Category Archives: Wine Pairing

Five Wine and Food Pairings to Celebrate Spring

The arrival of spring means the release of new wines, the anticipation of warm evenings on the patio sipping rosé, and preparation for grilling season.

At EFESTĒ, our Wine Club spring release selections include the latest vintages of the Syrahs, Riesling, and the highly anticipated Estate Rosé. Here are some fun suggestions for pairing the wines with the food and holidays of spring.

Jolie Bouche Syrah (Boushey Vineyards, Yakima Valley)
Each sip of this vibrant red wine conjures up images of the Mediterranean in the form of cured meat, roasted olives, and crushed herbs. A successful pairing is as simple as matching the wine with food that mirrors those flavors. Plan your next dinner party around this easy yet impressive one dish meal.
The pairing: Tarragon Chicken

Eléni Syrah (Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley AVA)
This concentrated red wine offers an intense freshly ground espresso bean note that adds massive appeal. On the palate, the wine is full and complete, possessing soft, yet present tannins backed by trademark minerality. An opulent wine like Eléni is perfect for holiday celebrations such as Easter and Mother’s Day so turn to an equally impressive dish that can feed a crowd such as this one from the American Lamb Board.
The pairing: Celebration Leg of Lamb Continue reading

Eight Great Party Ideas for Wine Lovers

New Year’s Eve Party

If you’re ringing in the New Year by hosting friends, here are some of our most popular recipes and wine pairings to kick off the evening. Any other time of year, consider this an “Appy Hour” party!

Gougères with Salmon Cream via Eat Seattle with Evergreen Riesling or Lola Chardonnay

Smoked Duck with Cherry Chutney on Crostini with Nana Bordeaux Style Red Blend

Flaky Herb and Cheese Filled Phyllo Triangles with Sauvage

Great Gatsby Party

To add some glam to a New Year’s Eve party, or any other night for that matter, take a look at our Great Gatsby inspired décor from our Prohibition party. Include a “secret password” in the invite that allows guests to gain entry at the door, play some jazz, and you are golden. Continue reading

Cheese Fondue for Entertaining

In the dark and gloomy nights of winter, one of the easiest ways to warm up is over a pot of melted cheese. That’s right – ooey, gooey, stringy, golden goodness. Swiss fondue is not only classic comfort food, it is an easy way to entertain. Just melt the cheese, put out a selection of items to plunge and swirl in it, and open up the wine. Honestly, it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Food and Wine has a straightforward Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue recipe. Be sure to use top quality cheese, and cook with the same wine you’ll be drinking. If you feel so inclined to deviate from tradition, consider a variety of items for dipping in the cheese. Offer a mix of different breads. Roasted Brussels sprouts are the perfect size for dipping. Apple slices with their sweet crisp flesh provide a nice contrast to the savory cheese.

The Wine

Dry Riesling is the classic wine for cheese fondue, making Evergreen Riesling the perfect match.

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