish, you can easily serve it with Pinot Noir, a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon, or even a Merlot.

What’s your favorite: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot?

Which of the three reds you pair your Chanukah brisket with will come down to personal tastes (and your side dishes). For me, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy screams Pinot Noir. My husband is partial to Cabernets with beef, so I swapped the mashed potatoes with latkes and delicata squash. We chose the 2016 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon Leaky Lake Vineyard over the 2018 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon Napa County to avoid having tannins overwhelm the apple sauce and squash. Don’t fret: the 2018 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon Napa County had its moment in the spotlight when we served our Vegetarian Harvest meal (coming to the blog soon).

Eden Hensley Silverstein is a third-generation Californian, who has been feeding her family, friends, and soon-to-be friends around her kitchen table since she was in third grade. Along with her husband, 8.5 year old daughter, and Maine Coon/Ragamuffin rescue cat, she makes 849 sq ft a welcoming home in The Mission. They share recipes and misadventures on The Road to the Good Life.

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2020 at 2:25 PM Permalink to The Perfect Brisket (And Wine) For A Perfect Chanukah Permalink
John Taylor
 
October 30, 2020 | John Taylor

'Tis The Season for Shopping Early!

The Holidays are right around the corner! If you're like us, you love this time of year, but it always manages to sneak up on you somehow. That's why we've prepared a wide selection of gifts to make Holiday shopping for the wine lovers on your list quick and convenient. 

Choose from our Caspar Estate olive oil and honey box, our Cultivar Wine two-packs, our elegant Caspar Estate Cabernet gifts or even Gift Certificates to Cultivar San Francisco. There's something for everyone!

We've matched up our best-selling wines into two-bottle sets to pair with the tastes of your favorite wine lovers. The Cultivar Wine Sampler features our 2019 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc with our 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, providing a sample of Napa's wide-ranging style and terroir. The Pinot Pair, which will delight any lover of Pinot Noir, includes our 2018 Sonoma Coast and 2018 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs. And if your list includes someone who truly appreciates fine Napa Valley Cabernet, we offer Napa Valley's Finest, a collection of our limited edition 2016 Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon alongside our acclaimed 2018 St. Helena Cabernet.  Each two-pack is delivered in our beautiful Cultivar Gift Box.

Need gifts for teachers, co-workers or the other essential people in your life? Caspar Estate Honey or Caspar Estate Olive Oil is perfect for everyone. We feature sets with wine and without wine. Another great idea is to purchase a case of honey jars so that you always have a simple elegant gift ready to hand out.

Here's a great idea for our local San Francisco friends with teenage kids (or nieces & nephews): give them a Gift Certificate to Cultivar SF, our restaurant in the Marina District. Let them go with a friend and have the grilled cheese and tomato soup or the sliders and fries. You'll be supporting local businesses, too! 

 Our Caspar Estate Wine Collection is sure to impress clients, employees and the loved ones on your list who enjoy the finest that Napa Valley has to offer. This year, we've done something very special: we've opened up our Caspar cellar for a limited time to the public. This season only, you don't have to be a Club Member to give and enjoy our highly-acclaimed Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Planning a special Holiday meal? Why not make it fun by featuring a large format bottle. We have a wide selection of vintages and varietals, from Magnums of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc to Methuselahs of 2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet - that's half a case of wine in one bottle. Now that's the way to make an impression!

 

We are a small company and we are thrilled when we see the orders come in. On any given day Deborah, Dianne, Richard, or Jody might be in the warehouse packing up your gifts. So please let us know if we can help you with all of your shopping or gift giving. We can ship to multiple locations simultaneously and work within your budget. Drop us an email and let us know how we can help. We make Holiday shopping fun and easy. We can help you stay organized with our Shopping List - Download it here.

Happy Shopping!

Time Posted: Oct 30, 2020 at 10:15 AM Permalink to 'Tis The Season for Shopping Early! Permalink
John Taylor
 
October 27, 2020 | John Taylor

Cultivar Wine Focuses On Terroir For Our New Fall Releases

Fall has to be one of our most favorite seasons here at Cultivar Wine. Not only does the Fall mean that harvest is coming, but that the Holidays are just around the corner...and with them, new wines created specifically to pair with food.

This Fall is no exception, as we have recently released two wines that are not only begging to be paired with your favorite dishes, but come from regions known to be home to some of the best wines on Earth. We specifically picked these areas to source wines for our Fall wine releases, knowing that we'd be able to create something really special.

