Wineries of the Month
Paolo Scavino Vineyard
Paolo Scavino is an historical winery in the Barolo region. It was founded in 1921 in Castiglione Falletto from Lorenzo Scavino and his son Paolo. Farming has always been a family tradition and passion.
Enrico Scavino together with the daughters Enrica and Elisa, fourth generation, run the family Estate. He started to work full time in the winery in 1951 when he was 10 years old. A young winemaker who inherited the passion and devotion for the land he belongs to. Through over 60 years of experience his focus has been to invest on important cru of Nebbiolo to show the uniqueness of each terroir.
Their work is inspired by the love and respect they have for their territory and they pursue purity of expression, complexity and elegance for their wines from the three local grapes Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo.
These values and culture have been carried on and never changed.
Damilano Barolo Vineyard
Damilano is one of few traditional, ancient, ultracentenary Barolo wine makers.
In fact, the Damilano family has been active since 1890 when Giuseppe Borgogno, the great-grandfather of the current owners, started farming and making wine from the family-owned vineyard in Barolo (Cuneo), the town in the Langhe area that the homonymous wine was named after; a beautiful and generous land that has been the heart of the vocation to produce the “king of wines” for centuries.
It wasn’t until the following generation, though, that Giacomo Damilano, the founder’s son-in-law, gave the current name to the winery. It was he who gave the stimulus to preserve the vines and apply constant innovation in the quality of the winemaking process, making the winery become a “jewel” to proudly pass on to his nephews, who manage the company since 1997.
Guido, Mario, and Paolo Damilano have been capable of giving new lymph and push to the family company, particularly giving value to the prince grape of the Langhe, the Nebbiolo, and specific terroirs, the Cannubi above all.
Wineries of the Month
Velvet Bee Winery
We associate wine with the pleasures of life—good company, great food and the fun of sharing special finds with friends. Velvet Bee Wine was born from these ideas. It started with a small backyard vineyard we acquired in 2009. In 2012, the project took a quantum leap.
With guidance from very talented winemakers, we purchased grapes from select local vineyards and began producing commercially, focusing on the varietals best suited to these vineyards. We have worked hard to produce wines that we would be excited to share with friends.
We especially love the bees in our garden and wanted to incorporate their importance in our name and label design. The farm implements—hoe and shovel—represent the physical labor that goes into farming. Our grape vines represent life.
Located in the Mount Veeder Appellation of Napa Valley, the vineyard is the project of the Larry Stricker family. Larry is an acclaimed architect who has created world class resort hotels, including the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona; the Marriott Desert Springs Resort and a series of Hawaiian properties. Since 1990 he has taken advantage of his exceptional vineyard by bottling half his production under his own label. Three wines are produced at Godspeed: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Trinity. All three are made in a very elegant, almost “European: style, with an emphasis on the vineyard’s unique micro-climate, as expressed in the wine’s balance and fruit element.
Bello Family Vineyards
Bello Family Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery in Napa Valley producing extraordinary wines from an estate vineyard. The dream was set into motion when Michael Bello purchased a piece of prime real estate in Napa Valley’s Rutherford Bench district. Intent on transforming his passion project into a tangible reality, Michael began working toward his goal of producing nothing less than a premium Cabernet Sauvignon of the highest quality imaginable. Since that time he has been joined by his son Christopher Bello, and the two have combined to create a powerful force in the industry.
ITALIAN Wines of the Month
2018 Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d’Alba
Purple in color with fresh and delicate aromatics of cherry, blueberry, spices and flowers. Well-defined by good tannins and harmonious acidity, this wine has a pleasant freshness and intriguing character. Pair with aged cheeses, pumpkin chili, pork, or salmon.
2017 Paolo Scavino Langhe D.O.C. Sorriso
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Pale yellow with emerald hues. Fresh and charming nose with white flowers, sage, yellow and orange fruits in addition to mineral notes. The delicate flavors continue on the palate where a soft texture is combined with sapid and cleansing acidity. Pair with a white fish, a fresh salad, or mild cheeses.
2017 Damilano Barbera d’Asti
Aromas of dark-skinned cherry, violet and baking spice carry over to the tangy palate along with crushed blackberry and a hint of orange zest. It has lithe tannins while bright acidity lends energy. Drink through 2021. Kerin O’Keefe Pair with steak, rich bolognaise, aged cheeses, or barbeque.
2016 Damilano Langhe Nebbiolo Marghe
Ruby red with garnet reflections. The bouquet is delicate, and reminiscentof violet and red fruit. The taste is dry, with a velvety, harmonious body. Excellent with all kinds of roasted and braised meat, game, and aged cheese.
2017 Damilano Langhe Arneis
“Displaying alluring fruit flavors of peach, apricot and grapefruit, this white is juicy and bright, ending with a mouthwatering tang. Drink now. 2,500 cases made, 990 cases imported.” (88 pts.)-Wine Spectator, 2018. Pair with a fresh Cobb Salad, white fish, mild cheeses, or a light pasta dish
2015 Paolo Scavino Barolo
Wine Spectator 93 points, 2018. “This starts out with plenty of cherry, plum and orange peel flavors, offset by iron, eucalyptus and tobacco accents. The finish is rustic, with the tannins flexing their muscles, yet this comes together in the end. A wine for the long haul. Best from 2023 through 2040.”-James Suckling. Pair with beef, pork, or lamb.
