Kitfox The Closer Chardonnay

Around this time of year when winter is starting to feel endless with its short days, long nights, and chilly weather — we all need something to remind us that warm summer days are right around the corner. When I needed to shake off the winter blues last week, this 2018 Central Coast Chardonnay from The Closer was the perfect choice. This bottle’s vibrant art features Arnemetia — the Celtic Goddess of Wine. The dramatic beauty of Arnemetia is the perfect symbol to accompany the tasting notes for such an enticing bottle. Beginning with the finest grapes from California’s coast, this Chardonnay tempts with lush tropical aromas before revealing flavors of warm vanilla, sweet jasmine, and fresh lemon cream. Finished using a kiss of oak, The Closer delivers some much needed sunshine.

Kitfox The Closer Chardonnay

For a delicious pairing, reach for flavors that invite the feeling of dinners enjoyed outside in the warm night air. While these recipes will shine using fresh summer produce from your garden or local farmers’ market, out of season vegetables will do just fine while we’re all waiting for summer bounty to return.

Roasted Fennel & Beets

Warm Beet, Fennel & White Bean Salad with Beet Greens Chimichurri

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This stick-to-your-bones salad is chock full of ingredients that are healthy, satisfying, and easy to find. Beets and fennel are two vegetables that are truly a match made in heaven. These beauties are roasted on a sheet pan in just a touch of oil, salt and pepper and then mixed into a bowl of creamy, garlicky white beans and finally tossed together in a beet greens chimichurri sauce.

Zucchini Pasta

Jammy Summer Squash Pasta with Basil and Anchovies

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This pasta recipe is sweet and simple perfection. The summer squash is cooked down in lots of butter and garlic until it reaches a soft, delicate consistency with divine flavor and texture. The anchovies add a little zing, but if you’re opposed to anchovies you can leave them out and substitute a pinch more salt and parmesan.

These dishes are delicious go-tos featuring bold flavors, and at least for now we can sip some Chardonnay while tricking our taste buds into thinking it’s summer already. Grab a fork, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy!


Peterson Mendo Blendo Red Blend

When the weather forecast yesterday promised chilly wind, grey skies, and a big storm rolling in I knew it would be the ideal evening to whip up some of my favorite comfort food, pour a delicious glass of wine, and enjoy a cozy dinner at home. For the perfect bottle to set the mood, the 2015 Peterson Tollini Vineyard Mendo Blendo was just the thing. This playful wine features 44% Petite Sirah, 44% Syrah, and 12% Carignane — all from Tollini Vineyard. The delicate simplicity of this wine makes it easy to sip, and yet it’s filled with delightful complexity and depth. A luscious blend of juicy plum, sweet strawberry, and aromatic black raspberry are joined by cozy hints of autumn spice and black pepper. Notes of toasted oak and traces of leather perfectly balance these heavenly flavors for the ideal bottle to accompany a chilly winter night.

Peterson Mendo Blendo Red

For a delicious pairing, my thoughts went straight to some of my go-to winter favorites.

Pumpkin Pot Pie

Pumpkin Pot Pie with Sausage and Kale

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This tasty little pot pie is simple to prepare (even the crust is easy to whip up, or you can use store bought) and it’s bursting with winter flavors. Between the fresh pie pumpkin, sausage, onions, sage, and a dash of nutmeg this recipe is what cozy comfort food is all about.

Farmhouse Beef Stew

Farmstand Beef Stew

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This take on a classic stick-to-your-ribs stew focuses on highlighting fresh, winter-friendly ingredients. So if you can, stop by your local farmers’ market to pick up your meat and veggies. Serve with some sourdough bread for the ideal dinner date on a chilly evening.

These cozy recipes pair beautifully with the luscious 2015 Mendo Blend, so grab a fork, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy!


Check out farmer and author Andrea Bemis’s blog Dishing Up the Dirt ( for more recipes showcasing local, seasonal produce.