Fish Tacos & Fumé Blanc!
We have never shied away from a Taco Tuesday and with summer officially here, we're enjoying some lighter fare that mirrors the season: fresh and bright foods that dance on the tongue and make your mouth water. One of our favorite summertime tacos is the Fish Taco. The crispy fried fish wrapped in a warm, soft tortilla and topped with crunchy cabbage and a slightly spicy pico de gallo is a fun food friend to our wine of the month, the 2016 Fumé Blanc.
Not exactly familiar with Fumé Blanc? Fumé Blanc is made from sauvignon blanc but aged in oak for a period of time to soften some of the grassy aromas and flavors that sauvignon blanc offers. The Rubino Estates 2016 Fumé Blanc has a complex nose with vanilla and hints of citrus including oranges, orange blossom, and pomelo. A smooth texture is complemented by a rich and creamy mouthfeel and a soft acidity. Some exotic fruit comes through with flavors of mango and pineapple upside-down cake. A great wine on its own, a chilled glass of Fumé Blanc is a great pairing with this fish taco recipe from Sam Sifton of the New York Times.
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half moons (optional)
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- ½ cup flour, preferably Wondra or other fine-milled flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
- Pat of butter
- 1 pound flounder or any firm white-fleshed fish, cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long
- 12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- A saucy hot sauce, like Tapatio or Frank’s
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño (if using).
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Season to taste with the halved lime, salt, pepper and chipotle (if using).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, chili powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Add the butter to the pan. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.
- Meanwhile, lightly grease a skillet with a drizzle of oil and set over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dish towel.
- Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, browned side up, followed by tomato salsa and a pinch of cabbage. Drizzle with the cream sauce. Serve 2 to 3 tacos per person, with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.
Add our wine of the month to your next shipping order. Enjoy complimentary shipping on 6 or more bottles!
Last Minute Wine-Inspired Father's Day Gifts
“A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.”
Father's Day is quickly approaching and we are looking forward to celebrating all the wonderful dads and father-figures in our lives who have shaped us into who we are today. Some of us may not be able to see our loved ones in person but we can still send a special gift to let them know we care. Though Sunday is just a few days away, there's still time to surprise Dad with a gift. Here are a few last-minute gifts for wine-loving fathers that will get delivered straight to their door.
Wine-Inspired Father's Day Gifts
Coravin - For the father who doesn't want to drink the entire bottle all at once. With the Coravin preservation system, you simply insert a special needle, tip, and pour —then save the rest of the bottle for weeks, months, or even years!
Personalized Zalto Wine Glass - Help Dad drink in style with a monogrammed wine glass. The Zalto Denk'Art Bordeaux is perfect for bold wines with high tannins like our Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon or Ferrario.
Grilling Greats - If you have a father that you just can't keep away from the grill, this is a great gift. Stock his freezer with a selection of meats for him to pair with his favorite wines.
Cheese Club - If they love wine, they probably love cheese too. The Pennyroyal Five Farm to Table is the perfect subscription. Five times a year, members receive a selection of cheeses made from goats and sheep that are reflective of season changes.
Wine Club Membership - Wine club memberships are great gifts! Who doesn't like wine delivered right to their door? Whether your father is an aficionado or a novice, wine club memberships are a great way to expand his palate and introduce him to your favorites; you'll bond over new wine discoveries.
We hope this helps you if you're in a pinch and that you enjoy the weekend celebrating the special men in your life!
Celebrate National Rosé Day with the new Salute Rosé!
We are thrilled to announce the very first vintage of Rubino Estates Salute Rosé just in time for you to celebrate National Rosé Day!
The 2019 Salute Rosé is a blend of 48% Sangiovese, 28% Nebbiolo, and 24% Barbera. The nose has light red fruit, including wild strawberry and watermelon, and on the palate, the fruit is joined by red currant flavors. Fermented in stainless steel to maintain a fresh and balanced acidity, our Salute Rosé has a lovely full body but maintains a crisp and dry finish.
Here is a little bit more about rosé and our rosé production from our winemaker, Jesse Plautz.
"Rosé production is basically done in two different ways. The first is like creating a white wine, where red wines are put directly into the press with minimal maceration. The other is to pull a saignée (literally "bleeding" the tank). This involves pulling juice out of a red wine ferment before it has a chance to get much extraction. In either case, you can go from 0 minutes of skin contact up to 1-2 days depending on the style.
