Your friends will think you bought it at a restaurant, but secretly you’ll know it only took two steps to make.
1. Grab some fresh Roma tomatoes, a white onion (cut into large pieces), and a couple jalapenos (more than a couple if you’re brave). Place everything onto a baking sheet with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and broil until it starts to char. You’ll need to keep your eye on it and rotate once or twice.
2. Remove from oven and let ingredients cool slightly. Throw into a blender with some fresh cilantro, red onion and more salt and pepper to taste, making sure to include all the juices that have cooked out. Blend, and that’s it.
WINE PAIRING: Serve with a fruit forward white. Tropical flavors will really compliment the smoky spiciness of the salsa. Try an aromatic white like Colomé Torrontés, which comes from the Hess Collection’s sister winery in Salta, Argentina.
We’re all about fresh herbs on everything this time of year and you can really enhance their flavors by finding the right wine to pair with what herbs you’re using. In general fresh herbs are better with white wines because their bright, fresh flavors compliment each other, while herbs you cook with (oregano, rosemary, etc.) are generally better with red wines. You can toss fresh herbs into most summer dishes: salads (TIP: tarragon with fresh orange wedges is one of my favorite flavor combos right now), use them in cool pasta salads or sprinkle over a flat bread pizza with fresh mozzarella and Roma tomatoes. Below is Chef Chad’s advice on pairing fresh herbs with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
HESS SELECT SAUVIGNON BLANC
HERBS: basil, cilantro, lemon grass
BRIDGE INGREDIENTS: citrus (lemon, lime), tropical fruit (pineapple, mango), strawberries, fennel (raw), tomatoes (fresh, sun dried)
HESS SELECT MONTEREY CHARDONNAY
HERBS: basil, tarragon, thyme
BRIDGE INGREDIENTS: apples, avocados, bacon, citrus (orange, lemon, limes), Dijon mustard
TIP: Make your own herb garden no matter what size outdoor space you’re working with. If you have access to them, old wine barrels (sawed in half) work great as planters (below). For small spaces like patios and balconies, spray paint terracotta pots with chalkboard paint, then label your herbs with sidewalk chalk (shown above).
Making your own BBQ glaze from scratch is simple and most likely the ingredients are already in your pantry. This one can be used for grilled prawns/shrimp, grilled fish, pork chops, chicken or even ribs. It’s light, tangy, smoky and sweet so it gets all your taste buds moving.
WINE PAIRING: Artezin Zinfandel, Mendocino
Our favorite wine with BBQ, the smokiness of the sauce will complement the spice in the Zin.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. toasted cumin seeds, ground
1 tbsp. chipotle chile powder
2 cups honey
2 cups lime juice
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, let cook until aromatic.
2. Add the cumin and chipotle, sauté 10 seconds, then add lime, honey and vinegar.
Bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes on low heat, stirring to make sure it does not burn. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. Add glaze sauce to meat 5-10 minutes before it’s done. For longer cook times (steaks, pork chops ribs) continue to brush with the glaze while grilling.
This is one for all of you who live by the “everything is better wrapped in bacon” philosophy. A great way to spice up your grilled corn on the cob, and it pairs so well with Chardonnay, it’s crazy.
Peel down the husks, but leave them on. Remove the silks. Wrap each ear with a piece of bacon, one strip per cob should do it. Fold the husks back over the bacon wrapped corn and secure with a small piece of aluminum foil (see photo).
Grill at medium heat for about 20 minutes, rotating as you go. Husks should have a nice even char to them when done.
The bacon won’t get crispy because it’s protected by the husks, but it does infuse that delicious smoky bacon flavor into the corn, you won’t even need to add butter. For a vegetarian option try lightly seasoning corn with smoked paprika and finish with butter and sea salt.
Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay or Hess Select Monterey Chardonnay
Grilled asparagus, orange, watercress and endive with citrus vinaigrette
This Springtime recipe comes from our Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson. Chef Chad’s food is stellar and if I could make one recommendation it would be to double the citrus vinaigrette recipe, stick half in the fridge to drizzle on salads or grilled veggies throughout the week. It’s DE-LISH.
1 cup orange juice, reduced by ¾
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp shallots, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
to taste salt and pepper
2 each red Belgian endive, separated into leaves, cut in ½“ wide pieces on the bias
2 bunch watercress, large stems removed
4 each icicle radishes, sliced thin
6 each Cara Cara oranges (or best in season), segmented
1½ lb asparagus, trimmed, grilled (30 pieces)
to taste salt and pepper
1. For the vinaigrette: combine the juices, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.
2. Combine the endive, watercress, radishes and oranges in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinaigrette and gently toss.
