Category Archives: Recipes

A Holiday How-to; Six top EFESTE wines to pair with your seasonal celebrations

It’s the most wine-derful time of the year.

As the Northwest days become shorter & darker, pumpkin spice lattes are traded for holiday spice flat whites, we collectively turn our focus to decking the proverbial halls, scouring Pinterest late into the night for unique DIY gifts, and discovering new recipes to share at all the potlucks, parties, and family gatherings we attend during the season.

With so many things on your list, it can be easy to forget to give the same care to choosing the perfect wines to accentuate those cherished dishes.

Well fear not! We’re pouring six stellar options aimed at taking out all the guesswork.

The best part? You get to enjoy a much-needed escape from the endless errands and unruly hordes of shoppers, while enjoying a flight in our relaxed, inviting tasting rooms in Seattle & Woodinville. Both open daily.

2014 Evergreen Riesling A Martha Stewart top pick for Holiday feasts.

Evergreen Riesling

Tastes Like:
•Lemon custard
•Crisp green apple
•Chamomile tea

Pairs With:
•Seafood dishes
•Rich, spicy dishes
•Pork roasts, chops
•Chicken dishes



2014 Sauvage Sauvignon BlancSingle vineyard, fermented in French oak.

Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc


Tastes Like:
• Lemon/lime citrus
• Stone fruit
• White Peach
• Vanilla Flower

Pairs With:
• Herbed stuffing
• Light seafood dishes
• Most Salads
• Rich cheese plates



2014 Upright MerlotRed Mountain stunner. 100% Merlot

Upright Merlot


Tastes Like:
• Ripe Cherry
• Raspberry extract
• Toasted Grains
• Baking chocolate

Pairs With:
• Pâtés
• Pork & Veal Dishes
• Rich Gratins & Mac & Cheese
• Hamburgers – Yes I said hamburgers.



2013 Jolie Bouche SyrahBoushey Vineyards, Seattle Met Magazine Top 100

Jolie Bouche Syrah


Tastes Like:
• Dark bramble berry
• Roasted meat
• Kalamata Olive
• Dark Plum

Pairs With:
• Lamb Chops/Roasts
• Aromatic soft cheeses
• Grilled ribs/bbq
• Tarragon Chicken



2013 Final Final Red Blend An EFESTE Top Favorite!

Final Final Red Blend


Tastes Like:
• Dark berry fruit
• Baker’s chocolate
• Grilled bread
• Ripe plum

Pairs With:
• Red sauce pasta dishes
• Grilled Meats
• Hearty Stews
• Wine glasses



2013 Big Papa Cabernet SauvigonBig Papa the show stoppah!

Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon


Tastes Like:
• Cassis/Black Currant
• Black Cherry reduction
• Toasted vanilla
• Grilled bread

Pairs With:
• Standing Rib Roasts
• Prime Rib
• Brisket
• Rich, cheesy side dishes

Braised Beef Short Ribs from Cook + Cork

Anyone who has been to one of our Wine Club dinners knows how well our wine and short ribs go together! What makes it work? A new book by Chef Harry “Coach” Mills and Sommelier Chris Horn from Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Seattle aims to help wine and food lovers figure that out. The book is titled, Cook +  Cork:  A Chef and a Sommelier Spill the Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing.

Photo from Cook + Cork

Cook +  Cork is a resource offering a fresh perspective on selecting a bottle of wine – the right bottle of wine – with your meal. It’s about making dinner a better experience, taking anxiety out of purchasing a bottle of wine, and how to approach cooking in a way that complements said bottle. It’s also a cookbook. The authors have been kind enough to share this recipe from the book with us. By the way, we happen to have copies of the book available for purchase in our tasting room, so come get a copy!

