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


Wine Wednesday: Herbed Chèvre Tart with 2018 Essere Franco Rosé of Malbec

Bonjour from Napa!

Pardon my French, but this week’s wine and recipe bring me straight back to Paris.  I’ll never forget the summer that my graduate thesis advisor and I both happened to be doing research at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.  Since my stipend was quite meager, I was living largely off of breakfast cereal munched hastily in my hotel room.  Hearing this one hot afternoon, she generously treated me to one of the loveliest meals I have ever enjoyed.  In a small café a few blocks from the archive, we sipped rosé and nibbled the plat du jour: a gorgeous chèvre tart topped with olive oil and fresh herbs, with a spring salad on the side.  I was so stuffed afterwards that I am sure my work suffered, but I was not going to let one bite of that tart go to waste.  There hasn’t been anything quite like it since, but as soon as I took my first sip of our 2018 Essere Franco Rosé of Malbec, I was there again, happily devouring goat cheese in Paris with my advisor.  That’s when I knew I had to find a recipe to match this luscious wine!

Our rosé is unique in part because it is purpose built.  Whereas many wineries treat their rosé as a happy by-product of red-wine production, our winemaker sets aside some of our estate-grown Malbec specifically for this wine.  Bolder and less acidic than many rosés of Pinot Noir that are now en vogue, this is a refreshing divergence from what has become the Napa norm.  You could almost call it a summer red, and that is why it goes so well with a rich goat-cheese tart.  The fats from the pastry crust and chèvre pull tannin off of the palate, leaving you free to revel in the fruit profiles of the wine – all mouthwatering strawberry and red currant.  For those adventurous souls out there, try scattering ripe nectarine slices over the top of your tart and voilà – stone fruit notes in the rosé will surprise and delight you. 

Since we are seeing things through rosé-colored glasses this season, for a limited time we are offering a Glasses of Rosé special: enjoy three bottles of our 2018 Essere Franco Rosé of Malbec for $99 (normally $45 each).  Want to taste the rosé alongside some of our other show-stopping wines with the guidance of a pro?  Check out our Virtual Tasting Packages and schedule a tasting with your favorite Essere personality by emailing or calling us at 707-339-8019.

Also, don’t forget to join in the Wine Wednesday fun by submitting your recipe and Essere pairing to me at today!  All submissions will be entered to win a three-pack of our legendary Proprietary Red Wine, a $675 retail value!  Today is the last day to enter, and I’ll be featuring the winner in next week’s Wine Wednesday post.

Cheers everyone and, of course, essere sani.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

Image courtesy of Woman & Home

Wine Wednesday : Shaun’s Port and Bay Steak with 2016 Essere Franco Cabernet Sauvignon

I am so excited to introduce Shaun Mesher, one of the partners of Essere Napa.  Based in Alberta, Canada, Shaun is a true wine and food enthusiast. He first experienced wine tasting in the Napa Valley in 2006 and fell in love with the area, the culture and the industry. But with a PhD in organic chemistry and a degree in biochemistry, Shaun’s passion for wine goes beyond simple taste and enjoyment to the science behind creating fantastic wines.

The opportunity to acquire Essere Wines came about through Shaun’s network in Napa. His infectious enthusiasm for winemaking, together with his solid entrepreneurial track record, were such that he successfully persuaded a number of his friends and relations to invest with him in Essere Wines.

Shaun is committed to creating beautiful wines thoughtfully, responsibly and scientifically, and I am overjoyed to share his recipe with you!  He says, “I’ve used this method of cooking steak many times when I am not social distancing, but it is an easy steak to do by yourself.  You’ll be amazed by the way the steak is beautifully tender.”  He also gave me some pro tips: “my favorite cut for this recipe is the rib-eye, tender and full of fat that renders very nicely in the oven. You will need enough steak for the number of people you are cooking for (up to 2lb, up to 6 people).  Access to a BBQ is a plus.”  He recommended that we pair this delicious steak with our 2016 Essere Franco Cabernet Sauvignon, and I simply cannot wait to try it.  What are you waiting for?

Wine Wednesday

Hello friends! Thank you for joining us in our very first Wine Wednesday post! Over the next few weeks, we at Essere will bring you Shelter-in-Place pairing ideas from our partners and staff to give you a little added inspiration for your own creations. Post a recipe along with your Essere pairing recommendation using the hashtag #SIPessere, or email your pairing ideas to me at, and we’ll pick a favorite to feature here and on social media on May 20th. Everyone who submits will be eligible to win a three-pack of our Essere Franco Proprietary Red, so have some fun and you can drink on us!

This week’s recipe comes from yours truly – Brianna – a brand new member of the team at Essere Napa. Nice to meet you!

Due to my mother’s insistence on pretending as though my apartment is actually a bomb shelter, I relied largely on non-perishable ingredients found in my emergency supply cupboard (read = my normal, everyday pantry) and on leftovers to create an Aperitivo Plate. All of the flavors brought out something special about the 2011 Essere Franco Proprietary Red Blend, which is really starting to stretch its legs. Of course, because my boyfriend and I had SUCH a nice time enjoying the 2011, we also popped a 2012 Essere Franco Proprietary Red Blend (known cutely as “prop red” to us office hooligans), and that made us quite happy as well. Members, if you were lucky enough to order a vertical of our “prop reds” this spring, consider opening the wines and comparing how the different components on the plate work with the different vintages. I, of course, didn’t have an entire vertical or we would have been doing so as well (please, no judging during quarantine).

I hope you enjoy making an evening special by digging into your Essere and cannot wait to see what you are trying at home!


Brianna & the Essere Team