Cabernet Day 2014!

Cabernet from Daou Vineyards & Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles California, that is what I will have in my glass tonight. Just can’t wait to dive into that silky smooth, beautifully balanced Cab, from Daou Vineyards & Winery. I visited the winery last April with around 100 wine bloggers for an event hosted by Daou, with wines poured by  members of the Paso Robles Cab Collective.

The setting was stunning: on top of the Adelaida Mountains during sunset with a beautiful glow of orange and red, overlooking a canyon of vineyards. Eighteen of the PRCC representatives poured from two or three of  their collection of wines for us. Every wine was delightful and full of favor and it was apparent that these wine makers are very passionate about their wines.

Paso Robles wine makers are serious about their Cabernet and Bordeaux wines by forming this group; The Paso Robles Cabernet and Bordeaux Collective (PRCC) a grass-roots organization which strives to promote the full potential of the Paso Robles AVA in producing superior quality, age-worthy, balanced and classic Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals to consumers and media worldwide. The PRCC seeks to improve awareness regarding the distinctive attributes of Paso Robles Cabernet and red Bordeaux varietals through events, education and initiatives that confirm the appellations’ growing reputation for producing luscious well-rounded red Bordeaux varietals that compete with like-varietals on a global stage.


Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with Peaches

Easy and quick, this will come together in 20 minutes and features juicy pork chops, sweet peaches, and savory white wine. Try serving it with quick cook couscous or with a spinach salad.

Skillet Pork Chop Sauté with PeachesIngredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) center-cut boneless pork loin chops, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 peaches, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons butter


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chops evenly with salt and pepper. Add chops to pan; cook for 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chops from pan, and keep warm. Add shallots, thyme, and peaches to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 2 minutes). Stir in broth and honey; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in butter. Spoon sauce over chops.

Recipe and photo from:

The 10 Things You Need to Know About Wine

Hardly a day goes by when I’m not asked two questions: What is my favorite wine? And what are the most important things I need to know about wine? The answer to the first question is simple: I don’t have one single favorite wine. In addition, I don’t drink wine that I don’t enjoy, so the wine in my glass is usually my momentary favorite. Now to the second question, and you may be surprised by the response. The 10 things you need to know about wine are these:

_M7A5463• Wine is meant to be enjoyed.
• Wine doesn’t mean much until it’s shared and someone else enjoys it, too, so share.
• You can’t drink a label or a price tag, only the contents in the bottle. All else is snobbery.
• You can’t and shouldn’t try to drink anyone else’s palate. Trust your own but be open to change.
• Most people pay too little or too much for wine.
• Try new and different wines often. Variety is the spice of life and you’ll learn a lot about wine and what you like by experimenting.
• Food and Wine are Fast Friends.
• Pair various wines with the same dish to see which pairings work best.
• Wash wine glasses carefully by hand and drink wine from good thin glassware.
• Read about wine and the world’s wine regions, learn about the varietal connections that link Old and New World wines, and taste and enjoy!


Don’s August Collector Series Top Pick

StampaI like to see producers step out of their comfort zones.  I also love white wines from Italy’s Campania, so I am conflicted about this month’s Top Pick.  Gabriella Ferrara is one of Campania’s finest wine makers.  She makes exquisite Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino and Taurasi working out of what is little more than a garage.  She is a strong gracious woman who loves her work, and I love her wine.  For this reason, this month’s Top Collector Series Pick goes to Benita Ferrara’s 2012 Greco di Tufo.

Though after we’ve finished the Greco di Tufo, I would love a glass of Pietra Santa’s first Signature Selection Pinot Noir, a beauty of a Pinot, followed by a glass or two of the Mr. Riggs 2011Montepulciano d’Adelaide Hills.  Kudos to Ben Riggs for not only stepping out of his comfort zone, but doing so with gusto.  This rare limited offering from Ben Riggs is a real beauty.  Enjoy!


Ruby Red Wine Sangria

Ruby Red SangriaThere are many variations of  Sangria but the basic principle is the same. This recipe differs from most due to the lack of soda water but the grapefruit adds a bitter note to it that rounds out the beverage as whole. If you want to add brandy or whiskey to it, add approximately a 1/4 cup at the end. Remember to always serve it over ice!


  • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine (a medium bodied red wine like Garnacha, Merlot or Tempranillo)
  • 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • ¼ cup sugar


Mix together all ingredients in together in a large bowl or pitcher and serve immediately. For an extra twist, add oranges, apples, or strawberries!

Recipe and photo from