2009 Charbono Wine Pairing

by Autumn on July 25, 2011


Whether I’m in need of picnic supplies, a quick bite to eat, or an emergency cupcake, I can usually find what I need at the Oxbow Public Market.   I’ll use just about any excuse I can to stop in and peruse the Market and this pairing was just what I’d been looking for to get me through the doors again.  I found most everything I needed for this Cioppino recipe at the Kanaloa Seafood Market, Whole Spice and Oxbow Produce & Grocery.

Cioppino is a dish that was developed by Italian fishermen who had settled in the North Beach district of San Francisco in the late 1800’s. It was originally produced as a collaborative dish on the docks as the fishermen would contribute a portion of their catch from the day; usually crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, muscles and fish. While this dish was inspired by the soups specific to these fisherman’s countries of origin, Cioppino is wholly San Franciscan and pairs excellently with our 2009 Old Vine Charbono.

To make it more authentic, don’t shell the shrimp and allow a little extra time for them to cook. Pasta cooking water helps lightly thicken the broth, but plain water will do. This recipe calls for Harissa, which is a North African spice mix or paste. You can find the paste ready made in specialty food stores, purchase the blended spice dry or make your own from scratch.


  • 8 garlic cloves—3 lightly crushed and 5 minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Two 35-ounce cans whole Italian peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their liquid
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and tender green, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons harissa
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups water, preferably pasta cooking water
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as rockfish, halibut, scrod or tilefish
  • 10 stone crab claws, cracked, or 3 live Dungeness crabs, cleaned and quartered
  • 1 1/4 pounds small mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound cleaned small squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings, tentacles halved, or baby octopus
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Crusty bread, for serving

In a large nonreactive pot, sauté the crushed garlic in 1/4 cup of the oil over moderately high heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until reduced to 5 cups, about 30 minutes. Mash in the sautéed garlic. Transfer the tomato sauce to a large bowl and wipe out the pot.

Return the pot to high heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add the onion, scallions, marjoram and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley, anchovies, harissa and minced garlic and cook, stirring, until the anchovies break apart and the garlic is just turning golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add the fish, crab, mussels, squid and the shrimp, cover and cook until the seafood is cooked through and the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and any unopened mussels. Season with slat and pepper and serve with the bread.


{Vine to Wine} Winemaker Dinner

~Dining on Francisco Boulevard ~


{Vine to Wine} Winemaker Dinner Setting

~ Fine dining, Farm style! ~


{Vine to Wine} Dinner guests


More Photos available on our Facebook page


2010 Verdelho Wine Pairing

by Casa Nuestra on April 19, 2011

During the summer we enjoy taking weekend trips to our cottage in Bodega Bay; the drive from the Casa to the coast is not a long one, but with the beautiful rolling hills along the way we often wish it was longer.  When we feel particularly adventurous we’ll jump in the car and head off along Hwy. 1 to explore the neighboring towns and beaches.  On one of our first coastal expeditions, we discovered Hog Island Oysters, a local gem in the town of Marshall, on neighboring Tomales Bay. Since our initial visit, Hog Island Oysters has grown in popularity and one can now enjoy them across the United States. For us Hog Island Oyster Co. has become a favorite, if not essential, stop during our summer trips.  Now we eagerly await a weekend where, weather permitting, we can spend the day lying in the sand, reading, running up and down the shore flying kites and of course eating oysters, drenched in our favorite Mignonette, Hog Islands signature “Hog Wash”.  Pair this with a glass of our crisp and refreshing 2010 Verdelho and you’ve the makings of a great day. Enjoy!


Hog Wash Mignonette
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime


2008 Cabernet Franc Wine Pairing

by Casa Nuestra on April 4, 2011

With the emergence of spring and the sunny weather we’ve been enjoying these last few days, we can’t stop thinking about all the lazy Sundays and Summer barbecues that lie ahead of us. To help you gear up for the season, we thought we would share with you one of our favorite recipes to pair with our Cabernet Franc. Hopefully it will successfully season your grill and ready it for a summer full of outdoor feasts!


