Recipes and Food Pairing Suggestions

Red Sangria
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Mulled Wines
Grilled scallops and saffron rice
Jerk Seasoned Pork Medallions
Star Spangled White® Cake
Tassel Ridge® Rockets Glare Rosé® Cake
Beef Nouveau paired with Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau
Iowa Glögg
French Dip Nouveau
Chocolate Crème Brulêe
Pasta Puttanesca
Iowa Brianna Alfredo Sauce
Spinach Steak Roulade
American Syrah Marinated Beef Skewers
Tassel Ridge Papaya Salsa

Tassel Ridge Winery Wine and Food Pairing Guide

 Dry Red Wines

Pizzeria & Pasta Too!®—Pizza, pasta with tomato-based sauces
Iowa Cuvée 220—Ham, chicken and Mexican dishes
Iowa Nouveau (available seasonally)—Holiday dinners featuring turkey and ham, spicy vegetable soup, pizza
Zinfull Red—Beef, BBQ, highly seasoned pork and poultry
American Syrah—Beef, BBQ, well seasoned pork and poultry
2008 Iowa St. Croix—Beef, BBQ, well seasoned pork and poultry
Iowa In the Dark—Full-flavored meats, grilled meats
Reserve In the Dark—Steak or prime rib
American Reserve Merlot—Grilled meat
American Merlot—Beef and BBQ
2009 Iowa Marquette—Beef, BBQ, well seasoned pork and poultry

Dry White Wines

American Chardonnay—Appetizers, seafood, salads, cheeses, pasta with cream sauces, poultry
American Dry Riesling—Seafood, salads, poultry, appetizers, soft cheeses, cream sauces, poultry
Candleglow® White—Grilled pork or seafood, rich seafood or poultry dishes, soft cheeses
Iowa White Blossom—Spicy Asian foods, jerk seasoned pork, fruit salsas

Semi-Sweet Wines

Iowa Edelweiss—Spicy Asian foods, jerk seasoned meats, fruit salsas
Iowa Steuben—Chicken salad, appetizers, turkey, and ham
American Pink Catawba—Teriyaki chicken, Cajun foods, picnic fare, sushi
Candlelight—Light pork dishes, seafood, salads, poultry, spicy foods
2011 Iowa LaCrescent—Shellfish, fish, chicken, green salads
Oskyfizzante® White—Appetizers, antipasto, pasta with cream sauces, fresh fruit, sushi
2009 Iowa Frontanec Rosé —Serve as an aperitif or with Asian foods
Prelude—Salads appetizers, cheeses, spicy foods
Tickled Pink—Salads, Asian foods, Mexican foods, curry flavored dishes, cheeses
2011 Iowa Brianna—Shellfish, fish, chicken, green salads

Sweet Wines

Oskyfizzante® Red—Appetizers, cheeses, spicy foods
Oskyfizzante® Pink—Spicy foods
Iowa Prairie Snow®—Fruit cobblers and crisps, fresh fruits
Red, White, & Blue®—Desserts that are not as sweet as the wine
Sweet Roxie Red®—Desserts that are not as sweet as the wine
Candleglow® Red—Soft cheeses, grilled meats, and spicy Asian dishes
Rockets Glare Rosé®—Spicy foods such as Mexican and Asian stir fry
Star Spangled White®—Apple and pear desserts, blue cheeses

Dessert Wines

Chocolate Granfinalé™—Cheesecake, fruit desserts, nut tortes
Finalé Blackberry—Chocolate desserts, cheesecake
Finalé Iowa Red—Dark chocolate, chocolate desserts, blue cheese
Finalé Premier Red—Dark chocolate, blue cheese, cashews, cheesecake
Finalé Raspberry—Chocolate desserts, cheesecake

Fruit Wines

Tassel Ridge Blackberry Wine—Chocolate desserts, dark chocolate, cheesecake
Tassel Ridge Cranberry Wine—Holiday dinners with turkey and ham

click here to go to the top of the page


Swordfish_White-Blossom_vertical300XTassel Ridge Papaya Salsa

½ papaya, peeled, seeds removed, and cut in ¼ inch cubes
1½ Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp Tabasco®
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Mix papaya, vinegar, sugar, and Tabasco in a small bowl. Add onion and cilantro. Refrigerate one hour before serving. Serves 4.

