In Pursuit of the Perfect Recipe (and Pairing)

Rebecca Germolus on Aug 2, 2022

My husband and I love to cook, and are always scouting for new recipes, especially those that pair well with wine. But websites that don’t bombard you with pop-up ads and other annoyances are increasingly hard to find. However, I can recommend two terrific ad-free recipe resources: the Wine Road Podcast and the Wine Road Recipe page, veritable treasure trove of recipes.

Logo for the Wine Road podcast: The Wine When & Where of Sonoma County, CA
The Wine Road Podcast

Fast Five Recipes

Since the first of the year, The Wine When & Where of Sonoma County, CA, a.k.a. The Wine Road podcast, has been featuring a recipe with just five ingredients. Some of the recipes are for drinks, while others are appetizers, side dishes or a main course.

Who doesn’t love a recipe that only requires five ingredients, for you know it will be quick to prepare. What I also love is the show notes tell you what recipe will be featured, its five ingredients, how to prepare it and exactly where it is discussed on the podcast so if you’re in a hurry, you can go right to the recipe and skip listening to the podcast. (I recommend listening to the podcast as well.)

Handwritten recipe in an old book, and to the left side is a pile of flour with a raw egg in a well in the flour, two halves of an empty egg shell, a whisk, some fresh pasta, a checked towel and a rolling pin.

Tempting Recipes

Here are some you might want to check out for yourself:

Apple Cider Mule Cocktail offer by Elizabeth Miller from Dutton Estate Winery

Butter Sage Pasta created by Executive Chef Tom Schmidt of Vintners Resort and John Ash & Co

Baked Salmon with Honey Mustard Glaze from Jesse Malvesti of David Coffaro Winery

Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn by Ursula at West Wines

Barbecued Tri Tip from Jason Robinson of Ehret Family Winery

Strawberry Gazpacho from Jessie Poshepny Vallery at Trione Vineyards

The above selection just gives you a flavor of what is available for your quick meal, drink or appetizer enjoyment. A new Fast Five recipe is added every two weeks, so check back often to expand your favorite quick and easy recipes.

The Wine Road podcast is a wealth of information about enjoying the best Sonoma County has to offer. If you haven’t had a listen, I’d recommend you check it out soon.

Treasure Trove of Recipes

For years, Wine Road member wineries and lodgings submitted recipes of the food and wine pairings they’d be serving during Wine & Food Affair, the November Wine Road event. At some point, the Wine Road put every recipe from every winery and lodging from 2013 through 2019 into a recipe database. There are a staggering number of recipes in an extremely well organized database.

Top section of the Wine & Food Affair recipe website page showing the various search categories

To find a recipe you can search by:

  • The winery or lodging who submitted the recipe
  • Categories—appetizers, breakfast, dessert, lunch, main dish, salad, side dish or soups
  • Main ingredients with 15 categories to pick from like Beans & Legumes, Cheese & Diary, Chocolate, Fish & Seafood, Lamb or Vegetables
  • Wine pairing with a very long list of varietal and blend options
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Year the recipe was served at Wine & Food Affair from 2013 through 2019

Random Picks

The database has way too many recipes to begin to list out, but here are some random picks I found when looking into each of the categories.

By Lodging – Hotel Healdsburg submitted a recipe for Smoked Chicken Spring Salad with Rye Berries and Sweet Peas.

By Winery – Longboard Vineyards recipe in 2017 was for Moroccan Surfer Stew paired with their Merlot.

By Category – I picked Breakfast and discovered Fern Grove Cottages recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Savory Biscuits.

By Main Ingredient – Potatoes are one of my favorite foods, so instead of looking up a protein source like fish, chicken or red meat, I went with potatoes. I discovered what looks like a delicious recipe from SonomaCutrer Vineyards entitled Spicy Potato Samosas that will pair perfectly with their Chardonnay.

By Wine Pairing – Malbec was my random pick, and it took me to Provençal Cassoulet paired with J. Richards Winery’s Malbec.

By Vegetarian – I discovered Acorn Squash Tamales with Mole and Goat Cheese paired with ACORN Winery’s Heritage Vines Zinfandel.

By Gluten Free – It was hard to pick just one, but Baldassari Wine’s recipe for Miso Salmon Tacos with Corn Tortillas paired with their Rosé of Pinot Noir won me over.

By Year – I decide to pick 2015 and immediately saw Ham Hock and Carmody Quesadillas with Roasted Pumpkin paired with Hartford Family Winery’s Stone Côte Chardonnay. The recipe might take a while to prepare, but it only had eight ingredients, including the tortillas and the cheese, and sounded heavenly.

No Pop-ups, No Ads

If you spend time perusing the internet for recipes, you might be with me on the statement, “I just want to look at the recipe!” I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with site where annoying ads jump around or you can only “Read More” if you submit your email address, which I don’t do, so I leave the site without seeing the entire recipe. You now have two options that aren’t annoying to search, and you might want to sip a glass of wine while in pursuit of the perfect recipe.

Benefits Recap

The Wine Road Podcast shares Fast Five recipes on every podcast starting in January 2022, so there will be 26 on the site by the end of the year.

The Wine Road Recipe database is a well-organized database that allows you to search by a variety of categories, including wine pairings.

Both the Wine Road podcast and Wine Road Recipe database are ad free.

With benefits and no annoying ads or pop-ups, it’s time to go check out some new recipes and start cooking.

Heads Up

Wine & Food Affair is the first weekend in November. If you’re a serious foodie who loves wine, or a wine lover that enjoys food, this is the event for you. Tickets go on sale September 1st at 9 a.m. PDT, so mark your calendar now.

Happy Sipping!

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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