Enjoy the savory flavors of red wine braised short rib ragu served over a bowl of tagliatelle pasta.
SHORT RIB PASTA INGREDIENTS:
- 2 lbs bone-in short ribs or 1/5 lbs boneless short ribs
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp Sonoma Spice Blend
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 25oz jar tomato sauce (high quality ingredients)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp chipotle crushed pepper (optional if you don’t want extra spice)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1lb Tagliatelle pasta (cooked per instructions till al dente)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup basil, freshly chopped for garnish
INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:
- Using an instant pot, turn it to the sauté setting. While heating up, trim off excess fat and pat dry. Generously season with Sonoma Spice Blend.
- Once up to temperature, add the vegetable oil to the instant pot. Add the short ribs and sear on all sides until browned. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic and continue to sauté until tender while scraping up the browned bits (this has tons of flavor!). Pour in the red wine and cook for approximately 2 minutes to deglaze the onion and garlic.
- Add the short ribs back to the instant pot followed by the tomato sauce. salt and optional chipotle crushed pepper. Add in 1/4 cup water OR add the water to the sauce jar, shake, and then pour into the instant pot (nothing goes to waste!). Set instant pot to the stew/meat setting for 35 minutes and once finished, let it naturally release the stem.
- While ragu is stewing, prepare the Tagliatelle pasta per the directions provided on the package. Cook to just al dente (firm to the bite, but not soft) as the pasta will continue to cook once removed from the heat. Drain and set aside.
- Once steam is all released, remove the lid and place short ribs on a cutting board. Trim off excess fat and remove any bones. Also, skim off any fat from the top of the instant pot then sauté again to thicken up the sauce. Once you’ve shredded the short rib, add back to the instant pot. Taste and sprinkle with salt & pepper if needed.
- To serve, plate first with the pasta followed by spoonfuls of braised short rib ragu and garnished with fresh parmesan and basil.
Dry farming isn't a new concept, but it has taken on renewed significance in the last decade. Plants can’t talk. But any gardener knows that if you listen and pay attention, your plants will tell you what they need. Brown sunburned spots on the leaves say it’s getting too much sun. A lemony yellow tinge can mean too much water. A droopy stem is a plant’s way of saying “I’m thirsty.”
What is Dry Farming?
A Technical Solution
Thibaut Scholasch and Sebastien Payen. Founders of Fruition Sciences.
Old Vine Wine
Indulge your culinary senses with this delicious Prime Pairings recipe of Lamb Carpaccio Crostini topped with Blackberry Balsamic Reduction.
While the recipe name sounds like it belongs on high-end restaurants appetizer menu (and it does!), this was quite simple to make right in your home kitchen. The star of the show is the lamb carpaccio that is perfectly seasoned from the Arrowood Sonoma Spice Blend and pairs wonderfully with a bold wine like their Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve learned that by simplifying dishes really allows the ingredients to shine!
Lamb Carpaccio Crostini with Blackberry Balsamic Reduction
I’ve always been intrigued by Bordeaux varieties and their ability to make profound and opulently textured wines, but my Malbec love affair really took hold during my time in Mendoza, Argentina.
Argentina and Beyond
In Mendoza, Malbec is celebrated as part of their cultural identity. It has become synonymous with Argentine wine production, but its origin is actually attributed to France. Malbec is one of the six allowed varieties in wines made from the Bordeaux region of France, with a long history of using the variety as a blender. In France today, however, it is more commonly used in wines from the Cahors region of Southeast France. While Argentina is responsible for 75% of Malbec plantings in the world, the variety can be found in several other winegrowing regions, including California.
The Malbec Wine Grape
The grape is a dark inky purple color with thin skin and oval-shaped berries. Its leaves are generally larger and floppier looking than the other Bordeaux varieties, and because of this, it’s generally easy to spot when walking through a vineyard. The next time you visit the Arrowood Estate during late summer or fall, I encourage you to take a stroll through the estate vineyard and see for yourself!
Malbec Flavor Profile
The wine also takes on a darker more purple hue, especially when young. The aromatics are so distinct, it’s really fun to try and identify it in a blind tasting. It typically has this inherent baking spice character of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. It also takes on a lot of fruit character such as plum and blackberry, as well as violet and lavender when picked a bit earlier. Because of this, I generally do not like to use a lot of new oak barrels; the aromatics are so beautiful, I want to express them in the purest form. It tends to be less tannic than Cabernet, but offers a nice mid-palate weight and elegant structure that makes it very versatile and drinkable with a variety of foods.
Arrowood Sonoma County Malbec
Although I love what Malbec offers to a blend, one of my favorite wines to make is our Sonoma County Malbec. Arrowood is one of the only wineries in Sonoma County that offers a Malbec as a single variety wine, and we have a long history of doing so. For the 2014, we sourced from two prime vineyard locations: Lasseter and Knights Cross vineyards. Both of these sites have the perfect climate and soil match. Malbec enjoys long days of sunlight, but not too high of temperatures. Soils must be well drained and homogenous, offering good concentration of flavors and even ripening.