Beef Ribs with Cabernet Franc Sauce


  • 2 Grass-fed beef rib racks, about 5 pounds
  • Sea Salt & Fresh ground pepper,  to taste


  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


  • 1-1/2 cups Organic barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molassas (optional)
  • 1 cup Casa Nuestra 2008 Cabernet Franc


  1. In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients.
  2. Trim the ribs of any excess fat. Press the rub into the meat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Allow the ribs to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Sear the ribs over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a large disposable foil pan, large enough to hold the ribs in one layer. If necessary, cut the ribs into smaller sections.
  5. In a medium saucepan whisk the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the sauce over the ribs and tightly cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Grill the ribs over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until very tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, turning once.
  7. Remove the ribs from the pan and cut into one- or two-rib pieces. Skim off any fat from the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Serve the ribs hot with the sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings

In addition to our Cabernet Franc; Grilled asparagus, Garlic & rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes and good friends all pair quite nicely with this recipe. Enjoy!


Premiere Napa Valley 2011 – Lot #39

by Autumn on March 1, 2011

Premiere Packaging

The Oakville Farmhouse vineyard was originally planted by the Delazer family in the early 1920s. The two acre block is representative of Napa Valley vineyards of that era and is planted to nine different red wine grapes. The vines are planted on phylloxera-resistant St. George rootstock, are head-trained, and are not irrigated. The vineyard is situated in the Oakville bench, at the base of the western foothills, and has Bale loam soils. The soil is well-drained and alluvial, giving it sufficient water-holding capacity for dry-farming. While the vines were likely irrigated for a few years at initial planting, the vines have seen no artificial irrigation for over 90 years.

Our mother, Ellis Kirkham, fell in love with the Oakville countryside and purchased the vineyard in 1955, intending to use it as a summer refuge from foggy San Francisco. At the time Oakville vineyards were a rarity. The district was dotted with prune trees and cow pastures. Over the years expensive vineyards were developed and, with the exception of the 1945 Sauvignon Blanc vines in the neighboring To Kalon I-Block, all of the historic vineyards in the


Allen & Autumn - Representing Casa Nuestra at the Premiere Napa Valley event hosted by Appellation St. Helena, at Charles Krug.


district were replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon. Today Ellis’ Oakville Farmhouse vineyard is a relic – the last remaining historic planting in Oakville and the only opportunity to taste the original Napa Valley.

In 1992, we used cuttings to plant a similar block in our St Helena vineyard. At the time, DNA testing was not yet available and most of the Farmhouse vines were unidentified. With the original planting nearing it’s 100th year, we felt the need to preserve this historic representation of old Napa.

Our 2011 Premiere lot was created in honor of our mother’s 100th Birthday and marks the first time we have made a blend from these two historic vineyards. We would like to thank and congratulate CalWine of Napa, for their winning bid on Lot #39.


Napa Valley Vintners – Press Release

The Napa Valley Vintners’ (NVV) annual wine futures auction to the trade held February 26 in the Napa Valley, broke records finishing at nearly $2.4 million in sales. At 1,000-strong, the crowd of vintners along with retailers, restaurateurs, distributors, brokers and media from across the country and around the world, assembled at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St Helena topped last year’s take by more than 23% during the three-hour live auction.” – Napa Valley Vintners

Visit Premiere Napa Valley for more details


These wines are moving quickly. If you were looking for a head’s up so you don’t miss them, here it is!

07 Two Goats Red, A Napa Valley Red Wine!
08 Rosado, our Dry Rose from Cabernet Franc
*06 Cabernet Franc, St. Helena Estate
*07 Cabernet Franc, St. Helena Estate
08 Charbono, Old Vines, Napa Valley
07 Merlot, St. Helena Estate

* Call us directly as supplies are so low, it is no longer available online – 866-844-9463.


