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GR Now: Summer Wine Frappe Recipes

Summer is meant for frozen spiked beverages, right?

Ok – Summer does include other things but they are all much more enjoyable with a beverage of the alcohol variety.

Sweeten up your summer by trying our unique, thirst quenching, wine frappe recipes (Hint: Frappe means “slushie” in Italian).

Even if you are not a wine drinker, you need to try Russo’s has a wine frappe recipe. All recipes call for minimal ingredients, yet pack loads of freshness (and fruitness) making these recipes perfect for West Michigan’s fleeting summer.

Strawberry Frose Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of dry Rose (Russo Recommendation: Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose)
  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with a mint leaf. Serve.

 

Peach Pinot Grigio Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle of Pinot Grigio (Russo Recommendation: Benvolio Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 cups of frozen peaches
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh strawberries. Serve.

 

Raspberry Cabernet Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (Russo Recommendation: Fourteen Hands Cabernet)
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh raspberries. Serve.

To view one of the largest wine selections in West Michigan visit our location at 2770 29th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512. Don’t want to leave the house? Don’t worry. We also offers wine delivery (Yes, wine can be delivered right to your doorstep). For more information on wine delivery services, call (616) 942-2980.

*If the mixture is too thick, add a splash more liquid. If it’s too thin, add a few ice cubes.

This article was originally featured on GRNow.com. To view this article in its original state, click here.

 

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A Twist on Caprese Salad

The summer heat calls for light meal options. Try out our delicious and unique caprese salad recipes for your next meal-in, or gathering with family and friends! These dishes can be made in a matter of minutes, and are sure to be a fan favorite: 

(Hint: All of these ingredients can be found in our store, too!)

The traditional Caprese Salad:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad
  • Serve with French Bread, sliced or crostini

 

Caprese di Frutta:

  • Peaches, sliced
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Cracked pepper
  • BLiS Tahitian Vanilla Infused Fleur de Sel sea salt
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

 

Spiedini Caprese:

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Fresh basil
  • Truffle salt, lightly sprinkled
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Skewers
  • Optional: Villa Russo homemade wine & cheese sausage

 

Pasta Caprese:

  • Farfalle pasta
  • Portobello mushrooms, sautéed in Riesling or Pinot Grigio, olive oil and onions
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a food processor combine the first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. This is the pesto sauce. 
  • Combine the cooked pasta with the pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Serve chilled.

 

Caprese Pizza:

  • Villa Russo traditional pizza dough
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and light extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled or used as base sauce

Our expert wino, Dave Russo, also recommends pairing these fresh salads with a glass of (2015) Stefano Massone Massera, Gavi, wine. Russo says, “This is a gorgeous, textured white; laced with perfumed apricots, peaches, mint and flowers. This soft, caressing Gavi shows wonderful finesse in a soft, generous style that has a nice mineral-like finish.”

For more delicious food and drink recipes, visit our blog page. For updates on our expansion to downtown Grand Rapids, visit: russosgr.com/downtown.

 

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Shop With Jenny

If you are looking for healthy and delicious dinner options, have we got a treat for you. Food blogger, Jenny with the Good Eats, will be sharing her tips and tricks tonight at 5:30 p.m. Stop by and learn how to shop smart and cook amazing meals.
 
Below are the recipes she will be sharing with all of you:
 

Italian Style Eggs in Purgatory

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs
2 garlic cloves
14oz of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped
¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
 
Serve with 1 loaf of Russo’s ciabatta bread (with Kalamata olives and feta)
 

Preparation:

  1. Chop ¼ cup parsley, olives, garlic until finely minced together.
  2. Add in oregano and red pepper flakes to mixture.  
  3. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add olive oil to the pan.
  5. Add parsley, garlic, olive, and seasoning mixture to pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add crushed tomatoes to pan. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Make 4 indents in sauce to place eggs into.
  8. Sprinkle with half the parmesan and half the feta.
  9. Cover with lid and cook 5 minutes, you will want the egg whites to be set.
  10. Finish dish with addition olive oil drizzle, the rest of the cheeses, and the remaining parsley.
  11. Serve with warmed Russo’s bread. 
 

Russo’s Grilled Cheese

Makes 1 sandwich 

This recipe is simple, flavorful, and vegetarian. This dish is high in unsaturated fatty acids from the olive oil and pine nuts in the pesto. Roasted red peppers have a high vitamin C content, which is important for boosting immunity.
 

