Break the Rules

Pair red wines with the food you love

Have you ever been enjoying a bottle of wine only to have the flavor change once you add food to the mix? Our philosophy for wine and food pairings focuses on making small adjustments to prepared dishes in order to preserve or enhance the flavors of the wine.  We believe that Cabernet Sauvignon and other red wines work with a much wider variety of dishes than the typical red wine, red meat “rules” would permit. For many, pairing can feel intimidating, but we are here to elevate your enjoyment of wine and food with a few simple tricks.

Our Winemaker, Jesse Fox, crafts wines that emphasize balance, structure, and finesse. His vision during blending is to create a wine that gives you the most satisfying sip possible. Our Winery Chef, Britny Maureze, mirrors this approach with her cooking. While preserving the winemaker’s vision and intent for the wine, each of Chef Britny’s dishes brings together textures, flavors, and aromas resulting in the perfect bite.

Lamb Bolognese

Say goodbye to the same old pasta dish and hello to this rich and savory lamb Bolognese. Fresh vegetables and herbs come together to complement the lamb in a sauce so decadent you have to try it for yourself. To enhance this meal, pair with a Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon. This dish helps to bring out all the bold Cab flavors.

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Grilled Swordfish with Romesco Sauce

Looking for your next food and wine adventure? Try this amazing grilled swordfish in colorful Romesco sauce. This sauce complements the fish with bright bold flavors. If you want to impress your guests, pair this dish with our Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. This wine complements this dish without distracting from its flavor.

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Seared Cauliflower Steak with Chimichurri

Syrah is bold on all levels. Round, juicy fruit and savory, spicy, softly smokey, notes abound in this wine. This wine is suited to grilling specifically for these reasons. The char on the cauliflower gives more dimension to the wine’s smokey spice, as well as giving the fruit more punch. The chimichurri is acidic and complex, teasing out further details.

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3 Recipes

Try this fun exercise at home

We all learn faster by doing. So have some fun at home and try this exercise to better understand how tastes in food impact the flavors in wine. You’ll need your favorite Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon, some salt, a few lemon wedges and something sweet — like grapes or even chocolate. We’re isolating the taste profiles commonly found in a well-balanced dish so we can see how they impact the wine, one-by-one.

First, take a sip of the wine by itself and try to remember what the wine tastes like and how it feels on your palate. Write a few notes, if you like. Next, put some salt on the end of your finger and let it dissolve quickly on your tongue. Take a sip of wine immediately after. How did the wine react? Repeat these steps, one at a time, with the lemon and ending with the sweet item. Remember to take a sip immediately after each flavor element and see how the wine changes.

How did the wine react to each taste of food? Were there any surprises? Here’s our take on how these elements in food impact the flavors of wine.


For a bold, tannic red wine, adding acid to the dish (like lemon or vinegar) can accomplish two goals. If the food has high levels of sweetness, acid can bring that back into balance – often with very little flavor impact to the food. If the wine is very tannic, adding acid to the food can make the wine appear smoother and less astringent.


Salt is simply a flavor enhancer. When used properly, it makes anything it touches more flavorful. It is often used in conjunction with sweetness and/or sourness to accentuate the flavors in a prepared dish. Salt, by itself, has minimal impact on the flavor of wine when used in moderation.


Dishes with a high-level of sweetness tend to make wine, especially red wine, appear stronger and more astringent (bitter). Typically, this is not a good thing. And the more sweetness a dish has, the less enjoyable most red wines will be. We love wine and we love chocolate – but we don’t love them together.

Learn By Doing

Download our pairing guide to create cabernet friendly dishes!

Chef Britny has used her culinary expertise to demystify pairing and personally curated a list of unique recipes that will bring a whole new perspective to pairing Cabernet Sauvignon. The recipes are ready and waiting!

Download our pairing guide.

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