Varietal of the Month: Austin Hope, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaker Austin Hope grew up in the coastal mountain range of Paso Robles, CA working in the vineyards with his father. There he developed a love for winemaking and farming grapes. Today, he still lives in Paso Robles and cares for the land and vineyards that his family has had for nearly 40 years. This Cabernet was created so that he could express all that Paso Robles has to offer, with its beauty, perfect soil, coastal climate and hopeful possibilities.

Paso Robles roughly translates to “passageway of oaks.” Beautifully majestic oak trees line the landscape of rolling hills and vineyards where the ideal soil exists for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The days are dry and warm, but the evenings are chilled by Pacific breezes. At an elevation of 1,000 feet, the soil is rich with fossils and shells that are often found in the area.

Dark garnet in color, the 2017 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon expresses aromas of freshly picked blueberries, ripe black cherries, with subtle notes of roasted coffee, cocoa and dried spices. On the palate, the luscious supple tannins are powerful yet modern in style with layered flavors of juicy blackberry and red fruit, while nuances of black pepper, clove and vanilla bean round out the long smooth finish. It’s full-bodied and rich, balanced by fresh acidity and firm, polished tannins.

Food Pairings:
Beef, Lamb, Game Meat, strong-flavored cheese, Charcuterie.

Recipe of the Month: Bacon-Beef Meatballs with Spicy Soy-Cranberry Sauce
5 slices of cooked bacon
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground beef
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (14 oz) can whole cranberries
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Place the bacon, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, chili powder and salt into a food processor and process for about 1 minute or until everything is uniformly chopped and combined.

Spoon bacon and onion mixture into large bowl. Add Italian sausage, ground beef and egg. Stir to combine.

Scoop out the meat mixture and roll into 1-inch balls using your palms.

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Place the meatballs into the saucepan and cook, turning every couple of minutes to ensure all sides cook evenly.

Remove meatballs and excess grease from the pan. Add the cranberries, broth, soy sauce, sriracha and vinegar and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce to low. Add the meatballs back to the pan and let cook for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the cranberries liquify. Makes approx. 25 cocktail-size meatballs.

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