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Smoked Gouda Fondue

Smoked Gouda Fondue #Recipe

Smoked Gouda Fondue Smoked Gouda Fondue #RecipeSmoked Gouda Fondue #RecipeSmoked Gouda Fondue #RecipeHi friends! It’s Molly from my name is yeh here and I am about to embark on my honeymoon, to the Alps! My new husband and I couldn’t be more excited to see those beautiful mountains, bask in newlywed-ness and, of course, eat fondue. So to get us excited, we threw our friends a little fondue party. We put on our record player, donned our most festive sweaters, and ate some rather non-traditional fondue while we sipped on Kendall-Jackson’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir.

The centerpiece of our fondue table included one of my favorite cheeses, smoked gouda. I love the smokey creaminess of that cheese, especially when mixed with some zingy mustard and transported by a soft pretzel roll. Our dessert part of the table featured dark chocolate fondue and a bright green matcha fondue, with cake and berries for dipping. It was such a nice wintery evening with friends and I’d highly recommend throwing your own fondue party!
Print Smoked Gouda Fondue Serves: 4-6   Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons dry white wine, such as Kendall-Jackson's Sauvignon Blanc
  • ½ pound smoked gouda, shredded
  • ½ pound sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch, optional
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • For dipping: pretzel rolls, broccoli florets, granny smith apples, salami
  1. Chop the garlic clove in half and rub it all over the inside of your fondue pot. Discard the garlic or reserve it for another use. Add the 1 cup of wine to the pot. Heat over medium heat until it simmers, and then gradually add the cheese, stirring, until melted. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of wine with the cornstarch to form a slurry, and then gradually stir it into the cheese mixture. Stir in the Kirsch, dijon, salt, and cayenne, and serve.

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Categories: North America

Time to Prune at the Lafond Vineyards

Lots of ground cover from the small amount of rain we have had. We need more and we need colder nights to exrend the dormancy.
Categories: North America

Going carbon neutral with Sonoma Clean Power

Jordan Winery - Healdsburg, California - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 11:14

Winter always seems like the perfect time to catch up on paperwork and knock items off the to-do list that have been shelved during the hectic harvest and holiday seasons. Green business certification updates was the first project completed on my list this year.

Jordan Winery is now enrolled in the Sonoma Clean Power program, which provides businesses access to environmentally friendly power, generated by local renewable resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal. Roughly 90% of our electricity comes from our hillside solar arrays and the balance from renewable energy. Using 10% renewable energy means that Jordan’s electrical use is now carbon neutral.

We also just finished updating all our member Sonoma Green Business Program paperwork, an organization that assists and promotes local businesses that operate with the most environmentally responsible practices. All of our latest sustainable business processes and procedures had to be outlined in detail, from recycling and waste water treatment to energy use and business card printing.

Learn more about all our green business certifications.


Categories: North America

2014 Vintage Update: I think we can, I think we can...

Best's Wines - Victoria - Fri, 01/30/2015 - 01:57

Greeting wine boffins, 

The end is in sight after a bit of a stop start vintage due to the ideal ripening conditions of cool nights and mild days giving us plenty of time to wait to pick the grapes at their ideal physiological ripeness. It has been a very good vintage for us in terms of quality, but no so much for quantity. Which means the winemakers are happy, but less so the accountants.

We have harvested nearly all of our grapes. Only a small amount of Shiraz (from a cool valley) and 13 Acre Cabernet remain to be picked; next week hopefully. There will be a sigh of relief when the last vineyard is picked as it has been two and half months since the first grapes came in. 

Basket and bag presses have been going non-stop getting all the goodness out of the skins with oak barrels and vats being filled left, right and centre. The Rieslings are in their final throws of fermentation with us hovering close by, waiting for the moment of perfect balance between sweetness and acidity so we can stop them. No major dramas have befallen us this week, just a few amusing moments of picking bins going into the tank along with the grapes, too much fruit going into a vat to then be dug out prematurely into another, and gassy dark red wine giving people shiraz showers during filling barrels.

Now comes the time when we start to look at the 2013 wines in barrel and think about creating blends for the next release of red wines later this year. It makes an abrupt but pleasant change from tasting raucous unfinished wines to those that have been softening and maturing in barrels and vats for 12 months!

Back to the final push, let’s just hope the weather holds until the grapes are all in. 

Until next time, 


Categories: Oceania

2015 Wine Predictions

Whitehall Lane Winery - St. Helena, CA - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 19:46

Rosé took center stage in 2014, Malbec stayed mainstream and a consumer craze continued for more champagne, prosecco, and anything with a general fizz. Outlooks for what’s abuzz in wine country for 2015 are all over the board: from international bidding wars to the waxing and waning in popularity of specific growing regions. Here is a list of some of the most poignant predictions we will raise a glass to:

Sauvignon Blanc in the spotlight…

SauvBlanc loyalists have perfected serving this chilled throughout the summer months, but this is the year it will make its way to the table throughout the year.  The rise in lighter diets has led to an increase of vegetables and legumes –nicely paired with the varietal. Raise a glass to California elegance and embrace summer nights throughout the year.

Rosé is rising…

In recent years, the negative stigma surrounding rosé has gone to the wayside, and sales of the blush colored wine are solidifying the message that rosé is not to be taken lightly. Sales have been steadily climbing year after year. Once a literal after thought to wine makers who didn’t directly set out to produce rosé—it was made from the left over juice after a red wine pressing—wineries are now focusing on the rosé as a product of its own, and with its new found high production value, comes its surge in popularity. Also contributing to rosé’s turning of heads is its versatility due to nice acidity, low tannins and nonexistent oak characteristics (it’s typically aged in steel barrels). It can pair well with red or white meat, and sweet or savory dishes, as it tends to take on the flavor profile of the food it is matched with. To top it off, rosé is also a very affordable wine, with prices generally ranging around $15 or less.


It’s time for merlot to lose this negative stigma. It’s a good wine and 2015 will be its year to shine.

Categories: North America

New cheese pairings for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon

Jordan Winery - Healdsburg, California - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 11:00

Our chef is always seeking the finest artisanal cheeses from California and Europe that pair best with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon. Red wines like Jordan that are balanced, elegant, lower in alcohol and higher in acidity tend to be more versatile with food & wine pairings, especially cheeses.

Each winter, our chef hand-selects new cheeses designed to pair with our three featured vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, served on our Library Tasting and Winery Tour & Library Tasting experiences. This year, the 2006, 2008 and 2010 vintages of our silky Alexander Valley Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon will be poured in all of our seated tastings, complemented by hors d’oeuvre pairings and these three artisan cheeses. Book a reservation to enjoy our new pairings before the busy season arrives.

Black Truffle Triple Crème Brie (rectangle with holes in photo)
Marin French Cheese Company, one of Northern California’s finest producers, creates this triple crème from pure, Italian Urbani truffles. It combines the sweet creaminess of rich, Jersey cow’s milk with the alluring earthiness of decadent “tartufi” as the Italians say. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, its earthiness and creamy texture complement the rich blackberry notes and tannins in a young 2010 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ewenique (triangle in photo)
Central Coast Creamery, located in Paso Robles, emphasizes local and artisanal practices in their small-batch production, using only rBST-free California cow’s milk and goat’s milk from local farms. Ewenique is hand-crafted sheep’s milk cheese aged for a minimum of four months and features a smooth, delicate texture. The flavor is earthy and sweet, with a savory, rich finish, perfectly suited to pair with the subtle nuances of older vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the 2006 Jordan.

San Joaquin Gold (two, long rectangles in photo)
Fiscalini Cheese Company uses only cow’s milk from the family’s dairy farm next door to craft this fine cheese, named after the rich San Joaquin Valley where it is produced. Encased in a natural, thin rind with a buttery color, the flesh of this cheese is firm with an aroma of toasted nuts and browned butter. Aged for 16 months, San Joaquin Gold has a mildly sweet and mellow flavor combined with crunchy protein crystals, pleasant acidity and balanced salt. Together these flavors combine to complement the fruit nuances in both older and younger vintages of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, especially the 2008 vintage.

