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pimento cheese

Gougères with Pimento Cheese

For your Kwanzaa celebration or any other holiday you’re hosting, add this homemade Pimento Cheese to your appetizer board to impress and delight your guests. Pimento cheese is a southern classic and it’s especially delicious when paired with crostini, or for this recipe, French cheese puffs. Both the pimento cheese and the cheese puffs can be made days in advance and then assembled right before guests arrive for easy entertaining. For a celebration with fabulous flavor, serve with a glass of California Chardonnay or California sparkling wine. View recipe →

Easy Artichoke Hearts Recipe, Creamy Artichoke Soup

An Easy Artichoke Hearts Recipe, Creamy Artichoke Soup

Transport your tastebuds to the California Central Coast with this easy artichoke hearts recipe inspired by the Creamy Artichoke Soup at the world-famous Shadowbrook Restaurant in Santa Cruz, Ca. This soup is rich and decadent with a luxurious mouthfeel, but is quite possibly one of the easiest recipes for soup that you will ever cook at home. Pairs beautifully with a glass of California Sauvignon Blanc or California Pinot Gris. View recipe →

fig and olive relish

Girl and the Fig Olive Relish

If there is one thing besides wineries that California’s Wine Country is known for, it’s fantastic restaurants. The Girl & the Fig in Sonoma is among the best and has been a top foodie destination for the last 25 years. When Sondra Bernstein opened the doors in 1997, she wanted to showcase the abundance of the region along with her passion for French cuisine. It’s no surprise that Sondra along with head Chef John Tolouze are crazy about figs, which are featured prominently throughout their seasonal menus. When fresh figs are available, people come in droves for their Grilled Fig Salad and their Warm Fig + Thyme Crisp with Fig Syrup. In our version, we've updated the recipe to include fresh rosemary and orange zest. This relish is fragrant and reminiscent of the holidays. We suggest serving it on a cheeseboard, spooned over a log of goat cheese or a wheel of brie or as a topping for grilled pork chops. Pair with a light red such as California Pinot Noir or California Grenache. View recipe →

cheesy garlic pull apart bread

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

This tangy, round-shaped loaf we know as San Francisco sourdough bread, brushed with garlic butter, stuffed with cheese, then baked until toasty is the golden melty goodness you didn’t know you needed. Sourdough bread certainly wasn’t invented in San Francisco—that’s a credit to ancient cultures of Egypt—but it became closely associated with the city during the California Gold Rush era when it was a staple of miners’ diets. Today, loaves are often hollowed out, filled with creamy clam chowder, and served to visitors. Some say the foggy climate gives San Francisco’s sourdough bread a special bounce, and others say it’s a specific local strain of yeast that gives the characteristic flavor. That bounce and flavor are notes that pair perfectly with a California Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. View recipe →

Avocado salad with hidden valley ranch dressing

Avocado Salad with Hidden Valley Ranch

Hidden Valley Ranch was a real place located just out of Santa Barbara, California. Purchased by Steve and Gayle Hensen in 1956, the 120 acre property served as a dude ranch for several years. At meal times, guests were served a creamy and herbaceous salad dressing that became so wildly popular that Steve would make packets of his famous seasoning to send home with guests so they could have a taste of Hidden Valley whenever they wanted. While the dude ranch concept never quite became as successful as the Hensens had hoped, another business opportunity had blossomed, and they began a mail-order business for Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packets. The rest, as they say, is history. The original Hidden Valley Ranch dressing recipe called for (easy-to-ship) dried herbs and spices. Our version uses fresh herbs. Pair this salad with cool and crisp California Grenache Blanc or a chilled California white blend. View recipe →

animal style fries

Do You Like Your Fries Animal Style At In-N-Out? Now Make Them At Home

Do you like your fries "Animal Style" at In-N-Out? Now you can make Animal Style fries at home! In 1948 Harry Snyder introduced California's first drive-thru hamburger stand, In-N-Out, and it has been a staple in California culture ever since! If you are longing for the ultimate fast food fix, we suggest recreating In-N-Out's famous Animal Style Fries at home for yourself. The combination of crispy fries, melted cheese, caramelized onions and secret sauce is pure indulgence at its finest and a perfect pairing for California Sparkling wine or a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc. View recipe →

little gem salad recipe

Little Gem Salad with Red Grapes, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Little Gem lettuces are a romaine relative, but they are smaller, more tender and sweeter for your salad. If you can’t find Little Gems, hearts of butter lettuce or Bibb lettuce make a good alternative. Add juicy grapes, crunchy walnuts and tangy blue cheese for a meal you’re sure to put on repeat. To switch it up, replace the grapes with pears, figs or Fuyu persimmons. Pair with California rosé or California Riesling. View recipe →

goat cheese and asparagus bruschetta

Bruschetta with Warm Goat Cheese, Roasted Asparagus, and Pistachio Pesto

California’s asparagus season is short so it’s a good idea to get your fill while you can. When you crave a change-up from plain steamed or roasted asparagus, try them this way: on top of crunchy toast with warm, creamy goat cheese and a dollop of fragrant pesto. Serve as a hearty appetizer at a dinner party or enjoy for lunch with a green salad. Pair with California Riesling, California rosé or California Sauvignon Blanc. View recipe →

Potato Focaccia

Potato Focaccia with Olives and Rosemary

Welcome guests to your home for dinner with a glass of California rosé and a slice of warm olive focaccia. If you’ve baked the focaccia hours before, you can reheat it quickly in a hot oven, although it’s plenty tasty at room temperature, too. Pack it on a picnic or a hike with your favorite salumi and cheeses. Or adapt the topping to showcase a seasonal fresh vegetable like halved cherry tomatoes or strips of roasted sweet pepper. Adding cooked potato to the dough produces an especially moist and tasty result. View recipe →