2016 Wineclub Appreciation Party (and Andy’s Rib Recipe)

Every year after harvest we pause and give thanks to our wine club members. These amazing fans support our wines year after year. Not only do they enjoy our wines in their homes, they are our greatest ambassadors, sharing their love of Schweiger with their friends and favorite restaurants. This years’ Wine Club Appreciation Party was such a joy to host. With food pairings provided by Marks the Spot Catering, local artisan cheeses, and smokey ribs prepared by yours truly, the crowd was truly well fed. Additionally, the crowd was entertained by guitarist Nate Lopez and sleight of hand master Brian Scott.

Many guests left wanting to know some of my rib secrets. While most pit bosses never give out their rub recipes, I’m going to reveal all…

Andy’s Ribs

  • Three slabs pork baby back ribs (I get mine at Costco: high/consistent quality, fair price).
  • 12 oz of your favorite commercial bbq sauce.
  • AndyRub
    • ¼ cup smoked paprika
    • 2 TBSP Smoked Salt
    • 3 TBSP turbinado sugar
    • 1 ½ TBSP ground dried chipotle
    • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • Rinse ribs well with water. Leave membrane on the lower side, but using a sharp boxcutter (why ruin a perfectly good knife), cut through the membrane between each bone. I leave this membrane on as it adds to the collagen we will be breaking down and collecting.
  • Combine Rub ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Coat the ribs liberally on both sides with rub.
  • Wrap the ribs tightly in heavy duty foil and refrigerate overnight to 24 hours (dry brine).
  • Preheat oven to 275F
  • After resting, lay ribs meat side down. With a fork, make small perforations at the bone tips, about four each side. Flip back over onto a deep, foil lined baking sheet (I use deeper disposable aluminum trays. These holes allow collagen and excess fat to drain onto pan. Do not over crowd/overlap ribs.
  • Bake for three hours. If your oven has a convection fan, use it!
  • At this point you can either finish the ribs or store them for future: open the foil, allow ribs to cool, and rewrap in foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days or vacuum pack and freeze for up to 6 months. After refrigerating, allow 30 mins at room temperature before grilling. If frozen, put in refrigerator overnight, then 30 minutes room temperature.
  • Collect all drippings from pan in a mason jar. Refrigerate until collagen sets. Remove “Hockey Puck” of yellowish fat (don’t throw this away…this makes an amazing seasoning fat for Brussel sprouts or other vegetables). Reheat collagen until liquid and combine 4 oz with 12 oz of commercial bbq sauce.
  • Prepare a medium heat fire on grill.
  • Grill meat side down for about 5 minutes, flip, brush on bbq sauce. Continue grilling meat side up for 5 minutes. Flip, turning 90 degrees, allowing sauce to carmelize but do not let it burn. Return meat side up after another five minutes, brush on more sauce and ready to enjoy!

Sally Schweiger’s Cabernet Marinade

If you’ve been to one of our Wine Club Parties (What? You haven’t been? Well join us for the next one!) you’ve seen Fred Schweiger manning the BBQ, grilling his now legendary flat iron. When people RSVP, people literally ask me “Will Fred be grilling again??” and if you’ve had it, you know what I’m talking about. It’s classic: tender, juicy, and flavorful~ grilled just right, and he credits the marinade. What’s in it, you wonder? Well, ask no more! Mrs. Sally Schweiger has given me the recipe to her incredible marinade. Of course we suggest you pair whatever you make with a glass of Schweiger Cabernet. Enjoy.

This will be enough marinde for *UP TO* 1.5 lbs of steak, whichever cut you prefer.

1/3 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup Schweiger Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons Sally’s Steak Seasoning*

*Sally’s Steak Seasoning:
1.5 tablespoons kosher salt**
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon crushed coriander
**Remember with the salt that 1.5 tablespoons of Kosher salt provides less salt than two tablespoons of regular salt. It’s flaky; takes less to fill a spoon. If you use regular salt, this would definitely be too salty~ adjust accordingly!

Fred likes a nice Flat Iron cut but this marinade is also delicious on any cut- Tri Tip, Flank, even kabobs. Sprinkle Sally’s Steak Seasoning on both sides of your steak and let it rest. In the meantime, pour youself a glass of Schweiger wine. Add the soy and Cabernet into a gallon ziplock bag, and then put your meat in as well. Seal the bag and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour, before grilling to your preference. Cheers!

Burgers stuffed with Brie and Spicy Scallion Pesto, paired with Schweiger Merlot

Remember that friend of yours who seems to get along with every crowd, in any situation?

In the world of fine wine, that friend is MERLOT. A lot of people quote that one *unfortunate* line in Sideways, a movie otherwise loved by wine drinkers. The truth is Merlot is a classic varietal that pairs well with all sorts of fare thanks to her fruit forward, easy drinking character. In fact, the most widely planted grape in France’s Bordeaux region isn’t Cabernet Sauvignon; it’s Merlot. The warm, gradual summers of the Napa Valley are ideal for this grape. Below is a recipe to pair with our Winemaker Andy’s rendition of this classic varietal that grows so beautifully in this mineralistic Spring Mountain terroir.

Burgers stuffed with Brie and Spicy Scallion Pesto

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces Brie, rind removed, cheese cut into 4 slices (We love Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam Triple Cream)
1/4 cup Spicy Scallion Pesto (see below)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 hamburger buns, split (Up the ante! Use pretzel buns!)
Tomato slices and lettuce, for serving

Spicy Scallion Pesto
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh hot chile (or jalapeno), seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

First, get your grill ready while having a glass of Schweiger wine.

Prepare the Spicy Scallion Pesto:

In a small bowl, combine scallions, garlic, chile, lemon zest, cayenne, olive oil and salt using a miniblender )or mortar and pestle if you’re fancy). Mashing or a rigorous stir will also do.

Next, the burgers:

Season the ground beef with salt and pepper.
Form into eight 4-inch patties that are slightly thicker in the center.
Top 4 of the patties with a slice of Brie and a spoonful of the Spicy Scallion Pesto; then top with the 4 remaining patties, pinching the edges to seal.
Brush the burgers with oil and grill over high heat, turning once or twice, about 8 minutes for medium-rare meat.

Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the remaining Spicy Scallion Pesto. Grill the buns until toasted.

Spread the mayonnaise/pesto mixture on the bottoms of the buns and top with the burgers, tomatoes and lettuce. Close the burgers and serve with a glass of Schweiger Vineyards Merlot! Cheers!