The 2018 Cultivar Wine Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, Napa Valley, is something special indeed. One glance at the deep red wine in your glass and you know you’re sipping the very best Napa has to offer. Bold tones of tobacco, mocha, black currant jam, and cardamom hit the nose, while the palate explodes with layers of new oak, peat, salted caramel, cedar, nutmeg and juicy purple fruits. Complexity rules the finish here, with simultaneous waves of cappuccino, Lemon rind and leather carried on waves of youthful tannins. This wine begs you to order a lamb burger with blue cheese or rib eye Philadelphia Style if you’ve got the nerve. We paired it here with mission figs, we grow fig trees at Caspar Estate and they have always been a favorite for us, add goat cheese, and enjoy! Photo credit Eric Zepeda Studio.


St. Helena is a smaller - and quite varried - sub-appellation in Napa Valley. Its vineyards stretch from the valley floor up to the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, providing for growing conditions that can encompass warm and cool regions simultaneously. The soil is a mixture of extremes: ancient riverbed and volcanic rock, a uniqueness that's apparent in every wine that comes from this northern Napa Valley gem. We hand-crafted less than 75 cases of our St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, and after our Wine Club received their allocation, only a few dozen cases remain. 

Our second release for Fall 2020 is one of our most exciting: the 2019 Cultivar Wine Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands. Our first-ever pinot from the cool, Burgundy-like slopes of the Santa Lucia Highlands is a beauty and a wonder. With notes of plums, black licorice, fennel and hints of earthiness, one quickly discovers this will be a rich, lush, creamy pinot noir. Dark fruit layers give way to tomato pureé and vegetal tones with a playful herbaceous quality. On the finish, the pure balance gives clues to a subtle oak treatment, revealing caramel, root beer and the promise of even more complexity with age. Grab a bottle along with some herbed goat cheese, fig crostini and blueberries. A very versatile wine, pair it with meats with tomatoes and potatoes cooked in a Finex cast iron skillet. We even love a delicate pinot like this to accompany Thanksgiving turkey.

 

The Santa Lucia Highlands wine growing region in western Monterey County achieved formal American Viticulture Appellation recognition in 1991. Since then, it has emerged as one of the premiere cool-climate growing regions for pinto noir on the west coast. The small but mighty appellation is home to multi-generation farmers and revered winemakers who craft award-wining and highly-acclaimed wines.

Want to try our new releases? Click here and see for yourself why terroir makes all the difference in Cultivar Wine.

Time Posted: Oct 27, 2020 at 12:24 PM Permalink to Cultivar Wine Focuses On Terroir For Our New Fall Releases Permalink
Gingy Gable
 
May 4, 2018 | Gingy Gable

Celebrations & Gifts


Family Celebrations
Growing up we would celebrate holidays at our grandparents house in the Napa Valley with all of our cousins.
We would help our grandparents with all sorts of projects; starting with watering the garden. There was a very specific method we were taught and all these years later, I have heard my mother and my uncles explaining it to my son and his cousins the exact same way. It always makes me smile.

For Mother's Day we would make a point to stop at a special little place in North Beach to bring Vee the ravioli and cannelloni she loved. Once at our house we would help Vee in the garden, clipping fresh herbs, then we'd follow her to the kitchen, she would let us make the vinaigrette and toss the salad.  Even though we would try to wait on her; she still would not sit down for long, even on Mother's Day. Father's Day was similar except that our grandfather, Caspar, "Pops" to us would wear a "King For A Day" button. At lunch he would do fun and quick magic tricks for us or tell us stories of growing up!

In honor of them we bring you some ideas for celebrating and gifts!
Mother's Day
Have a fun and relaxing Mother's Day at Cultivar San Francisco.  Mom will sip on her favorite wine while the children order off the kids menu. We serve lunch and sharable plates starting at 12 noon. All Moms joining us for lunch or dinner will receive a gift of Tuscan Olive Oil. Cultivar Wine Club members can make reservations.
Need a gift for your Mother? You will be her favorite when you give her a bottle of Cultivar wine or choose from our wine wall of champagnes and wines to go.

Also ever popular Caspar Estate Olive Oil & Honey Gift Box or the Caspar Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Olive Oil & Honey Gift Box, or a case of our newly released 2017 Cultivar Rosé!

Or an online Gift Certificate from Cultivar and let her choose what she would like! Gift Certificate can be used toward wine purchases on line or at Cultivar San Francisco, an intimate restaurant & wine bar spotlighting locally-sourced seasonal cuisine that pairs perfectly with our hand-selected wine list inspiried by the bounty of Napa Valley. Celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day together and eat lunch or dinner at Cultivar SF or book a tasting experience and sip through our Cultivar Appellation wines and learn about the regions of the Napa Valley.

