All posts by Manager

The Latest Building Project is nearing completion!

new barrel room

Our once chilly, yet beautiful, Barrel Room is finally being converted to a new area for patrons.  This has become an area we can adapt to our needs.  We can offer wine tasting on a typical day at these charming barrel tables.  You can more easily browse for your favorite wine as they are displayed for easy access!  The Mercantile is incorporated in this room for now, but there are plans for its expansion into our existing lab area.

Another great possibility is that we can seat up to 100 people indoors.  Therefore, when we offer some of our wonderful winemaker dinners or themed events, we can have more space to offer better service and more comfort for our guests!

Make time to visit and enjoy our progress!!


Bursting At The Seams!

March 2016

You may have noticed some building work going on here!!


As ever, Cal and his team  see a need and fill it.  We have had amazing growth in our business in the last few years and are creating more space to accommodate it.

We always want to provide our customers with the best environment possible.  We are moving our Barrel Room storage to another area which will allow the current Barrel Room to become part of our Main Tasting Room.  There will be more room for more seating and event possibilities as well as space for the Mercantile.

Cal is also redesigning and expanding our kitchen.  We will still be offering food as normal through this process.

In addition, we have grown from our original case production of 300 cases to over 6500 cases of wine.  Needless to say we are bursting at the seams.

Watch our progress and enjoy the results!!!!

Shoulder Tenders

Shoulder Tenders in a Red Wine Reduction

2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
We Paired this delicious beef dish with our 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Shoulder Tenders
1 sprig Rosemary – minced
2 cloves Garlic
Olive Oil
Marinate shoulder tenders in Rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat cast iron skillet on medium high.

Sear shoulder tender on all sides then transfer pan & meat to oven.  Cook until internal temperature is 140 degrees. Let rest covered for 10 minutes. Slice into medallions and cover with red wine reduction.

Red Wine Reduction
4 cups Red Wine
2 cups beef stock
4 TBLS Butter
2 TBLS Flour
4 sprigs Rosemary
2 TBLS Whole peppercorns
1 Onion
4 cloves Garlic

Brown onion, garlic, rosemary & peppercorns in a pot until fragrant.  Add wine and reduce by half.  Add stock and reduce by half again.  Strain the wine sauce and put the liquid back in the pot.  Add flour and butter and whisk over medium heat until thickened.  Salt and Pepper to taste.

Mom’s Meatloaf!


After a huge response to this fabulous tasting meatloaf, here is the recipe

½ onion finely chopped
1 celery rib finely chopped
6 green onions finely chopped
1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup plus some to cover
1 cup panko
2 eggs
½ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
¾ lbs ground pork sausage
3 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375

Melt butter in pan over medium heat then add the onion, green onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes until carrots are tender.

Once tender, put the hot vegetables in a large bowl with the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix together.

Mix all the other ingredients into the bowl and fold the meat many times to thoroughly mix the ingredients and to allow the meat to bond to itself.

Take a loaf pan and grease it well.  Put the meat mixture in it and pack it well.  Then drop it out of the loaf pan onto a rimmed sheet pan.  Pat the meatloaf back together if any of it cracked or came apart so it is good and compact and keeps the shape of the loaf pan.

Cover the entire outside with a layer of ketchup

Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf reads 160 degrees this should be about 1-1/2 hours.

We served it with our 2010 Merlot.


Golden Harvest Thai Curry

Golden Harvest Thai Curry

We served this at a Wine Club Release with

2013 Viognier

Terry Fisher 002


3 lbs Butternut Squash cubed

5 Cups Water

2 TBLS Red curry Paste

1/4 cup Fresh Ginger chopped

4 TBLS Butter

24 oz Coconut Milk

Zest and juice from 1 Lemon

2 TBLS Sugar



Melt Butter in pot.  Add Onion and Ginger.  Stir until onion is softened (6 minutes).  Add Curry Paste, stirring until fragrant  (2 minutes).  Add Squash and Waters and bring to a boil.  Let Simmer for 30 minutes.  Add Coconut Milk and let simmer for 30 more minutes.

Puree soup in food processor.  Pour soup into pot stir in Sugar and Lemon Juice/Zest.  Season with Salt to taste.

Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate Ganache

We served this at our

2011 Malbec

Terry Fisher 010


4 oz. Heavy Cream

8 oz Semi Sweet Dark Chocolate

1 TBLS Butter

1 TBLS Red Wine


Chop chocolate and put in bowl with Butter and Wine.  Heat the cream until almost boil and pour over chocolate.  Tap Bowl on counter to combine.  Let bolw sit for 2 minutes.  Whisk mixture together until chocolate is melted and mixture looks glossy.  Let mixture cool for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes.   Remove and spoon out small balls.  Roll Balls in Coco powder.  Refrigerate or Freeze until ready to eat.  Serve chilled.

Spicy & Sweet Sausage Pasta

Spicy & Sweet Sausage Pasta

We served this at our Wine Release paired with

2010 Merlot Reserve

Terry Fisher 003


2 TBLS Olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic chopped

1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1/2 lb Toamatoes diced

1 lb Seeded Roasted Peeled Tomatoes

1 lb Rotini Pasta

1 tsp Parsley

1/2lb Sweet Italian Sausage Links

1/2 lb Fennel Ground Pork Sausage



Cook Sausage until browned then chop.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Saute Garlic and Red Pepper flakes until colored about 1/2 minutes.  Add Tomatoes.

Cook 8-10 minutes while stirring.  Add Sausage and cook another 5 minutes.  Toss with cooked Pasta.  Sprinkle with Parsley and serve.



