Lunch

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style 600 401 Round Pond Estate

With its pleasing laid-back vibe and beautiful attention to detail, Napa Valley is famous for its rustic yet elegant aesthetic.  This combination translates perfectly into an approach to entertaining that wows guests with sophistication and polish, yet is easy (and fun!) to pull off

We asked our Special and Private Events Manager Jenn Sarkisian for her top 5 tips to bring the best of Napa Valley’s vibe to your next party!

 TOP 5 TIPS 

1. Seasonal Decor

Whatever is in bloom or handy in your garden can be used to dress your table. Providing it is safe to be around food, Jenn is a fan of incorporating seasonal herbs, potted plants, vines, and flowering branches into the event decor.  When you can, try to mix rustic woods together with vintage industrial copper or metal for an elegant farmhouse feel.  “The first 5 minutes of any party is the time to WOW your guests.  Bringing the outdoors to the table lets your guests feel like they’re one with the season and sets the mood at first glance.” An added plus: if you use potted flowers or plants, they make lovely gifts to send home with your guests at night’s end!

 

2. Garden to Table

Bring seasonal produce to the table as much as possible. “Supporting local vendors and buying seasonal produce is big in Napa Valley”, says Jenn.  If you don’t have a fruit or produce stand in your area, try to find a farmer’s market to shop, or a higher-end grocery store to get the pick of seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and local specialty goods that can inspire and set the base for your menu.

 

3. Tease the Palate

The appetizers will set the stage for what is to come on the menu, so keep it exciting!  Jenn asserts that “people love new ideas and combinations for appetizers – the more inventive the better, and presentation is huge!”  Dress up your cheese or charcuterie platter with edible garnish like pickled green beans or watermelon, add chocolate-covered espresso beans to accompany a cheese with an espresso rind – do the unexpected.  Make sure to bring some of the bright colors into your appetizer display with fresh fruits and vegetables – color is key to stimulating your appetite and your senses, plus the more vibrant the color the more healthful the food.

 

4. Have No Fear of Intimacy

The ideal number of people for a party is between 10-30 so that you can actually have time to enjoy your guests.  To keep the party going and infuse new energy into your circle, “Ask your guest to invite someone they think is interesting to keep the conversation lively and fresh.  A chef, a student, someone in the military – anyone that would enjoy meeting new people” says Jenn.  Want to make your party even more special?  Use a free design site like canva.com to create invitations, identifying signs for your appetizer table and drink bar, or to make personalized menus.

 

5. Wine Paring is Key

What comes first?  The menu or the wine?  Wine and food should complement each other, so this is where special attention should be paid.  Food and wine pairing guides are easy to find on the internet (we like this one).  Depending on your access to seasonal foods, you might want to design your wine choice around your menu.  However, if you are a confirmed wine lover and can’t wait to share your favorite wine with your friends, let your wine choices dictate the meal to come.  Better yet, ask your guests to bring their favorite wine to share!  Jenn says that “in the Valley, everybody wants to bring a bottle – it’s kind of like Napa etiquette!”

“The most important thing to remember when hosting”, says Jenn, “is what Maya Angelou said; ‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.'”

Chanterelle Risotto

Chanterelle Risotto 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Searching for wild chanterelles is kind of like an adult Easter egg hunt – they usually pop up after the second big rain of the autumn.  Once you are SURE that you have chanterelles in your basket, try this risotto with your finds.  Pairs wonderfully with our Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients
1 pound chanterelle mushrooms (or shiitake)
3 tablespoons butter (preferably Irish)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Round Pond Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium shallot, diced
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup minced chives

If using chanterelle mushrooms, gently clean out the grit under running water with a brush and let them dry overnight. Thinly slice mushrooms and sauté in melted butter in a cast iron pan for 5-8 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and the liquid has evaporated from the pan. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat the Round Pond Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large, deep-sided skillet over medium heat and sauté shallot and rice for 3-5 minutes, until slightly translucent. Pour in wine and scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Ladle in a cup of vegetable stock and stir until stock is nearly all absorbed. Repeat until the rice is al dente and residual broth remains, about 30 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms and any sauce left in the cast iron pan into the rice and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, and chives. Serve the risotto warm.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Spinach And Chorizo Frittata

Spinach And Chorizo Frittata 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

This spinach and chorizo frittata is super delicious and very ketogenic (very low carb) – friendly.  Full of rich flavor, this makes a wonderful brunch dish or bake in a muffin tin for an easy on-the-go breakfast for the week to come!

Ingredients
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 lb chorizo, diced
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1/4 cup scallions, chopped fine
8 eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 lb shredded cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp Round Pond Italian Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 350F.  In a skillet, fry chorizo in butter on medium-high heat until crispy. Add spinach and scallions and cook until just softened.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk eggs and cream together and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour into a greased baking dish or an oven-safe skillet.  Add chorizo and spinach mixture to the top and sprinkle with cheddar and drizzle with olive oil.  Place on the middle rack the over and bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Duck Hash With Rosemary Hollandaise

Duck Hash With Rosemary Hollandaise 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

This incredibly inventive duck hash is hearty and rich, and so unexpected!  This recipe works for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and was specially created by Chef Jamie Prouten to pair beautifully with our Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Ingredients

For Duck Hash
4 ea duck legs
2 qts chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
10 sprigs thyme
½ ea yellow onion, diced
2 ea carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 ea yukon gold potato, medium size
2 ea poblano peppers
salt and pepper to taste
4 ea eggs
½ ea yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp thyme, chopped
3 tbsp parsley, chopped

For Hollandaise
3 ea egg yolks
3 tbsp white wine
¾ lb clarified butter/ghee, melted (available in most stores)
1 tsp rosemary oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp salt

For the Hash:  Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, and sear in a hot sauté pan with oil until they are golden brown.  Place the legs in a baking dish that is at least 4” deep.  Then add the rosemary, thyme, onion, carrot, and celery on top.  Bring the chicken stock to a boil and then pour over the duck legs, making sure that stock completely covers all the ingredients.  Cover the pan with foil and place in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours. When done, remove duck legs from pan and cool.  Once cool, pull the meat off bones and set aside.

