Author Archive for Rick Bakas

Moving on up like George and Weezy

Wine Country Eating is moving! The new site will be called The Travelling Palate and it’ll feature cleaner design, no ads, smarter search and better mobile device friendliness. I hope you find it to be more professional looking and just plain better. Please make sure you’re subscribed on the new site as you are here.

coffee rubbed pork

Coffee Rubbed Pork w/ Dijon Cream Sauce

I had an epiphany over breakfast one day to try this coffee rubbed pork concept. Coffee and cream go together—especially when there’s a savory pork products involved (like bacon). So I took the idea of those three ingredients and did a club remix for dinner. And thus, the coffee rubbed pork with dijon cream sauce was born.  Wine Pairing Ideas…

Santa Lucia Highlands

California’s Overlooked Treasure: Santa Lucia Highlands

Photo by Frank Gutierrez, Wagner Family of Wine Right smack dab in the middle of the state of California sits the Santa Lucia Highlands in the massive Salinas valley—California’s prime agricultural region located 20 miles southeast of Monterey between the Gabilan and Santa Lucia mountain ranges. They grow everything there from lettuce to raspberries, and chances are your local grocery…

Broncos

The Denver Broncos Logo Design: 15 Years Later

As I typed the headline to this blog post it struck me how fast time flies. I still think of the Denver Broncos Logo as “new” even though it’s been around for fifteen years. When I look at the horse logo on the side of the helmet it still seems new and modern. Back in 1996 I was a 26-year…

Opus One

Opus One: The Evolution of an Icon Pt. 2

When I told some friends I was going to visit Opus One on my birthday they scoffed. “Ooooh, GOD! They are sooo pretentious there!” they said. “Don’t forget to kiss the ring on the way in”. I brought my Mom and Mrs. B along for the ride because, hey, it was my birthday. Not sure what experience others had at…

opus one

Opus One: The Evolution of an Icon pt. 1

Twenty years ago if you were in a restaurant and ordered a bottle of Opus One you were important. You were a fine wine connoisseur and you liked the best. Opus One raised the bar for Napa Valley and for domestic wine. If you were drinking Opus One you were drinking a regal wine that presidents and diplomats held in…

Cabernet Sauvignon

3 Cabernet Sauvignons for Christmas

Prime Rib Roast, Filet Mignon, Rib Eye Steaks, Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Beef, you name it….does holiday feasting get any better for Cabernet pairing? Hearty holiday meals with higher fat proteins call for wines with higher tannins. Master Sommelier, Craig Collins did a guest post about matching tannin to fat content earlier this year. Each year I organize an online…

beef

Braised Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta

Braised Beef Ragu with Pappardelle (or any kind of braised short ribs) might just be my favorite recipe ever. Like, ever ever. We’re talking last meal kind of dish. I love it for the hearty braising liquid and the tender, succulent meat. As a wine lover, some of my favorite red wines (and probably yours) just happen to go with…

Thanksgiving Ravioli

Thanksgiving Ravioli w/ Turkey & Cranberry Filling

Mrs. B is six months pregnant which means she’s been on a comfort food tear lately, especially with pasta. She whipped up this Thanksgiving themed Ravioli dish with turkey and cranberry after seeing Giada De Laurentiis make something similar on the Food Network last year. Our original goal was to find ways to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in something…

BeefandCreamsauceFINAL

Filet Mignon w/ Blue Cheese Porcini Sauce

  Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese works well as a main dish but can also be altered to be more of an appetizer like the one pictured above. I like to cut the filet into small little bites with a bit of sauce drizzled on top. When it comes to wine pairings, it’s pretty much a fastball over the plate.…

MerlotMe

3 Myths About Merlot and the Movie Sideways

Quick! Recite a quote from the movie Sideways about Merlot. Good job if your quote was, “I’m not drinking any f*cking Merlot!” Here’s 3 things you might not know about that infamous statement by Miles: Merlot was Miles’ ex-wife’s favorite wine – The movie doesn’t give context to why Miles so emphatically rejected the idea of drinking Merlot. It wasn’t…

10 Things you didn't know about Merlot

10 Things You Don’t Know About Merlot

My wine friend, Monique Soltani over at Wine Oh TV had a chance to sit down with well known wine personalities to discuss the Merlot grape in anticipation for October’s #MerlotMe celebration. Since the movie, Sideways came out nearly ten years ago, the Merlot grape has taken a beating and it’s time to starting giving the grape some love: