Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wine Review: Ceja Napa Valley-Carneros 2008 Chardonnay

This wine is a light straw color. The nose is filled with fresh fruit aromas, which are somewhat tropical when your nose enters the glass. There are aromas of pears, citrus, primarily orange zest, and lemon zest jumping out of the glass.  The palate mirrors the nose, along with a crisp, clean mouth feel with a hint of toast. The finish is long, with those notes of citrus, primarily lemon zest. This chardonnay is well balanced and is great to sip alone or to pair with foods because of it's nice acidity.

 Also, if you are an "ABC" person, meaning "anything but chardonnay" wine drinker, this wine will be a pleasure for you to drink! I am so happy that the "oak" is restrained in this chardonnay; I believe that is what makes it a wonderfully balanced wine. I paired this wine with Ossau Itray sheeps milk cheese .

I would also pair this wine with roasted chicken, fish, shrimp, crab, appetizers with spinach and artichokes (Note: See recipe below), goat cheese and other light cheeses. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Ceja Vineyards. SRP $34.00

Try the recipe below with this wine and let me know what you think!

Spinach and Artichoke Pinwheels


  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with a tablespoon of water)
  • Dash of Sea salt

*Parchment paper for baking


Preheat the oven at 400 degrees

Drain spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels

Stir together spinach, artichoke hearts and next 5 ingredients

Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for 30 minutes

Unfold pastry and place on a lightly floured place or on heavy plastic wrap

Spread one half spinach mixture over pastry sheet, leaving an 1/2 inch border

Roll up pastry, jelly-roll fashion, pressing to seal seam, wrapping in heavy duty plastic

Repeat procedure with remaining mixture and pastry

Freeze 30 minutes, cut into ½ inch thick slices

These can be frozen up to 3 months

Brush with egg wash before baking. Place pinwheels on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown

Yield 4 dozen

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