Intimidated by a limited knowledge of wine? There's no need to worry when you visit Goosecross Cellars, a friendly, family operated micro-winery in Yountville. Goosecross is a fun and relaxed place to experience wine. Visitors to the Old English style estate can feel the soil, touch the vines, witness production and meet the friendly and knowledgeable family and staff. Click here for your complimentary tasting room coupon and receive a complimentary tasting for two people.
Two tasting room locations! At the Winery, 1119 State Lane, Yountville (800) 276-9210, or in Downtown Napa at Wineries of Napa Valley, 10am - 8pm, 1285 Napa Town Center, (800) 328-7815.
Pine Ridge Winery
The Pine Ridge Hillside Room has been created to afford visitors an experience that is unique in the Napa Valley. Upon entering the winery, guests are greeted by our concierge and escorted to the Hillside Room. Visitors are invited to sit down, relax and compare barrel samples to current release, bottle-aged reserve wines. The barrel-to-bottle samplings illustrate the evolutions and development of a wine. A personal wine educator is on hand to guide our guests through the tasting.
Pinot Gris Overtakes Sauvignon Blanc in Recent Survey
Pinot Gris overtook Sauvignon Blanc to become the second most popular white wine, according to Wine and Spirits Magazine's 15th Annual Restaurant Poll. Pinot Gris is loved for its approachability and versatility with many foods. Inman Family Pinot Gris, one of the finest new producers of the varietal, released their 2003 last month, which is available only directly from the winery and at selected fine restaurants.
Inman Family Pinot Gris is perfect to enjoy as an aperitif on a summer evening, but it has the weight and body to accompany richer dishes such as Spicy Crab Cakes or Monkfish in a Saffron Sauce. To purchase Inman Family's Russian River Valley Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir, visit their website at www.inmanfamilywines.com or telephone 707 395 0689.
ChilióMake It Your Own!
Chili stew...this wonderful food is so versatile. In cool weather it is a comfort food, in the heat a spicy treat. Relatively low-fat and low-carbohydrate, it is full of big flavor. It's also a practical one-pan meal that is best when made in advance. This dish then, is a perfect match to the current state of American cuisine, offering quality nutrition, convenience, health and pizzaz.
Over the years, I have come to understand the making of chilis the way I understand making Italian-style red sauces. We are working with a recipe class more than a recipe. Some of us like it more red (more tomatoes), some like it more green (more of those mild tomatillo peppers), some with beans, others not. Some like it hot, some more sweet. Follow your desires as you cook, taste carefully, and make it your own!
Each iteration of my recipe is a variant of this outline, following a tried and true theme. I started making chili with my mother's base recipe 30 years ago, it is one of the first things I ever learned to cook. While the original recipe was more mid-western in spirit and a bit short on spicy character, it has slowly evolved to become my chili voice of today. I have made hundreds of chilis over the years, different each time, and often to great acclaim.
A Question of Beans
Wine and Chili
tablespoons olive oil
12-15 ounces each:
1 cup red wine , (the richer the better)
As with many of my stews, I start a roux in a big heavy pan with a thick bottom, that will hold the entire chili. I slowly heat the oil, stirring the flour slowly into the olive oil to make a paste that slowly runs. This is actually borrowed from my Louisiana-French style gumbo. Slowly toast the oil until it turns medium-brown, keep moving it around at the center of the pan so it won't burn or smoke...this takes about 5-10 minutes. Add a little more oil or flour to keep it creamy as you start if needed.
Next, stir in the diced onion while the roux is still burning hot, the onion should sizzle a bit. (Sometimes I substitute a pound of fresh chopped bell peppers at this point for one of the salsas, adding it next.) Add the beef about a minute later. Grind in a generous amount of pepper. Keep stirring and simmering until the beef is 3/4 cooked. Add the other seasonings and cook completely.
Add tomatoes and salsa, use a little wine to rinse the various salsa containers. Bring to boil, add the rest of the wine. Boil again and simmer at least 1-2 hours. Some folks like to mash or puree at this point...giving a marvelous, smoother consistency.
Add the beans. Can be eaten immediately, but best after at least one night in the fridge. Serve with the grated cheese sprinkled on top. 10 servings. This recipe easily doubles to feed your bigger parties.
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