Fitness, Food, Wine & Travel

Posts tagged “casque wines

Valentine’s Day Gift Roundup!

Hello, Sweethearts! I have compiled a few Valentine-themed events & gift ideas that l find lovely and delightful, and I would like to pass them on to you!




Casque Wines
and Cupid have teamed up to create the perfect gift for your special someone.  They teamed up with Chef Joe at the Flower Farm Cafe who is busy baking and decorating these delicious (and beautiful) Cake-Pops.  They paired them with some of our favorite wines and added a couple of stemmed glasses for the perfect gift!This Friday, Saturday and Sunday (February 8-10), they will be offering the following special: 2 Cake-Pops, 2 Stemmed Casque Glasses, and Bottle of your Choice ~  Sauvignon Blanc, Calotte Blanc or Vermentino for only $28. The Cake-Pops will also be available individually for $1.50 each. Stop by this weekend for some Cake-Pops and Casque!

With the perfect mix of scrumptious, decadent flavor, SMIRNOFF Kissed Caramel Flavored Vodka possesses a seductive aroma to complement its smooth caramel flavor while its counterpart, SMIRNOFF Iced Cake Flavored Vodka, offers a light, sweet aroma met with a refreshing, smooth iced cake flavor.These luscious and tastefully satisfying new flavors from the world’s #1 premium vodka are sure to add a nice touch of sweet romance to anyone’s Valentine’s Day.
Here’s a drink recipe featuring the Smirnoff Iced Cake vodka:
CUPID’S KISS: ½ oz. Smirnoff Iced Cake, ½ oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, ½ oz. Chambord. Directions: Add ingredient in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into martini
glass. Add white chocolate to rim.
Andy, will you have that ready for me when I get home from work on Thursday? 😛

He loves me, he loves me not…It’s complicated. If your relationship is dark, yet spicy and complex with many layers, then Sobon Zinfandel Fiddletown is the wine for you! If you thought your relationship was complicated, this full-bodied red will have your palette changing its relationship status.

A stunning multi-faceted wine featuring intriguing aromas and flavors of spice, black currant, plum, smoky oak and a dusty-cherry component typical of the Fiddletown area. Massive and full-bodied, with an impressive, complex finish. Sustainably farmed. Thanks to Total Wine & More for the feature!

Stark Raving wines by Rosenblum Cellars. Stark Raving wines are playful and bold blends that prove a little dose of madness can lead— nay, will lead – to extraordinary things. Four inspired varietals including: ”Red,” “White” “Cab,” and “Malbec,” have hit shelves nationally, inciting wine lovers to get out of the comfort zone and explore some daring new wine choices. As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”


Buy your Valentine tickets to the Piatti Ristorante Anniversary party on February 25th! Tickets are only $25 per person and can be purchased here. The party will feature creative bites from Piatti Executive Chef Lance Carlini, distinctive wines, craft beers, a special cocktail bar and live music from Natalie Klempau & The Knockouts. Proceeds from the event will benefit Assistance League of Sacramento. It’s a great way to try several things on the menu and check out the renovated space, while giving to a great cause!




Nugget Market
is pretty much a one-stop Valentine’s shop! You can pick up these truffles made my Truffle Gateau.  Handmade locally, these chocolates are made with fresh ingredients and are designed to be paired with a variety of wines and cheeses.
Here are a few other products and recipes Nugget Market is featuring this week!
Natural Vines
are made from all natural ingredients and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup —  the licorice is naturally sweetened with cane sugar. Available in two flavors, Black and Strawberry. They were a big hit amongst my coworkers!
Sahale Snacks (Pronounced sah-HA-lee SNAX) sent me this little goody box complete with a reusable fabric bag and an aluminum bottle. Go for the Pistachio Pomegranate, it’s pretty much like crack in a bag. It’s sweet and salty and spicy. Mmmm. You can buy Sahale Snacks online here, and never even have to change out of your jammies. 😉 BTW: Their production facility and products are certified gluten-free! 🙂
Brix Chocolates: the first chocolate designed to complement wine. This collection is just $25.99 and available through their website. It contains a full pound of premium Brix Chocolate in all four varieties, the Brix Collection features 4-4 ounce bars of Milk, Smooth Dark, Medium Dark and Extra Dark varieties, and include a full page chocolate-and-wine tasting guide.Suggested Wine Pairings: Milk Chocolate: Port, Sherry, Rose, Burgundy • Smooth Dark: Champagne, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Vintage Port • Med Dark: Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Chianti, Rhone• Extra Dark: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barolo, Malbec


