Winter Cooking

If you love sipping a glass of wine while you work in the kitchen, try adding a splash of your favorite varietal to whatever you’re cooking. Wine adds great flavor to winter dishes. Here are some ideas for infusing your meals with wine country flavors:

Add zest to slow-cooked stews: The secrets to a delicious stew include long and slow simmering, judicious seasoning and a splash of red wine. Just a half-cup of wine such as Petite Sirah will transform your favorite recipe for beef or lamb stew. We also love to add wine to a classic pot roast or Swiss steak recipe, substituting it for beef broth or other liquids called for.

Mix a savory marinade: Most marinades consist of a blend of oil, vinegar and seasonings, but we find that a bit of wine improves everything. To make a delicious marinade for slowly roasted beef, lamb or chicken, combine the following items in a blender or food processor: One handful each fresh rosemary and thyme leaves, ½ cup each olive oil and dry red wine (such as Merlot or Petite Sirah), ¼ cup red wine vinegar, a few spoonfuls of hot-sweet mustard and a few cloves of garlic. Puree, pour mixture over meat and marinate in the refrigerator overnight before roasting.

Jazz up your favorite chili recipe: Everybody has a favorite chili recipe – whether it calls for beans or not. Many traditional chili recipes call for the addition of beer, but did you know that a bit of red wine really enhances the flavor of chili? Next time you make a batch, add a cup or two of Merlot, Petite Sirah or any dry red wine to the mix and you’ll have a brand new recipe for wine country chili!

Stay tuned! We are very excited to unveil our “Share Your Family Recipes” app in the coming weeks on Facebook! Fans can upload, browse and comment on other users’ recipes, as well as search for recipes by wine and pairing suggestions. Cheers to that!

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