Food Pairings

Great food and great wine is a match made in heaven. These are some of our favorite Fontanella Food pairings. Send us yours so we can add them here.


2012 Fontanella Cabernet Sauvignon Pairing Recipe

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Braised Short Ribs

by Chef Kim Kaechele
Serves 4

  • 2 ½ pounds boneless short ribs
  • 2 cups onion, medium dice
  • 1 cup carrot, medium dice
  • 1 cup celery, medium dice
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 4 ea. Thyme sprigs
  • 1 ea. Bay leaf
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 Tbs Flour
  • 4 Tbs Softened Butter

Preheat your oven to 300° degrees.

Pat the short ribs dry and season each side with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat and add a light coating of canola oil and sear the short ribs until browned on all sides. Remove the short rib to a plate and reserve.

Turn the pan down to medium heat and add the onions and carrots into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes until the vegetables have picked up some golden brown color. Add the celery, crushed garlic cloves and tomato paste and continue to sauté for another 7 or 8 minutes until the vegetables are softened and reddish brown in color. Deglaze your pan with your 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and allow to cook briefly until the alcohol has burned off a bit.

Nestle the short ribs and vegetables into a deep casserole dish add beef stock until liquid covers the meat by at least 2/3rds. Add your thyme and Bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Flip the ribs over and cook for an additional hour.

After 2 ½ hours of cooking, test ribs for tenderness. If the meat gives way easily when pressed gently, they're done!

Serve over creamy Parmesan polenta, whipped potatoes or alongside roasted root vegetables. Spoon a healthy amount of your braising liquid over top and garnish with fresh herbs of your choice. Enjoy with a glass (or 3!) of our 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon!


2013 Fontanella Cabernet Sauvignon Pairing Recipe

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  • Oxtail 2 lbs
  • Flour 2 Tbs. (more as needed)
  • Yellow onion, diced 1 ea.
  • Carrot, peeled, diced 1 ea.
  • Garlic cloves, chopped 5 ea.
  • Anchovy filets, chopped 4 ea.
  • Tomato paste 2 Tbs.
  • Red wine 1 cup
  • Tomato puree 1½ cups
  • Chicken stock 1 cup
  • Bay leaves 2 ea.
  • Thyme sprigs 5 ea.
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper, ground to taste
  • Canola oil as needed

To Garnish:
Parsley leaves, torn
Oregano leaves, torn
Lemon zest

Preheat oven to 325°F. Dust the oxtail segments in a small amount of flour and set aside on a plate. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with canola oil and heat over medium high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, brown the oxtails, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. When the oxtails are browned all over, remove and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the diced onion and carrot. Stir occasionally and sweat the vegetables for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic, anchovy filets, and tomato paste and stir often, using the back of a spoon to break apart the anchovy filets. Cook until the mixture is caramelized and smells rich and fragrant. Add the red wine and reduce, cooking off the majority of the alcohol and liquid. Add tomato puree, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Carefully nestle the oxtails into the Dutch oven – the sauce should come almost to the top of the oxtails. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover and place in the oven. Braise the oxtails for 1 ½ hours, flip carefully, and cook for another 1- 1½ hours until completely fork tender.

Remove the oxtails from the sauce, fish out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and discard. Carefully de-fat the sauce, using care not to burn yourself. Taste the sauce and re-season as needed. You can either puree the sauce, or serve it chunky – whatever you prefer!

Serve the oxtails on top of soft polenta, mashed potatoes or buttered noodles. Garnish with torn parsley and oregano leaves and freshly zested lemon.


2013 Fontanella Zinfandel Pairing Recipe

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Roasted Duck Breast with Butternut Squash Purée and Fingerling Coins

Butternut Squash Purée

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash, approx 2-3 pounds, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Nutmeg, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Place the butternut squash in a small pot and cover with 2 cups heavy cream and about 1 cup of water. Season lightly with salt, add 4 sprigs of thyme, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash is fully tender.

Discard cooked thyme. Using a slotted spoon, place the butternut squash into a blender. Add a small amount of the cooking liquid (1/2 cup to start), season with salt, pepper, Chinese five spice, and grated nutmeg. Puree until completely smooth and silky. Re-season as needed. You can do this step in advance and re-heat before serving.

Roasted Duck Breast

  • 4 duck breasts
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F

Score the fat side of the duck in a hatch pattern, taking care to not cut into the flesh of the duck. Season the skin with salt and the flesh side with both salt and fresh ground pepper.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Place 2-4 breasts in the pan skin side down a press down to ensure even contact. Allow the duck to render for 6-8 minutes until the skin is deeply golden brown and crispy. Flip the duck breast over and "kiss" the flesh side of the duck to the pan for 30-45 seconds, remove and transfer to your roasting rack lined sheet pan.