Serving suggestion—serve on grilled swordfish, halibut, other white fish, or chicken breasts

Wine Recommendation—Iowa White Blossom or Iowa Edelweiss



Spinach Steak Roulade

1–1 1⁄2 lbs. flat iron steak
2 cloves garlic, minced
2–3 cups of spinach leaves

1⁄4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
kitchen twine (roughly three times the length of the roulade)

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a food processor, pulse-chop the spinach and cheese into coarse pieces. Place steak between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1⁄2 inch thick. Spread the spinach-cheese mixture over the steak, leaving 1⁄2 inch on both sides and the wider end. Beginning with the narrow end, roll the steak tightly. Tie steak crosswise with twine, snugly enough so that the meat will not unroll while cooking.

Heat a small amount of oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Sear the roulade on all sides for 3–4 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 155°F. Cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Serves 4.

Wine Recommendation—Tassel Ridge In The Dark


American Syrah-Marinated Beef Skewers

3⁄4 cup Tassel Ridge American Syrah
1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt

1 tsp rosemary, crushed
1⁄2 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 lb. boneless beef

Combine first seven ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Slice beef into 1⁄4 inch strips and add to bag. Marinate for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight. Remove beef strips, thread onto skewers, and grill 6–8 minutes, turning once. Serves 4.

Wine Recommendation—Tassel Ridge American Syrah


Iowa Brianna Alfredo Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 whole garlic cloves, minced
½ shallot, minced
½ cup Tassel Ridge Iowa Brianna
1½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Add salt and pepper to taste

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add oil. Once oil is hot add the garlic and shallots. Cook until shallots and garlic are cooked through for approximately 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook down to almost dry. This means the wine is almost all evaporated. Reduce heat down to medium. Add heavy whipping cream and Parmesan cheese continuously stirring. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over desired cooked pasta. Serves 4

Chef’s note: Add more Parmesan cheese for thicker sauce.


Chocolate Crème Brulêe

8 oz brown sugar
12 egg yolks
6 oz granulated sugar
8 oz melted bittersweet chocolate
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups half and half cream
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp salt

Spread brown sugar on a sheet pan; dry out in a low oven. Cool, crush, sift and set aside.

Mix together egg yolks and granulated sugar until well combined.

Melt chocolate in a double broiler, add cream and heat to where it begins to steam, but do not allow to boil. Gradually (being careful not to cook the egg yolks) stir the hot cream into the egg yolk sugar mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Strain mixture into another bowl.

Set 12 shallow ramekins or gratin dishes, about 1-inch deep, on a towel in a sheet pan (the purpose of the towel is to insulate the bottoms of the ramekins from the strong heat). Divide the custard mixture equally among the dishes. Pour enough hot water into the sheet pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 325°F until the custard is just set, about 25 to 40 minutes depending on your oven.

Cool, then refrigerate.

To finish, first dab any moisture from the tops of the custards. Sprinkle with an even layer of brown sugar. Caramelize the sugar under the broiler; place the custards very close to the heat so the sugar caramelizes quickly before the custard warms up too much (alternatively, use a blowtorch). When it cools, the caramelized sugar will form a thin, hard crust. Serve within an hour or two If the custards are held too long., the caramel tops will soften.

Yields 12 5-oz ramekins

Pasta Puttanesca

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar pimentos
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup oil-cured black olives, chopped
1 cup oil-cured green olives, chopped
3 Tbsp capers
1 (32-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5-oz) diced tomatoes
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
1 Box Penne Pasta, cooked per package instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, garlic, and crushed pepper. Sauté mixture until garlic is tender, about 3 minutes. Add olives, capers, pimentos, tomatoes, black pepper, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubbling, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Iowa Glögg

1 cup Iowa Nouveau red wine
1 cup water
½ cup raisins
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground mace
9 whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive (not aluminum) pan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth or a strainer. Serve and savor. Serves 2 8-oz. cups.

