Estate-grown, Sustainably-farmed, Field-blended Wines

Food & Wine Pairing

Axiom - Syrah

Angel's Oaxacan Mole' Negro

This amazing recipe from chef Jeff Mall of Zin Restaurant in Healdburg pairs perfectly with Acorn Syrah.

  • 4 oz. dried chiles negros (chiles mulato)
  • 2 oz. dried ancho chiles
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1/4 c. white sesame seeds
  • ½ t. cumin seed
  • 3/4 c. corn oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • ¼ c. raw peanuts
  • ¼ c. whole almonds (raw)
  • 1 slices bread
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • ¼ c. walnuts
  • 1½ t. dried oregano
  • 1½ t. dry thyme
  • 2 qt. chicken stock
  • ¼ c. raisins
  • ¾ t. cinnamon
  • 1 tablet Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Stem the chiles, and slit open and remove seeds. Toast chiles in a dry skillet over medium high heat. Set aside.
  2. Peel most of the papery skin from the garlic head. Roast on grill until it blackens, about 15 minutes. Char the tomato the same way.
  3. Using a pair of tongs, char the tortilla over an open flame until it is well toasted. Let cool, then grind in mortar.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds and cumin seeds a dry skillet over moderate heat. Grind together in a mortar.
  5. Heat a large skillet with the oil and caramelize the onion. Remove from oil and set aside. Add the peanuts, almonds and walnuts to the oil and fry until golden brown. Toast the bread slices on both sides, remove. Add more oil if necessary. Fry the plantain, remove.
  6. Place chiles in food processor with garlic (remove tough core and root), sesame & cumin mix, oregano, thyme, and some of the stock. Puree.
  7. Add ¼ cup of the oil to the frying skillet and heat. Add the chile puree, stirring often to prevent sticking, and cook about 20 minutes.
  8. Puree the caramelized onions, peanuts, almonds, bread, plantain, walnuts, raisins, tortilla and cinnamon. Add enough stock to create a puree. Combine with chile mixture and remaining stock, cook over low heat for 15 minutes, season to taste. Add chocolate and stir until melted.
  9. Season to taste with salt.

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Acorn Squash Crostini with Parmesan and Truffle Oil

We enjoy this delicious appetizers created by Chef Ruben Gomez with all of our wines, but the combination of the truffle oil and the Dolcetto is magical.

  • 2 Acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes, about 3 lbs.
  • 4 oz. fresh ginger peeled, minced
  • 1 t. ground clove, just a pinch
  • 1 t. cinnamon, ground
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • (Toast the three spices above together in a dry sauté pan)
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 4 oz. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 baguettes cut at a bias, ½ inch thick
  • 8 oz. parmesan cheese, use the best ingredients you can, it makes a difference with simple recipes
  • 2 oz. white truffle oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450˚. In a large bowl toss squash, sugar, ginger and all spices together. Season mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and cook squash until golden brown, and tender (approximately 12-18 minutes).
  2. Toss baguette slices in olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Lay out flat on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown (approximately 8-14 minutes).
  3. Place roasted acorn squash in a large bowl and mash (by hand is best) into a puree or until a smooth consistency is formed. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  4. With a potato peeler shave parmesan cheese.
  5. To Serve: Spread squash puree onto baguette toasts, about 1 tsp. per Crostini. Top with parmesan cheese and drizzle lightly with truffle oil.
  6. NOTE: Go lightly on the truffle oil – a little goes a long way.
  7. The puree can be stored covered in the fridge for a couple of days, and it freezes nicely. It is also is wonderful as a base for mushroom risotto.

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Acorn Squash Blue Cheese Tart

Our friends at zazu restaurant created this amazing recipe just for us.

For the crust:
  • 1-½ c. flour
  • ½ c. cornmeal
  • ½ t. salt
  • 12 T. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ice water as needed
For the Filling
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • ½ c. Point Reyes blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil for cooking
  1. To make the crust, place the flour, cornmeal, ½ teaspoon salt, and butter in a food processor and pulse to cornmeal consistency. Slowly add the ice water until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400˚
  3. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Add a little oil and salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until soft when pricked with a fork, about 35 minutes. Then scoop out the acorn squash and roughly chop. In a sauté pan at medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil, caramelize the onions, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Roll out the dough for desired tart pan or pans to 1/8 inch thick. Line the pans with dough and prick with a fork. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake until just beginning to be golden about 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the paper and beans.
  5. Turn down the oven to 350˚.
  6. Generously sprinkle the crust with the caramelized onions, roasted acorn squash, and blue cheese.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and cream and season with salt ad pepper. Pour the custard into the shells and bake in the oven until set when shaken, about 45 minutes (it really depends on your oven)

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Chicken Cacciatore with Acorn Squash on Soft Polenta

A great Italian favorite with a slight twist from Zin Restaurant's chef Jeff Mall.

