Upstate Pairing

Upstate Pairing: July-August 2018

by cathym on July 4, 2018

Spring Lake Winery at Varallo Vinyards, located in Lockport, NY, is a winery and caf. specializing in Italian hospitality and light fare. Operated by the Varallo family, the winery grounds include the vineyard, cafe, nature trails, a timber lodge and a private eight-acre lake with Adirondack chairs.

Fresh Summer Bruschetta

Pair with Spring Lake Spritzer

Serves 4-6

1 baguette
4 tomatoes from the vine
1 cup of Kalamata olives
1 bunch of parsley
Pinch of salt
Whole garlic
Olive oil

  1. Slice baguette into thin slivers. Spread out on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven under low broil on both sides until lightly toasted.
  2. Rub one side of the toasted bread pieces with fresh garlic, then lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Chop tomatoes, parsley and olives. Combine in a bowl and place a spoon full of the mixture on each bread piece. Enjoy!

Serves 1

1/2 cup Spring Lake Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup Ginger Ale
An orange slice

Serve on the rocks.


Upstate Pairing: May-June 2018

by cathym on May 6, 2018

K2 Brothers Brewing is a New York State farm/microbrewery in Penfield that opened in December of 2017. It is owned and operated by brothers Kyle and Bradley Kennedy with the support of their family and friends. K2 has a full kitchen and its tap list includes 13 of its own beers along with New York ciders, wines, and craft cocktails.

Steak and Whiskey Sandwiches  

Pair with K2 Brothers Brewing DDH Double IPA

 Yield: 6 servings

1 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp oregano
3 tbsp garlic salt
2 tbsp mint, minced
2 tbsp basil, minced
1 tsp black pepper

1/4 white onion, minced
3 tbsp whiskey
1 tsp dill, minced
1 stick of butter

6 buns (brioche preferably)
2 lbs. steak
1/2 lb. provolone


1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Slice the steak into medallions and marinate overnight.

2. In a small pot, cook the onions until clear. Add the whiskey, dill, and butter. Cook on low heat until ingredients blend. Transfer to a heat proof container and cool. Whiskey Butter will keep for up to two weeks if refrigerated.

3. Coat each side of the bun with the whiskey butter and grill. Grill the steak to your preferred doneness. Right before taking the steak off the grill, top with provolone cheese. Serve the sandwiches with additional whiskey butter on the side.



Upstate Pairing: March-April 2018

by cathym on March 23, 2018


The Lucas Vineyards story begins in 1974 when Ruth Lucas and her family moved from the Bronx of New York City to a 60 acre farm in Interlaken, New York. Rooted in the family was a common dream of creating a successful family business through grape growing in the Finger Lakes region that was just starting to thrive.

For close to four decades the Lucas family has taken pride in the business of producing outstanding wines that have been an integral part of many celebrations and special times. At Lucas Vineyards, hard work and history are honored while improvements and innovative ideas are encouraged. Old and young vines, like family members and friends, come together to add depth and maturity while promoting growth and freshness. Come taste some of Lucas history and be part of our future.  — Lucas Vineyards

Pasta and Bean Salad with Lemon, Sage, and Walnut Dressing 

Pair with Lucas Butterfly white wine

 Yield: 6 servings

1 tbsp.parsley, chopped
½ cup red onion, diced
1 orange or yellow pepper, diced
1 (15 oz.) can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. Ditalini pasta (½ box)

¾ cup walnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp. fresh sage (approx. 20 leaves)
½ cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange walnuts in single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 8 minutes. Allow to cool. Rough chop.

2. Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta until el dente. Drain, rinse and cool.

3. In large bowl, combine pasta, red onion, beans, pepper and parsley.

4. In food processor combine dressing ingredients. Pulse until well combined and sage and walnuts are finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

5. Just before serving, combine dressing into pasta mixture.

Note: If mixed too far in advance, the salad will absorb too much dressing and some browning will occur to the sage.)