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This Date Night Wine & Food Pairing is Truly a Beautiful Union


This Date Night Wine & Food Pairing is Truly a Beautiful Union

Light the candles and uncork the Napa Cabernet. This romantic wine and food menu pulls out all the date night stops.

Inspired by Northern California's mushroom foraging season, Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards Senior Events Manager Barbra Christo whipped up a delightfully simple recipe for roasted mushrooms and polenta that instantly had us making all the heart eyes. Its fragrant, earthy-umami flavors and gorgeous array of textures hit so many romantic high marks for us. Which is why we're proclaiming it one of our favorite Valentine's Day menus, especially when paired with the plush dark fruit and spice layers of Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. Talk about a beautiful union.

A quick note: While we love serving this decadent dish as the main course, the texture and versatility of both the polenta and mushrooms also make it a delicious base for a variety of proteins. Our Cabernet-friendly favorites include pan-seared beef tenderloin medallions and skin-on roasted chicken thighs.

Bella Union Cabernet Menu

Foraged Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Wine Pairing: Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

(Make it Memorable with an Etched I Love You Bottle!)

Serves 2


For the Mushrooms

1 pound of any (or all!) of the following fungi: oyster, king oyster, shiitake or, that king of mushrooms, porcini.

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons Butter

1 teaspoon salt

3 sprigs of leafy fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Polenta

½ cup milk

½ cup chicken broth, either homemade or low-sodium store-bought

1 cup polenta

½ cup sweet corn- fresh, canned (drained) or frozen (thawed)

¼ grated parmesan



Extra chicken broth, to taste


For the Mushrooms: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in the middle.

Place sheet tray in oven to warm.

Prepare mushrooms by removing obvious dirt. Then, separate oyster mushrooms, slice king or porcini mushrooms in half lengthwise, and/or remove stems from shitake mushrooms.

Once oven has come to temp, remove the warmed sheet tray and coat the bottom of tray with two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of butter, and one sprinkled teaspoon of salt. Lay your king or porcini mushroom cut side down. Note: as you place them, they will – and should – sizzle from the heat of the pan. Place tray in oven for ten minutes.

Remove the tray and add the oyster and shiitake mushrooms. If needed, shift your king mushrooms to the center of the pan, so you can layer the oyster and shiitakes around the outer edge of the sheet pan. Return to oven and continue to cook until the edges slightly crisped, about ten minutes. Remove tray from oven to counter and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cut one tablespoon butter into very small cubes and scatter around the tray to melt. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste. Gently shake the tray, allowing the butter, herbs, salt and pepper to coat all of your mushrooms. Keep warm.

For the Polenta: Add broth and milk, one teaspoon salt and one tablespoon butter to a medium pot and bring to a boil.

Slowly pour polenta into boiling liquid, whisking constantly. Once fully blended and without lumps, replace your whisk with a wooden spoon and add your corn kernels. Reduce heat to medium. Stir, without stopping, for five minutes. Cover and cook over medium heat for an additional five minutes. Remove lid and add one tablespoon of butter and your quarter cup of parmesan cheese. Stir in small amounts of broth until your polenta reaches a creamy, porridge-like consistency.


Warm two plates. Place a generous serving polenta in the center of each plate. Using a spoon, create a well in the center of polenta. Fill the well with mushrooms. Spoon pan juices over mushrooms and polenta. Sprinkle parmesan, cracked pepper and coarse salt, to taste. Most importantly, fill your glasses with Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon and savor the beautiful union of the wine’s velvety, dark fruit and spice layers with the earthy mushrooms and rich polenta. Salut!

Looking for more date night wine and food pairings? Generate some warmth in the kitchen with this recipe for Petit Pork Tenderloin and Fricassee of Wild Mushrooms, Plums and Roasted Garlic. We adore it with Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa Cabernet will always be our love language.

In search of more February wine gift ideas? Our Valentine's Shop is now open, and it's filled with irresistibly romantic wines and gifts!

Kenefick Ranch Cabernet and Chocolate Gift

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