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St. Francis Winery and Cooking Channel's 'The Big Cheese' Host Jason Sobocinski Gear Up for 2nd Annual Gourmet Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest

SANTA ROSA, CA--(Marketwire - February 04, 2013) - Sonoma County's winemaking pioneer St. Francis turns up the heat for the second time on an American classic with their gourmet grilled cheese recipe contest awarding a trip to the winery and a four day stay in Sonoma County. Entrants are required to submit an original recipe to the contest app on St. Francis' Facebook page, pair it with their favorite St. Francis wine and post a photo of it. The winner will be selected from the top ten most popular entries by Chef and cheese expert Jason Sobocinski and St. Francis Winemaker Katie Madigan.

This iconic sandwich is so popular and versatile that entrants are encouraged to take the St. Francis Winery approach and go for bold flavors in their recipes and their pairings. "Everyone loves a classic grilled cheese sandwich, but it takes real creativity and passion to turn it into an unforgettable gastronomic masterpiece," asserted Chef Sobocinski. "Pairing an American classic comfort food with classic California wines is a perfect fit for St. Francis' big, bold flavors," offered winemaker Katie Madigan.

The top ten submissions will be evaluated for creativity, originality, overall taste and how well the flavors of the sandwich pair with the selected St. Francis wine. Only one entry per person is allowed. Grand prize includes round-trip airfare and 4 days and 3 nights at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Contest runs from February 1st through April 30, 2013.

Four signature grilled cheese recipes paired with St. Francis wines, created by Jason Sobocinski, are available on the "Grilled Cheese Recipes" tab on the St. Francis Facebook page.

About St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
For over 35 years, St. Francis Winery in Sonoma has hand-crafted fruit forward, luscious and full-bodied wines from superior mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County's best appellations. While most renowned for its red varietals, including its Zinfandel (all old vines 60 - 110 years old), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Francis also produces a noteworthy Chardonnay. St. Francis Sonoma County wines are bursting with flavor and are recognized globally for outstanding quality and great value.

About Jason Sobocinski
Host of "The Big Cheese" on the Cooking Channel, and owner and founder of New Haven's award-winning restaurant/cheese shop Caseus Fromagerie and Bistro, Jason Sobocinski comes from a long line of Italian food merchants and a family of food lovers. A graduate of Providence College, he earned his master's in gastronomy at Boston University and worked his way up the ranks at the prestigious Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA. Armed with lots of cheesy knowledge, he opened Caseus in New Haven, CT. With his innovative, cheese-centric gastro-pub, Jason has succeeded in "extending our kitchen table" to welcome a steady stream of happy customers. On "The Big Cheese," Jason travels the country in search of the best cheese makers, and cooks with their cheeses alongside celebrated local chefs. He lives in Hamden, CT.

About Kobrand Corporation
Kobrand Corporation was founded in 1944 and remains one of the few family-owned wine and spirit companies. Kobrand's portfolio of wine and spirits was meticulously selected according to a single, unerring principle: quality. This continued focus has made the Kobrand name synonymous with wines and spirits of the highest caliber for over 60 years. Kobrand is the exclusive agent and/or sales and marketing partner for an outstanding selection of fine wines and spirits including; Maison Louis Jadot Burgundies, Champagne Taittinger, St. Francis, Sequoia Grove, Benziger Family Winery, Cakebread Cellars, Sassicaia, The Fladgate Partnership of Ports, Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum, Alize Passion Liqueurs, Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum, Café Boheme Coffee Crème Liqueur and Delamain Grande Champagne Cognacs.

RATATOUILLE Grilled Cheese Recipe  (Yield 4 sandwiches)
Paired with St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay

Fresh herb de Provence and chevre goat cheese are topped with thinly sliced oven roasted zucchini, summer squash and red peppers and grilled open faced. For a delicious combination, try it with St. Francis Chardonnay, a classic Sonoma Chardonnay that is rich yet crisp with a fresh expression of melon, tropical citrus fruit, a touch of vanilla, and a long finish.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini sliced into thin rounds
1 small yellow squash sliced into thin rounds
1 small orange bell pepper cored and sliced into 1 inch strips
1 small red bell pepper cored and sliced into 1 inch strips
½ red onion sliced thinly 
12 oz fresh goat's milk chevre
4 slices of sourdough bread ½ inch thick
1 teaspoon dried herbs de provence
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Place the red onion slices, peppers, zucchini and squash into a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil all over them. Season with the herbs de provence, salt and pepper and top with the fresh thyme sprig. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables have become slighty soft.

Spread the goat cheese on one side of the thick sourdough bread. Layer the roasted veggies atop the in a decorative way and then give them the lightest drizzle of olive oil.

Place the open faced sandwiches onto a hot Panini press and get them nice and toasty.

Serve with a nice fresh light salad and a big chilled glass of St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay.

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