How We Enjoy Dolce: Savory Pairings

by on January 9, 2014

To drink Dolce on its own is a pleasure; as a complement to a delectable dish, it is an experience. With that said, we would like to share with you a series of posts providing a guide to pairing food with our late harvest wine. Transform a simple course into a gastronomical delight!

So far we have only shared dessert recipes from Chef Trevor Eliason, but the balance of rich flavors and delicate acidity in Dolce makes it a wonderful accompaniment to savory bites as well. Impress palates at your next intimate dinner or extravagant soirée with these great tips and tricks:

Most Compatible
Foie Gras, Seared, Chilled Foie Gras Terrines, Foie Gras Mousse.
Noble cheese such as: Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola.
Dry-aged, salty cheeses as an accent: Vieille Mimolette, Asiago, Parmesan, Dry-aged Gouda.
Some cured meats: Prosciutto, Bresaola, Coppa, Culatello.

Style & Ideas
Crumbled Blue Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Hazelnuts.
Chilled Foie Gras Terrine with Wine Gelée. Seared Foie Gras with Mango Coulis.
Fig Wrapped in Prosciutto with Curl of Parmesan.
One Perfectly Ripened Cheese with Dried Apricots and Fresh Pistachios.

When to Serve
As a First Course: Foie Gras or Cured Meats.
As the Cheese Course: Served after the Main Course.
As Dessert: Any cheese course with Dolce can be served instead of dessert.

Notes for Savories
Keep these dramatically contrasting flavors very simple. Use very few ingredients. Avoid cluttered plates. Always taste your creation with the wine before serving them, to ensure a dynamic match!

We’d love to hear about your adventures in pairing with Dolce — send us a tweet (@DolceWine) or comment below with your pictures and ideas. Bon appétit!

Harvest 2013: It’s a Wrap!

by on December 9, 2013

We have a special bit of news for you today: we finally hauled in the last of Dolce’s 2013 crop! Last Thursday morning marked the official completion to the Dolce 2013 harvest season. It’s been a long journey; we typically harvest our crop by November, but our team toiled away in the freezing cold – about 20 degree weather! – to gather the very last cluster. Now, we can finally say the 2013 vintage is on its way to fermentation and into barrel.

Curious what we have to say about this vintage? Winemaker Greg Allen has high hopes: “The quality is extraordinary and I’m very excited about the prospects for this vintage.” Alas, have patience – it’ll be a few more years until we see the 2013 in bottle.

The 2013 Dolce Vintage is in the Works

by on November 18, 2013

Read on as Dolce Winemaker Greg Allen fills us in on this year’s harvest season:


Gorgeous Semillon clusters from early September this year

Dolce’s growing season was similar to other experiences in the Napa Valley: fruit ripened and had fantastic flavors by early September. Luckily for our grapes, the rains of early October ushered in the first major Botrytis bloom of the 2013 harvest season, blessing about one-third of Dolce’s Semillon crop with the friendly fungus. With the infection in full effect, we began our harvest. Each day yielded a tank of incredibly honeyed and fruitful juice, ranging from 33ºBrix on the first day to 38º Brix on the fourth. Portions of these tanks were blended together to create two unique batches of juice around 35º Brix, inoculated with my favorite strains of yeast, and are presently on their way to becoming the 2013 Dolce!

I’m very excited about the quality of the fruit flavors in the juice batches. We have much to look forward to, however, because about 50% of the year’s crop is still hanging on the vine. A quick accounting of the time required for mold germination, berry shriveling, and harvesting 20 tons of Botrytis-ridden fruit leads me to believe that we could be very busy over Thanksgiving weekend! Well, it is a harvest celebration, isn’t it? We shall see.

Video: 2013 Dolce Harvest: Sauvignon Blanc

by on October 17, 2013

Enjoy this behind-the-scenes clip of the Dolce harvest! Winemaker Greg Allen walks us through processing and fermenting Sauvignon Blanc for the 2013 blend.

RECIPE: Brown Derby Meyer Lemon Cake with Whipped Crème Fraîche

by on October 3, 2013

This is a variation of a cake from the very famous Brown Derby Restaurant in Los Angeles, where many of the deals were made in Hollywood in the 20s and 30s. The original recipe uses grapefruit juice and zest. We decided to use Meyer lemons instead because we have a tree right outside the winery kitchen door, which nearly falls over, loaded with lemons, every summer.

Serves 6

½ cup hazelnuts, ground
1 cup cake flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
3 eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup crème fraîche

Cake Preparation
Sift together ground hazelnuts, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, add the lemon juice, olive oil and egg yolks. Make a hollow in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and beat until smooth.
In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg whites and cream of tartar to the bowl. Beat until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Gradually fold the egg whites into the egg yolk/flour mixture. Do not over stir. Pour into an ungreased, eight-inch baking pan. Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger.

Crème Fraîche Preparation
To make the whipped crème fraîche, add heavy cream to the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium for a minute, then add sifted powdered sugar. Whip until the cream stiffens, then add the crème fraîche and whip for another minute or until it resembles whipped cream again.
Slice and place cake onto plates. Add a dollop of whipped crème fraîche. Enjoy with a glass of Dolce.