Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Gruyère Gougères -- A Great White Wine Pairing

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

I can't think of a better time than the holidays to do a food and wine pairing. I was sent two wines from the Robert Mondavi Private Selection --  their Sauvignon Blanc and their Pinot Noir -- and asked to come up with a recipe that would go well with one of them.

I enjoyed both wines. The Sauvignon Blanc has a bright and fresh feel with strong citrus notes. The Pinot Noir has a rich berry flavor, smooth tannins, and a full and round finish.

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

I chose the Savignon Blanc to pair. Because of its lightness, I wanted to create a recipe that was light in texture but rich in flavor. That's why I chose gougères, which are small savory French pastries filled with cheese. They are like biting into little puffs of cheese-y heaven. :)

I added some holiday herbs (sage, rosemary, savory, and thyme) to the recipe to give it a wintery feel, and used Gruyère and Emmentaler cheese to give it an earthy, salty flavor.



  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon herb mix (rosemary, thyme, sage, savory)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup grated Emmantaler
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk


Preheat the oven to 425F

Add 1/2 cup white wine, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 cup of cubed butter to a sauce pan. Heat it on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the butter is completely melted, and it just starts to boil. Take the pan off the stove, and stir in the flour. Put the pan back on the stove on medium heat, and stir for about 1 minute. The dough should be starting to leave thin film on the bottom of the pan when it is done.

Move the dough from the pan to a mixing bowl (careful, it is hot). Beat on low with an electric mixer for 1 minute. You'll see it released a lot of steam. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time. It is important to add each egg individually and mix until incorporated to ensure a good rise. After all the eggs are in, mix in the cheese. Set aside about 1.4 cup of teh cheese to use as a topping. Last, mix in the diced herbs.  We use a mix of thyme, sage, rosemary, and savory.

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat, or parchment paper. Spoon out walnut size balls of dough, or use a pastry bag to pipe them onto the baking sheet. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and brush onto the gougères. Sprinkle a little of the cheese on top.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425F, then turn down the oven and bake for another 20 minutes at 350F. They should be brown and crisp on the outside.

Makes about two dozen.

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

The Gougères paired beautifully with the Sauvignon Blanc. They turned out crunchy on the outside, light and airy on the inside.

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

Herb Emmental Gruyere Gougeres Recipe

I was also asked to share some of my  "do's and don'ts" for entertaining over the holidays. My main piece of advice is to find ways to reduce your stress. I tend to get stressed over the holidays, so I'm always looking for shortcuts. Therefore, I recommend preparing as much as you can beforehand and freezing it. Also, think about hosting your party between mealtimes, so you can just serve hors d'oeuvres and desserts and skip a main course. Finally, I'm a big fan of a signature cocktail, which is always a fun surprise for your guests, and reduces your need for a full bar.

And finally, keep in mind the goal of your party, which is to create a warm and joyous environment to get friends and family together. So please don't sweat the small stuff, and, remember... it's all small stuff. (I'm constantly reminding myself of this.)

Robert Mondavi Private Selection offers something authentic, true to Mr. Mondavi's legacy of making great quality, expressive wines from California's Central Coast. Connect with us on Facebook for more:

Please enjoy our wines responsibly.

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Robert Mondavi Private Selection via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Robert Mondavi Private Selection.

{DIY} Outdoor Wine Glass Holders


wineglass stakes (6 of 10)

Talk about creative! Nicole from Tikkido and Tradewind Tiaras is back with this ingenious DIY as a way to help you bring a little romance back into your relationship! 

Picnic season is nearly upon us. One of my favorite easy "date nights" with my husband is to walk with the family to a nearby park, set up a picnic blanket, and enjoy dinner and conversation and a glass of wine as the girls play on the playground.  It's nice to get a little bit of romance and quiet adult time, even when we don't have a babysitter.


