cabernet cookoff

Since we couldn't host our in-person event, we are going to do a virtual Cabernet Cookoff on May 30th. We will live-stream to Facebook and Youtube so everyone can watch and drink along from home. 

Instead of restaurants competing against each other for charity, we asked for fans to submit their favorite recipes to pair with our 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!

Three dishes were chosen to be prepared by a chef, and we had a live panel of judges to vote on the best pairing!

First place won a $5,000 donation for their chosen charity, second place wion a $2,500 donation for their chosen charity, and third place won a $1,500 donation for their chosen charity.

Kathryn Hall

Watch Live Here:

Final Dishes

Second Place - $2,500

The “Un-Steak” Steak

by Merritt Russ

Charity: Dallas Children's Advocacy Center

First Place - $5,000

Deconstructed Beef, Lamb and Manchego Ravioli with Cabernet Mushroom Sauce

by Peter Chase

Charity: Interfaith Nutrition NetworK

Third Place - $1,500

Hoisin Braised Short Ribs

by Lisa Crossett

Charity: Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation


Mike Reynolds
Mike Reynolds
Diem Doonan
Diem Doonan
Jeff Zappelli
Jeff Zappelli
Jamie Chandler
Jamie Chandler

2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Our official wine of the 2020 Cabernet Cookoff: Home Edition

This wine has efusive aromas of blackberry, black cherry, freshly turned earth and subtly warm toasty oak notes. The palate is dense and richly concentrated with fine grained tannin and good length. Flavors of dark chocolate, dark berry compote, and hints of dried thyme and leather are abundant.


unsteak steak

The 'Un-Steak' Steak


4x 2-inch Sliced Cauliflower 'Steaks' (2-3 heads, trimmed)
Salt, Pepper, EVOO to taste
Fresh Thyme to taste
2 c Arborio Rice (extra risotto is never a bad thing!)
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves crushed Garlic, per 2 cups rice
1 c Diced Shrooms (Porcini, Morels eg)
6-8 c Vegetable Stock (can use water in addition, if needed)
1/2 c Good White Wine (Walt Chardonnay!)
Good Pesto (or homemade with Basil, Spring Peas, Lemon, EVOO, pine nuts or walnuts, garlic & parm - optional for Vegan), for garnish


Heat oven to 500. Warm veg stock in a saucepan on low; cover. Gently wipe mushrooms clean, rough chop to keep the 'meatiness,' and set aside with a damp paper towel to cover. Dice a large onion in tiny pieces, set aside.

Generously drizzle 'steaks' with EVOO, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place on cookie sheet and set aside.

Using a large cast iron pot or dutch oven, heat 4-6 tbsp EVOO, onion and garlic (putting garlic on top of onion keeps it from burning!). Add rice and 'toast' until gentle aromas emerge. Begin adding good white wine, so the rice absorbs those fabulous flavors first. Proceed with 1/2 cup of stock at a time, slowly stirring until rice absorbs liquid (keeping stock warm will allow rice to maintain temp without cooling down). Continue with stock (or water, if necessary) until rice reaches 'al dente' tenderness. It will appear very creamy from the starches being released! When you can tell just one or two more additions of stock will 'do-it,' throw the 'steaks' in the oven and cook for 12-15 min. until brown and tender. Finish the risotto by stirring in optional aromatic cheeses (parm, pecorino, swiss even), then add mushrooms so they are warm. Insure the risotto is creamy - you can always 'freshen it up' with a final addition of wine or water before serving.

When 'steaks' are ready, plate a with a base of risotto, and a sprinkle of thyme to bring out the notes of the Cab Sauv, and serve with a drizzle or side of pesto for a little brightness! Voila! Vegan Steakhouse approved.

Deconstructed Ravioli

Deconstructed Beef, Lamb and Manchego Ravioli with Cabernet Mushroom Sauce


Ravioli Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
¾ - 1 teaspoon finely ground rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 & ½ finely chopped carrots
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium red onion
Salt and pepper to taste
2 & ½ cups shredded manchego cheese
Fresh or dried lasagna sheets

Sauce Ingredients
1 & ½ cups cabernet
1 & ½ cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
3 baby bella mushrooms finely chopped
1 small sundried tomato finely chopped
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon beef demi-glace


Open a bottle of Hall Cabernet before starting to make the dish. Pour a glass and enjoy it as you look over the recipe. Only then will you be ready to proceed. This dish developed out of my frustration with making traditional ravioli at home which I could never get quite right. It always seemed like a lot of work. It was disappointing when you boiled the ravioli only to see some of them split open give up their mixture to the sea of hot water. This "deconstructed" dish avoids all that but still satisfies your cravings for carbs and also give you a good reason to open a bottle of cabernet.

