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WINE MEETS CHEESE

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Wine Meets Cheese

This holiday season, up your cheese board game with these expert suggestions for pairings with some of our region’s most popular wines. Not sure what cheeses play well with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon? Now you know.

CHARDONNAY

  • Triple-cream cheese: These cream-enriched, high-fat cow’s milk cheeses have a texture like whipped frosting and a luxurious richness that work well with Chardonnay’s plush, rounded mouthfeel.
  • Brie: This semisoft cow’s milk cheese has a buttery, spreadable texture and mushroom scent. A velvety Chardonnay complements that supple, spreadable interior and the Brie doesn’t overwhelm the wine.
  • Monterey Jack: California’s iconic table cheese is mild, mellow, and a great melter. Try it on a grilled cheese sandwich with a glass of Chardonnay. The wine’s acidity and minerality help balance the buttery sandwich.


Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery – 2018 Winemaker Reserve Chardonnay ~ The 2018 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay is silky on the pallet with flavors of green apple, tropical fruit and hints of honeysuckle. Floral scents and an oaky finish will leave you longing for more. 

Oak Mountain Winery – 2019 Chardonnay ~ You can pick up apple, pineapple, honey, vanilla, and roasted flavors that really fill the mouth. This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, crème brulee and caramel. Pairs with roast chicken.

Ponte Winery – 2018 Chardonnay ~ A lively, fresh white wine with delicious Fuji apple and allspice notes. Let the lush mouthfeel & minerality on the finish whisk you away sip after sip.

ZINFANDEL

  • Hot pepper jack: An everyday cheese with some sass and spice makes a fun pairing for a peppery Zinfandel. Make quesadillas or mac-and-cheese with hot pepper jack, and Zinfandel will be just the right lively match.
  • Aged Gouda: Matured for six months or more, cow’s milk Gouda develops butterscotch aromas and a salted-caramel flavor (although the cheese doesn’t have a speck of sugar). A powerful Zinfandel with its ripe blackberry jam scent has the strength for that seeming sweetness.
  • Smoked Cheddar: Put a lightly smoked Cheddar on a charcuterie or antipasto platter and open a fruity, medium-weight Zinfandel. Give the wine a quick chill—maybe 15 minutes in the fridge—to brighten its fruity notes and make it a refreshing counterpoint to the smoky Cheddar.

    Suggested Pairings:

    Doffo Winery – 2017 Zinfandel ~ This Zinfandel is sure to delight the senses with aromas of plum, raspberry, figs, and cherries. The balanced acidity and voluminous mouthfeel leave a long lasting finish.

    Hart Winery – 2017 Zinfandel ~ This deliciously complex wine is illustrative of the quality attainable from a well-farmed young vineyard. Less spicy, jammy and lower in alcohol than a Northern California Zin, this wine is remini-cent of its first cousin Primitivo and is a fine complement a variety of dishes. 

    Lorenzi Estate Vineyards & Winery – 2015 Zinfandel ~  There is a seamless transition from the front to mid to finish on this wine. The finish is so clean, holding on to the dried fruit elements to the end and nothing is out of balance. It’s pure joy to drink this wine.


CABERNET SAUVIGNON

  • Camembert: Similar to Brie but smaller, Camembert is the perfect size for four people to share with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. A ripe Camembert has a big beefy aroma, with notes of mushroom and garlic. It can stand up to the deep flavor and tannic strength of Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Cheddar: An aged Cheddar has a creamy-yet-crumbly texture, layers of flavor that unfold slowly, and a vivid tang. Seek out a clothbound (also known as bandage-wrapped) Cheddar for maximum complexity and compatibility with a fine California Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Dry jack: The extra-aged version of a Monterey jack is firm, complex, and deeply nutty. It needs a concentrated red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon to match it in strength.


Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery – 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ~  This Cabernet offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint. 

Leoness Cellars – 2017 Cellar Selection Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Inviting aromas of black currant and boysenberry fruit layered with subtle notes of vanilla, black licorice, olive and sweet oak leading into a lingering finish.

Masia de la Vinya – 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Rose petals, baked cherry pie, slight bite of white pepper.

Content and photo courtesy of The Wine Institute of California.

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Temecula Wine Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, November 1st, 2019

In just a few weeks, your tummy will be rumbling and your mouth salivating with the promise of the once-a-year feast that is Thanksgiving. America’s biggest food holiday serves up the chance to do some serious (and seriously fun) fun wine and food pairing. Here in Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country, we’ve got the perfect wine pairings to go with each Thanksgiving course. No matter what your budget, this simple guide will have your friends and family giving thanks to you for making their holiday meal extra special.

Light Appetizers + Mellow Whites
These bright yet mellow whites pair well with lighter dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. The floral notes of a viognier complement a fall salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts; a selection of fruit and cheeses match nicely with a chardonnay; and light pinot grigio will sing next to your pumpkin soup.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery, 2017 Pinot Grigio; $30.00

Briar Rose Winery 2017 Estate Viognier; $28.00

Herbacious Side Dishes + Spicy Reds
The spicy notes derived from these unique wine grapes pair especially well with stuffings and gravies seasoned with holiday herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary. Having a vegetarian Thanksgiving? These wines work well with earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes too!

Mount Palomar 2014 Castelleto Sangiovese; $40.00

Leoness Cellars 2016 Cellar Selection Zinfandel; $42.00

Doffo Vineyards 2016 Syrah; $62.00

Poultry & Meats + Bold Reds
Whether it’s wine or food, everyone looks forward to the main course. The dark fruit flavors in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your herb-rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef, all three are bold enough to stand up to a rich meat course.