Symphony is back, by popular demand!

by Casa Nuestra on July 14, 2010

Truly a California native, Symphony is a grape varietal created and recorded at UC Davis in 1948. It is a cross of Grenache Gris and Muscat of Alexandria.
This white wine is bursting with an exotic floral bouquet and offers a clean mouth-feel with a lush, fruity finish… it’s hard not to like. It is wonderful on its own and pairs well with such tasty items as smoked guda and apples or hot Asian foods. A friend made 60 (more!) cases for us…. you’re not going to want to miss-out on this summer wine!

Just $20 a bottle or $240 a case (discounts apply!) Order yours today.


August’s Quarterly Club Casa Shipments
Share the love, share the wine this month! Why not send this yummy three pack to a friend or loved one? (and you deserve one too!)

PLEASE NOTE:  This shipment will be processed in August, however it may not get shipped to you until the weather is more suitable.  Actual shipping could be delayed as late as October 1st.

August’s shipment includes:
Three pack total just: $76.80, reflects 20% discount (add applicable taxes and shipping)
One bottle 2009 Riesling, Old Vines, St. Helena Estate, Napa Valley $24
One bottle 2007 Cabernet Franc, St. Helena Estate, Napa Valley $40
One bottle 2008 Charbono, Old Vines Calistoga, Napa Valley $32

Club Casa Members: Why not upgrade to Grande for just this one shipment?
Club Casa Grande members will receive TWO EACH of the above three bottles and save a bit on shipping.
Casa Grande members are entitled to double allocations on wines with very limited productions ;-)


Bi-Annual Club Shipments scheduled for October:

 “All Mixed Up” Case Club members will receive:

1 bottle 2005 Tinto St. Helena, Napa Valley Estate (from the library!) $40
1 bottle 2004 Petite Sirah, (from the library!) $39
1 bottle 2008 Charbono, Old Vines, Napa Valley $33
1 bottle 2008 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley Estate $38
1 bottle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Estate $55
1 bottle 2009 Carignane, Old Vines, Contra Costa County, $32
1 bottle 2009 Chenin Blanc, Old Vines, Napa Valley Estate $24
1 bottle 2009 Late Harvest French Colombard, Old Vines Oakville Estate Napa Valley $20
2 bottles 2009 Rosado, A Dry Rose, St. Helena Estate $23 each
2 bottles 2009 Riesling, Old Vines, Napa Valley Estate $24 each

 MIXED 12 Pack Total: $300.00, reflects 20% discount (add applicable taxes and shipping)

Red Wine Only Club Members will receive one bottle each:

1 bottle 2005 Tinto St. Helena, Napa Valley Estate (from the library!) $40
1 bottle 2004 Petite Sirah, (from the library!) $39
1 bottle 2008 Charbono, Old Vines, Napa Valley $33
1 bottle 2008 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley Estate $38
1 bottle 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley Estate $55
1 bottle 2009 Carignane, Old Vines, Contra Costa County, $32

Six Pack Total: $189.60, reflects 20% discount (add applicable taxes and shipping)

White Only and Yes, One Rose! Club Members will receive:

1 bottle 2009 Chenin Blanc, Old Vines, Napa Valley Estate $24
1 bottle 2009 Late Harvest French Colombard, Old Vines Oakville Estate Napa Valley $20
2 bottles 2009 Rosado, A Dry Rose, St. Helena Estate $23 each
2 bottles 2009 Riesling, Old Vines, Napa Valley Estate $24 each

Six Pack Total: $110.40, reflects 20% discount (add applicable taxes and shipping)


We are currently accepting new members in all four clubs: Quarterly Club Casa, Red Wine Only, White Wine Only or the All Mixed Bi-Annual Case Clubs.  Join today, as memberships are usually limited!
Our wine clubs are free to join & worth every penny.  They are also non-committal as you may cancel at any time.


Reasons to Celebrate ~ Come on, join us!

by Casa Nuestra on March 6, 2010

Here are all of our upcoming events….
some here in wine country, some at your house!