For the Salute Rosé, all of the grapes were picked and processed specifically for the rosé program. I wanted to highlight younger and fresher flavors and aromas so we picked the fruit much sooner than we would for red wines. For the skin contact, we let the Nebbiolo and Sangiovese sit with their skins for 2 hours and the Barbera for 4 hours. It was just enough time to get a little color and a little extra flavor, but to avoid allowing the tannins to extract much. We destemmed and crushed the fruit prior to maceration, then put it in the press once I saw the flavors and extraction I wanted. For the Nebbiolo, I was looking primarily for a rose petal aroma, which it is well known for. Sangiovese provides a lot of the flavor, with floral notes and a bit of strawberry. The darker red fruits and the acid come from the Barbera, as well as a lot of the color.
The 2019 Salute Rosé is a blend of 48% Sangiovese, 28% Nebbiolo, and 24% Barbera. The nose has light red fruit, including wild strawberry and watermelon, and on the palate, the fruit is joined by red currant flavors. Fermented in stainless steel to maintain a fresh and balanced acidity, our Salute Rosé has a lovely full body but maintains a crisp and dry finish."
We are so excited to pop the cork on a few of these this weekend. Tag us @rubinoestates when you open up your bottles too! It's the perfect pairing for lightly sauced barbeque ribs or curries, and on the lighter side, a caprese, or niçoise salad. Add it to your order for curbside pick-up!
Fumé Blanc and a Simple Scallop Dinner
Our Wine of the Month for May is the 2016 Rubino Estates Fumé Blanc. Handpicked in the cool of the morning, then strategically fermented in neutral barrels to provide a creamy mouthfeel and a subtle hint of spice. Our goal is to showcase the best of what the grapes have to offer. Our Fumé Blanc is aged in neutral oak for about 18 months before bottling to give the wine a gentle and cold fermentation that maximizes its delicate aromas and flavors. It offers a complex nose with vanilla and hints of citrus, including oranges, orange blossom, and pomelo. Gentle acidity adds balance to the smooth texture complemented by a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Some exotic fruit comes through with flavors of mango and pineapple upside-down cake. Served chilled, our Fumé Blanc is a perfect pairing for roasted chicken, fishcakes, grilled fish, salmon, and scallops. Speaking of scallops, below is a recipe to enjoy with the Fumé Blanc. Scallops are a favorite seafood treat and are not as hard to make as one might think. This simple recipe is perfect for a summery Sunday dinner. Pick up a bottle during curbside pick-up this weekend! We hope you enjoy it!
Scallops with Cream and Basil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 12 sea scallops
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 1 teaspoon slivered garlic
- Pinch crushed red chili flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 20 basil leaves, cut in thin ribbons
- Put 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, add scallops; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides, adjusting heat so they brown nicely; they need not cook through. Remove them to a plate.
- Turn off heat, cool pan a bit, and wipe out. Add remaining butter over medium heat. When it melts, add shallots, garlic, chili flakes, and a little more salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, or until shallots soften.
- Add wine, raise the heat a bit, and let bubble away for a minute or so until reduced by about half; add cream and repeat. When the liquid is thick, return scallops and juices to pan.
- Cook for about a minute, stirring in half the basil until scallops are just firm. Taste and adjust seasoning, transfer to small bowls or plates with a bit of sauce, garnish with remaining basil, and serve.
Our Favorite Tri-Valley Trails
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir
One of the silver linings of these last few months of shelter in place is that we've been able to spend more time in the great outdoors. Here, in the Livermore Valley, we are in no short supply of natural beauty, and we've been soaking up as much as we possibly can. We are quite certain that wine, family, and nature are a few of things that have helped us maintain our sanity!
Even if you don't consider yourself to be someone who enjoys working out, regular walks are still beneficial for your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking helps you:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mood
- Improve your balance and coordination
Not only does the physical act of walking release all those good chemicals in the brain to make you feel better, but when you spend time in nature, you also reap additional mood-enhancing benefits. We asked our wine club manager, Riley Callahan, and our Director of Wholesale, Shaina Haller, to share a few of their favorite Tri-Valley trails. Have a favorite of your own? Tag us @rubinoestates on your next walk! Oh! And don't forget to pack a snack and a bottle of wine to enjoy after! (We recommend a cold bottle of Riserva Chardonnay.)