3. Place 5 pieces of asparagus in a row in the center of the plate. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with vinaigrette. Place a small mound of salad on top.
WINE PAIRING: Serve with a crisp white like Hess Select Sauvignon Blanc. The tropical and citrus aromas of the Sauvignon Blanc will compliment the Cara Cara oranges used in this recipe.
[ yield: 6 servings ]
Fresh Spring veggies in our kitchen this morning
Hooray for farmers markets in the Spring! What to look for:
French Breakfast Radish
Blue Lake beans (Quick Side Recipe)
Citrus: Meyer lemons, blood oranges, tangerines
TIP: After shelling your fresh English peas, blanch them (boil water, add peas for 2-3 minutes, remove and immediately place in an ice bath). You can keep the cooked peas in a container in the fridge to throw into salads, pasta dishes or to just snack on for the week. This also works well with fresh fava beans which will come into season in late Spring and through the summer.
March 29th, 2012 by Katie in In the Kitchen
St Pat: Cowgirl Creamery's Seasonal Springtime Cheese
St. Patty’s Day may be over, but we’re still indulging in the delicious St. Pat from Cowgirl Creamery, yummm! With the stinging nettle and creamy texture it’s one of our favorites. The nettle adds an earthiness and vegetal character along with the rich creaminess of the paste it’s paired perfectly with Hess Allomi Sauvignon Blanc’s crisp acidity. Check it out Cowgirl Creamery.
October 20th, 2010 by dshabelman in Uncategorized
By Ashley Apodaca, Wine Club/Event Coordinator
People tend to think it’s just awful to have to work at a winery. But it’s really not. Why, just the other day I was treated to a wine and cheese pairing up at our Visitors Center. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.
Below I’ve listed a few of my suggestion of our Hess family wines paired with specific cheeses. All of the wines listed below can be found in most grocery stores. Or better yet, the next time you’re in Napa come up to the winery. Our Tour, Wine and Cheese pairing featuring a tour, four current release wines and four cheeses is $30. We also offer a Wine & Cheese Tasting in our beautiful gardens. Cost is $9 for the three Mount Veeder wine sampler and $14 for the 6 oz. cheese plate with crackers, dried fruits and nuts. Reservations are necessary. Enjoy!!
A nice bottle of Hess and a plate of cheese, what could be better?
Carmody is Jersey Cow’s Milk with buttery flavors of pasteurized Jersey Cows Milk, vegetable Rennet, cultures and salt. Carmody is created by Bellwether Farms in Sonoma California. The wine that paired outstanding with Carmody is our Hess Collection Mount Veeder Chardonnay. Hess Collection Mount Veeder Chardonnay “Aromas of honeysuckle, white peach and jasmine, yield to vibrant tropical fruit flavors, which are balanced by crisp mineral notes. Medium bodied, this wine is fruit focused, with a nice acidity and good mouth feel.”-David Guffy, Hess Collection Winemaker
Truffle Tremor is ripened Goat’s Milk Cheese, pasteurized cultured goat milk, salt and truffle. Truffle Tremor is created by Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, California. The wine that paired outstanding with Truffle Tremor is Sequana Sarmento Pinot Noir.
Sequana Sarmento Pinot Noir “Displaying the classic qualities of the Santa Lucia Highlands, this silky Pinot Noir has pretty floral and citrus aromas. Warm Asian spices accompany bright, lasting flavors of citrus, rose petal and cherry.”-James MacPhail, Sequana Winemaker
Midnight Moon is aged Goat’s Milk Cheese, pasteurized 100% goat milk, salt, cheese cultures and vegetarian rennet. Midnight Moon is created by Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, California. The wine that paired outstanding with Midnight Moon is Artezin Tri-County Zinfandel.
Artezin Tri-County Zinfandel is “Ruby red and purple in hue, this wine has aromas of ripe red fruit, with hints of sage, cinnamon and pepper. The fruit flavors flesh out on the palate, dominated by raspberry, boysenberry and red cherry, complemented by hints of nutmeg, rosemary and spice, for a classic varietal character. Soft, supple tannins create a firm, yet lush mouth feel. With its bright fruit-forward flavor profile, this wine is created for immediate enjoyment.” -Randle Johnson, Artezin Winemaker
Barely Buzzed is aged Cheddar cheese that is hand rubbed with a Turkish grind of Colorado Legacy Coffee. Barely Buzzed is created by Beehive Cheese Co. in Uintah, Utah. The wine that paired outstanding with Barley Buzzed is Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvee.
