The other night I decided to pair one of my favorite wineries in Napa with a childhood favorite recipe.
I remember learning how to make a mini pizza with an english muffin in my junior high school home economics class. I took the recipe home, and my mom and I used to make them together.
I haven’t made them since. Fast forward 40 plus years. I was looking for some easy recipes to make on busy nights and could pair with a simple salad to make a meal. I remembered the English muffin “pizzas” I had made so long ago, and that they were pretty darned tasty and super easy to throw together. So, for a quick Sunday night supper I decided to give it another try.
I used whole grain english muffins for a healthy twist. I added some of my favorite marinara sauce, some onion, mozzarella and parmesan, and topped it off with some Italian seasonings and popped them in the oven. P.S. If you’ve never made these fun little tasty treats, be sure to toast the muffins first to keep them from getting soggy. Then add the sauce and whatever toppings you like, and put them in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes! As they say, easy as pie. Not that I think making a pie is necessarily easy!
Before beginning the “pizza” process, I had a bottle of 2015 Napanook decanting. Dominus is definitely one of my favorite Napa Valley wines. I’m a big fan of Bordeaux wines (who’s not???), so the Napa (New World) winery of Chateaux Petrus is definitely my style!
Napanook is Dominus’ second label. What is a second label wine? Well, top wineries and chateaux blend together their best grapes’ juice to produce their best possible wine for the Grand Cru or “first wines”. What do they do with the remaining juice??? Many of them make a second wine. Usually made by the same winemaker in pretty much the same way as the winery’s famous wine, the big difference is that the juice for the second wine is often from younger vines or the second press. Although these wines may not be AS complex, balanced and sublime, they ARE a lot less expensive! It’s a great way to try big name Bordeaux or other famous wines without the big-time price tag.
The 2015 is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. On the nose are plum, violet and notes of licorice. The medium plus body is silky and lovely to savor in the mouth. The plum is also on the palate, along with dark cherry, chocolate and a touch of spice. The tannins are super smooth and the wine is beautifully balanced. I could drink this wine every night!!!
Perhaps it wasn’t the perfect pairing with my childhood mini pizzas, but it worked. Plus, my husband and I had the rest of the bottle to enjoy as dessert.
There was only one thing better about the meal than this stunning wine; the memories I enjoyed of my mom and me making this cute little meal together. I only wish that she was still here so that she could have joined us!
To discover more about Dominus, Napanook and their wines, check out their website here: