Winter & Wine

Winter is a great time to experiment with new culinary creations that incorporate the bold flavors of wine for delicious results. Nothing pleases the senses quite like a comfort food dish on a chilly evening. If you’re planning a menu for just you and your mate, a small group of close friends or a full-blown dinner party, stock up on great wine selections to complete the menu.

120-wine1Classic Roast Chicken and La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 

Fresh oregano, fragrant garlic and buttery Castelvetrano olives star in this traditional chicken dish, which pairs wonderfully with vibrant La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. Just as in the Burgundy region of France, these vineyards offer an unusually long, cool growing season, so grapes develop complex flavors. The Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is beautifully aromatic, with an intriguing interplay of lively citrus and subtle toasted oak, laced with just a kiss of butterscotch.

Recipe created by Tracey Shepos on

Servings: 4

8  sprigs oregano, leaves picked
(1/2 cup packed)
5  cloves garlic
2  lemons, one zested and one  cut into eight wedges
2  teaspoons cumin
3  tablespoons olive oil

Chicken Thighs with Potato, Lemon and Castelvetrano Olives

Chicken Thighs with Potato, Lemon and Castelvetrano Olives

8 chicken thighs (1 1/2 pounds),  bone in, skin on
2  large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch circles
4  teaspoons kosher salt
1  cup Castelvetrano olives,  pitted and drained

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In food processor, combine oregano, garlic, lemon zest, cumin and two tablespoons oil. Process until chopped. Place mixture in large bowl and toss with chicken thighs.

In 10 inch cast iron pan, layer one tablespoon oil and top with potatoes and sprinkle with two teaspoons salt. Place chicken thighs on top and sprinkle again with two teaspoons salt. Scatter lemon wedges in between chicken thighs.

Place pan over medium heat, cook for five minutes or until edges start to brown. Immediately place pan on top rack in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Adjust oven temperature to 400°F and cook for another 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and internal temperature reaches 160°F. Scatter olives on top and serve.

120-wine2Smoky Chili and Murphy-Goode Homefront Red

Just as a robust chili calls for a blend of signature ingredients, so does the perfect wine to complement it. The smoky flavors of seasoned steak cubes and dried chili pods will please the palate when united with Murphy-Goode Homefront Red – a blend of syrah, merlot, petite sirah and zinfandel. This wine is comfort food friendly and fruit forward. Plus, for every bottle sold, the winery donates 50 cents to Operation Homefront, a national non-profit that provides assistance to service members and their families.

Chili with Pepato Cheese

Recipe created by Dirk Yeaton on

Servings: 10 – 12

6  Dried chili pods, seeds and stems removed Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2  pounds top round cut into cubes
1 1/2  pounds chuck steak cut into cubes
1  cup vegetable oil
1  Medium onion, chopped

Chili with Pepato Cheese

Chili with Pepato Cheese

3  Small cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2  ounces chili powder
1  tablespoon paprika
3  tablespoons cumin
2  tablespoons oregano steeped in 1 cup of red wine
1  tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2  teaspoon cocoa powder
2  cups beef broth
10  ounces stewed tomatoes
1/2  cup grated Pepato cheese

Toast dried chilies over medium heat for about two minutes. Add two cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain out chilies to cool, then chop and reserve.

Season meat liberally with salt. Heat oil over high heat in a large, heavy bottom pot until it begins to smoke. Carefully place beef into pan and brown on all sides until moisture cooks out and light brown film forms on bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium. Drain meat of oil and fat.

Add onions and garlic, cooking until soft. Add chili powder, paprika and cumin. Cook until fragrant. Add reserved chopped chilies and rest of ingredients except for cheese and stir well with wooden spoon, scraping browned bits off bottom of pot.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour, occasionally stirring. To serve, place in bowl and sprinkle with grated cheese.

120-wine3Toasted S’mores and Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir

Take the traditional fireside treat to a new, gooey level with homemade, wine-infused marshmallows served with a glass of Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir. Please your sweet tooth and palate with lively berry pie notes defined in wild strawberry and black cherry, with hints of vanilla and earthy aromas.

Pinot Noir Marshmallows

Recipe created by Molly Yeh on

Servings: 16

1/4  cup powdered sugar
1/4  cup cornstarch
1/4  cup Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir
1/2  cup water
2 packets unflavored  gelatin powder
3/4  cup sugar
1/2  cup light corn syrup
1 pinch salt

In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and cornstarch. Grease two loaf pans or one 8 or 9 inch square pan and dust with half of powdered sugar mixture. Pour out any excess mixture back into bowl.

In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine pinot noir and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid. In small saucepan, combine remaining 1/4 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Clip on candy thermometer. Heat mixture over medium heat until it reaches 240°F.

Turn mixer on low and drizzle sugar mixture in slow and steady stream down side of bowl. Once entire mixture is in, increase speed to high and let it mix for 10–12 minutes, until lukewarm and fluffy.

Using greased spatula, scrape mixture into pans and spread out evenly. Dust tops with remaining powdered sugar mixture and use hands to flatten mixture out completely. Set for  one hour, cut into squares and dust squares with remaining powdered sugar mixture.