Red, White and Blue Berry Sangria

red white blue sangriaSo so easy and absolutely delicious!

2 bottles 2016 Pinot Grigio
1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved
1 pint blueberries
2T Agave syrup

Put the blueberries in the bottom of a pitcher and muddle them (crush them up a bit with a long spoon).  Add the strawberries and the agave syrup.  Dump the bottles of Pinot Grigio on top and give a stir to dissolve the agave.

Refrigerate at least two hours – but best overnight.  Serve the sangria in nice wine glasses, and add a few of the boozy strawberries!

Happy Fourth of July.

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Farmer’s Market Fresh Meal

pea pasta_sm

Lobster Ravioli, fresh peas and sugar snap pea pods make a fast healthy dinner.

We are so excited that the Avila Beach Farmer’s Market is back!  It makes dinner so much easier.  And ooooh, the spring goodness we can find there.  We were pulling a long day at the tasting room and Mr. Vino suggested hitting the Farmer’s Market for dinner.  I think that he was thinking to pick up some fish tacos.  Me, I hit the produce guys and the fresh pasta guy for this riff on a recipe from Cooking Light.  And oh, my – it was amazing with our new 2016 Beach Blonde Pinot Grigio!!

Pea and Snap Pea Pasta
6 oz fresh sugar snap peas (get 8 ounces cuz you are going to eat some of them while prepping)
1 C fresh shelled peas
3 T really nice olive oil
Juice and grated lemon peel from one fresh lemon
2 oz shaved Asiago or Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Radish Microgreens (yep, back in the day we called them “sprouts”)
Lobster ravioli (or other delicate pasta like Pappardelle.  It’s vegetarian with plain pasta!!)

This is so dang easy it’s almost embarrassing and the whole thing comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat.  Once boiling, add snap peas and cook until they turn really bright green (1 minute or so – don’t overcook).  Remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of cold water to shock them.  The drain on paper towels.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per package instructions.  Add the fresh peas during the last 30 seconds.

While pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.  When pasta is done, drain pasta and pea mixture.  Add pasta, peas and snap peas to bowl and toss lightly to combine.

Plate pasta and top with shaved cheese and microgreens.  Don’t have Asiago or Parm?  This also is really nice with Feta.

Fresh, healthy, delicious.

 

 

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Mushrooms du Rhone

Mrs. Vino’s Riff on Beef Bourguignon – only where’s the beef????20170423_200311
Make & Serve with 2014 Morovno Petite Sirah

Many of you know that Mr. & Mrs. Vino are trying for a more vegetable-forward diet. This has provided some super fun opportunities for Mrs. Vino to play in the kitchen. This riff on Beef Bourguignon uses a Petite Sirah (a Rhone varietal) instead of burgundy and hearty mushrooms instead of beef. And is vegegarian (you will NEVER miss the meat). This is easily converted to a vegan dish by using a slurry of 1 T water and 1 T cornstarch instead of the Beurre Marni to thicken. PS, Beurre Marni was a new technique for me, taught to me by chef Google. But I will totally use it again.

This recipe looks really long – but only because I had fun writing it. Took about 40 minutes total to prepare.

2 large Portobella Mushrooms
1 little blue Styrofoam package of Crimini mushrooms (or Baby Portobellas), sliced
1/2 C. Dried Shiitake mushrooms (I get mine from Costco and it is my new kitchen staple)
1 C. boiling water
½ Onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 C. vegetable broth
1 C. Morovino Petite Sirah
3 T Olive Oil (divided)
2 t. Herbs de Provence
2T Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Salt
2 t. Pepper
1T Butter, softened
1T Flour

In a large coffee mug or small bowl, rehydrate the dried mushrooms in the boiling water – this will take about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the stems from the large Portobella mushrooms by breaking them off. Then remove the dark gills by scraping them out with a spoon. Put the mushrooms gill side down on your cutting board and cut the caps into thick slices (like 3/4” thick). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 T of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the mushroom caps 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and using your kitchen tongs, turn the mushrooms over. Return sheet to oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes.

While Portobellas are roasting, heat 1 T of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until soft (4-5 minutes). Remove the onions and carrots to a small bowl. Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, notch the heat up to medium high and add the sliced Crimini to pan. You don’t need to add more oil – no matter how much oil you add the mushrooms will absorb it. Just keep stirring the mushrooms around so they don’t stick and they will release their own juicy goodness. Saute the mushrooms for 5 ish minutes, until they start to brown.

While mushrooms are sauteing, use the back of a fork to cream together the butter and flour in a small bowl. If you were to then roll it into pea sized balls, you’d have Beurre Marni – great for thickening soups and sauces. Me? Really? Roll into pea sized balls – not likely. Just leave the mixture in the bowl for now.

