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Event Roundup for Valentine’s & Presidents’ Day Weekend

There are so many amazing things to do the next couple of weekends in Dry Creek Valley that we decided to round them up all in one easy place for you!

Whether you’re celebrating the love of your life or simply overjoyed to have a 3-day weekend, there’s something coming up for everyone at our beautiful wineries. Plus, the photo ops this time of year are some of our favorites. Make sure to tag your photos #drycreekvalley, for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH – –

Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival (Free Event for Families)

11am-4pm. Don Clausen Fish Hatchery/Milt Brandt Visitor Center, 3333 Skaggs Springs Rd, Geyserville

California’s largest celebration of the migration of Steelhead Trout! A great, family-friendly event for all ages. Enjoy food trucks, Bear Republic beer, wines from the Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, Arts and crafts projects for the kids, archery, live music – and even fishing for the kids. Snag a trout to take home for dinner! Educational tours of the Congressman Don Clause Fish Hatchery, wildlife and conservation exhibits, and more.

We’re pouring some incredible wines from: Amista Vineyards, Dry Creek Vineyard, Ferrari-Carano, Geyser Peak, Gustafson Family Vineyards, Kokomo Winery, Pedroncelli Winery, Peterson Winery, Quivira Vineyards and Truett Hurst.

More details here.

Valentines Day Barrel Tasting & Photo Op at Cast Wines

8500 Dry Creek Road Geyserville, CA

More details here.


ALL WEEKEND, FEBRUARY 15-18TH

Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Release at Comstock Wines

1290 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg

We are excited to announce the release of our first Vintage of Blanc de Blanc Sparking Wine. Reserve a Terrace Tasting, and enjoy some bubbles as part of your flight! Reservations recommended.

More details here.

 


FRIDAY FEBRUARY 15TH

Local’s Day at Amista Vineyards

11am-6pm. 3320 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. 

Join us for our February Local’s Day Event! February isn’t all chocolate, roses and romance! There are still plenty of reasons to celebrate! Think of holidays like Tater Tot Day, Fat Tuesday and Drink Wine Day (our favorite holiday)! So bring your friends to Amista Vineyards and enjoy some bubbles and still wines and celebrate Drink Wine Day on February 15th.

As always, we’ll be pairing something tasty with one of our Amista wines. Come taste, re-stock your cellar after the holidays and enjoy spending time with friends! And, as always, enjoy Wine Club benefits for the day, which includes access to some of our Wine Club only wines.
Please let us know you’re coming!

RSVP to [email protected]


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16TH

Sweetheart’s Lunch Table at Sbragia Family Vineyards

9990 Dry Creek Rd, Geyserville.

Treat your sweetheart to a special Valentine’s Day experience at the winery. Indulge in Estate Chef Heidi Finney’s four-course wine and food pairing menu to celebrate the special occasion. Taste love inspired dishes with a selection of our award-winning wines. We invite you to join us for an intimate lunch experience held in our Library Room, with limited seating. Taste our wines the way they are intended- with food and loved ones.
Please allow 90 minutes for the experience. Offering two seatings, 11 am, and 2 pm.  $140 per couple / Wine Club $120 per couple.

More details here.

Rosé Release & Hog Island Oysters at Papapietro Perry

4971 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg.

2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Hog Island Oysters & Your Sweetheart. What a way to spend the holiday weekend! Join us as we celebrate the release of our popular always-sells-out Rosé of Pinot Noir. Pair the Rosé with oysters from the world-famous Hog Island Oyster Company. They will be here from 11:00 to 4:00 selling their fresh and grilled oysters, yum, yum! Wine by the glass and bottle available – $8.00 / $32.00 (Other wines available also) Come rain or shine – we’ll be outside if the weather cooperates or in the cellar where it is warm and cozy if it rains. This event is from 11:00 – 4:00. Reservations requested, but not required.

More details here.

Romantic Dinner at Michel Schlumberger

4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg .

Leave the details to us and impress your loved one with a beautiful evening at our romantic Estate! Your night will begin with delicious hors-d’oeuvres and Sparkling wine reception, followed by an exquisite three-course wine dinner in our transformed barrel room. Catered by Laurence Hauben of Market Forays.

More details here.


 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17TH

Wine Lovers Event & Pick-Up Party at Mounts

3901 Wine Creek Rd, Healdsburg

Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate…..a divine love affair dating back thousands of years! Join us as we indulge in creative and delicious pairings! 
Our winter wine club package will be featured and can be picked up by members. Two complimentary passes for members, member guest price is $15 per person. Ticket price: $25 per person (non-member) RSVP is required to attend event. Email us at [email protected] to reserve your spot!