Photo from Cook + Cork

Serves 4


2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
Flour, for dredging (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
1 yellow onion, cut into large dice
1 carrot, cut into large dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 ¾ cups to 2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns Continue reading

Portobello French Dip Sandwiches

This magnificent vegetarian recipe comes to us from lifestyle guru, Shaun Myrick. It solves the dilemma of how to serve a voluptuous red wine with a vegetarian meal. Give it a try, and work this sandwich into the Meatless Monday rotation.


Serves 5

Marinade Ingredients

2-3 Portobello mushrooms, depending on size
2 zucchini
1/4 cup Merlot
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced (I actually use a garlic press here)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper Continue reading

Gougères with Salmon Cream

This delectable appetizer with a Northwest twist comes to us from Chef Liz McCune of Eat Seattle. We think it’s a great way to upgrade a tailgate party! Or, if you’re looking for a new recipe and wine pairing to start off your Thanksgiving celebration, holiday open house, Feast of the Seven Fishes, or New Year’s Eve party, you’re in the right place.
Serves 6-8


Gougère Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of Salt
4 Eggs
2 tablespoons grated Beecher’s Smoked Flagship Cheese

Stuffing Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh chives (minced)
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces smoked salmon
salt/pepper to taste
chive flowers for plating (optional)


Heat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

Over medium heat bring water to a boil. Stir in butter to melt. Once fully melted add the salt and flour at once. Remove from heat and whisk until combined.

Add the first egg, then add the next once it is fully incorporated. Whisk in the cheese then spoon into a pastry bag with open star pastry tip. Pipe out dough on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until fully cooked through. Try to minimize opening the oven door during baking.

Salmon Cream Cheese: combine all ingredients together and mix until creamy and there are no salmon chunks (otherwise it won’t get through the pastry tip). Put the mixture into a pastry bag with an open star tip. If a chunkier cream is preferred then spoon it into the gougère.

Once cooled, cut a slit into the gougerès then pipe or spoon the cream cheese stuffing into each pastry.

Add more freshly minced chives or chive flowers for decoration.

Wine Pairing

The creamy texture of the filling would match the creaminess of Lola Chardonnay. Or, for a contrast, try a crisp white wine such as Evergreen Riesling.

About Chef Liz

Chef Liz is a classically trained chef from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and has spent the last 15 years perfecting her craft. She created Eat Seattle Cooking Classes to take food lovers from near and far on a journey exploring the region’s exceptional food and beverages. Chefs guide Eat Seattle’s Pike Place Market tours and cooking classes, revealing what makes Seattle a foodie destination.

Flaky Herb and Cheese Filled Phyllo Triangles

Photo credit: Brenda J. Pederson

Photo credit: Brenda J. Pederson

This dish, much like our EFESTĒ family tree, can be traced back to the Mediterranean. The delectable turnovers go by many names including Börek.  Culinary Fool, one of our favorite sources for beautifully prepared food, has graciously shared this recipe. It is adapted from the cookbook From Tapas to Meze by popular celebrity chef, Joanne Weir.


12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 Tbsp grated (about 1/4 cup) or kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese,
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pinch of nutmeg
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

8 ounces phyllo dough (about 20 sheets, 14 x 9 inches), thawed, if frozen
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, melted


For the filling, combine cheeses, egg, nutmeg, chives, dill, mint, parsley, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mash with a fork. Set aside.

For pastry, stack the phyllo sheets and with scissors, cut into 3 x 14-inch strips. Stack strips and cover with a slightly dampened towel. Preheat oven to 375° F.

Place one strip of phyllo on work surface. Brush lightly with butter. Place another strip on top and brush lightly with the butter. (Keep remaining strips covered.) Place heaping teaspoon of filling at one end, about 1 inch from the edge. Fold one corner over the filling to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle. Lift triangle and continue to fold as you would a flag, until the whole strip is folded into a small, triangular parcel. Make sure there are no holes in the dough.

Brush top of triangle with butter; place on a buttered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining filling and phyllo.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Wine Pairing

The herbs in this dish make it a natural pairing for Sauvignon Blanc such as Feral or Sauvage. Alternatively, try a nice dry Riesling such as Evergreen. If you’re entertaining company, open a bottle of each so that guests may pick and choose. The flaky phyllo triangles are easy to eat as finger food making them an ideal appetizer to serve at a party.