It's easy to make and you don't have to worry about stuffing ravioli, crimping the ends together and boiling the stuffed ravioli. Simply prepare the mixture, fold over a pasta sheet, add the sauce and you're done. It stands up to the cabernet, but its flavors aren't too overpowering. The combination of lamb and beef in this dish complement each other well and create a balance of flavor. Rosemary and manchego cheese seem to naturally go together. The manchego cheese in the ravioli also complements the tannins in the wine. Try a little more wine and then begin!

To make the ravioli stuffing use a food processor to finely chop the carrots, onions and garlic
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or pot with high sides
Add the chopped carrots and sauté until softened (about 3 minutes)
Add the onion to the pot and sauté until soft
Add the garlic and sauté until the carrots, onion and garlic are soft being careful not to burn the garlic
Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside
Break up the ground beef and brown it in the pan & add salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of the finely ground rosemary onto the beef while it is browning and mix well
It6's important to use finely ground rosemary. It should be almost like a powder. If you have a small spice grinder or coffee grinder, you can use it to get this consistency.
Remove the beef from pan once it is brown and repeat this same procedure with the ground lamb. Be sure to add the salt and pepper to taste and the ground rosemary.
Once the lamb is brown, add the beef mixture, carrots, onion and garlic to the pan and mix well
Add remaining ¼ - ½ teaspoon of the ground rosemary to the pot and mix well
Once it is mixed, use a food processor or mini chopper to ground the meat mixture. Work in batches and pulse the meat mixture a few times until it is finely ground. Do not over process since we don't want to create a paste, just a finely ground mixture.
Once processed, return the mixture to the pot under low heat
Add 2 ½ cups of shredded manchego cheese and mix in with a wooden spoon to distribute the cheese evenly throughout the mixture. Add salt and pepper if needed. Once the cheese melts, the mixture is done. Turn off the heat. Once the sauce is prepared and you are ready to assemble the ravioli, you can gently heat up the mixture again.
To make the sauce
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan
Chop the mushrooms and sundried tomato in a food processor or mini chopper so they are in small bits. Add them to the pan and sauté until soft
Add the cabernet and the beef broth and reduce until half
Add the tomato paste and mix in well
Add about ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to taste
Add 1 tablespoon of beef demi-glace if available
Add 3-4 tablespoons butter
Once all ingredients are blended in, the sauce is complete. Continue to reduce more if desired.

Prepare "Ravioli" Pasta
If you are working with fresh pasta sheets, cut the sheets into 5 inch pieces. If you are using dried lasagna noodles, cook them first before cutting in half. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, working with a few noodles at a time to keep them from sticking. It may be easier to cook the pasta in something like a cake pan so the noodles lay flat in the water.
Meanwhile, heat the ravioli mixture and the sauce. Place about a 5 inch piece of the cooked pasta on a plate. Spoon the ravioli mixture on one side of the noodle, fold the other side of the sheet over the top. Spoon the sauce over the top and around the sides of the ravioli. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy with a glass of Hall Cabernet

Hoisin Short Ribs

Hoisin  Braised Shortribs


2 pounds boneless short ribs or about 8 pieces
1 c. Low Sodium Soy sauce
¼ c. Rice wine vinegar
8 Cloves garlic, peeled and lightly chopped
3 Stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 T. peeled and minced fresh ginger
½ C. dark brown sugar
4 C. water
½ C. sliced green onions
3 Fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons Sesame oil
1/3 C. orange juice


1 Jar hoisin sauce (8.5 oz)
3/4 C. orange juice
1 T. fresh orange zest


Preheat oven to 350. In a wide stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, brown sugar, sesame oil, water, green onions, jalapeno, and orange juice. Stir to combine the brown sugar and add the short ribs, making sure they are fully covered by the liquid. Cover with a lid or foil. Braise the short ribs for 4 to 5 hours.

In a small sauce pan, add the hoisin sauce, orange juice and orange zest. Heat on medium heat until the sauce is slightly thicker. Can be done ahead of time and reheated.

When ready to serve, take short ribs out of the braising liquid and place on top of creme fraiche mashed potatoes. Top with the hoisin sauce. Top with a few green onions and additional orange zest.

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