How long can you age Arrowood Malbec?
While it doesn’t have the lifespan of the Resérve Spéciale, I’ve have had the opportunity to try several bottles of Arrowood Malbec from the early 2000’s and they are still holding up with beautiful acidity and complexity. My personal preference is between 5-10 years, and would not recommend aging beyond 15 years. However, it is very interesting variety to track throughout aging, which is why we’ve kept a few bottles back each year in the Winemaker’s Library. It changes from having a very distinct varietal expression to possessing very classic Bordeaux aromatics, that can often be mistaken for a Cabernet or Merlot.
Malbec + You = <3
For those of you who haven’t gotten to know Malbec, take some time to introduce yourselves. I think you’ll like each other. Enjoy a bottle on a nice fall evening with some grilled meats, or save for this winter to pair with the holiday fare.
For a lot of people Sonoma equals wine country, but geographically speaking, 'Sonoma' can mean a world-famous wine growing region, a city, and an entire county. If you're looking for the definitive guide to where one Sonoma ends, and another begins read on!
What is it?
Where to go:
What is it?
Where to go:
The City of Sonoma
Where to go:
Paleo Thanksgiving Dinner
Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - A Rare Treat
Comparing Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley
Arrowood’s Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Discover Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Where is Knights Valley?
Knights Valley or Knight’s Valley?
Knights Valley Winegrowing History
Knights Valley’s Winegrowing Soil
Arrowood Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Discover Knights Valley for Yourself
As a winemaker, the blending process is where I get to earn my stripes, composing a distinct expression of the vintage and capturing a snapshot in time. Monitoring the individual grape varieties through the growing process in the vineyard and following their progress into barrel lends to a keen understanding of how each grape is performing in the vintage. This is essential knowledge when determining the components that are going to make up the blend in a specific vintage.
So many options…
We are now making eight or more red wines each year, expressing Sonoma County Bordeaux varieties in various ways. Our Reserve is our flagship wine, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and barrel selected from our top vineyard sites. The vineyard designate wines showcase the unique terroir of a single vineyard. These vineyards are primarily distinguished by their altitude and soil type, and give such a distinct expression of terroir that their quality and intrigue merit their own individual bottling. Our appellation wines bring together several vineyard blocks to highlight the characteristics of the region. Working with fruit from the three best AVAs (American Vinicultural Areas) in Sonoma County for growing Cabernet, I can make distinctly different wines from Knights Valley, Sonoma Valley and Alexander Valley. One of the newest offerings at Arrowood is the Proprietary Red wine, which is a blend that expresses the vintage using any or all of the five Bordeaux varieties. But before I tell you more, let’s review these varieties and talk about their individual qualities.
Carefully measuring out each grape variety
In California, Cabernet Sauvignon is king. Known for its bold fruit character and heavy weight and texture, Cabernet is most commonly bottled as a single variety. Cabernet Franc is its close relative, with some similarities in aromatics, but tends to give more savory and sometimes herbal character. (Fun fact: Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.) Merlot often has a lot of blue fruit aromas, offering a soft and round texture. When used as a blending component, it can increase the depth and length of the mouthfeel. Malbec is aromatically very distinct, often exotic with violet and spice, along with velvety tannins. Those of you who have had our Sonoma Valley Malbec know exactly what I’m talking about! Lastly, Petit Verdot is known for its dark color and intense tannins. Both Malbec and Petit Verdot can be very impactful in a blend, where a little goes a long way.
The current release of the 2013 Proprietary Red blend has the following blend composition: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet franc, 14% Merlot and 8% Malbec. In this particular year, Petit Verdot didn’t make it into the blend. After trying to use as little as 1%, I decided that it did not make a better wine. Each year, this blend will be completely different depending on the performance of each variety and how each variety interacts with one another.
Jakey the winery dog stands by, ready to help calculate percentages
With so many different growing conditions in Sonoma County, each of these five varieties can be farmed to their full potential, giving me a diverse range of options for blending the Proprietary Red. I love that there aren’t any rules when blending this wine. I can use any of these five varieties to make the most intriguing and texturally complete wine possible. However, this also makes it the most challenging wine to blend, often requiring more than ten different iterations of the blend before coming up with “the one.” The 2015 Proprietary Red actually took me seventeen tries before I was happy with the final blend!
The new release of the 2013 Proprietary Red blend is one I am very excited about having followed this wine from barrel to bottle, and the vintage couldn’t have been a much better growing season. Come by and see one of the friendly familiar faces at the Arrowood tasting room and give this wine a taste. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think!
Kristina finds “the one”!
Arrowood Winemaker, Kristina Werner has worked at wineries across New Zealand, Portugal and Argentina until landing in Sonoma County. Today, she and her dedicated winegrowing team, craft artisan Cabernet Sauvignons that convey the best sites and appellations throughout Sonoma County.