Bon Vivant: (n) a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially with respect to food and drink.

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Posted in: Bon Vivant, Cocktails, Helpful Hints, Polls, Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, Upcoming Events, Wine Facts, Wine Pairing, Wine Recommendations, Wine Reviews, Wineries and Vineyards

There are a lot of wine blogs out there, and I want to make sure I’m giving you more of what YOU want to read about! Let me know what you want to see more of on the Bon Vivant Blog and feel free to sound off in the comments section!


Photo Credit: Boxhill Photography

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Slow Cooker Bison Chili + Valpolicella Ripasso

Posted in: Recipes, Wine Pairing, Wine Reviews

Take that Polar Vortex!

These cold winter days call for slow cooked, rib sticking meals and equally substantive wines.

Valpolicella RipassoThis Valpolicella Ripasso was an excellent pairing with a new bison chili recipe.  With jammy red fruit, this wine is ripe with raspberry notes on the nose and cherry on the finish.  The fruit notes are balanced by coffee, chocolate, and leather notes that complemented the chili beautifully.  As the wine opens up, it transforms, rewarding drinkers with a lengthy finish.

With a quarter of the fat of ground beef, bison is a great alternative for lightening up chili, burgers, spaghetti and more!

Slow Cooker Bison Chili
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces ground bison
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 tbsp pure ancho chile powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups diced canned tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chicken stock*
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • *add extra chicken stock to achieve desired thickness
  1. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bison and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, to brown the meat, 3-5 minutes.
  2. In the slow cooker layer onions and garlic.
  3. Remove the bison from the saucepan and drain extra fat.
  4. Layer bison on top of vegetables in the slow cooker.
  5. Add tomatoes, beans, chicken stock and all herbs and spices, except fresh oregano.
  6. Cover and let cook for 2-3 hours.
  7. After cooking time is done, set slow cooker to warm until ready to serve.
  8. Stir in fresh oregano just before serving.

 bison chili and ripasso


We served the chili over rice, with a side of cornbread and garnished with the usual suspects- sour cream, cheese, along with quick pickled red onions.

To pickle the onions, slice thinly, then place in a mason jar, adding 1.5 tablespoons of Herbes de Provence, filling the jar with white vinegar.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours & enjoy! (The left overs are absolutely delicious on sandwiches!)


What are some of your favorite winter recipes and wines? 







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