The Glorious Life Blog

Miscellaneous Category

IMG_6812

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend 2014

Written By: Kelly DeLaMora

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend proved endless eating, drinking, and merriment during the weekend of August 29-31, 2014.  Thousands of wines were tasted, tons of food eaten…was there honestly anything better in life?  Three days of events meant three days of wine and food activities.

Friday consisted of an evening underneath the stars at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, paired with dinner prepared by the two proprietors of The Girl and the Fig Not magical enough? Try starting the evening off with a glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine to really bring effervescence into your night.

Saturday entailed thousands of wines itching to be tasted at MacMurray Estate Vineyards in Healdsburg. With over sixty local chefs whipping up creations that would impress even the most serious foodie along with sparkling wines inside Gloria Ferrer’s Bubble Lounge, this event was the place to be.

Sunday took place at the picturesque Chateau St. Jean in Kenwood.  Here mingling occured with Sonoma winemakers and bidding on auction items aided many notable charities.

This year’s Sonoma Wine Country Weekend was uniquely special to us here at Gloria Ferrer, due to the fact that Gloria and Jose Ferrer themselves were Honorary Chairs for this year’s event.

Their visit from Spain kicked-off with a GLORIOUS media luncheon on our winery grounds, provided by Feast Catering.  Special goodies provided by Williams-Sonoma, and beautiful flower arrangements were designed by Pedy’s Petals.  Having the Ferrer’s back at the winery undoubtedly elated our staff and lifelong bubbly fans.

A huge success of the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend was attributed to our Gloria Ferrer auction lot, having gone for $80,000, all of which went to local charities like the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.  Glorious indeed!

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend yet again yielded another brilliant weekend for our very own Gloria and Jose Ferrer to attend.  We are very blessed to have been the Honorary Chairs for 2014, and we look forward to next year’s event!

 

 

Heirloom Tomatoes

So Fresh and So Clean

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

With the month of August peaking its head out, Gloria Ferrer harvest just days away,  and our backyard Heirloom tomato plants filled to the brim with ripening fruit, it seemed fitting to show you some of our favorite “So Fresh” ideas for dinner and beyond. Let’s be honest, a lot of them feature tomatoes because… well they are just SOOOO fresh and delicious this time of year, how could we not? So, hopefully, you like tomatoes.

1) Dine alfresco: When in doubt… dine out. Patio, porch, deck, lawn, it will work. Don’t have a fancy table and chairs? Throw a blanket down on the grass and have a picnic. Simply being outside on a summer evening either with a cool breeze or in warmer temps just screams August and relaxation. Before you know it, it will be October and dark out and the thought of eating outside will not be so appealing.

2) Spice up everyday recipes with Fresh ingredients. Making spaghetti sauce? Scratch the canned tomatoes and use fresh ones from your backyard or local grocery store. Now is the time for the freshest of them all, so use them. You’ll be kicking yourself for not whipping up a huge batch of marinara using your fresh tomatoes, zucchini and basil to freeze and use the rest of the year. Trust, me I’ve been there and it’s miserable.

3) Comfort meals are perfect for summer too: When you think of comfort food, do you picture meatloaf and the winter? Maybe that is just me. Regardless, comfort food recipes like “BLT’s”, toast with cream cheese, tomato and basil, stuffed tomatoes or spaghetti are especially delicious this time of year.

4) Say no to Stove: Sometimes you just don’t want to turn on the range to cook because the heat is just too much and it’s already hot out. You can still whip up a great meal by creating a mozzarella or burrata and tomato basil salad, or a fresh batch of bruschetta. Paired with some greens, these are the perfect lighter meals for those nights that you just don’t feel like getting crazy in the kitchen.

5) Need a last minute centerpiece? Fill a vase or shallow serving bowl with brightly colored tomatoes. Or pot some miniature herbs in cute containers and place down middle of table. These will create a fresh aroma and will continue to be useful even after the party is over. Place next to some ice buckets filled with Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose, and there you have it, a fresh and clean, summertime meal.

