By Denise Koujouzian
As the leaves begin to turn, and a cool nip can be felt in the air, the feelings of fall envelope me. This is, by far, my favorite time of the year, and a great time to barbecue. I plan to create a pairing for dinner tonight and grill in the evening breeze. But I have a dilemma. What wine to choose? Should I start with the dish and pair from there? Or choose a favorite wine and decide on the perfect recipe to accompany this delectable treat? On this occasion I decide to start with the wine. As I let my fingers walk over each bottle, I stop, pause, and gently pull a few out one-by-one. I hold the cool glass in both hands, admire the label, and recall the day I brought this wine home with me. I can generally remember these wine road trips easily, as my collection is not large.
For this particular evening, I choose House Family 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep aromas of cherry and tobacco swirl on your palate with chocolate and spices. This gorgeous wine will pair perfectly with a Grilled Porterhouse Steak and a Medley of Sautéed Wild Mushrooms. I recently picked up this bottle of cabernet sauvignon when I visited with Dave House and Devyani Kamdar of House Family, and spent a beautiful afternoon sipping wine at the Winery’s newly built tasting room. Perched atop the family vineyards and estate, the tasting room offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Silicon Valley. One can easily settle into a comfortable couch inside the open-air tasting room or enjoy the vistas from the tables outside. Renowned for their cabernet sauvignon as well as for chardonnay, merlot, and pinot noir, House Family is a beautiful destination that beckons just beyond the San Francisco Peninsula. A perfect way to spend a fall afternoon!
House Family Winery is located at 13336 Old Oak Way in Saratoga Calif.
For tasting room hours and events visit www.housefamilywinery.com or call 800-975-7191. Children and dogs on leashes are welcome, and picnics are encouraged.
Grilled Porterhouse with a Medley of Sautéed Mushrooms
A Porterhouse steak is my favorite cut, you get the best of both worlds – a N.Y. strip and a filet that is large enough to share. Top it off with a medley of fruity chanterelles, peppery oysters, a meaty portobello, and a handful of smoky shiitakes to finish off this grilled delight.
3 porterhouse steaks, serves 3-6 people
1 cup each shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, and portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh picked thyme leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup House Family 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Start the grill.
Salt and pepper both sides of the porterhouse steaks, and set aside to let your steaks warm up a bit – just enough to take the refrigerator chill off of them.
Preheat a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add butter, oil, shallots, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let cook for one to two minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, a generous pinch of salt and pepper and cook down for five to seven minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cook down for another three to five minutes to reduce in half. Cover and set aside.
Once the grill is preheated, lay the steaks on the grill over a high heat if you want them cooked rare. The meat will sear on the outside, leaving the inside bloody. Lower the heat if you want them to continue to cook within. Rotate the steaks 45 degrees in both directions, and then flip as needed. You can use your finger to determine doneness by feeling the firmness of the steak. Remove steaks from the grill, set aside to rest.
Plate the steaks, top with a generous scoop of the sautéed mushroom medley, and serve with a glass of the House Family 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is available on the House Family Website for $46.