Ingredients:

2 slices of Russo’s Italian Bread (½ inch thick)
3 slices ¼ inch thick of fresh mozzarella
1 Tablespoon Russo’s Homemade Pesto
1 Whole roasted red pepper, sliced
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Serve with balsamic vinegar on the side for dipping (optional)
 

Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan
  2. Spread both slices of bread with 1 tablespoon of pesto
  3. Place mozzarella slices on the bread, then top with sliced roasted red peppers
  4. Place sandwich in the pan over medium heat, cover with lid.
  5. Cook until both sides slightly brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.  
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy.
 

Crispy Prosciutto and Arugula Pasta

Serves 4
 
This recipe emphasizes the simplicity of good ingredients. The whole wheat pasta and fresh arugula provide the dish with fiber to help keep you full for longer. The dish is seasoned with fresh herbs and spices to help keep the sodium content down. The sauce of this dish is extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is an unsaturated fatty acid that may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.
 

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat fettuccine
¼ lb of prosciutto, crispy
2 cups of baby arugula
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon  
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup pasta water
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
 

Preparation for crispy prosciutto:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 depress.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay prosciutto flat.
  3. Bake until crispy (approximately 10-12 minutes).
  4. Let cool to room temperature and break into pieces.
 

Preparation:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Pour ½ cup olive oil into a sauté pan, heat over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic to heat olive oil and cook for 30 seconds, do not brown the garlic.
  4. Add in ¼ cup pasta water, 1 cup parsley, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Take off heat and mix in pasta.
  6. After pasta is coated in sauce, plate into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan.
  8. Top pasta with baby arugula and crisp prosciutto.
  9. Zest lemon over pasta.   
  10. Serve immediately, pairs well with a simple Caesar salad. 
 
Let us know what you think!
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*Grocery and Restaurant To Open This Summer In Downtown Grand Rapids

It’s official: This summer we will be expanding to a 4,500-square-foot second store location, located at 241 W. Fulton St. Our second location will feature catering, grocery, delivery, curbside pick-up and a 60-seat indoor and a 40-seat outdoor restaurant. For 112 years our family has been committed to the Grand Rapids community by offering one of the largest selections of wine, gourmet food, craft beer, liquor, kitchenware, homemade Italian entrees and more. We also plan on hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration once construction is finished! 

“Since opening in 1905, my grandfather made it his mission to serve the Grand Rapids community. Our first location was on Division in what was known as ‘Little Italy.’ When we needed more room, we opened up on 29th Street. We always knew we would return to our roots and this second location will allow us to serve the downtown community as we once did 112 years ago.”

-Phil Russo, President, Russo’s International Market

For the past two years, Grand Rapids has been recognized as one of the top metropolitan areas in the country for economic development. According to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 183 residential units were added to the downtown Grand Rapids area in 2015, with an additional 1,437 proposed units to be developed shortly after. With the addition of the proposed units, downtown Grand Rapids would house 5,201 residential units. Downtown Grand Rapids’ goal is to reach 10,000 residential units within the downtown area by 2025.

With the growing number of downtown residents, the need for retail options within the downtown area is evident. Because of this growing need, we will offer much-needed grocery and deli items, fresh produce, wine and beer, pre-made meals and more at our Fulton Street location. The store will also be open later to better serve customers – something that is also a current issue within the downtown area.

“The Grand Rapids community has been so devoted to our family-business throughout the years, and our goal is to continue to serve the community to the best of our ability. We realized the lack of offerings for downtown residents, and this gave us the opportunity to return to downtown Grand Rapids and serve the growing residential population.”

-Phil Russo

We are proudly run by the 3rd and 4th generation Russo family members. In addition to a second store expansion, our store(s) offer the following services:

  • Catering for events, business meetings and more
  • Custom corporate gifts
  • Alcohol delivery
  • Grocery delivery
  • European deli
  • A large selection of Michigan and Grand Rapids products
  • Extensive selection of wine and beer
  • In-store educational events
  • Private label Russo’s brand products
  • **Dine-in eating options
  • **To-go menu items
  • **Curbside pickup
  • **Coffee, espresso and cappuccino bar
  • **Gelato bar
  • **Fresh produce

**only offered at Fulton Street location

The Fulton Street location is in addition to the our existing 18,000 sq. ft. location on 29th Street, which was purchased in 1976, and expanded in 2008. The 29th Street location will continue to offer its 45-foot deli case, with over 300 meats and cheeses from around the world, olives, fresh baked breads, oils, pastas with Russo’s sauces, our own homemade Villa Russo frozen entrees, a vast selection of craft beers and liquor, thousands of wines, kitchenware and more.

