Category Archives: Food
Two weekends ago, we hosted this event, which was a day and a half affair. It started with a welcome reception at Judy Barrett’s home. She is one of the owners of Chateau Montelena Winery. We were truly appreciative to have this opportunity and our UltraMont members were over the moon. Judy was a very gracious hostess and was seen often helping out in the kitchen.
Our event continued with an educational component where our members learned what types of wood are used to make a barrel, how to make one as well as how the different woods can affect the taste of the wine. The day portion ended with a lunch and then our members had ample time to relax and enjoy the Valley on their own.
The event culminated with our first ever formal dinner. The Harvest Moon Dinner Dance was offered in a tented space at the winery. All of the members, including the staff, dressed for the occasion. We even had our own paparazzi and red carpet. Fantastic food from one of our own CellarMaster members, Tony Spleen. And rockin’ music from the band, The Special Guests. A good time was had by all!!!
We look forward to seeing our UltraMont members again next year. Who knows…this might be a tradition!
If you’re like me, summer means time reading by the pool, crisp & cool white wines, and a bounty of summer veggies gifted from friends and neighbors… and by a bounty, I mean a BOUNTY. I never get tired of carting in armloads of squash and tomatoes, but recently I noticed the the stack of veggies was starting to take over the kitchen counter. My friend Christina had the perfect solution:
- Pre-baked & beautiful! I love Christina’s heart-shaped le creuset
She found a recipe by one of my favorite food bloggers, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen for Ratatouille’s Ratatouille and this recipe gets 5 stars from me.
- There is no such thing as too much thyme
I’m planning on re-creating this for our upcoming Montelena BBQ, I’m envisioning that this is going to pair perfectly with our 2006 Montelena Estate Zinfandel that has been tasting so nicely in our CellarMaster Tastings lately.
A big thank you to all of our Wine Club members who joined us for our Traveling CellarMaster Tasting in San Diego!
We were expecting the warm So-Cal sunshine that San Diego is famous for, but the warm welcome from our Wine Club members was more than enough to make us feel at home. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson with The Lodge at Torrey Pines did a fantastic job creating recipes that perfectly paired with our Chateau Montelena wines. I’m never going to forget the Chicken Pâté in a Donut with Apricot, which he paired with our 2009 LateHarvest Sauvignon Blanc.
For those of you looking for inspiration at home:
Chateau Montelena CellarMaster Wine Club Member Tasting Event Menu
Chateau Montelena, 2012 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc: English Pea Purée, Dungeness Crab and French Breakfast Radish
Chateau Montelena 2010 John Muir Hannah Chardonnay: Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp with Peach Purée
Chateau Montelena, 2010 Estate Zinfandel: Potted Shortribs with Onion Marmalade
Chateau Montelena, 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Roasted Lamb Rack, Herb Bread Crumbs
Chateau Montelena, 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Preserved Duck Tostada Mole
Chateau Montelena, 2009 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc: Chicken Liver Pâté in a Donut with Apricot
We’ve recently begun hosting our Traveling CellarMaster Tastings throughout the year and across the country, exclusive for our Chateau Montelena CellarMaster Wine Club Members; yet another perk of membership.
Next stop, New York!
Perfect Pairing with Chateau Montelena’s 2010 Napa Valley Chardonnay!
What could be simpler than these fresh bruschetta? The creamy texture, delicate thyme, perfume of citrus and sweet honey are a match made in heaven for our Chateau Montelena 2010 Chardonnay!
- 1 traditional French baguette; thinly sliced
- 8 ounces whole milk fresh ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 8-10 springs fresh thyme
- Additional lemon zest, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
De-stem the fresh thyme leaves and bruise with the back of a soup spoon.
Mix together ricotta, half of the fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Brush baguette slices with olive oil on one side, reserve remaining olive oil. Toast baguette slices in the oven for 5-7 minutes until slightly browned and warm.
Spread toasts liberally with seasoned ricotta. Drizzle with remaining olive oil; repeat drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with reserved thyme leaves. Arrange on serving platter; zest lightly with addition lemon if desired, for garnish. Serve warm.
So Delicious with Chateau Montelena Riesling!
Our Potter Valley Riesling compliments the spicy and delicate flavors of this warming curry. Try substituting butternut squash for the carrots to make this a truly fall dinner.