Pour off the rendered duck fat into a small heatproof bowl and reserve.

Place in a 375° oven for 7 minutes. Check the temperature of the duck, it should read 125° for medium rare. Allow the duck breasts to rest for 7-10 minutes before carving. Once fully rested, slice the breasts on a bias into ½" slices.

Roasted Fingerling Potato Coins

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, gently crushed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons reserved duck fat
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Wash 1 pound of fingerling potatoes and cut into rounds or coins, ¼" thick. Put the coins in a mixing bowl, add the reserved duck fat, season with salt and pepper, crushed cloves of garlic, thyme sprigs and toss to combine. Pour the contents of the bowl onto a baking sheet so that the coins are in a single layer. Roast the potatoes along with the duck in the same 375° oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.


2014 Fontanella Zinfandel Pairing Recipe

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Teri Hatcher’s Fontanella Zinfandel Cioppino

  • 1 fennel bulb (keep the stalks and use delicate herb leaves as garnish)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (use San Marzano)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 ½ c. Fontanella Zinfandel wine
  • 1 8oz bottle clam juice
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs. halibut cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 lb. mussels (debeard and clean) (about 3 per person)

Use food processor to chop fennel, onion, and garlic. Pulse till coarsely chopped.

Heat oil in 6 quart heavy pot, over medium high heat, then stir in chopped vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Cook covered over medium heat for 5 minutes until vegetable are softening. Stir a few times.

Add canned tomatoes WITH juice, water, Fontanella wine, and clam juice. Bring to a boil then cover and continue low boil on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Stir in halibut and mussels. Cook on boil uncovered for 6 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Discard any unopened mussels and bay leaves.

Serve in bowl with grilled seasoned bread.

To grill bread, slice in triangle using Focaccia or Ciabatta. Cover bread with olive oil and salt and grill in pan for a minutes on high heat to sear in grill marks.

Hint: You can make the stock base the night before. Reheat to a boil and add fish ten minutes before serving. Super healthy and delicious!


2013 Fontanella Chardonnay Pairing Recipe

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Chicken with Chardonnay and Chanterelles


  • 75g fresh or 15g dried chanterelles
  • 40-55 g butter
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 350-400g)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 shallots (about 75g), finely sliced
  • 150 ml subtly oaked new world Chardonnay
  • A good pinch of Spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • 90ml chicken stock (if using fresh chanterelles)
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two coils of dried pappardelle all'uovo or other wide-ribboned egg pasta (about 100g)
  • A little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp very finely chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 400°
If using dried chanterelles soak them for 10 minutes in just enough lukewarm water to cover. If using fresh chanterelles, brush them lightly with a soft brush, trim the bases, slice them, then sauté them lightly in 15g of butter.

Dip the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over a moderate heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and 15g of butter and place the chicken breasts in skin side down. Fry for about 2 1/2 -3 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp, turn the chicken over and lightly brown the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan, place in an ovenproof dish, transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Discard the fat, wipe the pan and replace it over a low heat. Add the remaining oil, another 15g of butter and cook the sliced shallots gently for about 5-6 minutes or until soft. Add the paprika, stir, turn up the heat and pour in the Chardonnay. When the sizzling has died down add 90ml of the reserved mushroom water or chicken stock. Turn the heat down again and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half then strain the sauce into a bowl. Return the strained sauce to the pan, add the soaked or sautéed mushrooms, cover and simmer for another 5-6 minutes.

Put the pasta on to cook. Take the mushrooms off the heat, stir in the cream and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Replace over a very low heat to thicken, stirring occasionally.

When the pasta is cooked drain thoroughly, stir in a small knob of butter and season with a little pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Slice the chicken breasts into five or six thick diagonal slices. Transfer them to warm plates, arrange the pasta alongside and spoon over the mushrooms and cream. Sprinkle with a little finely chopped parsley. Voila!


2014 Fontanella Chardonnay Pairing Recipe

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Macadamia Nut Crusted Scallops


  • 8 diver scallops, rinsed and dried
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
  • Salt and white ground pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil

For the Sauce:

  • 1-2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 8 ounces white wine (Chardonnay)
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 T heavy cream
  • 12 T cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste.


