There’s something so special about Italian food. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I find it impossible to dislike Italian food. The ingredients are so, incredibly wholesome and versatile. Italian dishes are just plain comforting and delicious.
Vintage after vintage, our C. Tarantino Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be one of my absolute favorite wines we produce. I can always count on it being fruit-forward and drinkable as soon as it’s released. My favorite vintage was the 2013 and despite being so drinkable when it was released, this wine is aging beautifully. I’d say the 2017 vintage is quite similar to the 2013. Consistently, the C. Tarantino Cab has gorgeous acidity, which makes it the absolute perfect wine to pair with Italian dishes. I’m not sure if it’s the soil the grapes are grown in, if it’s the grape clone (337, which is different from what we have on our estate and our Lucky 8 Vineyard), or if it’s even the way the sun hits the vines in the summertime, but something about this wine is simply magical.
If you were lucky enough to receive this fabulous wine in your most recent club shipment, whip it out and try this pairing for yourself. We are a few bottles shy of selling out of the 2017 vintage of this Cab, so if you want to try this pairing, don’t wait. Get a bottle now. I promise you won’t be disappointed by this pairing!
Whether you’re rooting for the San Francisco 49ers or the Kansas City Chiefs, or even if you’re just watching the game for the multi-million dollar commercials, every American knows the most important part of any good Super Bowl party is the food and the drinks. Is the game a total dud? Well, at least you have something delicious to snack on. Is your team destined for defeat? Luckily, you’ve got some yummy wine to sip on. Even if the commercials are the best you’ve ever seen and your team is headed toward victory, having an excellent spread at your Super Bowl party makes you the real winner. We’ve got three incredible pairings for your Super Bowl party that everyone will enjoy!
The Super Bowl has always been a huge deal for the McGrail family. This is especially true for the late Jim McGrail. Historically, we have always been closed on Super Bowl Sunday, because Jim liked to invite all of his friends to the winery to watch the game on the big screen T.V. As an avid football fan, he loved any excuse for a party with great food and wine.
Enjoy these easy, but killer Super Bowl appetizer recipes paired with some of our favorite McGrail wines!
Crispy Stuffed Parmesan Pesto Crimini Mushrooms Paired with the 2018 McGrail Family Chardonnay
Makes 18 to 24 stuffed mushrooms; 1-2 stuffed mushrooms per serving, depending on size and number of mushrooms in a pack.
I know not everyone at your party is going to eat meat, but I also know that a plain ol’ veggie platter can get really boring, really fast for our herbivorous friends. These Crispy Stuffed Parmesan Pesto Crimini Mushrooms are sure to please your plant-eating pals, and even your meat-eating mates will love this healthy option, too!
Serve these with our 2018 McGrail Family Chardonnay for a touchdown of a pairing! This full-bodied, barrel-fermented Chardonnay perfectly complements the buttery texture and creaminess of these delectable, bite-sized morsels.
If you’re thinking you’re not going to make these, because not everyone likes mushrooms, or because of the mushroom flavor or texture, don’t doubt these delightful delicacies! Admittedly, I really wasn’t expecting these to be as amazing as they were. When I made these and fed them to our tasting room staff, they were blown away, not only by the flavor, but also by how surprisingly pleasant and crispy the texture was.
16 oz. organic whole Crimini mushrooms
8 oz. fresh prepared pesto (I used Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto)
1 cup yellow onion, minced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (replace with nutritional yeast or another dairy-free alternative to make the recipe vegan)
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350˚. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Remove stems from mushrooms and mince.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pan. Sautée onion, garlic, and mushroom stems in olive oil until slightly browned. Set aside.
Brush mushroom tops with remaining olive oil. Spoon and spread prepared pesto onto insides of mushrooms. Bake mushrooms upside down (pesto side up) at 350˚F for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have become a slightly darker shade of brown.
Pre-heat oven to 400˚F.
