Finding a perfect pairing of wine and food can be challenging, but the journey itself is so rewarding!
One of our favorite excuses for a get-together is to try new combinations. It doesn’t have to be a labor-intensive dinner, either.
A new cheese you haven’t tried or a chunk of artesian bread is all it takes to launch the quest.
The beauty of our Cal-Italian wines is their palate-refreshing acidity which enhances foods by bringing out subtle flavors that might otherwise remain hidden.
We have many recipes that show off both wine and food. Many of them are based on ingredients that you can keep on hand for last-minute entertaining.
1-1/2 cups whole hazelnuts, toasted, and coarsely chopped
1 cup of hazelnut flour (finely ground hazelnuts, measured after grinding)
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant expresso powder
1-1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2 teaspoons anise seed
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 2 baking sheets. Combine flour, baking powder, hazelnut flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend the ingredients. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture, the coarsely chopped hazelnuts, espresso powder, vanilla and anise seed. Cover the dough and chill for 1 hour. Divide the dough into four pieces, and shape each into a 9-inch log. Place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the loaves to a cutting board, and cut the pieces crosswise into 3/4” thick slices. Return the slices, cut side down, to the baking sheets and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until dry and firm. Let the Biscotti cool before serving. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
1 can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
3 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1. Place all of the ingredients in a cuisinart or blender.
2. Pulse, adding more olive oil or pesto to create a smooth consistency.
3. Serve the dip with toasted slices of baguette, fresh raw vegetables, or crackers.
A great snack, and wonderful as a garnish for soups or salads
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
dash of cayenne
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Lightly grease a baking sheet, and cover with a sheet of cooking parchment.
3. Spoon about 2 teaspoonsfull of the mixture onto the parchment in mounds, about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
4. Cook in a 350º oven until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet, then remove with a rubber spatula.
Makes about 1 dozen crisps.
This recipe belonged to Ginny's mother. You can vary the ingredients to suit your taste and menu. The graham cracker crust is best with the vanilla and lemon juice in the topping, while the chocolate crust goes best with the almond extract in the topping. We like to serve the chocolate-crusted version garnished with raspberries.
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs: graham cracker or chocolate wafer.
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
1 pound cream cheese or neufchatel
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Mix the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 12 minutes in the center of your oven at 350°. Remove from the oven. Beat the cream cheese and the 3/4 cup sugar together well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in well. Add the vanilla flavoring and pour into the crust. Bake for 35 minutes at 350°. Mix the topping ingredients, using either vanilla and lemon juice or almond flavoring, and pour over the cheesecake. Smooth to edges of pan. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool the cake on a rack, then cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
1 lb. lean stew beef cut in 3/4" cubes
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. very lean pork cut in small pieces
1/4 tsp. each of dried oregano, sage, cumin
2 large onions, minced
1 or more tbsp. chili powder
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Mexican cocoa
3 slices bacon
1 cup coffee
16 oz can tomatillo or tomato
2 tsp. salt
Red wine for thinning
1 tbsp. cornstarch or corn meal 1. Sauté onions.
2. Combine onions and all other ingredients except wine in large pot and cook till meat is done.
3. Add wine for desired consistency.
4. Simmer one hour or more.
Great for large gatherings.
Serve with warm bread.
1 bone-in pork loin roast, 7 ribs (about 4 1/2 pounds)
5 cloves garlic, minced, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary or sage, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. Trim the fat on the roast to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the fat and gristle between the small ends of the ribs to "french" the roast.
2. Mix the garlic, rosemary or sage, salt, pepper and olive oil into a paste. Rub all over the pork roast. Allow the roast to come to room temperature.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position an oven rack in the center of the oven.
4. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. The roast should register about 150 degrees on a meat thermometer.
5. Place the roast on a platter and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots peeled and minced
2 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sauté the shallots in the butter until softened. Add the beef broth and the sugar and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cranberries, and simmer them until they burst. Reduce the sauce for about 15 minutes, and cool. Purée the sauce in a food processor, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Carve the roast into bone-in chops. Pool about 1/3 cup of the coulis on one half of a heated dinner plate, and top with a chop. On the other half of the plate, serve fresh spinach sautéed with garlic, and a purée of potatoes and parsnips.
Pour Mosby Teroldego for a great wine partner.
2 lbs dates, coarsely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1 lb whole pecans
1/2 cup dry red wine or reserved cherry juice
1 lb whole walnuts
4 eggs (well beaten)
1 large bottle of whole marichino cherries (20 ozs.), drain and reserve juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1. Sift dry ingredients over fruit and nuts.