To make the scallops, use a rotary cheese grater to grate the macadamia nuts into a bowl, or chop using a knife. Season the scallops with salt and white pepper. Dredge the scallops in the flour, removing any excess. Coat the scallops in the beaten eggs, covering them completely. Dredge the scallops in the grated nuts.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Heat an oven-safe pan over medium heat and add the oil. When very hot, place the scallops in the pan. Brown on one side until golden, about 3 minutes. Turn onto the other side and place the pan into the oven until done, about 4 minutes. The scallops should be golden brown and firm to the touch.

Combine the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons.

Add the cream to the reduction. Once the liquid bubbles, reduce the heat to low. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking first on the heat and then off the heat. Continue whisking butter into the reduction until the mixture is fully emulsified and has reached a rich sauce consistency. Season with salt and white pepper. Store beurre blanc in a thermos until ready to serve.


2012 Fontanella Cabernet Franc Pairing Recipe

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Sautéed Pork Chops with Thyme Mashed Potatoes, Peas and Carrots

  • Pork Brine
  • 8 cups water + 8 additional cups cold water
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 3 ea. Bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs black peppercorns

Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add the salt and sugar, whisking to dissolve. Add the remaining ingredients, turn off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Transfer to a container and add 8 cups cold water to help cool down the brine. The brine must be fully chilled before adding your pork. Brine your pork chops overnight, 12 hours is ideal.

  • 4 ea. Ribeye Pork chops, bone-in
  • 6 ea. garlic cloves, whole, lightly crushed
  • 8 ea. sprigs thyme
  • 4 ea. sprig rosemary
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • Canola Oil for sautéing
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Remove your pork chops from the brine and allow them to come to room temperature (covered) for 20 minutes. Pat both sides of your chops dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large heavy pan over medium high heat, coat lightly with canola oil. Place two chops in the pan, cook on one side for 4-5 minutes until browned.

Flip each chop and push them towards the upper 2/3rds of the pan. In the bottom third of the pan, add half the quantity of crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary sprigs, and butter. Tilt the pan towards you and, using a large spoon, baste the pork chops with your melted butter mixture. Try to keep the aromatics immersed in the butter, and continue to baste until the chops read an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Try serving these chops with thyme scented mashed potatoes. Simply steep some thyme sprigs in the warm milk or cream that you use to finish the potatoes!


2015 Mt. Veeder Chardonnay

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Chardonnay Soaked Raisins


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup Chardonnay
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half vertically
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 12 ounces Fromager d’Affinois cheese sliced into 24 pieces (or any double-crème brie)
  • 24 slices baguette cut ¼ inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted


In a medium-size saucepan, combine the water, wine, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the liquid and add the remaining bean. Add the raisins. Let steep uncovered for a least 1 hour at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight. Drain the raisin, reserving the liquid. Discard the vanilla bean. Put the liquid back in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to about 1/3 cup, or until the syrup turns a deep golden color, 10 to 15 minutes. Watch carefully so the syrup doesn’t burn. If it starts to foam, remove from heat immediately. The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools, and have a texture similar to light maple syrup. Cool completely. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush butter onto both sides of the bread slices. Baker for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely. To assemble: Put a slice of cheese on each toast. Sprinkle with a few raisins and drizzle syrup over the top.


2015 Napa Valley Zinfandel

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Moroccan Style Hamburgers


  • 2 lb. ground beef (can use half lamb, if desired)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon black or cayenne pepper


Mix all the ingredients together, kneading the mixture for a minute or two to evenly distribute the spices and herbs. For best flavor, allow for the seasoned hamburger mix to rest before cooking. It can be prepared a day in advance.

Shape the meat into patties and grill over hot coals, turning once. (if you prefer, you can cook the hamburgers under a broiler, on a grill pan, or in a regular frying pan.) Serve the Moroccan hamburgers on homemade hamburger rolls or Moroccan khobz with lettuce, tomato, and other toppings.

Recipe from Christine Benlafquih


2014 Santo di Ladro

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Delicious Oven cooked Barbecue Brisket

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 5-6 pounds brisket
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 ounces liquid smoke
  • 1 ounce Worcester Sauce
  • 1 cup prepared barbecure sauce – your choice!


In a small bowl whisk together celery salt, garlic powder, and onion salt. Season both sides of the brisket. Place meat in a foil-lined baking pan that is enough to fully enclose the meat. Pour liquid smoke and Worcester sauce over the meat and as it drips to the side lift meat up so the liquid also season under the meat.

Crimp the foil tightly over the meat. Return to the refrigerator and marinate overnight.

Bring the meat to room temperature (30 minutes) and bake at 275 degrees for 5 hours. Remove foil and pour about 1 cup of barbecue sauce over the meat. Bake for an additional 60 minutes with the foil open.

Cool and slice into thin pieces.