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Blog

National Mulled Wine Day

Morgan Shepard

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Did you know that Saturday is National Mulled Wine Day? Mulled wine is so easy to make and perfect for these chilly nights! All you need is a bottle of red wine (we used Villa Graziella Chianti), some spices, and your favorite liquor! And, what better way to cozy up on the couch this weekend to watch the Oscars than with some mulled wine?! With less than 5 minutes of prep, this can be made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Just make sure not to boil it so you don't boil off the alcohol! Just simmer for 15 minutes, or up to three hours, strain the spices, and serve warm. 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Villa Graziella Organic Chianti wine
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste (or your desired sweetener)
  • optional add-in: 1/4 cup brandy (or your favorite liqueur)
  • optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and heat just barely to a simmer over medium-high heat.  (Be careful not to boil the mulled wine — you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.)  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours.
  2. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.

Winter Sangria

Morgan Shepard

Did you know that tomorrow is National Drink Wine Day?  Even if is winter, why not celebrate with  sangria! We improvised with on hand ingredients to make a winter sangria. Using artisan crafted Villa Graziella Toscano Rosato rosé wine with berry rich Sangiovese & fragrant Montepulciano organic grapes. Fresh oranges, chilled pineapple juice & mango nectar. Perfect for Sunday brunch or a pre-dinner libation. Makes 6 abundant servings. 

Easy Ingredients

  • 1 750 ML (25.36 Oz) bottle of Villa Graziella IGT Rosso Toscano
  • 2 freshly squeezed oranges + 1 orange thinly seeded & thinly sliced  
  • 4 – 6-ounce cans pineapple juice not from concentrate
  • 2-11-ounce cans of guava or mango nectar 

Simple Directions

  1. Wash oranges, juice 2 oranges removing the seeds, set aside
  2. Wash remaining orange slice thin, removing the seeds, set aside 
  3. In a large pitcher stir together Toscano Rosato rosé wine & orange juice
  4. Add pineapple juice & mango nectar
  5. Stir briskly
  6. Refrigerate two hours to overnight, allowing sangria to absorb the fruit flavors & citrus aromas
  7. Serve in frosted glasses over ice (optional) 
  8. Or add individual orange slices to each glass
  9. Enjoy with your favorite brunch items or evening appetizers
  10. Refrigerate covered for 2 days  

Winter Veggies with Red Wine Reduction

Morgan Shepard

Finding different ways to cook veggies can become redundant, we adapted a recipe for a sumptuous red wine reduction for roasted vegetables. Using Villa Graziella Rosso Toscano IGT red wine made with organic grapes & Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Cooked, vegetables give a natural sweet & tangy flavor to the fruit forward wine reduction. Vitamin rich, it makes a delicious side dish to rotisserie chicken or pork roast. Or enjoy with toasted baguette bread for a satisfying, meatless Monday main course. 4-6 abundant servings. 

Easy Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled & quartered
  • 2 red or yellow peppers, cleaned, seeded, cut in eighths
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 small zucchinis, cleaned, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 summer squash, cleaned, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 petite Yukon Gold or small red potatoes, quartered 
  • 4 small shallots, peeled & halved lengthwise
  • 8 plum, vine or Roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Simple Directions

-Adjust oven racks highest to lowest  

-Preheat oven to 425°F

-Place vegetables in a large bowl

-Drizzle vegetables with olive oil, add rosemary, salt & pepper to your taste & mix
-Evenly spread vegetables onto 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets; do not crowd

-Roast 10-15 minutes, toss vegetables, rotate pans from low to high rack, front to back of oven 

-Roast additional 10-12 minutes until vegetables are tender & begin to caramelize 

-Remove from oven, discard rosemary, set aside & keep warm

Red Wine Reduction

Easy Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp cubed unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 1 cup Villa Graziella Rosso Toscano IGT red wine, Syrah or Zinfandel wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock

While vegetables are roasting, prepare wine reduction: 

-Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil  

-Add shallots & sauté until translucent 

-Add wine, simmer 3-5 minutes, add vegetable stock to the mixture, bring to a boil 

-Reduce heat to low, simmer until liquid reduces by half 

-When liquid becomes syrupy, add 3 tablespoons butter, 1 cube at a time, while whisking