Schmidt Grog

Rene’s Special Recipechristmas-001

~ She used 2011 Zinfandel this year ~


4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

Snow Mac

Snow Mac

This was one of our most popular dishes this year!

2011 Sauvignon Blanc

We paired this dish with our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc


2 cups Rotini
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk
6 oz Longhorn colby Cheese
3 oz White Sharp cheddar Cheeese
2 oz Parmesan
1/2 slice thick cut bacon
Ritz Crackers
5 oz Cooked Snow crab meat (about 1lb in shell)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake bacon in oven and when fully cooked, finely chop bacon.
Cook rotini until they begin to sofen but are still firm with a slight crunch in the middle. Drain well.
Mix crab meat with rotini and put in baking dish.
Melt butter in sauce pot.  Stir in flour with melted butter.  Once combined, add milk while continuing to stir.
Once milk and butter are combined and are hot, grate White Cheddar and Longhorn into milk mixture.  Continue to stir until cheese is melted.  Add salt and peper to taste
Pour the cheese sauce over the crab and rotini mixture and stir well.
Sprinkle shredded parmesan and finely chopped bacon over Mac and Cheese.
Bake until top of cheese thoroughly browns. (about 35-50 mins)
Once done crush Ritz Crackers and sprinkle on top.

Pizza Casserole

Pizza Casserole

~Pizza Casserole~
The food pairing for the release of our

2011 Zinfandel



2 cups Pasta
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced pepperoni sausage
16 ounces pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F  (175 degrees C).
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic, and green bell pepper.  Drain excess fat.  Stir in the noodles, pepperoni, pizza sauce and milk, and mix well.  Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
  4. Make at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, top with the cheese, then bake for 5-10 more minutes.

Enjoy with a glass of Zinfandel


Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken


~Coronation Chicken~

The food pairing for the release of our

2012 Viognier  




1 onion (finely chopped)

2 tsp. tomato puree

1 tsp. curry powder

1/2  lime or lemon (squeezed juice)

1 tsp apricot jam

1/2 cup + 2 Tsp mayonnaise

2 chicken breasts (cooked)

4.41 oz of grapes

1/4 cup of slivered almonds (toasted)


1.  Cook the onion in a little oil til soft.  Add the tomato puree and curry powder.  Mix well.

2.  Add lemon juice, apricot jam, and mayonnaise and mix welll.   Cut the cooked chicken in bite-sized pieces and put in a bowl with the grapes (de-seeded).

3.  Pour mayonnaise sauce over, and mix together.  Toast the slivered almonds and sprinkle over.  Server with salad or rice or cold pasta.  We chose to serve it in a small leaf of endive.

Enjoy with a glass of Viognier!!


Albondigas In A Smokey Red Pepper And Tomato Sauce (Spanish Meatballs)

Some favorite food pairings with Tempranillo are dishes with tomato sauce, Mediterranean fare, pizza, and red meats. Our “Spanish Meatballs” represent the perfect meld of these ingredients to compliment this wonderful wine.


8 ounces smokey bacon, diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 pounds ground beef
2/3 cup chopped roasted red peppers*
2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 large eggs
½ cup coarsely grated onion
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons dried crush red pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped roasted red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
8 ounces smokey bacon, cut crosswise into strips
1 Tablespoon (or more) extra virgin olive oil
3 cups finely chopped onions
1 ½ teaspoons dried crushed red pepper (optional)
2 cups “Schmidt Family Vineyard’s Tempranillo
1 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 ½ lbs spaghetti
2-3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ Tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Place bacon in processor, using on/off turns, grind to course paste. Transfer to large bowl. Using garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients. Let stand 15 minutes. Roll into l ½ inch meatballs. Arrange on sheet pan. Can be made 1 day in advance. Cover with plastic and refrigerate

Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer bacon to plate. Add one Tablespoon oil to drippings in pot and heat over medium heat. Add half of meatballs. Cook until brown on all sides, turning carefully. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meatballs adding ore oil if needed. Increase heat to med-high. Add onions and crushed red pepper to pot. Sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, stirring up browned bits about 8 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and marjoram. Boil until thickened slightly. Mix bacon and meatballs into sauce. Reduce hat to low and simmer until meatballs are heated through and tender, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook spaghetti, according to directions. Drain, transfer to bowl. Toss with 2 Tablespoons oil and marjoram. Top the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.


Argentine Oven Barbeque Brisket with Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 10-12


8 lbs beef brisket
Fresh Ground pepper
Kosher Salt
Chimichurri Sauce (Recipe to follow)

3 C lightly packed chopped parsley
2 t fresh ground pepper
6T fresh oregano (optional)
2 1/2 C olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
10-15 cloves minced garlic
3 t salt
6 T shallot or onion minced
9 T red wine vinegar
2 t chili pepper flakes


Trim excess fat from brisket. Cover both sides of meat with salt and pepper. Rub half of the Chimichurri Sauce into the meat on both sides and refrigerate well covered over night.

Wrap brisket in foil, seal tightly and place in pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 8 hours or about 1 hour per pound. Remove pan from oven and let meat rest for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and place on cutting board and cover another 15 to 30 minutes. In the mean time, skim the fat from pan. Slice meat and return to pan juices if desired. Serve with remaining Chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well chopped, but not pureed.


Artichoke Mushroom Lasagna

White wine adds delightful flavor to this hearty vegetarian entree. No one will miss the meat!

Prep: 30 min Bake: 1 hr + standing Yield: 12 servings


1 lb sliced baby portobello mushrooms
2 Tbsp. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14 oz each) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups 2% milk
2 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine

9 no-cook lasagna noodles
4 cups (16 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided


Heat oven to 350 degrees

1. Saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the artichokes, wine, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat until liquid is evaporated.