Hess Collection Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvee is “Cabernet Sauvignon-based layered with Malbec, Merlot and Syrah to produce a wine with pronounced fruit characteristics. It has aromas of plum and black currant intermingled with caramel and molasses. The silky entry melts into an ultra-rich core of dark fruit. A supple finish is testament to this wine’s immediate approachability.” -David Guffy ,Hess Collection Winemaker
“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.” – Eduardo Galeano
Welcome back, to the end of A Year In The Life. The Chardonnay we have been following, VS14LONG has been racked out of its barrels; heat stabilized and now under-going cold stabilization. The wine has been bottled and will soon be available for your enjoyment. Therefore, I have decided to talk about our styling choices with our Mount Veeder Chardonnay.
With the number of Chardonnays on the market, we wanted to make Mount Veeder Chardonnay more distinct from the rest of the market and our own lineup of Chardonnays from other vineyard sites. We sought to express the nature of mountain grown fruit without diverting attention away from it with winemaking stylizing.
Starting with VS14 LONG as the centerpiece of this wine, we let the vineyard site speak for itself. The vines on this site are balanced, with the correct nutrition, mineral and water availability. The juice from those grapes undergoes cool fermentation in neutral oak barrels to help release and preserve the beautiful aromas in the finished wine.
2009 turned out to be an excellent year for Mount Veeder Chardonnay. Site selection and individual attention given to our wines has resulted in a wine with a nice weight on the mid-palate and great acid balance. It has aromas of lemon meringue, orange blossoms and honeysuckle; with flavors of nectarine, white peach and a distinct crisp minerality.
The 2009 Mount Veeder Chardonnay will be sold exclusively to wine club members in January, with a general release to follow if there is any left.
“Wine gives a man nothing…it only puts in motion what
had been locked up in frost.” - Samuel Johnson
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope the coming year brings you joy and peace. This is a good time to reflect upon the last year for VS14, our Chardonnay that we are following. In reflection, we shall discuss the vineyard block where the grapes came from.
In 2007, Hess Collections’ viticulturist Sander Scheer, had a soil map of our Veeder Summit vineyards performed. They used soil resistivity results and GPS coordinates overlaid on a map of the site. The company, Coastal Viticultural Consultants, has a device that they drag along the surface of the soil which measures the electrical resistance of the soil which can determine what kind of soil is present at the site. Additionally, they dig a test pit to look at the soil strata which allows us to look at the underlying soil conditions of a vineyard block. We then compare that to the condition of the grapes that are grown there. The long term goal is to match the root stock planted to match the sites soil conditions. Not only in a vineyard block but possibly vine to vine. This way the larger portions of a block will ripen uniformly.
Soil Resistivey Map
The interesting result from this survey for block VS14 is that there are two different soil-type bands that run through it. The northern band is clay while the southern band, is common gravel. These bands divide the block, almost exactly, between the long rows and the short rows of planted vines. What we have noticed that within this acre of vineyard block the south corner of the long rows there are some vines that ripen later than the rest of the long row which can be a problem at harvest time. However, now that we have had the soil tested we can now determine what rootstock would match the soil which would help the grapes mature at the same time.
Almost all modern vineyards are planted with vines as a graft. This graft is made between the rootstock and the fruiting portion of the vine, usually French varietals. The rootstock is grown from seed, pollinated from a grapevine with a specific characteristic that you would like in the final plant. For instance: disease resistance, draught tolerance, ease of grafting and nutritional requirements. 3309, is a cross between V. riparia and V. rupestris. V. riparia is a grape vine that grows along the banks of rivers, while V. rupestris grows in sandy soil. There is a good likelihood, that the difference between the short and long rows of VS14 can be attributed to the rootstock. V. riparia which grows along riverbanks would grow better under soil conditions of the long rows. The clay soil structure would cause water to remain near the surface, while V. riparia has a shallower root system. This would be a good match; as opposed to common gravel soil, where the water and nutrient availability would be deeper. 3309 would be less of a match for this soil type.