-

Fourth of July Party

A Glorious 4th of July

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

Dear America,

It is almost Independence Day, a time for enjoying our favorite summer pastimes… BBQ-ing, backyard pool parties, homemade ice cream, fireworks and Aunt Thelma’s Potato Salad. It’s also a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate our freedom.

If you are the host for this year’s patriotic festivities, in true Gloria Ferrer fashion, we have pulled together FOUR ways to incorporate “The Glorious Life” into your 4th of July.

1) Look the Part: Don’t plan on hosting a party without throwing some spirit into your attire. Red, white and blue are three colors that most likely you own at least one article of clothing of. Who doesn’t have a white tee? Pair it with jean or navy shorts, throw on a red and white striped scarf and earrings and BOOM like the fireworks, you now are ready to sing “God Bless America” while eating corn on the cob.

2) Decor Details: The best part of Fourth of July is that being festive doesn’t have to be super fancy. In fact the more “down home” the decorations, the more true it is to the holiday. My favorite thing to do is utilize Mason Jars in multiple ways. Between using them for flower vases, favor vases, utensil holders or house your favorite beverage..they are a cute and simple.

3) Add fun to food and beverages: Been pinning away patriotic recipes like red, white and blue Rice Krispy Treats in the shape of a flag? Now is the time to whip them out. You can get away with over the top pie crusts with cut out stars or 15 layer parfaits with blueberries and strawberries. Have a signature red and white cocktail? Just add the Gloria Ferrer Extra Brut and you are ready to go!

4) Add Fun to Serving Goods: Another great reason why Fourth of July is so easy to have a party on is the accessibility of festive party goods. You don’t have to search high and low for paper plates with exactly 50 stars, you can find great patriotic looking Nautical themed paper goods at places like Target, Cost Plus and even the Dollar Store. I prefer going Nautical because I can easily use them for more parties throughout the summer since I always have left overs.  Even more abundant are paper goods in just red, white or blue solids or stripes… easy to come by and you can intermix and match all year long.

The moral to living the Glorious Life this Fourth of July? Have fun, and by following the simple tips above, your party will surely be the one that your family and friends will be looking forward to next summer.

Cheers.Untitled (19)

Sparkling Wine + Fried Chicken

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

Did you know that one of our all time favorite food & wine pairings is Sparkling Wine + Fried Chicken?
It really is a match made in heaven.

Why you ask?
The tiny bubbles, bright acidity, lively citrus flavors, toasty notes and dry finish of sparkling wine help to cut through those nutty oils and salty flavors found in a tasty piece of fried chicken.

Try this recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma, you won’t be disappointed!

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN
We recommended with Gloria Ferrer Somoma Brut, Royal Cuvée, Extra Brut and Carneros Cuvée.

fried chicken and sparkling wine

Image from Max’s Wine Dive by Kevin Marple.

Ingredients:

4 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup fine sea salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
Canola oil for deep-frying
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
To make the buttermilk brine, in a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and 1/3 cup salt. In a mortar, using a pestle, crush together the oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage (or pulse in a spice grinder) until finely ground. Whisk the ground herbs, garlic and cayenne pepper into the buttermilk mixture. Cut the chicken into 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings and 2 breast halves, reserving the back and giblets for another use. Cut each breast half crosswise to make 4 breast portions, for a total of 10 chicken pieces. Add to the buttermilk brine, making sure that the chicken is submerged. (If it isn’t, transfer everything to a smaller bowl.) Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 6 hours.

Pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a large, heavy saucepan and heat over high heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Set a large wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place near the stove. Have ready a second rimmed baking sheet. While the oil is heating, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Remove half of the chicken from the buttermilk brine, letting the excess brine drip back into the bowl. Add the chicken to the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly, then transfer to the second baking sheet.