Char Crust® Dry Rub Seasonings: First created in 1957 at their family’s fine Chicago steakhouse, Al Farber’s. Every steak we served was the best prime meat, dry-aged in coolers. Every steak was seared to juicy perfection with their signature Char Crust® dry-rub seasoning. And now it is available to the public! It’s the only rub that “Seals in the Juices!®”
My favorite flavor (and the newest in their product line is Java Buzz! Order your favorite flavors here: Get FREE SHIPPING on every order of $24.00 or more, placed between now and midnight, Central Time, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013. Order any combination of items from their website: Char Crust® dry-rub seasonings (from hot to mild), aprons, golf shirts, cookbooks, and yes, even, “Rub Your Meat” T-shirts. Nice.




I really dug this recipe for a Chocolate Almond Flour Beet Cake on my friend Julia’s site, The Roasted Root, so I am sharing the link with you. I encourage you to check it out here! If you need a taste tester, I’d be happy to help!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all and thanks to all the product sponsors and advertisers in this post!

Food/Wine Pairing: Spicy Chicken Korma & Casque Sauvignon Blanc


Last night, Andy came over to my house and I made Indian food for the first time. Chicken korma is one of my favorite Indian dishes and I don’t know why it took me this long to make it for him. It’s got a subtle heat that slowly builds. While we were eating, Andy told me it was one of the top 5 things I have ever made for him. Maybe he just wanted something from me after dinner? 😉

Enjoy this dish with a sauvignon blanc or viogier from Casque Wines (Loomis). Today and tomorrow they are participating in the Holiday in the Hills Event at their new tasting room at the Flower Farm – 8920 Horseshoe Bar Road – offering food and wine pairings throughout the weekend along with a logo glass or cloth wine gift bag for all customers that purchase wine. Just bring a new, unwrapped child’s toy to donate for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Toy Drive and wine tasting at ALL 17 participating wineries is FREE for the day. (Cash donations will also be accepted in lieu of a toy). Where: Auburn, Lincoln, Loomis, Newcastle. When: Dec. 8-9, 11 am to 5 pm. Participating Wineries: Bonitata • Casque • Ciotti • Cristaldi • Dono dal Cielo • Fawnridge • Green Family • Lone Buffalo • Mt. Vernon • PaZa • Pescatore • Popie • Rancho Roble • Rock Hill • Secret Ravine • Viña Castellano • Wise Villa

And now the recipe!

2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless and cut in half or thirds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup sweet onions, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cardamom or 1 pod
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon water
1/3 cup golden raisins or currants
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fresh mint (leaves washed and coarsely chopped)
1/4 fresh cilantro (leaves washed and coarsely chopped)
Kosher salt
Fresh black pepper

Toast and chop the walnuts. Set aside.

Heat a large heavy sauce pot over medium high burner and when hot add oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. It will probably take 2 batches to cook all of the chicken. Brown both sides and remove from the pan. Add more oil and repeat until all chicken is seared.

Remove chicken and add onions, carrots, ginger and garlic and sauté until lightly caramelized about 3-4 minutes in the left over fat. Lower heat and add spices. Cook until spices become very fragrant…make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir. Add broth, walnuts and the seared chicken. Bring to a boil then simmer gently until chicken is tender, approximatly 20 minutes. Mix together cornstarch and water. Whisk into simmering chicken. Return to a boil to thicken. Turn off heat, add raisins and stir in yogurt and herbs.

On the side, I made some parsnip chips and some potato wedges and sprinkled them with garam masala and sea salt. I also made some sautéed onions and eggplant, as well as broccoli battered in coconut & almond flour and baked to simulate some of the common deep fried Indian appetizers I crave. 😉

More on Casque Sauvignon Blanc (2011): It is $20 a bottle, and is their inaugural release for this varietal. The wine was cold fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel without being allowed to go through malolactic fermentation, and no oak aging was used. It’s a drink now wine and just proof of the talents of winemaker Kevin Stevenson. The wine went so well with the Chicken Korma, crisp enough to cool, cut through the kick in the dish.

You can find Casque Wines on Facebook here. Cheers! 🙂

The State’s Premier Wine and Food Event is August 18th!

Here’s a press release from my friends at the California State Fair!! 🙂

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2012) – The state’s finest winemakers, vineyards and wineries will be honored on Aug. 18, when California’s Grape & Gourmet – the country’s largest tasting of award-winning wines – returns to Cal Expo.