- 2 chicken breasts, oven roasted on the bone and shredded
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 T. butter
- 4 Tbsp lemon curry powder (or medium madras style)
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns
- 14 oz. lite coconut milk
- 1 Qt home made chicken stock
- 1 ½ c. jasmine rice 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 serrano chili peppers, seeded, de-veined, minced
- 2-3 medium carrots, julienne cut
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 8 green onions, medium dice
- 1/3 cup each finely chopped mint and cilantro
- Juice of one small lime
- 1 med. Heirloom tomato large dice, for garnish
Roast chickens ahead and debone when cool: shred breast meat into bite sized pieces. Heat butter and flour in a large saucepan on medium- high heat; cook roux until blonde. Add curry powder and combine quickly. Heat coconut milk and whisk immediately into roux; reduce heat to medium. As white sauce thickens, gradually add chicken stock and simmer 5 minutes. In a separate small saucepan, prepare basmati rice and cook per instructions. Add the carrots ginger, garlic, and chili pepper to curry sauce and simmer until carrots are al dente, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken, lemon zest, green onions and peas; reduce heat to medium low and stir occasionally until heated through.*
***Just before serving, add the coriander seeds, cilantro and mint. Adjust seasonings and stir in lime juice. Serve with basmati rice scooped into center; garnish with tomato and more cilantro as desired. Serves 6 as a main course.
Do-ahead tip: Prepare curry ahead to *, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat and continue with **.
A Perfect Pairing with Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!
This caponata is an interesting appetizer or side dish when you plan to uncork our smooth, intense Napa Valley Cabernet. The pine nuts, tomatoes and balsamic come into harmony with the dense, nutty and slightly bitter cocoa nibs to perfectly compliment the cabernet/merlot marriage, always a lovely wine to open with dinner. Cocoa nibs are available in most gourmet grocery markets packaged in small pieces. The flavor is slightly nutty with chocolate notes and a hint of bitterness. We think it is a brilliant bridge to deep concentrated red wine aromas and flavors. Our recipe was inspired by Zazu Restaurant in Santa Rosa, California.
- 3 medium, firm eggplant, unpeeled, 1 inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 ½ lbs. garden tomatoes, peeled and diced ( substitute 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes, drained)
- 1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped small
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1/4 cup raisins, soaked for 1 hours in ¼ cup cabernet wine
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
- ½ c. finely chopped Italian parsley
- olive oil, for sautéing
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Slice the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and place in a single layer between paper towels, weighted with a large skillet, to press excess moisture: about 30 minutes.
In a large sauté pan on medium high heat, sauté the eggplant in single layer batches in 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil until golden and soft, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomatoes and chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted. In a mixing bowl, combine eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, balsamic, celery, raisins, pine nuts, capers, cocoa nibs, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill the caponata for one hour before serving or spoon into a glass jar and keep for later, up to 3 days.
Delicious with crusty French bread, as a side, or spooned onto toasted baguette slices…all with a glass of Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet.
It’s fall…and time to cook for Cabernet!
Nothing says fall better than warm and earthy roast pork loin. This delicious dish is actually easy to prepare, especially if you have the butcher butterfly the pork loin for you. (The instructions are included here as well.) Enjoy this delicious fall dish with Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 3/4 cup red wine, preferably Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2-1/2 cups French bread cubes (day old is preferred)
- 3 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 boneless whole pork loin roast (about 3 pounds)
- Reserved wine from cherries
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 sprigs thyme or rosemary
- 3 Tablespoons butter
In a small saucepan, bring cherries and red wine to a simmer. Remove from the heat; set aside (do not drain).
In a large skillet, sauté the onion, celery, parsley, apples, and sage in butter until tender. Remove from the heat. Strain the cherries, reserving the wine for sauce. Stir in the bread cubes, broth, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, pistachios and drained cherries. Let stand until liquid is absorbed. Season with salt to taste.
Pre-heat oven to 400°. Lay the roast fat side up on a clean cutting board. Trim the fat cap and discard.
TO BUTTERFLY THE ROAST:
Slice into the roast crosswise, parallel to the counter, about 1 inch from the bottom, slicing to within ¾ inch of opposite side.