2. For the sauce, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese and wine.

3. Spread 1 cup sauce into a greased 13 in x 9 in baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1 2/3 cups sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and 1 1/3 cups artichoke mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 15-20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy with a bottle of Schmidt Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc!

Autumn Pumpkin Gingered Bisque

NOTE: If you roast your pumpkin beforehand, this soup comes together in less than 30 minutes so plan accordingly. To roast simply cut pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds (save those to roast separately) and lay cut side down; roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until flesh is soft. Scrape flesh from skin and proceed with recipe. You can also substitute butternut squash or carrots in place of pumpkin.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, chopped
A pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger (don’t substitute ground)
3.5 cups chicken broth
5 cups pumpkin, roasted
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons honey


1. Melt butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

2. Add onion, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a good pinch of salt; cook until softened – about 3 minutes or so

3. Stir in ginger and cook about 1 minute

4. Stir in broth and pumpkin; bring to simmer and cook about 5-7 minutes; off heat and cool for 10 minutes

5. Puree soup in batches in a blender taking care to fill blender only half full as hot liquids expand, you can also blend with a stick blender but it will take quite a long time to get the creaminess you’re looking for here.

6. Return pureed soup to pot and add milk and orange juice & honey.

7. Return to simmer briefly – do not bring to a boil or you risk curdling the milk

8. Adjust seasoning if needed

Serve with Parmesan Croutons and Schmidt Family Vineyards Viognier

Beef Rendang

Serve this aromatic Malaysian specialty with basmati rice or jasmine rice. It’s also great as a filling for pita or any other flatbread. For a less spicy dish, cut the amount of chilies in half.


For the flavor base:
10 dried chilies de arbol
1 1/2 cups sliced shallots
2 Tablespoons sliced garlic
1 Tablespoon sliced peeled ginger

For the whole spice blend:
4 whole cloves
4 whole green cardamom pods (can use ground)
2 whole star anise
1 3-inch long cinnamon stick, snapped in half

For the ground spice blend:
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground fresh black pepper

For the Rendang:
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil; more if needed
2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into small pieces
1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate (frozen)
3 teaspoons lime zest
2 medium lemongrass stalks, bruised with back of knife & tied in a knot
4 teaspoon Dark brown sugar
1/2 cup tightly packed unsweetened coconut (optional)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Lime wedges (optional)


Steep dried chilies in hot water until pliable, 5-8 minutes; then slit and seed them (use gloves). Put chilies, shallots, garlic and ginger with 1/4 cup water in a food processor and process to a coarse puree, about 3 minutes. You will see little pieces of the skins.

In a small bowl, combine the cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, and cinnamon pieces. In a second small bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, fennel and pepper.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat until simmering hot. Add the whole spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until cinnamon sticks unfold, 1-2 minutes. Don’t let spices burn. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil and the ground spice blend and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture sizzles and becomes fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil and the flavor base and cook until puree is an intense reddish brown, about 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, add the beef and cook, stirring to coat it with the spices, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime zest, and lemongrass and cook stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.

Reduce to low, add the sugar and salt, and simmer, stirring occasionally for the first hour and then more frequently as the stew thickens, until it is very thick and oil appears on its surface, about 1 3/4 hours. The meat will not be fork tender at this point.

Toast the coconut, if using, in a 10 inch skillet over low heat, until golden brown. Transfer to small bowl.

Stir coconut into stew and continue stirring until its incorporated and much of the liquid is gone. Add1 cup of water if you prefer a saucier consistency. Continue stirring until meat is fork tender (the oil will start frothing after 15 to 20 minutes).

Remove the lemongrass, cinnamon pieces, star anise, and as many cardamom pods & cloves as you can find. Transfer meat to serving platter and garish with the cilantro and lime wedges (if using).

Serve with Schmidt Family Vineyards Cal’s Folly!

Beef Roulade in Syrah

Serves 4-6


1 ½ lbs. bottom round, trimmed
1 large onion, small dice
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
¼ lb. peppered, diced bacon
Black pepper
½ cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch parsley, chopped
3 cups red wine
Fresh Thyme
1 cup beef stock
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter


Heat oven to 300 degrees

Flatten the beef round with a meat pounder to ¼ inch thick. Mix the vegetables together with garlic. Mix half the diced vegetables with bread crumbs and eggs, season with salt and pepper. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetable mixture on one side of the flattened bottom round. Carefully roll the beef into a tight roll, being sure not to press too hard. Season the outside of the beef roulade with salt and pepper. Tie with butcher’s string in 5 or 6 sections along the length of the roll. Tie fairly tight. Sear the beef in a smoking hot sauté pan in olive oil until all sides are a dark brown color. Remove from pan and cover with foil. In same pan, sauté the bacon with the other half of the vegetables. When vegetables are golden brown, deglaze with wine and add fresh thyme. Bring to boil and add the beef and reduce heat. Cover with lid or foil and cook 20 minutes. Remove the lid and add the beef and chicken stock. Bring to boil and turn the meat, so that the other side of the meat is in the liquid. Cover and place in over for 1-hour.

Enjoy with a glass of Schmidt Family Vineyards Syrah!

Broccoli and Red Pepper Quiche


1 pound broccoli, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 ready to use piecrust (bottom only) baked in quiche pan and cooled
4 eggs
3/4 cup cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 lemon, zested
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 pound parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, grated
Salt & freshly ground pepper


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Place baking sheet in the oven to preheat (this will be used under the quiche to catch any drippings). In a medium skillet over medium heat, saute the broccoli, onion, and red pepper until vegetables are tender. Add minced garlic clove the last minute of sautéing the vegetables. Put the sautéed vegetables into the prepared pie crust and top with the parmesan and Swiss cheese. Whisk the eggs, cream, milk, thyme, coriander, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Pour over the broccoli mixture in the pie crust. Place the quiche pan on the baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes before cutting for serving to allow the quiche to set up. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy with a bottle of Schmidt Family Vineyard’s Viognier!

