BACON BURGER ON BRIOCHE BUN (Food & Wine) Paired with 2016 Purgatorio, Livermore Valley, a 50/50 Blend of Petite Sirah & Cabernet Sauvignon, ~ it’s huge in flavors and giant in structure, boasting dense, concentrated blackberry and blueberry notes on a tight texture of firm tannins and full body

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced & roasted, grilled or sautéed until tender (cook with olive oil & season with S&P)
  • 3 pounds of mixed ground chuck & sirloin
  • 8 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked in skillet until crisp & drained on paper towel
  • Favorite Mayo or sauce, we like Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce
  • 12 ounces of brie – super decadent option is Cowgirl Creamery’s triple cream Mt. Tam cheese
  • 8 brioche burger buns, split & toasted or grilled
  1. Light or preheat grill
  2. Form patties, season with S&P and brush with olive oil.
  3. Grill over moderately high heat until well -browned on the bottom, 5 minutes.
  4. Flip burgers, cook for 4 minutes longer (for medium rare), mound cheese on top during last 2 minutes.
  5. Assemble burgers with special sauce, bacon and roasted onions.

Popcorn with Sesame-Glazed Pistachios.  This salty sweet snack pairs exceptionally well with our spicy Syrah and Syrah blends. 

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popping corn
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 3 T toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios (8 oz)
  • Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large saucepan, combine oil and popping corn, cover and cook over medium heat until corn starts to pop.  Cook and shake until popping stops, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and season lightly with salt.
  2. Wipe out saucepan, add olive oil, sugar, sesame seeds, soy sauce, garlic powder and 2 t of salt, cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Add the pistachios and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Scrape the pistachios onto  the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until bubbling.  Scrape the pistachio mixture into the popcorn and toss well.  Let cool before serving.

Spiced Mixed Nuts.  A staff favorite, often served during private seated tastings or just when we feel like it!

  •  lb. (4 cups) mixed unsalted nuts (such as cashews, pecans, and almonds)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  1. Bake nuts at 350 for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the coriander and cumin and toast until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, brown sugar, rosemary, and cayenne. Return the skillet to low heat and stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, 2 to 2-1/2 minutes. Keep warm.
  3. Tip the nuts into a large warmed bowl, pour the warm spiced butter over the nuts, and add the salt. Stir until the nuts are well coated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Let the nuts cool completely.

Lamb Chops with Rosemary, Garlic and Grapes.  A simple yet elegant dish that pairs beautifully Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends, like our 2016 Roberitage, Livermore Valley (90 pts Wine Enthusiast).  Roberitage, a blend of Estate Syrah (50%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (50%). Black Fruit, Allspice, Bay Leaf, Firm Tannins, Full Body. 

  • 8 lamb loin chops, about 1 ¼ inches thick (about 3 pounds in total), marinate for a few hours in 1/4 olive oil, salt & pepper, rosemary sprigs, 4 peeled garlic cloves, left whole or sliced.
  • 1 ½ T olive oil,  2 cups red grapes (about 1 pound, seedless), 3 T chopped fresh rosemary, 4 cloves garlic, cut into thin slices, 1/3 cup dry white wine,1 t honey.
  1. Marinate lamb chops for a few hours in a ziplock bag, with 1/4 c of olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary springs and whole garlic cloves.
  2. In large stainless-steel or nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Remove chops from marinade and cook for 5 minutes. Turn chops and cook until done to your taste, 3 to 5 minutes longer for medium rare.
  3. Remove the chops and keep warm. Pour off all but 2 T of the fat from the pan.  Add the grapes, reduce the heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the gapes soften, about 8 minutes. During the last 2 minutes or so, add the sliced garlic and chopped fresh rosemary.
  4. Add the wine to the pan and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in any juices from the lamb, honey, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the lamb with the grapes and sauce.

“Black and Blue Brisket” Blackened Beef Brisket with Blackberry BBQ Sauce and Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta Recipe by Chef Scott Wall, .  Chef Scott served this dish at our August 2019 wine club release event, paired with our 2016 Petite Sirah, it was amazing!  Below he’s converted the recipe to Serve 4-6 