The expansion comes nearly two months after a rebrand to commemorate our historic 112 years in Grand Rapids. For more information on the opening of our second location, visit: russosgr.com/downtown, and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter.

*Pending project approvals. Once finalized and renderings complete, expect follow-up with further details.

 

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Tips for a Great Red Sauce

The foundation of any delicious, homemade red sauce is easy: quality ingredients. Whether you’re picking items fresh-from-the-garden, or purchasing in-store, quality ingredients will ensure mouth-watering red sauce that will highlight any pasta dish (homemade or store-bought)!

 

Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are you best bet. We may be bias, but we love heirloom tomatoes because they’re a variety that has been passed down, generation to generation. Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, are small in size but mighty in flavor. Grab a can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes – another variety of plum tomatoes, with the convenience of being peeled and chopped. These tomatoes are from the San Mrazano region of Italy, grown in volcanic soil from Mount Vesuvius, giving these tomatoes a unique flavor.

Russo family tip: when using canned tomatoes, drain the tomatoes out of the juice before adding into your sauce.

 

Herbs

If you’re using dried herbs, add them in early in the process to really pick up on the flavors in your sauce. We have a full-range of dried herbs for you to choose from, so you can stick with your traditional flavors or take a walk on the wild side with some new and exciting flavors! If you choose to use fresh herbs, they should be added in towards the final minutes of cooking. Because of their subtle flavors compared to dried herbs, you’ll risk losing the flavor of fresh herbs if they’re added in too early.

Russo family tip: add in basil after the sauce has cooked and has been taken off the flame.

 

Wine

While you’re picking up a bottle of wine to enjoy with your homemade pasta sauce, use some to cook with. Better yet, pick up a separate bottle! The type of wine you pick up can depend on the type of sauce you’re making and the foods that are being paired with it, but the most important factor is what makes your taste buds dance! Visit our wine section to get advice for our experienced wine department.

Russo family tip: If you choose a Chianti, you may see two kinds available – Chianti, and Chianti Classico. A Chianti Classico is produced from grapes that are harvested in what are considered the best vineyards in the region. But, we don’t play favorites!

If you’d like to use a less expensive, but flavorful wine, try Tavernello Vino Rosso in your pasta sauce!

 

At the end of the day, you have one rule: enjoy yourself! A red sauce can take time and practice, so turn on your favorite album, pour yourself a glass of wine (or two), and have fun! 

 

Sources:

https://www.tomatofest.com/what-is-heirloom-tomato.html

http://www.cento.com/sanmarzano/sanmarzano.html

http://vinepair.com/wine-101/chianti-italian-wine/

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Straight from the Russo’s: Our favorite dessert wines

Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 every year, but sharing and enjoying a delicious bottle of wine can – and should – happen all year round. We carry lots of options to keep things sweet for dessert or anytime you’re craving something different than your ordinary go-to wine varieties. Below are some of our favorite picks for wines to accompany dessert at the end of a meal. Or, just let the bottle be dessert!

 

RED

Pedro Ximenez 1983 Gran Reserva Bodegas T Albala

Stored in oak barrels, this red wine is aged to perfection. The vintage has a rich mahogany color which plays well with the flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and smoke. A dense red, you’re left with notes of spice and caramel that linger, leaving you with a sweet bite in the after-taste.

 

Six Grapes Graham’s Reserve Porto

Fruit with chocolate is a dessert that will never go out of style. This wine will pair perfectly with an aroma of fruits including plums and cherries mixed with chocolate notes. It’s full-bodied and complex but leaves a satiny, long finish on your palette. If stored in a cool, dark place the wine should stay fresh up to two months, giving you more time to enjoy!

 

Trentadue Chocolate Amore red dessert wine

This is decadence at its best. Produced from Merlot grapes, neutral grape spirits are added to stop fermentation. This act blocks a percentage of sugar in the wine from escaping. When the wine is finished aging, a small amount of natural chocolate extract is infused. The chocolate flavor is exceptional with a simple vanilla bean ice cream.

 

WHITE

Hores de Climens Barsac 2010 grand vin de sauternes

If you love desserts with a hint of honey, don’t pass up this wine. The palate is layered with honeysuckle, apricots, and grape. A French Bordeaux wine with great maturity, you’ll love the delicate but strong nature of this vintage.

