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Wine Can Chicken is flavorful, moist, and incredibly tender. This grilled chicken takes the classic beer can chicken method to a whole new level with the addition of a can of wine.

What Is Beer Can Chicken

Beer can chicken and its cousin, wine can chicken, is the method of inserting a can of liquid into the cavity of a roaster chicken to add flavor and moisture throughout the cooking process. The chicken is propped up with the can and drumsticks acting as legs of a stool. The can steams as it cooks, pushing that liquid and flavor into your chicken. In our variation of the beer can classic, the fruity flavor of the wine will steam into the meat adding incredible flavor (so much better flavor than the traditional beer). And there you have it. Wine can chicken.

The Cut: What Is A Roaster Chicken

A roaster chicken is a younger chicken that is typically 4 – 5 pounds. It can also be used interchangeably with a fryer or a broiler chicken. Fryer and broiler chickens will tend to be smaller than a roaster, and so a can won’t fit easily in the cavity. The size of a roaster chicken is perfect for adding the can so that it allows the chicken to sit upright, stable, without tipping over from too much weight.

What Rub Should I Use For Wine or Beer Can Chicken

Since we are grilling with higher heat, but still away from direct flame, we like our ultimate dry rub as the combo for this. Sweet, savory, with a touch of heat.

How to Prep Wine (or Beer) Can Chicken

Simply season the bird, then open the wine can and slowly insert it into the cavity, gently placing the bird back upright, using the can as a base. Be careful as to not tip the chicken and can over, spilling out the liquid nectar. In this case we used a can of Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio). It has the fruitiest flavor that will impart juiciness and sweet flavors into the meat as it steams while cooking.

How to Grill a Wine Can Chicken

Whether your Weber grill or Big Green Egg, the key you need for your cooker is height. This bird will stand upright and you need to be able to close the lid while you cook it. We use the direct/indirect cooking method so we can slowly roast the chicken and not scorch it over direct hot coals. This keeps the bird juicy while cooking thoroughly to the goal temperature of 160 degrees F.

How to Take Chicken Temperature

When using a digital meat thermometer like our Thermapen or Thermoworks Dot, the key is taking the temperature in a few places of the chicken. The breast typically takes the longest to come up to temperature. This is why we have the breast face the direct heat. We temp it by inserting the probe so it is in the center of the breast, but not touching any bone.

We also take temperature in the thigh, by inserting an instant read probe, like the Thermapen into the meat and not touching the bone. We cook the bird to 160 degrees Fahrenheit as it reads in both checks. It is common the dark meat will come up temperature faster, and that is ok. Dark meat can handle higher temperature and not dry out. They key is the breast and thigh both are at least 160. Remove from heat and then wait 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Slice and serve!

Grilled Wine Can Chicken

A take on the classic beer can chicken, but with the added twist of a bright and fruity can of wine.

  • 1 4 to 5 pound whole roaster chicken
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup all purpose dry rub (see notes)
  • 1 375 mL can of white wine, preferably Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)
  1. Prepare grill for direct/indirect cooking. Target temperature in the grill is 400 degrees measured on indirect side.

  2. Remove giblets from chicken, and pat dry. Lightly oil the chicken including the cavity. Apply dry rub liberally, including inside the cavity.

  3. Open the can of wine. You will insert the can into the cavity of the chicken, but do so slowly so the can does not tip. To do this, gently lower the chicken over the can into the cavity, the drumsticks will act like legs of a stool, with the can being the third leg.

  4. Place the chicken on the grill over indirect side with breast facing the heat side. Insert a digital meat probe if you have one. Be sure the drumsticks are positioned to prop the bird and avoid tipping.

  5. Cover and grill until the internal temperature of the breast and thigh are 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Can take 30 to 40 minutes depending on your cooker, the finished temperature is the most important.

  6. If your grill is smaller and you notice too much browning on the breast before it is done, rotate the bird 180 degrees so the breast faces away from you. Although be careful to not spill the wine or let it fall over.

Our go-to dry rub for this is our ultimate dry rub for chicken or pork. 

Best Wine to use for Wine Can Chicken

There’s an increasing amount of wine cans on the market. My favorite for this recipe is Pinot Gris/Grigio. There’s a great fruitiness to the wine that imparts into the meat. The meat has a fantastic outside char and texture, but the inside is super tender and full of great flavor from infusing it with the wine.

*Just don’t drink the wine after you cook the chicken! That can, and all of the remaining wine in the can, must be discarded! 

Wine Pairing for Wine Can Chicken

You can double up and use the same style of wine, as long as it’s a fresh new can. Alternatively, I love a rich Chardonnay for this style of chicken. It’s awesome with the char of the skin, tenderness of the meat, and juicy sweet flavors imparted by the wine. If you’re thinking, “Mary, I neeeeeed red wine!” then go for a lighter style Pinot Noir or Beaujolais for this.

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

The post Grilled Wine Can Chicken appeared first on Vindulge.

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A beginner lesson on the wines of the Burgundy (Bourgogne) region of France.

Good Burgundies can be life changing. They are the kinds of wines that, in the 60’s and 70’s, motivated crazy folks to pack up and plant vineyards in Oregon, because they saw the potential for the kinds of life changing wines they had tasted in Burgundy. Oregon is now one of the most important places in the world to grow Pinot Noir, because of those crazy folks who saw the potential here.

Is It Burgundy or Bourgogne?

You can call it Burgundy. But Bourgogne (pronounced boar-gone) is how it’s referred to in France, and how those in the region would prefer to be known and referenced. Bourgogne is where it all started.

This is a small and complicated region with centuries of history.

It’s one that’s hard to fully grasp. So for many, we try to simplify it. There’s Pinot Noir (for reds) and Chardonnay (for whites) grapes grown for the most part, broken down into five wine-producing regions, with the most famous being “The Côtes” (Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune).

Burgundy Wine Producing Regions

From North to South:

  • Chablis
  • Côte de Nuits
  • Côte de Beaune
  • Côte Chalonnaise
  • Mâconnais

But there’s so much more to understand about this region than simply stating what grapes are grown and where. Within these five regions there are 84 appellations!

I’ve spent countless hours studying the region, drinking wines from the region, and having the opportunity to travel there last fall on a press trip, and realized… I’m just scratching the surface.

So, instead of trying to provide a deep dive into this complicated region I’ll share what I’ve learned, and a good base to start from.

What grapes grow in Bourgogne

As I mentioned it’s mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but you’ll also find Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and Aligoté to name a few.

But the majority of what you’ll find in the region will be the two primary wines: Pinot Noir (41% overall) and Chardonnay (50% overall).

