Wineries of the Month

De Conciliis
De Conciliis
Located in the relatively uncharted Cilento zone on the Campania coast. From high-altitude vineyards looking out toward the Mediterranean, Bruno DeConciliis specializes in full-bodied, fruit-forward wines from aglianico, which, in the relatively hot climate of the Cilento, makes wines that are a little more accessible than young wines from Taurasi. The signature red is the 100% Aglianico ‘Naima’. The first thing is to respect nature, respect the land. This means the lowest possible use of chemicals and a move to organic and then biodynamic viticulture. The second thing is to respect the culture of the area – what Bruno De Conciliis calls “the rhythm of life”. Every area expresses its own material culture – not only what people eat and drink, but the local relationship of humans to the earth. The third thing is to respect the people who do the work. De Conciliis is located in one of the poorest areas of Campania. Part of their effort is to re-hire workers, pay them a real wage, and guarantee them year-round work.

Cantine Olivella
The Cantine Olivella winery was founded in 2004 in the small town of Santa Anastasia, province of Naples, by Andrea Cozzolino, Ciro Giordano and Domenico Ciriello. The vineyards are located on the northern slopes of Monte Somma, within the Vesuvius National Park, a protected area where the cultivation of grapes goes back to the early Roman times. In 1974, a fragment of an ancient terracotta jar was found nearby the Olivella spring, from which the winery takes its name. This discovery affirms that the area was producing wines for the markets of Rome and Pompeii even in ancient times.

Cantina Formiconi
In 2002, in Affile, the Formiconi Brothers started their vineyard, Formiconi Winery. The challenge was to continue what Nazareno, their father, had been doing with passion and mastery for sixty years:the Cesanese of Affile, a surprising red wine just produced for relatives and a few lucky friends till then. There are all the elements of an excellent product: the brilliant position of the vineyard in the territory of Affile, birthplace of the Cesanese; the exclusive growing of the native vine; the application of the most modern productive techniques of the land and the advice of wine experts and agronomists.


Wineries of the Month

Outcast Winery

Outcast Winery
The story starts in the summer of 2008. Three friends from three different places come together around a shared passion for California wine and decide to embark upon a journey together! The first wine release was in the summer of 2010. Robert Frost once said, “two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” This poem is the beating heart and lifeblood that guides the principles for their efforts. The Outcasts – Peter “The Belgian” Vermeulen – Skipper – you might find him windsurfing on the Bay or one of California’s many likes, hiking the Sierras or enjoying a good glass of wine with friends. Alex “The DOC” Merrill – Wine Evangelist – A well-traveled winery visitor, has visited over 200 California wineries and has passion for exercise, fantastic food, great conversation, and a bottle of world-class artwork. Anuj “The Energizer” Aggarwal – Wine Enthusiast – A highly energetic individual with an eye for quality. Frequently spotted across several continents. Anuj is a welltraveled foodie with a wide set of interests. The loudest of the group and loves to meet new people with glowing personalities.

Black Oak
A brand name of Chateau Diana in the Dry Creek Valley. Much of the appeal of this valley has been the synthesis between soil and the temperance of nature that provides the perfect ripening conditions. It was founded more than 25 years ago by Tom & Diana Manning. The Manning’s came to California from New York with a dream of starting their own family winery. Today, the Chateau Diana family is made up of unique individuals with very different strengths who work together as a whole. They are composed of self-driven, self-sufficient, hard-working and generous people who are focused on the promise of Chateau Diana.

ITALIAN Wines of the Month


Cantine Olivella Catalanesca 2014 IGT
This wine is 100% Catalanesca with a nose that is elegant and complex, fruity and floral, with hints of apricot, cantaloupe, melon, and pineapple. The palate is enticed with flavors of chamomile and a fine mineral aftertaste and a fruity finish. Pairs well with seafood, grilled fish, and dishes with buffalo mozzarella. It is full bodied with a nice long finish. Alcohol 13.0%.