More details here.


What’s New With Passport

We’re so proud to be Sonoma Wine Country’s Premier Wine & Food Festival. But in order to stay that way, we are constantly rethinking the wine experience.

So, for our 30th Year of Passport, we knew we had to add in some new and fun surprises to celebrate!


Here’s whats new for 2019:

  • A Common Theme. All of our wineries are celebrating this year! Theme announcements start next week, so be on the look-out. Psst… get a sneak peak on our itinerary planner.
  • Our Vintage Soiree goes Birthday Celebration at the Ranch at Lake Sonoma. In its 2nd year, this Friday night event includes 30+ wines, a tasting reception, a sit-down dinner, gourmet s’mores, AND dancing – all with a view! More event details here.
  • Get your wine education on with a legendary Founders Panel moderated by SF Chronicle’s Esther Mobley at Comstock Wine’s Prelude Lunch! Taste through the best of the past 30 years of Dry Creek Valley with a guided tasting and followed by lunch. Check out all of our Prelude to Passport lunches.
  • Try and find one of our roaming pop-up parties to get your (free) slush on with Healdsburg favorite – Amy’s Wicked Slush. Amy is hand crafting a Passport slush flavor for this event. What do you think it will be? 

And sometimes, you don’t mess with a good thing. Here’s what’s returning:

  • 41 of your favorite Dry Creek Valley wineries with above and beyond food & wine pairings.
  • Too bad you can’t be in more than one place at once because all of our Prelude lunches this year are incredible!
  • Our presenting sponsor, The San Francisco Chronicle is back! Make sure you stop by and say, “hi!” at their truck at Timber Crest Farms for a free gift. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday paper on February 17th for a special Passport Event Guide.
  • Our vineyard tours showcase the best of Dry Creek Valley.
     Get your boots dirty in the vineyard and learn from the experts themselves.

Tickets for Passport are available now!

 

Eventbrite - Passport to Dry Creek Valley - 30th Anniversary


5 New Year’s Wine Resolutions That You’ll Actually Want to Keep

It’s about a week into the New Year and I’m sure all of you are still going strong on your pledges for 2019! Who else thinks it’s unfair that January 1st came on a Wednesday this year? Don’t they know that you can only start new diets and routines on Mondays? This year we decided to stick with what we know best for our resolutions and think you’ll find these a lot more fun and fulfilling than your average detox.

Resolution #1: Try Something New

While we often find ourselves set in our own ways, the New Year gives us the extra motivation to try something different! In Dry Creek Valley, there’s all sorts of new wines and experiences happening. We’ve recently rediscovered our love for the hard to find, hand cultivated varietals such as Frick Winery’s Cinsault, Zo Wine’s Carignane, or Seghesio Arneis.

Browse by varietal on our Winery Profile pages and try something new this year.

Resolution #2: Travel and see the world.

We’re very excited for 2019, because for the first time Dry Creek Valley is going on three Wine Cruises! We’ll be exploring the flavors of Spain + Portugal on the Douro this April. And then in June, our Bordeaux cruise was so popular we added another sailing option immediately after! If you’re looking to getaway with some of Dry Creek Valley’s best wine, then you’re in luck because there’s still spots available on that second sailing. Make it happen and learn more about it here.

Resolution #3: See my friends more often!

Friends and family seem to only get together on occasions nowadays, so in 2019, make your own occasion. We’re loving the idea of starting your own “Wine Club” with your friends. Set a monthly date, assign a varietal to discuss, and taste. Everyone brings their own bottle to share and the host makes the cheese plate. There are so many easily accessible wine resources that make tasting wine easy and fun like it should be. You can also learn more about Dry Creek Valley’s most popular wines like Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Old Vine Zin and Rosé today.

Resolution #4: Indulge in a new self-care routine

2019 should is going to be a year of self-care. How can you expect to perform at your peak if you aren’t taking care of your own needs and self? And didn’t you know that a glass of red wine has some great health benefits too?  How about you spend Friday nights with a glass of Zin and that new series you can’t stop watching. Oh, that’s not new? How about Saturday nights with a glass of Dry Creek Valley Grenache and that new series you can’t stop watching. Or, go for a bike ride through your favorite wine country setting aka Dry Creek Valley.