"The thing I love most about Livermore is all the walking trails! We typically use All Trails when we are looking for new routes to explore. We love Sycamore Grove, and our go-to walk there is the Winery Loop route, which passes by the abandoned Cresta Blanca winery. We also love Del Valle, and its Cresta Blanca trail is another favorite trail of ours & Dray's too since he can be off-leash!" - Riley Calahan, Wine Club Manager
"I just started hiking in May after going nuts with less social interaction. I mainly hike the Las Trampus Trail on Starview Court in Danville. My kids started going with me, and it was so good to be outside in the fresh air. And to remember that although this time is tough for all of us, we are so lucky to live in this beautiful area, and have the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones by finding ways to get outside." - Shaina Haller, Director of Wholesale
Spend some time this weekend visiting their favorites!
Sycamore Grove Park
Winery Trail at Sycamore Grove Park
Best Trails in Del Valle Regional Park
Cresta Blanca Trail
Las Trampas Ridge Trail
Not in the Livermore area? Find the trails in your neighborhood on www.alltrails.com.
Wine Tasting at Home
What we miss most about having guests in the tasting room is showing those who are new (and even seasoned) wine drinkers the tips and tricks to enhancing their wine experience at home. Next week we are hosting a live virtual tasting with our winemaker, Jesse Plautz. During our live tasting, Jesse will guide us through the red wines in the most recent club release. We are excited to dive into these wines and learn more about his process of crafting these wines. We hope you are able to join us! But until then, here are a few ways in which you can step up your at-home tasting game as you continue to shelter in place.
Use White Table Linens - The first step to analyzing a wine is looking at it through the glass. Aside from determining whether or not it is a red or white wine, looking at the color can give you clues about the varietal in the glass and its age. It's best to tilt your glass against a plain white surface. Keep some white table linens or napkins close by.
Sniff Your Spices - We know. It sounds strange but the sense of smell is a major factor in how we taste. This is why we smell our wine; it helps your brain prepare itself for what the tongue is about to taste. Practice really smelling the spices you're using on a daily basis and familiarize yourself with them. It will help you pull out the subtle aromas that are present in wine.
Take Good Notes - Keep a notebook on hand when you drink a new wine or taste new vintages of wines you have enjoyed over the years. Writing by hand helps you remember more clearly and reviewing your notes will help you understand what kinds of wines you like and why.
We hope you are able to join us for our very first live virtual tasting for Rubino Estates next week. We made a tasting mat for you to use! Just right-click on the image to save to your computer. Club members will have these wines in their club release, but if you would like to purchase extra wines ahead of time, visit our online shop and pick them up this weekend. We look forward to "seeing" you next week!
Chicken Breasts with Lemon and Rubino Riserva Chardonnay
Our 2016 Rubino Estates Riserva Chardonnay has aromas of orange blossoms, peach, and pear with lingering flavors of vanilla and baking spices to give it a unique flair. Its full body is balanced by a light acidity, which makes it a perfect pairing for some of our favorite foods. On the blog, we're sharing a recipe from one of our favorite resources for tasty recipes, New York Times Cooking. This recipe for Chicken Breasts with Lemon comes together quickly and is perfect for those weekdays when you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Club members will love this dish with the 2106 Riserva Chardonnay in their release, though we believe it is a perfect pairing with our 2017 Landmark Chardonnay as well! We hope you enjoy it!
Chicken Breasts with Lemon
- ½ cup flour for dredging
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Season flour with salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken all over. Remove the excess flour.
- Heat the oil in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the chicken pieces in one layer. Add chicken and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Flip the chicken and cook for 5 minutes more, or until cooked through. Carefully remove the oil from the skillet, leaving the chicken. Discard the oil.
- Add the thyme, shallots, and garlic, and cook for about a minute. Do not burn the garlic. Add the lemon rind, the lemon juice, and the broth.
- Scrape the skillet to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom. Add the butter, and cook for 3 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Michael Kraus for The New York Times
Sparkling Moscato Sangria
Saturday is National Moscato Day, and we thought we would share a little bit about this lovely aromatic grape. Moscato is the Italian word for the grape variety Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, which originally hails from the island of Greece. Now, it is produced most famously in Italy under the name of Moscato d'Asti. The wine generally offers aromas and flavors of mandarin orange, ripe pear, sweet Meyer lemon, orange blossom, and honeysuckle. Our 2016 Rubino Moscato is light-bodied with bubbly effervescence, bright floral and tropical flavor, with a touch of sweetness balanced by lively acidity. It has a very expressive nose with high notes of orange, tangerine, orange blossom, cream, and poached pear. We love it on its own, but if you are looking for a new poolside drink, consider adding this Sparkling Moscato Sangria to your repertoire.