  • Heavy Duty Pliers (I use lineman's pliers)
  • Thick bamboo skewer
  • Floral grapevine wire
  • hot glue gun
  • silk flowers (optional)


First, cut a 30" length of the grapevine wire (available in the craft department of major craft stores).  Bend 8 to 9 inches back over itself, and twist to create a double-strong length of wire at one end.  Leave about an inch of the wire sticking out like a tail.  Wrap the single-thickness portion of the wire tightly around the bamboo skewer, starting at the non-pointy end (you want to leave the pointy end free to push into the grass).


Coil the double-thickness portion of wire into an open C shape that gets wider as it spirals upwards so the wine glass can sit nicely in it.

wineglass stakes (5 of 10) The wire should be pretty secure already, but I give it a little extra permanence with my hot glue gun.  Embellish with a few silk flowers, if desired.

wineglass stakes (9 of 10)

wineglass stakes (10 of 10)

These wine glass holders take only a few minutes to make, and are such a wonderful tool to use on a picnic.  What's your favorite way to bring a little romance to an average evening?

My way, Nicole, is for my husband and I to ask each other what made our day special and really listen.

To learn more about Nicole (who enjoys decorating cakes but not eating them, Irish dancing, public radio, Old English language and archaeology, and geekery of all sorts), visit her at Tikkido and Tradewind Tiaras.

Sterling Vineyards Contest 4: “Evening with Friends – Host’s Choice”

The fourth and final Sterling Vineyards Ultimate Host Challenge has just begun, and if you love wine and entertaining, you will love this challenge because it's Host's Choice!

For this challenge, entrants are free to design their own wine tasting for guests (21 years of age or older) featuring any four of the Sterling Vintner’s Collection wines. Your job is to host a traditional wine and cheese tasting or get creative and design your own unique tasting experience for friends.

You can use video, photos, and text and tell us all about what you did. The more creative the better...

And remember, the winners of each of the four contest rounds will be flown to NYC to compete in the finale coming up in early December, and the grand prize winner will receive $25,000 plus two trips to California, and be crowned Sterling's Ultimate Host!

Get pairing!! This contest began on October 29, 2012 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on November 12, 2012. Head to the Sterling Ultimate Host Facebook page for all the details.

Sterling Utimate Host Challenge 3: "Music Match"

Challenge 3 for the search for the Sterling Vineyards Ultimate Host is all about the music!

The goal here is to create the ultimate "party playlist." It can be a dance party soundtrack, a dinner party soundtrack, or a romantic soundtrack for an evening for two.  Just let the music guide you...

To enter, build an entire evening using your music as inspiration. How would you pair your decor, food and Sterling wine with the right  playlist? Please share your parties using video, photos, and/or a text descriptions. I can't wait to see what you do and the songs you choose.

Remember, the grand prize winner will receive $25,000 in cash plus a trip to Sterling Vineyards in Napa, CA and trip to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival. Seriously, these prizes are insane, plus you get a trip to NYC to compete in the finale (and meet Padma). There is really no reason not to enter!!

To learn more and get all the details, head to the Sterling Vineyards Facebook page.

Sterling Utimate Host Challenge 2: "Sterling Wine and Dessert Pairings"

The second Sterling Vineyards Ultimate Host Challenge has just begun, and if you love pairing wine and desserts, this challenge is for you!

To enter, just invite friends, family, or a significant other over (all guests must be at least 21) for an evening of sweet treats and wines from Sterling's Napa Valley collection.

How creative and exciting can you make your pairings? What would you pair with an oaky Chardonnay or a robust Cab? I can't wait to see (yep, I'm one of the judges)...

Document what you do with video or photos and tell us all about it. The more mouth-watering and interesting the better...

And remember, the winners of each of the four contest rounds will be flown to NYC to compete in the finale, and the winner will receive $25,000 plus other great prizes, and be crowned Sterling's Ultimate Host!

Get pairing!! Contest 2 ends October 9th. Head to the Sterling Ultimate Host Facebook page for all the details.


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