Spice it up with Mulled Wine

Published On - February 26, 2024

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

March 3rd is National Mulled Wine Day and we are seizing the day to tackle a wine-related challenge. If you’ve ever made mulled wine you probably know it can be tricky to get just right. In our opinion, the best mulled wines still taste like wine – just with warm, wonderful fruit and spice flavors and a smell that will have you wishing for a few more weeks of winter.

Here are our tips for making a mulled wine that won’t make you sorry you used a good bottle of red:

Choose the right wine: Big, bold wines make the best mulled wine. We recommend going with Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon

Less is more when it comes to fruit and spice: Yes, the spices are the point but you would be surprised how quickly “just right” becomes “too much” – add slowly

Take your time and let the wine heat slowly: Steaming is good, boiling is bad. You don’t want it getting syrupy or burning off all the alcohol

Traditional Mulled Wine:


  • 1 orange
  • 1 bottle of Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • Honey – to your taste – no more than 2 TBL
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Cranberries (optional)


  1. Slice the orange into rounds and place into the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven. Squeeze the juice from the ends of the orange over the rounds
  2. Pour the wine, brandy and honey into the pot. Add the cloves, star anise and cinnamon sticks
  3. Warm over medium heat until slightly steaming. Reduce heat to low when bubbles form. Keep an eye on it!
  4. Taste carefully and add additional honey if the mixture is not yet sweet enough. The longer you leave the wine on heat, the spicier it will become. If your initial taste needs more spice, leave it on for an additional five minutes and check again.
  5. Add cranberries (optional)
  6. Remove from heat and cover. You can put it back on low heat if it cools while you are serving. Remember, the longer the wine sits on the spices, the spicier it will become. Remove the cloves, anise and cinnamon if you would like to avoid this outcome.

Remember to share!

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.

7 Tips for the perfect charcuterie board

Published On - April 5, 2023

By Kyra MitchellKyra Mitchell

creating the perfect charcuterie board

Snack boards, also known as charcuterie boards or cheese boards, are a popular and easy way to serve food at parties or impromptu gatherings. These versatile boards allow satisfying snacking for all food preferences and dietary needs – and they are fun to make.

Vegetarian Charcuterie Board featuring American Barrel Aged Chardonnay, crackers, olives, assorted cheeses, berries, broccolini, and radishes for color pops.

Your snack board can be carefully curated or made on the fly – there really aren’t any rules! But if you are new to hosting,

here are a few tips for snack board success:

  1. Choose the right board – The size and shape of your board or platter will depend on the number of people you’re serving and the amount of food you want to include. You can also branch out and use more than one if needed.
  2. Variety is key – Choose meats and cheeses with a variety of flavors, colors and textures. Throw in olives, pickles, fruit (fresh or dried), crackers, bread, nuts, veggies, chips and dips. If you are working on a tight timeline and don’t have time to shop, you may be surprised by the snacks you already have.
  3. Cut meats, cheeses and bread – Cut larger items into small pieces that are easy to eat and perfect for a single person to just grab one piece (or more).
  4. Arrange – This is the fun part. Depending on what you are serving, there are many ways to arrange the board and don’t be afraid to add some height. Height will make the board more visually appealing. If this seems challenging, try looking up examples of styled boards online or on social!
  5. Add utensils where needed – A cheese that needs to be spread or cut will need a cheese knife, dips may need a spoon, and fruits or vegetables that are hard to grab may need toothpicks or a fork.
  6. Serve with wine – The casual dining approach of a snack board pairs perfectly with a versatile wine that can complement many foods and scenarios. We recommend our American Barrel Aged Chardonnay or Pinot Noir
  7. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are no rules when it comes to making charcuterie boards. So experiment with different combinations of meats, cheeses, and other items.

Philly Cheese Steak Slider

Published On - January 31, 2023

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

It’s Winter! The season of cabins, cold hikes and enjoying snowy days on the slopes while they last. It’s also the best time for warm comfort foods at the end of an adventurous day.

That’s where this recipe comes in – Philly cheese steak sliders. These delicious sandwiches are just what you need at the end of an active day – or any time you want to indulge in something delicious. We recommend pairing with our Zinfandel. Zinfandel is a bold and versatile wine that stands up well to steak and loves a good cheese pairing – in this case, a generous helping of melted provolone!

Philly Cheese Steak Sliders

Makes 4 


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves)
  • Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
  • 12 ounces raw lean beef sirloin, sliced very thin
  • ¼ cup sliced banana or cherry peppers (optional)
  • 4 thinly sliced pieces of provolone cheese
  • 4 small slider rolls, split and toasted


1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet (or griddle) over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are

soft. Add mushrooms and oregano. Season with salt and pepper if desired; cook, stirring

frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

3. Add sirloin; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until beef is cooked through. Top

evenly with banana peppers (if desired) and cheese. Remove from heat; cover and let stand

for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

4. Top buns evenly with meat mixture; serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

Leftovers: Refrigerate steak and veggie mixture in an airtight container for up to three days.

Dairy-Free: Use vegan cheese instead of provolone cheese or omit completely.

Vegetarian: Double the mushrooms and omit the steak.

Grilled Rosemary & Red Wine Pork Tenderloin

Published On - November 28, 2022

By Amy TesconiAmy Tesconi

Traditionally, turkey and ham get all the holiday attention, but following those rules just isn’t our style. Especially when there are so many great pork recipes out there.

Pork is great for pairing with wines that have a bold fruit profile, like our Bourbon Barrel Aged Gold Rush Red.  The sweet, smokey flavor of pork in this recipe welcomes the wine without overwhelming it.  The two make such a great match that we decided not only to pair the wine, but to use it in the recipe to make a delicious rosemary wine sauce which we drizzled over the top.

Make this as a main dish at your next dinner party – or go all out and host the family this year for something different. Enjoy!

Grilled Rosemary & Red Wine Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6


  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 1 lb. each
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (2 inch) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mild-flavored honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups baby arugula


  1. Boil wine, rosemary sprig and garlic in a small heavy saucepan until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a measuring cup, then transfer rosemary sprig and garlic to a sealable plastic bag along with 1/4 cup wine marinade and tenderloins. Marinate, chilled, turning bag occasionally, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Return remaining 1/4 cup wine marinade to saucepan and add vinegar, honey, and chopped rosemary, then boil dressing until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes and thicker.
  3. Prepare grill for cooking. When fire is medium-hot. Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. Grill on lightly oiled grill rack over medium-hot fire, turning frequently, until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into meat registers 155 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, then tent loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. Once the pork tenderloin is sliced, drizzle rosemary/wine sauce over pork tenderloin and serve on a platter with baby arugula tossed with olive oil.

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