Trent’s Spring Picks

Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella Classcio

Made only in exceptional years, Amarone is lushly flavoured, intensely concentrated and silky-textured. It is deep garnet, velvety-red in colour with aromas of wild cherry jam, spice and hints of cedar. This Amarone delivers rich, dry, black cherry flavours and a finish that is long, round, and persistent with cacao and spice.

Enjoy with red meats, roasts and grilled dishes, game, braised meats and well aged cheeses.

When I am looking for an exceptional bottle of wine to pair with an outstanding beef roast such as prime rib, I often choose an Amarone. Prime Rib is one of the most tender, flavourful, and expensive cuts of beef, so it deserves a wine that won’t wimp against all that flavour.

Dry rub for Prime Rib Easter Beef:

  • 2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1-2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • Mix all spices together and rub in to roast and allow to rest over night (covered) in refrigerator.
  • Remove from refrigerator a few hours before cooking to allow meat to reach room temperature.
  • Heat oven to 450 f and cook roast for about 20-30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325°F and continue cooking until meat probe reaches desired done-ness.
  • Tent with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting.


An Italian lemon liqueur with origins in southern Italy. It is a popular ingredient in cocktails or traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner Digestivo. I began using it experimentally in cooking a few years ago in a brine for smoking salmon, and now use it quite regularly to add a lemony flavour to everyday cooking. Note: Limoncello can impart a lot of flavour and should be used sparingly.

Here are a few ways I like to use it:

  • As a drizzle for pan seared scallops when used as a deglazing liquid.
  • Limoncello cake with a Limoncello glaze makes a refreshing easy dessert for lemon lovers.
  • Chicken baked in Limoncello (see recipe below)

Limoncello Baked Chicken Recipe

  • 4 chicken breasts (bone in skin on)
  • 8 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 lemons (grate rind and juice)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 cup Limoncello
  • 1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • Place chicken in non-metal dish with garlic, lemon juice (& rind), thyme and Limoncello. Cover and chill one hour.
  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • Heat butter and oil in heavy pan and brown chicken 3 min a side (reserve marinade).
  • Place skin side up on a baking tray and roast 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 177 °F. Allow chicken to rest 5 min.
  • While chicken is resting add reserved marinade to fry pan (including garlic and herbs) and stir for 5 min over med high heat.
  • Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve.

Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Wine

Jacobs Creek Sparkling is a value priced wine made from two classic Champagne grapes. It offers refreshing lemon citrus aromas with a hint of red currant. It is rich yet structured with generous citrus fruit flavours and finishes with creamy nutty yeast characteristics.

Champagne and sparkling wine are ideal partners with shellfish and seafood. The acidity in Champagne or sparkling wine is especially good at cutting through the greasiness of an oily meat or food.

I like to use this wine as an aperitif or in a brunch Mimosa. I recently came across a recipe for Grapefruit Bellini and thought it would make an excellent drink for Mother’s Day brunch.

Grapefruit Bellini:

  • ½ cup each of sugar and water
  • Bunch of fresh mint leaves
  • 2-3 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 bottle of Jacobs Creek Sparkling wine
  • In a pot bring water to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer add sugar and mint and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cook, discard mint.
  • When cool mix with grapefruit juice in a pitcher.
  • In a champagne flute add equal amounts the juice and sparkling wine.
  • Garnish with mint leaves.