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Jennifer Turner
January 17, 2014 | Jennifer Turner

Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese

Paired with: San Felice Chianti Classico 

$16.99 / $14.44  Save 15% with our mix-and-match case discount!

I presented this duo recently for dinner and was made to promise that I do it again! It's a perfect food and wine pairing for the depths of winter. Enjoy!

This recipe is sourced from Bon Appetit.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup diced carrot

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed in a spice mill or in mortar with pestle

1 pound spicy, Italian turkey sausages, casings removed

3 large garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 cup dry white wine

5 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree (from two 28-ounce cans)

1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese

3 cups (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (12 ounces)

1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

16 6 1/2x3 1/4-inch no-boil lasagna noodles


Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot, and fennel seeds; sauté 5 minutes. Add sausage and garlic; sauté until sausage is cooked through, breaking into pieces, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine; boil 1 minute. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup basil, and oregano. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 cup basil in medium bowl; stir to blend. Season with pepper. DO AHEAD. Sauce and cheese mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.

Place noodles in large bowl; cover with hot water. Soak until pliable, separating occasionally, about 30 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Cover with 4 noodles, arranging crosswise. Drop 1/4 of cheese mixture over by tablespoonfuls; spread out. Top with 1 cup sauce, then 4 noodles and 1/3 remaining cheese mixture. Repeat 2 more times with 1 cup sauce, 4 noodles and 1/2 of cheese mixture. Spread any remaining sauce over. Sprinkle with 1 cup parmesan.

Bake lasagna uncovered until heated through and puffed. about 50 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes and serve.



Time Posted: Jan 17, 2014 at 12:45 PM Permalink to Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese Permalink Comments for Lasagna with Turkey Sausage Bolognese Comments (1)
Eric Genau
November 25, 2013 | Eric Genau

Wine Legends at Tocqueville

When in New York City, I often organize wine dinners at Tocqueville. A fixture in Union Square, Tocqueville remains one of New York's most acclaimed restaurants, along with its Michelin-starred sister, 15 East, just a few doors down. I can't say enought about the hospitality here, led by master Sommelier Roger Dagorn, who assists me with all of our wine pairings and often helps to create a tasting menu around the special wines we are opening. My last visit was a night of wine legends with friends and colleagues. Here are some of the highlights.

I was blown away by the 1990 Comte de Vogüe Musigny, which may have been the biggest powerhouse red Burgundy I have ever tasted. Explosive doesn't do this justice, yet the wine also possessed an elegance that is difficult to describe. Musigny is often described as an iron fist in a velvet glove, and that is on target with this bottle. Comte de Vogüe produces some of the most iconic wines in Burgundy, with history tracing back to 1450. Today the estate is led by its 20th generation. The Musigny vineyard, planted on iron and limestone soils, within the village of Chambolle-Musigny, is among the finest Pinot Noir sites in the world, and it showed here. Tocqueville's duck sausage with foie gras was ethereal, presenting the perfect complement to both the power and grace of this wine. Roger hit a home run with this pairing!

The most fun we had at the table was comparing 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion with Pétrus from the same year. Both wines received strong praise and 100 point ratings from RP, and both wines threw me for a loop. I was expecting power and fruit from La Mission, and didn't really get much of either. Instead, it was Pétrus that took over from the start, showing more fruit and body than La Mission, the latter coming acorss as surprisingly under-ripe. As for the Pétrus, who says Merlot is all about finesse? At 100% Merlot, this proves otherwise. 

The menu at the right shows us starting with a bottle of Ramonet C-M from 2010, but we made a last minute swap in favor of Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet 2010. As much as I enjoy Ramonet, we traded up here. This is a masterpiece that I would like to revisit in five years. It has so much going on, but the aromas and nuances aren't really developed yet. Still, it comes across as so elegant and long even today. The dish, sea urchin and angel hair carbonara, was another home run. Roger chose the fish for its briny texture, and that really helped to bring out different textures in the wine. 

This was a pretty special evening, and all I could do the next morning was stay put at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, which I often call home while in New York. The lobby lounge serves coffee and is a great place to get some work done. I wasn't up for much more than that after a long night at Tocqueville. 