-Place roasted vegetables in a bowl or plate, drizzle with wine reduction sauce, toss to coat 

-Adjust seasoning to taste, serve & enjoy

Try this recipe & share your comments with us. We want you to have a healthy & delicious experience with our products! Grazie!  clientservice@villagabriellaorganic.com

Barley & Turkey Sausage Soup

Morgan Shepard

Need a winter warm up? Celebrate National Soup Month with cozy, barley & turkey soup! An antique, cereal grain cultivated throughout the globe & a kitchen staple in many cuisines, barley is calcium, magnesium & potassium rich. Using Villa Gabriella Organic extra virgin olive & our slow cooker, we adapted an all recipes for a healthy, delicious, cold weather dish. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella artisan crafted Rosso Toscano made with organic grapes. Find the full recipe on the Villa Gabriella Organic blog.

Binny's Barrel To Bottle Podcast

Morgan Shepard

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Ever experience shelf anxiety when looking for wine? Not sure what to drink with what & when? Check out Binny’s Beverage Depot new podcast series-From Barrel to Bottle. Entertaining & educating, it will help you on your wine discovery 1 glass at a time! https://www.binnys.com/blog/barrel-bottle-podcast-episode-1

Wenzhou Launch

Morgan Shepard

Villa Graziella Organic is honored to announce our partnership with Lucheng Rural Commercial Bank, Wenzhou, China! Together with Hong Kong based Villa Graziella Asia, Villa Graziella Artisan Crafted Wines recently launched with the bank and their company ecommerce platform focused on certified organic & sustainable products. 

300 miles south of Shanghai, located in the Zhejiang province, along the Ou river, Wenzhou is an ancient city nestled amongst magnificent mountain ranges, meandering rivers, renown nature & marine preserves. Dating back several thousand years, today Wenzhou is a dynamic harbor city of +8million people. 

Enjoying a 200 hundred-mile coastline and mild climate, Wenzhou offers a rich culinary tradition with over 250 specialties, many dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 BC). Fresh fish & crustaceans, several varieties of dumplings, meat & vegetables are seasoned & cooked to perfection. Healthy & delicious Villa Graziella artisan crafted wines made with organic grapes are the perfect accompaniment to these local delicacies.

Sangria Española

Morgan Shepard

We’re not ready to say “So long”….to summer! September is almost here but there are still a few warm days to enjoy. We tweaked a recipe for Spanish Sangria using artisan crafted Villa Graziella IGT Rosso Toscano red wine made with single estate, red berry rich Canaiolo, Colorino & Sangiovese organic grapes. Simple & not too sweet, no cinnamon or sugar, we used tangy citrus fruit & sparkling water for a refreshing libation. Makes 6 abundant servings. 

Easy Ingredients

  • 1 750 ML (25.36 Oz) bottle of Villa Graziella IGT Rosso Toscano
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • Peaches or apricots optional  
  • 1 can carbonated water, flavored soda water or ginger ale.

Simple Directions

  1. Wash oranges, slice & set aside
  2. Wash lemons, slice, remove the seeds & set aside 
  3. Chop peaches in thick chunks with skin on (optional)
  4. In a large pitcher or bowl, stir together Rosso Toscano wine, orange & lemon slices
  5. Add peach chunks & carbonated soda water
  6. Stir briskly
  7. Refrigerate two hours to overnight, allowing sangria to absorb the fruit flavors & citrus aromas
  8. Serve in frosted glasses over ice (optional) 
  9. Enjoy with your favorite lite bites or small plates
  10. Refrigerate covered for 2 days  

Tried, Tasted & True!

At Villa Graziella Organic our team tries & tastes every recipe we feature.  While we love to share our family recipes & those of talented home cooks & chefs, sometimes we adapt them so they are even easier to make. As with our products, our goal is for you to have a healthy & delicious experience using Villa Gabriella recipes. So try them out in your kitchen, feel free to tweak them & please tell us what you think. We welcome your comments & feedback!

