Posts Tagged ‘cabernet sauvignon’

Two Wines Reviewed by Chris Noel of Vintage Cellars

July 2nd, 2013 No comments

For me, going wine tasting to me is like heading out to find new friends. You will find plenty that you only keep around for a short time, but every now and then you find those lifelong relationships that you want to last for years. I had the fortune to attend a wine tasting a few weeks ago, and just so happened to come across a couple of those wines I want keep around for a long time.

The first was the 2002 Lail Vineyard J. Daniel Cuvée. Lail Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley, and can trace its origins back five generations to 1879. Their 2002 Lail Vineyard J. Daniel Cuvée is made from lots of Cabernet Sauvignon. Abundant sunlight this season allowed the grapes to get extremely ripe. 900 cases of this wine were produced.

The wine is elegant and stylish, with a delicate, creamy texture leading to a tasty core of mocha-laced currant, anise, wild berry and plum flavors. The tight focus keeps the flavors flowing on a long luxurious finish. If you’re not in a hurry to enjoy this lovely wine, I would recommend laying it down for another 3 to 5 years to see its full potential.

Montalcino Italy

Montalcino, home of Brunello wines

The second wine that I enjoyed was a Argiano 2001 Brunello di Montalcino from Italy. Montalcino is well-known for its Sangiovese grapes. What might not be familiar to some is the name, “Brunello di Montalicino,” which is a red wine produced from grapes grown in the vineyards that surround the town of Montalcino, in the wine region of Tuscany. Originally, it was thought that a unique type of grape grew in this area, and it was given the name “Brunello.” But in 1879, experiments showed that Brunello grapes were, in fact, Sangiovese grapes, and now, “Brunello” means that the wine was produced with 100 percent Sangiovese grapes.

When tasting the Argiano 2001 Brunello di Montalcino, I received intense aromas of fresh raspberry and sliced mushrooms and a hint of black olives. The wine is full-bodied, with chewy tannins. It’s long and structured. This wine would pair perfectly with a hearty Italian gravy over your favorite pasta on a Sunday afternoon with family and friends. I really enjoyed this selection.

If you’re looking to add some new wines to your cellar, you can’t go wrong with these two choices. Cheers!

A Vintage Cellars Recipe: Cabernet Sauvignon Short Ribs with Polenta

March 29th, 2013 No comments

braised short ribs and polentaThe following is a delicious recipe courtesy of Christopher Noel, a Wine Cellar Specialist at Vintage Cellars.

This family recipe is the perfect way to slow cook short ribs to tender perfection, and it features a whole bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!

As a side dish, Christopher has also shared his Creamy Gorgonzola Polenta recipe. Garlic mashed potatoes or any of your favorite starch sides will also pair well with these delicious slow-cooked ribs. Bon appetit!

Suggested Wine Pairings: 2007 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel

Cabernet Sauvignon Short Ribs:

5 Pounds of short ribs bone in

4 table spoons of olive oil

3 carrots chopped & peeled

2 whole yellow onions

2 celery stalks

3 bay leaves

5 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

2 pinches of oregano

5 sprigs of chopped flat leaf parsley

1 head of garlic finely chopped

Kosher salt


Old Bay Seasoning

1 Can of tomato paste

1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

3 Cups of beef stock


1) Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Season meat generously with Old Bay seasoning pepper and Kosher salt.
2) Heat Dutch oven with 2 table spoons of olive oil.
3) Brown ribs on all sides, then set them aside.
4) Use additional 2 table spoons of olive oil if needed and sauté onions/carrots garlic and celery until onions are brown and tender. While vegetables sauté, season them with 2 table spoons of old bay and add in 1 table spoons of tomato paste and 2 table spoons of all-purpose flower.
5) Once stirred, add wine, beef stock and ribs until ribs are covered along with all herbs and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Put into oven for 2.5 to 3 hours until tender.
6) Strain gravy and skim off fat as needed. Add additional seasoning to gravy if needed and drizzle over ribs.

Creamy Gorgonzola Polenta:

1 cup of Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

2 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Teaspoon freshly minced spring garlic

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

1-1/2 cups milk

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup instant polenta

Kosher Salt and black pepper to taste


1) In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
2) Add the garlic, and sweat for about 2 minutes, but don’t let the garlic brown.
3) Add the cream, milk and chicken broth and increase the heat to high. Let the broth simmer for 5 minutes.
4) Turn the heat back to medium. Whisking constantly, pour the polenta in a thin stream into the simmering liquid. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the polenta starts to thicken.
5) Turn the heat off, and add the cheese. The heat from the burner should keep the polenta cooking; stir until all of the cheese is melted. Adjust the flavor with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately with short ribs, drizzled in any leftover sauce.

Categories: Wine Recipes Tags: