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To our amazing Vino Family,
We wanted to take a moment to say “thank you” and to let you know that things are changing a bit for Morovino.
Our landlord declined to renew the lease for our Avila Tasting room and gave us 30 days to move out. We have taken this as a sign that it is time for us to close Morovino in order to focus on David’s health issues. Our last day in the Avila Beach tasting room will be Sunday, April 29.
But we aren’t quite finished yet. We still have some amazing wines to come: our final Dolcetto Reserve and Barbera Reserve will bottle mid-May. We are actively searching for a short term lease on a small retail space to continue to pour Morovino wines until they are sold out.
In the meantime, we will be holding a series of pop-up tastings in the Avila Beach community center and other local venues. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Instagram and on this blog to get updated info and tasting dates/locations. While we continue to search for a temporary tasting space, wines will be available for purchase by email and phone – and we are happy to deliver your wine purchases to your local hotel or rental.
It has been an incredible journey and we have loved every step of it. The amazing wine friends we have made will warm our hearts forever.
With love and gratitude
Now and always, Mrs. Vino
PS, if you know anyone who needs a kick-ass tasting bar (or half of one since it’s in two pieces), have them give us a call.
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.
Mrs. Vino’s Riff on Beef Bourguignon – only where’s the beef????
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
Quick-pickling (also known as refrigerator pickle) is a great way to take advantage of the amazing summer produce available at your Farmer’s Market. This recipe works with: Bell Peppers, cucumbers (non-waxed), zucchini, spring onions, carrots, green beans, radishes (but if you use red radishes, the color bleeds into the pickling liquid and they are . . . interesting looking – I use Daikon)…..
Mrs. Vino finds most recipes for quick-pickles available on the internet to be tooooooooooo sweeeeeeeeeet. I prefer a really tangy, sour pickle. This one works just perfectly for me.
Makes 2 pint (8 ounce) jars of quick pickles
2 cups of thinly sliced veggies
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. mustard seed
1/4 t. Red pepper flake
Place sliced veggies into clean jars. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, water, salt and sugar over medium low heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the garlic, mustard seed and red pepper flake to the saucepan. Pour the hot liquid over the veggies. Add lids and put in fridge. Let sit at least 2 hours before serving. Will last a week in the fridge (theoretically – they last about 2 days in the Vino household).
If you don’t have mustard seed, dill seed or fennel seed also work well.
This amazingly easy, lightly sweet Sangria is both beautiful and tasty. It’s Summer In A Glass.
1 pint strawberries (local is better, my dears), hulled and quartered
1 bottle Cosa Dolce Riesling
1 small orange, sliced and quartered (leave the peel on, but cut the nasty end bits off!)
1/4 C. Agave Syrup (or 1/2 C. honey) – Feel Free to adjust to taste
1 C. Club Soda
In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients except club soda and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours). Add the club soda to the pitcher just before serving and stir.
Do you like your BBQ Sauce Sweet? Spicy? How about a super easy sauce that’s a bit of both. This is one of those recipes that looks a bit complicated because it has more than 3 or 4 ingredients. BUT, I’ll bet you have most of these in your cupboards anyway! If you can’t bring yourself to use the Morovino Cab in the sauce (and I can’t really blame you), use any full bodied red.
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ t. smoked paprika
¼ t. cumin
1 C. Morovino 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (or other full bodied red)
1 T brown sugar
½ C. Ketchup
2 t. Sriracha sauce (Asian hot sauce)
1T soy sauce
1T cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire Sauce
½ C orange juice
2 T orange marmalade
This is one of those recipes that looks a bit complicated because it has more than 3 or 4 ingredients. BUT, I’ll bet you have most of these in your cupboards anyway! If you can’t bring yourself to use the Morovino Cab in the sauce (and I can’t really blame you), use any full bodied red. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and smoked paprika in the olive oil until garlic turns light gold – about 1 minute. Add wine and brown sugar and simmer until reduced by half(ish)–about 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the marmalade and simmer until they start to thicken a bit. Finish by stirring in the marmalade. Let cool before using.
This sauce is lightly sweet and lightly spicy. Try it with meatballs on a sourdough roll for a yummy meatball sandwich. Marinate cut up chicken overnight in ½ the sauce, remove the chicken to the grill, then use the other ½ of the sauce for basting. It’s YUMMY on pork tenderloin, or use with a pork tri-tip in the slow cooker for a pulled pork sandwich.