When the oil is ready, in batches to avoid crowding, carefully slip the chicken pieces into the hot oil. The temperature will drop, but adjust the heat to keep the oil bubbling steadily at about 325°F. Deep-fry the chicken pieces, turning them occasionally with tongs, until they are golden brown and show no sign of pink when pierced at the thickest part, about 12 minutes. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the chicken to the rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve warm. Serves 4.

Variation: Chicken Maryland is served with cream gravy: After frying the chicken, in a saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. of the cooking oil over medium heat. Whisk in 2 Tbs. flour, simmer for 1 minute, then whisk in 2 cups heated half-and-half. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the gravy over the chicken.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).

 

Peonies

Make it a “Mom”entous Day

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

‘Tis the season for brunches, fresh flowers, mimosas and Sunday Fundays… Mother’s Day is the perfect day to bring all those things together. At Gloria Ferrer we like to Live Gloriously as much as possible. We thought it would be fun to share our favorite things do to for our moms or any mom in our life for that matter.

Brunch: We love brunch. A lot. Brunch leads into lunch time, which leads right into nap time. All are good things. Brunch food is also fun and easy. You can be super simple with what you prepare and moms still love it. Bagel Bars, Waffle Bars, Overnight Casseroles are easy and special.. Fruit and mimosas with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs is also a favorite of ours.

blanc-de-noirs-135x245Fancy Mimosas: As mentioned above, we all love mimosas. We actually prefer more bubbly than juice, but we also like to change up the regular OJ for other  juice. One of our new favorites is grapefruit juice. It’s bright, pink, and crisp but goes perfectly with our Blanc de Noirs. 

Flowers: Whether you pick roses off your rose bush in the backyard, order from a Florist or pick up some at the grocery store… moms love flowers. They brighten their day, their moods and decor.

Share your Thoughts: We know, it’s tough to let it all out some times… but moms love the mushy stuff. They really do. If you are unable to write out why you love your mom  so much, make sure the card you give her tells her just how special she is to you.

Free Time: Whether you send your mom or wife off to get a spa treatment or not… What moms usually like most is a chance to choose what they want to do. So give her a slice of free time to do whatever she wants… maybe she wants to bypass the facial and go see a movie, or browse the bookstore or mall. Maybe she wants to go for a hike or simply run errands. Letting your mom choose what she wants to do shows that you know everyone isn’t the same, have different wishes about how to spend their day and that you know she is special.

Tune In: If your mom or wife have been hinting at something they want for Mother’s Day… then tune in. While us ladies can be subtle at times, we also know how to lay it out for you. Is she complaining of dry hands and she just ran out of her favorite expensive hand cream? Go buy it for her.

Buy the Bubbly: Whether you are having a brunch or not, having sparkling wines on hand for your special mom/wife shows you know that the days is special and should be celebrated. If this mom is far away… send her some. She’ll love that you thought about her in a unique way. Our Carneros Cuvee is the perfect sparkler to bring the “Wow” to your mom’s day.

Cheers.

 

 

 

A Perfect Pair: The Grand Finale

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

The big day is here! Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

We are laying it all our for the final “Perfect Pair” food & wine pairing. This duo is sure to knock your loved ones socks off!

Perfect Pair Grand Final: Chocolate Soufflé and 2008 Brut Rose

Recipe by Chef Thomas Keller

Thomas Keller's Chocolate Souffle

 

INGREDIENTS

1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar (divided)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons (3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
Kosher salt
1 ounce, 70% chocolate, finely chopped
Softened butter and granulated sugar for coating the pan

*TIP: Use room temperature eggs and have all your ingredients measured and ready before you begin. An electric or stand mixer is recommended for this recipe.

