September 2019 – Matchbook Wines

Month: September 2019



September 25th, 2019

Matchbook Olive Oil Cake Recipe

by: Virginia Valdez Sandfer

Matchbook Tasting Room Manager, Maureen Henderson, has an amazing recipe for a traditional Italian olive oil cake. She has perfected this lovely cake by mixing in our full-flavored Matchbook Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It’s mildly sweet taste and aromatics make it the perfect treat to enjoy any time of day. The golden brown color with fresh fruit garnish will look beautiful on your table or buffet.

Pair with your morning coffee or enjoy it as a dessert as you sip on wine.

“It’s easy to make this cake your own! I like to slice peaches and arrange in a star design on top or sprinkle with fresh berries. I’ve served this as a sliced cake after dinner, mini cakes for a dessert bar or baked in ramekins for easy traveling!” – Maureen Henderson, Tasting Room Manager

Prep Time: 10 minutes  | Cook Time: 50 minutes | Serves: 8-10


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs (our eggs were provided by Winemaker Dan’s, chicken Henrietta)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ½ cups Matchbook Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur (we highly recommend a top-shelf brand such as Grand Marnier)
  • 3 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting
  • Fruit of your choice for cake topping (we love fresh berries and peaches!)
  • 1  tbsp. unsalted butter for coating pan

Substitutions (Updated 4/4/20)We realize getting to the grocery store may be a bit of a challenge these days – here are some substitutions that offer some flexibility:

  • Grand Marnier: Any citrus-flavored liquor will work, triple sec, orange curaçao, Cointreau or Limoncello. The alcohol can be completely left out as well.
  • Leaving out the alcohol? Opt for 1-2 tablespoons (dependent on your taste) of vanilla extract, almond extract or lemon extract. If using these subs, be sure to not skip lemon zest.
  • Orange Juice: Replace with a ¼ cup lemon juice.
  • Toppings: Use thawed out frozen berries or jams. Be creative and use what you have on hand!


  • Parchment paper
  • Springform cake pan, 10 in.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat sides of 10″ Springform cake pan with butter. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a circle and place in the bottom of the pan. Coat parchment paper with butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream together the eggs and sugar with a whisk, and then add orange juice, milk, olive oil, liqueur and lemon zest to eggs and sugar.
  4. Combine dry and wet mixtures. Whisk until well blended. The batter will be fairly thin. Pour mixture into the cake pan. Sprinkle almonds on top of batter.
  5. Place on center rack of oven. Bake 50 minutes or until cake springs back from touch. Cake should be a nice golden brown.
  6. Use a knife to separate the cake from sides of the pan and then release the spring. Remove cake from pan, discard parchment and cool on a rack.
  7. Dust with sugar, top with fruit of your choice and serve!

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September 6th, 2019

Wine Club Recipe: Sangria Verde

by: Anna Sargent


As we make the transition from summer to fall, this quarter’s Wine Club recipe is the perfect way to get you through the last lingering bits of summer heat. Our very own Maureen Henderson, Tasting Room Manager, brings you a delicious Sangria Verde! Around here, she is known as the “Martha Stewart” of the office and tasting room – she can craft, cook, bake and host an event like no other!

Below Maureen explains why she loves making Sangria Verde:

“If there’s one thing I love when making up cocktails, it’s fresh herbs. They’re not just for cooking, they can be the perfect flavor to enhance a drink. This sangria, with it’s fresh mint and basil plays nicely with our Mossback Chardonnay’s crisp green apple flavor and honeysuckle aromas. It’s a great addition to any party and can be prepared ahead of time! I highly recommend freezing the grapes as a substitute for ice!”

Sangria Verde Recipe

Makes: 4-6 servings


  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 1 cup honeydew melon, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green apple, cubed into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh basil leaves
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bottle of  Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay
  • 3/4 cup elderflower syrup or liqueur
  • 2 cups of your favorite  sparkling water or hard seltzer, citrus or unflavored
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • 2 handfuls of frozen green table grapes


  • In a large pitcher, combine lime, green apple, basil and mint.
  • Pour in entire contents of Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay wine and elderflower syrup. Stir and chill for one hour.
  • Before serving, add honeydew and top with sparkling beverage (ours is Key Lime La Croix!). Stir.
  • Serve in a wine glass with green grape “ice cubes” and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
  • Enjoy!


Visit our wine store to get a bottle of Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay!





September 4th, 2019

Kings & Queens of CRUSH!

by: Virginia Valdez Sandfer

Crush is in full swing! This harvest season we wanted to take time to shine light on some of our talented winemaking and vineyard team members. We would not be able to produce delicious, award-winning wines without these guys and gals! Everyone from intern to winemaker serve as an integral part of the process. This year we are honoring them as the Kings & Queens of CRUSH!

What is ‘Crush’? A term that loosely describes the entire harvest season. Crush begins when the grapes are picked and continues through processing and fermentation until the last wine is safely in barrel or tank. Check out our team in action on the first day of our 12th Annual CRUSH, click here to watch the video.


Mikayla Callen Ruvalcaba, Lab Director

Our recently married Lab Director, formerly Mikayla Callen, now Mrs. Ruvalcaba, is one of our Queens of Crush! You’ll find Mikayla in her lab running various tests and tastes of our wines. Pictured: Mikayla goes mad scientist on us and “inoculates a tank” of what will soon be Tinto Rey Rosé. With a cocktail of yeast Mikayla coerces our grape juice to turning into wine. We are so thankful for her and we literally could not produce wines without her.

Merlissa Gamino, Winemaker

Hooray for women in wine! Merlissa Gamino has been an important member of our team since 2015. Merlissa enjoys everything about wine from analyzing and manipulating the blends to the processing aromas and colors. Pictured: Merlissa checks and reviews our harvesting equipment with winery consultant, Ken Lazzaroni, to ensure everything is in order for the next harvest load of grapes. Thanks Merlissa for all you do!


Dan Cederquist, Head Winemaker

Our fearless leader, Dan Cederquist, guides our winemaking team into creating the delicious wines you taste in every bottle of Matchbook. Dan has been with Matchbook from the beginning and has tasted every barrel, created every blend and is the driving force behind the Matchbook style of wines. Dan’s stellar skills are responsible for creating the positively reviewed and awarded wines that you find in each bottle of The Arsonist, Matchbook, Tinto Rey, Mossback, Chasing Venus and Black’s Station.

Petro Gallo, Warehouse Supervisor

Longtime cellar crew member, Petro Gallo, keeps busy by managing the massive amounts of harvested grapes that come onto the crush pad. Petro can be found buzzing around the cellar, keeping everything in order and somehow, managing to do it with a friendly smile on his face. Pictured: Petro prepares for another 10 tons of Chardonnay to hit the hoppers.

José Cardenas, Cellar Supervisor

José Cardenas joined Matchbook this past February and has since made a great impact on our cellar team. In addition to his positive attitude and work ethic, José’s wit and humor make the work day even more enjoyable! Pictured: José changes out ball valves with butterfly valves on a wine tank.

Luc Mercado, UC Davis Chemistry Student & Winery Intern

Luc is in his senior year at UC Davis as a Chemistry student, which made him the perfect fit for our summer intern program. He ventured bravely out in to the vineyards early every morning with the company of rows and rows of grapes (and big spiders!) to collect samples and cluster counts to determine crop size. Pictured: Luc weighs and analyzes the sugar content of the grapes.

Greg Giguiere, Director of Vineyard Operations

Greg Giguiere leads our vineyard team on the farming side of the business. Greg can be found out in the vineyards surveying and constantly studying our soils, fruit and environment. In true farmer fashion, Greg is always experimenting with new processes and practices to better our fruit. Pictured: Greg works with his team to measure and analyze the sugar content in this season’s grapes.

Erick Canchola, Davis High School Student & Vineyard Intern

The vineyard team was very lucky to have a hardworking high school student on board over the summer. Erick helped Greg Giguiere and the vineyard team prepare for harvest through hands-on sugar sampling, cluster counts and various other tasks that are essential to our harvest season! We love piquing the interest of a new generation of winemakers. Pictured: Erick and vineyard crew members carefully weigh and measure the sugar content in this seasons grapes.