French Dip Nouveau

4-6 lbs rump roast
1 pkg. onion soup mix
2 cans beef broth
6 oz Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau
6 oz water
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp garlic powder

Place rump roast in slow cooker. Mix all other ingredients together and pour over roast. Cook on low for 8–10 hours. Shred meat and serve on French bread or hoagie buns. Strain juice through cheese cloth to make au jus for dipping. Makes 16–24 sandwiches.

Tassel Ridge Iowa Beef Nouveau

Beef Nouveau paired with Tassel Ridge Iowa NouveauIngredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1⁄2 lbs tender beef top sirloin 1 1⁄4-1 1⁄2″ thick
2 small white onions
3 carrots
1⁄2 lb fresh button mushrooms, whole, cut in quarters, or sliced, depending on size
1⁄2 cup frozen peas
1⁄2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 cups Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau
2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme or Penzeys Mural of Flavor
3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp butter, softened
freshly ground pepper
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Dry beef with paper towel. Cut into pieces about 1⁄2″ thick and 2″ long. Chop 1 onion and slice 1 carrot. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet and brown beef on both sides. Transfer to a heavy pot. Brown beef in two batches if necessary. Add chopped onion and sliced carrot to skillet and brown slightly. Using slotted spoon, transfer onion and carrot to pot with beef. Deglaze skillet with 1 cup of Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau, scraping up any brown bits, and pour over beef, carrots, and onions in pot. Add 2 cups of Iowa Nouveau and enough beef stock to cover. Add bay leaf and thyme (or Penzeys Mural of Flavor). Cover and simmer until tender, 1 to 2 hours depending on cut of meat. After first 30 minutes, check every 15 minutes or so for tenderness. While beef is simmering, slice second onion and julienne remaining carrots. Sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil until almost limp and slightly browned. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms are slightly brown. When beef is tender, remove beef from liquid and strain liquid into a large sauce pan. Skim off fat. Return beef to heavy pot along with mushrooms, onions, and carrot. In large sauce pan, reduce liquid rapidly, adding more wine, beef stock, and seasonings as needed if liquid does not have enough concentrated flavor. While liquid is reducing, mix flour with butter and add to wine mixture. Bring to a boil stirring until thickened into a light sauce. Pour over beef, onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Add frozen peas and simmer 5 to 6 minutes, basting meat and vegetables with sauce. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

Wine Recommendation Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau

click here to go to the top of the page

Star Spangled White® Cake

1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1–3½ oz  Instant Vanilla Pudding
½ cup Star Spangled White®
½ cup water
½ cup Vegetable oil
4 eggs

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and beat well with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes. Pour the batter into a 10-inch bundt pan which has been well greased. Bake at 350°F for 45–50 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the cake is done, make a glaze.
¼ cup butter, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Star Spangled White®
¼ cup water

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir the butter together with the water and wine until it is all dissolved together. Add the sugar and continue stirring until it is also dissolved. Increase the heat and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside as you take the cake out of the oven. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes. Gently remove cake from bundt pan onto a serving plate. Drizzle glaze over the cake while it’s still warm.

Wine Recommendation—Tassel Ridge Star Spangled White®

click here to go to the top of the page


Tassel Ridge® Rockets Glare Rosé® Cake

Rockets-Glare-Rose-Cake450XCake Ingredients:
1 box strawberry cake mix
1 3½-oz box instant vanilla pudding
½ cup Tassel Ridge Rockets Glare Rosé®
½ cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in bowl and beat well with electric mixer for about 5 minutes. Pour batter into well-greased 10-inch Bundt pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

About 10 minutes before cake is done, make the following syrup.

Syrup Ingredients:
1 Tbsp butter
¼ cup water
¼ cup Tassel Ridge Rockets Glare Rosé®
1 cup granulated sugar

Combine butter, water, and Rockets Glare Rosé® in sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Add sugar and continue stirring until dissolved. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove cake from oven and leave in pan. Using long skewer or handle of wooden spoon, poke holes in bottom of cake. Pour half of syrup over and around holes. Let cake absorb syrup. Invert onto serving plate. Drizzle remaining syrup over top of cake in several passes. Cool for 2 hours.

Glaze Ingredients:
1½ Tbsp Tassel Ridge Rockets Glare Rosé®
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine ingredients and drizzle over cooled cake.