Sparkling Moscato Sangria
Sangria is one of the simplest drink recipes one can make. Just combine your favorite fruits with wine and a little bit of liqueur, and you are all set.
- 1 orange of your choosing, though our favorite this time of year is the Cara Cara
- 1 cup of halved strawberries
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1/3 cup of orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier
- 12 oz of sparkling water such as San Pellegrino, chilled
- 1 bottle of 2016 Rubino Moscato, chilled
Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher, stir together, and enjoy!
Wine Documentaries for the Weekend
The return of warm weather has us daydreaming about travel, alas, these days, our vacation plans look a lot like circles around the kitchen island. Not to mention, we have managed to run out of shows to binge on Netflix. So, what else is there to watch? Well, we were thinking, why not pour ourselves a glass and immerse ourselves in a documentary about wine? Wine is an adventure in a glass. It can transport you to another part of the world, another time and place that now exists only in a bottle.
Below is a short list of some of our favorite wine documentaries—and a suggested wine pairing, of course. These are not only informational about wine and wine regions, but they are also incredibly entertaining, and we promise you will feel like more of a wine expert after you have watched them. Do you have a favorite that you haven't seen listed here? Send us an email at email@example.com and let us know what we should add to our list!
Five Wine Documentaries to Watch this Weekend
MONDOVINO - This documentary follows well-known players in the wine world. You will hear about everything from winemaking to marketing and travel to five different continents as they uncover the complexities of the industry. Just a warning: it is told in a variety of languages, so be sure you are up for reading subtitles. Pairs best with the robust 2016 Riserva Cabernet. This series will take you on an emotional rollercoaster; you will want something strong enough for the ride.●
A YEAR IN BURGUNDY - The Burgundy region of France is known worldwide for making some of the most expensive wines in the world. In this film, you will follow importer Martine Saunier and seven families as they work through the 2011 vintage. After watching this, you will get an even greater sense of how winemaking is more than just the final product in a glass. You will also see precisely why these wines command their prices. It's not quite Burgundy, but we love the delicate and light-bodied 2015 Riserva Dolcetto for this viewing.
DECANTED - "What does it take to make it in Napa Valley?" We all know Napa Valley for its reputation of making outstanding wines, and this film follows some of the most elite winemakers that represent the region, discussing what it takes to craft wines of distinction. Napa Valley gets all the credit, but critically acclaimed wines are also made right here in the Livermore Valley. We are pairing this documentary with our 2016 Landmark Proprietary Red, which received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.
IT STARTS WITH WINE - The team at Wine Enthusiast created this multi-part series. In season 1, you will visit Uruguay, Argentina, and a neighbor to the east, Bonterra Vineyards. What makes this series interesting is how much they also incorporate each region's unique foodways as a part of what makes their wine and wine culture so unique. We work to incorporate sustainable farming methods in our vineyard, and the 2016 Night Owl Barbera reflects our intention to keep those viticultural philosophies intact. Sip on this one while you watch.
Tag us @rubinoestates when you sit and sip and let us know which one you enjoyed the most!
Make Your Own Pizza Night
This week we just released a new offer for our Cal-Ital 6-pack. In honor of the Italian heritage of Rubino Estates, we thought it would be great to offer a collection of wine that featured the Italian varietals that we love, and that gives you the opportunity to taste through our portfolio of wines in a new way. One of our favorite foods to pair with the red wines in this collection is pizza — and who doesn't love pizza?! So this week we're sharing an easy recipe for crust along with some of our favorite toppings.
Let us know which one you make this weekend and which wine you're drinking. As always, you can tag us on social at @rubinoestates!
Quick and Easy Pizza Dough
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving. (via allrecipes.com)
- Marinara Sauce + Buffalo Mozzarella + Fresh Tomatoes + Fresh Basil
- Marinara Sauce + Mozzarella + Sausage + Green Pepper + Dried Oregano
- Marinara Sauce + Mozarella + Pepperoni + Mushrooms
- Marinara Sauce + Mozarella + Black Olives + Green Peppers + Onions + Mushrooms
- BBQ Sauce + Gorgonzola + Shredded Chicken + Barbeque Sauce + Red Onions + Fresh Cilantro
And if you still don't think you want to make your own, head over to Visit Tri-Valley for a list of local restaurants offering takeout and delivery!