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
Eden Hensley
 
November 3, 2014 | Eden Hensley

Pairing Sauvignon Blanc: The Perfect Accompaniment to Cheese, Salami, and Apples

Pairing Cultivar Sauvignon Blanc with Cheese Salami and Apples

The secret to a perfect pairing is balance, not just of flavors, but of texture and acid as well. For a perfect cheese and salami platter to serve with your Cultivar Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, you’re looking for some creaminess and just a hint of sweetness or spice. You want to select foods that will complement or amplify the notes in your wine and not overpower it.
 
Because Sauvignon Blanc has grassy notes, it’s a great wine to pair with goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses. Cow’s milk cheeses are trickier to pair with Sauvignon Blanc as they are fairly acidic. You want to select a mix of unaged cheeses with light flavor, such as Idiazabal Raw Sheep Milk Cheese, Petite Basque Sheep’s Milk Cheese, and Goat Milk Cheddar Cheese.

Pairing Cultivar Sauvignon Blanc with Cheese Salami and Apples
 
For that hint of sweetness, choose in season apples that are a little more tart and have a bit of crunch, like Fuji or Gold Rush. Chili-dusted candied pecans are also delicious, delivering both sweetness and spice.
 
Similar to cow’s milk cheeses, salami can be challenging to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Look for meats that are lower in salt and milder in flavor, such as Olli Organic Norcino Salami or have a little kick, such as Fra Mani Salametto Piccante.

Bon Appetit!

Time Posted: Nov 3, 2014 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Pairing Sauvignon Blanc: The Perfect Accompaniment to Cheese, Salami, and Apples Permalink
Eden Hensley
 
October 1, 2014 | Eden Hensley

Food Pairings for Our September 2014 Wine Club Selections

Plumpjack Catering Light Bites for Cultivar September 2014 Wine Club Selections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to pairing wines with food there are two options: classic or unexpected. To showcase our wines and give you ideas for what to serve with your wines, executive chef of Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, Rick Edge, prepared four appetizers for us to nosh on at our September Balboa & Cultivar Wine Club Bus Party.

Rick Edge Executive Chef Balboa Cafe Mill Valley

The Wines

The wines Chef Rick was matching with the perfect appetizer were one of our vineyard designate wines, 2011 Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and three of our appellation wines: 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Cultivar St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2011 Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon.

2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc in Glasses and on ice

The Dishes

Chef Rick prepared four dishes for six pairings. Here are the flavors to look for when planning your own dinner. Where a pairing is daring, we included some tips to ensure a perfect match.

Shrimp Gazpacho Shooters with Chilled Prawns 

Shrimp Gazpacho Shooters with Chilled Prawns

Tomatoes and Sauvignon Blanc: a classic pairing. When you think gazpacho you're probably imagining a soup dripping with acidity. Not so with this refreshing shooter. Guests reached for taste after taste enchanted by its rich unctuousness. The smooth creaminess of this shrimp gazpacho amplified the richness of our 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc, blinding one to any other pairing for the Sauvignon Blanc.

Caramelized Onion and Carmody Cheese Skewers

Caramelized Onion and Carmody Cheese Skewers with Sherry Vinegar Glaze & Piment d'Espelette

At first glance you may wonder how a dish can be paired with both a red and a white wine. The key lies in the balance of peppery, sweet, and creamy components. The green citric notes of our 2013 Cultivar Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc balance the heat in the Piment d'Espelette, a variety of chile pepper cultivated in Southern France, and the tartness of the sherry vinegar glaze. The rich sweetness of the caramelized onions and the buttery flavor of the Carmody cheese soften the tannins found in our 2011 Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

When trying this pairing at home be sparing with the glaze. Too much of the sherry vinegar and your tastebuds will shrink in horror effectively stealing the thunder from either the Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc or the Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a travesty as both of these wines otherwise have a lengthy finish that deserves center stage.