Wine Recommendation—Tassel Ridge Rockets Glare Rosé®

click here to go to the top of the page


Red Sangria Featuring Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau

1 Bottle Tassel Ridge Iowa Nouveau
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup Triple Sec
¼ cup simple syrup, or more if needed
2 sliced oranges
1 sliced green apple
1½ cups seltzer

Combine all liquid ingredients except for seltzer. Stir well. Add fruit and chill for at least one hour before serving. Add seltzer just before serving.

Simple Syrup:
Combine equal parts sugar and water in sauce pan. Cook over low heat until clear, then boil for one minute. Cool before adding to Sangria.

click here to go to the top of the page


Iowa Nouveau is a Natural with a
Hearty Vegetable Soup

By Bob Wersen

The fruity flavors in the Tassel Ridge Winery Iowa Nouveau pair nicely with a hearty vegetable soup. There are lots of ways to make a good vegetable soup. I’ve developed my recipe below after experimenting for several years. What I wanted was a meatless soup that I could make quickly and then eat for several days. I use the fresh vegetables that are available and supplement them with frozen or canned as necessary. And, I wanted to end up with a soup that was as low in sodium as possible while still being tasty. The last batch of soup took about 45 minutes of chopping and two hours to fully cook. I normally chop half of a small head of cabbage and put that in the soup but I had forgotten to buy that. And, I normally use fresh tomatoes but didn’t have any. The point is that there is nothing sacred about the exact ingredients. Use what you have in the fridge. Generally, I avoid using cauliflower, zucchini, and broccoli because they cook to pieces quickly.


1 medium white onion, paper skin removed and then chopped into ½-inch cubes
1½ lbs carrots, peeled, washed, and chopped into ½-inch segments
½ lb celery, washed and chopped into ½-inch segments
4 medium red potatoes, diced into ½-inch cubes
½ lb frozen okra, diced into ½-inch segments
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans
¼ lb frozen corn
¼ lb frozen peas
½ of a small head of cabbage, chopped
46 oz low-sodium V-8 Juice
2½ quarts water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup Quaker Quick Barley
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce, or to taste

I use a 10-quart pot. Put 1 quart of water in the pot. Bring the water to a rolling boil and put chopped onions and chicken bouillon cubes in pot. Cook onions for about 10 minutes while you are peeling and chopping the carrots and celery. Put the carrots, celery, and V-8 Juice in pot. Keep the heat on while you chop the potatoes, okra, and cabbage. Then add these vegetables along with the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, corn and peas. Fill the V-8 Juice bottle with water and add that to the pot. Season with Worcestershire and Tabasco Sauces. About 30 minutes before serving, add the barley.

I found that the soup needed salt. I sourced mine from some additional Tabasco that I added to the bowl. Tabasco does contain salt but with the spice, I think that I add less salt than I would if I just reached for the salt shaker.

The soup is great with home-made bread and the Iowa Nouveau.

We usually eat what we want on the first evening and then divide the balance up into what we will consume each following night. In that way, the entire batch of soup does not have to be re-heated each time we serve it.

click here to go to the top of the page


Sweet Mulled Wine

1 bottle Red, White, & Blue®
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 orange slices

Combine Red, White, & Blue and sugar in a crock pot. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks. Float orange slices on top. Serve warm. Serves 4.


Iowa Mulled Wine

1 cup water
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle Tassel Ridge® Iowa Nouveau
1 cup sugar
2-3 orange slices

Put water and spices in a non-reactive (not aluminum) pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add Iowa Nouveau and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Float orange slices on top. Serve hot in mugs or cups with handles. Serves 5-6.

click here to go to the top of the page


Grilled scallops and saffron rice paired with Tassel Ridge Candleglow White

Jene Cain

Ingredients for two servings of scallops:

1 lb scallops, dry
Pam vegetable spray or bottled vegetable oil to coat scallops and grill
Spice Islands Beau Monde seasoning
Lemon wedges
4 small strips of bacon fried and diced fine
Tartar sauce—optional

This recipe uses frozen scallops. Substitute fresh scallops if you can get them. Note: scallops that are frozen without any additives are called “dry packed” while scallops that are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) are called “wet packed.” STP causes the scallops to absorb moisture prior to the freezing process. STP also makes scallops appear more appealing when they are thawed so it results in high prices per pound. But, this moisture makes them very difficult to brown when grilling or pan frying. Our suggestion is to avoid STP treated scallops whenever possible.

