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Ceja Vineyards

Michael Wray
 
February 15, 2010 | Michael Wray

Which Came First, the Wine or the Cuisine?

It was during my last trip to Italy while walking through Rome in the Piazza della Rotonda with its fountain and the Pantheon both in view, that I and a couple of very dear friends decide to take a break from our sight seeing and stop for lunch.

A little café with tables sitting on the Piazza would allow us to keep our spectacular view while dining. Two men were sitting on the steps to the fountain singing in Italian, one clutching his guitar as it rested on his leg, the other slapping on his knees to keep the beat. It was one of those moments in time that you want to last forever.

We ordered an antipasto tray of local favorites, a traditional Roman pizza and some cured olives. To drink we ordered a carafe of the house white wine. It was not an overly complex wine yet it had good aromatic qualities of fresh pear and wild flowers with crisp minerality on the pallet. A Pinot Grigio I thought, but that was not important.

As the wine geek (that’s me), the Chef and the Fashionista all sat enjoying this simple lunch with the house wine, we were amazed at how all the flavors came together. While ordering we had decided that we would be drinking white so our menu choices were skewed in that direction. We had a hunch, however, that any dish we ordered would have paired quite nicely with the white vino della casa.

This would be a common thread in our dinning experiences throughout the rest of the trip. The local cuisine with the wines of the region would continually blow us away with how perfectly the flavors complemented each other.

Were the winemakers crafting a style of wine to complement the local cuisine or were the chefs creating dishes to complement the style of the regional wine?

I think it’s a little bit of both, but this was not done specifically for me on this trip. Nor was the Chef and Sommelier conspiring to supply these three random tourists with a perfect food and wine pairing at the cafe. It's quite clear that wine has a rich history in serving as an accompaniment to food. When wine first entered the scene, it was often safer to drink than the local water supply with little thought given to it as a "sensory enhancing" beverage. Over time though, as regional cuisine and local wine-making traditions developed, gastronomy emerged as link between culture, food and drink. This is true wherever you travel or whatever style of cuisine you are enjoying: bratwurst and sauerkraut with a dry German Riesling, thinly sliced Serrano ham with a glass of bone dry fino sherry or boeuf bourguignon with a red Burgundy.

Next time you visit your favorite restaurant or travel abroad, select a wine that comes from the same region as your dish and you will be pleasantly surprised how well they conspire to pair beautifully together.

Ariel Ceja
 
February 1, 2010 | Ariel Ceja

I Want Ceja Wine in New York

Our awesome friends at Greencard Creative produced this great video. Who else wants Ceja wine?!

 

Michael Wray
 
January 18, 2010 | Michael Wray

Mike's Guide to the World of Wine - Chardonnay

It's Chardonnay time! Michael Wray puts this grape in perspective chronicling its origins and use as a wine varietal. Find out why Chardonnay is one of the most widely enjoyed wines out there!

 

Time Posted: Jan 18, 2010 at 12:31 PM
Dalia Ceja
 
December 30, 2009 | Dalia Ceja

Cooking Chicken Noodle Soup at Ceja Vineyards

Liz Mazzei, winner of Ceja Vineyards' "Facebook Recipe Entry Contest", joins Dalia Ceja at the Ceja Vineyards' kitchen to present her winning dish of California Chicken Noodle Soup. The two gals cook and drink their way through this delicious presentation!

 

Time Posted: Dec 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM
Dalia Ceja
 
December 17, 2009 | Dalia Ceja

Cooking Sweet Potato Pancakes with Dalia Ceja

Adding sweet potato to the classic pancake mix is a great way to liven up your breakfast meal!

 

Time Posted: Dec 17, 2009 at 12:39 PM
Michael Wray
 
December 9, 2009 | Michael Wray

Mike's Guide to the World of Wine - Pinot Noir

Michael Wray talks about the history and legacy of Pinot Noir. The wine (and food) world is better off for having this little grape!

 

Time Posted: Dec 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM
Amelia Ceja
 
December 7, 2009 | Amelia Ceja

Cooking Tortilla De Patata with Amelia Ceja

Amelia Ceja prepares one of Spain's most popular dishes, tortilla de patata. This recipe can be made in so many different combinations, you'll surely find the one that keeps you coming back for more!

 

Time Posted: Dec 7, 2009 at 11:31 AM
Navek Ceja
 
November 25, 2009 | Navek Ceja

In The Cellar With Armando Ceja: 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Armando Ceja of Ceja Vineyards takes a closer look at the future 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage in the cellar.

 

Time Posted: Nov 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM
Amelia Ceja
 
November 25, 2009 | Amelia Ceja

Cooking Sweet Potato Fries with Amelia Ceja

Give us some Southern comfort! Amelia Ceja prepares a wonderful side dish just in time for Thanksgiving to pair beautifully with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and all the classic trimmings.

 

Time Posted: Nov 25, 2009 at 11:37 AM
Amelia Ceja
 
November 25, 2009 | Amelia Ceja

Cooking Baked Apples with Amelia Ceja

Amelia Ceja prepares one of her favorite desserts - baked apples. This easy to prepare recipe will have your home smelling like the holidays in no time at all!

 

Time Posted: Nov 25, 2009 at 11:36 AM