Open roast so it lies flat; repeat slice crosswise, parallel to counter, about 1 inch in thickness; open this flap.
Cover with plastic wrap; flatten to 3/4-in. thickness. Remove plastic; spread stuffing over meat to within 1 in. of edges.
Close roast; tie several times with kitchen string or use silicone bands. Place fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with remaining pepper and salt.
Bake roast, uncovered, at 400° for 10 minute; reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let meat stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
FOR THE CABERNET REDUCTION:
Meanwhile, place roasting pan on over medium heat; add reserved wine to roasting pan and stir to loosen browned bits. Pour into a small saucepan. Add chicken stock; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook until reduced by half. Whisk in butter and remove from heat. To serve, slice roast, place two slices on plate and drizzle with reduction, or serve sauce separately.
Yield: 8-10 servings.
Our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc has a great acidity that stands up to bright citrusy notes in any dish. Fresh lime, aromatic cilantro, and firmly textured fish compliment the bright palate and crisp finish of this delicious wine! Serve both well-chilled for a perfect beginning to a dinner repast, or let them shine together as the star of a light lunch!
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound fresh firm white fish, such as sea bass fillet or tilapia fillet, cubed in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 fresh medium vine ripened tomatoes, cubed, seeded and drained
- 2 avocados – peeled, pitted, and cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Lettuce leaves, for garnish
In a medium non-reactive bowl combine the lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice and olive oil. Add the fish and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. The flesh of the fish should be white and opaque.
Add the cilantro, onion, celery, tomato, and avocado. Season to taste with salt and pepper, To serve, spoon onto lettuce leaves and garnish.
Grab a bottle of our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc – available only through the winery – and enjoy alongside this dish. Cheers!
“Simply, a most delicious and elegant first course that sets the stage for a wonderful evening…easy!”
You will need:
- A special oblong individual dish for each serving is dramatic and beautifully sets the salad
- A heavy bottomed, 12 inch saucepan
- 4 small lobster tails (one lobster tail per person)
- 4 Tablespoons salted European or Irish butter
- 1 tablespoon pure Madagascar Bourbon/Tahitian Vanilla Extract ‘Crush’
- 1 small container of American Golden Caviar or Salmon Roe
- Cilantro leaves, for garnish
- 1 container of microgreens, availailable at most gourmet grocery stores
- Balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Extra Virgin olive oil, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Split each lobster tail lengthwise down the middle and leave the shell on each piece.
- Set the saucepan on medium heat; melt 3 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add the vanilla to melted butter and stir.
- Place the lobster tails, meat side down, in the melted butter and cook, spooning butter over the tails, until meat begins to turn opaque. Before completely cooked, remove from direct heat.
- Place lobster tails in a glass holding dish, meat side up. As soon as they can be handled, remove tails from the shell. (Shells can be discarded, or stored frozen for making stock, if desired.)
- Return the pan to medium heat and add the last tablespoon of butter, stirring to melt.
- Add the tails back to the butter and vanilla and allow tails to finish cooking, approximately 30 seconds. Serve immediately.
Lightly toss the micro greens with a splash or two of balsamic vinegar and approximately 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, or to taste. Place ¼ cup on one end of the plate; place two pieces of lobster tail meat on the other end. Salt and pepper to taste. Place ½ teaspoon of caviar on top of each tail and garnish with cilantro leaves.
Submitted by Chateau Montelena CellarMaster Jack Douglas
“A fabulous and simple, yummy dessert…use your favorite pie filling!”
Prep Time: 40-45 minutes
You will need:
A glass or ceramic deep dish pie plate, or square baking pan, buttered on bottom and sides.
Flowers, or other decorative element, to dress up the top.
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup dark baker’s cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 15 oz. can blueberry pie filling (or other, to your liking)
- Whipping cream, if desired
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved.
- Gently stir in pie filling.
- Spread mixture evenly on bottom of buttered pan.
- Stir together flour, sugar, dark cocoa, baking soda and salt in a separate large bowl.
- Add shortening and mix together; then add one cup water, vinegar and vanilla.
- Beat with spoon until batter is smooth and well blended.
- Spoon batter over pie filling.
- Bake in center of oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes; carefully invert onto serving plate. Garnish as desired. Serve warm with whipped cream.