Category Archives: Wine Pairing

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

Summer Celebration Menu Ideas

As the seasons change, so do our catering menus. Whereas winter parties most often observe holidays, summer months tend to encompass more personal celebrations such as rehearsal dinners or reunions. These spring and summer parties clamor for bright flavors, colorful produce, and some classic favorites.

EFESTE Passed Appetizers

Lighter fare complemented by refreshing white wines such as Evergreen Riesling or Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc are ideal to serve during warmer weather. Bolder dishes reminiscent of family barbecues such as sliders are, of course, a perfect match for red wine.

Our in-house caterer, Travis Wandell of Old Press Catering, shares with us some of the most popular items featured on his menus this season.

Roasted Beet & Greek Yogurt Flatbread
Prosciutto Canapes with Goat Cheese & Fig Spread
Cilantro Lime Shrimp
All American Bacon Cheese Burger Slider
Key Lime White Chocolate Mini Cheesecake
Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

Of course, custom menus are also available. Just call us at (425) 398-7200 to inquire.

Cook the Book Clubs: The New Dinner Party

Some of life’s most decadent moments happen around the table with friends, fine wine, and delectable food.



To create more fulfilling moments centered around cooking and eating, here is a guide to forming a Cook the Book Club. The basic concept is that a different cookbook is the focus of a monthly gathering, and each guest selects and prepares a recipe from the book to share with the group. You’ll never go hungry again!


Cookbook parties create community in the kitchen

Our inspiration comes from a well-known connector of people, Traca Savadogo, author of Seattle Tall Poppy. Traca hosts a successful community “Cook the Book” each month so we asked her for tips on how to start a group of your own. Continue reading

Pairing Food with Cabernet Sauvignon Based Wines


Whether you’re trying to find a match for a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend such as our Tough Guy, or 100% Cabernet Sauvignon such as Big Papa, the the flavor profiles are very similar and the principles are the same. Both styles have a lot of weight. In the winter, that makes them the perfect partner for the kind of heavy winter food that is intended to warm us up and provide comfort in the absence of summer. When the sun finally comes out, it’s the ideal time to fire up the barbecue, grill some hamburgers or steaks, and uncork a big red to stand up to the big flavors.

Match the wine with food using similar or contrasting flavors:
♦ Blackberry ♦ Black Raspberry ♦ Chocolate ♦ Coffee ♦ Black Cherry

Use one of these base ingredients:
♦ Beef ♦ Lamb ♦ Venison ♦ Buffalo ♦ Veal ♦ Duck

And/or use these bridge ingredients:
♦ Basil ♦ Bay Leaf ♦ Garlic ♦ Rosemary ♦ Walnuts
♦ Rich Sauces ♦ Black Olives ♦ Balsamic Vinegar

Use these cooking techniques:
♦ Grilling ♦ Roasting ♦ Braising ♦ Stewing

Try dishes including beef stew, osso bucco, short ribs, spaghetti and meatballs, rack of lamb, roast beef, or hamburgers.

Efeste Big Papa

Valentine Food and Wine


Yes, we know there is a lot of talk about pairing wine and chocolate on Valentine’s Day. The truth is, the chocolate can make the fruit fall out of the wine. What’s left can be bitter and unpleasant like a bad breakup. A good pairing, much like a well matched couple, results in a more harmonious connection. Our Wine and Food Pairing Concierge, Nancy Croisier, recommends these savory pairings that exemplify what a healthy relationship is all about.


Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Sauvignon Blanc and Oysters
One of the classic pairings associated with romance is oysters and sauvignon blanc. Bonus: our sauvignon blanc is fermented with wild yeast, which we have nicknamed ‘Feral.’ Feral yeast makes wine that enhances the purity of the variety and showcases terroir. Sauvignon Blanc, when produced this way, exhibits an amazing beauty and sense of place. For some tips with preparation Eating Well offers a great slideshow featuring Healthy Oyster Recipes.


Take Me Home
Riesling and Takeout
Perhaps you don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen. There’s no shame in take out! Just keep in mind that you up the romance factor by serving it on nice dishes and lighting some candles. The saltiness of Asian cuisine is the perfect foil to the fruitiness of Riesling. Do the dishes after dinner to score some bonus points! Continue reading

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