Saturday, August 23, 2008

Adventures in Wine Cookery, by California Winemakers; Mulled Sauterne Cup

In water one sees one's own face; but in wine, one beholds the heart of another....
--French Proverb
Adventures in Wine Cookery by California Winemakers, collected and published by the Wine Advisory Board in 1965, came to me through my friend Jeannette's grandmother. Actually, she gave me two copies of the book; the second has long since been passed on to a friend. Mrs. MacCutcheon (grandma in question) received the book from her son, Lloyd, and his wife, Barbara (Jeannette's parents), for Christmas that same year; part of the gift tag is still attached to the title page. Tucked into the book is this note:
I haven't tried too many of these but watch out for the amount of wine. 1/2 of the required is plenty.

Now, I have nothing but respect for Jeannette's mother in almost every thing in life, but I must warn you: Do not heed Barbara on this! We are not here to be stingy with wine. Indeed, Take One Cookbook... encourages wine cookery whenever possible, and wine consumption, too. Just a half hour ago, Chefly Husband opened up a 1998 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and I can't wait to give it a slow and loving sip as soon as it has had a chance to breathe. Back to the book...

The Wine Advisory Board in San Francisco gathered recipes from "winemakers, their wives, families and colleagues," including "professors and other staff members of the Department of Viticulture (grape growing) and Enology (winemaking) and the Department of Food Science and Technology of the University of California." Oh, and the folks at Fresno State. Part of the fun in some of these recipes is the name recognition: who's wife contributed, who's son contributed, who was at one vineyard then yet owns his own now...

And, as is true for almost any cookbook, some of the fun comes from well-meaning horror.
Mulled Sauterne Cup

(About 10 servings, 3-oz. size)
Mrs. Frank Franzia, Franzia Brothers Winery, Ripon

1 (6-oz.) can frozen pineapple juice concentrate
3/4 cup California Sauterne or other white table wine
2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Combine all ingredients. Heat slowly to just below boiling. Serve hot in preheated cups.

NOTE: Hot wine drinks are becoming more and more popular for all cold weather occasions. This one is different, and good.

I love mulled wine, so thought this might be a good choice. I mentioned it to Chefly Husband who gasped in the horror mentioned above. "Why? WHY??? It's SAUTERNES! Just SIP it!"

Point taken.

Perhaps we should expect such blasphemous usage from the makers of boxed chillable red: Franzia. But, no! The boxed wine came after the family sold the rights to the name, and started Bronco Wine Company. So, Franzia wasn't the cheap lowbrow butt of humor back then... at least not for using boxes; they did, however, use screw caps instead of corks. And why? Because a Franzia sister married into the Gallo family! The Franzia family history is well worth a read, and the next time you buy Two Buck Chuck (or, heck, Four Buck...) at Trader Joe's, remember: You've a Franzia to thank.

We're going to have fun learning about midcentury American wine making this week.


  1. Wait. Mulling a white wine? Somehow that seems very wrong.

  2. Moreover, mulling a sweet white wine... and adding frozen pineapple concentrate to it!

  3. I have the cookbook "Adventures in Wine Cookery by California Winemakers" 1965 and was wondering if you might be able to help me? The recipe on page 90 for "Cauliflower in wine" has the corner of the page torn off. I have guests coming tonight and wanted to fix Cauliflower in winebut half the recipe is missing.
    Thank you,
    Cliff ,

    1. Just saw your post. I have the book as well. Sorry too late for your dinner.FYI
      Cauliflower in Wine
      2 TB butter
      4 cups thinly sliced cauliflower
      1 cup thinly sliced celery
      1 TB minced onion
      1 chicken bouillon cube
      1/2 cup California white table wine
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/8 teaspoon pepper
      1 tsp MSG
      Melt butter in large, heavy frying pan. Add cauliflower, celery and onion. Combine bouillon cube with wine, salt, pepper and MSG; pour over vegetables. Cook quickly over high heat, turning constantly. Cook until vegetables are barely tender and still crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Serve at once.

      Hope this helps. I may try it myself.