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400° F. with the rack in the center of the oven.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tablespoon of the sugar with the cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside.
For the soufflé base, place the milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat to warm. In a separate small saucepan,
melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and a pinch of kosher salt into the butter mixture. Whisk for about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat. Whisk in 1/3 of milk to form a smooth mixture without lumps. Whisk in another 1/3 of the milk and then the final third. Return to medium heat and whisk, bringing to a simmer. Simmer for 30 seconds then remove the pan from the heat. Immediately whisk in the chocolate to melt. Whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Place the base in a large mixing bowl.
Brush your baking dish (or dishes) generously with softened butter. At the end, brush the butter
vertically around the sides of the pan, so that the soufflé will rise along the lines. Coat the pan with
granulated sugar.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they foam. Whisk in 1/3 of the remaining sugar until the whites begin to hold a form. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk until the whites hold a bit more of a shape. Add the final 1/3 of the sugar and continue whisking and add the remaining sugar until the whites are shiny and hold a firmer shape. Do not over whisk the whites. They should be glossy and hold a shape but over-whisking can cause them to break down.
Gently stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to combine and lighten the batter. Fold the remaining whites in the batter.
Spoon the soufflé into the prepared dish to reach the almost top of the pan. (Any extra can be placed in a ramekin and baked alongside the pan). Bake the soufflé anywhere from 15 minutes (for individual ramekins) to 30 minutes (for one larger pan), depending on the size of the baking dish, or until it has risen and the top is set (check with a skewer or about 160° with instant read thermometer). *Mine took close to 30 minutes for this one large-ish souffle.
Serve immediately, with whipped cream, creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream and a few raspberries, if desired. Serves 2 – 4.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 3

Why 2008 Brut Rose?

Reason #1, it’s pink and it’s Valentine’s Day. Let’s be festive! Reason #2, the strawberry flavors that make up the personality of this wine allow it to be the perfect companion to a rich chocolate dessert. Think of it as a more refined version of chocolate covered strawberries!

Chocolate Soufflé not enough for your love?

Gift them a pair of tickets to our Celebrity Chef Dinner at the winery on Saturday, April 5th! We are bringing in six of the nation’s top chefs to prepare a six course meal for you! Each course will be paired alongside our Award winning wines. This event is benefiting the James Beard Foundation. Visit our events page to learn more about the featured Chefs.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Perfect Pair: Recipe No. 3

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

It’s important to have a romantic meal on Valentine’s Day, and you’ve got one day left to plan! Be prepared with this delicious and fresh Cioppino Recipe by Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis!

Perfect Pair No. 3: Cioppino and 2005 Royal Cuvée

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Cioppino

 

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Why 2005 Royal Cuvée?

Older vintages of sparkling wine pair great with hearty dishes and rich sauces. Sparkling wine in particular is a match made in heaven with Seafood! The creamy palate and citrus flavors of this wine work great with the briny and salty flavors of the fresh seafood in the cioppino.

Want more from Celebrity Chefs like Giada?

Then join us at the winery on Saturday, April 6th for the Celebrity Chef Dinner Series. We’ll be bringing in some of the Nation’s Top Chefs to prepare a 6-course meal served alongside award-winning Gloria Ferrer Wines. The proceeds of this event will benefit the James Beard Foundation.

Just one more day till Valentine’s! Happy #Loveweek!

A Perfect Pair: Recipe No.2

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

Valentine’s Day is about love and passion, and what says love better than PORK?! For Tuesday’s “Perfect Pair” recipe we’re showcasing one of Chef Stephanie Izard’s delicious pasta dishes.

Apple-Pork Ragu with Papardelle and 2005 Extra Brut

Recipe from Girl in the Kitchen by Stephanie Izard, Chronicle Books, 2011

Apple-Pork Ragu with Papardelle

INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 ounces ground pork
2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, smashed by hand or chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 batch Basic Pasta Dough (about 1 lb), cut into papardelle, or 1 pound dried papardelle
2 tablespoons brined capers
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook it until it browns, 5 to 7 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces with a spoon. Set aside.
In a large saucepot or Dutch oven, lightly brown the bacon pieces over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sweat them by cooking until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the apples and wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by three quarters.
Add the tomatoes, broth, and browned pork and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the sauce has thickened somewhat, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the papardelle in the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain and rinse.
Add the capers and basil to the sauce just before serving. Season the ragù with salt and pepper. Serve over the pasta.