Though one region I visited, St. Bris, is exclusively Sauvignon Blanc, and one you can find at wine shops (at least here in Oregon). Speaking of, while many focus on the more famous regions in Bourgogne, the focus of my trip was to discover the lesser known regions. And by learning about these regions, you’ll find there are some incredible values to be found here (and value isn’t a word generally associated with Burgundy wines).

59% of the production is red, 30% is white and rosé, and 11% sparkling. And remember I mentioned many get hung up on the more famous (grand cru) appellations, well they only make up 1% of the total wines produced, with 46% being Village and Premier Cru and 53% regional wines. More on that in a minute.


Probably my favorite of all of the regions, and most definitely so when it comes to white wines. Chablis is the region furthest north.

All wines labeled as “Chablis” are made from Chardonnay grapes, and these wines have an incredibly distinct flavor. You always find a very notable flint like minerality, and a salinity, along with green apple, lemon, and white flower, to name a few. These tend to be lean and elegant, distinguishing it from Chardonnays produced elsewhere. This is primarily due to the limestone (specifically Kimmeridgian limestone) soils in which the grapes are planted and cooler climate.

What Food To Pair for Chablis: you can enjoy Chablis on its own (I love it as an afternoon sipper), or with grilled white fish. It’s ridiculously delicious with oysters! It also pairs well with goat cheeses and hard to pair vegetables (like asparagus and artichokes).

The Côte de Nuits

The most famous region, and home to 24 Grand Cru vineyards and some of the most expensive and sought after wines in the world. This narrow region is approximately 19 km long and averages .5 km wide. You’ll find mostly very high quality Pinot Noir here, with some Chardonnay and a small amount of rosé.

Côte de Beaune

This region comes a close second when it comes to my favorite Chardonnays found in the world. They can be truly magical! But that’s not all that’s grown here.

It has nearly double the amount of land as its neighbor to the north, filled with rolling hills. Very high quality reds and whites come from this region, but it’s the whites that take note (with several Grand Cru vineyards famous for their Chardonnay). The reds will tend to be slightly lighter than the Côte de Nuits, but still have great tobacco, minerality, and plum flavors.

What Food To Pair With Côte de Beaune:  the reds are great with pork, beef roasts, mushroom dishes, and even game. The whites are a great match for creamy white sauces, grilled poultry, shellfish, goat cheeses, and Comté cheese (and also Gruyere).

Côte Chalonnaise

Moving further south we have this smaller region of Côte Chalonnaise. This is where you can start to experience some great values, and gems. You won’t find any famous Grand Cru vineyards here, but you will find some delicious wines that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for (bonus!!).

You’ll find five village/sub-appellations here, all with distinguishing characteristics. Two of note include:

Bouzeron: dedicated to the Aligote grape. Aligote is a white grape that is often dismissed as simple and fruity, but my goodness you can find some beauties here! See below for some of my favorites. These wines can be excellent and complex.

Rully: here you’ll find mostly white wines, with a heavy focus on sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne (did someone say bubbly?!?!).  These wines are made in the traditional Champagne method.

These wines are definitely ones to seek out, especially if you’re just getting into Bourgogne wines. They can provide a good starting point if you’re not ready to spend the high prices its neighbors above can cost. And for you bubble lovers out there, the Crémant de Bourgognes from here are excellent and fantastic values (you can find great examples in the $15-$20 range).


The furthest region to the south, and also the largest, within Burgundy, spanning a 10k-wide strop of vines 35km long. Similar to Côte Chalonnaise this region can often be dismissed as simple wines. But not in my experience! They’ve come far since those days.

François Labet, of Château de la Tour, told me during my visit that the very best values in the entire world are in the Maconnaise. Hmm, I think he might be on to something!

Most of the Macon reds are from Gamay grapes, and the whites Chardonnay, with Chardonnay grape being predominant representing 80% of all vines planted in the region.

In the Mâconnais, you can discover a wide range of appellations and styles including Bourgogne, Bourgogne Aligoté, Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains, Coteaux Bourguignons and Crémant de Bourgogne.

Pouilly-Fuissé is the most famous appellation here, producing Chardonnays that can have delicious mineral qualities, and flavors of citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, peaches, and even brioche.

Two other regions are definitely worth seeking out just next to Pouilly-Fuissé: Pouilly-Vinzelles and Pouilly-Loché.

Vinzelle is located just up on the hills, near Fuissé (and it starts as you gain elevation), whereas the bottom of the hill is simply classified as Macon. You’ll find excellent minerality and citrus in many of the white wines from here.

Even the slightest differences in vineyards (literally two vineyards across the street from each other) can make a world of difference in soil types… )

The two pictures (above) were two vineyards just across the street from each other, both classified as difference AOCs based on soil type.

How Bourgogne Wines are Classified

For many years, the region boasted over 100 appellations (AOC). But the region now recognizes 84 AOCs.

An Appellation d’Origine Conrollee (AOC) is a quality label, guaranteeing the product’s characteristics (or rather the terroir where it comes from).

The Bourgogne appellations are divided into 4 levels:
  • Grand Cru: 1% of the total production, with wines produced on the very best plots (or “Climats”) on village land.
  • Premier Cru: 10% of the total production, produced on very accurately defined plots of land called “Climats” within a specific village.
  • Village Wines: 38% of the total production, and produced on land around wine-growing villages and bearing their name.
  • Régionales: 51% of the total production, and produced over the entire Bourgogne region.

Note that Chablis has its own classification system separate from this one. In Chablis the system goes from Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru Chablis, and Grand Cru Chablis.

To be continued…

There still a lot to learn about this region. But hopefully this can act as a primer. In upcoming posts I’ll share more food and wine pairing suggestions from this region.

But to end, a few observations from my trip to the region

Before my recent trip to the region I knew I loved Chablis, but I never truly realized why. I just thought it was because I loved Chardonnay. But the Chardonnay produced here is so incredibly different than produced anywhere else in the world. It’s truly unique. It’s truly delicious. The distinct minerality and sometimes saline (salty) notes are defining features that make these wines special and unlike any produced elsewhere in the world. The addition of those that also displayed bright fruit notes made them extraordinary.

Saint Bris (located within the Chablis region) was another surprise for me, and an expression of how Sauvignon Blanc takes on the personality of where it’s planted. The Sauvignon I experienced in Saint Bris was very different than those found in other famous Sauvignon producing regions within the Loire, or the Unites States, or even New Zealand. It had its own distinct personality. And a grape that I often find “too much” in other regions was “just right” in its home in Saint Bris. These are wines I’ve now started seeking out back home in Oregon and trying to pair them with different dishes to explore its range.

Another pleasant surprise, found in Bouzeron, was winemaker Xavier Moissenet, who makes wines for Domaine Las Champs De Themis. Moissenet also represented a new wave of winemakers who didn’t inherit vineyards from his family, nor is he an 8th generation winemaker following in the footsteps of his family. He is among a type of winemaker you don’t read about in the wine books on this region, a man who left a prior career (in his case, law) and decided to learn how to make wine.