 

Petit Guiraud 2011 Sauternes

Peach cobblers and pies are great all year round but especially when they are in season. Get a head start on testing your peach wine pairing with this wine. A forward and open taste that combines the flavors white peach, apricots, toasted almonds, and piecrust, you’ll notice a slight hint of freshness and sweetness. The finish is creamy, with the slightest trace of ginger to add a little zing to your taste buds.

 

Chateau La Tour Blanche 2010 sauternes

Take a trip somewhere warm and exotic without leaving the comfort of your home with this sauternes wine. Enjoy aromas of kiwi, apricots, and minerals work surprisingly well with a smoky palate that includes orange marmalade, ripe citrus, and saffron. Even if it’s cold outside, let your mind drift to a sunny beach.

 

ICE

Ice wines are dessert wines are made by freezing the grapes while they’re still on the vine. The sugars don’t freeze but the water does, creating a more concentrated grape that makes for a very sweet wine.

 

Frost Bitten Ice Riesling

Cookie fanatics will love this wine. Combining the flavors of vanilla and butter cookies, you’ll feel indulgent without a high price tag. You’ll also note honey and peach tea that softly settle on your tongue as a gentle reminder of this smooth wine.

 

Black Star Farms Sirius Cherry Dessert Wine

Nothing screams ‘Michigan’ like a cherry dessert wine from a Traverse City winery! Black sweet cherries strengthened with Black Star Farms cherry brandy and sweetened with a tart cherry juice. Barrel-aged for nine months to get a slight toasted oak mixed with the warmth of brandy. The ultimate wine for cherry lovers!

 

Chateau Chantal Ice

Incredibly sweet and delicate like a traditional Riesling wine, but provides a balanced of flavors of apricot, toasted caramel, and baked apple to delight the palate. For political junkies, this wine was served at the 2016 White House Canadian State Dinner for the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau!

Source: Detroit Free Press

 

42 Ice Wine – Sweet White Wine made with frozen grapes from Michigan’s 42nd parallel

This sweet wine is made from grapes frozen at Michigan’s 42nd parallel. A wine that is best enjoyed by sipping, you’ll pull flavor notes of peaches, mango, apricots, honey, and raisins with the slightest hint of violets. The sweetness of the fruit marries nicely with the sweetness of the ice wine without being overpowering.

 

Bowers Harbor Vineyard Ice Cider

Think outside the box with this sweet ice cider. Using the same technique as traditional ice wines, frozen apples are pressed to create this sweet treat. This sweet and slightly tangy ice cider is made with Michigan apples, and best paired with any apple-based dessert. The perfect gift for an out-of-town guest or to keep all for yourself!

 

SPARKLING SPIRITS

Rosa Regale Banfi Sparkling Red

The luscious scent of rose petals meets the delicate flavors of raspberries and strawberries. This sparking red is a great alternative to champagne, there are less bubbles to tickle your nose but you still get to enjoy some bubbles for a special occasion or a special treat on an ordinary day.

 

Codorniu Anna Blanc de Blancs

Enjoy the tastes of apple pie without using up your manpower on homemade dough. You’ll quickly find a nutty personality that goes well with the flavor of apple. Top it off with a finish of clove and nutmeg. This is a dry drink but if soft and smooth, due to its composition being 70% Chardonnay.

 

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Seleccion

Sparkling wine with a clean palate of ripe pear, apple, and citrus that flow into a long, smooth finish. You’ll notice a touch of ginger in its finish to bring a little more excitement to the experience. It’s extremely versatile and can be easily paired with any dessert.

 

J.P. Chenet Ice Edition

Small, delicate bubbles fill your glass of this lovely drink. Your nose will fill with the scent of white flowers, citrus, and tropical fruits. An energetic palate with classically smooth creamy makes a refreshing delight that’s ideal for summertime, or anytime!

 

VIN SANTO

Belcaro Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico 2008

This Belcar Vin Santo has an amber color that will make your mouth water and warm your heart. Delicate notes of honey dance with a hint of almond, tied together by the slightest touch of spice. Perfect with a carefully cultivated cheese board with a mixture of nuts, fruits, and cheeses.

 

A.D. MDX Vin Santo Lanciola 2008

Luxuriously gold in color, complex notes of dried apricots blend with acacia honey and orange peel. A bouquet of yellow flowers enhances this dessert wine. Sit back and relax while you enjoy the aftertaste of candied fruit.

 

Fattoria Il Lago

Deeply intense in color with a dark yellow base and amber undertones, the aromas are equally intense with honey and dried fruits. Somehow this dessert wine is both complex and delicate at the same time. The finish is nutty and has a long-lasting taste. Best served slightly chilled.