Category Archives: Wines
With a busy October in the City By The Bay, we’ve decided to extend our days at our San Francisco Tasting Room in the lobby of the Westin St. Francis on Union Square. In addition to visiting during our normal Wednesday-Sunday 1:00-8:00pm hours, you can also visit us for a little Montelena fix on the following *Bonus* days (same hours apply):
- Monday Oct 8
- Tuesday Oct 9
- Monday Oct 15
- Tuesday Oct 16
- Monday Oct 29
Stop by on your way home from work and enjoy a tasting and a preview of our 2010 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Just the thought of ending the day with great wine makes Monday a little more bearable, right?
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!
“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.
Ok, now seems to be the time that EVERYBODY wants to come visit. And it’s not just fans or interested consumers or even tourists, but friends and family too. Inevitably, they all want to come on Saturday afternoon. Well, at the risk of repeating myself from last year’s blog…it’s worth repeating.
Pick any other day! Have you ever gone to a nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day for dinner? Brunch on Mother’s Day? Easter? Book a nice night out on the town for New Year’s Eve? Drive out for the weekend on Memorial Weekend? You know what I’m getting at. What all these have in common: everyone else is doing the exact same thing at the exact same time. You’ll be in major crowds, have pre-set menus, potentially lousy service (I used to work in hospitality food and beverage). I pleaded with all my friends and family, “Come to dinner on Feb 13th or 15th!” Take Mom out a week before Mother’s Day. The actual dates are just dates; make it more special by picking another time to celebrate.
Well, in Napa, everyone wants to come up on a Saturday in Fall. They usually start from SF/Bay Area, then hit the first winery they see in Napa and work their way up to Calistoga. We get insane traffic on Saturday afternoons. So I offer this suggestion which may make more sense: Drive all the way up to Calistoga, start your day there and then work your way south. Advantage? Traffic is lighter in the morning; you’ll get to Calistoga first and avoid any crowds here; and you’ll notice as you drive down south the stacks of cars on the highway heading north. And when you’re done, well, you are now that much closer to home. The other way around, you have a car full of happy but tired folks and you still have a solid 1 1/2+ hour drive back in a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic. They’ll be asleep by Oakville.
So if Saturday afternoon is the only day that works for you, we welcome you in with open arms. Just be prepared for a group hug….
For more information on our tasting and tour options, check out this page - you can even make a reservation to guarantee a more intimate experience.
But have been remiss in posting…I’d give you all the usual excuses, but you’ve heard them all….busy, busy, busy….
And I know I promised some Italy pics, but I still haven’t organized them. It’s coming, promise….
As for the Summer season at the Chateau, we’ve been experiencing good weather so far. My tomatoes plants are looking good, but I’m not seeing a lot of fruit yet because the moles and gophers are playing buffet on the garden.
More importantly, however, we might actually have a grape harvest that’s on time! All indications so far are going that way, but we’ve got a full month to go before we pick anything!
BTW, we’re offering Riesling in the Tasting Room coming up for a limited couple of weeks in our tasting lineup….be sure to come in and get some while you can, as that window will close by the 23rd of August.
“A delicious late summer evening entrée for the grill!”
You will need:
A flat-bottomed grill pan for the outdoor grill (or line the grill grates with foil to catch melting cheese)
Plastic wrap, for pounding the steaks.
- 4 each 8 oz. (approx.) rib eye steaks, pounded to ½ inch thick
- 4 tablespoons prepared pesto (see below)
- 6-8 cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
- 8-10 fresh spinach leaves, cleaned, stems removed
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Trim excess fat from the steaks. Place each steak between two sheets of plastic wrap; pound out to even ½ inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on one surface of each steak.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of blue cheese on top of pesto.
- Layer in a single layer: mushrooms, then spinach, then provolone cheese, tearing cheese to fit.
- Starting at the narrowest end of each steak, roll tightly; secure each roll with butcher’s twine. Further secure each roll by wrapping a length of twine around the long length of each roll.
- Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat, to approximately 325 degrees.
- Place the steak rolls in center of grill (not over direct heat source). Cook for 8-10 minute, turn once and cook for 6-8 minutes (medium rare).
- Rest rolls off heat, covered with foil, for 7-8 minutes. Slice each roll to desired thickness.
Delicious when paired with Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon!
-CellarMaster member Robert Hopkins and Cynthia Ancona
After two weeks in Italy. It was a wonderful trip, but I’m happy to be home. The one thing about traveling overseas, as great a vacation as it may be, it certainly makes you appreciate home (easier said when you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world!). Anyways, as I continue to recover from jet lag, and get right back into the groove, you can expect a few posts on my Italy excursion along with pictures. In the mean time, maybe I’ll see some of you next week at a Chateau Montelena Wine Dinner that I’m hosting at Ruth’s Chris in Irvine…. Curious about other upcoming wine dinners? Be sure to check out our Events Page to find out when we’ll be hosting an event near you.
More to come….