His passion for Aligote was something I hadn’t witnessed before here. A grape that often gets dismissed or ignored in the region has found its whisperer in Moissenet who transforms this seemingly ordinary grape into wines with beauty, structure, and elegance. He sees the potential in this grape, one that most others brush off, and I can’t wait to see what comes of his wines in the future. If they’re anything like what I tasted when I visited his winery, there is a bright future there.

While the red wines I enjoyed there were all quite lovely, it seems the exploration of the white wines left the deepest impression on me. At least for this particular trip.

A final observation, and one I don’t see a heavy focus on in the media, but one that is both surprising and important to me, was how many organic farmers we met and wines tasted. Sustainability and quality of both land and wines is becoming increasingly important in this day and age, and it was incredible to see how many winemakers we met who were dedicated to not only crafting beautiful wines, but in a manner that also has a focus on taking better care of the land and its future.

This article was part of a press trip to Bourgogne, sponsored by Wines of Bourgogne Council (BIVB). All opinions, as always, are my own.

The post Back to Bourgogne: An introduction to Burgundy wines appeared first on Vindulge.

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Grilled Salmon with a Sweet Glaze is a great meal to ring in the new year. Healthy, yet indulgent enough to eat on a date night! Throw in a glass of Prosecco Superiore and you’ve got yourself a perfect meal.

As the year wraps up we start to plan our goals for the new year. Most will be focusing on healthy eating, meal planning, possibly making some drastic changes to their diet.

For me, I focus on balance. And balance, to me, means not giving up the things I love, but instead, moderating, or going a bit lighter. I’m not about to sacrifice flavor just because I may have indulged a bit much during the holiday season.

I just refocus.

I’m also not about to stop drinking one of my favorite beverages on the planet. Here’s talking to you, Prosecco Superiore!

It’s just plan better when it comes to New Year meals. Quality over quantity. Combine the food-friendly flavor profile of Prosecco Superiore with fun unique wood fired dishes and you have an amazing combo.

That’s right. Despite what you may think, this is a beverage that can be paired with so many grilled dishes. Why?

Because Prosecco Superiore is complex. It has a wide range of flavors. It’s elegant, yet fresh. It’s fun, yet serious.

In this post we talked about what Prosecco Superiore is, and the different styles of wines produced in this region. We also talked about the levels of sweetness you can expect from the three distinct styles (from dry to sweet). We also showcased a fantastic pairing of spicy shrimp with a sweeter style “Dry” Prosecco Superiore on AM Northwest recently (check it out here).

Within the Prosecco Superiore DOCG region there are two sub regions that are distinct on their own. And that you should know about.

Cartizze and Rive

Both are subzones within the region of Prosecco DOCG, that express the top quality of wines produced here. These areas are considered the “crus” and “grand crus” of the region. And you can expect to pay generally up to the $30 – $40 range, which is a fantastic value for such gorgeous, handcrafted, artisan sparkling wines and very competitive with grower Champagnes in price/quality.

I’m telling you this from experience. The region here is simply stunning and awe worthy! The wines are made primarily from family operated wineries, handpicked, on some steep and dangerous hillsides, that have been doing this for generations! Humble and resilient people, working in a stunning region, making balanced and gorgeous wines.

You want to try these!

And just because it’s January doesn’t mean you don’t deserve something good! Because you do.

And we’re pairing this Extra Dry Prosecco Superiore with an elegant, yet easy, Grilled Salmon with a Maple Orange Glaze.

Grilled Salmon with Orange Maple Glaze

Yes, we live in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). And what that really means is we have access to the worlds best salmon. And our grilled salmon with a nice glaze provides and amazing contrast to the Prosecco Superiore.

Let’s make this simple, yet full of flavor. Make a dry rub for the salmon. And apply that dry rub no more than a day before you are going to grill it.

Then we put it on the grill. This will caramelize the rub and get us ready to add the glaze.

The glaze is a simple add of the ingredients. Then we brush it on the salmon while on the grill. This lets it set.

Finally we remove the salmon from the grill and we brush one more time with the glaze. Serve with rosemary roasted potatoes, or your favorite side.

Pair this dish with an Extra Dry style Prosecco Superiore DOCG

Video for Grilled Salmon with Orange Maple Glaze

Grilled Salmon with a Sweet Glaze

  • 4 (6-oz, 1-inch thick) salmon fillets
Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Orange Maple Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup ((honey works too))
  • the juice of one medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your grill for direct/indirect cooking.

  2. In a small bowl combine all the rub ingredients, and in a separate bowl combine all the glaze ingredients and set aside. 

  3. Coat salmon pieces in olive oil then sprinkle the dry rub over the salmon liberally.

  4. Place salmon, skin side up, on the grill over direct heat. Let it sear for up to 4 minutes. You know it’s ready to flip when it doesn’t stick to the grill. Flip, close lid, and then cook on direct heat for another three minutes skin side down.

  5. After three minutes, brush the glaze over the top of the salmon and close the lid to finish cooking. In another two minutes check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the salmon and pull at 125 degrees F for the upper end of medium rare. If your flame is too high, move to indirect heat and check the temperature more often.

  6. Remove salmon from the grill, plate it, and drizzle with additional glaze just before serving. 

Want to learn more about Prosecco Superiore DOCG?

Start here: 

This post was sponsored by Consorzio di Tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with folks I love and support. And I will always have a warm place in my heart for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore growing region.

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Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp is the perfect party appetizer. The mild spiciness is tamed with a refreshing glass of Prosecco Superiore. Find out why this pairing works, and why you should serve it at your next dinner party.

It’s the holiday season. A time of celebration. A time of parties and entertaining. A time of year where bubbles are popped more than any other time. But one of the things I’m most passionate about is not just drinking sparkling wine for New Year’s or as an aperitif at a party (nothing wrong with either, but I’m just a proponent for year-round sparkling sipping, and pairing it with all styles of food).

And one of the most versatile styles of sparkling wine, one great for pairing with a wide variety of foods and styles, is Prosecco Superiore.

A couple weeks ago I shared one of my favorite sparkling wine pairings with a recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with a Wine Brown Butter Sauce and shared what makes Prosecco Superiore different than other styles of Prosecco. If you missed that you can catch up here.

If you are here for the first time and asking yourself what is Prosecco, or Prosecco Superiore, in the first place, start here.

But what I want to focus on now is the styles of Prosecco Superiore (in particular the levels of sweetness), and what styles of food they pair best with, and explain how a pairing like Spicy Siriacha Grilled Shrimp works so well with one of the primary styles of wine.