Butternut Squash Ravioli in Brown Butter Sauce with Walnuts

Serves 6-8


1 butternut squash, approx. 2 lbs cubed.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 ½ teaspoons herbs de Provence
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large shallots, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 small almond flavored cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 package small wonton wrappers

Brown Butter Sauce:

¾ cut butter (1 ½ sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


To make ravioli, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots, garlic and ginger until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed almond cookies, the nutmeg and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The ravioli filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the ravioli, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. Place the formed ravioli on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Continue until all the squash mixture is used. There should be approximately 36 raviolis. The ravioli can be frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to one month.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. As it heats, make the sauce; melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage and cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the walnuts and stir to combine. Place the ravioli in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to gloat they are done; about 3 minutes for fresh, 5 minutes if they’ve been frozen. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the ravioli to a serving platter. Top with the walnut sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Enjoy with a glass of Schmidt Family Vineyards Viognier!

Caramelized Onion Dip

Makes 2 1/2 Cups


2 T Olive Oil
1/4 t Kosher Salt
1 t Dried Thyme
3/4 C Mayonnaise
1/4 t Garlic Powder
2 C Diced Onions
1 T Sugar
1 1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 t Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 t Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)


In a saute pan, over medium heat, add oil. When oil is hot add onions, salt, sugar and dried thyme. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients and then add the cooled onions. Refrigerate and stir again just before serving.


Chocolate Bread Pudding


1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 croissants
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 350

In a food processor, combine butter and sugar, process until well blended. Add cinnamon, and vanilla and pulse to combine.

While the processor is running, crack 5 eggs into the mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the heavy cream and pulse to combine.

Lightly butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Break up the croissants into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter shaved bittersweet chocolate over the top, and gently mix to incorporate. Pour the egg mixture over the croissants; soak for 8 to 10 minutes. You will need to push croissant pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The croissant bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft. Allow to cool.

Serve with Schmidt Family Vineyards Syrah!

Chocolate Cake with Black Pepper Mascarpone

Schmidt Family Vineyards Fall Wine Club Release

Recipes compliments of Kate Dwyer Catering 592-2214

A fine match for our Syrah, this light-textured chocolate cake is spread with Mascarpone cheese seasoned with freshly cracked pepper and drizzled with dark chocolate glaze.

This recipe makes one half-sheet layer, to be cut into 24 dessert servings or 64 petit fours. (You may freeze half the cake for another use if this recipe is too large for your needs. Just wrap the cake well, and remember to halve the topping ingredients.)


2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1-cup sugar
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup sugar
½ cup light vegetable oil, such as canola
2 cups orange juice


For the cake: Line a 13” by 18” sheet cake pan with parchment paper and grease the paper lightly. Preheat the oven to 350.

Sift the dry ingredients (first six items) into a large bowl and set aside.

Separate three eggs and hold the whites in a bowl for beating in a moment.

In a medium bowl, blend the egg yolks, oil and orange juice. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites together with the cream of tartar and gradually add the ¼ cup sugar. Beat to stiff peaks and set aside.

Pour the egg yolk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Beat on medium about one minute. (Humidity levels in flour vary. You may wish to add up to ½ cup water if the batter is very thick.) Fold in the stiff whites and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth it out to an even depth, and bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at various points come out clean.

Allow the cake to cool. If cutting the cake into petit fours, turn the cake out of the pan onto a flat work surface, such as a large cutting board (but one not used for onions, please!) and peel off the parchment paper.

Beat one pint of Mascarpone cheese with 1 Tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns. Smooth the cheese over the cake using a damp offset spatula.

In a small saucepan, scald ¾ cup of heavy cream over a low flame. Remove from heat. Stir in ½ cup finely chopped dark chocolate. Stir gently until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate artfully over the cake surface, allowing the contrasting white to show through.

Using a sharp heavy knife dipped in water, cut the cake into four long strips, then into eighths in the other direction. Wipe and dip the knife after each cut for a neat appearance. Then cut each square diagonally. You will have 64 very attractive petit four triangles. Arrange these on serving trays.

Serve with Schmidt Family Winery Syrah.

Chocolate Chili Bites

This dessert pairs wonderfully with any of our red wines. We highly recommend it with the Tempranillo.

Prep time: 15 minutes Bake: 10 minutes Yield: about 72 mini bites


7oz butter
7 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 rounded tbsp flour (we used gluten-free flour)
1/4 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Chipotle Chili powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper powder
(adjust chili powders more or less to taste)
1/4 cinnamon powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
Orange zest to taste


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F

1. Melt the butter with the chocolate in a double broiler or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave, be sure to do it slowly, blending with a spoon between each pass.

2. Transfer into a mixing bowl, add in the sugar, and let cool a little. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add a rounded tablespoon of flour, the ground chili and salt, and mix well.

43 Pour the dough in the molds (I used mini muffin tins), and put into the oven to bake for ten to twelve minutes. The top should look set, but the inside should still be on the soft side.

4. Let the the mini bites cool down enough to unmold them, then transfer to a rack to cool completely while you cook the other batches. Store in a plastic container, refrigerate, and take out about an hour prior to serving.