Why 2005 Extra Brut?

Extra-Brut-environment

Older vintages of sparkling wine favor dishes that are rich and hearty in flavor. The apple notes that you taste in the wine, pair perfectly with the bits of apple you’ll find in the pasta. Not to mention Sparkling Wine is always a friend to Salt, so bring on the pork!

Want more of Chef Stefanie Izard?

Then join us at the winery on Saturday, April 6th for the Celebrity Chef Dinner Series. Stephanie Izard + 5 other celebrity chefs will prepare a 6-course meal served alongside award-winning Gloria Ferrer Wines. The proceeds of this event will benefit the James Beard Foundation. Get your tickets!

Happy #Loveweek!

A Perfect Pair: Recipe No.1

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

We’re kicking off #loveweek by giving you all the tools necessary to WOW your loved one’s taste buds this Valentine’s Day. So slap an apron on and take notes my friend, this is the Perfect Pair No. 1.

Citrus Salad and 2010 Blanc de Blancs

Recipe from Mark Bittman

INGREDIENTS

2 blood oranges or tangerines
1 pink grapefruit
1 navel orange
Salt
1/2 small red onion or 1 shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Lime or lemon juice to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon or a pinch dried

DIRECTIONS

Peel citrus, removing as much pith as possible, and slice into wheels. Remove any pits, layer fruit on a serving dish, sprinkle with salt and garnish with chopped onion.
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and tarragon until well combined; taste, adjust seasoning as needed and drizzle over salad .
Serves: 4
Calories: 181
Total Fat: 11 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Total carbohydrates: 22 grams
Sugar: 16 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 122 milligrams

Why 2010 Blanc de Blancs?

Younger wines typically carry a brighter palate and high acidity, which can be complimented by dishes that highlight those same flavors. In this case, we’re bringing out the fresh grapefruit and orange flavors.

Are you a self declared “foodie”?

If so, join us at the winery on Saturday, April 6th for the Celebrity Chef Dinner Series. We’ll be bringing in some of the Nation’s Top Chefs to prepare a 6-course meal served alongside award-winning Gloria Ferrer Wines. The proceeds of this event will benefit the James Beard Foundation.

Happy #Loveweek!

 

 

iStock_000001213470Medium

A Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

We are just nine days until Valentine’s Day (the ladies are counting down), and because it seems as though guys do majority of purchasing for this holiday, it seemed natural to do a post just for you.  Even if you don’t have a sweetheart this year, it is still important to show your loved ones, just how important they are to you (see #7 below). By following the fool proof tips below, you will be better prepared and on your game.

1) Don’t Forget.
I know we are all busy and it is hard to remember what day of the week it is and what you had for dinner last night, let alone place a flower order. However, we are relying on you this year to remember. Put an alarm on your phone or an appointment on your calendar to remind you. You have the technology now to be better than ever.

2) No Boycotting.
Okay, we understand not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day, however, if your sweetheart is a fan-then now you are fan. If they like this holiday they expect you to participate. Simply saying that it is a “Hallmark Holiday” won’t cut it with them. So get your game on and make sure you make sure they know that you love/like her.

3) No Procrastinating.
So assuming you remembered this year, don’t wait until the last minute. Nothing says “whoops, I waited to get my act together” more than a card from CVS with “Happy Birthday” crossed out and written over it in sharpie with “Happy Valentine’s Day” because all of the V-Day cards are actually out. We ladies are sharp.

4) Be Thoughtful.
Does she like cupcakes? Order some. Did she dog ear a page in a J. Crew catalog and circle a purse? Buy it. Favorite color sea foam green? Get her a sweater in sea foam green. Because paying attention gentlemen, goes a long way, and it will show you are truly thinking about what your sweetheart likes.

