Wine for Warmer Weather

Wine for Warmer Weather
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, April 30, 2011


2008 Juan Manuel Burgos Avan Ribera del Duero Nacimiento – Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero Lots of licorice upfront on the nose, with background notes of red berries and damp earth. It also adds in some pepper at the end. Extremely soft on the palate, with more fruit at the beginning. The licorice comes on in the middle and the earth flavors on the finish. (90 Points)

2007 Château de la Gardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Black, dark and smoky on the the nose. Black cherry, black currant, licorice, wet leaves, and black pepper. Soft on the palate, with good richness. Just as black on the palate, the finish has a nice oiliness to it. (90 Points)

2008 Torbreck Woodcutter’s Semillon – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley A nice mix of oil, wax, and salt chips on the nose. Behind that is some melon and pear. The palate was much the same as the nose. The acidity could have been a little higher, but it had good viscosity. (88 Points)

2007 Amador Cellars Estate – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County A good mix of earth and berries, with hints of plum and spice. The tannins on the palate have a nice grip, with sweet berry and leather flavors. (88 Points)

2009 Tommasi Pinot Grigio Le Rosse – Italy, Veneto, Venezie IGT Citrus and peach on the nose, with a little roasted nuts underneath. Lots of stone mixed with tropical fruit on the palate, with some citrus on the finish. (87 Points)


2008 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley I really liked the nose. Lots of leather and earth, with sweet red fruit around the edges, and mocha flavor wrapped around everything. Rich and juicy on the palate, it was the same flavors as the nose. (92 Points)

2008 Barnett Vineyards Pinot Noir Viento Valle Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley Rich on the nose, with stewed tomatoes, cranberry, cherry, and forest floor. The palate was rich with fruit – cranberry, pomegranate, cherry, and boysenberry. There was a little spice, but it was too sweet for my taste. (90 Points)

Hanger Steak with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Pan-Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes, but not very often, it isn’t all about the sauce. Sometimes it’s the sides. Steak, frites, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms. Need I say more.


Fried potatoes

Hanger Steak with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Pan-Roasted Potatoes


  • 1 1/2 lb. medium white potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Perfect Saute Seasoning or salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick rings
  • 3/4 lb. cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced
  • Perfect Saute Seasoning (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons salt blended with 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper) or salt and freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (7-ounce) hanger steaks
  • Perfect Saute Seasoning (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons salt blended with 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper) or salt and freshly ground white or black pepper


  1. To make the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a large pot and add salted water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until just barely tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and cool. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch-thick matchsticks.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  3. To crisp the potatoes, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter with the oil. Add the potatoes to the hot skillet and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the parsley, and the seasoning. Cover to keep warm, or transfer to a platter and tent with foil.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms and onions: In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they are browned and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with seasoning and parsley, if using, and cover to keep warm.

  5. To cook the steak: Heat the oil in a cast-iron pan over high heat until very, very hot, at least 5 solid minutes. Sprinkle the steaks all over with the seasoning. Sear the steaks in the pan until well browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to the oven and roast until desired doneness is reached, about 3 more minutes for rare (115 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer) and 5 for medium-rare (120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer to serving plates, tent with foil, and let rest for at least 3 minutes before serving with the potatoes, mushrooms, and onions.

Easter Wines

Easter Wines
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, April 23, 2011


2009 CAPTÛRE WINES Sauvignon Blanc Tradition Kick Ranch/Windrem Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley A nice stone and grapefruit mix on the nose, with wonderful herb and lemon zest undertones. The fruit is very ripe and minerals and herbs infuse everything. The palate is exactly like the nose. I really like the minerality of this wine. (93 Points)

2009 Mönchhof Robert Eymael Riesling Spätlese Mosel Slate – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer Cream on the nose, with hints of beeswax and honey, plus some lemon and apple. Sweet and rich on the palate, the tastes are of honey drenched apples in a citrus reduction. (92 Points)

2009 Château Génot-Boulanger Mercurey Les Sazenay – France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Mercurey Lots going on on the nose. Meat juice mixed with smoke, followed by sour cherry, spice, and floral notes. The palate had more sour cherry upfront, with a nice backbone of cedar and spice. The finish was a nice smoke and floral mix. (90 Points)