De Conciliis Bacioilcielo Paestum Rosso IGT 2015
This wine is 60% Aglianico, 30% Barbera, and 10% Primitivo. A fresh aroma of plum, cherry, floral violet and balsamic give this wine a generous character. Earthy on the palate, easy to drink and clean and intense on the finish. Pairs with red meats and pastas with red sauce. Alcohol 13.0%


De Conciliis Fiano “Donaluna” 2015 DOC
This wine is 100% Fiano and certified organic with a redolent nose of pear, chamomile, and delicate flowers. It is a full bodied wine yet fresh on the palate, with cleansing acidity on the finish. It is grown in the Agripoli, Prignano area. Pairs well with fish, all first courses and just about any white meat. Alcohol 13.0%.

Cantine Olivella Lacryma Cristi Rosso DOC 2015
This wine is 50% Piedirosso, 30% Olivella Nera, and 20% Aglianico. It shows ruby red color and the nose finds an intriguing and unique balance between the aromas of blueberry, black mulberry, and ripe plum typical of the wines from this area. It has medium structure with soft tannins and is very balanced. It pairs well with lasagna with meat balls, roasted meats, and semihard cheeses. Alcohol 13.0%

Cantina Formiconi Cesanese di Affile “Cisinianum” DOP 2013
This wine is 100% Cesanese and is the debut wine of the Formiconi Winery. The delicate nose whiffs a presence of rose, violet, and cherry. The palate finds a nicely balanced and dry wine. It is aged in both inoxidizable vats and French barriques. It pairs with sausages and mature cheeses, well structured first courses, roast beef, and feathered game. Alcohol 14%


De Conciliis Aglianico Paestum “Naima” IGT 2007
This wine is 100% Aglianico with an intense nose of dark berry and foresty aromas. Naima is part of Cilento, an interpretation of its terroir with a very warm climate. The palate finds this warmness and richness shows an absolute simplicity. It is powerful and elegant as Aglianico from Cilent should be. It pairs with Bollito (boiled meats), aged cheeses, lamb, and goat. Alcohol is 16.0%.

Cantina Formiconi Cesanese di Affile “Capozzano” Riserva DOP 2011
This wine is 100% Cesanese. The bouquet shows wild rose, raspberries, liquorice and vanilla while the palate experiences a dry, supple and delicate wine with a decidedly long finish which seduces the tongue with perfect balance. As with the Cisinianum version of this wine, it pairs with sausages, mature cheeses, hearty first courses and most game. Alcohol is 15.5%.

ITALIAN Region of the Month


The capital of Campania, Naples was founded by the Greeks, enlarged by the Romans, and subsequently invaded by the Normans, Hohenstaufen, French, and Spanish among others. Established by the Greeks in the 11th Century BCE, Naples was the earliest of a cluster of far flung settlements throughout southern Italy. Many important figures of the age lived in these settlements, and today some of the best ruins of the ancient Greek world can be found there. Along with mathematics, architecture, and drama, the ancient art of winemaking also flourished. Aglianico and Greco, vines that the Greeks introduced, are still highly prized. The Greek historian Herodotus called this part of Italy Oenotria, the land of wine. Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo are among Italy’s most distinguished white wines, while Taurasi from Aglianico has been called the “Barolo of the South” because of its aging ability. Taurasi, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, and Aglianico del Taburno are the four DOCG wines to date in the government system of laws that regulate wine production. There are 17 DOC areas and nine IGTs.

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month


Black Oak Chardonnay 2016
This wine exhibits wonderful aromas of summer ripe peaches with tropical fruits and flowers. The silky-smooth flavors are reminiscent of baked apples and toasty vanilla bean. The lively acidity makes this and extremely well balanced Chardonnay. The finish is long and fruity with an hint of hazelnut. The overall taste profile is somewhat creamy with apricots and lemons. Pairs with baked or grilled fish and chicken dishes as well as mild cheeses. Alcohol 13.4%

Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
This wine is garnet red with aromas of rich plum and cedar. The palate finds flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, raspberry, herb and a hint of butter. A medium bodied wine that pairs well with lasagna, Dijon pork chops, or grilled flank steak. Alcohol 13.0%.