Resolution #5: Embrace + celebrate another year around the sun.

Growing up isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. But when it comes to wine we’re all about it! Aged wine is complex and noteworthy. Also this year we’re all about celebrating Passport turning 30! We are so excited to bring in and revel this landmark year. We’re bringing some new things to the event this year and cannot wait to share them with you. Tickets go on sale February 1st at 10am pst, so mark your calendars. Learn more about Passport here.


Pairing Dry Creek Valley Wines with Your Favorite (and Not so Favorite) Holiday Activities

We all know that the Holiday season is filled to the brim with cheer, family, friends, Holiday parties, UPS deliveries, and festively shaped cookies but it also has its fair share of crowded parking lots, wrapping presents, fruitcake, and broken heirloom ornaments. Lucky for us all, there’s Dry Creek Valley wine to fit seamlessly into your perfect (or not so perfect) Holiday season. Here’s our expert advice –


Ugly Sweater + Wine Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Wine for Your Office’s Ugly Sweater Party

Who knew that finding a perfect ugly sweater while still looking presentable would be so complicated? Thankfully, picking the picture-perfect wine for your office’s party won’t be! Peterson Winery bottles come dressed with hand sketched animals – doesn’t their 2014 Dry Creek Zinfandel look especially festive, and bonus, it’s delicious!

Wine for Wrapping Presents

There are those who love to wrap up presents with ribbons and bows while others struggle to keep track of the scissors and tape. We think a crisp and refreshing, Sauvignon Blanc like that from Quivira Vineyards or Comstock Wines will keep your wrapping paper edges clean, your station organized and humming along to whatever carol currently on the radio.

Fireplace Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Wine for Sipping Fireside

Maybe you’re in the living room of your ski condo high in the mountains fresh off the slopes, maybe you’re on your own couch at home while the kids are watching a holiday movie, no matter your exact situation we can practically feel the warmth of our favorite fleece blanket and a glass of spicy, fruity and comforting Zinfandel in our hand. Try Dry Creek Vineyard’s Old Vine Zinfandel or any of Saini Vineyard’s multiple Zins to keep you extra warm this season.

Wine for Baking Cookies

Sugar cookies, snickerdoodles and chocolate chip – oh my! While you’re getting those cookies ready for the neighbors’ cookie plates, you’ll feel extra jolly as you sip on a buttery and smooth Chardonnay. For a classic California style, try the Home Ranch Chardonnay from Sbragia Family Vineyards. Or if you’re interested in a different style, you’ll love the newly released and highly acclaimed Chardonnay from Zo Wines . Just don’t forget to set the cookie timer!

Wine for After Christmas Eve Shopping

Cheers Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

T’was the afternoon before Christmas and all through the town, the cars were a rushing and racing around. The parking lot was packed full – oh there’s a spot there! No wait, that’s a smart car, how is that even fair? You went in and grabbed the last thingamabob on your list, got in the line, and waited 20-minutes for an understandably less-than-cheery cashier to assist. Now you’re home, you made it through all those troubles. Surely what you need is a glass of Dry Creek Valley bubbles! Take a breath, look around – kids in bed, presents wrapped, all of this and more you’ve achieved, trust us, a glass of Amista Vineyards or West Wines is just what you need.  “Raise your glass for a cheers,” you say with delight. “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Wine for your Holiday Dinner

When planning that holiday dinner, you need to make sure have enough wine to go around! Why not supersize the wine to go with that Prime Rib? Magnums and other large format bottles make for a gorgeous and delicious centerpiece that always come with a story. All of our wineries offer large format bottles of their most favorite vintages. Just ask and you’ll be delighted by what’s inside! Our favorite magnums come from Bella Vineyards + Wine Caves or any of those found in these amazing gift boxes from Lambert Bridge Winery.


How are you pairing your wines this holiday season? Share with us using the hashtag #drycreekvalley for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

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Thanksgiving Dry Creek Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Thanksgiving is a time to connect with family and friends over amazing seasonal dishes. While you are planning all your Thanksgiving dishes this holiday season don’t forget the most important part of your thanksgiving meal… the wine.  Zinfandel is a great Thanksgiving wine because it is a uniquely American wine. See below for our top pairings for zinfandel and more!

 

1. Smoked Turkey with Truett Hurst Zinfandel

Turkey is the most traditional Thanksgiving dish of them all and a smoked turkey that is already prepared means more time for family. The sweet, fruity flavors of a Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel are a great match for dark and smoked turkey meat. A fruity Truett Hurst Zinfandel pairs perfectly with our classic thanksgiving main dish.