The 17th annual Grape & Gourmet is a celebration of the prestigious California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition, the oldest wine competition in the United States.

Winners were announced in June and will receive their awards at Grape & Gourmet, prior to the public tasting and wine sales.

The public event is 3-6 p.m. in Cal Expo’s air-conditioned Building A/B. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Online group sales of 10 or more are $35 per person. To purchase tickets, go to

Award-winning wine will be available for sale by the bottle and case. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the California State Fair’s scholarship program, which this year awarded a total of $32,750 to 27 students.

California’s Grape & Gourmet features pours of the State Fair’s medal-winning wines, award-winning beer from the State Fair’s Commercial Craft Brew Competition, award-winning cheese from the Fair’s cheese competition, and samplings of great food from area restaurants.

In this year’s Commercial Wine Competition, 2,890 entries were received from 688 participating wineries. Seventy-two judges on 18 panels awarded 2,156 medals, including 74 Double Gold, 268 Gold, 1,195 Silver and 734 Bronze.

Complete results of the wine competition appear in “California Wine” magazine, a publication of the California State Fair, which will be available at the event and at Save Mart Supermarkets in the near future.

Get your tickets here!!

SPECIAL TREAT (or not)!! Archive post from below!!

Here are a few pics from the event a few years ago. (The last time they had it indoors at Cal Expo, and wayyy before I was Paleo).

Trader Joe’s Loot

Trader Joe’s Mountain of Stilton

Chicken Cones, Red Lion Hotel. It’s chicken, but in a cone, get it? 🙂

Wine in a carton. New home of missing persons ads?

Bread spread by Nugget Markets

Traffic Snarl…

Bread spread from the Bread Store… *who knew there’d be all this bread?*

Neat hops display.

Mason’s ahhh-amazing ahi tuna with broth.

A very yummy rose by Valley of the Moon.

Shout out to the Bread Store for the Ciabatta loaf I scored at the end of the night and the olive loaf they gave to my stunning mystery companion. Mulvaney’s was serving two refreshing sorbets–one with mint, maybe basil in there too? The other one was fig. Both fantastic! 🙂

Placer County Vintners Association Presents the Grape Days of Summer on August 4th and 5th!

The Grape Days of Summer on August 4 & 5, 2012 is Placer County Wine Trail open-house event hosted by Placer County Vintners Association (PCVA).

Enjoy wine tasting and small plates of food at participating wineries along with music and educational experiences along the trail. In addition to each general wine tasting line-up, wineries will provide an educational experience that takes you “From Vine to Wine.” This is something this region has never offered before. Join in on the fun, and taste some great award winning, small production wines, while you learn something from the winemakers themselves.

WHEN: Saturday & Sunday, August 4 & 5
TIME: 11am to 5pm both days
WHERE: Placer County Wine Trail – Auburn, Lincoln, Loomis & Newcastle
COST: $30 advance / $40 door, $10 Designated Driver

PARTICIPATING WINERIES: Bonitata, Casque, Ciotti, Cristaldi, Dono dal Cielo, Fawnridge, Lone Buffalo, Mt. Vernon, Pescatore, Popie, Rancho Roble, Secret Ravine, Vina Castellano and Wise Villa.

ACTIVITIES SUMMARY: Food or music at each winery. Special activities include Vineyard Tours; Cork Presentations; Oak Flavors in Wine; Blending Seminars; Harvest Equipment, Solar Energy, and Sheep in the Vineyard; Placer County Wine History; Vertical Tastings; and Barrel Aging and Sampling.

Purchase tickets by clicking here!

Summer White Wines at 40% Off this Weekend at Casque in Loomis

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Currently one of my favorite things to do is pack a picnic (Paleo, naturally) and head up to Casque Wines for live music. That’s just what we did last weekend. We grilled up a grass-fed ribeye sent to me by Rocky Mountain Organic Meats (chilled it) and put it on top of a salad. I also made salsa and guacamole to go on the side as a sort of dipping sauce. Lime, cilantro, strawberries, then melon for dessert–and a glass of Casque’s newly released Vin Gris rose. Good times!

Stop by the winery this weekend to pick-up a mixed case of 2008 and 2009 summer white wines at 40% off the case.  Wine Club Members get a whopping 50% off.  This deal is available for a limited time so don’t miss out.  All of the wines for sale are award winners!