65 Top with whipped cream and orange zest.

Cindy Lou’s Clam Chowder

The secret to this clam chowder is the clam stock. It is worth the extra time it takes to make it. Use what you need and freeze the rest for future use. Serves 10


10 cups clam stock (recipe follows)
2 pounds red potatoes
3-4 cups chopped clams (I used a 51 oz. can)
1/3 pound of smoky bacon, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 cup butter
1 cup of flour
2 pints half-and-half
Dash hot pepper sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce


Bring the potatoes and the clam stock to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the clams and any of their liquid. Cook about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Add the bacon to a saute pan and cook over low heat until rendered. Add the onions and dill and cook until transparent. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the flour and cook until slightly colored. Add a bit more flour if necessary if the mixture is too soft. Bring the clams, juice and potatoes back to a boil. Gradually stir in the cooked roux. Bring to a rolling boil to thicken. Stir continuously while cooking. Add the half-and-half; the soup should be thick. Adjust the seasoning and add a dash of hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce before serving.


Make approx. 8 quarts

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 small handful fresh thyme (stems and all)

1/2 bottle “Schmidt Family Vineyard’s Chardonnay)

5-6 pounds steamer clams

4 quarts water

1 teaspoon sea salt

Melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and fresh thyme. Saute until soft, approximately 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add steamer clams, cover and cook on simmer until opened. Add 4 quarts of water cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard shells and simmer another 15 minutes to reduce slightly. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and strain stock through a sieve.

Note: I still like to save the clam meat. Even though they are over cooked, they do make a nice stack. 🙂

Creamy Seafood Mousse

Makes: 32 (one tablespoon servings)


1 – 8 ounce carton dairy sour cream
1 – 4 ½ ounce can shrimp, rinsed, drained and chopped
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped water chestnuts
¼ cup finely chopped green onion
¼ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Dippers such as sugar snap peas, celery sticks, sweet pepper pieces


Combine sour cream, shrimp, celery, water chestnuts, green onion, mayonnaise, or salad dressing, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic powder in a bowl; mix well. Cover and chill 2 to 8 hours.

Serve with sugar snap peas, celery sticks, and sweet pepper pieces. Makes about 2 cups dip (32, one tablespoon servings.)
Make Ahead Tip: UP to 8 hours ahead, prepare dip; cover and chill.

Nutrition Facts:
Servings per recipe 32 (one tablespoon) servings. Calories 34, Total Fat (g) 3. Saturated Fat (g) 1, Cholesterol (mg) 11, Sodium (mg) 44, Carbohydrate (g) 1, Protein (g) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie Diet.

Eggplant hummus on soft pita bread with tomato and cucumber

Roussane, an exotic, delicate, rich, and refined wine pairs beautifully with Greek Cuisine. The earthiness, and citrus flavors combined with the waxy texture of our Eggplant Hummus provides the perfect union.


1 small eggplant
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) or regular cream cheese
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
Thinly sliced cherry tomatoes (for garnish)
Thinly sliced cucumbers (for garnish)
Fresh Naan or Pita bread


Grill eggplant over medium heat until fork tender or bake in a roasting pan in a preheated oven, 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Halve the eggplant and scoop the flesh into a food processor along with the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, mascarpone and olive oil and process until pureed and creamy. Spoon into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with warm pita bread.


Honey Lime Gazpacho

Serve this cold soup as a first course, a light entree, or lunch dish. A great way to use home grown veggies!


3 large very ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut up
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and cut up
2 medium orange sweet bell pepper, seeded and cut up
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
ice cubes
lime wedges and green onions
1 small mango
Tabasco sauce to taste
V-8 juice (optional)


In a large bowl combine tomatoes, cucumber, orange sweet peppers, mango & garlic. In a food processor, process mixture, half at a time, with several on/off turns until you have large chunks. Place all of the mixture in the food processor bowl. Add lime juice, honey, cilantro, ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Cover and process with several on/off turns until the mixture is just a little chunky. If desired, season to taste with additional sea salt. Can add a small amount of V-8 juice if your soup is too dry.

To serve, place 2 to 3 ice cubes in each of four shallow bowls; ladle soup over ice. Serve with lime wedges and green onions.


Italian Shepherd’s Stew


Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 lbs ground beef
3 tablespoons tomato paste
5 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons (2 palmfuls) all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded provolone
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese, plus additional
4 large potatoes, quartered


Preheat oven to 400

Place a large skillet over high heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground beef and break it up into small pieces as it cooks using the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook until the beef is brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Add all the veggies to the beef and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, tomato paste, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring every now and then.

While the veggies and beef are cooking, place a medium size saucepan over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter melts, add the flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly so the flour doesn’t burn. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the chicken stock and bring up to a simmer and cook until it has thickened. Once thick, turn off the heat, add both cheeses to the pot and stir until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mashed Potatoes:

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes

Drain potatoes

Add butter, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper

Beat potatoes on medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy

then beat in egg

Fold in 1/4 cup parmesan

Cover the bottom of a large oven safe baking dish with the beef and veggie mixture. Pour the potato mixture on top of the beef mixture and spread evenly. Place in the oven and bake until top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Serve with Schmidt Family Vineyard Merlot!

Jicama Slaw

Prep: 45 min Yield: 4 servings


3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
8 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup peeled, julienned jicama
1/2 cup peeled, julienned carrots
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup julienned English cucumber
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped


In a small mixing bowl, add lime juice, chili flakes, rice wine vinegar, sugar and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.

Combine the jicama, carrots, cabbage and onion, cucumber, red pepper and cilantro in large bowl and toss

Add dressing to vegetables and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times.

Enjoy with a bottle of Schmidt Family Vineyards Roussanne!