Click here to explore Truett Hurst wines

 

2. Honey Baked Ham with Armida Pinot Grigio

For some, a honey baked ham is a Thanksgiving delicacy. Honey baked ham is salty with a sweet honey glazed skin. Honey baked ham and Armida Pinot Grigio pair nicely together as the acidity in the wine is a nice balance to the sweetness of the ham.

Click here to explore Armida’s wines

3. Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Bella Vineyards Chardonnay 

Mashed potatoes are creamy and delicious Thanksgiving side dish. Chardonnay has a light body and is a great pairing with creamy and lightly seasoned dishes such as mashed potatoes. Bella Vineyards Chardonnay, light on the oak, would be a fantastic addition to this classic side dish.

Click here to explore Bella Vineyard’s wines

4. Green Bean Casserole and Crispy Onions with Chateau Diana Riesling

Green bean casserole is a creamy delicious side dish with crunchy crispy onions.  A fresh, dry Riesling with stone fruit flavor will balance the creamy and crispy textures of the green bean casserole. Chateau Diana’s Riesling is the perfect pairing for this classic side dish.

Click here to explore their wines

 

5. Mushroom and Sausage Stuffing with Dutcher Crossing Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a light red wine with earthy undertones. A  perfect pairing with classic sausage and mushroom stuffing for your Thanksgiving meal.

Click here to explore Dutcher Crossing’s wines

6. Cranberry Sauce with Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc

The acidity and sweetness provided by cranberry sauce is the perfect accent to your turkey, mashed potatoes or stuffing. When adding cranberry sauce to your Thanksgiving dish, pair with a crisp and herbal Sauvignon Blanc to add the perfect touch to your meal.

Click here to explore Geyser Peak’s wines

 

Feeling full?? A sparkling wine with any Thanksgiving dessert is a light and delicious way to end your meal!

 

 

7. Pumpkin Pie with Sbragia Family Vineyards Sparkling Wine

Pumpkin pie is everyones favorite way to end a meal spent with loving family and friends. To celebrate the beginning of the holiday season and a delicious pumpkin pie pair with a Sbragia Family Vineyards Sparkling wine.

Click here to explore their wines

8. Sweet Potato Pie with Mill Creek Vineyards Gewurtztraminer

Although a less common Thanksgiving dessert, sweet potato pie is still an essential part of many families Thankgiving. A crisp and sweet Gewurtztraminer from Mill Creek Vineyards will compliment the sweet and creamy texture of a sweet potato pie perfectly.

Click here to explore their wines


11 FUN FACTS ABOUT HARVEST

11 FUN FACTS ABOUT HARVEST

  1. Most grapes are harvested at night! Harvesting at night saves money (no need to cool grapes before crushing), is easier on the workers and ensures a stable sugar level in the grapes, something that fluctuates when the temperature rises.

 

  1. The flavors of wine are affected by how long the grapes are on the vine. Earlier harvested grapes have lower sugar levels and higher acidity for a crisp, tart wine (typically white wines!). Red grapes require a more balanced sugar and acidity level for complexity. And dessert wines are left on the vines the longest!

 

  1. It’s not the grapes that determine the color, it’s the skin. Skin contact when making wine is called “maceration” and extracts color and fruit flavor from the skins without any bitter tannins! Think of it like making a cup of tea and how leaving a tea bag in your cup affects the color and flavor.

 

  1. Rosé isn’t a grape variety like zinfandel or sauvignon blanc, rather a style of winemaking that is made from red wine grapes!  To achieve the pink shades found in rosé, a wine is kept in contact with the grape skins for just hours. You can learn more about the different styles of rosé here

 

  1. Sauvignon blanc was first planted in Dry Creek Valley by Dry Creek Vineyard founder, David Stare. This grape grows best in DCV due to the well-draining + mineral rich soils and notable temperature change from day to night aka the diurnal shift! Read more about Dry Creek Valley’s signature white wine.

 

  1. Today, nearly 2,200 acres of zinfandel are farmed in Dry Creek Valley making it the top planted grape in the region. In the 1870s, Frenchman Georges Bloch planted the first zinfandel in Dry Creek Valley. By the 1880s, zin was the dominant grape planted across 900 acres of the region and continues to be to this day.  

