Red Wine

Cabernet Wine
Burgers on Ciabatta
Serves 4


1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese plus additional for serving
2 tablespoon crumbled cooked bacon (about 2–3 strips)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Few cracks of fresh black pepper
4 ciabatta rolls


In a small saucepan bring wine, brown sugar and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until liquid reduces to 1/2 cup, about 7-8 minutes. Remove rosemary and set aside to cool, reserving 2 tablespoons for serving. In a large bowl add ground beef, onion, gorgonzola, bacon, garlic, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of red wine reduction. Mix until combined. Form into 4 equal size patties. Preheat grill or a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add burgers and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Flip and brush with some of the remaining red wine reduction and cook for 5-7 minutes longer. Flip again and brush with red wine reduction and cook until desired doneness. Place burgers on rolls, drizzle with reserved reduction, top with additional cheese and serve with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Merlot Tri Tip

1 Tri tip
2 cups  Madonna Estate Merlot
2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup Onion (chopped)
3 Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper

Generously season the outside of the tri tip on all sides with salt and pepper. After seasoning, let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.  While steak is resting, start making sauce by melting the butter in a large sauce pan. Add onions and cook until soft. Pour in beef broth and merlot. Add 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. Pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let cook until reduced by at least half. After the tri tip has sat, put on a grill directly over medium heat and cook for about 7 minutes per side until the steak reaches 135ºF. It is important to not overcook this steak! Once the steak reaches temperature, remove from grill, wrap in foil and let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.  Cut steak into thin slices and serve with risotto and vegetables. Pour sauce over slices of steak and enjoy!

Homemade Gnocchi

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes about 4 large or 8 small
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 egg whisked

Fill a large pot with cold water. If using large potatoes, cut them in half. Place in the pot and salt the water. Bring to a boil and cook 20-30 minutes, until they can be easily pierced with a paring knife.  Remove potatoes from water and let cool slightly on towels to absorb excess moisture. Once cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the potatoes. Grate potatoes finely using a box grater or potato masher. Or use a potato ricer.  Spread the potatoes out and let cool enough so that the egg won’t cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes.  Sprinkle flour and salt over potatoes and using your hands make a well in the center. Pour egg into the well and combine ingredients using your hands. Lightly flour your surface and knead the dough, dusting with more flour as needed. Work the dough until it’s just smooth, being careful not to overwork it, about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 24 inch long rope about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces, dust with flour, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.

Cooking the gnocchi:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add gnocchi and cook until they begin to float (meaning they are done).  It should take around 90 seconds to complete cooking. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and pair with your favorite pasta sauce. Tomato based sauces pair well with a glass of Barbera.


Roast Rack of Lamb

Serves 4-6

1 lamb rack (8 chops)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Trim excess fat and thin outer covering from lamb rack, trim top inch of meat and fat covering from bones.  Score remaining fat in a diamond pattern. Combine salt, pepper, and garlic; mash into a paste. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Spread mixture over meat. Place lamb in roasting pan, fat side up (bones serve as rack) and roast at 325 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  At 1 hour it will be medium rare. While the lamb is roasting baste occasionally with pan drippings.  Cut bottom ribs to release servings as chop portions. Reserve skimmed pan drippings as sauce.  For leg or flank cut double the amount of seasonings and roast 25 minutes per pound; 30 minutes medium well. Enjoy with a glass of Madonna Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Dark Chocolate Brownie Bliss

1 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (fine quality, no more than 60% cacao)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs
23 cup all-purpose flour
13 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa
12 teaspoon salt
34 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in center position. Butter and flour 13″ x 9″ pan. In a 3 qt heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature. Whisk in sugar and vanilla into chocolate/butter combination. Whisk in eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In separate bowl combine Dutch process chocolate powder, flour and salt. Combine flour mixture with chocolate/butter and whisk thoroughly. Add chopped walnuts if using. Spread brownie batter in pan and bake for 25-35 minutes.  Cool completely. Pair with a glass of our Cabernet Sauvignon.

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore with Pinot Noir

3 lb (6-8) chicken thighs
14 oz can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 large onion (sliced)
4 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 cup Pinot Noir
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp celery powder
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp water
1 lb farafalle (bowtie) pasta

Place all ingredients in slow cooker in no particular order except pasta, cornstarch, water and sugar. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (chicken will fall apart).  It will not look like much liquid in the pot as much but after cooking for a few hours the juices from the chicken will change that. Do not add more liquid that the recipe calls for or it will be too much. Two hours before serving add sugar and stir. Twenty minutes before serving stir in well blended cornstarch/water mixture. Prepare pasta according to directions on the package. Place a few pieces of chicken on a bed of pasta and spoon desired amount of sauce over chicken and pasta. Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan and enjoy!