  • 4 lb Prime Grade Beef Brisket, Lean Side or Juicy Side, its up to you
  • 1 T Ancho Chile Powder
  • 1 T Smoked Paprika Powder
  • 1 T Ground Cumin
  • 1 T Dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Clove
  • 2 T Kosher Salt
  • 2 T Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 16oz BTL Your Favorite BBQ Sauce, I like Kinder’s Organic Mild
  • 1 Pint Fresh Organic Blackberies
  • 1 Bottle 2016 Dante Robere Petit Syrah
  • 1 24oz Container Beef Bone Broth
  • 3 Cups Golden Pheasant Polenta
  • 12 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Your Favorite Crumbled Blue Cheese, I like Pt. Reyes or Shafts
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Pinches Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper To Taste
  1. Pick a well-trimmed brisket of your liking.  Combine all of the spices in a mixing bowl and generously sprinkle all over the brisket.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, overnight is best.
  2. Fire up the grill to medium high heat.  Once the grill is very hot, place the brisket on the grill and char each side for 5-7 minutes.  Keep in mind that brisket is very fatty and is going to flame up quickly. Move the brisket around and lower the flame if necessary.  The idea is to produce a good smoke flavor and slight blackening on each side of the brisket.  Add the brisket to a large deep braising pan.  If your brisket is 2-3 inches thick, ideally your pan should be at least 6 inches tall on the sides.
  3. Add the sauce ingredients to the braising pan with the brisket. Cover the pan with the lid or tightly with aluminum foil.  Place the brisket in a preheated 350° oven for at least 3 hours.  The juicier side of the brisket is much thicker than the lean sider and can take up to 5 hours to become tender.  Once you have determined that your brisket is fork tender and will easily pull apart, remove the lid or foil.  Continue to cook for up to 45 minutes.  This will allow the sauce to thicken a bit and for the top of the brisket to become crispy.
  4. While the brisket is cooking uncovered begin the polenta.  Bring vegetable broth to a boil, season with a few pinches of salt and pepper.  Whisk in the polenta.  Continue to whisk until the polenta begins to absorb the liquid, and “bloom”.  Then reduce heat to low, stir the polenta as much as you can for 15-20 minutes, if you don’t the polenta will stick to the bottom of the pan and clumps will form as well.  After 15-20 minutes the polenta should be fully cooked and the texture should be drastically different than when it first bloomed. Now add the cheeses and heavy cream, continue to whisk until the cream is incorporated and the cheeses have melted.  Stir in the parsley and season one last time with salt and pepper.  Creamy style polenta is best served right away.
  5. To finish the sauce, remove the brisket from the pan.  Pour the sauce into a large cylindrical shaped container.  Once the sauce settle skim the surface of the fat.  Add the remaining sauce to the blender and blend until smooth.  When blending hot liquids make sure to start on a low speed and have some ventilation up top. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and return the sauce to a small pan.
  6. Serving: Ladle the creamy polenta into a large shallow bowl.  Slice the brisket against the grain and place on top of the polenta.  Ladle a generous about of the sauce over the brisket, and Enjoy!

Italian Style Mulled Wine.  A Holiday in the Vineyards staple, Saluti!

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest  (use a vegetable peeler to create the strips of zest, being careful to make them thin and avoiding the bitter white pith)
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (​zest of 1 lemon; same method as for the orange)
  • cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 pinch nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine (Zin is our pick)
  • 1/4-inch ginger (fresh, peeled and bruised with the back of a chef’s knife)
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 10 whole allspice berries
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  1. In a non-reactive, heavy pot,  mix the sugar, citrus zest, orange juice, and spices.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and an aromatic syrup has formed about 4-5 minutes. Then lower the heat to low and add the wine. Bring to just a bare simmer and continue over low heat for about 15 minutes or until wine is flavorful. Be careful not to let the wine boil, which adversely affects the flavor.
  3. Ladle through a fine-mesh strainer into mugs or heat-resistant glasses to serve. You can garnish each mug with an orange slice or stick of cinnamon if desired. Serve steaming hot.

Note:  Depending on our mood, we like to add Brandy to kick it up a notch or apple cider to bring it down ~ add when you add wine.


  • 1 bottle of Zinfandel,
  • Juice of 1/2 orange, thinly slice the other half
  • One lemon thinly sliced,
  • Then I add seasonal fruit—I love to use strawberries or peaches in the warmer months, and apples and pears in cooler months. Any combination will do!
  • 1/2 cup of Brandy
  • Sweeten to taste –  a tiny bit helps balance the flavor of the brandy and rounds out the flavors. I also try to use natural sweetener  – like maple syrup.  Real maple syrup offers a very subtle caramel-like flavor that plays well with red wine and adds some extra complexity. It blends right into the other ingredients, which is nice. I usually only add one to two tablespoons of it, to taste.
  • Make in advance so the flavors have time to meld.  Serve over ice with a slice of fresh orange or lemon.  In the mood for a more mellow, lower-alcohol content sangria? You can skip the brandy, use less of it, or dilute the sangria with some club soda or 7-up.