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Tag Archives: Chardonnay



Friday Night Whites: Best Chardonnay Small Plates for Summer

on July 28, 2015

For Nickel & Nickel Winemaker Darice Spinelli, Chardonnay is her hot weather go-to, “although with Chardonnay, I often find I’ve enjoyed my wine before a plate of food hits the table.”

On summer Friday nights, Darice loves to invite friends to join her around the fire pit for wine and super-simple small plates. “Anything too long or complicated isn’t going to happen.” Time is a precious commodity for Darice. Her days in the vineyard often start before sunrise (and end after office hours). She’s also Mom to two energetic boys, which means that arriving home, getting dinner on the table for the kids, then prepping an elaborate meal for her guests, well, “there simply aren’t enough hours in a day. Especially because I actually want to be present and enjoy the company of my family and my friends.”

To ensure she spends more time fireside than she does in the kitchen, Chef Trevor Eliason offers his suggestions for easy 30-minute (or less) appetizers that pair beautifully with Nickel & Nickel’s Single Vineyard Chardonnays from the Russian River and Napa Valleys.

Easy 30-Minute Appetizers

Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta + Nickel & Nickel Stiling Vineyard ChardonnayWhether you daydream about classic Brandywines, geek out over tangy Northern Lights or prize the hearty Cherokee purple as the perfect slicing tomato, tomato season is hitting its stride, making it the ideal time to indulge your heirloom obsessions. We love to toss just-picked varieties with olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. We let the flavors marry for half an hour before spooning fragrant, “sweating” heaps of them over creamy burrata on toasted baguette. Top with fresh basil.

Prosciutto-wrapped Marinated Galia Melon + Nickel & Nickel Medina Vineyard Chardonnay. Exactly what should you use as a marinade? There are a variety of options, however, Chef Trevor favors simplicity, with nice olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. “Just a hint of fennel pollen really elevates it, but isn’t required,” he says.

Smoked Salmon Rillettes + Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay. Technically, this takes longer than 30 minutes, but the fragrant smoky-fish and butter flavors of really good salmon rillettes are the ultimate Friday night showstopper, especially when paired alongside whites on the creamier, more textured side. The good news, one of our favorite versions, here, can be prepared up to three days in advance.

Drink some wine. Talk with friends. Throw some fresh summer corn on the grill, which, BTW, always tastes great with all three of our Nickel & Nickel Chardonnays. Discover more recipes that pair beautifully with our Single-Vineyard Whites, and make this your #BestChardonnay summer ever.

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

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

Ingredients
(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

Method

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.

Presentation
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.

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In a Nutshell: Nickel & Nickel’s 2014 Harvest

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.

 

10703677_10152512825279086_3568428059415633472_n
The Nickel & Nickel team
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Harvest Begins

on September 8, 2014

Today with our first bins of Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay we kicked off Harvest 2014! This vineyard, located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, benefits from cool, often foggy, mornings and evenings, and sunny days. Winemaker Darice Spinelli says they are picking the west-facing hillsides first, which get the full benefit of the afternoon sun, and crews will continue to harvest over a period of several days (perhaps weeks) as different areas of the vineyard ripen fully.

Truchard Chardonnay

As with each start to harvest, the team at Nickel & Nickel gathered for a blessing from Father Charles (from the nearby Carmelite monastery) and a toast. Join us in wishing for a safe, successful Harvest 2014!

For a few more photos, visit our Facebook page.

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Vineyard Profile: Stiling Vineyard

on March 25, 2013

With the beautiful weather we have been enjoying lately (including a few, spring rain showers), single-vineyard Chardonnay has been on our minds—especially our newest Chardonnay from Stiling Vineyard.

This vineyard, located in Russian River Valley, is planted in the infamous Goldridge sandy loam soils, providing excellent drainage. The coastal influence brings daytime temperatures that allow the fruit to ripen slowly, while retaining perfect balance.

If you haven’t enjoyed the 2011 Nickel & Nickel Stiling Vineyard Chardonnay, now is a perfect time to pick up a bottle (or two) and toast the coming spring.

An aerial view of Stiling Vineyard:

Stiling Vineyard

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