Thaw the scallops overnight in the refrigerator, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a tray or disposable aluminum foil pan, spray lightly with Pam vegetable oil or coat lightly with bottled vegetable oil. Season lightly on both sides with Spice Islands Beau Monde seasoning. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator if they are going to be held for more than 30 minutes before grilling. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before grilling.

Prepare the grill. Use a generous amount of charcoal. These scallops were grilled on a Weber Smoke Joe. Standard size or other charcoal grills will work as well. When the coals are hot and you are ready to cook, spread out the coals and place the grill on top. Clean the grill with a grill brush or crumpled aluminum foil using tongs. Make a crumpled piece of aluminum foil and lightly coat with vegetable oil or Pam spray and rub this over the grill to lightly coat it with oil.

Place the scallops on the grill with a timer handy. Cook from 4 to 10 minutes depending on the degree of doneness you like. Turn after the first two minutes and turn again every two minutes. Check on the cooking progress by feeling how firm the scallops feel with the tongs. If you are using a gas grill, you may have to adjust the cooking times depending on how hot the grill is.

Remove to a warm dish and either serve immediately or hold covered with foil in a 150ºF oven for a short time.

Serve on warm plates with the diced bacon either sprinkled over the scallops or served in a side dish with lemon wedges and tarter sauce.

Ingredients for two servings of classic saffron rice:

1 cup of long-grain white rice
2 cups of water or chicken stock
1 T butter
1 T finely minced onion (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 small pinch Saffron, crumbled

Place butter and minced onion in a heavy quart saucepan. Sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add rice, Saffron, water or stock, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (about 18 minutes). Note: this is based on a recipe from Penzeys Spices at Preparation time is 10 minutes. Total cooking time is 25 minutes.
Grilled scallops and Saffron rice paired with Tassel Ridge Candleglow White.

click here to go to the top of the page

Pan Fried Jerk Seasoned Pork Loin Medallions

By Jene Cain

(May also be prepared on a gas or charcoal grill)

Serve this meal with Tassel Ridge Edelweiss wines. For those who prefer a dry wine, Iowa White Blossom is a perfect choice. Our Iowa Edelweiss is semi-sweet and also pairs well with spicy foods. Both wines are made from Iowa-grown Edelweiss grapes.

Jerk seasoning, thought to originate in Jamaica, is spicy and like curry can contain different spices depending on the maker. The following is the list of spices in Penzeys* Jerk pork version: paprika, allspice, ginger, red pepper, sugar, ground Grenadian nutmeg, black pepper, garlic, thyme, lemon grass, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and mace.

1 Whole pork tenderloin, not seasoned or packaged in a marinade
Jerk pork seasoning
Vegetable, peanut or olive oil

Rinse the meat and trim off any excess fat on the tenderloin. Cut crosswise into ¾-inch medallions (rounds). Place the meat on a dish or in an aluminum pan and sprinkle with the jerk seasoning covering both sides. Season lightly if you want mild spicy heat or heavier for a hotter pepper flavor.

Bring a medium skillet, non-stick, plain or cast iron up to temperature using medium heat on a stovetop. Pour in a small amount of oil; just barely coat the bottom of the skillet. Arrange the medallions in the pan in a single layer. Brown on both sides, turning occasionally, until done. Pork is best served cooked medium-well, leaving just a tinge of pink in the center. If you are cooking to temperature, the thermometer should read 150°+ to 165°F. The USDA recommends 170°F. Allow the meat to rest for several minutes before serving. Serving suggestion: place the meat on a warm platter or serve on warm dinner plates.

Garnish with fresh lime wedges and a tropical fruit salsa. Make the salsa with course chopped fresh or canned pineapple, mangos, or papaya, along with finely chopped jalapeño and red onion. Squeeze a small amount of fresh lime juice on the salsa mixture and add a few drops of rice wine vinegar to taste.

Rice or couscous makes a perfect side dish.

*Jerk pork seasoning can be purchased from Penzeys at

click here to go to the top of the page