2. Beat together eggs, vanilla and wine (or cherry juice).
3. Pour over fruit and mix well.
4. Add butter and toss until well blended.
5. Press into loaf pan lined with wax paper.
6. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean, not wet.
8 rib lamb chops, frenched
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup Mosby Dolcetto
11/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (1 1/2 cans)
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, chopped, or
Chopped Italian parsley to taste one 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1. Generously season the chops with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400º.
2. Lightly oil a large, heavy oven-proof skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Brown the chops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side and remove to a plate.
3. Add the onion to the same skillet and cook over low heat until softened, about 6 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary and cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 1 minute.
5. Add the broth, red wine and cannellini beans and simmer an additional 3 minutes.
6. Arrange the lamb chops on top of the beans and roast in the middle of the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
7. Remove the skillet from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The lamb will be medium-rare.
For each plate, serve two of the chops on top of some of the bean mixture. Sprinkle with some of the chopped Italian parsley. Accompany with baby string beans, a crisp salad, and Mosby Dolcetto.
"The sherry and the mint are key to this dish - they work their magic." -winemaker Bill Mosby
3 pounds very fresh Pacific black mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Mosby Cortese or Pinot Grigio
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup sherry
1 cup heavy cream
Bottled clam juice (optional)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
Place the mussels and the white wine in a large, heavy saucepan over low heat. Cover the pan, and cook the mussels until they open and exude their juices, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the mussels from the pan using a slotted spoon, discarding any that haven't opened. Set the mussels aside and cover with foil to keep warm. If very little juice is obtained from the cooking of the mussels, add 1/2 cup of clam juice. (Available bottled at the market). Add the 1/2 cup of sherry, and reduce the sauce by half. Slowly whisk in the cup of heavy cream, and simmer until thickened, 5-10 minutes. Add the butter, and whisk until completely melted and the sauce is thick and creamy. Stir in the minced mint leaves and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place three to four mussels on a warmed plate, and cover with the sauce making sure to get some inside the shells. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. A bottle of chilled Mosby Cortese is the perfect wine to serve as an accompaniment.
Serves 8 as a first course, 4 as an entrée.
1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta
1 pound large shrimp (16 count)
1. Shell the shrimp, leaving on the tails to serve as handles. Rinse and pat dry.
2. Cut the slices of pancetta lengthwise into 1 inch wide strips.
3. Starting just above the tail of the shrimp, start to wrap the pancetta around the shrimp on an angle, so that you end up covering almost the entire surface of the shrimp. Keep a slight pull on the panchetta as you wrap, and the finished shrimp will not need to have the pancetta held with a toothpick.
4. Grill the wrapped shrimp over medium-hot heat until the pancetta shrinks around the shrimp and turns golden. The shrimp should be pink on the cooked side. Turn the shrimp continue to grill the uncooked side until the the shrimp is cooked through. Do not overcook! These don't take long, maybe 3 or 4 minutes on a side.
The grilled shrimp may be served hot or at room temperature. These are great with a dip made by stirring a few splashes of soy sauce and a teaspoon or two (to taste!) of wasabi paste into 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Serve with chilled Mosby Pinot Grigio.
1 rabbit, cut into 5 pieces, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced, 1 14-ounce can beef broth, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 cup dried cherries (or raisins)
2 bay leaves, 1 cup pearl onions, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme and Italian parsley, 1 large sprig rosemary, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and pepper
1. Season the rabbit pieces liberaly with salt and pepper.
2. Brown the rabbit in the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. This may need to be done in several batchs. Remove the rabbit pieces as they become brown.
3. In the same skillet, sauté the sliced onion until soft, about 6 minutes, and add the garlic. Sauté for 1 minute more.
4. Add the rabbit back to the skillet with any juices, and add the bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. Add the sugar, flour, vinegar, beef broth and dried cherries. Stir to coat the rabbit pieces.
5. Cover the skillet tightly and place in a 350º oven. Braise the rabbit for 1 hour, stirring half way through and checking the level of the liquid. If the dish seems dry, add a splash of red wine. Check the rabbit for tenderness...it may need up to 20 minutes of additional time, depending on the size and age of your rabbit.
6. Ten minutes before the rabbit is done, add the pearl onions and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the rosemary sprig and bay leaves.
7. Serve over soft polenta, sprinkled with chopped parsley and pine nuts. Garnish each plate with a rosemary sprig.
A classic pairing with the Mosby La Seduzione.
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned (Portobellos, cremini, shitake, oysters, morels, chanterelles or porcini.
Re-hydrate any that are dried by covering with boiling water and allowing to soak for 20 minutes)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and lightly sautee. Add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf and sautee an additional 10 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates. Add salt, black pepper, cream and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste for seasoning, then ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to garnish. Serves 4