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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Steak sandwich with basil dijonnaise and smoked Gruyère & 2021 Selin Cellars Alicante Bouschet

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

I'm always up for a good challenge, especially if it's in the kitchen. Not too long ago, when I partnered up with Peter Selin and Selin Cellars, I was provided by a unique varietal that I've never had before...Alicante Bouschet.

This grape is a cross between Petite Bouschet and Grenache, with origins from Spain and significant use in France made its way to the USA where it was heavily planted in California during Prohibition for expediting to the East Coast.

(Puccioni Ranch, photo courtesy of Selin Cellars)

As soon as I opened the bottle to do my preliminary tasting and kitchen tests, I was blown away by its eclectic nose and more so, it's meandering taste. And I mean this is a good way...for me it was quite a wine to decipher.

All I knew is that this wine called for a food pairing that had to have elaborate flavors and textural levels that could match the wine's particular essence.

What immediately came to mind was a grilled steak sandwich with a piquant basil dijonnaise sauce, anchored by a mild yet flavorful smoked Gruyère cheese, and plenty of fresh veggies for texture. It paired beautifully.

Let‘s get cooking!


Grilled skirt "churrasco" steak sandwich on warmed buttered baguette with basil dijonnaise, tomatoes on the vine, red onions, arugula and hickory-smoked Gruyère cheese.


2021 Selin Cellars - Puccioni Ranch - Alicante Bouschet (Sonoma County, California)

Serves 4


  • Baguette style French breads, cut into 4 equal parts (approximately 8-10 inch long each). Make sure they are also cut open lengthwise.

  • 4 pieces of skirt steak (ideally inside skirt), approximately 8-10 inches long and 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick).

  • 2 large tomatoes on the vine, thinly sliced

  • 1 large red onion, very thinly sliced

  • 2 cups of fresh arugula

  • 1/4 pound of thinly sliced hickory-smoked Gruyère cheese (recommend Boar's Head brand)

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

  • Extra Virgin olive oil

  • Butter (for buttering up baguettes)


  • 1 cup Mayo

  • 3 teaspoons of ground dijon mustard

  • 1/2 lemon (juice and zest)

  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced

  • 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil

Potato chips


Dijonnaise (recommend to make this a few hours ahead or day before and keep refrigerated):

  • Mix all ingredients into a small bowl and stir well until well blended.

  • Cover and store in refrigerator until sandwich assembly time.

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)


  • Set grill to high temperature (350 degrees F).

  • Season steaks with sea salt and cradled pepper. Lightly rub both sides with extra Virgin olive oil

  • Grill streaks to desired doneness (3 minutes each side for medium).


  • lightly butter up each baguette bread inside with some butter and lightly toast on grill for about 1-2 minutes (careful not to burn bread).

Serve it up!

Sandwich assembly (per serving):

  • On the inside of each baguette bread serving (two pieces), spread generously the basil dijonnaise.

  • Next, on the bottom bread, place steak, Gruyère cheese, tomatoes, onions and arugula.

  • Place top of bread. Cut sandwich in half (diagonally) and place on a large dish.

  • Add potato chips in between the sandwiches.

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine…

2021 Selin Cellars - Puccioni Ranch - Alicante Bouschet

(Sonoma County, California)

(Photo by Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes: Delightfully rare and complex wine with a velvety body, nutty essences and plenty of dark fruit. An intriguing different story with every sip.


100% Alicante Bouschet



Food pairing: Excellent with grilled meats, savory sauces and dips, mild-medium cheeses, and tapas.

For more information, visit:


Special thanks to winemaker/proprietor Peter Selin for the wonderful partnership and collaboration.

Thank you Peter. A truly unique wine!


Decorative wine drip collar by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo by Dave Hoefler)

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