Gordon Ramsey

Gordon Ramsey Visits The Castle

Jim Sullivan

July 6th, 2020

Gordon Ramsay Visits The Castle

If you have ever watched Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen TV Show, you know that things can get out of hand quickly. That is exactly what happened when Gordon Ramsay and and his pals, Gino and Fred visited the Castle. They filmed Gordon, Gino & Fred: American Road Trip, Summer of Love.

Gordon Ramsey

Watch as Gordon, his Italian celebrity chef friend Gino D’Acampo and Fred Siriex, a french maitre d’hotel, best known for appearing on Channel 4’s first dates and BBC Two Million Pound Menu, set out to find the Castle and taste the wines with their host and owner of Castello di Amorosa, Dario Sattui. While the entire episode is entertaining, you can skip ahead to 28:00 to see Castello di Amorosa.



Flat Iron Steak with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Rub

Recipe Date: September 28th, 2018
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Flat Iron Steak with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Rub

From Oak Avenue Catering

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs flat iron steak
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
  • 1/4 cup whole bean French roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsps kosher salt
  • 2 tbsps granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsps cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsps dry mustard
  • 2 tbsps neutral vegetable or grapeseed oil

Directions

PREP THE RUB:

  • Add cocoa nibs and coffee beans to spice grinder and process until finely ground.
  • Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and set aside.

 PREP THE STEAK:

  • Coat the trimmed and cleaned steak with the vegetable oil.
  • Rub the spice mixture liberally all over the meat.
  • Wrap the steak tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat grill to medium-hot.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the steak.
  • Cook the steak on one side for 4-5 minutes until caramelized and brown. Check after 2 minutes to make sure the steak is not scorching. Turn down heat or use less direct heat if needed.
  • Turn the steak over and cook another 3-4 minutes or until an internal temperature registers 130○F.
  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Let the steak rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Slice the steak thinly on the bias and serve.
  • Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.

NOTES:

  • The wonderful balance of cocoa, coffee and chili makes for a flavor so enjoyable you can forego any additional sauces.
  • Enjoy the steak with your favorite BBQ sides. We are particularly fond of grilled vegetables over a smear of labne and sprinkled with a savory granola.
  • Pair with a medium to full-bodied wine like our Zingaro Old Vine Zinfandel or Napa Valley Merlot.


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Sustainable Tree

Our First Cork Tree At The Castello

castelloamor

April 6th, 2018

Our First Cork Tree at the Castello

This January, Castello President Georg Salzner and Winemaker Peter Velleno planted our first cork tree. Native to southwestern Europe, the Quercus suber cork oak tree can grow up to 100 feet tall, and is sure to thrive in the Mediterranean climate we enjoy here in Napa Valley. Wine Corks are made from the bark of the cork tree, which needs to be stripped and peeled off by hand. Cork trees are typically harvested every seven years, and are a renewable resource since the tree is not cut down and only the outer layer of bark is removed. It takes a cork tree 25 years to reach maturity before its bark can be harvested, and we are looking forward to our first Castello cork harvest in 2042!



Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights

Hot Havana Nights (Sold Out)

Join us for this famously hot evening of great wine paired with Cuban food, music and cigars.

  • Kick off the evening with a barrel tasting of Future wines along with Cuban bites
  • Tempt your tastebuds with a buffet of authentic Cuban dishes
  • Dance the night away under the stars to the hot Cuban beats of a Cuban Band
  • Relax in our Cigar Lounge & enjoy hand-rolled cigars or bring your own
  • Dress up for the night – your best Havana-inspired party attire is encouraged!
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth in the Dessert Lounge on the Terrace offering a Churro Bar and Cuban coffee.
  • Complimentary shuttles to & from select Calistoga hotels will be provided

Friday, July 29, 2022
6:30 P.M. to 10:30 P.M.

MEMBERS: $190/Wine Club Members (Sold Out)

GUESTS: $215/Guests (Sold Out)

Reservations required

Wine Club – (707) 967-6274

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

*If your party is larger than 8, please call Wine Club to confirm available seating options*

Hot Havana Nights Waiting List

We will let you know if any extra tickets open up. Sign up below to be notified.