We fly for wine! Travel around the world with us on


Time Posted: Nov 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM Permalink to Wine Legends at Tocqueville Permalink
Eric Genau
September 21, 2013 | Eric Genau

Saturday Lunch with 2001 La Forra and 1967 Cos d'Estournel

Matt Cole has been a fixture at City Wine Merchant for almost three years, and this Saturday marked his last day working with us. Matt's first day was a Saturday in 2011, and it was a memorable Saturday afternoon because, as Matt reminded me, we opened a bottle of 1942 Lopez Heredia Tondonia Reserva Rioja. Hopefully Matt got over the disappointment of realizing that we didn't do that every Saturday. We've had some pretty good Saturdays though. Matt has been "Mr. Everything" at City Wine Merchant (wine guy, carpenter, chef) and he proved to be a pretty decent bowler. We'll miss having him around every day.

Along with a good friend, Matt and I shared a casual lunch of Italian coppa, along with Tomme Chebris, Brillat-Savarin and crusty baguette from Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile. We first popped open a bottle of La Forra Chianti Classico Riserva 2001. While the wine didn't have much life left in it, it was outstanding. The essence of great Chianti Classico was definitely present. I have always loved Chianti Classico because it is one of those wines that nearly always transports me to its place of origin. This comes from a 14-acre vineyard on the Nozzole estate. The vineyard has been producing Chianti since the 13th century and it is a reliable wine from vintage to vintage. This isn't as traditionally styled as some of my other favorite producers from the region (Ama, Castell'in Villa), but it is nonetheless a great wine. Matt liked it, so that's good. It was especially tasty with the Tomme Chebris (50% goat’s milk and 50% ewe’s milk).

What can I say about Cos? It is one of the world's greatest wine estates for good reason. Even in this "off" vintage, and even after so many critics leave a wine like this for dead, the 1967 Cos d'Estournel Saint Estephe continues to deliver some joy. It still shows a lot red fruit, and just enough acidity to hold it all together. While it is somewhat dis-jointed, it is an interesting snapshot . With history dating to the 1700s, Cos continues to hold its own with the great first growths of Bordeaux (Cos literally "looks down" on it's neighbor Lafite). The '67 is a fun wine, but if you still have this one in your cellar, don't wait any longer to open it! 

Vintage Wine Score Maturity
1967 Chateau Cos d'Estournel Saint-Estephe 80-84 Good Drink Now
2001 Tenuta di Nozzole La Forra Chianti Classico Riserva 2001 90-94 Outstanding Drink Now

Note: Wine Record posts are Eric Genau's reflections and tasting notes on food, wine and conversation enjoyed with friends and family. This is the only place you will see Eric formally "score" a wine. As with all scores, they are meant only as a guide to help readers discover new wines. Readers may find they have a similar palate to Eric's, or not at all, but hopefully these notes and scores provide some valuable guidance in any event. Likewise, drinking windows are provided only as a guide, and based solely (unless otherwise indicated) on a single bottle and singular experience. Eric generally only scores wines in ranges, with the following as a guide:

100 Flawless: a wine without any flaws that can be articulated
95-99 Classic: a great wine that displays the best attributes of its varietal(s) and region
90-94 Outstanding: an outstanding wine displaying most of the best attributes of its varietal(s) and region
85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities
80-84 Good: drinkable and shows some positive characteristics
<80 Not recommended

Time Posted: Sep 21, 2013 at 12:00 AM Permalink to Saturday Lunch with 2001 La Forra and 1967 Cos d'Estournel Permalink
Lindsay Wicka
August 1, 2013 | Lindsay Wicka

Alois Lageder and his musical vineyards

As I’ve expressed before, my love of Italian food culture led me to my love of Italian wine. I was very fortunate while work for, in my opinion, one of the best NYC restaurant groups focusing around Italian food and wine. I was constantly learning, in pure bliss and in awe of everything new I tasted. I am always asked, “What is your favorite part of Italy?”. Without hesitation, my response has always been and is northeastern Italy. An area that I feel like I could spend the rest of my life learning about, and drinking wine from and still not get to the end of it’s offerings. 

One of the regions in this part of Italy is Alto-Adige, where the cool air of the Alps and the warmth of the sun near the Mediterranean create the ideal climate.  This region also possesses an enormous wealth of heterogeneous sites, soils, exposures and microclimates.