But first…

Understanding different styles of Prosecco Superiore

If you remember,  Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, and it’s smaller, more concentrated designations, are among the highest quality sparkling wines produced within the region. In the next post, we’ll dive into the smaller regions within Conegliano Valdobbiadene and what make them unique. For now, we’re focusing on style.

3 types of Prosecco wine are produced:
  • Tranquillo: The still wine of the region, and the least known. This niche product represents a very small (1%) of the wine made in the region, and not likely to be found outside of Italy.
  • Frizzante: Semi-sparkling (or “fizzy”) wines which have been stored on their lees in the bottle. These are considered to be the real representatives of region. These undergo a brief re-fermentation in the bottle during the spring, and are meant to be drunk in the summer and autumn following the vintage
  • Spumante: The most popular and widely produced style at 92% of total production, this is the fully sparkling style.

Styles of Prosecco Superiore – From Dry to Sweet

The majority of the wine produced here is in a dry (“brut”) style, even though the wines come across “fruity” due to their natural fruit flavors found in the Glera grape (the primary grape of these wines, and constitute at least 85% of the wine). It can be confusing at first, but here is how you can tell how dry or sweet a wine is by looking at the label.

  • Brut: 0–12 g/l RS (residual sugar)– The driest style, and most common, with up to 12 grams per liter of residual sugar after bottling (or up to a half gram of sugar per glass).
  • Extra Dry:12–17 g/l RS– Considered “off dry” with 12-17 grams of sugar per liter (or just over a half gram of sugar per glass).
  • Dry: 17–32 g/l RS– The sweetest style, with 17-32 grams of sugar per liter (or up to 1 gram of sugar per glass).
Food Pairing for Prosecco Superiore
  • With Brut being the most common and least sweet this is going to pair with the widest variety of food, from appetizers to main dishes. This is what we paired that Grilled Pork Chops with in this post. You can also pair with salads, seafood, or even light pasta dishes.
  • Extra Dry is going to have more dominant fruitiness and a hint of sweetness. These are also great as an aperitif, but also with rich sauces, cream based foods, or even flavorful meats like duck or game hens.
  • Dry is the least common, and one that will demonstrate the most fruit and sweetness. Most will pair this style with pastries or semi-sweet dessert dishes. But my favorite pairing for this, and what we’re doing below, is with spicy food!
Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp

I loooooove shrimp. It’s one of the seafood dishes we grill the most around here (next to salmon). It’s great as an appetizer or used in tacos or pasta.

Shrimp has a natural sweetness to it, making it great with a touch of heat to balance it out. But we like to go big with our flavors when it comes to shrimp.

This recipe calls for a spicy marinade. But don’t worry, it’s not over the top spicy! There’s lots of balancing flavors. We’ve got some sweet and citrus from the orange juice to balance out the spiciness of the sriracha. If sriracha isn’t your thing you can substitute your favorite hot sauce (but we don’t recommend leaving it out entirely, as it’s balanced out by sweeter elements.

After the marinade we’re going to give it a coating in our ultimate dry rub (which has a balance of umami and sweet flavors).

Everything is in balance here. And it’s going to be ridiculous with a glass of refreshing and slightly sweet Dry Prosecco Superiore.

The Spicy Shrimp Marinade

Place all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or gallon size food bag, add the shrimp, mix together, and place in the refrigerator for a half hour (no more than 1 hour, as the acid from citrus can “cook” shrimp if left too long).

Don’t have sriracha? Use your favorite hot sauce, or be brave and add a tablespoon of chipotle in adobo sauce!

The Dry Rub

After the marinade time, remove the shrimp from the marinade (and discard the liquid). Skewer the shrimp onto pre-soaked wood skewers (or metal skewers; no need to soak metal ones). Then coat with the dry rub. This is going to give your shrimp even more flavor as the marinade caramelizes while grilling hot and fast. We use our Ultimate Dry Rub for this recipe (but feel free to use whatever you typically use for seafood or chicken).

How to Grill the Shrimp

Set up your grill for direct heat and place your shrimp over direct heat for up to 3 minutes per side. The ideal internal temperature for shrimp is 120 degrees F. If the shrimp constricts, that is the sign they are overcooked and can get rubbery.

Serve to guests on the skewers, or remove from the skewer and serve as a finger food.

If you’re nervous about the heat (and you shouldn’t be), you can serve with a cooling and refreshing simple creamy dipping sauce.

The idea is to create balance between the spicy flavors, the umami, and the sweet finished with the creamy coolness of the dipping sauce. The semi-sweet wine will bring everything together for an epic finale!  

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp – The Recipe

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp is the perfect party appetizer. The mild spiciness is tamed with a refreshing glass of Prosecco Superiore.

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined (26-30 count)
For The Spicy Sriracha Marinade:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the rub:
  • ½ cup of the Ultimate Dry Rub, (or your favorite dry rub for seafood or poultry)
Creamy Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup Crème fraiche (sour cream works too)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or favorite spicy hot sauce)
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Wood Skewers (or metal)
  1. Soak wood skewers for at least 1 hours in water prior to grilling (good to do the night before in a plastic bag). If using metal skewers this step isn’t necessary.
  2. Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag. Add shrimp to marinade and then refrigerate for 30 minutes, no more than an hour. (The acid from citrus can “cook” shrimp if left too long).
  3. Set grill for direct grilling.
  4. Remove shrimp from marinade and discard marinade. Skewer the shrimp (we like four shrimp to a skewer) and then apply dry rub to both sides of the shrimp.
  5. Place shrimp over direct heat for up to 3 minutes per side. The ideal internal temperature for shrimp is 120 degrees F. If the shrimp constrict, that is the sign they are overcooked and can get rubbery.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
  7. For the Creamy Dipping Sauce, combine all ingredients and serve in a ramekin.

Wine Pairing for Spicy Shrimp

I chose a Dry style of Prosecco Superiore for this because it has just enough sweetness and fruity flavors to balance out that hint of heat from the shrimp, while creating great balance. The fruitiness compliments the grilled shrimp, while bringing out some of that natural sweetness from the meat. The wine also acts as a fantastic palate cleanser between bites.

This is going to be a hit at your next party!

This post was sponsored by Consorzio di Tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with folks I love and support. And I will always have a warm place in my heart for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore growing region.

The post Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp – And Prosecco Superiore Wine Pairing appeared first on Vindulge.

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Another fantastic use for any leftover smoked brisket — Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

(*UPDATE* — You can view us cooking up this combo of Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Smoked Tomato Bisque over on AM Northwest.) 

We get a lot of folk on social media who tease us whenever we publish a recipe for “leftover smoked brisket”.

“If you got leftover brisket it means it ain’t good brisket,” they like to joke. Haha (she said with her most unenthused voice)

The reality is when you’re passionate about something, and cook it a lot in order to perfect your craft, you’re gonna end up with leftovers.