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2018 Event Photos



The Pagan Ball

Pagan Ball Event

The Pagan Ball (Cancelled)

Kick off your Halloween weekend at the biggest and best party in the Napa Valley – our 12th annual Pagan Ball; a traditional Halloween costume party with lots of tricks and treats! Named one of the north bay’s best events by North Bay Bohemian.

• Sink your fangs into gourmet bites paired with our delectable wines
• Dance to the bone-shaking beats of DJ Danny Del in the Great Hall
• Peer into your future with mystical fortune tellers
• Try your luck at the Zombie Casino
• Enjoy our spooky cigar bar and frightful photo booths
• Complimentary shuttles to select Calistoga Hotels

Early Entry “RIP Reception” Offering:
• Delight in a exclusive wine reception with small food bites in the Tasting Room
• Explore our haunted cellars, have your fortune read and take your photos before everyone else arrives!

RIP Early Entry at 7:00pm
General Admission Entry at 8:00pm
Event ends at Midnight

Friday, October 28, 2022

8:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M.

$175 /Wine Club Member, $205/Guest*

(+$30 for RIP Early Entry)

Reservations Required. Call Wine Club at 707-967-6274 for more information.

*Our menus are pre-set and we can accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies upon advance request*

MEMBER TICKETSGUEST TICKETS
2018 Event Photos

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The Perfect Blend

Mary Davidek

May 29th, 2014

The Perfect Blend

We are getting ready for a wedding in our family, my step-daughter is getting married in September. Last week my husband and I had a pre-nuptial trip to Boise, Idaho for talks of wedding plans. This was all to be considered and discussed at a dinner which included my husband’s first wife along with the future parents-in- law, yikes! Decisions had to be made on apparel, cakes, invitations, shoes, music, relatives and ever-growing extended families. The evening was an interesting and diverse mix of people with varied relationships and ages spanning from 25 to 65. There were enough backgrounds and life events to fill a night’s conversations with entertaining and thought-provoking stories. No topic was out of bounds or taboo as we covered everything from the best way to ripen avocados to current affairs to wedding invitations. It was a great evening of fun, laughter and growth. As we were tidying up my step-daughter said to me, “wow, tonight was certainly an interesting blend”.

Which, of course, made me think about wine. Totally understandable as the evening had consisted of at least 4 different bottles of vino and they were– blends. While some varietals like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay are best as a single varietal because blending can overwhelm the unique characteristics of thin-skinned grapes, many varietals suffer from this imposed solitary confinement. Wine blends often deliver increased complexity and are more interesting than single varietal wines. In fact, some of the world’s greatest wines are made from a blend of grapes rather than a single varietal.

Some of the most prestigious wines in the world are blends. Bordeaux wines from the left bank of the Gironde River in France are typically blends of Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. When blending Bordeaux varietals in the U.S. they are known as Meritage blends.The pronunciation is often subject of debate but the correct usage rhymes with heritage.

Sassicaia is approximately 15% Cabernet Franc blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to create one of the most sought after and priciest Super Tuscan wines made.

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate described Castello di Amorosa ‘s Super Tuscan blend, La Castellana  as “Full-bodied, lush and seductive”. La Castellana marries Sangiovese and Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon to create this blended masterpiece.

Blending gives the advantage and potential of adding complexity to the resulting wine and provides a tapestry of multiple flavors and aromatics. It also offers an opportunity to achieve balance– the happy ‘marriage’ of fruit, acid, tannin, alcohol, and oak that makes great wines sing in perfect harmonic splendor and not-so-great wines seem full of wrong notes and missed opportunities.

People and grapes, we’re not so different.

Learn more about our Super Tuscan Blend here.