Watch our chef’s past video on selecting cheeses for pairing with Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Categories: North America

Assemblage for the 2014 harvest

Yesterday Alex and I met up with our sparkling winemakers at Litmus Wines, together with Stephen Skelton MW, to taste the base wines from the 2014 vintage in order to decide what sparkling wines we would produce. In Champagne this process is called Assemblage.

There were many wines to taste; first and second pressings from the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as small amounts of Pinot Gris, and a biodynamic Chardonnay. And of course we mustn't  forget Monty's Pet Nat!

We were delighted with all the wines, especially the Pinot Meunier which Stephen was particularly impressed by. 2014 was a very good year for English wines, with no frost, good fruit set and plenty of warm sun (for England!) which has resulted in some excellent wine.

After much debate we settled on producing three quality sparkling wines; a Classic Cuvée made from the first pressings of the traditional Champagne varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, an English Blanc de Blancs produced by blending Chardonnay with the Seyval, and a sparkling Rosé made from Pinot Noir and some Pinot Meunier. These will all be bottled in May for secondary fermentation which will give the wine it's fizz. The wines then mature in the bottle for around two years with the lees to give them character. Most of the wine won't be released until 2017, although we may make a small amount available for Christmas 2016.

We have also decided to make a very limited edition of a still white wine by blending the Pinot Gris with some Pinot Noir. This will be released in May but will only be available to Wine Club members and through the Cellar Door as we will have less than 300 bottles available for sale!

We will be bottling Monty's Pet Nat next week and then tasting Silent Pool Rosé 2014 in February, both of which will be released in May this year.
Categories: Europe

Introducing the new website

Jordan Winery - Healdsburg, California - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 10:30


It felt like the birth of a baby this month at Jordan Winery. Our new website came to life at 9 a.m. on January, 13, 2015, weighing in at 1.3 GB and 38.4 inches long.

We’re shaking things up with the new, which was 14 months in the making. One of the best website designers in the wine industry, FINE Design Group, brought our vision for a dynamic, multi-media website that tells our story and provides useful information with the backdrop of stunning visual imagery. Please browse over from the top of this blog page or click here. Surf around and let us know what you think. We’re still working on a few unexpected kinks due to new functionality and complete change in platforms, so we thank you for your patience.

It’s fully responsive to any computer screen or mobile device and includes several new pages. Highlights include:


Categories: North America

Rosemary Sea Salt Party Favors

Rosemary Sea Salt Favors

Though not always necessary, when it comes to hosting a dinner party it’s always fun to add a little extra element to make your guests feel special to their core. These rosemary sea salt favors are not only a great little take-home for your friends and family, but they act as adorable place cards as well – instantly elevating you to hostess with the mostest status. And honestly? They couldn’t be easier, both time wise and on the wallet, to throw together … Oh, and if you’re looking for a delicious recipe to please your crowd, I’ve got just the thing right here!

Rosemary Sea Salt Party Favors Rosemary Sea Salt Party Favors Rosemary Sea Salt Party Favors



– 1 cup coarse sea salt
– 3 Tbsp. rosemary leaves
– Small clear glass jars (I picked mine up at the dollar store!)
– Thin ribbon or twine
– Canvas tags (I picked mine up at Michael’s!)
– Graphite pencil or paint pen


  1. In a bowl, mix together your sea salt and rosemary leaves.
  2. Fill each jar with your rosemary sea salt mixture.
  3. In your prettiest penmanship, write the name of each guest on the canvas tag (if you’re using a graphite pencil, just be careful not to smudge it).
  4. Tie the tag to the jar and place at each setting!


Photography: Heidi Lau | Design & styling: Lark & Linen

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Categories: North America

Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe

Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe

Come wintertime, every year without fail, I find myself craving rich, hearty, stick-to-your-rib type deliciousness in abundance. With this in mind, when I hosted my post-holiday dinner party not long ago, my mission was to warm my guests to their bones with a handful of classic-with-a-twist recipes. Enter: this red wine and sausage bolognese recipe. It’s rich, it’s flavourful, it’s the recipe you didn’t know you were missing but you totally need in your life. Set the table with these rosemary sea salt favors, top up glasses with a bold red wine and you, my friend, will have some very happy guests on your hand.

Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe
Print Red Wine & Sausage Bolognese Recipe   Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, diced
  • ½ a green pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 medium sized tomato, chopped
  • 4 Italian sausages, casing removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ cup Kendall-Jackson Cabernet
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 28 oz. good quality tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, green pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  3. Toss in the garlic and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add your tomato, sausage, oregano, basil and thyme. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Toss in the Kendall-Jackson red wine and stir.
  6. Add fennel seeds, black pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  7. Next, toss in the tomato sauce, water, bay leaves, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Add lid and bring to a slow boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours (the longer the better!)
  8. Pour overtop your noodle of choice, top with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!
Notes: it’s even better the next day, so feel free to prep the day before your dinner party, cover and place in the fridge. Simply heat it up when your guests arrive!


Photography: Heidi Lau | Design & styling: Lark & Linen | Adapted from

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Categories: North America

2015 James Halliday Wine Companion

Best's Wines - Victoria - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 01:51

James Halliday's 2015 Wine Companion was released last week featuring wineries from across the country and an array of fabulous wines produced by some very talented winemakers. 

Our 2012 Old Vine Pinot Meunier (97 points), 2012 Thomson Family Shiraz (97 points), 2012 Bin 0 Shiraz (96 points), 2012 Bin 1 Shiraz (95 points), 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (95 points), 2013 Riesling (94 points) and 2013 Young Vine Pinot Meunier (93 points) were all acknowledged, receiving some wonderful reviews.

Our winemaking philosophy at Best’s is that great wines are made in the vineyard.  Even while practicing a minimalist approach, attention to detail is key. We avoid the overpowering use of oak or additional treatments and instead prefer to let the fantastic fruit from Great Western tell the story, which is evident in all seven of these featured wines. 

We have has been consistently producing exceptional, food-friendly, elegant and approachable wines with great longevity since 1866.
Our patriarch, Viv Thomson and his son Ben, current Managing Director and Vineyard Manager, have worked with Best’s winemakers for the last 40 years to ensure continuity of house style while encouraging the winemakers to constantly look for ways to innovate and improve. 

All of these wines were produced by our very talented winemaker, Justin Purser. Justin, also a firm believer that great wines start in the vineyard, produces wines that reflect where they came from. When you enjoy a glass of Best's you enjoy a glass of Great Western. The characteristics reflected in the wine are a product of our region - our unique climate, soil types, and vineyard practices all contribute to the style of our wines. 

Categories: Oceania

Join us for Super Bowl Sunday!

Please join me in cheering on your favorite team this Sunday, February 1st at 3:30 pm in our Estate Tasting Room. We will have the Super Bowl game playing on multiple big screen TVs (with improved audio) and food and wine specials to purchase. I have included the details below. 

It is going to be a great game, so you'll need to be close to a supply of wine to handle it! 

I hope to see you here with your team spirit! 

Mauri Osborne
Tasting Room Manager

Sunday, February 1st - Kick-off at 3:30 pm 
2015 Super Bowl Championship Game
Estate Tasting Room
8800 Enchanted Way SE
Turner, OR 97392
Cost: Complimentary admission, food and wine available for purchase
Reservations appreciated. Call 503-588-9463. 
Please, no outside food or beverages. 


Super Bowl Game Day Menu - Served All Day! 

Draper Valley Buffalo Wings with Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue Cheese & Celery   |   10

Oregon White Truffle Parmesan Fries with Monastery Mustard Aioli   |   10

House Made Hummus, Sumac Toasted Pita with Fresh Vegetables & Feta   |   10

Rudio Creek Ranch Beef Chile with Tillamook Smoked Cheddar &
Rosemary Chipotle Corn Bread   |   10

Smoked Chicken Sandwich with Broccoli Coleslaw & Blue Cheese on Brioche   |   10 
Categories: North America

Guest Artist Open House for Tom Henderson Friday January 30 6-8pm at Lafond Winery City Tasting Room

For Tom Art is a way to be in the moment. It allows the senses to come to life in a way that nothing else does… the way things look, the way they smell and sound. Art is a surprise. there is something about creativity that promises what the soul yearns for… self expression. An […]
Categories: North America

More Ways to Up Your Wine Game

More Ways to Up Your Wine Game

A few months ago, we talked about “How to Take Your Wine Knowledge to the Next Level.” Today, I want to take the topic to another level.

