Grilled Caprese Brie

Published On - June 6, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Grilled caprese brie

There’s nothing like a caprese salad to announce “summer is here!” The bright tomatoes paired with fresh basil and cheese are best enjoyed in the summer, when gardens are going strong and neighbors have plenty to spare. We can’t claim to be caprese traditionalists, though. We take the same approach to summer staples as we do wine: we like to do it a little different, putting a bold twist on a classic idea.

Our recipe for caprese eliminates the mozzarella and replaces it with a creamy, decadent brie that is perfect for entertaining and perfect for pairing with bold wines, like our American Barrel Aged Pinot Noir. Of course, our recipe also includes firing up the grill, because who can resist melted brie and roasted tomatoes? 

Read the recipe to the end to get a few additional tips. Enjoy!  

Grilled Caprese Brie

Serves 10-12


1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sprinkle pink Himalayan salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 large wheel brie

Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

¼ cup thinly sliced basil, for garnish

1 baguette, sliced and toasted, for serving


1. In a large bowl, combine cherry tomatoes and garlic, then toss with olive oil. Season, to taste, with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

2. Place brie in a 10” cast iron skillet then top with tomato mixture. Place over hot grill and cook until brie is melted, about 20 minutes. Keep in mind, just because the brie isn’t oozing, doesn’t mean it’s not hot and ready. To test, poke sides of the wheel with a knife to see if cheese is melty inside, although it will most likely start to ooze out on it’s own! 

3. Remove from grill and drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with basil. Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.

Recipe Notes:

No Grill: Preheat oven to 350. Add brie and tomato mixture to cast iron and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler at the end for 2 minutes to brown the cheese and tomatoes.

Grilled to perfection

Published On - May 18, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

grilled to perfection

If the mouth-watering aromas around the neighborhood are any indication, it’s time to get outside and start grilling. From charcoal loyalists to wood pellet perfectionists, it seems everyone has an opinion about how to get the best flavor out of your grilled meats and veggies (our best tip: add a glass of your favorite wine). 

Like wine, the best grill is the one that you most enjoy cooking on and eating from. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular grills and some helpful tips for an afternoon cookout that will keep your friends and family inviting themselves over all summer long. 

Type of grill:

  • Charcoal – Charcoal grills are the most traditional type of grill. Charcoal gives grilled food a smokey flavor and they are relatively easy to use. They also require no electricity, gas or propane source, so depending on their size, they can be easily transported on a camping trip or to a tailgate party. It can be difficult to control the temperature on a charcoal grill, which generally means that it takes some practice to grill the perfect meal.
  • Gas – Gas grills use either a propane tank or an outdoor gas line to provide gas. Unlike charcoal grills, they light and pre-heat easily and it is easy to control the temperature by turning the gas up or down. While they tend to be more expensive than charcoal grills, the ease of use of a gas grill make them an attractive option. 
  • Pellet grill – Pellet grills and smokers have gained in popularity over the past few years. They give that traditional smokey flavor, and burn at a lower temperature so burning food is not as common as it is on charcoal. 
  • Ceramic Egg – The ceramic egg or Kamado grill is kind of an “if you know, you know” proposition. Owners of these pricey grills swear by them. Invented in China and eventually marketed in Japan, these grills are modeled after ancient earthenware cooking ovens, and can sear, roast, bake and smoke all in one grill. 

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your grill:

  • Clean your grill before each use. We recommend using a half-onion on a hot grill – using BBQ tongs. Do not use a wire brush as the bristles can come off on the grill and stick to food later.
  • Preheat your grill to ensure that your food cooks evenly.
  • Use a meat thermometer to determine when grilled meats are ready. This is the best way to ensure that your food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Don’t overcrowd your grill. Grill in batches. This will prevent your food from cooking evenly.
  • Grill food over indirect heat. This will help to prevent your food from burning.
  • Let your food rest before serving. This will help the juices to redistribute and will result in a more tender and flavorful meal.

And of course, pair your grilled fare with your favorite wines. We love a good glass of Zinfandel – it’s a great sipper while grilling and a the bold, fruit flavors are always a good match for smokey foods. 

Mango avocado shrimp lettuce wraps

Published On - May 4, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

mango avocado shrimp lettuce wraps

The sun is shining and it’s time to take the party outside. In honor of long evenings, long weekends and unforgettable days with friends, we’ve launched our first limited release Sauvignon Blanc. This crisp, inviting wine is a refreshing start to the summer months. It’s also the perfect match for succulent shrimp, savory avocado and the fresh, late-spring flavors of mango, jalapeno and cilantro. Whip it up for guests or enjoy with a good book on a warm evening. 

Mango Avocado Salsa Shrimp Lettuce Wraps 

Serves 4


2 heads Boston or butter lettuce (leaves pulled apart)

For the mango salsa:

2 mango, diced

2 avocado, diced

½ cup red onion, diced

½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1/4 cup mint Leaves, finely chopped

2 limes, juiced

Salt to taste

For the shrimp: 

2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

½ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 lb shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails removed)

Lime wedges


Combine shrimp, olive oil, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt in large bowl, and stir to mix. Let stand 20-30 minutes, or refrigerate 2-3 hours if time allows.

In a bowl, mix together the mango, avocado, red onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, mint, lime juice, and salt to taste. 

Warm a pan over medium heat and add the shrimp. Cook on each side for two to three minutes or until pink and cooked through. Add a squeeze of lime to finish. 

To assemble, add the mango avocado salsa and shrimp to the lettuce leaves. Serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

Serving Size: One serving is approximately two wraps.

More Additions: Add minced garlic, shredded cabbage, sriracha, and/or cheese.

Forest bathing

Published On - May 2, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Forest bathing

Forest bathing is becoming a favorite activity this spring, and it is an excellent way to #GetOutside and enjoy your natural surroundings. But what is forest bathing, how is it done and how can you take advantage of its wellness benefits? 

First, forest bathing has nothing to do with water – or with bathing in its traditional sense. It is simply the act of connecting silently with nature and allowing the smells, sounds and feelings of your natural surroundings to “wash” over you. Forest bathing began to be widely-practiced and studied in Japan in the 1980’s, but the concept is not new and has been encouraged and valued by many communities over thousands of years. Similar to yoga and meditation, forest bathing has been shown to lower stress levels and lead to other positive health outcomes.

While there are popular worldwide destinations for forest bathing, it can be done anywhere quiet where the natural world is active. If you live in an urban area, a large park can do the trick – assuming you can avoid distractions. We find that vineyards can be a great place as well. 

 Here are a few tips that can help you get started on a practice of forest bathing:

  1. It is important that you have no distractions. This means leaving your cell phone, your watch and any other electronic devices with alerts at home
  2. Stay as silent as possible and focus only on the sounds, smells and feelings of nature
  3. Find a place that you find to be safe and peaceful, so you are comfortable throughout
  4. Join a guide or a forest bathing tour. A guide will offer prompts to help enhance your experience, much like a yoga instructor
  5. Bring your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy a relaxing, quiet glass in nature; there is no wrong way to enjoy your natural surroundings!
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