5) Pop Some Bubbly.
It wouldn’t be a proper Glorious Life post without a reference to bubbles. I know we all agree that Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines are good any day, but sparkling wines are pretty much the National Valentine’s Day beverage. So make sure you have a bottle or two on hand for your main squeeze. It will show that you paid attention, were thoughtful and remembered! Do you see a pattern?

6) Stick to Crowd Pleasers.
Not feeling creative this Valentine’s Day? You can still make your sweetie happy by sending flowers, bringing home something sweet (I prefer whoopie pies) and a card. This isn’t the time to test out a new recipe requiring ingredients you can’t pronounce or the time to learn how to play the clarinet a la Kenny G.

7) Show Love to All Your Valentines.
This isn’t what you might think it is. I simply mean.. make sure you also recognize your mom. She was probably the first person you ever gave a Valentine to.. so always make sure you let her know (whether she is near or far) just how special she is to you. Have a sister? Kids or Pets? They like Valentine’s Day too…

8) Have fun.
At the end of the day, make sure you enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat this day. With the simple tips above, your Valentine will be smiling and sure to be showing her friends and coworkers just what her main squeeze did for her the next day at work. Mission Accomplished.

Game Day Decor

A Twist on Game Day Favorites

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

We are just days away from Super Bowl aka Commercial Bowl, the Puppy Bowl and Stuff Yourself Sunday. If you survey men, women, kids and dogs… they all plan on being in front of their TV’s on Sunday. Even the non-sports fan will be a fan for a day so they can partake in a little chili con queso, refreshments and calling the over-under on how many times Peyton Manning yells “Omaha”!

While I for one, appreciate game day party classics like Spinach Dip and Lil’ Smokies, I do like to incorporate modern twists on the favorite classics. I also like to set a festive party and offer a variety of beverages with a focus on the bubbles since its a party favorite and a nice contrast to the heavy game day fare. Because at the end of the day I want my guests to leave full and happy with the thought that they will be back next year.

So in the spirit of it all I offer the simplest of party recipes… a crowd pleaser and will go with any of your beverages, in my case the Blanc de Noirs. Plus, it eliminates people trying to squeeze their chips in between commercial breaks I mean,  plays on the field.

7 Layer Dip Cups7 layer dip cups

Ingredients:

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with re-fried beans. Some people prefer to mix their taco seasoning with the sour cream layer but I wanted a bright white layer so I did it with the beans.
  2. Here’s how the layers are assembled:
  3. Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning; Layer 2: sour cream; Layer 3: guacamole; Layer 4: salsa or pico de gallo; Layer 5: cheese; Layer 6: tomatoes; Layer 7: green onions and olives
  4. In each plastic glass, layer about 2 Tablespoons of the beans, followed by 2 Tablespoons of sour cream, 2 Tablespoons of guacamole, 2 Tablespoons of salsa or pico de gallo, and 2 Tablespoons of cheese. Make sure you drain your salsa or pico to get the excess liquid out before you pour it on. Then top with about 1-2 teaspoons of tomatoes, olives, and green onion (If making ahead of time, wait to add these toppings until shortly before serving).
  5. Garnish with one tortilla chip. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around 8 individual dips.
  6. Thank you to The Girl who Ate Everything blog for being the source for this recipe and many more of my favorites!

Cheers.

 

Soup for You Wednesday

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

How is it we just realized that it is National Soup Month? Talk about a perfect fit for the cold yet dry weather we have been having. Whether you prefer classic Tomato Soup, Chowders, Bisques, Cioppino or Chicken Noodle, the best pairing to your soup (along with a grilled cheese), is of course a glass of fresh Bubbly.