My own experiences may offer some value. When I began to develop an intense interest in wine, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was no Internet, no social media, no Google or Wikipedia to help me. Instead, I had to learn the old-fashioned way. Mainly this was through reading, which I wrote about last May in this post.

Reading is still, in my opinion, the best, most long-lasting way to develop wine knowledge but nowadays it can be done online. I personally am a book-guy; I love the way a book feels in my hands. Books are my friends. But I realize that book reading may be of more interest to people of my generation than of Millennials. I hope not, but we have to face reality.

So I read, read, read all I could get my hands on. I’d buy every book (usually second-hand) that interested me: on Bordeaux, on Burgundy, on California, on Germany. I bought the memoires of the famous writers: Hugh Johnson, Alexis Lichine, Michael Broadbent, George Saintsbury, Harry Waugh. Although some of these individuals have now sadly passed on, their writings remain with us forever, and are inspirational. And then, of course, today we have a much more numerous and varied list of celebrity wine writers.

Back in those days, I also tasted as much as possible. Granted, it was fairly easy for me, living in San Francisco, to find opportunities. Many of the stores had tasting bars. There were also amateur wine organizations I joined, such as Les Amis du Vin, that held regular wine tastings that were high-level. LADV doesn’t exist anymore, but you might see if something similar exists in your town or city.

I also found it quite useful to hang out in the city’s finer wine shops and pick the brains of the floor staff. I remember asking Wilfred Wong, who now is the Chief Storyteller at but then was in charge of the wine department for his family’s small Ashbury Market, why one Cabernet Sauvignon cost $6 while another cost $15. Weren’t they the same wine? Then what accounted for the price difference? This is a very naïve question, but then, all knowledge begins by asking simple things from people who can answer them.

Finally, and obviously, I benefited enormously from visiting wine country, mainly Napa Valley and the Russian River Valley. They were just an hour or so from where I lived. I learned a tremendous amount from chatting with the staff in the winery tasting room.

So if you’re in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, try these four:

  1. I will read more about wine, either online or in hard copy.
  2. I will seek out new tasting opportunities in my locale.
  3. I will get to know the staff of the better wine stores in my neighborhood and learn from them.
  4. I will visit wine country. Every U.S. state now produces wine; most of them have “wine trails.” Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step!

From all of us at Kendall-Jackson, here’s wishing you a happy, safe and wine-loving new year!

Steve Heimoff is one of America’s most respected and well-known wine writers. The former West Coast Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a contributor to Wine Spectator, he has also authored two books on the subject of California wine, including “New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff,” published in the fall of 2007.


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Categories: North America

Toasting the 49ers "Appellation 49"

Tablas Creek Vineyard - Paso Robles CA - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 21:59

By Robert Haas

Just after Christmas, Jason and I had the fun and honor to be invited to pour Tablas Creek for guests at the last 49ers game of the season.  The sparkling new Levi's Stadium has built-in wine bars incorporated into their club boxes, and the team invites eight wineries each week to show their wines to the fans sitting in that section. We poured before the game and during the half, and were able to watch the 49ers win from one of the boxes, whose owners we'd met during the pouring.  Yes, it was a down year for the Niners, but still, what a treat!


49ers2014 wall

It is wonderful to see how the 49ers have built their connection to California's wine country, and how they celebrate it at the games.  The program started, in a small way, with an invitation to the owner's box at Candlestick Park on the occasion of their first home game in the fall of 2002.  We were thrilled that, way back then, Tablas Creek was the winery chosen to inaugurate the tradition.  Over the next decade, a different winery was chosen to present its wines at each subsequent game.

