Ahhh, pairing Merlot. When I think Merlot, I almost simultaneously think gorgonzola. And then what am I going to stuff it in, crust it with or pile it on top of? So, I’d say the perfect pairing, in my opinion, would be the rich, yet creamy, slightly pungent flavor of this great Italian cheese.

My always go-to quick dish would be gorgonzola stuffed prawns, prosciutto wrapped- of course. These can either be served as a starter or main course.

Then the absolute perfect pairing I’ve found to showcase our Gravity Merlot and highlight the bold fruit flavors and black cherry notes is a roast tri-tip steak. I serve mine with a cloak of merlot cherry reduction on a bed of caramelized onions topped off with gorgonzola crumbles.

Chef Frank Magaña

  • http://www.alexandrianicolecellars.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/roast-frank-merlotme.jpg/slide]

Gorgonzola Stuffed Prawns, Prosciutto Wrapped

Ingredients:
6 oz Gorgonzola Cheese
2 lbs Gulf Prawns (Size 21-25’s)
1 lbs thinly sliced Prosciutto
Directions:
Peel and de-vein prawns leaving tails on. While cutting the prawns to de-vein go ahead and butterfly them. Crumble the Gorgonzola in a small bowl.
Lay out 1 slice of Prosciutto-cut in half lengthwise, take ½ tablespoon of gorgonzola and stuff into back of prawn. Lay stuffed prawn on one end of Prosciutto, roll tightly on to itself. Do this for all prawns and repeat until all prawns are wrapped.
Place stuffed prawns on hot BBQ or non-stick sauté pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
Chef Frank Magaña

Roast Tri-tip

Ingredients:
2 lbs Tri-tip Roast (score the fat layer on top in a crisscross cut)
3 Tbsp Olive oil
5 Garlic Cloves, chopped
3 Yellow Onion, julienne
2 cups Merlot
Dried Bing Cherries
Salt and pepper
5oz Gorgonzola Crumbles

Merlot Marinade: (twist on Chimichurri)
2 Shallots
1 Bunch Green Onions
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley
3 Tbsp Oregano, fresh
¼ Cup Merlot
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Directions:
Starting with marinade, place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until well blended. After scoring the tri-tip, place in zip-lock bag with the marinade overnight.
To roast the tri-tip, pre-heat oven to 450°F. Season with Salt and Pepper and place in roasting pan, fat side up and put in center rack of oven. It will take close to 40-45 minutes to reach internal temp of 125-130°F. After roast has reached the correct temperature, remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before carving.
While the Tri-tip is in the oven, start to caramelize the onions in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat with olive oil. Should take about 20 minutes.
In a small sauce pot, add the wine and cherries and reduce over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until wine has reduced by half.
To serve, slice the tri-tip (remember to cut against the grain) and place over the bed of caramelized onions, spoon sauce over tri-tip and top with crumbled gorgonzola.
Chef Frank Magaña