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Matt Cole
August 9, 2013 | Matt Cole

White Sangria with Vinho Verde

with Caves Vidigal Vinho Verde 2012


$9.99/bottle with 15% off through the month of August!

-Makes 2 Quarts

White Sangria

• 2 Bottles Vinho Verde
• 1 Cup Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
• 2 Cups Sparkling Water
• 2 ripe Peaches diced
• 1 Granny Smith Apple – diced
• 1 Cup diced Apricots
• 1 Cup diced White Plums
• ½ Cup Cointreau (optional)
• 1 Bunch of Fresh Mint


1. Combine all of the ingredients, minus the Mint, in a large pitcher or a punch bowl.
2. Place in the fridge, and allow the wine and fruit to marinate for at least 3-4 hours.
3. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh Mint.
4. Enjoy!

Time Posted: Aug 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM Permalink to White Sangria with Vinho Verde Permalink
Matt Cole
July 2, 2013 | Matt Cole

Crab Cakes With a Lemon Remoulade

with Font Mars Picpoul De Pinet 2012

Only $10.19/bottle through the entire month of July!

-Serves 4-

Crab Cakes
1 Pound Lump Crab – picked clean
½ Cup Mayonnaise
20 Ritz Crackers – Pulsed in a food Processor
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ Tsp Hot Sauce (Optional)
1 Large Egg Beaten
Flour for Dusting
Olive Oil for Sautéing
Lemon Slices

Remoulade Sauce
1 Cup Mayonnaise
Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Minced Chives
Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
Juice of 1 Lemon
Cracked Pepper
1 Tsp Paprika


Remoulade: combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Stir together and chill

Crab Cakes:
1. In a bowl, combine the Mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, Mayonnaise, Hot Sauce, and Egg
2. Add the Lump Crab Meat
3. Add the crushed Ritz Crackers and slowly combine all ingredients, careful not to shred the crab meat.
4. Portion out your crab cakes into your desired size
5. Place the flour in a shallow baking pan, and add the crab cakes to the flour to lightly dust
6. In a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan sauté the crab cakes over medium heat in olive oil until golden brown 2-3 minutes on each side.
7. Serve immediately with the remoulade sauce, and garnish with lemons.
8. Enjoy!

Time Posted: Jul 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM Permalink to Crab Cakes With a Lemon Remoulade Permalink Comments for Crab Cakes With a Lemon Remoulade Comments (1)
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)
Matt Cole
May 6, 2013 | Matt Cole

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Apples

paired with Chateau Cantelaudette Graves de Vayeres 2011

Only $12.74/bottle through the entire month of May!

Its (finally!) time to fire up the grill! This easy recipe is a crowd-pleaser & especially tasty with this awesome white Bordeaux!

-Serves 4-

Four – 1” Thick bone in Pork Chops 
1 Sprig of Rosemary
Juice of 1 Lemon
¼ cup of Olive Oil

3-4 Granny Smith Apples - halved, pealed, and cored


1. Pull the leaves off of the rosemary sprig
2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary with salt and pepper
3. Place the chops in a shallow baking dish and cover with the marinade. Marinade for at least an hour.
4. Preheat your grill on high
5. Place the pork chops on the grill, flip every 3-4 minutes 4 times for a 12-16 minute cooking time depending on the chop thickness for a medium doneness
6. At the same time drizzle the apples with a little extra virgin olive oil, and place flat side down on the grill
7. Cook until softened
8. Remove the pork and place on a platter, and allow the chops to rest for 10 minutes.
9. Remove the apples and slice the cooked apples and place atop the pork chops. 
10. Enjoy!

Time Posted: May 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM Permalink to Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Apples Permalink
Matt Cole
March 7, 2013 | Matt Cole

Lemon Cilantro Tarragon Salad

paired with Domaine de Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc 2011

Only $15.29/bottle through the entire month of March! 


-Serves 4-

4 Sprigs of fresh Tarragon
5 Sprigs of fresh Cilantro
1 Shallot
½ Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Heads of Boston Bibb Lettuce
1 Cucumber


  • The easiest way to make this dressing is to use a mason jar.
  • I also like to leave the lettuce leaves as whole as possible to cup this delicate and delicious dressing.

1. Peal and slice the cucumber and wash and dry the lettuce. Place in a bowl.
2. Mince the shallot and tarragon
3. Add the juice of the lemon and the vinegar
4. Add the mustard and honey
5. Season with salt and pepper
6. Add the olive oil
7. Shake the jar until the ingredients emulsify
8. Pick the leaves off of the cilantro and add to the lettuce.
9. Add the dressing to the lettuce and herbs. 
10. Toss and enjoy!

Time Posted: Mar 7, 2013 at 4:58 AM Permalink to Lemon Cilantro Tarragon Salad Permalink
Matt Cole
February 4, 2013 | Matt Cole

Chestnut and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

paired with Hardin Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010


-Serves 4-

1 Whole De-boned chicken, wing tips removed
1 Stalk of Celery diced
2 Minced Shallots
8oz. of Chopped Mushrooms
3 Strips of thick Bacon cut into lardons
11/2 Cups Chopped and Pealed Chestnuts
Butchers twine


1. You can either de-bone the chicken yourself or have your butcher prepare it for you. 
2. Preheat your oven to 425°F
3. Add the bacon lardons to a cold pan and turn to a med/high heat and render out the fat
4. Remove lardons from pan
5. Add the shallots and celery, and cook until translucent
6. Add the chopped mushrooms, and sauté until softened
7. Add the chestnuts, and toss with the ingredients
8. Allow the stuffing to cool to room temperature
9. Place the deboned chicken skin side down
10. Pool the stuffing in the center of the cavity
11. Fold the skin over tucking in all the flaps
12. Tie with butchers across the length of the roast and then every inch widthwise down.
13. Place in a shallow pan and season well with salt and pepper
14. Roast in the oven until internal temperature reaches 165oF, it will continue to cook outside the oven
15. Allow to rest.  Remove the lengthwise string and slice at the remaining ties
16. You can deglaze the pan with some white wine for an instant sauce
17. Enjoy!