2007 Anglim Mourvedre Hastings Ranch – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles The nose starts with a big shot of potpourri, followed by cherry, minerals, and damp earth. The palate is more minerals and cherry, with background notes of flowers, and earth. (90 Points)

2009 Gérard Tremblay Chablis – France, Burgundy, Chablis Stoney, with nice apple and peach fruit on the nose. The palate was a little more lemony, but it did have the same peach and mineral flavors as the nose. (88 Points)


2007 Château de Saint-Cosme Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Dark berries and tar on the nose, with hints of coffee and cigar box. Much more explosive on the palate, the flavors are same as the nose, with the added tastes wet leaves on the finish. (92 Points)

2008 Benovia Pinot Noir La Pommeraie – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley* Lots of cherry and raspberry fruit, with small amounts of spice and forest floor. Even more fruity on the nose, with addition of boysenberry to the cherry and raspberry. The spice and earth flavors are there, but they are overshadowed by the fruit. (89 Points)

Pork Carnitas

The worst thing about the lipophobe world we live in is that we ignore the traditional ways in which foods are prepared. This recipe brings that back. It is so delicious, you will kick yourself for not eating it more often. The key to this is pastured lard (or tallow, which what I used). Don’t used that store bought junk. It is bad for you.


Pork Carnitas


  • Carnitas
  • 3 lbs. Lard, pastured, with no additives‚ or bacon grease or refined, expeller pressed coconut oil‚ or a combination
  • 3 1/2 lbs. Pork, boneless, butt or shoulder, pastured
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Orange, fresh, organic if possible
  • 1 bunch Cilantro


  1. Place the lard in a Dutch oven or crockpot and set the heat to medium-low.

  2. Cut the orange into slices. Add to pot.

  3. Coarsely chop 1/4 of a cup of cilantro. Add to pot.

  4. Cut the pork into 3-inch cubes and lightly salt the meat with sea salt.

  5. Once the lard has melted, add the meat to the pot. The melted lard should cover the meat; if it does not, add more.

  6. Cook on medium-to-low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. After about 30 minutes, the lard will begin to boil. Allow to boil gently. As the moisture gradually cooks away, the temperature of the lard will rise, allowing the meat to brown. If the meat has not browned at the end of the cooking time, remove the orange slices and continue to cook.

  7. Remove the meat and let drain on paper towels.

  8. Serve with optional warm sprouted flour or corn tortillas. Top with the guacamole and sour cream.

  9. Garnish with salsa, chopped onion, cilantro, and jalapeno slices, if desired.

World’s Best Braised Cabbage

Saying this is the world’s best braised cabbage is not a stretch. It makes the best tasting cabbage you will ever have.

World’s Best Braised Cabbage


  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, about 2 pounds, cut into 8 wedges. (I used a mix: 1/2 from Kilpatrick Family Farm as lose leaves and half grocery store organic.)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) yellow onions, thickly sliced (KFF)
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) carrots, cut into 1/4‚Ä? rounds (KFF)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock, or water ( I used homemade chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Course salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fleur de sel or course sea salt to finish (I did not use- forgot)


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. lightly oil a large gratin dish or 9×13 baking dish (I used the baking dish).

  2. Trimming the cabbage: Peel off & discard any bruised or ragged outer leaves. The cabbage should weigh close to 2 pounds. If cabbage weighs more, save some for a batch of cole slaw (that’s what I did). Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges in the baking dish as a single layer as best as you can.

  3. The braise: Scatter onions and carrots. Drizzle oil & stock/water. Season with S&P & pepper flakes. Cover tightly with foil, and slide into middle of the oven. Turn the cabbage wedges at 1 hour, trying to keep wedges together. Cook for another 2 hours or until you see that the vegetables are tender.

  4. The Finish: Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase the oven temp to 400 (this is where I did her variation and drizzled splashes of balsamic vinegar onto the wedges) and roast until the vegetables JUST begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so. Serve at warm or room temp, sprinkle with sea salt.

