Everyone knows the warm sun nurtures plants, bringing grapevines to full maturity. But since ancient times, farmers have also depended on the moon, the ruler of the tides, whose gravitational force pulls water from the soil, supporting vines during the cool nights that maintain a beautiful balance in wine grapes.
Spellbound wines are sourced from all over the winegrowing regions of California. As we craft these wines, we take inspiration from the celestial spirit of the lunar calendar, which reminds us that all life’s phases are worth remembering. These wines pair with everything from oysters on the barbecue to Wednesday night mac-n-cheese. Share them with all the people in your life – family, newfound friends, or those you’ve known for many moons.
We hope you enjoy this savory twist on an American classic, Mac-n-Cheese, just in time for your holiday table or buffet.
Wine Pairing: Spellbound Chardonnay
Cellentani or Radiatori Pasta – these pastas work well with a cheese sauce because they hold sauce in the grooves. (Note: any pasta will work, so use your favorite)
In a large pot, add water and a pinch of salt, bring the water to a boil. Add 1 lb of pasta and allow it to cook to the tooth while you are making the sauce.
- 2 cups pumpkin purée (large can, 2 small cans)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 pinches of cayenne pepper (to taste if you like it spicier)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a boil; once at a boil turn off the heat and cover. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 to 30 minutes (Note: the longer the mixture rests the better the flavor). Strain the pumpkin milk through a fine mesh strainer removing the herbs and garlic. Then it’s ready to be used for your béchamel.
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 – 2 ½ cups of pumpkin milk (recipe below)
- 2 cups shredded Fontina cheese (Gruyere, non-smoky Gouda)
- 1 cup shredded mild Cheddar
- Melt butter in a 2 quart sauce pan over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted add the flour and whisk constantly for about 3 minutes; try to not let your roux* take on too much color, you want a nice light tan. Continue to whisk while gradually adding the pumpkin milk, once the sauce starts to thicken and it comes to a boil, lower the heat and stir in cheese. Stir until all the cheese is melted and you are left with a smooth consistency. *roux = mixture used to thicken sauce
- Combine al dente pasta and sauce, serve immediately, or put the mixture in single serve (oven safe) dishes – sprinkle with a little fontina cheese and place on a baking sheet in the oven (350°) until the cheese has browned.