Here you’ll find Alois Lageder. A 5th generation wine making family holding true to their traditions, while also engaging the community of arts and music into what they stand for. A very unique aspect which you don’t normally see…and it show’s in their wines too. Ever hear the study about how playing music to plants had a significant positive effect on the plants growth and health?  Well I was told that Alois Lageder plays music in his vineyards…maybe that’s part of the reason why his wines are so awesome. But I conclude that it also has to do with their steadfast belief in Biodynamics.

“For the creation of extraordinary wines, one also needs something more than healthy, fully-ripened grapes from the best vineyard sites. There is also a need for the right philosophy and for true human commitment. One of our primary goals is to pay attention to the natural properties of our vineyards and to make the best possible use of them. Every location has its own particular merits and characteristics; for every variety of grape, there are particular conditions in which it prefers to grow. We see it as our task to create ideal synergies, supporting nature’s work, thereby taking on the role of “midwives” who facilitate the birth of wines of great elegance, clarity, body, strength, and authenticity.” –Alois Lageder

We are excited to share one of his wines with you! 2009 Tenutae Lageder Lagrein Merlot Beta Delta is an exciting blend of Lagrein, a grape native to the Trentino-Alto Adige region and Merlot. An absolutely lovely wine with a medium+ body, aromas of red/black berries paired with floral, minerals and black pepper. At only $15.99 a bottle, this is an absolute steal.  Pick up a bottle or two of this today, and experience Alto-Adige like you never have before

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2013 at 9:51 AM Permalink to Alois Lageder and his musical vineyards Permalink
Eric Genau
July 1, 2013 | Eric Genau

Following the 100th Tour de France with Wine

As we gear up for Independence Day, and the 100th Tour de France begins to roll, it is once again time to feature some of our favorite wines as we follow the greatest race on earth. Get excited for 2,200 miles over three weeks, and some of the greatest wine regions in and around France!

Cycling may be the most wine friendly sport in the world. Its three "Grand Tours" - the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and the Tour de France - roll through some of the world's greatest wine regions every year. If you are an avid cyclist who likes to eat, drink and climb (not at the same time), you can saddle up a racing level Pinarello Dogma with our partner InGamba, where my good friend and former pro cyclist, Joao Correia will introduce you to some of Tuscany's greatest food, wine and rides (Bicycling Magazine calls it the "Best ride on earth"). Trust me, riding with Joao and visiting the likes of Castello di Ama will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. For the mere mortals among us, there are nearly endless options for enjoying cycling and wine around the world.

Wine and cycling are two things most identified with France. One of the greatest wine-producing nations on earth, Le Tour is also perhaps the most demanding athletic competition in the world, and the scenery is breathtaking. This year, we have already seen incredible scenery as the Tour visited Corsica for the first time. And there are few things more visually stunning than seeing a Peloton of color gliding through miles of vineyard roads.

Keeping with tradition, we will be following the Tour closely with a series of tastings to explore some of France's great wine-producing regions. Beginning in Corsica and on the Mediterranean coast at Nice and Marseilles, this year's ride will also pass through Provence, the Rhone Valley, Savoie, Languedoc-Rousillon, the Loire Valley and other wine regions. On Bastille Day, it will just miss the southern tip of Burgundy - a stage that the French riders always "reach into their suitcase of courage" to win.

With over 300 recognized appellations in France, the Tour is also a great opportunity to open some of our most oddball wines from France so you can get in touch with your inner wine-geek. Please check our tasting calendar and join us for some or all of these tastings. It’s going to be a fun few weeks!

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2013 at 8:05 AM Permalink to Following the 100th Tour de France with Wine Permalink
Lindsay Wicka
June 27, 2013 | Lindsay Wicka

Grilling and BBQ'ing with Argentina

When I'm not working, a good majority of my time is spent in the kitchen. Then summer begins, and I can bring my love for cooking outside- to the grill! When I think of grilling I think of grilled meats, which automatically makes me think of what will I be drinking with such... Well Ladies and Gentleman, allow me to introduce you to Argentina!! The home of tango, beef, and the oh so delicious Malbec.

While you can find Malbec grown in many places around the world, it is in Argentina where it fully comes alive. But Malbec isn't the only grape you'll find; Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon are some others. Spain and Italy have definitely played a role in influencing the wine culture here.