And in our case, we own a BBQ catering company, and test and serve recipes for a living. So, while we test, we end up with leftovers. When we cater an event, or do a pop up, we sometimes have leftovers. And leftovers are among my favorite ingredients to work with.

Here at Casa Vindulge we’re can easily go from cooking a 6-8 lb brisket at home, but in the competitive barbecue world or at catering events, produce briskets of a larger scale (15lbs+). That means lots of practice. Practice also means trial, error, and… sometimes leftover brisket. You can find our go-to recipe for Smoked Brisket here.

Two weeks ago we smoked two 15 lb briskets (that’s 30 lbs of meat!!), and after giving nearly all our neighbors some brisket love, we still had leftovers. After making this crazy delicious Smoked Tomato Bisque the other day we discovered something was missing. What could be missing from a downright delicious tomato soup? A grilled cheese of course.

But this wasn’t just any grilled cheese. This was a smoked beef brisket grilled cheese made with leftover tender brisket, smoked cheddar and gruyere (or Comté) cheeses, melted to ooey gooey perfection.

Best Cheese for Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We’ve discovered the best combination for this is a mix of shredded cheddar and shredded Comté (or gruyere). Comté and gruyere melt incredibly well, and are both fairly mild cheeses (so they won’t take away from the main attraction). Cheddar has great flavor and also melts well. The combo if the two is out of this world.

How to make a Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Start by warming up your leftover brisket. I like to do this in a pan on the stovetop, slowly. The juices from any fat will re-hydrate your meat if it’s been sitting in the fridge. If you’re dealing with dried out brisket and need to add a bit of moisture, I recommend adding about a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce. But don’t go too heavy on the BBQ sauce. We’re just trying to add a little hydration, not overpower the meat with sauce.

Once your meat is warmed, transfer the meat to a plate, wipe out the pan, and get it nice and hot for cooking your sandwiches.

Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. Layer with cheddar, load on the shredded brisket (be generous), and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté).

Place the other slice of bread on top.

Place sandwiches on the hot skillet (covered with a lid) and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore.

Cut in half. Feel free to enjoy with this Smoked Tomato Bisque for the ultimate soup and sandwich combination.

You have to try this sandwich! There are perfect pairings in this world — peanut butter and jelly, apple pie and ice cream, burgers and fries, and grilled cheese and tomato soup. This here is grilled cheese and tomato soup on steroids!

Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

An incredible use for leftover brisket — Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. And several other uses for leftover smoked brisket. 

  • ½ cup leftover smoked beef brisket, shredded or sliced
  • 2 slices of bread, cut ½ inch thick (sourdough or como loaf work well)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 thick slice smoked cheddar
  • 1 thick slice Gruyere or Comté cheese
  1. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium heat (or warm up an electric panini press).
  2. Add the brisket to the skillet to warm up. Slowly warm up your brisket for 3-5 minutes. Once it’s warm, remove and set aside. Place pan back on the burner and warm up to medium heat. 

  3. Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. On the inside layer of the bread layer the Dijon mustard to both sides. 

  4. Next layer with a slice of the cheddar, load on the shredded brisket, and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté). Place the other slice of bread on top (butter side facing out). 

  5. Place sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes (covered), until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side (covered) until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore. Remove. 

  6. Cut in half and serve alongside this Smoked Tomato Bisque

Alternatively you can cook in a Panini press for 3-5 minutes. I am not cool enough to own a Panini press so I have to make due flipping my sandwiches the old fashioned way.


For our smoked brisket recipe, click here

Wine & Beer Pairing for Brisket Grilled Cheese

Well, since we followed this up to our recipe for Smoked Tomato Bisque, we paired it with the leftover Barbera. I was a bit surprised, and entirely delighted, how well the fruity and acidic wine went with the buttery, crusty, cheesy sandwich loaded with the tender brisket. Sans soup I think the sandwich would be fantastic with an oaked Chardonnay (bring on the buttery oaked wines. more butter da better), but I don’t recommend Chardonnay for the soup. Stick with a fruity acidic red wine if you make it with the soup (and I really hope you do).

Otherwise a nice Pilsner will do the trick! Light and refreshing and perfect way to cut through the richness of these sandwiches (and trust me, these sandwiches are rich!).

Want more leftover brisket recipes?

But first, here’s our Recipe for Smoked Brisket

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

For more recipes with wine pairing check out the Recipe Index.

* This post was originally published in October 2014, and updated in December of 2018 with new photos and tips. 

The post Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches — Uses for leftover brisket appeared first on Vindulge.

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The next time you think of pork chops, elevate them to the next level by making this super easy, yet elegant, Wine Brown Butter Sauce. Pair it with a bottle of delicious Prosecco Superiore, and you’ve got yourself an incredible meal for date night or entertaining guests.


We’re very passionate about our bubbly around here. And ever since traveling to the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region of Northeast Italy, home of the best Prosecco, I’ve been preaching my love non-stop for the sparkling wines from this region.

And one of the things I love most about sparkling wine, and Prosecco Superiore in particular, is how well it pairs with a diverse variety of foods.

Sparkling wines are typically stereotyped into those strictly for celebrations or as an aperitif. But few people realize that when paired with food, sparkling wines are THE most versatile food wines around. Period.

You give me anything from a salad to a steak and I’ll find you a sparkling wine to pair. So I was beyond thrilled to partner up with one of my favorite sparkling regions on the planet to pair some of our favorite grilled foods (meat included!) with the versatile wines from this region. And to start, we’re grilling some pork chops.

But first, what’s the difference between Prosecco and Prosecco Superiore DOCG?

Simply put, Prosecco often gets lumped into one category — fresh, fruity, and inexpensive sparkling wine made throughout the Veneto region of Italy. But if you’re willing to look a little deeper, there’s so much more to Prosecco than it gets credit for.

Prosecco Superiore comes specifically from the hilly area of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which includes 15 little towns located at the heart of the Veneto region, home of the highest quality DOCG wines of the region.

Why does this matter?

Because these wines are different than their better known counterparts, and are incredibly high quality for the price (you can find great examples from around $15-$25!). They are usually lower in sugar, so they don’t come across so sweet. Instead you get a great balance of fruit and floral flavors with fine, elegant bubbles.

And most of them are made by smaller, family-operated winemakers, with more attention given to the details. Essentially, you’re getting the highest quality product possible from the grapes of this stunning region.

And best of all, these wines are great with foods of all kinds.

We’ll go into more detail about what makes these wines unique in our next pairing post, but until then you can click here to learn more about the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region, where these wines are produced.

