Category Archives: Winery News
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!
Wondering how Harvest 2012 is shaping up at Chateau Montelena? Vineyard Manager, Dave Vella, shares his thoughts on the vintage weather and how it will affect our wines. Learn more about what you can expect from Vintage 2012:
Have you ever wanted to sample our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon before it’s bottled? Well, now you can. For the month of October (or while supplies last), we’ll be offering a complimentary barrel sample of our 2010 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon when you purchase a tasting of our current wines. This offer is available exclusively at our San Francisco location in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis on Union Square – in the Landmark Lobby across from the Grand Staircase. This will be the only opportunity to sample this wine before it’s cellared and released in 2014.
As our CellarMaster Futures members can attest, this is a wine that rewards you after a few (or 25-30) years in the cellar. By purchasing it before it’s released, you’re guaranteed to be able to fill your cellar with a few bottles of this incredible wine and you’ll also enjoy the most advantageous pricing available. So, if you stop by our San Francisco Tasting Room and you like what you taste, be sure to ask us about our Futures program.
Happy Wine Tasting!
No downs; just ups over here at the winery. Harvest is around the corner, and for the first time in 3 years, we might actually have what most would call a “normal” one! We enjoyed a nice summer with no major spikes one way or the other. We have a cellar crew that isn’t stressed, and we’ll soon have more great wines to continue selling and drinking! How good can this week be?! Well, we can top it off with a 49er/A’s/Giants victory and it’s all sweet!
Enjoy the rest of your week!
“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.
“Absolutely delicious cool summer appetizer…the salad is a refreshing compliment to the rich fresh crab!”
You will need:
a muffin pan
a large flat bottomed skillet
Prep Time: 60 minutes, including 30 minutes for crab cakes to refrigerate and set.
For the Crab Cakes:
- 8 oz. high quality crabmeat; preferably fresh
- 1 tablespoon Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil, for frying
In a non-reactive bowl, combine crab, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Place the beaten egg and panko bread crumbs in two separate bowls. Use plastic wrap to line muffin tin. Using two large spoons, mold approximately 1/3 cup and dip into egg mixture, then panko crumps. Place each crabcake into the lined muffin tin and gently press flat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to set. While crab cakes are chilling, make the fennel salad and the aioli.
To cook crab cakes, heat one inch of vegetable oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add crab cakes gently and sauté until golden brown; gently flip and repeat; set aside on paper towels.
For the Lime Aioli:
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 medium clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor add lime zest, lime juice, garlic, egg and egg yolk and turn on food processor to combine. Next, while food processor is running, very slowly add in the two oils. Finally, add in salt to taste. Transfer to container and place in refrigerator to help firm it even further.
For the fennel grapefruit salad:
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 pink grapefruit
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
On mandolin, slice fennel paper thin. Chop a small amount of fronds and set aside for garnish. Supreme and segment grapefruit and cut sections into thirds. Toss fennel with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in grapefruit.
To plate: place a small mound of fennel grapefruit salad on one side of the plate. Then smear 1 tablespoon or lime aioli an inch or two away from the salad on the larger side of the plate. Place the crab cake leaning on the salad between the lime aioli smear. Garnish with fennel frond and serve with a Montelena Sauvignon Blanc.
Submitted by Chateau Montelena CellarMaster Amy Weinberg
If you have ever been here, you know it’s a pretty cool place to visit. If you have never been here, perhaps you have read that it’s a pretty cool place to visit. Lots of people share their experiences coming here in the social media sphere. Oh yes, there are the wines. But for visitors there are the added impressions that seem to linger for years: the memory of first setting eyes on the awesome stone Chateau; or wandering the long hallway that connects the tasting room with the Estate Room; or strolling the crooked walkways over the placid waters of Jade Lake; or catching a glimpse of the world famous Estate Vineyard through the willows of a Chinese Garden while waterfowl honk for your attention. Well, we took a leap into new technology to add a feature to our web site, something we’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s a Virtual Tour of Chateau Montelena. We’re still working out some technical bugs, but it’s up and running for your viewing…er, visiting…pleasure. Just go to our home page and look for the “kicker” link in the lower left corner (there’s also a link in the upper sub-navigation line) to get it started. A 1-minute video will welcome you. Go to the “Help” tab to find out how to navigate the content-rich suite of locations and videos and 360s and…well, there’s too much to really explain in this space. Other than we are excited about it. It’s almost as good as being here. We hope you like it. Let us know.