No-Guilt Wednesday Wine: Gretzky Estates Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005   Leave a comment

This little guy doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  Every Wednesday (though it could be Tuesday or Thursday) I will write-up a wine that I feel delivers good value for drinking in the middle of the week.  Aside from quality, my only other criteria is price.  To start, less than $15, but ideally less than $10, for a 750 ml bottle. 

I will also add any recipes that I paired with the wine.  I hope to leave you with a recipe that you can use to match up with a wine of your choice if you can’t locate the one I recommend.

No-Guilt Wednesday is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank, eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.  

Wayne Gretzky is not a wine guy.  He will be the first to tell you so.  No matter, he put his name (and number) on the bottles.  His rep is on the line.  And he does not need to worry that this will embarrass him.  Originally, set at a retail price of $30 per bottle (with $1 dollar going to fund Gretzky’s foundation to connect kids and sports), you may ask, what is this doing on No-Guilt Wednesday?  Simple– got it at an almost giveaway price.

Gretzky Estates Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 ($9).  This has a candy-like quality on the nose with a hint of something chocolate as well.  This is new world, fruit forward, ripe red cherry with pomegranate bits, quite drinkable, easy and a little fleshy.  A sweet spiciness on the finish with a little peppery sensation that catches in the throat every few sips.  Acidity adds backbone but the tannins were too soft to make this truly interesting.  Forget about aging this– it is built for drinking right at this moment.  This is better than merely good, but is definitely not in the very good category.  Good value for the dollar.  Rated ** 1/2

Some people hate shopping for food.  For us, it is an opportunity to explore new ingredients.  The supermarket is fine for our everyday needs.  But a good weekend farmers market can bring pure magic.  This week’s new ingredient is rainbow chard.  It looks so beautiful, who wouldn’t want to eat it?  Sautéed in a little peanut oil with shallot and garlic it formed an earthy filling for our panko-dill crusted chicken breasts.   Served with a celeriac root puree and an heirloom tomato salad.  What will we find at the market next week?  Wait and see…

Rainbow Chard Stuffed Chicken


  • 1 bunch Rainbow Chard
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 large garlic clove 
  • 2 tbsps. lightly flavored peanut oil (not strongly flavored roasted peanut oil)
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 3 tablespoons, EVOO
  • 1/2 cup Panko Bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsps. fresh chopped dill


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Saute the chard, garlic and shallot in 2 tbsps. of peanut oil; when wilted, turn off heat, separate out into four roughly equal portions and set aside.
  3. Make three length-wise cuts on the underside of each chicken breast half: one in the middle being careful not to cut all the way through and two on each side of the channel created by the first cut.  The idea is to be able to stuff the chard into the crevices created by these cuts and then enclose the chard filling within the half-breast.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the sautéed chard into the cavity of each breast and wrap around to enclose the chard.  Set aside.
  5. Place olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat.
  6. While the oil is heating up, mix the panko with the dill in a shallow bowl and roll each piece of chicken in the panko-dill mixture.
  7. Place breasts (cut side down) in the now hot saute pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Move the pan into the hot oven and cook for 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 175°– the bread crumbs should be golden brown on top. 
  9. Top with fresh dill for garnish, if desired.

© Sybarite Sauvage

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Posted October 5, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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