Now let’s talk Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce

There are a million pairing options for Prosecco Superiore, but one of my favorite things to debunk is the idea of pairing sparkling wine with meat. Most folks will default to red wine or a rich white wine for a meat pairing (especially grilled meat). But sparkling, and Prosecco Superiore in particular, have both the richness and acidity to handle so many cuts of meat. Pork chops have a great natural sweetness to them, and when grilled take on a fantastic smoky char. The brown butter sauce we use is finished off with some of the Prosecco Superiore giving it a depth of flavor and acidity to brighten up the grilled meat and bring everything together.

Basically this pairing was made for Prosecco Superiore!

How to pick out the best pork chops for this recipe?

Since we’re grilling this, and you want it to cook evenly, you want thick chops. I mean like 1 ½ – 2 inches thick. Having thicker chops helps prevent overcooking your pork. You can go bone-in or boneless.

Next we’re going to season it with our herbed dry rub.  This is going to add great flavor to that crust once we grill it.

How to Grill Pork Chops

We typically love to do a reverse sear on our pork chops, like this recipe. But for the wine we don’t want too much smoky flavor (this time). So we’re sticking to grilling hot and fast.

If you don’t have a grill you can mimic these same instructions over a searing hot cast iron pan on your stovetop.

Grill over direct heat on both sides for approximately 8 minutes per side, until internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. After you pull the pork it will continue cooking another 5 degrees. The exact length of time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your pork chops. If you have too much flame under the pork, then set up the grill for direct and indirect cooking so you can move the pork chops over indirect heat.

Once they are finished, move to your brown butter sauce while the pork chops rest for a few minutes.

How to make the Wine Brown Butter Sauce

You can do this on a cast iron pan directly on your grill, or on the stovetop. Your choice. The grill will be a bit trickier to just make sure you don’t burn the butter.

Start by melting the butter in a pan (use a cast iron skillet if doing this directly on your grill). Let the butter slowly simmer for six minutes, until you start to see the butter start to turn a darker color. Then add your chopped shallots, garlic, sage, and salt. Let it mix until the vegetables soften and the sage starts to fry (about two minutes). Then pour in the wine and let it simmer one more minute. That’s it! So simple and it adds incredible flavor to your pork chops. Total time is about 9 minutes.

The last thing you need to do is to be sure to pour yourself a glass of Prosecco Superiore to pair with this simple, yet elegant dish to find out for yourself how great sparkling wines from this region can pair with grilled meat!


Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce

Grilled Pork Chops with an elegant and easy Wine Brown Butter Sauce. Elevate your next pork chop night with this delicious, yet simple, recipe. Pair with a glass of Prosecco Superiore! 

For the Pork Chops:
  • 2 thick cut pork chops, at least 1 ½ – 2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
For the Prosecco Brown Butter Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 2 large fresh sage leaves, julienned
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup Prosecco Superiore (or other white wine)
  1. Preheat your grill for direct/indirect cooking.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and sage in a bowl for the dry rub.
  3. Coat pork chops with olive oil and then liberally apply your dry rub to all sides. Like a lot of flavor? Consider doubling the dry rub ingredients. You can season the day before.

  4. Place pork chops on grill over direct heat for 6-8 minutes. You are looking for a good sear or grill marks. Avoid flame ups by keeping the lid covered on your grill. Flip the chops for another 6-8 minutes (again place lid on the grill). If you find your grill flaming too much, then move the chops to indirect heat. Remove from grill when internal temperature (IT) of the pork chops is 140 degrees F. Let rest while you make brown butter sauce.

  5. For sauce, over medium-high heat add butter to a cast iron pan. Let simmer for about six minutes, and then add salt, shallots, garlic, sage, and thyme for another two minutes. Finally add the wine to finish for one minute and remove from heat.

  6. Slice the pork chops and then cover with sauce. Serve with your favorite side. We love parsnip puree. Pair with the Prosecco Superiore DOCG!

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

This post was sponsored by Consorzio di Tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with folks I love and support. And I will always have a warm place in my heart for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore growing region.

The post Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce and Prosecco Superiore wine pairing appeared first on Vindulge.

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How to cook incredibly tender beef short ribs on the smoker and finish them in a rich and indulgent stew. You’re going to go crazy for this Smoked Beef Short Rib Stew!

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth sharing again since beef short ribs were a game changer for me. Years ago, before we bought our first smoker, I was a (mostly) vegetarian. I say “mostly” because I wasn’t very strict about it (fish and poultry sometimes made their way into my diet, but never beef or pork).

Everything changed the day we ate at Chef Mavro Restaurant in Honolulu. The restaurant offered a strict pairing menu, and I wasn’t going to tell a James Beard Award Winning Chef to alter his tasting menu just for me, so I went with the flow. One of the courses he served was a braised beef short rib. It had to have been slowly stewing in the most incredible and savory sauce for hours and hours. The texture was like butter, and I was in love. I exclaimed to my husband I would eat beef every single day if it could taste as good as that one memorable meal. After that day I started incorporating beef back into my diet. And it’s been my mission ever since to recreate that meal at home, or at least come close.

Fast forward to a couple years ago we started playing around with smoking beef short ribs on the smoker.

You can get incredible flavor and ridiculously tender meat, but I’ve still missed that rich braising sauce. Most of the time we do short ribs like this recipe, and create our own braising sauce in the smoker for the meat to finish cooking in. But I’ve been craving a rich and hearty winter stew that incorporates the smoky flavors and textures of beef short ribs cooked on the smoker.

Over the last couple years we’ve experimented with a few methods, and finally found what I’ve been looking for.

Tender, buttery, rich, smoked beef short rib stew.


We start with the meat.


The beef short ribs we are cooking here are typically smaller cuts (around 3 inches of bone) and meaty; and that’s likely how you will see them in the butcher case. Buying Prime, Choice, or even Wagyu cuts for marbling is key so that you get that flavor that makes them magical.


I like to trim excess fat off of the top of the meat. You’ll see a thin membrane that, when removed, will expose that gorgeous meat that will pull that smoke in. Unlike pork ribs, you don’t need to take the membrane off the bone side. Leave it there so it can hold that beef on the ribs. Coat the ribs in olive oil, salt, and pepper, or feel free to use your favorite beef rub.


I’ve found that a lower temperature, like 225 degrees and using a fruit wood or oak is key. That way you complement the beef flavor and not over power it. It’ll also take hours to cook, like five hours or more depending on how thick the meat is. While it’s cooking I like to spray with an apple cider vinegar and apple juice spritz.

The acidic flavor really complements the beef. After the first hour of cooking I spritz every 15 minutes or so. So be prepared for spending time around your cooker and being sure you have good beer to pass the time.

We elected to cook until we would typically wrap and cover the beef ribs in a broth, around 165 degrees F.  You’ll see the color below and that bone exposed.  The plan is to finish on the stove top in the stew until butter like texture so the smoky flavor melds with your stew.