Cut the potatoes into desired shape and blanch them in boiling water until half cooked. Chill them in ice water and set aside.  Toss poblano peppers in oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Then place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam and cool.  Once cooled, peel off skin and remove seeds. Dice peppers and set aside.

Start making the hash by getting a sauté pan very hot and add a tablespoon of oil, and add the peppers, onions, and potatoes.  After about 2 minutes of cooking, add the duck meat and chopped parsley & thyme.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

For the Hollandaise:  Place the egg yolks and white wine in a stainless steel bowl and then place it over a pan with barely simmering water in it – creating a double boiler.  Whisk the mixture continuously until it has thickened and doubled in volume.  Then slowly add the clarified butter and rosemary oil while continuously whisking.  Do not let the mixture get too hot of it will break and separate.  Once all the butter is incorporated add the lemon juice, chopped rosemary, and salt.

Set a pot of water to boil and add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of white vinegar.  Drop 4 eggs into the seasoned water and poach to desired doneness.

To plate, put a pile of hash in a bowl, top with a poached egg and finish with a spoonful of rosemary hollandaise. Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Grilled Stonefruit & Gorgonzola Flatbread

Grilled Stonefruit & Gorgonzola Flatbread 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

This flavorful grilled gorgonzola and stonefruit flatbread bring together smoky-sweet grilled peaches with creamy gorgonzola in a delicious way.  This recipe was specially created by Chef Jamie Prouten to pair beautifully with our Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

Ingredients
8 slices pancetta, crispy
1 lb fresh pizza dough (whole foods)
2 ea peaches
8 oz gorgonzola dolce, room temperature
2 cups arugula
½ ea red onion, sliced in rounds
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tsp Round Pond Balsamico Tradizionale

When you buy the pancetta, have your deli slice it thinly like prosciutto.  Bring it home and lay it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Place another sheet of parchment on top and then another baking sheet on top of that and bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until crispy.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees and place a pizza stone in the oven.  Divide the dough into two equal size pieces. Stretch each piece to the desired shape and thickness.  Start the dough in the oven and cook for about 2 minutes. Bake it enough so that it can be handled (about ½ cooked).  Let it cool slightly.

Whilst dough is cooling, split the peaches in half and remove the pit.  Place the peaches flesh side down on to a hot grill.  Cook the peaches just until they start to caramelize and slightly char.  Take the sliced onion rounds and brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill as well.

Slightly macerate the gorgonzola cheese, mix in the thyme and evenly spread onto the pizza dough.  Slice grilled peaches and place on top of gorgonzola.  Lower the grill to medium heat and place the flatbread on to the grill. Once the cheese starts to melt and the peaches are warm, remove the flatbread from grill.  Top it with crispy pancetta, arugula, and balsamico.

Enjoy!

Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich

Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich 2048 1362 Round Pond Estate

The addition of arugula gives a nice contrast in texture and flavor to the creamy spice of the horseradish, and the pretzel bun adds a bit of fun to this classic, crowd-pleasing sandwich.  Pairs wonderfully with our Proprietary Red Wine.

Ingredients
4 ea chicken breasts
2 bunches chives, cut into 1” sticks
¼ cup red onion, diced small
3 tsp prepared horseradish
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ sour cream
3  tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp Round Pond Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Round Pond Sangiovese-Nebbiolo Blend Vinegar
4 pretzel buns
2 cups wild arugula

Start by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until completely cooked through.  Dice when cool.

Add the diced chicken to a bowl with the remaining ingredients (except arugula) and toss until the chicken until evenly coated.

Divide chicken salad evenly onto four bottom buns, arrange a ½ cup of arugula on each, and put top bun on.  Enjoy!

Chicago Hot Dog – Napa Style

Chicago Hot Dog – Napa Style 2048 1367 Round Pond Estate

A true American Classic: The Chicago Hot Dog – with a Napa Valley-inspired twist!

Ingredients
For Hot Dog
4 ea. 5-Dot Ranch Hot Dogs (all beef hot dog recommended)
2 each vine ripe tomato, sliced in half
4 ea pretzel bun
1 cup arugula
32 pc pickled ramps (ingredients/recipe below)
4 Tbsp picked mustard seed (ingredients/recipe below)

Pickled Ramps
1/2 cup Round Pond Cabernet-Merlot Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp black peppercorn
3 sprigs thyme
6 oz. ramps, clan & trimmed
2 cups water

Pickled Mustard Seed
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup brown mustard
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tsp salt

For the pickled ramps, combine all ingredients except ramps in a pot and bring to a boil.  Place ramps in a baking dish and arrange evenly.  Pour boiling liquid over the ramps and let cool completely.

For the mustard, place all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat until almost all of the liquid has cooked away.

Place grilled hot dogs into each pretzel bun.  Fan our sliced tomatoes in between one side of the hot dog and bun.  Pull ramps out of the cool liquid and place on top of the hot dog, allowing some drippings to absorb into the bun.  Next, sprinkle mustard seeds and arugula on top.  Your Napa-Style Hot Dogs are ready to enjoy!

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