2014 Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne
Ruby red in color, this wine offers aromas of rose, leather, tobacco and emerging notes of violet. The palate is soft, with a persistent finish. Perfect with red and braised meat, game, and aged cheese.
ITALIAN Region of the Month
Half of Piemonte, which means “foot of the mountain,” lies in the great arc of the Alps and the Apennines, from which the Po River flows east through its broad valley to the Adriatic. Bordering Switzerland and France, Piemonte was part of the Frenchspeaking principality of Savoy between the 11th and 18th Centuries. The ancient Liguri tribes first cultivated the wild vines of the Apennines and later learned wine making from the Greeks about 600 BC. In the 19th Century, the wines of Piemonte gained distinction when the Savoy and others began to use French methods. Piemonte has 58 DOC and DOCG zones, more than any other region. In the Langhe hills above the town of Alba are the vineyards of Barolo, one of Italy’s most prestigious wines, “the king of wines and the wine of kings,” although Barbaresco may be its equal, both wines made from the noble Nebbiolo vine. Barbera and Dolcetto are popular reds. Whites are equally prominent. Asti Spumante from Moscato d’Asti is the nation’s second DOCG in volume after Chianti. Among still whites, Gavi from the Cortese grape is highly regarded along with Arneis.
CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month
2016 Velvet Bee Queen Bee Rouge
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec
This a medium weight red with nicely balanced fruit. It delivers round, dark berry flavors in a soft glove. Pairs with Salmon, well-aged cheeses, lamb, or a warm lentil stew.
Gen 7 Private Cuvee Sparkling
You can feel the taste of summer with subtle notes of asian pear and juicy stone fruit. This sparkling wine delivers a cool effervescent sensation on the palate. It is crisp with a clean finish that leaves you always wanting more. Food pairings would include an array of seafood and poultry appetizers, hot or cold. Spicy Thai and even sushi.
2017 Bello Family Vineyards Megahertz Cabernet Sauvignon
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
An aromatic lift of fresh cherry, dry thyme and toasted black peppercorn abound from the glass. On the palate, flavors of black cherry and plum compote frame the heart of this wine. Firm tannins, balanced acidity and compelling layers of semisweet chocolate and dark roast espresso beans defines the long and layered finish. Pair with ribeye, salmon, barbeque, pasta in a rich red sauce, and aged cheeses.
2013 Godspeed Trinity Red Blend
42% Cabernet, 25% Malbec, 33% Syrah
Only 150 cases produced. Gold Medal winner, American Fine Wine Competition. Big nose of black cherry, coffee and pepper, with elegant mouth filling flavors of blueberry, spice and peppercorns and cocoa. Sweet oak, soft plush tannins. Pair with hearty pasta dishes, wild game, lamb, or salmon.
2017 Velvet Bee Queen Bee Blanc White
50% Semillon, 50% Sauvignon
Aromas of Lemon skins, apple rinds, and earthy hot sandstone. There is a light oil and waxy character to the palate, where flavors of light almond and lemon skin arise-Matt Kettmann. 90 points Wine Enthusiast. Pair with a salad, Sushi, grilled chicken, Tai, fish, or mild cheeses.
2011 Godspeed Mount Veeder Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec
“Inky-black in the glass. It has a gorgeous nose – you will want to crawl in there. An explosion of fruit comes off the first sip with ripe blackberries, plum, black currant, and huckleberries, leading to flavors of espresso bean, black pepper, wild sage, cedar and tobacco. The finish is long and lasting.” —Founder, Larry Stricker. Pair with Flame-broiled chicken, game, beef or lamb.
2017 Bello Family Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet
Franc, 2% Petite Verdot
Beautiful opaque, dense ruby/purple color, a classic sweet nose of blackcurrants, licorice and sweet oak. Elegant fresh raspberry, blueberry and cherry notes carry through the mid pallet. The wine finishes with long velvety sweet tannin, bittersweet chocolate and raspberry. Rich, broad and flavorful with good acidity. Pair with a juicy steak, hearty beef stew, lamb, or wild game dishes.
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 in 1880. 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.
DINNER WITH DEBRA
By Debra Williams
Chili-I’m not sure where I got this recipe. I’ve used it for years.
1lb lean ground beef
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium sweet onion
2 ½ Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ tsp cayenne pepper if you like heat
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 can petite diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can kidney beans with liquid
1 can tomato sauce
Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and, over medium heat, cook onion for five minutes. Add ground beef to pot and blend with onion. Cook until browned. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Taco toppings-whatever you like on your taco, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cheese, olives, salsa, sour cream, etc.
I don’t have a recipe, per say for this. It is something I’ve made for years. This is actually my secret recipe I’m sharing with you.
The ratio is 2:1. For every cup of flour, add ½ cup of buttermilk.
Stir with a spoon to loosely blend. Then, coat your hands with a nonstick cooking spray and blend/shape your dough by hand. Do not overwork the dough. You want it to stick together and have no lumps, be about a half inch in depth, and the size of your palm round.
Heat oil in a deep skillet until temperature is consistent for frying. Drop the bread into the oil and brown on both sides-takes about 4 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
Serve by topping with chili and the toppings of your choice. This will go good with any of the red wines we featured this month.