While recently visiting California (read my Travel Journal here), I had the opportunity to enjoy the state’s juicy, rich Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety of wine the region is famous for. In fact, Cabernet Sauvignon was the first wine I began enjoying back in my early twenties, finding the style to be complex yet crowd-pleasing. It’s a wine I still serve at friend and family gatherings today, and it’s the red wine I reach for when I’m looking to pack a punch.
Naturally, I was excited to work with Tom Gore Vineyards from California on this special recipe including crispy black quinoa onion rings with a cabernet ketchup for dipping, pairing with and starring their scrumptious Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tom Gore Vineyard wines are a work of passion from second-generation Sonoma County grape farmer, Tom Gore, who has been tending vines since the age of seven. Tom was born into a family of pioneering grape farmers who helped develop the vineyards of Sonoma County into a world-class winemaking region.
Some tantalizing tasting notes on their Cabernet Sauvignon for you to savour: This dark, ruby red wine boasts a bevy of red fruit aromas, with plum, cherry and currant notes mingling on the nose, giving way to complex layers of mocha and coffee on the palate. Juicy and well-structured, its medium body and balanced acidity make it a perfect choice for red wine lovers at any occasion.
For Tom Gore Vineyards, great wines start in the vineyard, coaxing the vines to produce grapes with exceptional varietal flavour, yielding high quality, complex wines with a true sense of place.
And please don’t be intimidated about pairing your wine with food – if you like it, embrace it! This Cabernet Sauvignon is particularly versatile, so I wouldn’t be shy about coupling it with whatever you’re cooking up for dinner tonight.
Those who have been lucky enough to visit Sonoma County will understand the incorporation of local food and drink into their everyday lifestyle. This region’s climate makes it truly excellent for grape and produce farming.
Back in Ontario (albeit, a touch begrudgingly), I didn’t need to travel far to find a taste of my recent California vacation. Tom Gore’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is available at the LCBO for $19.95.
Along with enjoying a glass or two unadulterated, wine can be a delicious ingredient to incorporate into your recipes.
This red wine ketchup is worth giving a go, if not for these onion rings, a homemade burger, mac and cheese, oven fries, frittatas – anywhere you use ketchup, you should use this ketchup. Cabernet Sauvignon is tangled with spices and tomatoes, cooked down into a sticky, just sweet enough condiment.
The onion rings use a mixture of black and white quinoa, adding a pop of drama to their exterior. I’ve culled inspiration from classic, crunchy-fried bar food, but turned it into something more wholesome, less heavy.
Like the food I cook, this wine is definitely made with intention, care and passion. A perfect pairing, indeed.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed, toasted (toast until fragrant in a dry skillet, about 2 minutes over medium)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed, toasted
- 1 tablespoon celery seed, toasted
- 1 whole clove
- 4 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used roma tomatoes)
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup Tom Gore Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon celery salt (or 2 tsp celery seed plus 1 tsp salt)
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, more for baking sheet
- ½ cup black quinoa
- ½ cup white quinoa
- 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pinch, granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 4 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch rings
- Cabernet Ketchup:
- In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan, on heat oil over low heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger with the olive oil until onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a bouquet garni (a cheesecloth bundle secured with a string) with the coriander seed, fennel seed, celery seed and clove. Reserve.
- Turn heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Reduce by half. Remove from heat.
- Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve into a new pot with the reserved bouquet garni, wine, vinegar and sugar. Add cayenne, celery salt, pepper and salt. Simmer until it thickens and reaches the consistency of ketchup.
- Remove from heat and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Allow to cool. Store airtight in refrigerator up to 2 months.
- Baked Black Quinoa Onion Rings:
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease parchment with a slick of oil, about 1 Tbsp.
- In a blender or food processor, blend quinoa, cornmeal, thyme and salt until a fine meal forms. Blend in oil until combined. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large high sided skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, until quinoa is slightly toasted and deepened in colour, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer toasted quinoa mixture to a large shallow dish and stir in garlic.
- In a large bowl, combine yogurt and mustard. Separate onion into thick and thin rings, making different shapes and sizes.
- To coat onions, using one hand, and working one ring at a time, coat onion ring in yogurt mixture, shaking off excess. Using another hand, coat yogurt-coated onion rings in quinoa mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining onions, yogurt mixture and quinoa mixture.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp and tender. Serve warm onion rings with Cabernet Ketchup for dipping.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Tom Gore Vineyards. All opinions are my own. Please enjoy and drink responsibly.