Baily Winery, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40.00

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Merlot; $32.00

Wiens 2017 Reserve Tempranillo; $65.00

Dessert + Sweet Wines
Your Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine – at least that’s how we feel! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with a sweet moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones.

Somerset Winery 2018 Muscat; $23.00

South Coast Winery Black Jack Port; 18.00

Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2017 Moscato; $22

One Meal, One Wine
On a wine-buying budget? Or just looking to simplify your evening by serving one wine from start to finish? Any of these four, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink from appetizers all the way to dessert. Bon appetit!

Maurice Car’rie 2017 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2018 Rosé; $28.00

Falkner Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc; $27.95

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery 2014 “50/50” Blend; 45.00

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Wine Country Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Easy Lemon-Dill Sauce and Asparagus

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Easy Lemon-Dill Sauce and Asparagus

Recipe Courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery

Perfect for warm summer nights, this weekday meal is simple, quick and balanced. It has a lightness and lemony tang that refreshes and doesn’t weigh down the palate.

Pair this dish with…

While Wilson Creek pairs this with their Family Reserve Syrah, if you’re looking for a white – try a Sauvignon Blanc! Top choices include Callaway’s 2010 Special Selection Sauvignon Blanc or Falkner’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs. fresh wild salmon fillets or steaks
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons of fresh dill
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas-fired grill. If using a charcoal grill, group hot coals on one side of the grill base. Chop dill.  Remove woody end of asparagus by cutting off last inch of the stalk or snapping at the base. Season salmon generously on both sides with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place asparagus onto a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and juice from half the lemon, and turn with tongs to coat evenly. Place salmon directly over hot coals or on lowest shelf of charcoal grill for 2 minutes to sear, then move to a higher shelf (gas grill) or across from the coals (charcoal grill). Piliarožės kaimo turizmo sodybos nuoma netoli Kauno Add asparagus with salmon on the grill and cook covered for about 10 minutes (five minutes on each side, depending on thickness of salmon.) For best results, do not cook past medium.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add sour cream, dill, paprika, salt & pepper and juice from 1/2 lemon and mix thoroughly. After salmon and asparagus have been removed from the grill and cooled slightly, pour lemon-dill sauce over salmon as well as over asparagus if desired, and garnish with fresh lemon and dill sprigs.

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Wine & Food Pairing Tips for California Wine Month

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


10 CALIFORNIA WINE & FOOD PAIRING TIPS

•    When enjoying cheeses either before or after dinner, consider a California sparkling wine alongside. The effervescence will stimulate the palate in such a way that both the cheeses and the wine will soar.  For a festive and tasty flourish, serve fresh California pomegranates with the cheese and add a few arils, as pomegranate seeds are called, to each glass.  Suggested sparkler: Ponte Winery, Rose Spumante

•    Enjoy smoked fish—oysters, salmon, lox, trout, sturgeon and sablefish, for example—with California sparkling wine.  Suggested sparkler: Danza del Sol Winery, Espumosa Chardonnay Brut

•    California Sauvignon Blanc loves green vegetables of any kind, from artichokes and green beans to tender lettuces and zucchini.  It is also an excellent match with goat cheeses and fresh mozzarella.  Suggested Sav Blanc: Hart Family Vineyard, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

•    California Chardonnay and Viognier blossom with corn and carrots.  Serve with corn on the cob, corn chowder, creamy polenta topped with California Teleme cheese and corn salsa, corn or carrot risotto, oven-roasted carrots and carrot fritters.  Suggested white: Callaway Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Special Selection Viognier

•    California Pinot Noir, among the world’s most versatile wines, pairs well with a classic BLT as with wild Pacific King salmon on a bed of roasted winter squash.  Delicious with turkey, California Pinot Noir is an ideal Thanksgiving wine, as well.  Suggested Pinot: Wiens Family Cellars, 2009 Pinot Noir

•    California Merlot is delightful with blueberries.  Combine blueberries with wild rice, fresh or smoked turkey and a simple balsamic vinaigrette for a main course salad to enjoy with Merlot.  To enhance the match, add a little Merlot to the dressing.  Suggested Merlot: Mount Palomar Winery, 2006 Merlot

•    Defy the conventional wisdom that pairs fish with white wine and meat with red.  A robust California Chardonnay is wonderful with rare steak and prime rib and California Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect with halibut topped with a dollop of black olive butter or tapenade.  Suggested Chard: South Coast Winery, 2008 Reserve South Coast Chardonnay /  Suggested Cab:  Monte de Oro Winery, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

•    Enjoy California Syrah with classic Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, polenta and stewed sausages and lasagna.  It is also excellent with grilled red meats and ripe backyard tomatoes and roasted sweet peppers.  Suggested Syrah: Europa Village, 2006 C’est La Vie Syrah

•    California Zinfandel is a perfect quaff with burgers, ribs, fajitas and chili but vegetarians will be thrilled to know it is also the best choice with lentils, especially when served with grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Suggested Zin: Doffo Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Syrah

•    For a simple, healthy and delicious dessert, combine seasonal fruits—such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums and peaches—with a little sugar and chill for a couple of hours, until natural juices collect in the bowl.  Add about a cup of California Rosé or Pinot Noir, toss and serve, or spoon over vanilla ice cream, with the wine alongside.  Suggested Rosé:  Leonesse Cellars, 2010 White Merlot

 

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