Gleason Barn

Recipe: Basil-Coconut Soup with Roasted Lobster Skewer and Crispy Kale

by on March 16, 2015

The March Single Vineyard Club shipments will be making their way to your doorsteps this week! This month’s shipment brochure features a flavor-rich Basil-Coconut Soup recipe crafted to pair with your bottle of 2013 Nickel & Nickel Stiling Vineyard Chardonnay. The vibrant acidity of this stunning Russian River Valley Chardonnay is the perfect accompaniment to this decadent soup.

To view this recipe on our website and download, click here.

Basil-Coconut Soup with Roasted Lobster Skewer and Crispy Kale

(Serves 4)

Basil-Coconut Soup
3 cups leeks (white part only), diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 cups lobster or chicken broth
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 cans coconut milk
½ cup basil leaves, loosely packed (reserve portion for basil chiffonade)
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon

Lobster Skewers
4 skewers, 8-10 inches long
2 1 ½-pound lobsters
Japanese seven spice (shichimi togorashi), to taste
Fresh lime juice, to taste
Salt, to taste

Crispy Kale
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste


Basil-Coconut Soup
In a large sauce pot on medium-low heat, cook the leeks in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally. After seven minutes, add garlic and cook for another three minutes. Pour in the lobster or chicken broth and the potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender. Add the coconut milk and return to a simmer. Working in two batches, transfer the mixture to the blender and purée for about 30 seconds, gradually adding the basil leaves and a teaspoon of salt. Do not run the blender too long, as it will make the soup gluey. Once all the soup has been puréed, add the lime and lemon juices. Place back into the soup pot and keep warm on low heat.

Lobster Skewers
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Start by shelling the lobster tails and cut them in half lengthwise. Be sure to remove any brown remnants and reserve the knuckle and claw meat. Cut each side in three square-shaped pieces.
Start your skewer with two pieces of knuckle meat, three pieces of tail meat and finish with one claw at the end. Season the skewered lobster to taste with the Japanese spice mix and salt. Oil the grill, and then grill the lobster skewers for two minutes on each side. Finish with fresh lime juice and a pinch of salt. Keep warm.

Crispy Kale
Preheat your oven to 425ºF. Clean the kale and discard the tough stem. Cut into large triangular pieces, and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and two pinches of salt. Mix well to evenly coat, then lay the leaves in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake for four to seven minutes (depending on your oven), until the leaves appear crisp, but not browned. Set aside and let cool.

Portion the soup into four bowls. Drop in any remaining lobster in the center of the soup, then place the skewered lobster across the bowl. Tuck four pieces of crispy kale into the soup, stem-side down, then garnish with a small amount of basil chiffonade.

Have you tried any of our Nickel & Nickel recipes? We’d love to hear how it turned out. Drop us a line on our Facebook, Twitter (@nickelandnickel), Instagram (@nickelandnickelwinery) or good ol’ fashioned email.


A Nickel & Nickel Spring

by on March 13, 2015

We’re a few days shy of the official start to spring, but don’t tell the flowers, trees and birds at Nickel & Nickel. Everything is budding, blooming, and singing, and even the vineyard is getting in on the action. Viticulturist Aaron Fishleder says bud break is just getting underway in our home vineyard, John C. Sullenger Vineyard.

Sullenger Vineyard

Early this week, foggy mornings dusted everything with fine water droplets, giving everything an extra sparkle when the sun emerged. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, we got a few sprinkles of light rain which dusted everything off and gave the air that fresh, “just rained” smell.

Nickel & Nickel budding

In the cellar, winemaker Darice Spinelli and her team are working hard to put the final touches on the 2013 vintage. We’ll begin bottling our Single-Vineyard Cabernet (15 wines in this vintage!), Merlot and Syrah on April 20.

But that’s not all! Darice is also getting ready to showcase the 2014 Cabernets at our annual Futures tasting in May. For those of you who have joined us for this annual opportunity to taste and acquire Cabernets from our most recent vintage, you know what a treat it is to experience these young wines, which even in their youth, exemplify their vineyard sites. We hope you will join us this year!


Pairing Tips: Cheese & Charcuterie

by on February 11, 2015


Thanks to all who attended our Nickel & Nickel Winter Open House last weekend! The fantastic crowd definitely kept things lively under overcast skies. The Napa Valley was drenched this past week with much needed rain, but the water-laden clouds spared us for the day and we entertained a full house. While Nickel & Nickel staff graciously poured our single-vineyard wines in our Fermentation Barns, Chef Trevor Eliason replenished the tables in the lounge area with cheese and charcuterie to keep palates interesting.


