Fall is here! It is my favorite time of year. All of the squashes, root vegetables, soups, and heartier meals elevate my excitement about cooking. It is also time once again to continue Pedroncelli’s 90th anniversary celebration with three wines, two limited edition for the celebration, and another mouth-watering recipe. So let’s fall for Pedroncelli!
The Wine: For four generations Pedroncelli Family Vineyards has been “quietly crafting authentic wines at incredibly reasonable prices.” The key to their success: “tight-knit family and farming their own vines in the greatest spot to grow grapes.” I have now enjoyed 10 different Pedroncelli wines and I have found them all to be crafted of high quality. Furthermore, their old world understanding of pairing the right wine with the right food elevate both is right up my alley.
“Pedroncelli wines are made with food, friends, and family in mind. California wines with an Old World twist. They pair as nicely with food as they do with a glass.” ~ Pedroncelli Wines
2015 Pedroncelli Bench Vineyards Merlot Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County USA ($18): Poured medium ruby; offered medium aromas of fresh picked summer berries, warm spice, crushed violets; feminine and quintessentially Merlot, hints of warm oak on the palate, balanced, rich and focused, pronounced acidity, dusty tannins, slight rustic quality that is pleasing, long finish.
2015 Pedroncelli Block 007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County USA ($26): A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot; limited production 90th anniversary edition; medium+ ruby robe; aromas of black cherries, plums, black berries, warm spice, dusty earth, eucalyptus, mocha, dried savory herbal notes, and minerality; dusty on the palate with a black pepper finish; mineral driven, fully body, balanced with pronounced acidity and tannins, at $26 this wine is a steal.
2015 Pedroncelli Bushnell Vineyard Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County USA ($26): A blend of 97% Zinfandel with 3% Petite Sirah; deep ruby with black hues; rich fruit notes of baked berries, warm spices, crushed tobacco, dried rose petals, dark chocolate, black pepper, savory dried spices; a slight sweetness in flavors not sugar wraps the palate upon entering the palate, quickly giving way to rich bold spice notes with cocoa, tobacco, and black pepper, structured with a long spicy finish; everything you want in a zin at a great price.
The Food: Pedroncelli makes my life easy by providing a delicious recipe to pair with their wines. If you have not visited their web site you must to check out all their delicious recipes that pair seamlessly with their wines. One of the recipes that pairs with these three wines is Sausage Cheese, and Basil Lasagna. Isn’t fall a great time for lasagna with hearty red wines?!
My Choice: Because I just returned from three weeks abroad, two in Italy, I swore before I arrived home that I would not eat any pasta until I return to Italy (Orcia) at the end of October for another press trip. Furthermore, since my husband and I are now sadly empty nesters I did not need to make an entire lasagna. So I took the delicious recipe sent to me by Pedroncelli and adapted it to meet our immediate needs by using spaghetti squash and making us individual bowls instead of an entire pan. I made the sauce and filling as the recipe calls for but reducing the quantity, baked a medium size spaghetti squash, then layered the bowls with the squash on the bottom, filling in the middle, then topped with the sauce. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes, and viola! A delicious and healthy alternative with less overall food.
The Results: Incredible. I was not sure how the spaghetti squash would work and I must say it was a good play. The sauce offers a touch of heat from the sausage and crushed red pepper, which is tamed by the delicious ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese filling. We tried each wine with the dinner and all three made for a great pairing. It is hard to imagine with the price of so many California wines that Pedroncelli can make such delicious, high quality wines, at such affordable prices. What are you waiting for? Try them.
My Song Pairing: We dined outside and my husband began our dinner with some crazy reggae Amazon station. I have nothing against reggae but it did not fit the atmosphere. Instead I am choosing to welcome fall with these three classic red wines and a classic Italian meal with something more apropos.
Get your own bottle of Pedroncelli Family Vineyards wines and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!