Winery of the Month:
The Giguiere brothers grew up on a farm in California. They were well-known for all the trouble they caused and most notably for setting fire to things. After college, the farm was in trouble and the brothers returned to make the land a viable heritage for the family. They decided to plant a vineyard and, in the process, created a new California wine growing region. Just east of Napa, Yolo County is the home to Matchbook Wine Company, aptly named by the pyromaniac brothers. Tucked away in Northern California’s gently rolling Dunnigan Hills, Matchbook is located just 30 minutes north of Sacramento and Davis and is a destination for wine lovers looking to discover quality estate-grown varietals.
Dunnigan Hills is often lumped into conversations about the Central Valley as one large wine region. But insiders know the red gravel soil and climate in the hills make it a hidden gem. For several years the brothers supplied grapes from their vineyards to many top California labels. With a long growing season, hot days and cool, breezy nights, the Matchbook creators grow varietals that thrive in these conditions. Their wines are always fruit first, with oak flavors as a supporting element. The whites are pure, 100% varietal, while the reds are blended in the spirit of complexity and character.
Wine of the Month:
Matchbook, The Arsonist, Red Blend
Arsonist is the Matchbook twist on a Bordeaux blend: 52% Petit Verdot, 26% Malbec and 22% Cabernet Sauvignon. Anchored by Petit Verdot the grace of the wine shows in an elegant bouquet of plum, raspberry and mocha. The blend of three powerhouse reds delivers full flavors of blackberry, cherry, chocolate and pepper spice; barrel aging adds a nice dose of vanilla oak. The finish lingers with dark fruit flavors, herbs and old-fashioned saddle leather.
Petit Verdot is a thick-skinned, deeply colored grape and serves as the power player of the blend. Aged properly, Petit Verdot develops hefty, full-structured wines with rich flavors of plum, blackberry and spice. Malbec is another deeply hued grape and contributes inky color and flavors of dark fruit and chocolate. The Cabernet Sauvignon were chosen from two different vineyards. The two-appellation blend adds the grace notes to the finished wine that show up in the elegant bouquet, the round mouthfeel and the touch of herbal spice.
Lamb chops, steaks, rich sauces, sharp cheese.
Pasta with Truffles and Sage
1/2 lb FRESH handmade pasta
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs fresh sage, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese, grated
2 Tbs truffle oil
8 slices Prosciutto di Parma, very thin
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large sauté pan. Add the olive oil and the garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook over low heat until golden. Add the sage and turn off the heat.
Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Place the pasta and the reserved water in the sauté pan with the mushroom mixture. Add the cheese and truffle oil and toss to coat. Add more olive oil to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
Divide between plates and top with torn prosciutto. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil before serving. Serves 4.