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A Cabernet Appetizer to Ward off the Winter Blues


A Cabernet Appetizer to Ward off the Winter Blues

"After months of Thanksgiving feasts, holiday shopping, family gatherings, work parties and New Year’s toasts, the first weeks of January often have a strange rhythm to them. I enjoy the calm yet miss being surrounded by family, friends, and flowing conversation. One of my favorite ways to ward off the post-holiday blues is to invite six to eight friends over for a casual weekend get together.

Instead of a formal meal, we’ll each bring a favorite hors d’oeuvre, like these Beef Satay Skewers with Pomegranate Sauce. They're mouthwateringly good with both our Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon and Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon, so I’ll usually pull the cork on a bottle of each! Then, I’ll throw together a wintry kale salad, and we’ll recap favorite holiday moments and discuss plans for the new year while experimenting with fresh new food and wine pairings.

I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same! "

Far Niente Chef Sarah Walz

Beef Satay with Pomegranate Sauce


Serves: 8

Beef Satay:

2 1/2 pounds beef top round or London broil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup grapeseed oil or vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ginger, minced

Special equipment: 24 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 min.

Pomegranate Sauce:

2 cups pomegranate juice (you can pick pomegranate seeds, muddle in a deep jar then strain, or purchase POM juice in the refrigerator section of your local grocer).

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup beef or chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, sesame seeds or chopped scallions for garnish


For the pomegranate sauce: Pour pomegranate juice, honey, and orange juice into small sauce pan. Bring all to a simmer and reduce to roughly 1/3-cup. Add beef stock and continue to reduce on medium-high heat until thickened, approximately 20 minutes. While still simmering, skim any impurities from the top and whisk mixture to check consistency. It should be viscous – almost sticking to the whisk and making thick bubbles. Turn off the heat, then whisk in the salt, fresh ground pepper, and butter. Check seasoning and improve to taste. Pour into a sauce dish, garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, or chopped parsley.

For the beef satay: Cutting against the grain, slice your beef into ½-inch wide strips and place into a large resealable bag. In a medium bowl, whisk your soy sauce, oil, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger until combined. Pour marinade over your beef, seal the bag (ensuring there are no leaks!) and place bag into a bowl or shallow pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve (and while your pomegranate sauce reduces), preheat a grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Thread your beef strips onto the skewers. You should have about 24 strips. Oil the grill and cook your beef skewers for about two to three minutes per side. Remove from heat and place directly onto your serving platter.

Serve alongside the pomegranate sauce, along with one to two bottles of your favorite Napa Valley Cabernets. We like how the pomegranate sauce and rich beef draw out unique flavors in both our Far Niente Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon and our Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. Experimenting with different wine and food combos is half the fun!

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