Wines of the Northwest

Wines of the Northwest
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, April 16, 2011


2008 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Croft Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley Cherry and spice upfront on the nose, with a nice backbone of earth, stone, and dirt. The palate is much the same as the nose, but the spice is more dominate than the earth and fruit flavors. (90 Points)

2008 Hestia Malbec Andrews Ranch – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills An earthy nose of wood chips and meat juice, with small amounts of red fruit at the end. The flavors on the palate are much more distinct than the nose. There was blueberry and incense, with some meat and pepper underneath. (90 Points)

2009 Auteur Pinot Noir “Ophelia” – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley A very dark nose. Black cherry, black raspberry, and dark, rich spices. A little better on the palate than the nose, but this was much richer than I like my pinots. Black cherry and espresso, with hints of chocolate underneath. This is followed by cherry and raspberry on the finish. (89 Points)

2003 Kiona Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain A lovely nose of roasted herbs and smoky earth, supported by some candied black fruit and spice. The palate was a bit bitter, but the flavors were much like the nose. (87 Points)

2009 Apolloni Pinot Blanc – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley Nice floral notes on the nose, with honeysuckle edges followed by some good pear fruit. There was more fruit on the palate than on the nose, and the honey and flowers came on in the middle. (87 Points)


2008 Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Noir Abetina – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley A mildly interesting nose of black cherry, raspberry, and spice. The palate is even less interesting. One dimensional flavors of cherry pepper and forest floor. (89 Points)

2006 Long Shadows Wineries Saggi – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley A big nose of grilled meat and spice, with a big shot of vanilla. The fruit comes on in the middle – cherry and raspberry, and spice comes in at the end. The palate has quite a bit of tartness. The fruit is more dominate than everything else, and the meat and spice flavors are more subtle than are on the nose. (88 Points)

Staff Favorites

Staff Favorites
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, April 09, 2011


2009 Ferraton Père & Fils Condrieu Les Mandouls – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu Honey and beeswax on the nose, with good amounts of tropical fruit – mainly peach and mango. The spicy floral notes on the tail end are nice. The palate flavors are much the same as the nose, but the beeswax flavors last all the way through the transition of the other flavors. (90 Points)

2007 Domaine de Deurre Côtes du Rhône Villages Vinsobres – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Vinsobres Roasted herbs and cigar box dominate the nose, but there is some barnyard and raspberry aromas as well. The flavors on the palate are the same as the nose, but they are a little more balanced, with nothing really dominating anything else. (90 Points)

2008 Trimbach Riesling – France, Alsace, Alsace AOC Lots of green apple on the nose, plus hints of citrus and gasoline. The back end adds in a little bit of minerality. This wine has an incredible amount of acidity on the palate. This really brings out the citrus and stone flavors. The apple flavors, which were so strong on the nose, finally peek out on the finish. (89 Points)

2007 Azienda Agricola Moroder Rosso Conero – Italy, Marche, Rosso Conero Floral and spicy on the nose, with a good backbone of roasted meat and dark berries. The palate is much like the nose and has nice acidity. (88 Points)

2005 Prunotto Barolo – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo Dark cherry and prunes on the nose, with a nice spice layer underneath. Soft and velvety in the mouth, with firm tannins, the cherry and spice flavors take center stage, and the prunes come in on the finish. A little one dimensional, but good. (88 Points)


2006 Fidelitas Boushey Vineyard – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley You can really smell the oak on the nose. It has loads of sweet vanilla, but there is also some graphite, dark black fruit, cinnamon rolls, and a touch of flowers. The oak is not as dominate on palate as it is on the nose, but this wine still needs time. Pencil lead and flowers, spice and dark fruit, and a nice vanilla finish. (91 Points)

2006 Long Shadows Wineries Pirouette – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley A lot of blueberry upfront on the nose, with a little earth, BBQ, and spice. The palate is much the same as the nose. It tastes good, but I find it to be relatively uninteresting. (90 Points)

Sole Meuniere

The simplest dishes are always the best. This one is extremely easy and extremely delicious. You can use any firm white fish for this dish. I actually used Pollock and it was great. Plus, the dish that turned Julia Child into a cook has got to be good.