 

Giovanni and John Pedroncelli

Jim and his son John Pedroncelli in the vineyard.

  1. After about age 50, a zinfandel vine is considered “old,” but at 50, zin may not yet be half-way through its life. In Dry Creek Valley, you will find vineyards with vines that are more than 120-years-old! “Old vines contribute an intensity and complexity of flavor to the wine that cannot be replicated by any other method,” says Ridge Vineyards, whose 115-year-old Lytton-Springs vines make one of the nation’s best-loved Dry Creek Valley zinfandel blends. Want to study up on Old Vine Zin? We got you covered.

 

  1. The big 3 of a winemaker’s decision to harvest grapes are sugar, acid and tannin. Sugar and acid are measured with a refractometer – tannins however are sampled by tasting the grape!

 

The traditional “blessing” of the first chardonnay grapes brought in at Amista Vineyards

  1. Cheers! Grapes for sparkling wines are harvested notably earlier than others because winemakers are looking for a higher acidity. They are harvested with extra care as to not to disturb the flavors and minimize any harsh compounds that may be imparted from the skin of the grape. Be on the lookout for new sparkling wines coming from Dry Creek Valley wineries in the future!

 

  1. Did you know that it takes a newly planted vineyard at least 3-years to produce fruit that’s quality enough to go grape to glass? Then at least a year after that until your bottled wine is ready to drink! More if you’re looking to age your wine in oak.  Good thing we’re patient – mostly because we know it’s worth the wait.

 

  1. Time for some harvest math! Per acre of wine there are 1.5-7 tons of grapes produced. Per ton of grapes there are roughly 150 gallons of wine. 1 barrel of wine is 60 gallons which is about 295 bottles of wine (24 cases). AND there are ~30lbs of grapes per case of wine and ~2.4lbs of grapes in one bottle of wine. Phew – time for a glass!

Harvest is one of the best times to visit us in Dry Creek Valley.

Start planning your trip today.

 


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Summer of 2018 in Dry Creek Valley

All seasons in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Wine Country are beautiful ones; but there’s something about the summer atmosphere that has our hearts. Tasting rooms are bustling, grape vines are full of growth and vigor, white and rosé wines get their moment in the sun, BBQ & zinfandel on the daily, picnics by the creek with fresh baguettes & local delicacies from the Dry Creek General Store…trust us, we could go on!

We wanted to share some of our favorite snapshots from this summer of 2018 in Dry Creek Valley. Don’t forget to use #drycreekvalley for a chance to be featured on our website & social channels, and if you want a little Dry Creek Valley in your every day, follow us on Instagram (@drycreekvalleywines).


These bees are busy in the biodynamic gardens at Quivira Vineyards! Featured on our Agritourism Itinerary.

 


Lots of sun means the solar panels at eco-friendly Ridge are happy and brimming with sustainable energy!

 


Visit Dry Creek in late-July early August and you might catch a glimpse of these beautiful bunches. Turning purple and delicious. Next step – harvest!

 


A big welcome to our newest winery, Zo Wines! Be sure to check out their all encompassing farm-stay for a true grape-to-glass experience.

 


Summer concerts are good for the soul. We’re so lucky Geyser Peak always has such an incredible line-up! Visit our events page to see what else is going on in the Valley.

 


Freshly harvested Dry Creek Peaches. Need we say more?

 


Sundresses + vineyards + sunglasses + glass filled from one of our Dry Creek Valley wineries = the picture perfect day.

 


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National Grilling Month – Week 3 Ft. Ridge’s Wine Country Spiced Lamb Spiedini

We’re over half-way through National Grilling Month and over half-way through the winegrowing season. The winegrapes begin to change color (aka veraison) and warm sunny days transition into the most beautiful evenings.

This means we’ve been spending more time outside enjoying shared big plates of grilled goodies, pies, lots of laughs and, of course, Dry Creek Valley wine. For week 3 of National Grilling Month, we’ve got the perfect recipe from Ridge Winery for your next al fresco meal.


Ridge’s Wine Country Spiced Grilled Lamb Spiedini with Grapes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (divided)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground lavender
  • ¼ teaspoon hot chile flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds boned leg of lamb, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound red flame seedless grapes
  • 10 bamboo skewers, soaked in water overnight

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, 1 tablespoon parsley, salt, smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, coriander, lavender, chile flakes, and pepper. Add lamb and mix to coat thoroughly.
  2. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  3. Thread cubes of lamb alternately with grapes onto 6 or 7 skewers.
  4. Lay skewers over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or medium-high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). If using a gas grill, close the lid.
  5. Cook, turning skewers as needed, until lamb is browned on all sides but still pink in the center (medium-rare: 5 to 6 minutes), or just barely pink in the center (medium: 6 to 7 minutes).
  6. Pair with Bold, full-bodied zinfandels. Try it with Lytton Springs (excellent with older vintages too).