  • 4 lbs. chicken thighs
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. diced bacon
  • 4 c. diced yellow onions
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 Acorn Squash, Peeled and cut medium dice
  • 1 T. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-28 oz. can Italian tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ c. Acorn Sangiovese
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • ½ c. oil cured black olives, pitted
  • ½ c. Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 c. chicken stock
      1. Season chicken with kosher salt and black pepper, and toss in red wine vinegar. Let marinate for 1 hour. Remove chicken and pat dry with a towel.
      2. Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil, add the bacon and brown. Add the chicken, skin side down, to the bacon and brown each thigh on both sides.
      3. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and the chicken from the pan. Drain off half of the fat.
      4. Add the onions, garlic, squash and mushrooms to the pan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the thyme, rosemary, tomatoes, wine and stock. Bring to a boil.
      5. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
      6. Remove lid from pan, add the olives and parsley and cook 5 minutes more.
      7. Skim fat from top of sauce and season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
      8. Serve on top of soft polenta.

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Mushroom and Goat Cheese Focaccia Bread

Although this bread goes with all of our wines, it is an ideal pairing with our Sangiovese.

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Focaccia Bread
Although this bread goes with all of our wines, it is an ideal pairing with our Sangiovese.

Makes 48 appetizer pieces or 24 dinner size pieces

  • 1 lbs. chopped mixed fresh mushrooms
  • 4 T. butter
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. chopped shallots
  • 14 oz. dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 cup Acorn Sangiovese
  • Thyme, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. bread flour
  • ½ T. olive oil, plus about 2-3 oz. the garlic oil for brushing after the bread is baked
  • ½ oz. dry active yeast
  • 1-1/3 c. warm water
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/3 oz. kosher salt
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 8-10 peeled garlic cloves that have been gently boiled in the cup of oil for 15 minutes (note you will be using the both the cloves and the oil.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. crumbled goat cheese
  1. Heat butte and oil in sauté pan. Add fresh mushrooms and shallots and cook down to thick paste (about 15 minutes). Add reconstituted wild mushrooms, and their liquid, and cook down to thick sauce. Season to taste, and set aside
  1. In mixing bowl, mix yeast, sugar, and water till dissolved. Let rest in a warm place till bubbly (about 15 minutes). Add herds, garlic, flour and oil: mix till dough forms a ball. Sprinkle in salt the last minute of kneading. At this point if you are kneading by hand, do so for 20 minutes on well floured board. If by machine, mix at medium speed for 5 minutes or longer till dough is sticky but has lots of elasticity. Spread over a well-oiled ½ sheet pan, oil top of bread, so it won’t stick to plastic). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place till doubled in size. Remove plastic, and save it. With your fingertips gently spread the to the edges of the pan, poke and push at the same time, leaving dimples in the dough to catch the topping and olive oil you will add later. Recover with saved plastic wrap and let rise a second time till dough rises slightly above the pan. Remove plastic. Preheat oven to 375. Brush bread with reserved garlic oil. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temp. At this point, can be topped and finished immediately, or covered and refrigerated, to be topped and baked the next day. Or cover with fresh plastic wrap and foil, to freeze for up to one month.
To assemble
  1. Spread the Duxelles evenly over the bread, and sprinkle with 1 cup crumbled goat cheese.
To bake
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 20 or so till cheese is melted. Cool slightly before cutting.

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Rosemary Mushroom Blue Cheese Focaccia Bread

Chef Matthew Eager, of Eager to Please Catering, developed this recipe to pair with our Sangiovese. It also works with with all of our wines, including our Rosato.

Serving size: 40

Preparation Time: 2:10

  • 3 lbs. bread flour
  • 1 oz. salt
  • 1 ½ ounces dry yeast
  • 4 oz. olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 qt. warm water
  • 1 yellow onion-sliced
  • 2 lbs. fresh wild mushrooms-sliced (remove dirt from mushrooms with a towel, do not wash mushrooms)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 t. fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley—chopped
  • 2 c. Acorn Sangiovese
  • 1-lb. blue cheese-crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation Method
  1. Mix warm water and yeast together; add a pinch of sugar, if desired, let stand till foamy. In a mixer, combine flour, garlic and rosemary. Add oil and yeast mixture, start mixing on lowest setting. When dough forms a ball, add salt and turn to higher setting to knead for 5 minutes. Turn dough onto oiled sheet pan, brush with additional olive oil, stretch dough as much as possible to the shape of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place till dough doubles in size. Remove plastic carefully. Bake at 375 until golden brown. Brush with additional olive oil.
  1. Sauté the onions in butter and olive oil until golden brown over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add garlic, thyme and parsley and sauté until fragrant-about one minute. Add mushrooms and sauté covered until mushroom juices have reduced, leaving a glaze over the mushrooms. Deglaze with wine and reduce until syrupy. Top the Focaccia with mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese; bake until cheese is melted.
Cut and serve.
  1. The topping can be made a couple of days in advance and then spread on the top of freshly baked Focaccia. Focaccia freezes well for up to one month then bake.

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Acorn Winery's Cranberry Sangiovese Soup

This soup was developed by Betsy, and inspired by food writer Michele Anna Jordon. Thank you Michele.