When the mushrooms have browned, add the Petite Sirah to the pan and deglaze for a minute (aah, I love the sound of a good deglaze). Drain the Shiitakes (reserving the liquid) and add them into the pan with the carrots and onions. Add the vegetable broth and the reserved liquid in which you rehydrated the mushrooms (mushroom broth) to the pan. Reduce heat back to medium. Add the Herbs de Provence and simmer strongly (not quite boil) for 10 minutes until liquid starts to thicken. At this point, your roasted Portobellas are probably ready. Turn the heat off in the oven, but leave them in to keep warm until the sauce is ready.

Back to the Beurre Marni. Instead of rolling it into ridiculous pea sized balls then adding them to the sauce, just use the fork to add the butter/flour mixture to the simmering sauce in small increments – stirring between additions. Continue at a strong simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Add Balsamic vinegar. Stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.

I serve Mushrooms du Rhone over a hearty pasta, but it’s also great over polenta, mashed potatoes or a toasted hearty bread. Arrange thusly. Pasta/bread/polenta/potatoes on plate (choose one, not all). Slices of roasted Portobella on top of pasta, or whichever. Spoonfuls of mushroomy sauce atop Portobellas. Top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley for extra credit. Green salad on the side. Serves 4.

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Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout Broth

Some of you know that my go-to food style is Asian influenced.  I love Asian-style cuisine because it’s quick, easy, fresh and pretty healthy.  My love of Asian cooking started when I used to get to pick out a restaurant for my birthday dinner – you can read the blog post about that here.  And Miso soup is my absolute favorite cold weather comfort food.  So I stopped by our local grocery and saw a Miso I wasn’t familiar with (most stores carry Red, Yellow and/or White Miso).  The Miso was called Mugi and it is made with aged, fermented barley in addition to soybeans.  Well you know Mrs. Vino loves her a new food toy – so I had to take it home and check it out.

So I made my basic Miso Soup recipe to check it out.  Mugi is much milder and less salty than Red/White/Yellow Miso.  It’s got a really interesting barley-y, malty aroma and slightly sweet flavor.  It’s really delicious and I recommend it for a basic miso soup.  But it reminded me very much of Guiness Stout (which I love with Salmon) and got the wheels turning for a new recipe.

So here it is:  Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout broth.  Mr. Vino loves it.  I love it.  AND, it’s a great way to use up any Stout beer left over from St. Patrick’s Day!!

Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout Broth
Serve with Morovino Petite Sirah

4 C. chicken brothsalmon_miso stout
1 Shitake mushroom, remove stem, slice cap thinly on diagonal
1” of ginger, sliced into 4 or 5 coins
3 cloves of garlic, whole, but peeled
pinch of red pepper flake (to taste)
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
¾ c. dark beer, like Stout
6 ounces of soba noodles
2T Mugi Miso (aged, fermented barley and soy beans)
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 rib of celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
¼ c. shelled edamame
¼ c. Garlic Hoisin Sauce
1 2-lb Salmon or Steelhead filet, skin removed
2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

In a large saucepan over medium low heat, add the chicken broth, shitake mushroom stem, ginger, garlic, red pepper flake, rice wine vinegar and stout. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon. Spread the garlic hoisin sauce atop the salmon. Fill a second pot with water and bring to a boil.

Using a slotted spoon, take all the funky, chunky bits out of the broth (garlic, ginger, mushroom). Reduce heat to low. Add in the miso, carrot, mushroom, celery and edamame and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. While the broth is simmering, add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. AND put the salmon in the oven to roast.

When soba is ready, drain well and put a little nest of noodles in the bottom of a pretty bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles. Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and place a piece atop each nest of noodles. Garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with a green salad or quick-pickled cucumbers.

If you eliminate the Stout and use Yellow or White Miso, this is my standard Miso Soup recipe.  You can add tofu and/or whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge and it’s really delicious.

mustard

Making your own whole grain mustard is easy!

OH YEAH, if you still have Stout beer left over, use it to make your own whole grain mustard – see the recipe/blog post for it here.

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Smoky Sausage Saute

http://www.aidells.com

We love this lightly smoked chicken sausage!

Make and serve this dish with Morovino 2014 Syrah (or not, see directions)!

I love this super easy dish that was adapted from the Hillshire Farm website. Sorry Hillshire Farm, I really like to use Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage with this dish!

