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Summer's Most "Inviting" Cabernet (for Cookouts, Campfires & More)


Summer's Most "Inviting" Cabernet (for Cookouts, Campfires & More)

Company Coming? Try this single-vineyard Cabernet pairing for cookouts, barbecues and weekends by the firepit.

When summer turns up the heat – we fire up the grill and uncork our most cookout-friendly Cabernets. Our current grilling wine obsession: Nickel & Nickel Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. With its full, juicy layers of red fruit flavors and polished tannins, this single-vineyard wine really holds its own hearty steak cuts, like the recipe for Grilled Prime Cowboy steak below. This rugged bone-in ribeye is loaded with flame-kissed flavor, and it's even more succulent when paired with Tuscan kale, crispy sage potatoes ... and Vaca Vista Cabernet's red currant aromatics and pure fruit flavors . Added bonus? Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet has one of the sleekest finishes of the vintage, making it an absolute crowd pleaser.

So go on. Invite a few friends and pour this favorite summer wine!

Grilled Prime Cowboy Steak with Tuscan Kale and Brown Butter Crispy Sage Potatoes

Wine Pairing: Nickel & Nickel Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley

Serves 4


For the Cowboy Steaks:

2 20-ounce prime cowboy steaks

Olive oil, to coat

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Crispy Sage Potatoes:

2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

6-7 sage leaves

For the Tuscan Kale:

2 bunches of Tuscan kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, sliced

½ cup parsley leaves, chopped

Juice of one lemon


For the Cowboy Steaks: To ensure even cooking, bring your steaks to come to room temperature, resting them for at least 30 minutes, before grilling. Rub steaks with olive oil, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Bring your grill to high heat, then cook steaks for five minutes on each side. Finish steaks on indirect heat, cooking an additional 15 minutes for medium rare, turning occasionally. Use a meat thermometer to check that the inside temperature reads 125º to 130ºF.

For the Crispy Sage Potatoes: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place halved potatoes in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper until fully, evenly coated. On a large baking sheet, place potatoes, cut side down, in a single layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender inside with crisp outer edges.

While potatoes roast, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and started to lightly foam, drop in the sage leaves. Stir lightly until the butter has turned golden and released a warm, nutty fragrance. Remove from heat. Use tongs to remove sage leaves and place them on a layer of paper towels, where they will drain and crisp.

For the Tuscan Kale: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and drain the pot. Set aside.

When you’re five to seven minutes from serving, add sliced garlic to a sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Sauté for one to two minutes, until tender but not browned. Add kale and cook for three to four minutes, and then finish with the parsley leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove from heat.


Just before serving, toss your potatoes in the sage-infused butter and crumble the sage over the tops. Halve each of your steaks. On four warmed plates, place steak atop a bed of Tuscan kale and add a generous scoop of potatoes. Most importantly, uncork a bottle of Nickel & Nickel Vaca Vista Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoy the interplay between the savory ribeye, fragrant sage and the wine’s juicy layers of pure red currant fruit flavors and sleek finish.

Want more grilling-friendly Cabernets, our go-to Syrah for barbecued lamb and the silkiest Merlots to pair with slow-smoked pork? Check out our full collection of single-vineyard wines.

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