Quinn Hedges is in the house TONIGHT from 6-9! Feel free to bring your own food or appetizers or  pick-up some tasty yet affordable food from the Gourmet Garage next door and listen to some great live music. I have heard Quinn play before at The Chef’s Table, so I can tell you he’s great!

Casque is Open:  Thursday – Saturday 12noon – 9pm, Sunday 12noon – 5pm at 3273 Swetzer Road in Loomis.  Just 5 minutes from the Horseshoe Bar Exit at I-80. or 916-660-9671.

You can find Casque on Facebook here. You can find Rocky Mountain Organic Meats on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.

California Love Truck Launches to Offer a Restaurant on Wheels Featuring Local Produce and Meats

Just received this press release from my friends at Casque Wines in Loomis. (That’s the home of my favorite wine, a 2008 Roussanne. :)) Come up to the winery on June 30th (next Saturday) and check out the wines and the brand new California Love Truck!    —cg

MoFo Truck will offer Distinctive Ethnic and Comfort Foods to Sacramento and parts of Placer County

The California Love Truck today announces the launch of their mobile food business to focus on distinctive ethnic and comfort food focused on local produce and meat products.  The California Love Truck is the dream of Johnny Breedlove, Jr. who gained his experience in the kitchens of a number of local high end restaurants. His goal is to take his unique mix of comfort and ethnic foods and provide a different twist to offer a restaurant flavor on wheels.

California Love Truck will be supported by Johnny Breedlove and two close friends who are all use to working in tight quarters from their kitchen experience. They will bring their new cuisine primarily to the streets of Sacramento with an occasional trip to Placer County for special events such as their launch party at Casque Wines in Loomis California on June 30th, 2012.  The truck will pull into the patio of this urban winery to introduce people from around the region to their amazing cuisine on wheels paired with some of the region’s top award winning wines from Casque Wines.

  • Breedlove gained his experience working in the kitchens of the Brewster’s Bar & Grill, Café Bernardo, Shady Lady and One Speed Pizza where he mastered the skills of butchering meats, seafood, poultry while prepping vegetables and food items in all mediums of ovens, grills and fryers.  He acquired hands on experience in all methods of broiling, grilling frying, sautéing, with the added skills of portioning, battering, breading, seasoning and marinating. Additionally he has a background in pizza dough and sauces.  In some of those stints he learned the art of maintaining inventory to ensure a smooth service period in an impeccably sanitary work area, which will aid in running his own business.
  • California Love Truck has a close knit team to prepare and then complete and cook the food in tight quarters while bringing the varied ethnic offerings with a twist.   To assist Breedlove with the food prep, cooking, and service include Eddie Torres, a graduate of the Art Institute, with a focus on refining the art in the food and a background in food and wine pairing will bring significant experience and presentation skills to ensure the food looks as good as it tastes.  Cordell Herrera has served as a line cook gaining his experience to keep it fast with high quality while dealing with the pressures of delivering a quality product.
  • Local produce and what is currently available will drive the menu which will change with the seasons.  Items such as Pork Belly Tacos and Meatball Sandwiches will feature Bledsoe Pork, Blood Orange Salad and Chicken Wings with an Asian Sauce that will capture the attention of any Ranch Dressing fan but open their world to bright, new and fresh flavors.
  • The California Love Truck Launch Party will be held on the back patio at Casque Wines on Saturday, June 30th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.  Singer/Songwriter Jon Dufour will play a variety of original and well known songs from decades past, with some sing along to provide something for everyone.  The winery is located at 3273 Swetzer Road in Loomis California, just 3 minutes off of I-80 at the Horseshoe Bar exit..  It is located next to Loomis Basin Brewery so beer patrons will also be able to pick up food at the winery and take it to the patio at the Brewery to enjoy.  Click here for event details.
  • California Love Truck has lined up several locations including the Thursday night Sactomofo Roundup, Norcal Food Truck events all over Sacramento, and Wednesday Lunch at CalPers from 11-1.  They are still securing additional locations and recommend you follow them on Facebook and Twitter to hear about their current locations.  www.calilfornialovetruck.comFacebook: CaliLoveTruck
    Twitter: @CaliLoveTruck

Lack of time shouldn’t mean sacrificing a quality meal in today’s fast paced environment where taking the full hour or longer lunch is hard to come by.  California Love Truck’s goal is to provide locals a pre- lunch, lunch, and late afternoon unique food experience. Their focus is on serving the best of local produce and meat products offering a distinctive flair with ethnic and comfort foods.  The California Love Truck team strives to provide the quality of a fine restaurant in a eat-on-the-run approach.