Mediterranean Orzo Spinach Salad

Serves 6


1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup crumpled feta cheese
4 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo pasta, cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the lamb and garlic in the skillet. Season lamb with coriander, salt, and pepper. Cook until evenly browned. Remove from heat, and drain.

3. In a large bowl, mix the spinach, tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, mint, parsley, green onions, and remaining olive oil. Toss with the orzo, lamb, and feta cheese to serve.


Mighty Mac and Cheese


4 ounces thick-sliced bacon
Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
2 cups elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 ½ cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated
2 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and arrange the bacon in 1 layer on the baking rack. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the pan carefully from the oven – there will be hot grease in the pan! Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6-8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt the butter in a medium pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, blue cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni, crumbled bacon, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir well. Pour into 2 individual size gratin dishes.

Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Add the basil and pulse to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Old Fashion Meatloaf


4 slices white bread, torn into pieces
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths
2 clove garlic
2 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 large eggs
1 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon Rosemary, finely chopped


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a medium bowl, and add ground beef.

Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine. Add to meat mixture, using hands to mix well. Add eggs, 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper; use hands to combine thoroughly. Place in an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch loaf pan.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, remaining teaspoon dry mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl; stir until smooth.

Brush mixture over meatloaf; place in the oven with a baking pan set on the rack below to catch drippings. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees about 90 minutes. If top gets too dark, cover with foil and continue baking.


Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until crisp; transfer bacon to plate. Add one Tablespoon oil to drippings in pot and heat over medium heat. Add half of meatballs. Cook until brown on all sides, turning carefully. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meatballs adding ore oil if needed. Increase heat to med-high. Add onions and crushed red pepper to pot. Sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, stirring up browned bits about 8 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and marjoram. Boil until thickened slightly. Mix bacon and meatballs into sauce. Reduce hat to low and simmer until meatballs are heated through and tender, 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Patatas a la Riojana


1/4 extra virgin olive oil
4 large new potatoes, about 2 lb total weight, peeled & cut into slices 1 inch thick
1/2 lb chorizo
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 small fresh red chile, seeded and minced
1 cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the potatoes and saute, stirring often , until pale gold, 10-15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl. Add the chorizo to the oil remaining in the pan and fry, turning as need, until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes, adding more oil if needed. Using tongs, transfer the chorizo to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden about 15 minutes. Add the red pepper, garlic, paprika, and chile and saute until the spices have been absorbed by the onion, about 5 minutes longer.

Return the chorizo and potatoes to the pan and pour in the water. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.


Peppered Swiss Steak

Recipe Courtesy Of Cindy Hubbard 2010

Serves 4-6


2 lbs sirloin trimmed of excess fat*
2 t kosher salt
2-3t coarsely ground black pepper
¾ C all purpose flour
¼ C vegetable oil
1 Large onion, thinly sliced
2cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ lbs mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 t smoked paprika
1 t oregano
1T Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ C chicken broth
1 1oz unsweetened chocolate bar


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cut the meat with the grain into ½ inch pieces and season both sides with salt and 2 t of the pepper. Place the flour in the pie pan. Dredge meat on both sides with flour. Tenderize meat using a needling device or meat mallet until each piece is ¼ inch thick. Dredge slices on both sides with flour one more time and set aside.

Add enough vegetable oil to just cover the bottom of a 4-5 quart Dutch oven set over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the steaks to the pan. Don’t over crowd. Cook until golden on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks are browned.
Remove the last steaks from the pot and add the onions, garlic and celery. Saute’ for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Next add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth and chocolate. Stir to combine until chocolate melts. Return meat to pot, submerging it in liquid. Saute’ mushrooms in 2 T butter until browned and add to pot. Cover the pot and place it in the oven on the middle of the rack. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart.

Enjoy with a bottle of Schmidt Family Syrah!
*you can have the butcher tenderize the sirloin for you, which is what I did.

Red Wine-Braised Beef with Peppercorn Cream Sauce

Serves 4-6


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 lbs Chuck Stew Meat
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Sauce Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon black peppercorn, coarsely chopped (I put them in a plastic bag & lightly crack them with a meat mallet)
1-2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1-2 tablespoons “Better than Bouillon” (Beef base)


On a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over high heat until very hot.

Season beef, transfer to dutch oven and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and set aside. Add onion, celery, dried thyme, dried basil, & carrots to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft & beginning to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add red wine and stir well to loosen up any bits from bottom of pan. Add beef stock and stir well to combine.

Return stew meat to pot and bring to a boil. Cover dutch oven and transfer to 300 degree oven. Let it bake for 1 1/2 hours, then check for tenderness. Take our Dutch oven and let sit covered for 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, make the cream sauce.

Sauce Directions:

Bring cream, black pepper & bouillon to a rapid boil. Reduce by half. Add grainy mustard. Season to taste if necessary.

To Serve:

Best with basil mashed potatoes. But also great with rice or buttered noodles.

Ladle beef sauce over your choice from above and drizzle with black peppercorn sauce.

Enjoy with a bottle of your favorite Schmidt full bodied red wine.  Our choice? Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah

Scallop Ceviche with Grapefruit & Avocado


1 pound bay scallops
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced (leave seeds in for extra heat)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint or coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon salt, ore more to taste
2 small grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced


With a sharp paring knife, trim the foot muscles from the scallops and place the scallops in a nonreactive container. Cover with the lime and grapefruit juices and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

Add the onion, jalapenos, oil, mint or coriander, and 1 teaspoon salt and marinate for another hour. Then toss in the grapefruit sections and avocado. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired, and serve immediately.


While bay scallops are best for this ceviche, sea scallops will work too. Just cut them crosswise if they are very thick, and cut in half if they are very wide as well. This dish can also be made with 1/2 inch chunks or slices of a firm white fish such as snapper, rock cod, or halibut.


