Open a delicious bottle of red, pour a glass, take a sip, and then let it sit while you prepare the food.
For an appetizer or light lunch I prepare Figs and Ham, especially this time of the year when there are fresh figs available. I also pour a glass of my Tuscan Cuvee, our Italian blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Then I start making Truffle and Mushroom Risotto. This recipe was created by local chef Ken Rochioli to pair with my wine. Sangiovese has a beautiful raspberry scent which highlights the truffle oil and the tannins in the Cabernet are mellowed by the creamy mushroom risotto. An excellent vegetarian alternative is Portabello Mushrooms stuffed with Goat Cheese and Herbs.
With our West Crest Cuvee, a Bordeaux style blend, I often make Lamb Chops with Rosemary, Sage and Lavender. When I do not have fresh herbs I make Pork Chops with Creamy Blue Sauce. It is a very easy to make recipe, you can make it while you chat with your guests, and sip a glass of wine.
For a great dinner with friends, I choose a West Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and depending on the vintage I think about my options. Right now I would chose the 2010 or 2012 and pair it with Lamb Racks and Roasted Root Vegetables with Chevre-Yoghurt Sauce. The creamy goat cheese and the crispy texture of the roasted vegetables are wonderful together and the meat has a friend in the big and structured Cabernet Sauvignon.
For Sunday dinner, make Beef Bourguignon, beef stew from Burgundy, which can be made a day ahead, it actually tastes even better then. I will pair it with our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon which started out with a lot of tannins and is now getting more exciting every day.
Still hungry? How about some cheese with a beautifully aged 2006 West Cabernet Sauvignon, or if you still have some, the 2003 (I have a few bottles still, carefully guarded in my cellar). The 2006 vintage was packed with tannins when we released it and it is now a very exciting wine with an abundance of deep dark plum, bay leaves, cloves, coriander, coffee, leather and earthy tones.
More recipes at www.westwines.com/recipes