Archive for the ‘Food & Wine’ Category

Dry Aged Rib-Eyes with Horseradish Gremolata

Monday, July 18th, 2016

1 boneless rib loin, about 6 pounds (makes about 6 servings) 1 package cheesecloth, cut in half 1 sheet pan 1 rack to fit on sheet pan Salt and Freshly cracked black pepper Horseradish Gremolata, recipe follows Horseradish Gremolata: 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature 2 teaspoons minced garlic 4 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish grated 3 teaspoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon minced lemon zest ½ teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley 2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon Mix everything in a medium bowl Make room in bottom back of refrigerator to hold sheet pan. Remove roast from packaging and rinse well and pat completely dry. Wrap with 3 layers of cheesecloth and place on rack fitted on sheet pan fat side up. After 24 hours, remove and unwrap cheesecloth and discard, wrap with fresh piece of cheesecloth and place back in refrigerator for 6 to 9 days leaving undisturbed. Remove roast from refrigerator and cut away fat and any discolored parts of the roast. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Cut roast into 1 ½ inch thick steaks, season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cook steaks to desired doneness about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove from grill place on a platter and top with Horseradish Gremolata,  let rest for 5 minutes before serving.   Enjoy with a glass of Solis Petit Verdot , Estate 2012.

Cabernet Sauvignon Vs Merlot – What is the Difference?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

women smelling a glass of red wine

Merlot vs Cabernet Sauvignon: A Brief History

Merlot the popular Bordeaux varietal, historic roots date all the way back to the first century. Also known as Petit Merle, Vitraille, Crabutet Noir and Bigney in different areas of the world, Merlot was originally produced in France and said to have evolved from the biturica variety, the first grape cultivated in Bordeaux.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a newer varietal that can be considered the offspring of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The oldest recorded Cabernet Sauvignon dates back to the 18th century and like many wines, has different names around the world, including Petit Cabernet, Petit Vidure and Vidure and Uva Francese.


How Long Does a Wine Stay Good After Opening?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Different wines have several variables, like type, age, location, and method of production, that play into the varying tastes and compositions. Many people will select a nice bottle of wine for enjoyment, but they will only have one glass to relax. However, after that bottle becomes open, a question is raised of how long the opened wine will continue to have its original flavor. Here are some facts and tips that may help you to decide if it will be worth a try after a few days.

What Happens to Wine After It Has Been Opened
After a bottle of wine is opened, oxygen from the air is exposed to the liquid ingredients. Initially, this oxidation opens a wine up resulting in a softening of the wine and a burst of aroma. As the natural process occurs over longer hours and days, the aroma has been too present and will begin to go flat while the taste may appear to be sour or acidic. Additionally, champagne will completely lose its carbonation.

The Recommendation
There is no exact amount of time that a wine will stay good after opening, but generally, younger wines will taste fresher longer after opening than older wines. Acidity, sugar, tannins, and alcohol are what affect the actual preservation of the wine after oxidation sets in.

When it comes down to the ultimate recommended rule related to opened white, red, or rosé wine, just do not serve wine to guests after it has been opened for three or more days. This way, the guests will be able to enjoy the original intended taste of the wine and their palate will not be distracted from the effects of oxidation.

Sherry, Port, and other fortified wines have a higher alcohol and sugar content that acts as preservatives for the wine, allowing them to have a longer opened shelf life for about a week or two. If a Madeira is stored correctly in the refrigerator, it can last years.

What is the Best Way to Preserve Wine
All wines, even reds, should be placed in the refrigerator or at a cooler temperature after opening to slow the process of aging. What aids in this slowing process is minimizing oxidation. You can use the original cork to plug the bottle opening, but there are also tight-fitting bottle stoppers intended to be a re-usable sealer. While some of the bottle stoppers are decorative, opt for one that clicks securely into place. If you are willing to try something new, there are wine vacuums that claim to slow the oxidation process and keep wine fresh for a couple more weeks, or better yet, invest in an inert gas barrier system like Private Preserve Wine Preserver.

In the end, some winos still appreciate the taste and smell of a wine after it has sat open for a few days. If you taste a bottle of wine that has been opened for quite some time and you enjoy it, there is nothing wrong with drinking it. If you choose that you would rather not drink it, consider using it for cooking. Because heat changes properties of the wine, it is often nearly impossible to tell that wine used in cooking had been opened days or even weeks ago.

If you’ll be in the Gilroy Area, come visit Solis Winery on Hecker Pass Hwy and enjoy some wine tasting. Or download our 50% off voucher, and save on you first wine purchase of our award winning wines.

Choosing the right wine for Christmas Dinner

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Wine is the classic go to alcoholic beverage for fancier meals, especially meals served around the holidays. It is classy and comes in so many variations that it is more difficult to not pick a great pairing than it is to do so. Before settling on your go to favorite, take some time to figure out what would actually pair better with that Christmas duck.

A good starting point to determine your pairing is by the color; wine only comes in three: red, white and rosé.  In general, reds will pair well with meats like beef, lamb or duck while white wines are well suited for lighter fowl and fish dishes.  Rosés can sometimes bridge the gap with many of those in between courses especially if there is fruit, spice or any sweetness on the menu.
Don’t tie yourself down to just one wine, however. Once you’ve decided the essentials of what will pair best, expand your reach a little. Not all of your guests have the same palette and providing them a choice will make dinner all the more enjoyable.  We suggest three different wines options especially if there is a distinct variety of food offerings, but don’t limit yourself, you only do Christmas dinner once a year.

After Dinner
Whether solely for dessert or simply a delicious way to cap off the meal, the post-dinner wine is your chance to find one of the sweetest you can. Sauternes and Muscat are often used to compliment the traditional pumpkin pie while Port or Madeira are delectable matches for chocolate. Keep in mind that the dessert wines should be served in dessert wine glasses. These are specifically designed to enhance both the aroma and the flavor.