    Recipe provided by Chef Jesse McQuarrie of Feast Catering

Why this pairing works: Ridge Lytton Springs is an incredibly balanced wine that will please all of your guests. It has the rich, brambly fruit flavors you’d expect from a wine that’s 74% zinfandel but also structured tannins and balanced acid – making it a perfect complement to the spices like thyme and lavender in this grilled dish. If you choose a vintage that has been in the bottle for a few years, you’ll find more complexity and a softer style of red blend.  Check out Ridge’s website for more pairings specially crafted to pair with their variety of wines.


View past recipes here:

Amista’s Strip Steak with Arugula Pesto

Martorana’s Olio di Gio Pesto Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Pedroncelli’s Grilled Italian Sausages with Fennel, Red Onion and Basil Gremolada

Seghesio’s Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with White Cheddar Polenta, Swiss Chard and Blueberry Compote


Did you try any of these recipes? We can’t wait to see!

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NATIONAL GRILLING MONTH – WEEK 2 FT. AMISTA’S STRIP STEAK & PEDRONCELLI’S GRILLED SAUSAGE

The celebration continues as we feature weekly grilling recipes from your favorite Dry Creek Valley wineries and wines.

For week 2, we’re featuring Amista’s Strip Steak with Arugula Pesto & Pedroncelli’s Grilled Sausage with Fennel, Red Onion and Basil Gremolada. What’s the first pairing that comes to your mind? Keep reading and find out what each winery chose to pair with these grilled delicacies.


Amista’s Strip Steak with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless strip steak about 2 inches thick
  • 5/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 4 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 10 ozs baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 tbsps finely grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

  1. Heat the BBQ until hot; lower to medium heat. Lightly rub the steak with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the steak to the grill and cook over moderate heat until browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, herb sprigs and butter.
  2. Turn the steak to the other side for 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the steak on each of it’s sides until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Lay the steak flat, baste with the garlic butter. Continue to cook the steak for about 3 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125° for medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the arugula and cook for 10 seconds, then drain and cool under running water. Squeeze out the excess water and transfer the blanched arugula to a food processor. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts, the Parmesan and the olive oil. Pulse to a coarse paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
  4. Thinly slice the steak and arrange on a platter. Spoon the pesto over the steak, sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and serve.
  5. Pair with Amista’s Cabernet Sauvignon for a “wow” moment.

Why this pairing works: This Cabernet has rich concentrated blackberry and a touch of roasted strawberry jam. It opens up to big, broad tannins that are bold and balanced making it an incredible pairing with grilled meats.


Pedroncelli’s Grilled Italian Sausages with Fennel, Red Onion and Basil Gremolada

Ingredients:

  • 4 Spicy Italian turkey sausages
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • red pepper flakes
  • ½ t kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, cleaned, cutting into 12 wedges
  • 2 medium bulbs fennel, cleaned and quartered
  • ½ large head of cauliflower, sliced vertically to create ‘steaks’ about 1 inch thick
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh basil, cleaned
  • 1 oz pecorino romano cheese, grated
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts

Directions:

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. Drizzle olive oil on vegetables, lightly salt for grilling. Once grill is heated place a grilling mat or aluminum BBQ tray on one side and add onions and fennel. (for ease of grilling you may want to blanche or microwave the cauliflower before placing on the grill or grill pan) Simultaneously grill sausages, being careful not to let the grill “flare up”. Vegetables should be lightly caramelized and fork tender.
  2. In a food processor add basil, garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, lemon zest, pine nuts and salt. Blend until nearly smooth. Add olive oil a little at a time and emulsify.
  3. Assemble the plate drizzling the Gremolada over the sausage and cauliflower. Sprinkle with pecorino romano cheese.
  4. This flavorful recipe will pair with many of your favorite Pedroncelli’s wines – try it with Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Classico or Zinfandel.

Why this pairing works: This versatile recipe complements the freshness and acidity in Pedroncelli’s Sauvignon Blanc or, if you prefer red wine, the structure of Sonoma Classico and its mild tannins make this a wonderful grill-side pairing.


