Epoch Wines: Dinner with 2015 Estate Blend

by Lisa Lundy, Tasting Room Educator

Am I the only one who thinks the hardest part of the day is deciding what to make for dinner?  I want three things: savory on my palate, easy on the cleanup, and pairable with the wine I’m sippin’!  A tasty “recipe” I’d like to share is a blend of cooking from the heart with a little Pinterest on top.  Ladies and gents, I give you Chicken Cacciatore served over polenta.  I know that name sounds complicated, but rest assured, a quick stop at your local Trader Joes has everything you need.  I have made this dish several times, and it does not fail at the dinner table.  It’s the perfect weekend family dinner!  



Oh, the most important part…we do not want to forget to serve up this Chicken Cacciatore with a 2015 Estate Blend – a perfect red to pour with this dish.  At 53% Syrah, 26% Mourvedre, 13% Grenache, 5% Tempranillo and 3% Zinfandel, this wine is flawless on the nose; the aromas are gorgeous and yummy!  2015 Estate Blend gets things going with a roundness of fruit up front and fans out with precision all the way to the finish line.  After all, with the five varietals, there is a lot going on here!  In a really, really good way. 


The grocery list:

  • 4 -6 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 Garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Dried oregano
  • 1 cooked package of Polenta
  • Chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp drained capers
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • Small bunch of basil
  • Shredded parmesan cheese


Of course, you will use some staples that you have on hand at home like salt, pepper, olive oil, and a little butter (yes, butter makes everything in life better).



 Dredge the thighs in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then brown both sides of the thighs in a large dutch oven pan with olive oil and about 3 tablespoons butter.  While that is cooking, go ahead and chop up your onion and bell peppers and mince your garlic.  Remove the chicken once it is browned and set aside. Next, add the onions, Bell pepper, and garlic; cook until tender. 


Now you will want to deglaze a pan with about ½ cup of that 2015 Estate Blend wine, turn the heat down low, and let that reduce down for about 15 minutes.  Go ahead and add a can of diced tomatoes, chicken, and 1 ½ cups of the chicken stock.  Turn down the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes to let the chicken cook thoroughly


Now for the last step – just as the cacciatore is finished simmering, you will want to start warming up the polenta; it is precooked, so this does not take long.  Open the package of polenta and put in a large saucepan, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and break into small pieces.  Add in some chicken broth, enough to make a mashed potato consistency.  You may need to add more chicken stock during heating to arrive at the desired consistency.  Add in some grated parmesan cheese to taste (make sure to heat the polenta on low so it does not burn).  Thinly slice up some basil leaves to sprinkle on top of the cacciatore.


Now it’s time to serve up dinner!  Plate up some polenta and top with some chicken and sauce. Serve this with a salad on the side.  Don’t forget to grab that glass of 2015 Epoch Estate Blend and toast yourself on a dinner well done.


**Remember to cook this dish from your heart**







2015 Estate Blend

Paderewski and Catapult Vineyards, Willow Creek District, Paso Robles
53% Syrah, 26% Mourvèdre, 13% Grenache, 5% Tempranillo, 3% Zinfandel


Notes from Jordan: “The savory, the floral, and the fruity all unite in our five-varietal Estate Blend that speaks to all of Epoch’s wine practices. This focused and seamless expression of our terroir shoots across the palate with notes of raw and smoked meats, black olives, roasted herbs, cherry, cassis, anise, lavender, and vanilla dust.”


What critics are saying: Wine Enthusiast 96, Jeb Dunnuck 95, Vinous 94, Wine Advocate 93