Sole meuniere

Sole Meuniere


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sole fillets
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

  2. Generously coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Season 2 of the fillets with salt. Dredge the fillets in flour and place them immediately in the pan with the hot oil. Do not flour the fish ahead of time or it will be gummy and mushy on the outside rather than crispy.

  3. When the fish has turned from translucent to opaque, about 2/3 of the way through the cooking, turn the fish over and cook on the other side. Remove the fish from the pan and reserve on a sheet tray in the oven. Repeat the process with the remaining 2 fish fillets. Keep the cooked fish fillets warm in the oven while you make the sauce.

  4. Remove any excess oil from the pan. Add the butter and thyme leaves. Shake the pan frequently to prevent scorching. When the butter has melted and is very bubbly, add in the lemon juice and whisk to combine. As the butter becomes bubbly again and starts to turn a nutty brown, season with salt and whisk in the chopped parsley. Taste to make sure it is delicious.

  5. Remove the fish fillets from the oven and plate them, spooning the sauce over the fish.

Garlic Chicken In Casserole with Israeli Couscous

I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to use chicken. Here’s one that’s fairly easy and tastes pretty good too. It goes great with Eggless Caesar Salad.

Garlic chicken

Garlic Chicken In Casserole with Israeli Couscous


Chicken: - 2 whole garlic bulbs - 1 lemon, zested and juiced - 1 large bunch thyme, leaves only - 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground - Pinch crushed red pepper flakes - Kosher salt - Extra-virgin olive oil - 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 to 10 parts

Couscous: - Kosher salt - 2 cups medium-size Israeli couscous - Extra-virgin olive oil - 1 large onion, sliced - 3 ribs celery, sliced thin on the bias - Pinch crushed red pepper flakes - 1 1/2 cups dry white wine - 3 tablespoons tomato paste - Large pinch saffron - 2 zucchini, green part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice - 2 to 3 cups chicken stock - 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted - 3 scallions, white and green, sliced thinly on the bias


  1. Chicken: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the garlic bulbs in a small tin and roast them until they are soft when squeezed, about 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

  2. When the garlic bulbs are cool, slice the tops off and squeeze out the roasted garlic. Add the garlic to a food processor or a bowl, along with the lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, cumin, crushed red pepper and salt, to taste. Add a little olive oil and puree or mash into a loose paste. Massage the mixture all over the chicken pieces and let sit for at least 1 hour.

  3. Couscous: Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil, over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook it until it’s about 2/3 of the way cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and reserve.

  4. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and brown it on all sides. Remove it to a plate, drain the fat and add the onions and celery. Season with salt, to taste, and the crushed red pepper. Deglaze with white wine, scraping up all the crud on the bottom of the pan and cook the onions and celery for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the saffron, zucchini, cooked couscous, and chicken stock. Stir to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish. Nestle the chicken, skin side up, in the couscous and cover with foil. Add some more chicken stock to keep everything nice and moist. Sprinkle with pine nuts and cover with foil. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan.

  5. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, covered, then remove the foil and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and top with scallions before serving.

Eggless Caesar Salad

If you’re one of those people afraid of using raw egg yolks, here’s a eggless version of a caesar salad that’s almost as good as the real thing.

Ceasar salad

Eggless Caesar Salad


  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano, plus a block for shaving
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 or 4 anchovy fillets
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 to 4 slices day old rustic Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce


  1. In the bowl of a food processor add the 1 cup of cheese, the lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, the mustard and the anchovies. Turn the machine on and let it run for 15 to 20 seconds. As the machine is running, drizzle in 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil. Let the machine run for another 15 seconds after the oil has incorporated. Season, to taste, with salt.

  2. Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Smash 2 garlic cloves and add them to the pan over medium heat. When the garlic cloves have become golden and are very aromatic remove them and discard, they have fulfilled their garlic destiny. Stir in the bread cubes, season with salt, to taste, and saute them until they have absorbed all of the oil and are crispy, but still slightly pliable.

  3. Break apart the lettuce leaves. Swish them in cool water, then pat them dry. In a large bowl toss the leaves with the dressing. Arrange the leaves on serving plates and sprinkle with the garlic croutons. Shave some Parmesan over the salads and serve.

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