1 package Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage (or any smoky sausage that you like), cut diagonally into 1/2” slices
2 T Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets or (1 small package frozen broccoli, thawed)
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ C. mild Roasted Pepper Salsa
½ C. Morovino Syrah
2 t. smoked paprika
2 C. prepared Orzo pasta (you can use rice, but Orzo is faster)

Add olive oil to the bottom of a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Add sausage and saute until browned (3ish minutes). Add onion, broccoli and pepper sand saute for 5 minutes until veggies take on color and begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant (not browned). Add salsa and smoked paprika. Add Syrah (OK, that stings a bit – alternately add ½ c. of other smooth red wine and drink the Syrah while you are cooking). Heat for 4-5 more minutes until sauce thickens. Serve over Orzo pasta and top with shredded Asiago or Parmesan. Yum.

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When life gives you home-made Pastrami…..

rueben-pizza-smallMake Reuben Pizza!

We love our Wine Family.  They know we love to cook and we love to eat.  So when Tom B. smoked us a Pastrami, we immediately thought about a Reuben Pizza that Linda G. made for us a couple of months ago.  It’s not really complicated enough to call a recipe – may be we’ll just call it assembly instructions.  But it will definitely be featured in our Superbowl party this year.  Enjoy.

Ingredients:  Thousand Island Dressing.  Canned Sauerkraut.  Pastrami.  Swiss Cheese. Pizza Crust. PS, if you want to make any of this from scratch – awesome.  But sometimes I love/need a pantry supper.

Start with your favorite pizza crust.  I’m a fan of the Pizza Dough In a Poppin’ Fresh tube.  But this also works really nicely with a premade pizza crust like a Boboli.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (or whatever temperature is appropriate for your preferred crust).

Top your pizza crust with Thousand Island Dressing.  Rinse and Drain the Saurkraut.  Scatter the sauerkraut on top of the dressing.  Chop the pastrami and scatter on top of the sauerkraut.  Top with slices of swiss cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

See?  Easy Peasy.  And delicious.  Thanks Linda and Tom for the inspiration.

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Putting Forks Over Knives

This January, Vino Man and I decided to move to a more plant based diet.  Better for us.  Better for the environment.  Tasty-licious.  This move was made easier when we signed up for the amazing Talley Farms Fresh Harvest Program and started picking up a box of amazing, seasonal, locally-sourced produce every week. (Info on Talley Farms Fresh Harvest, here.)  That, too was good for our bodies.  And good for our pocket book – the Jr. share is less than $20/week (I was already spending that much on veggies at the grocer).

In honor of our Tenth Wineversary, we decided that our monthly newsletters would feature some of our great wines in the past.  So we dipped into the cellar and pulled out a Double Gold Medal Award Winning 2009 Dolcetto.  We hadn’t sampled it in a while, and thought it would be a great opportunity to see how it was aging.

But in our new more veggie-based world, we wanted to try the Dolcetto with a Vegetarian duck-tofumeal.  Big wines and plant based meals pose some challenges, but I’m always up for a food challenge.  Having recently been introduced to an incredibly amazing product called Kimbo Veggie Smoked Duck (Tofu), I thought it would be a great experiment.

Full disclosure.  I usually hate tofu.  It’s my “Bête Noire”.  In my 40 years of cooking (and I grew up cooking Asian-style dishes) I have never been able to successfully execute tofu.  Until now.

The recipe below is VERY quick and easy.  Came together in about 15 minutes (excluding preparation of the rice).  The Veggie Smoked Duck is available at larger Asian-style markets.  My friend Judy brings it up from SoCal for me by the box – cuz the Vino man loves this too.  Enjoy!

smoked-duck-tofu-stir-fryOh yeah, the Dolcetto?  Well Damn.  That Dolcetto is good stuff.  The 2009 is prime right now – even smoother than when you put it in your cellar.  It was great with this dish and will still absolutely hold up to lamb, steak and meatier dishes too.  We recommend that this wine be consumed this year – before the fruit begins to fade out.

VEGGIE SMOKED DUCK STIR FRY

1/2 large head Napa Cabbage, shredded (or thinly sliced)
1 bunch broccoli – cut off florets, then peel and slice the stalk (it’s the best part)
1/2 large onion – peeled and sliced thinly from root to tip
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 C. frozen Edamame (shelled), defrosted
1 1″ piece of ginger, grated
1/2 C. Garlic Hoisin Sauce (We like Soy Vay)
1/4 C. Sake or dry white wine
1/2 package of Kimbo Veggie Smoked Duck, sliced, then quartered
2 T Canola oil, divided use
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
Brown Jasmine Rice