Gloria Ferrer Bubbly with Clam Chowder

Gloria Ferrer Bubbly with Clam Chowder

Because Bubbly goes well with, ahem… EVERYTHING… we decided to showcase one of our FAVORITE recipes that just so happens to be a good ol’ Clam Chowder. This might just be a match made in “Oceanic Heaven”.

Hog Island Manila Clam Chowder

• 1/2 pound high quality bacon, sliced
• 1/2 stalk celery, thinly sliced
•  2 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
• 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 8-10 medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered into bite-size cubes. Do not peel!
• 6 pounds small, raw Hog Island® Manila clams in the shell, rinsed (or any clams for that matter) (note: Hog Island estimates ~3/4 lb. of clams per serving)
• 1 quart heavy cream
• Salt and pepper
• Parsley for garnish

Preparation

First step: place clams in a colander in the kitchen sink and rinse throughoughly under running water.  Pick through and discard clams with broken or open shells.  Allow clams to drain in the sink while you prepare your stock base.
BASE: In a large stock pot bring about 5-6 cups of water to a boil (no salt) and cook the potatoes until al dente, or just before fork-tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, in a second heavy-bottom pot melt the butter with the thyme. Render the bacon in the butter and thyme (over low heat, careful not to burn); once bacon is rendered add leeks and celery, cook until vegetables are translucent. Add carrots and cook until bendable without breaking.  Add the potatoes and 4 cups of potato water.  The base can be made (up to one day) ahead and kept chilled.
CLAMS: Portion your clams out per single serving (~3/4 lb per serving) and cook each serving individually. Working in batches, place a single serving of clams in a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat.   Ladle one cup of the chowder base on top and cover the pan, simmer for about 5-6 minutes, or until the majority of clams open. Skim through and pick out any clams that have not opened. (Don’t skip this step — unopened clams may spoil the chowder.)
Add in 1/2-cup cream per serving and bring the chowder to a simmer. If it is too thick, add in more of the potato water. When the chowder is bubbling in the middle, it is ready to serve. Pour individual servings into a large soup bowl.
Serve garnished with cracked pepper and chopped parsley along with some crusty bread or in our case… a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of bubbles.
We’ll be enjoying this with our soup.

amfAR LA 2013

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

As one of the core values of Gloria Ferrer, we focus on giving back and supporting many charities within the local and broader community. We recently had the privilege to be the sole sparkling and still wine sponsor of the amfAR Los Angeles Gala on December 12th, 2013.

If you are not familiar with amfAR, it is the largest organization that raises money and awareness for AIDS worldwide. Founded by Elizabeth Taylor, with co-chairs such as Sharon Stone and Naomi Campbell, amfAR is ranked third in the Guinness Book of World Records in terms of money raised. During the four hour gala event alone, nearly $4 million dollars were raised.amfAR-Chairman-of-the-Board-Kenneth-Cole,-amfAR-Honoree-Goldie-Hawn,-and-Kurt-Russell-(Photo-Kevin-Tachman)

The December event at Milk Studios in LA, was hosted by Chelsea Handler, Sharon Stone and Kenneth Cole while the honorees were Goldie Hawn, Hugo Boss and Aileen Getty.

It was a great pleasure to be part of this wonderful event and are even more honored to be the sole sparkling wine sponsor of the New York amfAR event on February 5th, 2014.

For a complete photo gallery of the LA event visit here.

To purchase our very own Pinot Noir that gives back to the local Sonoma community, click here.
 

 

A Fancy for Flutes

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

href=”http://www.gloriaferrer.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Mismatched-Flutes.jpg”>Mismatched FlutesAsk anyone what their favorite kind of beverage glass is and they answer “why of course, the sparkling wine flute”. Okay, so maybe not everyone, but let’s stick with “a lot”. It sounds official. There is something about the flute, that just looks so classy. So feminine. So beautiful. Is it because the bubbly inside is just that too? Quite possibly. Regardless of why people like sparkling wine flutes, there seems to be so many different styles and shapes that it is almost hard to pick a favorite.