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National Grilling Month – Week 1 ft. Martorana’s Olio di Gio Shrimp and Seghesio’s Pork Chops & Polenta

We’re celebrating National Grilling month all July long with our wineries’ favorite BBQed pairings ranging from the classic to the adventurous. We all know Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is the quintessential wine to pair with all things grilled – and trust us, you’ll get some of those pairings, but did you know that Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rhone wines and Cabernet can also complement the savory goodness that your grill imparts?

For week 1, we’re featuring Matorana’s Olio di Gio’s Pesto Marinated Grilled Shrimp and Seghesio’s Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with White Cheddar Polenta, Swiss Chard and Blueberry Compote. Can you guess what these experts paired with these grilled delicacies? You’ll have to read and find out!


Martorana’s Olio di Gio Pesto Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Picture source:Cook Your Food.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons Olio di Gio olive oil from Martorana Family Winery
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Directions:

  1. To make the pesto, pulse the basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, Olio di Gio olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  2. Marinate the shrimp in the pesto for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight, in the fridge.
  3. Skewer the shrimp (if using bamboo skewers, soak for at least 20 minutes prior to grilling).
  4. Grill the skewers over medium-high heat until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5.  Serve with lemon wedges and a glass of 2017 Sauvignon Blanc or 2016 Chardonnay from Martorana Family Winery.

Why we love this pairing: the herbaceous qualities of thyme in the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc perfectly complement the fresh herbs used in the pesto while the nutty characteristics from the Chardonnay shine when next to their pine nut and parmesan friends.

You can find Martorana’s wine and olive oil via their website or their tasting room on West Dry Creek Rd


Seghesio’s Grilled Berkshire Pork Chops with White Cheddar Polenta, Swiss Chard and Blueberry Compote

This is an easy and delicious summertime dish – so don’t be intimidated by the steps. You can marinate the pork, cook the chard and make the compote one day ahead of time as well, leaving just the polenta and grilling Berkshire Pork Long-Bone Chops for the day of the meal.

PORK

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 each Berkshire Long-Bone Chops
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

The pork should be marinated a minimum of six hours but 24 hours would be ideal if you have the time. Toss all ingredients together and keep cold. You should pull the pork out of refrigerator and allow to come up to room temperature for at least an hour before grilling.

POLENTA —

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup fresh grated aged white cheddar cheese
  • 3 T butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring the stock and milk to a boil.
  2. Whisk in polenta and continue to whisk until polenta sets – around 4-5 minutes. Then cook on low heat until soft.
  3. When finished cooking, add butter and cheese, taste and add salt if needed.
  4. You can keep covered and hold warm until you cook the pork.

CHARD —

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 bunches Swiss chard – destemmed, cleaned and cut into 1 inch strips
  • 2 each cloves of garlic sliced thin
  • ½ lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Sweat garlic in oil on medium heat until soft, then add leaves of chard.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, and allow chard to wilt.
  3. When wilted, season with salt and pepper to your taste and add the juice from ½ of one lemon.
  4. If made ahead of time just heat up in pan on medium flame.

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE —

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T plus 1 t of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup port
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 each shallots diced fine
  • 1 T of butter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Coat berries in mixing bowl with sugar and cornstarch using a spoon. Make sure cornstarch and sugar are distributed evenly. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Sweat the shallots in butter using a small sauce pan. Do not allow any color on the shallots.
  3. Once the shallots are soft, add port and red wine vinegar and reduce by ½.
  4. Add the blueberry mixture and cook until everything starts to thicken slightly and berries begin to soften.
  5. If preparing the day ahead, allow to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate. To warm at a later time, heat gently in sauce pan or in oven to prevent scorching.

ASSEMBLY —

Pull pork from marinade and scrape off excess marinade with the hands to prevent garlic from burning on grill. Cook over medium-high charcoal until desired doneness is achieved. I generally pull mine at 145 degrees for a pink and juicy medium. Enjoy with a glass of Seghesio’s 2015 Cortina Zinfandel.

Why we love this pairing: this recipe joins together savory and sweet so well that we feel it highlights the best qualities in this bottle of wine – its subtle white pepper spice and classic dark cherry and raspberry notes make it truly a perfect barbecued pairing.

You can find Seghesio’s wine online, at their tasting room, or at a variety of wine shops and grocery stores near you.


Did you try any of these recipes? We want to see!

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