Wine Wednesday – Flatiron Steak Sandwich + 2016 Essere Franco Estate Grown Malbec

Greetings from Napa!

Oh, how I wish I could bring you to this beautiful valley right now.  The sun is shining, the vines are growing, and we have a winner to announce!  I am very pleased to introduce Paige, the winner of our S-I-P Recipe and Pairing Contest!  Paige is a California native with loads of experience in winemaking, wine tasting, and I think you’ll agree, wine pairing.  Here is what she had to say about her winning combination:

“For my recipe contest submission, I’ve decided to write up the perfect pairing for your silky smooth 2016 Estate Malbec. The Malbec is bold and delicious! It showcases a wonderful combination of dark fruit and rich tannins, with a soft and supple mouth feel that lingers on the palate. After tasting this alluring wine, I knew I had to come up with a pairing that would match its decadent flavor. That is why I’ve created a new twist on the steak sandwich! I’ve created an indulgent Spinach and Artichoke spread for this recipe in order to match and enhance the character of the Malbec! I hope you enjoy this recipe!”

Couldn’t agree more Paige, I certainly enjoyed it!  Not only did her recipe give me an excuse to fire up the grill, the smokiness of the steak was a perfect match for the toasty oak and cocoa notes in our 2016 Essere Franco Estate Grown Malbec.  This Malbec comes from our Las Cerezas vineyard in Yountville, and that moderate climate leaves the wine bursting with sumptuous flavors of blueberry and blackberry, a stellar combination for the the gouda and artichoke spread.  Easy and delicious, two things I’m learning to value more and more these days! So get out on that patio, start the grill, and enjoy this amazing Malbec.

Want to pair with a pro? Schedule a Virtual Tasting with us today!

Essere sani


Tasting in the Home: How Your Five Senses Bring Pleasure to the Wine You Drink

When I was young and growing up in Colorado, the really spectacular flowers would bloom only in the small space of time between late spring freezes and the hot, dry summer months. When they did, my mom and I would walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood looking at the flower beds people had planted, but I knew that we were really looking for one flower in particular: lilac. When my mom spotted a full bush of lilacs in bloom, her eyes would light up and she would bee-line straight for them. Eyes closed, face raised to the hanging blooms, she would say simply: “this is my favorite smell in the entire world.” To this day, if I smell a lilac bush, I can see her face, smiling up as she breathed them in. To me, lilacs mean one thing: my mother.

One of the reasons that wine is so enjoyable is that it captures all of your senses and pulls once-lost memories, feelings, and people back to us. Wine grapes are so special because they can encompass, in one single berry, smells and flavors that we have been enjoying our entire lives. We do not put chocolate-covered cherries in our Essere Mi Red Blend, yet every time I raise a glass of it to my nose I see my stepfather, munching happily on bonbons every Christmas. When we take the time to move through a wine step-by-step, using each of our senses in turn, we can connect with ourselves more deeply, as well as with those whom we share it. By following a few easy steps, you can turn wine drinking into wine savoring, wine sniffing into aromatherapy, and wine pairing into a work of art.