Other Considerations
Aside from these basics, there are some general rules of thumb to follow as you peruse the possible choices. The weight of the wine should match the food. Simply put, the heavier the meal, the bigger-bodied the wine should be (prime rib with Cabernet Sauvignon, turkey with chardonnay or a light red wine). Likewise, the flavor intensity should match, e.g. ravioli with mushroom sauce can be complimented nicely by an earthy Syrah.  Compliment the acidity of the wine and the food; Sangiovese is uniquely acidic and goes well with tomato-based dishes.  If you have heavy salt dishes, avoid high tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Petit Sirah.  And, if the foods are high in texture, choose a high tannic wine.   When in doubt, please do not hesitate to contact our tasting room staff because we enjoy helping you pair food and wine correctly.


Wine & Cheese Pairing

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Our Wine & Cheese Fall Classic is coming up this weekend (Nov. 1-2):  first pairing details…

Chardonnay, Estate 2013
Bright, clear and light straw in color; aromas indicative of honey and pear with butterscotch and rich yeast undertones.  Well-balanced acidity, this chardonnay has entry flavors of citrus, orange blossom, honey and butterscotch leading to a long finish reminiscent of pear and wheat beer.

served with

Siciliano Pecorino
From Sicily, this young Pecorino (“sheep”) cheese is semi-firm and just a touch more salty tang than its northern cousin, Toscano Pecorino. The shape is a small barrel, somewhere between the size of a baseball to softball and is aged for approximately 2 months. We have also received this in a “Pepato” (black peppercorn) which adds a sweet spicy bite to the finish.

Lamb Meatball Soup

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014


½ lb ground lamb

½ lb ground beef (for lamb lovers use all ground lamb)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ cup finely chopped mint

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons ground pepper

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup yellow onions small chop

½ cup carrots small chop

½ cup celery small chop

2 tablespoons tomato paste

½ cup Solis Syrah

1 ear of corn, kernels cut off the cob

1 bay leaf

7 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 whole Serrano chile cut just the top in half length wise

Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)


In a large mixing bowl add the ground meat, cumin, oregano, mint, salt, pepper, and egg, just mix until well combined. Roll mixture into small balls about 1 tablespoon each, place on a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper. Makes about 16 meatballs.

In a heavy stock pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat, add the onions, carrots, and celery, sauté for about 3 minutes, add the tomato paste, sauté stirring for about 3 more minutes, add the wine and reduce by half, add the corn, Serrano chile, bay leaf, and chicken stock, bring to a boil and very carefully add the meatballs, cover bring to a simmer and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. With a large spoon skim off the fat and discard. Check the seasoning if needed add salt and pepper

If desired add 1 cup cooked rice or 1 cup cooked small pasta.

Serve with liberal amounts of Solis Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate 2010

What Are Wine Legs?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014


Wine legs (also referred to as tears, church windows or curtains) are those slow streaks of wine that flow down the side of the wine glass after the taster has swirled the glass around and held it up to the light. They watch as glistening beads of liquid form near the top of the glass, only to drip back down the sides.

Back in the day, people used to believe that the more wine legs that coated the glass, the better the wine’s quality. That turns out not to be entirely true.


5 Wine Myths That Are Not True

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014


If you’re like many others, you’ve likely been fed a heap of wine myths through the years. These myths become “rules” that often get in the way of wine exploration and satisfaction. Today, it’s time to put some of these outdated misconceptions to bed.


Vintage Wine – What Does Vintage Mean?

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does vintage really mean?” You hear it all the time, “I had a nice vintage bottle of… insert almost any bottle of wine here.” But what is vintage and why does it matter at all? Today we’ll attempt to clear up any confusion about the meaning of vintage.

Why does vintage even matter?

Before we define “vintage wine” does it even matter?  Well if you are a casual wine drinker, it may not matter to you at all. However, some of the more serious wine aficionados buy wines that they store for years or even decades. Why? Because some wines use grapes with high acidity and tannins. When these grape varietals like merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are stored properly, it gives the wine time to mature and the hope is the flavor profile will be at its peak when consumed.  So wine connoisseurs not only want to drink good wine, but they want to drink wine at the perfect time, giving the ultimate wine experience.



Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

4 Lamb shanks (about 1lb each)

4 tbl extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped coarse

1 medium carrot, chopped coarse

1 celery rib, chopped coarse

6 garlic cloves, chopped coarse

3 cups full-bodied red wine (Solis Cabernet Sauvignon Est.)

4 cups chicken broth

1 tbl tomato paste

2 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 tbl unsalted butter

1 tbl fresh chopped tarragon leaves

Salt & pepper

GREMOLATA (Optional)

¼ cup roasted pine nuts

¼ cup Italian parsley chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

2 garlic cloves minced

Mix ingredients in a small bowl


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb shanks with salt & pepper. In a heavy roasting pan over medium high heat add the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Brown the lamb

Shanks until well browned on all sides. Remove the lamb and to the pan add onions, carrots and celery sauté until the onion is soft then add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes

more. Add the wine and simmer stirring occasionally until reduced to about 2 cups. Add the broth, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf and simmer 2 minutes longer. Add the lamb

shanks to the pan bring to a simmer cover the pan and place in the oven for about 2 hours

or longer if needed until fork tender. Remove the shanks from the pan place on a plate and tent with foil. Strain the braising liquid through a sieve into a saucepan, discard the solids. On medium high heat boil the sauce until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Take off the heat and stir in the butter and tarragon. Place lamb on top of polenta or mashed potatoes. Pour sauce over lamb and sprinkle with the Gremolata.  (Enjoy with a glass or two of 2009 Solis Cabernet Sauvignon Estate)