Scenes From A December First Friday

We look very forward to EVERY First Friday event, but the December edition, being the last of the year, is always greeted with just that little extra bit of anticipation. It’s a special one, and we look forward to it, and we enjoy it.


This year’s rendition was every bit as special as we hoped it would be, and we wish to thank everyone who joined us for making it a most magical evening!

To the wines, we say thank you! (It was our great pleasure to showcase two of our wonderful holiday offerings: the Estate Red & White Pack, and the From Our Library Pack. Plus, we previewed the new ATP release, the 2010 Lytton Estate Zinfandel!)

To our chefs, we say thank you! (The very wonderful Kathy and Ingrid joined us, and served up some remarkable dishes for everyone to enjoy with the wines; it’s hard to say which dish I liked best, but in the interest of choosing one to lead with, please see below for a fantastic recipe!)

To the Torre Winery Barn, we say thank you! (What a lovely and toasty-warm location to host a cold and rainy night event!)

To Eric Baugher, we say thank you! (Such a treat for all to have our esteemed winemaker in the house, tasting wines, and chatting with guests!)

And most of all, to our guests, we say THANK YOU!!!! What a perfect conclusion to a perfect year of perfect events with perfect guests! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Please see below for a small selection of event images, and for a recipe from the evening’s culinary offerings, courtesy of Kathy and Ingrid:





1 cup toasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped

1 cup dried porcini mushrooms

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 lb white or brown button mushrooms

1 medium onion, minced

4 sprigs fresh marjoram , pick leaves and finely chop

1 large bay leaf

1 ½ tsp ground allspice

pinch of ground cloves

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 ½ tsp salt to taste

8 Tbsp butter (one stick), room temperature


Use the food processor to finely chop the macadamia nuts. Set them aside

Put the dried porcini in a bowl and reconstitute with 2 cups of boiling water. When they are ready carefully take the mushrooms out of the water, there will be silt/sand in the bottom of the bowl. Chop the mushrooms into a very small dice and strain the steeping liquid and set aside.

Stem the button mushrooms and rough chop them. Put them in the food processor and pulse until they are minced.

Heat a heavy bottom large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the minced onion, spices, and herbs and cook for 3-5 minutes. Careful not to let the onions brown. Add the minced button mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, brown the mixture and cook out all the water. 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped porcini and macadamia nuts along with the reserved steeping liquid. Continue to stir occasionally and allow the liquid to cook out.  5-10 minutes. It is done when the mixture has no visible liquid and begins to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan. Turn the mixture out into a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut the softened butter into small pieces and stir them to the pate a few pieces at a time until it is all incorporated. Finally, spoon the mixture into a serving dish and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Serve spread on crostini, crackers, or festive endive leaves.

Categories: Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Monte Bello, Offerings, RIDGE Staff, Tasting Events/Opportunities, Tasting Flights, Tasting Rooms, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine & Food Pairing, Wine & The Holidays, Wine Clubs

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