Time Posted: Feb 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM Permalink to Chestnut and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Permalink
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)
Matt Cole
June 21, 2012 | Matt Cole

Simple Couscous with Chablis

There is nothing quite as refreshing as a cool glass of white wine on the patio in the summertime.  Burgundy is my personal favorite region for white wines, and one of my favorite regions within is Chablis.

One of the most legendary producers of chardonnay in Chablis is Domaine Christian Moreau.  The Moreau Family can trace back their domain's lineage for six generations to its founding in 1814.  The domain is located in the very heart of Chablis country, on the left bank of the Serein River. They scrupulously harvest and sort this wine by hand and ferment in all stainless on lees for 10 months. There is a great texture to this crisp, clean wine.  Aromas of apple and white flower emerge, with flavors of lemon and crushed stone. 

Christian Moreau Chablis 2011 is a perfect pairing for summery fair, such as the grilled vegetable couscous recipe below.  I use this as a side dish for grilled fish or as light lunch in the warm weather.  It is great hot, cold, or at room temperature.   

Grilled Vegetable Couscous with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
paired with 
Christian Moreau Chablis 2011

1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
3 Small Zucchini
3 Portabella Caps
1 Large Spanish Onions
1 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes
1 ½ Cups Mediterranean Couscous

1 Shallot
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
½ ounce Minced Fresh Tarragon
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Sugar
2 Tsp. Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Make the dressing: Mince the shallots and the tarragon.  Zest and juice the lemon into a bowl and add: mustard, shallots, tarragon, sugar, salt and pepper, and whisk in the oil.

2. Slice the zucchini lengthwise, slice the onions into large rings, remove gills from the portabella mushrooms, and cut the bell pepper in half and de-seed.  Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place on hot grill, turning until onions and mushrooms are caramelized and the zucchini and peppers are al dente. 

3. Move vegetables from the grill onto a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.

4. Place the couscous in a heat proof mixing bowl, bring 2¼ cups of water to boil and pour over the couscous. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for five minutes.  Fluff with fork. 

5. Add the vegetables and the dressing and toss together.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Time Posted: Jun 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM Permalink to Simple Couscous with Chablis Permalink
Matt Cole
April 12, 2012 | Matt Cole

Braised Chicken Thighs with Toscana Rosso

We love Tuscany, and the regions's signature Sangiovese is one of the most food-friendly grapes out there. Whether a wine is 100% Sangiovese or blended with another variety such as Merlot, great food pairing options are abundant. With hundreds of Tuscan producers and wines to choose from, Rosso di Montalcino is a good place to start to find something reliable and budget friendly. These wines are great options while waiting for Montalcino's flagship and age-worthy wines, Brunello di Montalcino, to be realized and ready to drink.  Uccelliera is one of the most notable Montalcino producers, making some of the most age worthy and collectable wines in the region. It is located in the south of the Castelnuovo dell’Abate part of Montalcino, and all of their vineyard work is done by hand.

The limited Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino 2009 has the same flavor profile and structure as its older sibling, but it is simpler, fresh, and more immediately approachable. Medium red in color, this wine offers dark fruit aromas of black cherries and cassis intermingled with some smoke and tobacco, with a balanced finish and interlaced tannins. It's a great example of the style of wine coming from Southern Montalcino, and it complements meats especially, from salumi to steak to burgers.

Another great choice is Fattoria Rodano's Toscana Poggialupi 2010, a delicious blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, from Castellina in the heart of the Chianti Classico district. It's an outstanding value at only $11.89 with our feature discount.  

For a great pairing with either wine (or both!), I have made Braised Chicken Thighs with a Rich Mushroom Roasting Sauce.  It is delicious, simple, and uses only one pan.


  • 4lbs bone-in Chicken Thighs
  • 1lb sliced Mushrooms (i.e. Button, Crimini, Shiitake)
  • 3 Minced Shallots
  • 3 Cloves Smashed Garlic
  • Half Bottle of Marsala or Perez Barquero Gran Barquero Fino Sherry (only $11.99 and tastes great)
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary


  • First pour yourself a glass of wine!
  • Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
  • Pat dry chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sear skin side down in an oven proof skillet until golden and crispy. Remove from pan.
  • Use the rendered fat to sauté mushroom until browned; if not enough fat add olive oil.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and sauté together until the shallots are clear.
  • Add thyme sprigs and wine.
  • Place the chicken back in the pan skin side up and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
  • Enjoy! 
Time Posted: Apr 12, 2012 at 9:15 AM Permalink to Braised Chicken Thighs with Toscana Rosso Permalink Comments for Braised Chicken Thighs with Toscana Rosso Comments (2)