This is a very rough recipe. You can adapt as desired.

  • 1 Bag of Cranberries
  • 1 c. of water
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 3 c. Sangiovese (or more to taste)
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • Cloves (if desired)
  1. Simmer cranberries in water until skins pop, about 10 minutes. Put in blender or processor, and blend until smooth. Return to pan, add sugar, ½ wine and cloves. Simmer another 10 minutes. Add orange juice and the remaining wine. Simmer again.

We think it is wonderful this way, served with a bit of sour cream or crème fraiche. Or you can strain it and reheat it before serving.

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Duck, Olive and Wild Mushroom Ragu on Acorn Squash Polenta

Chef Jeff Mall, from Zin Restaurant, has out done himself with this recipe that draws from the bounty of Sonoma County. A great dish to take the chill of a fall or winter day.

Serves 4.

  • 4 whole duck legs
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ½ lb. mixed wild mushrooms
  • 4 shallots minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 c. pitted green olives, sliced in half
  • 1½ c. Acorn Heritage Vines Zinfandel
  • 1½ c. duck or chicken stock
  • 1 c. San Marzano canned tomatoes, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  1. Season duck legs with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat with the oil. Sear the duck legs skin side down until browned. Turn over and sear. Remove legs from pan.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in the pan juices with the garlic, shallot and thyme. When mushroom have released most of their juices, and the Zin and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  3. Return legs to the pan and add the tomatoes and olives.
  4. Cover and reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Skim fat from sauce, season with salt and pepper. Serve over acorn squash polenta. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Acorn Squash Polenta
  • 2 c. diced acorn squash, blanched
  • 3 c. water
  • ¾ c. polenta
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • Salt to taste
  1. Bring water to a boil with the butter and pinch of salt. Rain in the polenta while stirring.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. Add squash and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pair with Acorn Heritage Vines Zinfandel or Axiom Syrah

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New Mexico Harvest Stew with Acorn Squash

Chef Susan Mall, from Zin Restaurant and Eastside Farms, shared this recipe with us. It is the perfect autumn dish, featuring all the wonderful flavors of New Mexico and pairs beautifully with our Heritage Vines Zinfandel.

When Susan Mall make this dish at home, she use peppers and squash from her farm. She also use chilies that she orders from Hatch, New Mexico.

To roast the tomatoes, place them in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and blacken under the broiler, then puree the tomatoes well.

Serves 8

  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 5½ lbs. pork shoulder, fat trimmed and bones removed, meat cut into 2” chunks (about 4 lb. of meat)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • ½ t. dried oregano
  • 2 c. Acorn Zinfandel
  • 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 10 tomatoes roasted and pureed (see above note)
  • 5 green chilies, hatch or poblano, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium Acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Warm tortillas for serving
  • Cooked pinto beans for serving
In large Dutch oven, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides. Transfer to a bowl.

Drain the excess fat from the pan and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring to scrape the browned bits from the pan bottom. Sprinkle with the cumin and oregano. Return the pork to the pan and add the wine, canned tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and chilies. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, for 1 hour. Add the squash and cook until the pork is tender about 1 hour more.

If there is too much liquid in the pan, increase the heat, bring the stew to a boil and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until the liquid is reduced to the desired consistency. Add the corn and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve the stew with warmed tortillas and pinto beans.

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Red Eye Pulled Pork and Stone Ground Grits

"The deep rich flavors in this dish are a perfect match with Acorn’s Heritage Vines Zinfandel from Alegría Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The wine’s well-balanced palate and complexity, which comes from the diversity of grapes in the vineyard, nicely complements the flavors of the slow cooked pork, melded with the diverse ingredients of the sauce. This dish has plenty of flavor, but it’s not overly spicy. Just as the Alicante and Petite Sirah in the wine bring the Zinfandel into focus, the brewed coffee in the braising liquid hits the base notes, while the catsup and vinegar bring the dish into balance." Chef Jeff Mall, owner ZIN Restaurant & Wine Bar

Serves 8

  • 3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder cut into 2” cubes
  • ¼ dry rub for BBQ (Your favorite recipe or brand)
  • 3 c. brewed black coffee
  • 2 c. Acorn Heritage Vine Zinfandel
  • 2 c. catsup
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 T. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
Dredge pork in dry rub and salt and pepper. Let marinate overnight. Heat oil in heavy bottom pot. Sear pork in oil until well browned, almost black. Add coffee Zinfandel, catsup, stock, Tabasco, and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cover pot with tight fitting lid, turn heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours. Let meat cool slightly in liquid. Remove meat from the braising liquid and skim fat from the top of the pot. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is reduced by ½. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Shred pork with your fingers and mix with some of the sauce. Serve over grits.

Stone Ground Grits Ingredients
  • 12 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 c. stone ground grits
  • Salt and pepper
Bring stock, cream, butter, garlic and Tabasco to a boil. Stir in grits in a steady stream while whisking. Turn heat to low and cook for 40 minutes stirring every once in a while. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pork can be prepared in advance and reheated.

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Photo: Francis X. Morse