Rosé - A Dozen Pairings Picked

Mary Davidek

August 21st, 2013

Meet Mary

Rosé – A Dozen Pairings Picked

If you’ve attended the Royal Food and Wine Pairing at Castello di Amorosa it comes as no surprise –you know my affection for Gioia, Castello di Amorosa’s Rosato of Sangiovese. Perhaps one of the most versatile food wines available as the pairing possibilities for a well-made rosé are seemingly endless. Traditionally, rosé wines are dry, light, and fruity and carry appeal for white and red wine drinkers. Any black-skinned grape can be made into a blush or rosé wine. The longer the skins remain in contact with the juice and pulp, the more pigment is imparted and, thus, the redder the juice or wine becomes. Rosé is produced by limiting the contact of the skins of black grapes with the juice; for Gioia, it is approximately 36 hours. As we weather the dog-days of summer and celebrate with picnics, grill parties and backyard entertaining, Rosé indeed seems to be on everybody’s mind…and palate. This is a perfect opportunity to explore the aforementioned ‘pairing possibilities’.

Let’s put my theory to the test…let the pairings begin!

Castello di Amorosa’s Gioia, Rosato of Sangiovese has a bright and beautiful salmon colored hue. Serve this chilled rosé with tasty apps or a light and seasonal dinner.

 

Full-bodied rosé wines are a great match for terrines, pate, and Italian salumi. The fruit notes of Gioia compliment the gamey meats and the acidity provides just enough ‘zip’ to cut through the fattiness of these tasty selections.

Roasted red pepper hummus is a yummy app with a chilled rosé.

 

Olive-based tapenades with anchovies, capers and light vinegar are prolific in Italian cuisine. The saltiness of the olives is a perfect back drop for fruity Gioia.

Forget the margaritas! Salsa provides a hint (or a lot!) of spice—cool crisp Gioia with the tomatoes and cilantro atop a salty tortilla chip is delicious. Yo tengo chips and salsa!

No time to make a caprese salad..no problem. Caprese bites are a quick and easy alternative.

 

A favorite on the Royal Food and Wine Pairing menu, cream of tomato basil soup. A touch of cumin adds Mediterranean flair and chilled Gioia is a refreshing contrast to this warming comfort soup.

Margherita Pizza is named for the first Queen of modern Italy, Margherita De Savoia-(l85l-l926). Margherita pizza is a thin crust pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. For a peppery freshness, try it topped with leaves of arugula. Thank you Queen Margherita, you would have loved this pizza with Castello’s Italian style Rosato of Sangiovese, Gioia.

Hot wings and Gioia was my husband’s favorite pairing. This duo takes me back to circa 1985 ordering buffalo wings and a bottle of chilled white Zin! I was definitely on to something—fruit and spice makes everything nice!

Pasta with marinara sprinkled with Asiago and served with Gioia was a simple meal on a hot summer evening.

Research suggests that eating oily fish once or twice a week may increase your lifespan by more than two years and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease up to 35 percent. That combined with a relaxing glass of wine and we may have found the fountain of youth! I loved the grilled smokiness of the delicate salmon meat which was complemented by the crisp berry burst of Gioia. This healthy pairing was incredible; grilled sockeye salmon from our friends at Great Alaska Seafood  http://www.great-alaska-seafood.com

A cool watermelon salad tossed in cold pressed grape seed oil and light vinaigrette. Flavorful red onion and a few crumbles of feta combine for a surprising palate of sweet, salty and tangy. Castello di Amorosa’s Gioia completed this palate of fruity crispness.

Kanpai! Talk about a mixed marriage! Rosé is a natural for exotic spices.



Corkage Fees and BYOB – Part 1

Mary Davidek

February 21st, 2013

Corkage Fees and BYOB – Part 1

BYOB = Bring Your Own Bottle
Corkage Fee = the fee charged to open and serve a bottle of wine not purchased at the dining establishment

Every restaurant has restrictions and specifications which are said to cover the cost of opening a bottle, providing stemware, and serving the wine.  Realistically, a corkage fee is charged to cover lost revenue.  I am unabashedly a self-professed BYOB junkie; a dedicated corkage hound ……and I go to extremes in my pursuit.  Here are a few situations I have encountered and simple resolutions which may help in your quest.