EZ Baked Shrimp and Tomatoes (adapted from Cooking Light)
Make and serve with 2015 Beach Blonde
2 leftover heels of French bread
3T. minced fresh dill or 1 T dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T butter, divided use
2 T olive oil, divided use
1 ½ lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined (save shrimp shells)
¼ t salt, divided use
¼ t black pepper, divided use
¼ c. Beach Blonde or other dry white wine
2 large tomatoes (preferably one red, one green)
2T balsamic vinegar
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Vino are fans of the heels of French Bread. So Mrs. Vino pops them in her freezer to use whenever she needs bread crumbs. This is both frugal and delicious – packaged bread crumbs taste like cardboard. To begin, cut the bread heels into slightly smaller pieces and send them for a spin in your food processor or mini chopper until coarsely crumbed. Then add the dill and garlic and pulse a few more times until you have fine crumbs. Heat 1 T of butter and 1T of oil in a small non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the crumb mixture to the butter, watching carefully cuz they are gonna want to burn, and cook for about 3 minutes until lightly browned – stir frequently.
Then, preheat your oven to 450. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish (or a prettier one if you have it – or even 6 individual gratin dishes) with the remaining 1 T of olive oil. Arrange peeled shrimp in a single layer in dish(es). Sprinkle with 1/8 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper (that’s about 4 twists of Mrs. Vino’s grinders). Sprinkle shrimp with wine, then scatter half of the bread crumbs on top of the shrimp.
Now, about those tomatoes. Many grocery stores are now offering a clamshell container with heirloom tomatoes. These heirlooms taste much better than any other grocery store tomato. And, in some cases, they are priced less than 2 lbs of the “cluster tomatoes” from the supermarket that basically taste like plastic. Frequently the heirloom tomatoes feature a green tomato. The green tomato really brightens this dish. Do you have to use it? No, of course not. If no green tomatoes are available, use whatever you have. Back to the dish.
Slice the tomatoes into thin ¼” slices. Put an overlapping layer of tomatoes on top of the bread crumbs (which are on top of the shrimp). Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1/8 t. each of salt and pepper. Then top with the remaining breadcrumbs. Dot the casserole with the remaining 1 T of butter. Bake it at 450 for about 15 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and pink. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar just before serving.
This dish is great all by itself with a big green salad and loaf of bread. Or, for extra credit, make a big batch of risotto (using the recipe on the package of Arborio rice or from the Morovino website). Then top risotto with a big spoonful of this shrimp dish. That will stretch the shrimp dish from feeding 2-4 to feeding 6-8 for just a few cents more. And it is incredibly yummy.
OK, maybe not world-famous – but famous in the tasting room!
1 bottle of 2014 Tango
1/2 bottle of tap water (use the wine bottle)
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 package Morovino mulling spices
1/4 c. dried fruit (used dried cherries, plums, raisins, apricots or blueberries for best results)
OK, last year Mrs. Vino took a LOT of guff because the recipe she was handing out in the tasting room was not exactly the same recipe she used to make wine for the tasting room – it was the easier version of the recipe that she uses when she makes Mulled Wine at home. SO, this year, here are 3 different ways to make your mulled wine – based on time and inclination.
To make mulled wine EXACTLY like the tasting room version: 1) Put the wine, water, sugar, dried fruit and spice package (take tag off, leave cork on and spices in bag) all in a saucepan. 2) Simmer over low heat (do not boil – it will volatilize the alcohol) for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Mrs. Vino usually makes her mulled wine for the tasting room the night before she serves it – that’s the difference. So for this version, when the wine has finished simmering, 3) take the pot off the stove and cover it. Let it cool down a bit. Then put it in the refrigerator overnight (leave the spice bag and dried fruit in it). When you are ready to serve it, put it back on the stove top on low heat and bring it back up to a simmer. Discard the spice bag and ladle into glasses as desired. NOTE: Mrs. Vino usually uses a combination of raisins and dried apricots for the tasting room mulled wine.
To make Mulled Wine like Mrs. Vino makes it at home, follow steps 1 and 2 – and serve immediately. Still delicious, but leaving the bag and fruit in the wine overnight does concentrate the flavors a bit.
To make Mulled Wine in your Crock Pot, put the wine, water, sugar, spices and dried fruit in your slow cooker and simmer covered for 1 hour on high and then uncovered for at least an additional 30 minutes on low. Keep the slow cooker on low and serve directly from the slow cooker.
Serve it with cookies, holiday carols, and friends – it’s a perfect pairing!