With the holiday season in full force, and parties both fancy and casual popping up every night, bubbles of course are one of beverages that are served. We have all been to or hosted the party where you keep losing your glass or simply go get another glass because you lost track of your first one. There are wine charms which do work, but a better way to really have fun with a party is to showcase mismatched glasses.

It is rare to find a complete set of any one flute at a person’s house due breakage, etc. So, why not celebrate the incomplete sets by pulling out all of your flutes, the more mismatched the better, and people can choose which shape, size, etc. they want to use for the evening. They will remember their glass all night long and  it will be an easy conversation starter, no matter the crowd.
Purchase your very own mismatched flutes on the Gloria Ferrer store by visiting here.

 Flutes

A Sparkling Thanksgiving Appetizer

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

When it comes to Thanksgiving, we love traditions. Maybe you love your Grandma’s Candied Yams, Stuffing or Aunt Clara’s Green Bean Casserole. Regardless of your favorites, it seems to be that when it comes to appetizers, there are old favorites and there are new favorites. Kind of like our Gloria Ferrer wines.

So we introduce a lovely little appetizer for your 2013 Thanksgiving meal tradition. Try it for this year, bring it back next year. The best part of this recipe? It pairs royally with our very own 2005 Royal Cuvee, among our others.
brie-apple-quesadillas-ck-l

Brie, Apple & Walnut Quesadillas

Makes 48 hors d’oeuvres

3 T. Unsalted Butter

1 t. Minced Fresh Rosemary

½ t. Salt

1/8 t. Cayenne

½ C. Walnuts

Seven 7-inch flour tortillas

6 oz. Brie Cheese

1 Golden Delicious apple

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the rosemary, salt, and cayenne.  Combine with the walnuts and toss well.  Arrange the nuts in one layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Let them cool and then chop them coarsely.  Turn the oven down to 200°F.

Cut ninety-six 1½-inch rounds out of the tortillas using a cookie cutter.  Remove the rind from the brie.  Peel and coarsely grate the apple.  Spoon ½ teaspoon of the cheese on top of 48 tortilla rounds.  Top with ½ teaspoon of the apple, followed by ½ teaspoon chopped nuts, and put another tortilla round on top to make a sandwich.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter in a large nonstick pan over moderate heat until hot.  Add half the quesadillas and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.  Transfer them to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the remaining quesadillas in the remaining butter.  Serve the quesadillas hot.

Cheers to Cheese and Bubbles, your new Thanksgiving tradition.

 

Gloria Ferrer’s Partnership in Pinot Noir

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

Here at Gloria Ferrer, not only are we committed to producing the very best sparkling wines in California, but we are also dedicated to giving back to the community. With over 30 years in California’s Sonoma Valley, we have worked with a variety of charities. Our most recent partnership is with The WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center located right in our  backyard of Sonoma, Ca.WillMarlogo

A relationship blossomed when our very own VP of Production, Mike Crumly, was one of the board members. It was through Mike’s passion with the center that we realized it was a partnership worth pursuing.

WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center provides support for children, teens, and their families who are grieving the death of a loved one, and for those living with family members who are undergoing a life-changing illness or injury. So it was in 2010 that we decided to lovingly craft a a Pinot Noir to help support the WillMar Center. Proceeds from the wine benefit the children, teens and families who participate in and benefit from WillMar programs.

Now on our 2011 vintage, the label depicts an actual drawing of a black cat by a child at the WillMar center.  And it was only fitting that we talk black cats before Halloween. Along with the wine, posters featuring the art label drawings are also for sale in the tasting room and on our Gloria Ferrer online store.2011 Will Mar Pinot Noir

To learn more about the WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center visit: www.willmarcenter.org.

For California residents who would like to purchase the limited release 2011 WillMar Pinot Noir click here. To purchase posters featuring the art of WillMar center children, click here. All proceeds benefit the WillMar center.