Braised Chicken Meatballs with Arugula Pesto

Braised Chicken Meatballs with Arugula Pesto

Who says you can't have chicken with red wine? Successful pairings are made with sauces and this match is no different. Our 2011 Cultivar Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon brings earthy notes reminiscent of some Pinot Noir that complement the arugula pesto, offsetting its peppery nature with the sweetness of Bing Cherry and plums.

The meatballs, because they are made with chicken, have a more delicate flavor than their beef and pork counterparts. So, if it takes you a couple of bites to finish your meatball, you may not have any of the pesto left for your pairing. Not to fear! Try a sip of either our Leaky Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, cabernets less earthy than the Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon with smooth finishes that complements rather than overpowers the chicken.

PlumpJack Sliders

PlumpJack Sliders, Beef Sliders with Cheddar and Pickles

You can never go wrong pairing beef with a Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes some matches more memorable than others are the toppings. With the selection of cheddar over a blue cheese the 2012 St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon was a solid choice. If you prefer the earthiness of a blue cheese over a cheddar, you want a wine that's more of a meal by itself. Think of it like a boxing match, it's more interesting when both fighters are the same weight class. If a heavyweight and a featherweight are in the ring together it won't be as exciting. With its earthiness, the Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon is the heavyweight while the St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon is a featherweight. Had the slider been topped with Blue Cheese instead of cheddar the St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon would have been down for the count.

Time Posted: Oct 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM Permalink to Food Pairings for Our September 2014 Wine Club Selections Permalink
Cultivar Wine
 
August 27, 2014 | Cultivar Wine

Mikkeller Happy Hour Event Food & Wine Pairings

For those of you who made it to our ‘Cultivar Wine Club & Friends’ happy hour event last week, I’m sure you can agree that it was a fun evening of wine, food and great conversation. More photos from the Mikkeller Bar are below, along with what we served to pair with our wines on tap. See which wines worked with certain menu items and why!

Even if you didn’t make it, you can still grab a bottle of your favorite Cultivar wine and test out your own food and wine pairings. You never know what perfect pairing you might find. And be sure to look out for details on our next event later this week on the blog.

2013 Napa Valley Sauv Blanc -

Endive Cups with pine nuts, blue cheese and apples

Salt Cod Croquets with dill, parsley and lemon garnish

Assorted Olives

Why it worked: Sauv Blanc is a light-to-medium bodied white with green and citrusy notes. A natural pairing for salads, herbs (like dill and parsley) as well as lemony flavors, it also goes well with oily foods (like the herb/oil marinated olives). Yum!

2013 Rosé -

Salt Cod Croquets with dill, parsley and lemon garnish

Lil’ Smokies wrapped in bacon with Smoky BBQ

Fries

Why it worked: Rosé is one of those awesome wines that work with a lot of foods. Ours is crisp, minerally and delicate enough to pair with light foods yet big enough in body to withstand bolder foods like bacon and fried food. A tiny hint of sweetness helps cut through the smoky flavors of the bacon and bbq sauce as well as the saltiness of the cod.

2012 Oak Knoll Cab Franc -

Lil’ Smokies wrapped in bacon with Smoky BBQ

Why it worked: Cab Franc and pork work well together, because both are more medium in weight (as opposed to a hefty Cab paired with a giant steak). Our 2012 Cab Franc has notes of pepper, tobacco and spice, which complemented the smoked, spicy flavors of the Lil’ Smokies.

2012 Cabernet -

Pork & Garlic sausage in puff pastry

Lil' Smokies

Why it worked: Full-bodied and big on tannins, Cabernet can withstand bigger, fattier meats and sausages. The rich pastry and garlic-y pork sausage seemed to pair nicely with our rich and structured Cabernet. With wines big on tannins, it’s best to avoid spicy foods - so the Lil’ Smokies would work with the Cab if you omitted the spicy BBQ sauce.

 

Time Posted: Aug 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM Permalink to Mikkeller Happy Hour Event Food & Wine Pairings Permalink