Photo credit: Richard Duval Images

A Wine Pairing for the Kitchen Gypsy’s Arroz con Pollo

We recently had the pleasure of attending a dinner celebrating the release of Kitchen Gypsy:  Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food. This is the latest book from celebrated chef, author, culinary instructor, and PBS TV host Joanne Weir. Part cookbook, part memoir, it is a compelling read however you look at it.


Joanne Weir, author of Kitchen Gypsy, demonstrates a recipe during her visit to Seattle

This book inspires us to spend time in the kitchen because, quite simply, Joanne’s recipes work. Many of the dishes come together easily yet taste as though they were labored over for much more time than was required.

Read the chapter, “There’s a Fly in My Wine” and you’ll understand Joanne’s connection to wine! Her award-winning PBS TV series Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence and her newest series, Joanne Weir Gets Fresh regularly show her raising a glass with a student. That’s why we were thrilled when we had the opportunity to bring wine to her special dinner. It was a magical evening. The food,  prepared by Joanne and the dinner guests according to the recipes in the book, was delectable.


The Wines

Sauvignon Blanc
We know this variety is one of Joanne’s favorites, so Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc had to be one of the selections. It was a lively counterpart to the Carrot Anise Soup.

Of course rosé makes a fine patio companion in the summer. However, let’s not turn a cold shoulder to it in the winter. The wine boasts a cheerfulness that complements a broad array of dishes making it a wise pick any time of the year. In fact, our bottle of Oldfield Estate Rosé disappeared before the red wines were consumed on the cold blustery evening of this dinner party. It was a bright accompaniment to the Almond, Anchovy, and Fennel Toasts as well as Roasted Carrot Hummus.

This red variety has a spicy characteristic, making it a wonderful complement to the Arroz con Pollo. That’s right, we paired chicken with red wine! Forget those old guidelines that say white wine with white meat. The dish has saffron in it, offering a complex quality that is wonderful with red wine. If you don’t believe us, give it a try yourself.

The Recipe



Arroz con Pollo
1 whole chicken, 3 to 3½ pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise into ½ inch-wide strips
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 ½ cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
½ cup Sauvignon Blanc or other dry white wine
2 cups Spanish Bomba or other short grain white rice
½ cup pitted Spanish green olives, sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled English peas

Serves 6

1. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces total: cut each breast in half crosswise and then divide each leg into the drumstick and the thigh. Reserve the wings and back for stock or another use. Rub the chicken pieces all over with 1 teaspoon salt, lots of black pepper, and the oregano. Place in a large bowl, cover, and set aside in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In an 8-quart dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the chicken pieces in a single layer and cook, turning as needed, until golden on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot.

3. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, saffron, chile flakes, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the tomatoes, 2 ½ cups water, the wine, and the chicken, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

4. Remove the pot from the oven, add the rice, olives, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir well. Re-cover the pot, return it to the oven for a final 10 minutes. At this point, the rice and the chicken will be tender and the liquid will be absorbed.

5. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Many thanks to the very talented Joann Weir and her team. Her book, Kitchen Gyspy, is available via

Smoky Pumpkin Hummus



1 peeled clove garlic
Half 15 ounce box or can of pumpkin
1 13.4 ounce box or can of garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons hazelnut butter
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup smoked yogurt

Put the clove of garlic in a food processor and blitz it until it is minced. Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is combined in a smooth puree. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with additional olive oil if desired. Scoop with pita chips, crackers, or veggies.

Smoked olive oil may be substituted for the smoked yogurt to get a similar, yet more subtle, smoky effect. It can be found at some supermarkets and specialty stores. If used, you may want to omit the other tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve paired with a crisp white wine that has some minerality such as Evergreen Riesling or Lola Chardonnay.