Stuff the insides of the mushrooms with sauteed garlic, onion, and mushroom stems. There should be at least a little bit of room left inside the mushrooms when you are finished.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the chopped pistachios, grated Parmesan, panko bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Stuff mushrooms with Parmesan and panko mixture. Push the mixture into the mushroom using the back of a spoon, then evenly distributed the remaining mixture over the tops of the mushrooms. It’s okay if the mixture is overflowing from the mushrooms.
Bake stuffed mushrooms at 400˚ for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the stuffing has reached desired crispiness.
Marinara & Ricotta Meatball Poppers on Toasted Garlic Bread with the 2016 C. Tarantino Cabernet Sauvignon
Serves about 20.
Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like Italian food? Not only is it comforting and delicious, but with such wholesome and versatile ingredients, it’s also pretty difficult to make Italian food that just doesn’t taste good. I can say with great confidence that at least 95% of Americans like toasted garlic bread, spaghetti and meatballs, and lasagna, which is why I created the ultimate Super Bowl app: Marinara and Ricotta Meatball Poppers on Toasted Garlic Bread.
Pair this appetizer with our 2016 C. Tarantino Cabernet Sauvignon and you’ll have a match made in hors d’oeuvre heaven! This Cabernet is super fruit-forward and big enough to not be overpowered by an ultra delectable appetizer. It is also extremely drinkable and has gorgeous acidity, which is why this wine pairs so well with meatballs in tomato sauce. I also chose this wine because it has a red foiled label, the perfect color for 49ers fans and Chiefs fans alike!
24 oz. organic French baguette(s)
4 tbsp. roasted garlic & herb butter spread
1 cup yellow onion, minced
4 oz. sliced Crimini mushrooms, minced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
20 oz. frozen party size mini meatballs (about 42 meatballs)
26 oz. roasted garlic marinara sauce
16 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
Pre-heat the broiler to high. Line a large sheet pan with foil
Slice baguette(s) into 3/4 to 1 inch slices. Spread the roasted garlic and herb butter on the sliced bread liberally. Broil the buttered slices on high for 3 minutes or until desired toastiness is reached.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Sautée onion, garlic, and mushrooms in olive oil until slightly browned. Add frozen meatballs and marinara sauce. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are warmed thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
Spread the ricotta on the toasted bread slices.
Spoon each meatball with a little bit of sauce onto each slice of toast. Secure with a toothpick.
Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon Bites with Sriracha Horseradish Dipping Sauce and the 2016 Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon
Serves about 8, with 2 bites per serving.
If there are any foods that are sure to please a Super Bowl party crowd, it’s bacon, steak, or some combination of steak and bacon. You obviously can’t go wrong with anything bacon-wrapped, but the steak really adds that superfluous extra layer of juicy American glutton that every Super Bowl party needs. I think the general agreeability of this appetizer speaks for itself, but just to add a little extra flavor, try the bacon-wrapped steak with our Terrapin Ridge Sriracha Horseradish dipping sauce.
A big, manly app requires a big, manly wine, which is why I have paired it with our 2016 Austin James Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine does have some fruit and acidity, but it was primarily built with velvety tannins and balanced structure. A buttery Filet Mignon is big and bold enough for this wine, but just soft and silky enough to complement it. With another red foiled label, this wine is also great to bring along as a hostess or host gift, no matter if you are a 49ers fan or a Chiefs fan!
1 lb. filet mignon or beef tenderloin
12 oz. uncured apple smoked bacon (about 8 slices)
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
cracked rainbow peppercorn
pink Himalayan sea salt
4.5 oz. Terrapin Ridge Sriracha Horseradish dipping sauce
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Over medium heat, cook sliced bacon in a large pan until bacon is cooked thoroughly, but not crispy.
Cut steak into small, bite-sized pieces. In a medium bowl, combine steak, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap bacon slices around steak pieces, secure with a toothpick, and evenly distribute on lined baking sheet.
Cook bacon-wrapped steak for 8 to 12 minutes or until desired crispiness (for bacon) or done-ness (for steak) is reached.
Pour Terrapin Ridge Sriracha Horseradish dipping sauce into a small dish for dipping.