Prepare your rice via your preferred method.  I like my rice cooker – perfect rice every time.  When there’s about 10-15 minutes left on your rice, start your stir fry.  Preheat your oven to 250 degress.  In a large heavy bottomed skillet or wok, heat 1 T of Canola oil over medium high heat until it shimmers.  Add the onions and saute until they are limp and lightly brown, about 3 minutes.  Stir constantly, as you are using pretty high temperatures.  You need to keep the food moving or it will scorch. Add broccoli florets and stems and saute another 3 minutes. Then add cabbage and Edamame and saute 2 minutes more.  Add the garlic and half the Hoisin and all the Sake/wine.  Stir for about 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.  Put the veggies in your serving dish and place in the oven to keep warm for a few minutes.  Put the second tablespoon of oil in the saute pan and heat till shimmering.  Lower heat to medium.  Add the smoked duck and the second half of the Hoisin sauce and heat until just warmed through – 2-3 minutes.  Pull out the veggies, top them with the smoked duck, then sprinkle with the green onions.  Serve atop the rice with the Morovino Dolcetto vintage of your choice.  Amazing.

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Introducing Morovino Small Batch” Wines!

We are so excited to have received TTB approval on our new “small batch” label!  Several of

small-batch-petite-sirah-14-set_frt_ttbjpegs

Small batch wines are hand crafted in quantities of 50-75 cases.

you have asked why a “small batch” label when we are already a very small producer (2,000ish cases/year)?

We are a small producer tasting and selling out of a destination beach town.  Because our town is so exceptionally beautiful, we are lucky enough to get repeat visitors – people who come to see us every six months, or even once per year.  We call these customers the Morovino “irregulars”.  We’ve sensed some frustration with our irregulars that they visit and taste a wine, but when they come back 6 months or a year later, they can’t get the same great wine they loved on their last visit.

Our core Italian varietals – Dolcetto, Barbera and Sangiovese – are typically produced in 200 – 300 case lots.  While that’s small to most producers, we typically expect to sell out of a 300 case lot in a bit more than a year. The “small batch” label is to help identify wines that were produced in lots of 50 – 75 cases.  These are wines that will move in and out of the tasting room quickly (probably a 3-4 month lifespan). The cool new label will help our customers know that if they LOVE a small batch wine, they might want to consider getting an extra bottle – it probably won’t be around the next time they visit.

Plus, Mrs. Vino is just loving the burgundy background.  Small Batch wines should be in the tasting room by the end of February.  We hope you come and check them out!!

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Check out this great article!

It’s always fun when another great wine site does a feature about you!!  Our friends at California Winery Advisor (a really great wine website – you should totally check them out), used a photo of Morovino for their article on the Avila Wine Trail.

Thanks, California Winery Advisor!  Check out the article here:

CA WINERY ADVISOR

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Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caprese

A big, bold wine doesn’t always need to go with a  meat dish.  Our new Tango (Syrah/Petit Sirah) blend is just amazing with this hearty vegetarian dish!  This is a perfect starter, or use like a salad.  ENJOY.

2T Butter
2 Cloves garlic, diced
4 large Portobello Mushrooms
4 fresh mozzarella cheese balls, sliced thinly
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Fresh Basil – leaves only, sliced in chiffonade
¼ C Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Brown Sugar

Set your oven to 400 degrees and place one oven rack on the second rung from the bottom, and another oven rack on the second rung from the top. Melt butter and garlic together in a microwave safe bowl. This will soften the garlic flavor a tiny bit. Prepare the mushrooms by removing the stem (save them to use in soup), and using a teaspoon to scrape out the brown gills. Brush the mushrooms, inside and out, with the garlic butter mixture. Put mushrooms on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Start with a layer of tomato, then a layer of cheese, the tomato, then cheese (you see where I’m going with this) until the mushroom cap is full. Make sure to finish up with a layer of cheese on top. Put the baking sheet with the mushrooms in the oven on the rack at the second rung from the bottom and cook for 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking, make the balsamic glaze.  Or just pull it out of your fridge, cuz you should always have some of this on hand.  When in doubt, put Balsamic Glaze on it!!  You could put it on rocks and they would be delicious.  To make the glaze, put the sugar and vinegar in a very small sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 8 minutes or so – the glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Turn the oven to broil and move the pan with the mushrooms to the rack at the second rung from the top. Broil mushrooms until the mozarella turns bubbly brown.

Pretty plating – put some nice arugula on a plate. Put two mushrooms on top of the arugula. Drizzle the mushrooms and greens with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle the fresh basil shreds on top of the whole shebang. Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Don’t know how to chiffonade basil? Here’s a great tutorial on YouTube.

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