1.  Call the restaurant or check their website prior to your reservation as fees and restrictions vary.  Some restaurants may impose a 1-bottle limit and others may have more tempting ways to capture your attention.   A growing trend; restaurants charge a fee but will comp it one for one, for every bottle purchased.  For example, restaurant “X” charged $25 corkage.  I brought in a bottle of Castello di Amorosa Cabernet Sauvignon.  From the restaurant wine list I selected a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy with apps.  I love a zippy Sauvignon Blanc with bruschetta and goat cheese on a warm baguette; sublime.  The bottle I purchased was $28.  That’s right, the corkage fee for my Castello di Amorosa bottle was waived.  This is clearly a win-win.  Typically I bring in a red and purchase a white from the list as even the grandest wine menu offers a tasty and affordable white wine.

2.  A common and reasonable request;  the bottle you bring in cannot be available for purchase on the existing wine list.  To ensure your selection for carry-in is acceptable, browse the wine list on-line or request a fax or emailed copy prior to your planned visit.  Here is my fool-proof solution.  Bring in wine from a winery that does not distribute.  This is becoming easier as more small and mid-sized wineries are opting for direct-to –consumer sales only.  Castello di Amorosa  wines have been a fixture on my restaurant outings for this very reason.  Restaurant wine lists change weekly and this takes the guess work out of it.

3. Prepare your bottles.  If you want a chilled bottle of bubbly with your Dungeness crab; chill it.  If you are bringing a Napa Cab with a little age on it, stand it up for a few hours prior to leaving which allows sediment to collect at the bottom.

4. I have seen bottles transported in everything from a paper shopping tote to a plastic grocery bag.  My advice; invest in a respectable wine carrier.  From leather totes to canvas carrying bags to decorative wine boxes – your wine should travel in style.

Good news for us food and wine lovers, corkage and BYOB is becoming an accepted standard.  Restaurant owners are adopting more favorable corkage policies as a marketing tool.

Stay tuned……Part 2 coming up.

Cheers!
Mary Davidek C. S. , C.S.W.



Is Bigger Always Better?

Mary Davidek

January 31st, 2013

Is Bigger Always Better?

Big juicy burgers.  Big healthy baby.  Big hotel suite.  Big expense account.  Mr. Big.  But big wine?  In our super-sized reality is big always better?

Since big is often a matter of perspective and can be vague in usage, to better understand big as it relates to wine we need to go to the source; to the vineyard.  In wine, big is typically synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Napa Valley.  Since Napa is home to some of the most expensive agricultural land in the United States it is understandable how big enters the picture.  Cabernet grown in this lush valley thrives.  Upon examination this petite powerhouse of a grape resembles a small dark blueberry more than a familiar table grape.  As a matter of fact, all grapes are called berries.  Cabernet berries are tightly clustered and the skin is thick and darkly pigmented.  But this power is not just skin deep.  With the largest seed mass of any black grape, the tannin to juice ratio is only one factor when defining big – as there is nothing passive about this aggressive little berry.  However, it is all part of the big reveal.  We must look to the winemaking team and the philosophy espoused by each winery and the fruits of their labor for ourselves.

Since I do not drink wine that assaults my palate, when drinking Cabernet I seek out plush, velvety and elegantly styled wines.  Some critics may argue this type of cabernet disappeared with payphones and library cards.  I disagree.  Classically styled Cabernet, while not prolific, is available.

Under the direction of Dario Sattui, one of Napa Valley’s biggest success stories, the winemaking team at Castello di Amorosa strives to produce wines with sophistication.  Executive winemaker Brooks Painter utilizes “tannin control” techniques from vineyard to production.  The result is palpable.

In the vineyard, Castello’s Cabernet is picked at 25 degrees brix (sugar level).  But aside from sugars, Brooks and his team monitor the maturity of the tannins by tasting the fruit from each vineyard block as harvest approaches.  Once the juice is in the tank the cap of solids (skins and seeds) is reintroduced to the juice via punchdown or gentle pump-over to limit the over-stimulation of phenolics (natural organic  compounds in the juice).

But regardless of the winemaking philosophy or the vineyard geography, the real test is largely subjective and that individual perception or preference is ultimately the biggest player in the equation.  The big reveal is how you perceive the wine you are drinking. Thus the debate on big wine continues.
When does size matter?  There is one point on which we can all agree…….

A big glass of wine is always better.

Cheers!

Mary Davidek, C.S., C.S.W.

 

Merlot Napa Valley