When you see your meat getting to to roughly 150 degrees F on the smoker start your stew.

Start layering your flavors by cooking up your bacon until crispy in a large dutch oven. Then remove the bacon and set aside, discard most of the bacon fat.  In the same dutch oven soften your veggies, and then add your liquids and seasonings. Stir, and then add in your smoked short ribs.

Cover and simmer together for around 90 minutes, or until your short ribs come up to 203 degrees Fahrenheit.

Always use a good thermometer for a cut like this for a proper read.
We love the Thermapen Mk4 for its quick and accurate read.

At this point you may want to test one of the short ribs. Test it in the pot or remove it and poke it with a fork to see how tender it is. If you want it to cook more, just allow it to continue simmering at a low heat for another 20-30 minutes, or until it gets to the tenderness and textures you’re trying to achieve.

In the meantime, cook up your mushrooms separately and then add them to the stew.

When the stew is the consistency you like, and the meat has come up to 203 degrees, you’ve got yourself heaven in a pot, ready for you to serve up with your favorite side dish to soak all of the incredible sauce (we like parsnip puree or celery root puree, but feel free to use mashed potatoes too).

Smoked Beef Short Rib Stew

How to cook incredibly tender beef short ribs on the smoker and finish them in a rich and indulgent stew.

For the Short Ribs:
  • 2 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons pepper
For the Spritz:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Combine in a food safe spray bottle
For the Stew:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth (more or less depending on pot as the liquid needs to cover the ribs)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Reserved Smoked Beef Short Ribs, (from above)
  • 10 sprigs thyme, wrapped in kitchen string
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter (separated into 1 tablespoon for mushrooms, and 2 to finish the stew)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour
To Smoke the Beef Short Ribs:
  1. Preheat smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit (we used cherry wood).

  2. Trim excess fat and membrane off of the ribs, coat in olive oil and salt and pepper. Be sure to get all sides of the beef.
  3. Place beef on the smoker for about 3 hours, until the color is mahogany and a nice crust has set. After the first hour during the smoke period, start spraying the meat every 15 minutes with your spritz. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees pull it from the smoker (it will continue cooking in the stew to 203 degrees, our desired final temperature).

For the Stew:
  1. Preheat a large ovenproof pot (like a cast iron Dutch oven) to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil then the bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy (8-10 min) then remove bacon and discard most of the bacon drippings.

  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to that same pot and cook for 8-10 min, to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. You want the veggies softened, not caramelized.
  3. Next add the tomato paste, wine, and enough broth to cover the short ribs. Add your reserved smoked beef short ribs, bay leaf, and the thyme. Bring to a simmer and cover.
  4. In a separate medium saucepan, set to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms and cook for approx 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. You may need to do this in two batches. When cooked add the mushrooms to the pot of stew and cover again.
  5. After about 90 minutes, in a small bowl mash together 2 tablespoons butter and the flour. Mix into the stew. Continue simmering the dish on the stovetop for an additional 10 minutes to thicken.
  6. You know the meat is done when it reads 203 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature. If the meat isn’t to your desired tenderness feel free to continue simmering in 20 minute increments until you get to the tenderness and texture you’re looking for. If it reduces too much, add more beef stock.

  7. Just before serving, pull out the thyme and bay leaf and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with your favorite puree to soak up the juices (we like parsnip puree, but celery root puree or even mashed potatoes work great).

For more servings (6-8 people) adjust meat to 3-4 lbs. Figure roughly 1/2 lb per person. The stew is enough for up to 8 people, but the meat will shrink down. The meal itself is quite rich. We’ve found about 2 short ribs per person, served with the stew and side (like a puree) is a hearty serving.

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

Wine Pairing

This dish is truly incredible. The meat is smoky and tender, and the broth is rich and savory with herbal notes in the background. You don’t want wine that’s too intense, but try to balance out the flavors. Look for something with medium tannins, on the earthy side. We’ve tried this with several options and find that a high tannin fruit forward wine is a little too much. Stick to old world style red wines from France or Italy. Rhone style reds have been our favorite so far because they have just enough fruit but also have that savory, herbal, and earthy notes we’re looking for to match the dish.

Want more Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipes?

*This post contains an affiliate link for the Thermapen Mk4 digital read thermometer. We only recommend products we use and love! And you can’t smoke meat to the perfect temperature without a good thermometer, and this one is awesome. 

*This post was originally published in January 2017, and edited in November 2018. 

The post Smoked Beef Short Rib Stew appeared first on Vindulge.

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We’re chiming in today with some of our favorite gifts from the year. A few of these have been on our gift guides in the past, but that’s because year after year they remain our favorite gadgets or tools, always useful in the kitchen (indoor our outdoor kitchen). They are items that have made our cooking easier and more fun.

You also may know from previous gift guides, we’re not into listing dozens and dozens of options. None of that “100 stocking stuffers under $15,” or “150 gifts for him,” or “75 perfect gifts for her,” here. We’re into functionality and things that make our lives and jobs easier.

When it comes to our favorite gear for BBQ, cooking, and wine, we’re endless preachers of less is more.

Quality over quantity.

You don’t need much to succeed in smoking and grilling or enjoying a glass of wine (you just need a few solid products). I hope these give you some fun ideas for the BBQ, Grilling, Wine or just that general foodie on your list. Some (but not all) contain affiliate links. All are products we use and love.

As always, if you have questions or need advice, I could talk for days on end. So ask away!

GIFTS FOR BBQ AND FOOD LOVERS Good Digital Thermometer 

We can’t stress enough the importance of a good digital thermometer, and ThermoWorks thermometers are among our favorite. We’ve used several different brands and these are the most consistent. We use the original Thermapen and the Thermapen MK4 for everyday cuts of meat, like steaks, chicken, pork tenderloin, etc. But if you want something a little more affordable the Thermopop does a great job and is priced under $30. And for extra long smokes, like pork butt, briskets, whole turkeys or chickens, or multiple items smoking at the same time, we’ve recently started using the Signals unit. It’s pretty darn awesome. All have their own purposes and all work great. Shop here.


Leather Gloves for Handling Heat

We’ve talked about these leather gloves before and are worth mentioning them again because you really need a good pair of gloves to be managing those hot (non-food) items like hot wood in the fire, hot pans, transporting hot platters, etc. Find them here.

DynaTrap XL Bug Trap

This is the second year this bad boy is on my list. You might be wondering what a bug trap is doing on a list of gift ideas for BBQ and food lovers, but if you’re like me and want to cook (AND EAT) every single meal outside in the summer but you don’t want to be bugged (see what I did there?).

This is a gift from the heavens! We’ve been using it for two summers now and it works magic to catch nasty little bugs. The only downfall is that now that I live in yellow jacket country I just wish they work to catch those annoying little buggers too. But I’ll take what I can get!

