RECIPES FROM NAPA NO. 2: The Savory Sunday

8/30/2016 12:15:59 AM


Here’s the Scoop on Savory Sunday’s…

Harvest is upon us! The vines are steadily ripening and it’s been a very prolific year in the vegetable garden. The beneficiaries of this bounty have been our club members and guests at our Friday Family table. Every Friday morning I begin my day in the garden picking and foraging for the day’s featured ingredients. Then I design a five course food and wine pairing includes the following wines:

Louise Riesling

Amalia Chardonnay

Current Vintage Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon

Library Selection of Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon

Florencia Muscat

I relish the opportunity to play in the kitchen marrying beauties from the garden with this glorious line up of wines. It is a great opportunity to study how place is expressed both with our wines and in our food.

However one challenge emerges when planning a menu- How to serve two courses back to back that pair with deep rich Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon?

This last week I finally fell upon a solution that is simple, elegant and a perfect pairing for that older vintage Napa Valley Cabernet- The Savory Sunday! It’s simple to make and a great course to include in any meal where you want to highlight a special older vintage wine from your cellar. Here is how it goes:

Savory Sunday

Serves 4-6


1/2 Cup Fresh Ricotta

1/2 Cup grated aged Austrian alpine cheese like Hubaner

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only

1/2 smoked duck breast thinly sliced or other high smoked meat like prosciutto or bresaola

House crackers

Brandied cherries

Assorted salt roasted nuts like Marcona almonds and roasted walnuts

Other sweet/savory toppings of your choice


  1. Place the two cheeses and the thyme in the bowl chopper and blend until smooth.
  2. With a small ice cream scoop place a small scoop of the cheese mixture in the center of the dish.
  3. Top with a few cherries and a generous drizzle of the cherry syrup
  4. Decorate with slices of duck breast, crackers, and nuts.

Tips on how to develop your own perfectly paired Sunday:

  1. Taste the wine that you wish to pair. Pick out the fruit components of the wine and consider using a dried version of that fruit in your toppings. Or if you wish to feature an older vintage white wine you can use fresh fruit slices such as nectarines, peaches or plums.
  2. If the wine is tannic and firm make sure to select a very strong cheese such as Hublener in the blend. If the wine is softer, select a mild cheese such as Aged Gruyer.
  3. Don’t be afraid to go wild with the toppings, it’s a Sunday after all! Also you make consider allowing your guests to top their own Sunday and place bowls of all the toppings on the table.

If you are inspired to make your own Savory Sunday please send us pictures to I’d love to see them and hear what you paired them with.


Florencia Palmaz