Spanish Beef with Roasted Poblano Buttermilk Dressing



1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Creole or other whole grain mustard, plus 2 tablespoons
2 fresh limes, juiced
1 pound flank steak, trimmed
1 teaspoon cumin


1 medium poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1 large egg
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk


Steak & Marinade:

in a mixing bowl, whisk th eoil, 2 teaspoons of the mustard, lime juice and cumin until well blended. Season both sides of the flank steak with the sea salt and pepper. Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag and pur the marinade over the steak. Seal the bag completely and shake several times, to evenly distribute the marinade. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight

Place the steak on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium reare. Remove from the grill and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.

In the cup of a blender, combine the roasted pepper, egg, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons of mustard, and garlic. Blend on until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is slightly thick. Add the buttermilk and continue to blend for 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The dressing will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.


Spanish Style Beef & Pork Ragu

8 servings


4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef chuck
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup dry red wine (Malbec or Tempranillo)
1 approximate 15 ounce jar roasted red peppers, liquified in blender
1/2 cup low salt chicken stock


Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add pork and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until brown. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with 1 more Tablespoon olive oil and ground chuck, breaking up clumps with wooden spoon, until nicely browned. Transfer to sheet with pork.

Add remaining 2 Tablespoons oil to pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, fresh thyme sprigs, ground cumin and smoked paprika, until onions are soft. Season with salt & pepper. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add pork and beef with any accumulated juices. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add liquified roasted red peppers and the chicken stock. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to break up pork and ground beef pieces, until meat is tender, approximately 1 to 1 and a half hours. Uncover pot if needed for one half hour and reduce juices to your liking.

Serve over Soft Polenta and top with shredded Parmesan Cheese

Do Ahead- Ragu can be made up to 3 days ahead (refrigerate)

Note: Always taste as you go and adjust seasonings to your liking!

Tandoori Style Shrimp



1 Cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 jalapeno chiles (leave seeds in for extra heat), chopped
3 tablesoons fresh lemon juice
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, sliced thinly across the grain
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
lime or lemon wedges


Place the yogurt, jalapenos, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt, and turmeric in the container of a food processor and pulse to combine. Place the shrimp in a large nonaluminum container. Add the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes.

Preheat the broiler or prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Thread the shrimp on two parallel bamboo skewers for easy turning. Broil or grill until pink and firm, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with lime wedges.

VARIATION: If your budget is tight, fish cubes can be substituted. The fragrant but spicy yogurt marinade is also excellent for boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes and skewered. While chicken can marinate for 4 to 5 hours, fish and shrimp only need 1 to 2 hours, as the yogurt and citrus have a tenderizing effect.

Tenderloin of Beef

For special company!


3 lbs whole beef tenderloin
2 TBS softened butter
¼ cup chopped shallots
2 TBS butter
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tps. Dijon mustard
Dash of ground pepper
¾ cup dry sherry
One bunch parsley, washed


For best results, meat should be room temperature for roasting. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread tenderloin with softened butter. Place on a rack in a shallow baking pan and bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté shallots in remaining butter until tender. Add soy sauce, mustard and pepper. Stir in sherry and heat to boiling. When meat has baked 20 minutes, pour sauce over and bake another 20-25 minutes to serve medium-rare. Baste frequently.
Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes, then carve in 1” pieces, overlapping them attractively on a warm platter lavished with parsley sprigs. Pour over any meat juices from the baking pan. Serve as is or with Mushrooms in Wine Sauce (recipe follows).
Serves 8

Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

6 TBS butter
½ lbs. mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. flour
Pinch dried marjoram
Pinch dried thyme
4 drops Tobasco sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
5 oz. dry red wine
1 beef bouillon cube, dissolved in ¼ cup water
Salt and pepper
Minced parsley

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic. Saute until onions are soft. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley, mixing well. Barely simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve hot in gravy boat with a sprinkle of minced parsley.

Thai Red-Curry Squash Soup


4 T. Butter
1 onion, sliced
1/4 thin sliced fresh ginger
1 t. Thai Red Curry Paste (or more to taste)
3 butternut squash
5 c. water
2 (13.5) ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 t. lime zest
2 T. sugar
2 T. fresh lime juice
Salt to taste


Bake or microwave squash until soft enough to remove from skin, but not mushy. Cut up into small chunks.

Melt butter and saute onions & ginger until onion is soft. Add curry paste, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add squash & water and bring to a boil. Simmer until soft (25 minutes).

Add coconut milk & lime zest and simmer for 30 minutes or longer.

Puree soup in a blender. Stir in sugar, lime juice, and salt to taste. Serve with croutons

Enjoy with a bottle of Schmidt Family Vineyards Riesling!

Three Cheese Fondue


1 Cup Gewürztraminer
1 to 2 T. Flour
5 to 7 oz. Gruyere Cheese, Shredded
5 to 7 oz. Emmentaler Cheese Shredded
5 to 7 oz. Medium or Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
1 to 2 T. Kirsch Liqueur
¼ t. nutmeg


Bring Wine to a boil.
Mix together cheeses, sprinkle with flour and toss.
Add cheese by handfuls as it melts.
When bubbly, add kirsch and nutmeg.

Tuna Tartare


3 3/4 lbs very fresh tuna steak
1 1/4 cups olive oil
5 limes, zest grated
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups minced scallions, white and green parts (12 scallions)
2 1/4 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
5 ripe Hass avocados
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional


Cut the tuna into 1/4 inch dice and place it in a very large bowl. In a separte bowl, combine the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi, soy sauce, hot red pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Pour over the tuna, add the scallions and jalapeno, and mix well. Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and peel. Cut the avocados into 1/4 inch dice. Carefully mix the avocado into the tuna mixture. Add the toasted sesame seeds, if using, and season to taste. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend. Serve on crackers.