49ersOn that first occasion, my wife Barbara and I (right, with team owner Dr. John York) joined Jason and his wife Meghan on the trip.  We watched the game from the York family box and got to join a tour of the field where we watched for a few minutes from the sidelines.  I strongly remember Terrell Owens catching a pass and heading my way with terrifying speed and power.  I stepped way back.  And oh yes, by the way, we met other invitees Senator Diane Feinstein, chef Thomas Keller, Mayor Willie Brown, running back Roger Craig, and baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda who also dropped by.  Quite a day, and a pleasure to get to spend some time with the 49ers owner, John York.

Family at 49ers Game 2013Last year, the 49ers commemorated Candlestick Park's final season with a "greatest hits" recap of the wineries who'd been invited over the previous decade.  We were again honored to receive an invitation from Dr. York, and I made the trip up with Jason and Meghan, and their son Eli (right) to watch the team defeat the Arizona Cardinals.

Since the team's move to Levi's Stadium this year, the program has been expanded and acquired a name: Appellation 49. With eight wineries showing wines in the atrium at the club level, wineries get to meet several hundred fans at each game, and over the course of the season, owners of the boxes get to taste the wares of 80 different wineries.  If they like something, they can order it from their box. A portion of the proceeds go to the 49ers Foundation, which does great work in the Bay Area community year-round.  Different than before but still great fun, and probably more valuable promotion for us as a winery.

It's clear that this connection with the local wine community is something that the York family values and is looking to build. Any time they ask us to help with this particular bit of bridge-building, we're happy to oblige.

JCH and RZH with John York

Categories: North America

Valentine’s Day for Everyone

Ponte Winery - Temecula, CA - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:00

What makes the Valentine’s Day so much better this year is that it falls on a weekend!  Most of us are off of work which means no meetings, no schedules, no deadlines and the chance to sleep in, hooray!  A long weekend stay at the #1 rated hotel in Temecula is calling your name…

Sounds ideal, right?  But what if you’re like millions on the year’s most romantic day and you’ve got kids, you’re single, you’ve got a weekend job, etc.?  We’re going to try to help you out, too.

The Lucky Oneyou are off for the weekend, you’ve got a sweetheart, and the kids (if you’ve got ‘em) are covered:

Oh, lucky soul, there are no excuses; book your stay at Ponte Vineyard Inn today.   Right now, the hotel is offering two fantastic and romantic packages, perfect for Valentine’s Day.  The Vineyard Romance Package includes chocolate covered strawberries, a bottle of sparkling wine, a $50 Ponte Gift Card and tasting tickets to Ponte Winery.  The Country Horse and Carriage Ride Package includes a bottle of red or white Ponte wine, a 90-minute horse-drawn carriage ride for two through our private vineyards, a caprese sandwich lunch and tasting tickets to Ponte Winery.  You can’t lose with either of these.  On Valentine’s Day evening, make your reservation for dinner at Bouquet, located right at the hotel.

The Family Man/Galyou don’t get a break from the little ones on the weekend and while you wish they were self-sustainable, they’re not:

Like the saying goes, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”  Consider treating the entire family to a Valentine’s Day breakfast at Bouquet Restaurant.  Open on Valentine’s Day from 7:30 am to 11:30 am for breakfast, Bouquet has been serving up some of the best rise n’ shine grub since first opening its doors.  Everyone – even little Jimmy – will appreciate the fresh air and great views while dining in our Courtyard.  Dad can dig into Steak & Eggs, mom will love the Mushroom Omelet, and what kid wouldn’t love a chocolate-covered Waffle with bananas and berries?  (Don’t forget the Bloody Mary Bar).

The Single OneNo special gal or fella?  None needed!

Instead of not celebrating the holiday once again because it’s “stupid,” how about embracing it?  Celebrate the love you have for yourself and your fellow single friends by getting gussied up and making a night of it.  The Cellar Lounge not only specializes in fantastic cocktails, beers and wines, but they feature live music on Friday and Saturday evenings as well.  Don’t forget to eat, either.  Munch on smaller plates at the Lounge, or reserve a table at The Restaurant or Bouquet.  For those who really want to celebrate, check out the Girlfriends Getaway Package at Ponte Vineyard Inn.  An overnight stay includes a double-queen deluxe room, a bottle of red or white wine and wine tasting tickets for everyone in your group.