Mendoza, located on the western border in central Argentina is the prime home of some of the best vineyards. Bordered by the Andes Mountains, you can find some of the highest elevated vineyards in the world- up to 5,000 ft. The altitudes of these vineyards play a significant role in the grapes maturation- helping to preserve acidity with the drastic temperature change from hot days to cool nights. 

What I truly love about some of the wines I've tasted from wineries around Mendoza is that even though they can be big wines, they can also have such elegance and grace about them. Exhibiting serious, and playful characteristics at the same time. The aromas catch your attention, and draw you in while the flavors roll like silk on your tongue.  Like the tango, they can be quite the seductors.  If spices, black fruits, minerals, damson plums, strawberries, toasted oak, vanilla, and caramel intrigue you- then spend a little time with Argentina and it's Malbec and Bonarda. 

Grilled meats and Argentinian wine have such an infinite love for each other.  So next time you're firing up the grill, or even bbq pit- don't forget to get your Argentinian wine. Wineries like Familia Mayol, Durigutti, Hermanos, and dozens more are producing awesome wines at excellent prices. 

Stop by City Wine, and try these delicious Argentinian wines today!

Los Nevados Malbec Mendoza 2011

Jelu Patagonia Pinot Noir 2010

Hermanos Malbec-Tannat Saltas 2011 

Bodegas Deumayen Malbec Reserve Trez 2008

Anoro Chardonnay Mendoza 2009

Time Posted: Jun 27, 2013 at 2:00 PM Permalink to Grilling and BBQ'ing with Argentina Permalink
Matt Cole
June 24, 2013 | Matt Cole

Awesome Pork Bolognese

with Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso di Montalcino 2010
Only $20.39/bottle through June 30th! 

-Serves 4-6
2 Pounds Ground Pork
3 Slices of Bacon or Pancetta - cubed
1 Large Onion fine diced
2 Carrots fine diced
3 Cloves Garlic – smashed and diced
1 Small Can Tomato Paste
1 Large Can Diced Tomatoes (29oz)
1 Large Can Tomato Puree (29oz)
2 Cups Dry Red Wine
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 ½  tsp Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese to Garnish

1. In a large heavy bottom saucepot, place the bacon in and turn to a medium high heat, and cook until fat is rendered.
2. Add the Onions and Carrots and cook until Onions are translucent.
3. Add the ground Pork and the Garlic, cook until the pork is cooked through and is beginning to brown.
4. Add the Red Wine, Crushed Tomatoes, Diced Tomatoes, and Tomato Paste.
5. Reduce heat to simmer
6. Add nutmeg and milk
7. Salt and pepper to taste
8. Simmer for at least 2 hours stirring occasionally
9. Adjust seasoning
10. Serve with your favorite pasta or gnocchi

It’s even better if simmered, cooled and refrigerated and warmed up the next day!

Take a peak at a few other great bottles of 2010 Rosso di Montalcino!
"2010 is the next great vintage for Montalcino...the best 2010s are fabulous wines that deserve serious attention."  -Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate


Time Posted: Jun 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM Permalink to Awesome Pork Bolognese Permalink Comments for Awesome Pork Bolognese Comments (1)
Eric Genau
April 4, 2013 | Eric Genau

Great Pairings at Ristorante Lombardo

I enjoyed a fantastic pairing diiner with a colleague last week at Buffalo's Ristorante Lombardo. Bravo to Tommy Lombardo, Jr. and his team for a great meal and great wine pairings. While Lombardo's remains one of Buffalo's classic Italian restaurants (over 35 years in business), Tommy is helping to transform the restaurant into an exciting vinoteca with one of the most exciting wine programs in town. He recently returned to Buffalo after spending time in New York City working around some of the hottest wine destinations in the city. He is clearly bringing a progressive approach with him, and I am excited to work with him and Lombardo's on wine events in the near future. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out their themed wine pairing dinners. On our visit, we were treated to a partial preview of an upcoming Sicily-themed dinner. Some of the highlights were Murgo Brut Rose pairied with Blue Point Oysters and Horseradish Marmalata (one of the best pairings I've had in a long time), and Venturini Baldini Lambrusco with Tagliatelle Bolognese. Look for some of these wines at City Wine Merchant soon!

Our menu for the evening:

Murgo Brut Rose, 2009
with Tuna Tagliatta, blood oranges, fennel, arugula
and Blue Point Oysters with horseradish marmalata.