Serve with a bottle of Schmidt Family Vineyard’s Pinot Gris!

Tyrolean Pot Roast

Serves 4 to 6


2 Pounds boneless braising beef
(we used boneless chuck, trimmed)
1 bottle full bodied red wine
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup plus 2 T. olive oil
2 carrots cut into thin rounds
3 ribs celery in thin slices
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
½ cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
2 medium onions, peeled and halved
Salt and pepper to taste


In a pan with a lid, ( or a large zip lock bag ) combine beef, wine, brandy, ¼ cup olive oil, carrots, bay leaves, celery, rosemary, pepper and cinnamon. Stick a clove into each onion half and add to pan. Cover and refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

2 hours before cooking the meat remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.

Remove beef from marinade and pat dry. Generously dust with flour and brown in remaining 3 T oil until well browned on all sides in a heavy oven proof casserole or pan. Season beef well with salt and pepper. Add the marinade to the casserole and cover. At this point, you can simmer on stove top or put into a 350 degree oven which is my preferred method. Cook for 3 to 5 hours, depending on the amount of meat, if you double the recipe, until the meat is fork tender and falls apart.

Strain the cooking liquid to remove any solids, if you wish. Reduce to one cup. Slice or pull meat apart and serve with sauce. This recipe may be made ahead and reheated.

For the potatoes: (this is a general recipe)

Use Yukon gold or red-skinned small potatoes. Do not peel. Cook until potatoes are done along with several cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you want the dish to be. When done, mash along with either whole milk or ½ & ½ and a goodly chunk of cream cheese. I always add a little of reserved potato water when making mashed potatoes. I think it improves the flavor.

Wild Mushroom Risotto


Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (such as oyster, crimini, portabella)
Kosher salt
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 3 cups hot water
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups dry white wine
6 to 7 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup chopped parsley


Coat a large sauté pan generously with olive oil and add the smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a medium-high heat. When the garlic cloves have begun to brown and are very aromatic remove and discard them. Add the assorted fresh mushrooms to the pan and season with salt. Sauté the mushrooms until they are soft and pliable. Turn off the heat and reserve.

Using your hand, carefully scoop the porcini mushrooms out of the hot water. (At this point the water should have cooled off significantly. If it is still too hot for your hand, use a slotted spoon.) Pour the top 2/3 of the mushroom water into another container and reserve for use while making the risotto. Discard the bottom third. It contains a lot of sand and dirt from the mushrooms. Puree the rehydrated mushrooms with a little of the reserved mushroom water to make a smooth mushroom paste. This will not look good but it will certainly taste good! Set aside.

Coat a large saucepot abundantly with olive oil. Add the onions and season generously with salt. Bring the pot to a medium-high heat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently until they are very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the rice and stir to coat with the olive oil. Cook the rice for 2 to 3 minutes to toast, stirring frequently. Add wine to cover the surface of the rice and stir frequently until it has completely absorbed. Add the reserved mushroom water and then add chicken stock until the liquid has covered the surface of the rice. Stir frequently until the stock has absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process 2 more times. Check for seasoning, you probably will need to add salt.

During the third addition of stock, add the reserved sautéed mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of the pureed porcini mushrooms. When the stock has absorbed into the rice and the rice is cooked but still “al dente”, remove the pot from the heat. Add the butter and cheese and whip until well combined. This will set the perfect consistency of the rice. The rice should flow and not be able to hold its shape and look very creamy. Serve immediately garnished with chives and parsley.

Wise Woman’s Chicken

We used this recipe for our 2013 Chardonnay release in January of 2016.  It is always a pleasure to revisit some of these wonderful recipes.

2013 Chardonnay

Recipe Compliments of:
Kate Dwyer Catering 592-2214

Schmidt Family Vineyards Wine Club Release, October, 2007.

Sage is an herb associated with wisdom, and long used for healing and protection. Its delicious flavor invokes the scent of Fall leaves in the last of Summer’s sunshine, with hints of the piney Winter to come. The wise woman knows that a very simple recipe can shine above more complicated dishes. Here, boneless chicken is pan seared and tossed with sautéed onions and a generous amount of fresh sage. Elegant in its simplicity, this dish has a sweetness and depth of flavor that harmonizes beautifully with our ’05 Chardonnay.


One large sweet onion
¼ cup fresh sage leaves (about 16)
One boneless skinless split chicken breast, trimmed and sliced into pieces about 1/3 inch thick
Olive oil
Schmidt Family Vineyards ’05 Chardonnay
Black pepper
Finishing salt


Peel the onion and cut it in half from stem to root. Slice thinly in the same direction, and then in half crosswise. Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy sauté pan and sear the onion, then lower the heat and cook until brown, translucent and fragrant. Add the chopped sage leaves and stir. Remove the onions and sage into a small bowl.

Add half the chicken to the hot pan. (Cook the chicken in two batches. Don’t crowd it or it will not brown nicely.) Sear the strips over high heat and then cook them over lower heat until just done. Remove the cooked chicken and cook the next batch. (See note) When the chicken is all done, deglaze the pan with ½ cup Chardonnay. Pour the drippings over the chicken and toss with the onions and sage, a twist of black pepper, and finishing salt to taste. Serve with Schmidt Family Vineyards ’05 Chardonnay.

Note: If the drippings are threatening to burn at the end of cooking the first batch of chicken, deglaze the pan and proceed with the rest of the chicken with another Tablespoon of olive oil.