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When translated from an Italian phrase, ‘Far Niente’ romantically means ‘without a care’. We hope you recapture that essence as you take a behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.




Without a Care

A Blog By Far Niente

Without a Care



The Fragrant Soup and Chardonnay Pairing We Can’t Get Enough Of

Categories: Food and Wine Recipes, Uncategorized, Wine Pairing

Soup and Chardonnay Pairing Far Niente

Are you ready for the clean-out-the-fridge chicken soup and Chardonnay pairing our Far Niente winemaker and our chef can’t get enough of?

 Far Niente Winemaker Nicole Marchesi recently had our mouths watering with her shelter-in-place recommendation for homemade chicken soup and Chardonnay, specifically Far Niente’s Napa Valley Chardonnay. “The wine’s bright citrus and floral notes really paired well with the fresh veg in the pot,  Nicole says, “while both offered a richness of flavor, with the wine’s fresh acidity lifting the end and leaving us wanting another sip … and another bite of soup.”

Inspired by this fragrant soup and wine pairing, Far Niente Executive Chef Sarah Walz created a pairing-perfect version for our new monthly wine subscription, Hosted at Home. One of our most flexible wine membership programs (you can skip a shipment at any time!), Hosted at Home doesn’t just bring our most expressive and nuanced wines to your table. It also connects you with our wine experts and wine enthusiasts around the country for engaging virtual happy hours.

We could do an entire blog post on this delicious new wine experience alone. But that’s for another day.

For now, we’re excited to share the chicken soup and wine pairing that had both our winemaker and our executive chef sighing with comfort, a garden-fresh chicken and bacon minestrone that’s a knockout with our Far Niente Napa Valley Chardonnay.

Executive Chef Sarah Walz also includes a pro thickening tip to ensure your soup is anything but watery. You can incorporate this all-natural thickener into a number of broth-based soups to delicious effect.

Garden-Fresh Chicken & Bacon Minestrone, aka, Your Clean-Out-the-Fridge Chicken Soup

Wine Pairing: Far Niente Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Serves 4-6


1 cup diced bacon

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced leeks

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

14 oz diced tomato plus the juice

1 cup cooked chickpeas

2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped

3 quarts chicken stock

3 teaspoons Kosher salt

2 teaspoons each of the following spices: fennel, coriander, white pepper

2 teaspoons mustard seed, toasted & ground

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 cup chopped purple cabbage

1 cup chopped curly kale

1 cup chopped asparagus

3 tablespoons dry aged sherry

2 cups sliced potatoes,

2 guajillo chilis, destemmed & deseeded (2 teaspoons guajillo chili powder can be substituted)

Old Bay Seasoning


Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add diced bacon. Cook for five minutes before adding onions, carrots, celery, and leeks. Sauté for 10 minutes, then add your chopped garlic and spices. Sauté for two minutes.

While your vegetable mix is sautéing, create your thickener. Add sliced potatoes to a small pot, cover with two cups chicken stock and simmer on medium-low until soft, approximately 20 minutes. Add two guajillo chiles directly to the pot. Then add one teaspoon salt and six shakes of Old Bay seasoning. Using a stick blender, puree until creamy and smooth.

Add to your potato puree to your sautéd vegetables, along with the remaining chicken stock. Bring all to a simmer. Add cooked chicken and chickpeas. Simmer for ten minutes, before adding the chopped herbs, cabbage, asparagus, kale, sherry vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Allow all to simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt, spices and sherry vinegar as desired.

Serve:  Generously fill your bowls with steaming, fragrant soup, pour a glass of lightly chilled Far Niente Chardonnay, and, for extra comfort, serve some homemade biscuits for dipping.

Far Niente Chardonnay and Food Pairings

Want to receive more great recipes, food and wine pairing tips from Chef Sarah and engage in virtual experiences with our Napa Valley winemakers and pros?  All while enjoying two to three wines delivered directly to your door each month? Our new subscription, Hosted at Home,  may be just what the winemaker ordered. Check out the full details here. Or connect with us at wineclub@farniente.com.

Napa Valley Chef Far Niente Sarah Walz


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