Chef Trevor has provided us with suggestions for compiling your own spreads for a lovely cheese, charcuterie and wine experience at home. Keep in mind – everyone’s tastes are different, and the fun is in discovering how the food interacts with the wine on your palate.


Age Matters: Go for aged cheeses with wonderfully concentrated flavors. At Open House, we served the Beemster Gouda, aged 18 months and 24 months.

Waxed vs. Washed: We typically recommend a waxed-rind cheese for wine pairing purposes – washed-rind cheese tends to be too ripe.

Salt Content: Look for something not too salty, so as to not interfere with the flavors of the wine. A good, balanced cheese we like to serve at events is Highway-1.

Cow, Sheep, Goat?: Local cow and sheep cheese is safe bet when attempting to pair with wine; goat cheese is not always wine-friendly. However, there are exceptions to the rule – we do offer Cypress Grove Midnight Moon Chèvre with Nickel & Nickel wines.


Texture: We select thinly sliced meats instead of sausages, terrines and rillettes – think Proscuitto or Bresaola. This form of charcuterie offers a nice melt-in-your-mouth texture that is fantastic with wine.

Salty or Spicy?: Salty, fatty charcuterie goes great with our Nickel & Nickel Cabernets. Hot and spicy meats are not the best complement to our wines, but if you’re looking for something with a little bite, try a Mortadella with peppercorns.

Befriend the Butcher: It’s always great to support your local businesses. If you’re looking for charcuterie, chat with your butcher and ask if you can taste a selection of meats before you purchase. Try a combination of three different meats, like beef, pork and duck, and see what jumps out at you.

Happy pairing!


In a Nutshell: Nickel & Nickel’s 2014 Harvest

by on November 17, 2014

Cheers to a fantastic 2014 harvest! We started harvesting fruit at the beginning of September, building to a crescendo that ended on October 14th – the majority of the fruit came in that last two-and-a-half weeks. Overall, we experienced ideal conditions for harvest save for some rain towards the last week of September, which only softened tannins in our Oakville, Yountville and hillside wines.


10426180_10152511701889086_1642390701212534517_n10514328_10152528326249086_2908955238307328132_o Left: Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay from our annual Blessing of the Grapes
Right: Beautiful Nickel & Nickel Cabernet Sauvignon fruit

The vintage perfectly encapsulates our single-vineyard winemaking philosophy with the distinctive vineyard expressions evident in the wines. Winemaker Darice Spinelli notes that the vineyard expression is “very pronounced” this year with our Cabernets, ranging from elegant wines graced with soft tannins to bold, more powerful and robust expressions. You can, however, expect the typical red and dark berry fruits characteristic of each vineyard.

We’re also very excited for the development of our 2014 Nickel & Nickel Chardonnays. The wines are filling our fermentation barns with gorgeous aromatics and are already offering beautiful, forward fruit flavors with great balance. We can’t wait to share this vintage with you.


The Nickel & Nickel team

Harvest Party, Nickel & Nickel Style

by on October 6, 2014

While much of the country may be pulling on stylish boots and bundling up in sweaters, we’re in summer redux here in Napa Valley. Predicted highs of 99 degrees coincided with Saturday’s harvest party, which meant we saw a lot of summer outfits. Who’s to judge if white is worn after Labor Day? Not we—though do be careful around the Cabernet.

Nickel & Nickel

Dan Martin and the Noma Rocksteady Band played while guests mingled sampling pizzas hot from the wood-burning oven and passed hors d’oeuvres. We took guests on behind-the-scenes tours, showing them everything from processing fruit that came in that morning to rehydrating yeast, punch downs and tasting wines that were partway through fermentation.

And there was wine, of course! We poured current release bottles, plus a few treats from the cellar.

2012 Stiling Vineyard Chardonnay

2012 Suscol Ranch Merlot

2011 C.C. Ranch Cabernet

2011 State Ranch Cabernet

2009 Copper Streak Vineyard Cabernet

2006 Witz End Vineyard Cabernet

2006 Dyer Vineyard Syrah

Did you join us? Which wine was your favorite?

Check out the rest of the photos from the day on our Facebook page.

Nickel & Nickel