Father's Day ideas...a year subscription to our Cultivar Wine Club or a mixed case of wine or a Caspar Estate Cabernet Franc Honey & Olive Oil Gift Box.


Or make a statement with a large format bottle, like this 2012 Howell Mountain.

Making your life simple! Our team is ready to help you with your Spring and Summer gifting needs from Mother's Day to Father's Day to the hostess gifts you want to have ready to go!
Happy Mother's Day and Father's Day from our family to you!

Time Posted: May 4, 2018 at 6:59 PM Permalink to Celebrations & Gifts Permalink
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 Permalink to Pair Cultivar Wine with your Thanksgiving Meal Permalink
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 Permalink to Pairing Chocolate and Wine for Valentine's Day Permalink
Eden Hensley
 
November 19, 2014 | Eden Hensley

How much Wine to Serve for the Holidays

Cultivar Oaknoll Knoll District Cabernet Franc

 

Hosting a holiday gathering at your place? Be sure you have enough wine for your guests. Unsure how much wine you need for an event? Don't worry! 

When planning all you need to know is how you plan on serving your wine, how many guests will be drinking, and how long your guests will be there. Think about:

How long will your guests be over? Assume each guest drinks about two glasses of wine every two hours.

How many guests will be drinking? Each standard 750-ml wine bottle is roughly four servings of wine (assuming a six ounce pour).  A magnum bottle (1.5 liters) has eight to twelve glasses of wine (assuming four to six ounce pours).

 

Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

 

For a twelve-person dinner for Thanksgiving, with guests arriving around 5pm and dinner at 6pm, assuming all guests are over 21 and will be enjoying wine, plan on consuming six bottles. Over the course of five hours, twelve guests will drink two glasses of wine very two hours, a total of 30 glasses or eight bottles.

Are you pairing wines with individual courses? If you’re pairing wines with individual courses, you’ll need more bottles to ensure that everyone gets enough. The exact number of bottles you need depends on whether guests are drinking full glasses (four to six ounces) or tasting pours (two ounces).

If you’re serving tasting pours at your twelve-person dinner, you’ll want two bottles of each wine for every course you’re serving. To ensure you don’t run out wine over the course of five hours at a three-course meal, plan on eight bottles of wine. For full glasses, you’ll want three bottles of each wine for every course you’re serving; in this example eleven bottles of wine.

 

Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Shipping Deadlines for Holiday Wines

When planning your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations keep these dates in mind to ensure your wine cellar is well stocked:

  • Order by Sunday December 7th to get wines in time for Chanukah.
  • Order by Sunday December 14th for Christmas.
  • Order by Sunday December 21st to get wines in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Remember that when you order 12 or more bottles of Cultivar Wine you receive a 15% discount, so for your twelve person dinner, why not make it a case?

If you’re a member of the Cultivar Wine Club you receive a 20% discount on all Cultivar wine and Cultivar products. Our olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and honey make perfect hostess gifts.

Time Posted: Nov 19, 2014 at 6:00 AM Permalink to How much Wine to Serve for the Holidays Permalink
Eden Hensley
 
November 14, 2014 | Eden Hensley

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving Red Wine Pairings Cultivar Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Phoenix Ranch Syrah

 

This year has flown by! We’re excited that harvest is over, and we're looking forward to gathering with our family and friends to give thanks.

As you get ready to join your family and friends around the table, we wanted to share some of our favorite red wine pairings for smoked turkey. (Come back next Wednesday for tips on how much wine to have on hand!)

 

Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc

 

Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc

2012 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc, with its sweet black cherry, plum, and blueberries with hints of vanilla and Asian spices, will leave your guests talking when you serve it up with either a curried pumpkin or sweet potato soup as your first course. 

Or be a little daring and pair it with dessert. May we recommend a pecan pie or a rich pumpkin pie? 

2012 Cultivar Oak Knoll District Cabernet Franc: Case $530 / $500 Wine Club

 

Cultivar Phoenix Ranch Syrah

2011 Cultivar Phoenix Ranch Syrah, with its blueberry, black currant, and plum fruit, offers the perfect counterpoint to a smoked jalapeño turkey.

We especially love it with mushroom and sausage stuffing. 

2011 Cultivar Phoenix Ranch Syrah: Case $571 / $537 Wine Club

 

Cultivar Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with its ripe black currant, plum, and dark cherry with a hint of vanilla, violets, and warm spices, softens the tartness in some cranberry sauces.

Tired of canned cranberry sauce? Try your hand at a Cabernet-cranberry sauce with figs. Your guests will thank you. 

2012 Cultivar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Case $286 / $269 Wine Club

Time Posted: Nov 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM Permalink to Our Favorite Thanksgiving Wine Pairings Permalink