Ala Nera Nero D’Avola

The Ala Nera has a beautiful nose full of wild berries and baking spice. The aromas of clove and pepper carry over to the palate, which is bursting with fresh cherries and raspberries. Food Pairing Pizza with sausage and caramelized onions, Bologonese, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs.  

Stuffed Sicilian Eggplant

This is a recipe I created after eating something similar in Sicily, while drinking an inexpensive Nero D’avola.

The wine was from a small vineyard only 10 km away from the town and was fresh and delicious.  It paired perfectly with this dish.

Cut egglants horizontally down the middle and scoop out the soft seedy inside with a spoon into a bowl and save.  Cut up peppers, onions, carrots, garlic and celery into small chunks and saute’ for a few minutes in olive oil.  Add the insides of the eggplant to this and continue to saute’.  Next add salt and a small amount of balsamic vinegar.  When the ingredients are starting to soften, remove from heat.   Scoop the vegetables into the precut eggplants until a nice mound has been formed over the top.  Place on baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and put in preheated oven at 400 degrees.

Check the egglants after 20 minutes and again every 5 – 10 minutes until done.  The skin on the outside will soften and the top of the vegetables will start to crisp.  Remove from over, sprinkle with grated cheese if desired and more olive oil.  Serve with a simple glass of Nero D’avola!  Buon Appetito

Casa Cadaval Padre Pedro Tinto

Casa Cadaval’s Padre Pedro is an amazing value wine that hails from the Tejo region of Portugal, the family has a history of making wine dating back to the mid 1600’s.   The wine is a red blend of Trincadeira, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon 

and Merlot.  Padre Pedro is a well balanced wine that features a blend of red and blue fruits and a touch of baking spice on the nose, the palate is full of candied cherry and raspberry with hints of cocoa and spice.  The finish is long with just the right amount of acid and and well integrated tannins, this is the perfect wine to pair with duck and roasted red meats. 

Polenta and Baked Grouper

Baked grouper on a bed of polenta covered in a red vegetable sauce medley.

This sounds like a winter meal and it is, but try this in the summer with a chilled bottle of Padre Pedro, a red blend from Portugal, our featured wine of September 2017.  It pairs well with the creamy polenta, the vegetable and yes, even the fish!

In a sauce pan begin with garlic and olive oil, then add carrots, celery, onions and a few cut up tomatoes.  Cook down until the vegetables soften just slightly.  Next add a can of either chopped or pureed tomatoes along with chopped fresh parsley and salt.  Cover and simmer until the rest of the meal is ready.  

While this is simmering cook the grouper in the oven at 400 degrees.  Season the grouper with lemon and salt and add some white wine to the pan.

In a large saucepan, cook the polenta.  Polenta is just cornmeal cooked in boiling salted water.  You should add a generous amount of butter when cooking also.  Directions are usually on the package.  You simply boil the water, add the butter and salt, then whisk the polenta into the water very slowly and you must keep whisking so the polenta does not clump.  Whe

n it is no longer grainy or hard it is ready.

Add a large spoon of polenta to a plate, create a crater in the center with the ladle.  Place a piece of the grouper on top of the polenta then ladle some of the vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Buon Appetito!

July Featured Wine: Bieler Rosé

Robs Review

Bieler Pere et Fils Rose


This fantastic Rose from Provence France is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Rolle.  This classic style rose features beautiful notes of raspberry and strawberry with a mid palate of floral and citrus.  The finish has nice minerality and refreshing acidity creating a well balanced wine.  Enjoy the Bieler rose all throughout these summer months, it is perfect with light fare, and all by itself.    


Light Fare for a Bright Rose’

Rose’ is such a summer time wine; it’s fresh and delicious!  This is a light fare I had with the Bieler Rose’ and it was just perfect.  The summer is here celebrate with simple food and bright Rose’ from Provence, the Rose’ capital of France and the world!



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scramble 6 – 8 eggs, add a little coconut milk and set aside.  In a cast iron skillet, saute a little garlic and olive oil and whatever vegetables 

you desire.  After few minutes, pour the eggs into the skillet and cook on stovetop for only a few minutes so the eggs set.  Then move the skillet to the oven and cook for about 20 – 30 minutes.  Check to see if done with a toothpick.  Remove and let cool to room temperature.  Remove entire frittata from pan gently and place on round plate and add fresh arugula and cherry or grape tomatoes to the top.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and serve room temperature.


This is an easy summer dish, it is just tomatoes and mozzarella.  Use whatever tomatoes and mozzarella you have and it can be prepared in a bowl with small tomatoes and small mozzarella balls or you can use gigantic slice


s of each on a plate, or anything in between.  The key is FRESH BASIL.  Once plated, add salt and olive oil, but just a touch then use fresh basil, cut lengthwise and sprinkled on top.

Shrimp Scampi

This is super easy and delicious and goes well with Rose’.  Clean and prepare shrimp and place in a baking pan.  Chop a generous amount of garlic and put in small mixing bowl with olive oil, lemon and either parsley or basil (your choice but please use fresh).  Mix together until it looks slightly congealed then pour over the shrimp.  Add just a little white wine as well to the

Shrimp Scampe

shrimp.  Put in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Check to see if done, remove and plate, add more fresh herbs to the

June Featured Wine: Fontaleoni Vernaccia Di San Gimingano

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is from just outside the village of San Gimignano in Tuscany.  It is considered one of the finest white wines of Italy and was the first white wine to be granted DOC status.  The wine is a pale yellow green color with medium intensity. Floral, lemon and melon notes hit you on the nose, with citrus notes and minerality on the palate.  The wine finishes with refreshing acidity and minerality. Fontaleoni is one of the best producers of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, normally $13.99, this month on sale for $10.99.  

What to Eat it With

Vernaccia is a crisp white wine from Tuscany.  It pairs well with vegetables, fish and light chicken dishes.  I had this with a light dinner of mostly vegetables and some cheese.  We usually eat our large meal mid-day so dinner is light.

Cucumbers and Peppers:

No cooking here, simply wash and slice the cucumbers and place in a bowl.  Also, wash and cut 2 red peppers, remove seeds and slice.  Also place these in a bowl.  This evening I used avocado oil, lemon and cilantro.  Whisk the lemon and oil until thick, add cilantro and salt and whisk some more.  Pour half of mixture over the cucumbers and peppers.  Using a spoon, lightly toss the vegetables in the dressing.  Place the cucumbers on a circle in a round plate with peppers in the center.

Avocado and Tomatoes with tune and chick peas:

Remove the skins and pit from an avocado and slice into 5 or 6 slices lengthwise, put aside.  Next slice a large plum or roma tomatoes in the same fashion.  Place the tomatoe and avocado on a plate forming a circle, first an avocado slice then tomatoe, continue until you form a circle around the plate.  Leave the center open.  Using a can of tuna, preferably packed in olive oil from Italy, remove most of the oil and put tuna in a bowl.  Next open a can of chick peas, from Italy, Spain or the middle east, drain and pour into the same bowl.  Add a little finely chopped raw onion, cilantro, one table spoon of real mayonnaise, salt, lemon and olive oil.  Mix well with a spoon and taste, add additional salt as needed.  Plate the tuna and chick peas into the center of the dish with avocado and tomatoe.  Pour the remaining dressing from the cucumbers over the avocados and tomatoes.


You can of course use any cheese of your liking, but this evening I used a pecorino and a provolone, both from Italy and a simple brie from France.

That’s it!  No cooking, 15 minutes to prepare and you have a simple light meal for two.  Just add a bottle of Vernaccia and if desired some nice crusty French or Italian bread.  
Buon Appetito!