The Worker Beealas, duty calls

Call a pal or come solo to The Cellar Lounge after your shift to meet some great people, take in some live tunes and sip your favorite drink.  We are open on Saturdays until midnight.

No matter who you are, there’s a place and time for you on Valentine’s Day at Ponte Vineyard Inn and Ponte Winery.  Hope to see you on February 14th!

–Erica Martinez

Categories: North America

Winter White

Castello di Amorosa - Napa Valley - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 21:16

While most of us have a go-to favorite wine taking permanent tenancy in the ‘most preferred’ zone, often we explore other varietals-- particularly when entertaining or in my case, looking for the just-right pairing. Entertaining and pleasing guests with diverse palates, seasonal influences, even extreme weather can bring wine-drinking-enjoying challenges. When it is 100 degrees and the mercury is soaring it can be a test to feign enthusiasm about a glass of inky rich Cabernet for the thick Porterhouse grilling on the ‘cue. Likewise, when you spy frost on the pavement and the windshield is icy, a chilled crisp white wine may be less than heart-warming. What to do when some of the satisfying hearty wintertime favorites are rich and creamy and just screaming for…. well….not a red wine.

My winter white is chardonnay. Specifically, Castello di Amorosa Bien Nacido Chardonnay. This is not the ‘Castello sommelier’ pontificating on the many virtues of this award winning chardonnay, this is me, the ‘wine drinker’ who is generally not excited about most California chard.

Castello's Bien Nacido Chardonnay is different—this fruit is exceptional. The vineyard is located on the central coast of California and exposed to the Pacific. The coastal morning fog provides cool temperatures early in the day but warm late afternoons drenched in the Pacific sun. This gives the slow ripening grapes longer hang time on the vines while enjoying the real estate and the luxurious coastal influence. The juice shows its mettle when barrel fermented but not over manipulated so the gorgeous bright backbone of zippy acidity shines through. This balanced chard displays a soft nuttiness with fruit and focus. Juicy Comice pear, white peach and light vanilla flavors; full bodied and rounded--perfect for the rich creamy cold-weather foods we crave.

While winter white may not conjure up warm cozy images outside--

when you are inside, winter white can be an absolute delight!


Quick and Easy Chciken Fettuccine Alfredo

½ lb.  fettuccine, uncooked

1lb.  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

4tsp.  flour

1-1/4cups  chicken broth

4oz.  Mascarpone ( sub cream cheese)

1/2 cup Grated Parm, divided

¼ tsp.  garlic powder

1/4tsp. white pepper

Cook pasta to slightly firm. Sautee chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 7 min. or until done, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet. Mix flour and broth in same skillet with whisk. Stir in Mascarpone, 2 Tbsp. Parm, garlic powder and pepper; cook 2 min. or until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Stir in chicken. Drain pasta; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parm.



Categories: North America

The Perfect Hostess: Wine Pairings


HELLO! Lauren Kelp here & I am about to put all of your hostessing fears to rest! Typically the biggest concern about having people over is what wine to serve with the food. Now, this is a big concern because it’s an important decision to make while meal planning, but, never fear, we are here to help you with three classic (and favorite) wine pairings – pasta, flatbread, and salmon! Three foolproof recipes that will leave your guests (or your family) feeling absolutely delighted, plus the perfect wines to serve along with them. Trust me, you’ll never fret about this again. Okay, on to the pairings!


Meet our first pairing, the Tomato & Garlic Linguine with a deliciously chilled Chardonnay. Now, Chardonnay is a wine you can pair with almost anything, because it isn’t an extreme wine. It isn’t heavy and it’s not very acidic, so think of a good Chardonnay as the perfect chameleon. I particularly like to pair it with pasta because it complements the flavors so well.

Chardonnay should be served slightly chilled so the flavors can open up and make the most impact. Pair it with the pasta recipe below & you’ll have your guests thinking you are European!