'Zagra' Valle dell'Acate 2011
with Grilled Octopus, pickled fennel, smoky white beans

'Quadrio' Valtellina Superiore, Nino Negri, 2009
with Wood Roasted Figs, gorgonzola, prosciutto

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco NV
with Tagliatelle Bolognese

COS Pithos Rosso, 2011
with Veal Marsala

Vigna la Miccia Marsala, Marco de Bartoli, NV
with Biscotti

Time Posted: Apr 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM Permalink to Great Pairings at Ristorante Lombardo Permalink Comments for Great Pairings at Ristorante Lombardo Comments (1)
Matt Cole
January 17, 2013 | Matt Cole

Butter Basted Strip Steak

Paired with Chateau Sainte Colombe Cotes de Castillon 2006

One of my all time favorite ways to cook a steak! Best to be done in a cast iron pan.
Serves 4


2 - 16oz NY Strip Steaks
4 - Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 - Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
3 - Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper


1. Allow the steak to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel
2. Heat a cast iron pan on high to almost smoking
3. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper and place in the pan. 
4. Turn after about 4 minutes and cook on other side for an additional 4 minutes
5. Turn heat down to medium and add the sprigs of Thyme and Rosemarry
6. Add the butter to the pan
7. Slide the steaks to one side of the pan and tilt the pan so the butter pools on one side.
8. With a spoon baste the steaks with the frothy butter for about 1-2 minutes a side, making sure the butter comes in contact with the herbs and steak
9. Remove steaks and place on a cutting board and allow the steaks to rest for 5-7 minutes.
10. Slice in half inch slices and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Also, consider pairing this with Domaine Les Grands Bois Cote-Du-Rhone Cuvee Philippine 2010! Only $14.44 with our mix and match case discount!

Time Posted: Jan 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM Permalink to Butter Basted Strip Steak Permalink
Matt Cole
October 19, 2012 | Matt Cole

Pinot Noir and Simple Roasted Chicken

2009 and 2010 have been stellar years for California Pinot Noir and I have enjoyed these past two vintages more than any other Pinot I have ever tasted from the region.  We have been able to procure some pretty awesome wines from both vintages and with the arrival of cool autumn weather, the timing couldn't be better - Fall is the perfect season to spend time sitting around the table with friends and famly, enjoying robust red wines and hearty dinners. 

Last week, I opened a bottle of Arista Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2010, which I knew I wanted to pair with one of my favorite recipes.  Arista is committed to sustainable farming, and owns some of the top Pinot Noir vineyards in Sonoma. They work closely with local growers that share the same philosophy to create this Pinot Noir, which is blend of grapes from different vineyards within Sonoma. The wine is defined by its refreshing acidity and floral aromatics, making it an ideal candidate to pair with food. It has flavors of raspberry, wild cherry, and some baking spices,  a full mouth-feel and integrated tannins with aromas of light smoke and cocoa. Only 850 cases have been produced, and as this month's featured recipe pairing, we're offering 15% off!  This is a great wine at $28.04/bottle

I made one of my all-time favorite things to cook -- simple roasted chicken.  One of the best tricks I have discovered is that if you line the roasting pan with a blend of mushrooms and leeks.  It makes an easy and delicious sauce to accompany the chicken, and allows a red wine to pair a little nicer with the white meat. 


Whole Chicken Roaster (5-6lbs.)
Blend of Mushrooms (1lb.)
White of 1 Leek Cleaned and chopped
8 Sprigs of fresh Thyme


1. As always, pour yourself a glass of Pinot Noir
2. Pre-heat oven to 450ºF
3. Truss the chicken, by taking about 3’ of butchers twine and wrapping around the breast, keeping the wings tucked in, around the legs and tie
4. Season the breast liberally inside and out with salt and pepper
5. Rough chop mushrooms and scatter around the bottom of the roasting pan with the leeks and the thyme
6. Place the trussed bird atop the mushroom leek mixture
7. Place in oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF (about 90 minutes) and allow the bird to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
8. Discard the thyme sprigs and serve with the formed sauce.


Time Posted: Oct 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM Permalink to Pinot Noir and Simple Roasted Chicken Permalink Comments for Pinot Noir and Simple Roasted Chicken Comments (2)