Apple Quinoa Salad with roasted chicken

Published On - September 21, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Fall is on the horizon and we are getting outdoors to soak up every bit of remaining good weather and impressive colors. And while we aren’t quite ready to let go of our fresh summer salads (or white wines), we are craving something a bit heartier, something to fuel us through the changing season and the wine grape harvest.

This recipe combines crisp apples, tender roasted chicken and healthy quinoa for a hearty but healthy autumn meal. It also happens to be a great match for our American Barrel-Aged Chardonnay – a wine that was practically made for this season. With bolder flavors of marzipan, clove and marshmallow, this is not your every day Chardonnay. It transitions well from a warm day to a cool night and gives weight and flavor that satisfies both red and white wine enthusiasts.

Apple Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chicken

Serves 4


1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

Sprinkle sea salt & black pepper 

1 lb. chicken breasts

½ cup quinoa

4 cups favorite mixed greens: little gems, mixed greens, baby arugula

2 green apples, sliced

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

¼ cup toasted walnuts


1/3 cup tahini

¼ cup water

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (add more for a “tarter” dressing)

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Add toasted sesame oil, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. Spread over the chicken. Bake in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and let it cool.

4. Make the dressing by whisking the tahini, water, apple cider vinegar, toasted sesame oil honey together. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Thinly slice the cooked chicken. Divide the quinoa, arugula, apple, and chicken evenly between plates. Top with the dressing, mint and walnuts. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

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

Serving Size: One serving is equal to approximately three cups.

More Toppings: Add red onion, feta or goat cheese

Make it Vegan: Omit the chicken or use chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh instead.

Chimichurri: Tradition with a Kick

Published On - July 5, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Is there anything better than a great steak grilled to your individual taste and paired with your favorite bold red wine? For those who have mastered the art of grilling, searing, roasting or pan-frying the perfect cut of beef, it can feel like your work is done here. 

Enter chimichurri, a vibrant green sauce that is a staple of Argentine and Uruguayan cuisine. Chimichurri is used generously as a marinade or condiment for grilled meats, most commonly steak. It gives a fresh, flavorful and slightly acidic lift to red meat, but is also commonly added to chicken, eggs, potatoes or vegetables. 

There are plenty of variations on this popular sauce, but traditionally chimichurri is made with fresh parsley, garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It is believed to have originated in the region of Argentina where it was originally used by gauchos, or Argentine cowboys, to tenderize meat, add flavor and help preserve it. Try kicking up your next cookout with this delicious side, and don’t forget to include a bottle of our Red Blend for a juicy, delicious summer evening.

Basic Chimichurri Recipe: 

  • 1 cup of fresh parsley, finely chopped – the fresher the better! 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. The best part is adjusting the amount of each ingredient to create your own signature recipe. Here are a few other common variations that you might try:

  • For a spicier chimichurri, add red pepper flakes
  • Try swapping the red wine vinegar for fresh lemon juice – the acidic effect is similar but some prefer the lemon flavor, particularly for use with chicken
  • Add ½ cup of fresh cilantro for a more bright, herbaceous sauce

Chimichurri can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It is best to bring it to room temperature before serving.

Grilled Caprese Brie

Published On - June 6, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

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

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

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 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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