Tomato & Garlic Linguine with Lemon Ingredients:
  • 1 package of garlic linguine
  • 1 cup of whole roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • 3 tomatoes (wedged and marinated)
  • EVOO
  • Juice & zest from lemon
  • Parmesan
wine_pairing0009 Instructions:
  1. Prepare linguine al dente.
  2. Mix in whole garlic cloves, marinated tomatoes, and shredded basil.
  3. Drizzle with lemon juice and EVOO.
  4. Top with lemon zest and grated parmesan.
  5. *As an alternative to marinated tomatoes, you can substitute sun-dried tomatoes or store bought marinated tomatoes!


On to the second, and a personal favorite, the Fig, Gorgonzola, & Arugula Flatbread paired with Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s just to die for! Now, we’ve already talked about my affinity for making flatbread personal, festive, and above all else, a little fun, but here is a recipe to help guide the creative process.

This flatbread (hold the prosciutto if desired, or hey, add some more!) makes for the absolutely perfect meal when it’s paired with a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon. Why you ask? Because a great, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon can really bring out the flavors of the cheese, compliment the saltiness of the prosciutto, and play nice with the greens on top. Voila, a match made in food loving heaven!


Fig, Gorgonzola, & Arugula Flatbread with Balsamic Reduction Ingredients for wheat dough:
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
wine_pairing0027 Ingredients for flatbread:
  • 1 wedge of good gorgonzola
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 6-7 figs (sliced)
  • Arugula
  • Proscuitto (optional)
  • EVOO
wine_pairing0025 Instructions:
  1. Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add yeast and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add water, oil and honey; mix well.
  4. Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.
  5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.
  6. Drizzle the top with EVOO.
  7. Top the flatbread with the crumbled gorgonzola, walnuts, sliced figs, and prosciutto.
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  9. Remove flatbread from oven, top with arugula, and enjoy.


Last, but absolutely not least, the delicious (and a real show stopper) salmon with mushrooms and honey balsamic reduction paired, to perfection, with a Pinot Noir. As someone who doesn’t eat red meat, this salmon recipe is my filet mignon. The sweet honey balsamic fish paired with the tender mushrooms is the ultimate dish if you are looking to impress. Add in the perfect bottle of Pinot Noir and you’ve won them over completely!

A good bottle of Pinot will match the silky texture of the fish and the berries will dance perfectly with the sweetness of the honey balsamic. The pair is nothing short of divine! Truly, this is the ultimate pairing for anyone you need to sweep off their feet – it’s that good.


Salmon with Mushrooms and Honey Balsamic Reduction  Ingredients
  • 12 ounces Salmon Filet, Skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Mixed sautéed mushrooms
  • kosher salt to taste
  • honey balsamic reduction
wine_pairing0036 Instructions for salmon:
  1. In a heavy pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Sprinkle the salmon with kosher salt on both sides. Place the salmon skin side down in the pan. Cook without moving for about 3 minutes and then flip over to the skin side up. Cook until crispy on the outside and just cooked through in the center, about 6 minutes total.
Instructions for mushrooms:
  1. Use a mixed mushroom package & sliced the larger ones
  2.  Heat olive oil to coat in a pan- add salt and cracked black pepper to taste and allow the pepper to cook for about a minute
  3. Add sliced mushrooms and toss in the olive oil
  4. Sautée until brown and crisp
Instructions for honey balsamic reduction:
  1.  Add equal parts honey and balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan and reduce on medium low heat until thick and sauce like
  2.  Bed the mushrooms- top with the salmon filet, drizzle with reduction, garnish with thyme
  3. As an alternative, add the thyme to the mushrooms while they are cooking or the reduction as it reduces

Photography by Stancy Higley


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The post The Perfect Hostess: Wine Pairings appeared first on Kendall-Jackson Blog.

Categories: North America

Recent winner of a case of Award Winning '09 Aged-Released Shiraz

Shaw + Smith - Balhannah, South Australia - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 19:08

Congratulations to Karen Sorensen - you won a case (6) of award-winning 2009 Aged Release Shiraz.
Thank you to everyone who has entered our recent competition.

Categories: Oceania


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