Since 1861 Charles Krug has been a Napa Valley staple, with the Mondavi family bringing it to its glory starting in 1943. Today run by Peter Mondavi and family, toasting seventy-five years of crafting Napa Valley wine over four generations. Charles Krug opened the first tasting room in Napa in 1882, and the experience of welcoming guests to the winery, making them feel at home, sharing a glass and a story, has been at the core of what the Mondavi family celebrates, opening their newly remodeled hospitality center in just the past few years.
With tasting rooms closed right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mondavi’s got a little creative the other day, bringing a cooking class to a handful of guests the other day. I was lucky enough to be a part of it, preparing fresh gnocchi with the family via Zoom.
While cooking, we tasted a few selections from the estate, including their Charles Krug Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($18) and Charles Krug Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.)
The Sauvignon Blanc has always been a favorite, as it has just the right balance of citrus, with a nice note of minerality, great acidity, and an easy style. The Cabernet is an incredible wine when looking at the price, as the quality is everything you would expect from well-produced Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh, and fruit-forward, with wild cherry, blackberry, toasted caramel, and sweet spice, with just a touch of espresso to round out the easy-drinking palate. Both of these wines are perfect to enjoy as your go-to Wednesday night wine, especially with a big, beautiful bowl of gnocchi. The recipe from the Mondavi family is below as well. #Cheers
Potato ricer (or potato masher or fork)
Pasta scraper (or a knife)
Gnocchi board (or fork or flat grater)
600g potatoes, raw (we use red boiling potatoes)
180g “00” Flour or all-purpose flour
- The night before or the morning of, place your potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. Add salt generously.
- Allow the potatoes to cook for 20-25 minutes. When the skin of the potatoes starts to crack, test the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. You don’t want too much water to absorb into the potatoes so try to test as little as possible.
- Let the potatoes cool down.
- When ready to make gnocchi, peel the potatoes and then rice them onto your work surface (a wooden board works well).
- Create a well in the center of your pile of potatoes.
- Add the egg into the middle of the well and beat gently. Then add around ⅓ of the flour.
- Start to slowly work the flour and egg into the riced potato. Add more flour as necessary but don’t add it all at once. You want to incorporate as little flour as possible until your dough holds together and isn’t sticky.
- Use your pasta scraper or hands to gently knead the dough, adding flour as necessary.
- Once your dough holds together and isn’t sticky, stop kneading and divide your dough into about 4-5 pieces.
- Take one of your pieces of dough and roll into a 2-cm log.
- Using your pasta scraper or knife, cut the roll into pieces of 1.5-2 cm length.
- Roll each piece of dough on the floured gnocchi board, fork, or backside of a grater to impart grooves into the gnocchi.
- Place each gnocchi on a floured tray. You can line the tray with parchment paper to make it easier to transfer to the boiling water later. Just make sure you flour the parchment paper.
- Repeat the above steps until all your gnocchi are formed.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Generously salt the water.
- Place your sauce in a large saucepan nearby.
- Place the gnocchi into the water. You want to be quick about this so they are added in as short a time period as possible.
- Once the gnocchi have risen to the top, scoop them off and add to the saucepan with the sauce.
- Toss to coat the gnocchi.
- Serve and top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Buon appetito!
Brown Butter Sage Sauce
56 gm (4 Tbsp) butter
8-10 sage leaves
Slowly melt the butter. Add the sage leaves and gently fry until the leaves begin to curl. Be careful not to over brown the butter. Season with salt and pepper as desired.