July 4, Closed for the holiday
August, Quarterly Club Casa & Club Casa Grande Shipment (We can hold this shipment until October 1 for better shipping weather!)
August 28, Free, Annual Club Casa Member Party with BBQ, The SoulShine Blues Band and wine!
September 30 -  We’ll be pouring wine at the Wine Country Inn  – Club Casa Members enjoy a 15% discount on accommodations here!
October 15 -Red Only, White Only and our “All Mixed Up” Case Club ShipmentWhat's Happening at Casa Nuestra
November – Quarterly Club Casa & Club Casa Grande Shipment
November 25 – Thanksgiving Day, closed
December 25th through January 1, 2011 – Closed for the holidays.  However, if you are a club member planning a visit, please call for a special appointment.  We’ll be glad to meet you here!


Swing into spring with a fresh pairing of Gumbo & Rosado!
The Silverado Brewing Company’s own “Silverado Gumbo” and Casa Nuestra Winery’s unique dry Rosado are a perfect example! (Oh my!)

Silverado Gumbo recipe is here, in three easy parts:
For the creole seasoning, mix the following and store in an airtight container:

6 T. Chili powder
3 T. Paprika
2 T. Cumin
1 T. Cayenne pepper
2 T. Oregano
The Sauce:
¼ lb. Unsalted Butter
2 T. Olive oil
1 Lg. Green pepper, diced
1 Lg. Yellow onion, diced
3 Lg. Ribs of celery, diced
1 – 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
10 Garlic gloves, minced
5 T. Flour
2 T. Creole seasoning
1 T. Gumbo file
2 T. Tabasco
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Chicken stock
1 cup Silverado Blonde Ale
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter & olive oil
2. When melted and the oil hot, add in the garlic, onion, green pepper and celery. Cook until tender.
3. Sprinkle in the flour, just enough to soak up all the butter & oil in the bottom of the pan, continue to cook until the flour turns into a nice amber color (5 -10 minutes)
4. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, beer and seasonings. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
The Fish:
1 lb. Fettucini
½ lb. Hot sausage links
25 ea. PEI mussels
15 ea. Prawns
1 Catfish filet
¼ cup dry white wine.
2 T. Unsalted butter
4 T. Olive oil

1. In a large pot, boil the water for the pasta, with a lot of salt.
2. While that is heating, clean mussels and prawns, cut catfish into bite size pieces and sausage links into half moons.
3. In a very large sauté pan or large pot, heat butter and olive oil. Add sausage and render some of the fat out.
4. Start cooking pasta now, if the water is boiling (Don’t forget to stir often and don’t over cook, only about 10 -12 minutes)
5. Add prawns to the pan with the sausage an let them take on some color.
6. Add white wine and let reduce for 1 minute.
7. Add the rest of the seafood, letting it cook for a couple of minutes then add sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. The shellfish should be open.
8. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce and seafood.

Dungeness Crab Cakes
served with Tomatillo Avocado Sauce and Roasted Corn Salad
Recipe courtesy of Chef Bernardo Ayala Silverado Brewing Company

Crab Cakes
1 pound Dungeness Crab Meat
½ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 oz celery minced
2 oz scallions minced
4 oz red bell peppers, minced

1. Combine all ingredients except the mayonnaise, and the bread crumbs, mix well
2. Add mayonnaise and bread crumbs. Mix well. Mixture should easily hold its shape when formed into balls. Adjust with Mayonnaise and bread crumbs as needed.
3. Form into 2 oz balls.
4. Bread the balls by first rolling into flour, then egg wash, then into panko bread crumbs and form into crab cakes. Place in into a container with sheets of wax paper and light bread crumbs between layers.
5. cover with plastic wrap
Pan sear the cakes on medium heat with olive oil for
about 2 minutes on each side, or golden brown Serve
the two cakes on a bed of the tomatillo Sauce. Then
serve a bouquet of field greens with the roasted corn
salsa on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Tomatillo Avocado Sauce
1 avocado
4 tomatillos
½ bunch of cilantro
½ cup of water
Puree all ingredients in a blender. Slowly add the water last, to achieve a thick constancy. Salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Corn Salsa
3 white corns
½ red onion fine chopped
¼ bunch of cilantro
1 tbs Mcevoy Ranch Olive oil
2 tbs lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Small hand full of Organic Field Greens
2 oz red pepper diced
Pan Roasted the white corn and let it cool. Mix all ingredients (except the field greens)


