"Back To ____" Mac & Cheese Recipe w/ Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Always Pairs With Good Ol' Mac & Cheese

Whether it’s back to school, back to work, or just regular back to reality now that we’re winding down from summer, we’re welcoming the time (and cooler weather) to enjoy getting “back to” the kitchen.

Our favorite dinners are easy ones…the kind that are easy to make, unfussy, and of course easy to sip a glass of wine while you’re making it!

Enjoy one of the greatest comfort foods to welcome you in to the Fall season and enjoy an extra glass or two…it’s time to Get Back To It!

Here’s our favorite recipe to a creamy, delicious serving of Mac & Cheese paired with our crisp and refreshing Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

  • One package of your favorite tube-shaped pasta
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a large baking dish, or two setting sized cast iron serving dishes.

Combine all cheese - except parmesan- in a large bowl and set aside. 

In a pot of salted water, cook pasta just before done and drain. Add 1 tbsp butter to pasta and toss to coat.

Melt  the rest of the butter butter in a saucepan and whisk flour over medium heat until bubbly and started to turn golden.

Gradually whisk in the milk and heavy cream until smooth and free of clumps. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes. Season mixture with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.

Add two cups of shredded cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Continue adding cheese gradually until the sauce thickens.

Stir cooled pasta into cheese mixture to combine.

Pour half of the pasta and sauce into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then the remaining mac and cheese.

In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Top with chopped chives and serve with a cool glass of 2014 Sangiocomo Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.


Memorial Day Weekend Fun with Sea Bird Wines

It’s the best long-weekend of the year as Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s the perfect time to kick back, pop open some bottles, and enjoy time with friends and family.

Need some inspiration to curate a backyard BBQ that will really kick off the best summer yet? Here’s our top tips for a Memorial Day party filled with fun and, of course, great wine.

Ditch The Plastic
Opt for simple clean-up that’s easy on both you, and the environment with alternative green disposables like these bamboo cutlery sets and eco-friendly compostable plates.

Red or White?
Trick question. It’s both! Keep both options available to guests for easy drinking and pairing with everything on the menu.

A smooth white wine with bright acidity like Sea Bird Wines 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay is a great option for a bright warm day. Keep it at cellar temperature (that’s a cool 52 degrees!) and sip all day long.

For red drinkers, opt for a wine with lighter tannins and a fresh vibrant red fruit profile like Sea Bird Wines 2014 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Pinot Noir.

The best part of bringing out a few bottles of Sea Bird Wines is not only showing your guests a boutique, small-production wine they might not have heard of (yet!) but also knowing that the proceeds of our wines go back to supporting marine habitats. It's an easy excuse to open another bottle...or two!

Mix Up Your Grill Options
We’re not saying cut it out entirely…but it’s hard to argue with the facts. The dramatic effects of reducing red meat consumption even one day a week could save as much as 900 gallons of water, and the energy equivalent of 5 weeks worth of driving fuel. Take the opportunity on Memorial Day Monday to sub in extra veggies with fun recipes like this Mixed Grilled Vegetables with Fontina Fonduta.

Even better? Take advantage of your outside grill to serve up a sustainable fish in place of red meat! Use a reliable source like Seafood Watch – funded by the Monterey Bay Aquarium –
to consciously shop for a low-impact seafood source to fire up on the grill.

Graze Away
Keep the hangry at bay, with the summer fun and guests arriving at different times it can be hard to pin down everyone for a sit-down meal. Instead, keep a grazing board stacked with a variety of fruit, cheeses, crackers and charcuterie to make sure that everyone has something to keep them fueled through all the fun.


Trade Screen Time For Green Time

Whether it’s a grown-up party or we’re bringing all ages out, a sunny summer day is the perfect time to leave the screens inside and get out on the grass to play.

There are two times when “bigger is better”: when it’s a magnum bottle of Sea Bird Wine, and when it’s a life-size version of yard games! Super-size your lawn game fun with Jumbo Jenga, Giant Wood Rolling Dice, or even this Collossal Size Checkers Rug to bring out everyone’s competitive side.

Raise a glass and a toast to spending time with friends and loved ones…and the start to the best summer yet.

Having fun with us out in the world? Don’t forget to tag your glass with #seabirdwines and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more tips and summer fun all season long!


Spotlight Wine: 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay

As one of the most widely planted grapes in the state of California, Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines enjoyed by Americans, according to the Wine Institute. So it was a natural fit when we began sourcing fruit for Sea Bird Wines that we would include this noble grape as part of our family.

Sourced from the Sonoma Coast, our Sangiacomo Robert’s Road vineyard develops into every Chardonnay-lover’s dream. The cool coastal zone of this region maintains a developed acidity and structure that plays gracefully with a kiss of new French oak that we age it in year after year. No other white gape matches Chardonnay’s total acreage in Sonoma County, and with every sip, we understand why this is the ideal region for this wine.

The Sangiacomo Vineyards were first planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 1999 when the Sangiacomo Family acquired the property. At the time, it was unclear as to whether the region would be suitable for grape-growing, as the cool coastal climate was thought to prevent even ripening. Now, the Sonoma Coast region is renowned for producing some of the highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the US. The perfect counterpart to our Chardonnay is our Sangicomo Robert’s Road Pinot Noir.  

Our 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay highlights the best of the vintage. The 2015 growing season in Sonoma brought about a warm, dry spring and an early harvest, according to to the Wine Spectator Vintage Report. The yield was lower than past years, though the quality maintained an elegant and refined style.

You don't have to just take our word for it, however. The 2015 Sangiacomo Robert's Road Chardonnay has won Double Gold medals at the SF Chronicle International Wine Competition, and well as Double Gold & Best of Class in the International Women’s Wine Competition. 

 

With 14 months in new and used French oak barrels, the Robert’s Road Chardonnay is exceptionally balanced with fruit and acidity. Pears, tropical fruits and nectarines are balanced by a dollop of vanilla and honey on the finish for a bright, playful Chardonnay true to the region.

Sea Bird Wines was founded on the belief that coastal influence makes truly great wine. The Sangicomo Vineyards in the Sonoma Coast region exemplifies this belief year over year as we craft true-to-region Chardonnay with bright fruit, lively acidity, and the kind of bottle you can’t wait to enjoy while lounging around with friends on a warm Spring day.

A Recipe For #GreatVinesToGreatTimes

As warmer weather approaches it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a fresh meal. This easy crab cake recipe from Pinch and Swirl focuses on a recipe with more crab meat instead of a bread-crumb overload. The fresh seafood influence will parry and play beautifully with the fruit and acidity of our 2015 Sangiacomo Robert’s Road Chardonnay for a light, weeknight meal to enjoy out on the patio with the promise of Spring nipping at our heels!

Ready to sip on some of the most quaffable Chardonnay of the season? Head over to the Sea Bird Wines Shop to snag the last bottles, and if you're lucky, even a magnum. We'll meet you on the patio for a glass, or two.