It claims to cover an acre of space and I believe it to be true in our experiences. Find it here.

Handcrafted Leather Aprons by Witloft

We get asked a lot about these hand made leather aprons we wear at events and on our AM Northwest TV segments. These are the ones. They are made by Witloft, a company based in Holland. Sean is kind of in love with their aprons, and we get tons of compliments on ours. They’re not cheap, but they are a super cool gift for the foodie in your life.  Find them here.

Books for Food Lovers

Sadly I have read no inspirational books in the BBQ world this year (though Hardcore Carnivore is on my personal Christmas list this year), but I have read a few great (non-BBQ) food books I’m happy to recommend.

Wicked Healthy: Okay okay, I know I’m gonna get a lot of crap recommending a vegan cookbook in a blog that’s heavy on the meat. BUT if you give it a chance you’ll find all sorts of inspiration for cooking (vegan or not). I’ve never seen two guys so creative when it comes to creating delicious and also gorgeous plant-based meals. The book is worth getting for just the photos and the stories alone. Get for any food lover, especially friends who love their veggies.

Build-A-Bowl: Yet another that’s not focused on BBQ, but that’s okay! This book is perfect for the busy mom or dad in your life that wants to provide nutritious, well rounded, food for their family, but quick! Sizemore gives a very interesting layout of different grains, and the nutrition they provide, then several creative ways to use them in simple recipes that are super adaptable for weeknight dinners using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. We’ve already made a handful of these recipes with my own kids and they’ve loved them! Buy for a busy parent you know.

Unique Eats and Eateries of Portland, Oregon: I seriously cannot keep up with all the great restaurants that open up daily here in Portland. This book covers it all! From the historic, to the staples, to the hip new joints, to the dietary specific, to the food carts, Sawyer covers it all in this entertaining and enlightening book on one of the greatest foodie cities in the country! Get for anyone living in, or traveling to, Portland, and loves food! Period.

A Good Knife

For any cook you need a good chef’s knife, and a pairing knife comes in handy too!  This is very similar to the Chef’s Knife we use. It’s pricey, but it will last forever. For something more affordable, and great for thin slicing, fish, or trimming fat, a good Boning Knife is important. We use one from Mac, similar to this one.

Last Minute Gifts

Gift Certificates to a great meat or specialty food purveyor, like Snake River Farms (for great steaks) or Jacobson Salt (local), or even The Meadow for a really cool starter salt lover’s kit.


Ok so when I first learned about these bags I chuckled a bit, and thought that, while they looked fun, that I’d never really use one. Until I got one and took it to a dinner party with a group of 12 ladies. It was the hit of the party! These bags play a dual function of purse (or messenger bag, or backpack… they have a variety of styles), and wine holder.

You pour your bottle of wine into the provided insulated wine bladder, then place it into the bag and use the small opening in the front to pour the wine out. It’s not only fun but functional as well. I loved it and will definitely be using it again and again. I have to admit, the messenger bag style is more “my style”, but the gold purse (the one I have) is definitely a standout for the purse lover in your life.

Analog Watch: The Somm Collection, Sake Watch 

I’ve been getting a lot of comments and questions on this watch I’ve been wearing from Analog Watch. The band is made from natural cork and vegan leather, with five color options. The one I have is soaked in red wine, giving it a gorgeous burgundy shade as well as an interchangeable tan color the shade of natural cork. My only issue with these (and this is just a personal one), is that there is no place to tuck the extra band that sticks out after tightening it. Now, I have very skinny wrists, so it stands out for me, but I’m guessing this is something that can be requested upon purchase, or something that can easily be remedied. Regardless, it’s a beautiful watch, and a great conversation starter for the wine lover in your life.

NewAir Stainless Steel Wine fridge

If you, or someone on your list, is in the market for a quality wine fridge, this is one I’ve been using for over a year, and have loved it. This one comes in two sizes (29 bottle or 46), is well-built, super quiet, and has 2 temperature zones (so you can keep your red wines and white wines at different temperatures). We’ve gone through several wine fridges over the last 20 years and this one is by far the most well built that we’ve had. Like I said, I’ve been using it over a year and find that it’s been it’s super solid. You can read my full review of it here.

My Favorite Champagne Stems

Good stems are a must in my house. I’m no snob, but they truly help with the enjoyment of whatever it is I’m drinking. I try to keep my stems basic and have a style for sparkling wine/Champagne, one for white wines, and one for reds. And if you follow my Friday Instagram sparkling wine posts you’ll notice the Champagne stems I use are pretty unique. Specifically they are the Lehmann “Jamesse Prestige” Grand Champagne glasses.  I’ve had a hard time finding them on Amazon (though this looks like there’s some potential). But here’s one place to find them. These are perfect for the bubbles lover in your life!

Beginner’s Cocktail Kit

Some good friends of ours gave us a similar cocktail kit last year as a housewarming gift when they realized how completely old and warn out ours were. Who knew that a fresh kit would inspire a whole new world of cocktail making for us! Now we use it regularly (as opposed to hiding in a shelf collecting dust). This is a great beginner one, but Amazon has TONS of great kits that would be perfect for the cocktail lover on your list, or as a housewarming gift, or just for someone just getting into cocktail making.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Thermapen Mk4 Limited Edition Digital Thermometer ($99 value)

We are giving away our favorite and most used thermometer, the Thermapen Mk4 in the limited edition Turquoise color. This is the perfect thermometer to get started cooking your meat to the perfect temperature every time. ThermoWorks has a large variety of fantastic thermometers for different purposes, but the Mk4 is a great go-to all purpose thermometer for everyday recipes and also good for big cooks, like brisket or pork butt.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:  Follow me @vindulge on Instagram, and leave a comment on this post featuring the Thermapen and Prime Rib. Tag a friend for an extra entry! 

If you’re not on Instagram, don’t worry! Just leave a comment below and let me know what you’d cook first using the Thermapen Mk4! That’s it. Winner will be chosen at random.

DEADLINE TO ENTER: Wednesday December 5, 2018, at 11:00pm (PST). 

I want to make sure I get you your thermometer by the holidays, so we’re cutting this off next Wednesday! Must be 18 years or older to win, and live within the continental United States to win. Winner will be selected at random.

Good luck!

That’s it. Our gift list for the year. If we find more good deals we’ll be sure to let you know, either via our Facebook page or weekly newsletter. So make sure you’re following along so you can be in the know of a good deal when we see it.

Some of these links are affiliate links. Please know we only recommend items we love and use often, and everything on this list is items we stand by. Happy Holidays!

The post Holiday Gift Guide: Food, BBQ, and Wine Lovers 2018 appeared first on Vindulge.

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