Grazie da Team VILLA GABRIELLA

clientservice@villagabriellallc.com

Marinated Chicken Kabobs

Morgan Shepard

Marinated chicken kabobs for a Sunday summer lunch or dinner? We modified a spruce recipe using Villa Gabriella Organic extra virgin olive oil, 8 year aged organic balsamic vinegar & fresh herbs for an easy, flavorful main dish. Using fresh, seasonal orange & yellow bell peppers with red onion for a healthy alternative. You can also use fresh mushrooms, zucchini or squash. The recipe called for marinating up to 12 hours, instead we marinated the chicken for 3 hours, long enough to absorb flavors without becoming too soft. Lemon & vinegar acids break down meat causing it to become mushy if marinated too long. Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella Artisan Crafted IGT Rosato Toscano wine made with organic grapes. Find the full recipe on the Villa Gabriella Organic blog.

Easy Balsamic Marinade

Morgan Shepard

It’s finally here-Summer!! Pull out the grill & celebrate the warm weather! We modified Diana Rossen Worthington’s recipe using Villa Gabriella Organic 8 year aged balsamic vinegar di Modena & Villa Gabriella Organic extra virgin olive oil. No synthetic sugars or sweeteners, the balsamic’s naturally tangy flavors blend with fresh, full bodied olive oil for a tasty summer tradition. We chose NY strip steak, use any cut of beef, chicken, turkey, lamb or salmon.  Serve & enjoy with Villa Graziella Chianti DOCG Riserva made with organic grapes. Find the full recipe on the Villa Gabriella blog

Savory Spring Quiche

Morgan Shepard

Who doesn’t like quiche? Even real men do! We tinkered Chef Edoardo Norton’s Spring quiche recipe from the Wall Street Journal, omitting asparagus, adding cubed prosciutto, bit of garlic, more mushrooms & Villa Gabriella Certified Organic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Time was tight so we used a pre-baked pie crust. Slice, serve & enjoy with refreshingly crisp Villa Graziella Toscano IGT Rosato rosé wine. Find the full recipe on the Villa Gabriella blog

Raise your glass—it’s National Wine Day!

Morgan Shepard

“A day without wine is like a day without sunshine”—anonymous

Today is a special day for wine lovers all across America. May 25 is designated as National Wine Day. Celebrated as a sister holiday to National Drink Wine Day in February, this is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a glass of your favorite wine in the company of friends and family.

The history behind this celebrated day is not clearly known. But if we had to guess it seems as if the day is here to remind us of the essentials in life. The essentials being—family, friends, food and of course, wine. 

The list of health benefits for drinking wine is endless. And organic wine yields an even better choice for your health and the environment. For centuries, people have enjoyed a commonality in pouring a glass of wine to enjoy. It breaks down barriers, celebrates triumphs and is a necessary accompaniment to a fine meal. Not to mention a wonderful component to a simple menu as well. 

Villa Graziella artisan crafted wines made with organic grapes are an affordable and accessible wine to enjoy on this special day. 

So whether it be red or white wine, or even a pink, be sure to raise your glass and proclaim salute!

You say Rosé, I say Rosato!

Morgan Shepard

The French call it rosé, in Italy it’s called Rosato. The “pink season” of wines kicks off this weekend with the Memorial Day holiday as family & friends gather in anticipation of summer. This season’s trend is all about  “drink pink”.  

Villa Graziella Toscano IGT Rosato is not your typical pink wine. Medium-bodied and refreshingly dry, it is a perfect rosé to celebrate the holiday & the grilling season with barbecued favorites. 

Organic 

Balanced & sturdy, our 2016 Rosato is made from organically farmed Sangiovese Piccolo grapes enhanced with Montepulciano grapes from Italy. Certified organic, our vineyard is free of chemical insecticides or synthetic fertilizers. Instead, biodiversity is used by growing crops in & around the grape vines to attract beneficial insects. Free of chemical residue while regulating the soil for a wine that is clean & delicious. 

Salsasso method 

Pink wines don’t all herald from the same region or grapes. Villa Graziella’s authentic Sangiovese rose is crafted using the Salsasso method.  Our talented wine maker, Luca Nesi removes juice from the fermenter.  This minimizes skin contact to soften the tannins while offering a beautiful deep strawberry shade with a firm, pleasant taste 

So, "Let us celebrate the occasion with wine & sweet words." — Plautus