Outcast Chardonnay 2014
This wine shows bright acidity with aromas of green apple, pear, tropical melon, and a hint of lemon zest. The acidity shows on the palate, balanced by a creamy rich texture and flavors of apple, mineral, white tropical fruit, toasted almond and a hint of vanilla. Pairs with crab cakes, Asian chicken salad or good ol’ mac & cheese. Alcohol 13.9%. 350 cases produced.

Outcast Zinfandel 2013
This wine is 78% Zinfandel and 22% Primitivo which makes fruit forward and sassy. The nose finds plum, black cherry, and fig. The palate is expressive with a medley of ripe brambly fruit and hints of black pepper. It is intense without being forceful and more complexity is revealed the longer it sits. Pairs with BBQ ribs and thin crust sausage or pepperoni pizza. Alcohol 14.5%. 200 cases produced.

Outcast Gunslinger 2013
This wine is aged in new seasoned French oak. It shows aromas of dried sage, boysenberry, blackberry, black cherry and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The palate entices with dark black cherry and vanilla, chocolate, smoke, white pepper, and moss. You might even find cola, strawberry and red plum on the finish. Pairs with rosemary crusted rack of lamb, braised short ribs, and manchego cheese. Alcohol 14.8%. 400 cases produced.


Outcast Cabernet Franc Reserve 2012 (100% Cab Franc)
The nose finds savory dried herbs intertwined with black cherries. The palate is vibrant with concentrated flavors of brambly fruit, earth, and a rich texture. Aged 27 months in French oak, the tannins are silky and the finish fabulous. Decant a half hour. Alcohol 14.2%. 125 cases produced.

Outcast Grenache 2011
This wine is aged 18 months in French oak. Grenache is a lighter varietal, but packs a flavorful punch. The nose of sweet baked red fruit, dried parchouli, and wild cherry blossoms entice. The palate finds strawberry, raspberry preserves, herb, pomegranate, cherry pie with buttered crust, and lively baking spices. Pairs with anything really, such as wild game, lighter seasoned fish dishes, roasted duck and root vegetables. Alcohol 14.5%. 350 cases produced.

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month


Napa Valley is the heart of California’s wine industry, its vine-covered valley floor and rolling hills the destination for millions of visitors each year. The Valley is home to 43,000 acres of vines, over 400 wineries, and many renowned restaurants. George Calvert Yount, arriving in 1831, planted the first grapes. Notable early but still existing stone wineries, developed between 1859 and 1882, including Charles Krug, Christian Brothers, Beringer, Chateau Montelena, and Beaulieu. Formerly a sanatorium, Inglenook winery began production in1880. San Franciscans provided a huge market for Napa wines, which were easily transported across the San Francisco Bay. But Prohibition, enacted in 1920, closed most of them, except the few that provided sacramental wine for churches. The Valley didn’t begin recovery until Robert Mondavi built his large winery in 1966. Today, the Napa Valley has 16 American Viticultural Areas. The umbrella appellation Napa Valley, specializes in Bordeaux grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Cooler Los Carneros, stretching into Sonoma County, is ideal for the grapes of Burgundy, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But other grape varieties, such as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Italian Sangiovese are planted in Napa County.


By Chef & Sommelier Robin L. Obert

Corked Ribs
Braised ribs tenderized with cork! Cork is used by many chefs as a tenderizer for tough meat. It’s a practice that has been passed down for many, many years. It is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean to tenderize very tough octopus.

Also being featured are the English style beef ribs (cut parallel to the bone). They hold their shape and look very appealing on the plate.

Vegetable or peanut oil -2 Tbl
English style beef ribs approximately 4 pounds
(If unavailable a rack can be cut by hand)
Carrot (sliced) ¼ C
Celery (sliced) ¼ C
Onion (chopped fine) 1 C
Garlic clove (sliced thick) 3
Beef stock 3 C
Cabernet Sauvignon 750 ml bottle
Fresh rosemary (4” – 6” in length) 1
Fresh thyme 4 sprigs
Salt & pepper TT (to taste)
Corks 2
350 degree oven

The directions for this recipe were too long for this space. If you would like a copy, please email and ask for them — you will not be disappointed!