Grilled Pork Chops with Pancetta & Forest Mushrooms in Tinto St. Helena Sauce 
by a very special Club Member, Chef Ryan Hicks – Serves 2

2 pork rib chops, 8-10oz each
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup Tinto St. Helena, or other dry red wine
2 tbsp olive oil, roasted garlic oil is nice too!!
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh chopped oregano, 1tsp dried
2 tsp fresh chopped tarragon, 1tsp dried
1 garlic clove, smashed
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Put chops in a glass dish or Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.
Sauce (prepare during marinade)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 oz pancetta (bacon is a substitute)
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1 leek, white only, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped, seeded tomatoes
1-cup Tinto St. Helena, or other dry red wine
2 cups beef, veal or chicken stock
2 tbsp cold butter
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté for a few minutes until crispy. Add the onion, leek and tomatoes and sauté until the onions are soft. Add 3/4 cup of the wine. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock and cook till you get a sauce like consistency. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and stir well. Remove from heat and stir in cold butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1 cup mushrooms, whatever you can get your hands on; variety makes for better tasting and interesting dish.
3-4 tbsp olive oil (if you have grape seed oil, I recommend using it as it has a higher smoke point)
In pan heat oil until it’s almost smoking. Put mushrooms in pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
**Remove the chops from the marinade and pat dry. Grill, flipping once till internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.  To plate up, pool sauce on plate and place chop on top. Top with mushrooms. And of course, pair up with a glass of Tinto St. Helena. Cheers!!

Chef Ryan Hicks

Long Meadow Ranch Oak Roasted Filet Mignon with Bale Grist Mill Soft Polenta with Green Peppercorn, Casa Nuestra Cabernet Franc Sauce and Golden Chanterells Bernardo Ayala, Chef Silverado Brewing Company

Beef Recipe

5lbs Center cut tenderloin
Oak fire sear on all sides until brown
Cook it on 400◦ oven for about 20 min. for medium rare

Casa Nuestra Cabernet Franc Sauce
3 cups of thick veal stock
1 cup Cabernet Franc
½ cup cognac or brandy
¼ cup of green peppercorn
1 tbs of shallots

Reduce cognac/brandy and shallots to 2tbs over high heat
Add Cabernet Franc and reduce to half
Add veal stock and reduce to 15 %
Add peppercorn

Golden Chanterells
2lbs Clean chanterells
1tb garlic
1tps grapeseed oil
1oz chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Bale Grist Mill Soft Polenta
8 cups chicken stock (we use rocky range)
2cups Polenta (Fresh Milled from the Bale Mill)
½ Dry Sonoma Jack Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil
Add polenta and cook for 50 min over low heat, stir often
(a good time to drink the left over Cabernet Franc)
Add the rest of the ingredients

Mix 3 oz microgreens with 1tbs of extra virgin olive oil

Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri Sauce & Salad with Chenin Blanc

For the Halibut: take a 6 to 8 ounce fillet and rub with some neutral vegetable oil, season well with salt & pepper. Grill on each side about 4-5 minutes.

For the Chimichurri:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Take everything and pulse it in a food processor or blender until it’s emulsified. Easy! A little goes a long way with this stuff, too, and it’s awesome with grilled beef (we had grilled tri-tip sandwiches the next day with the sauce).

The salad:

1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half or quarters if a little big
2 ears fresh sweet corn, cut from the cob
2 ripe avocados, cubed
juice of one lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix everything in a bowl–the avocados will break down a little with the lemon juice and create its own creamy dressing.