30 Days of Local Wine

Mastronardi Estate Winery's 2008 Brianje VQAMastronardi Estate Winery lovingly dedicate the 2008 Brianje Riesling to the memory of their precious daughter Brittany Alyssa Mastronardi.

BriAnjë translates to “Angel Brittany”, who touched so many lives in her short 11 years.

This Riesling, which offers a sugar code of 2, will surprise you with its floral aromas that evolve into flavours of pineapple and honeysuckle. It lends itself to grilled chicken, soft cheeses, and spicy foods.

“I have kind of a short list of wines that I must have around the house” says Gary Killops of Essex Wine Review. “The list changes as I discover different wines but Mastronardi’s BriAnjë Riesling consistantly remains on that list.”

This is very special wine to give as a holiday gift as a portion of the sales of each bottle is given to Batten Disease Research in memory of Brittany Mastronardi.

The Brianje won a gold medal at the 2010 Shores of Erie Regional Wine Awards and Killops recommends that you buy multiple bottles of it when visiting the Mastronardi.

“You will be glad you did.”

Another recommendation, this one from Chef Scott Edmunds of Centro, is this recipe to pair with the Brianje:

Spicy Grilled Tuna with Garden Salsa (serves 4)


  • 6 large cloves of garlic unpeeled
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 tuna steaks (5 ounces each, about 3/4 inch thick)
  • 2 cups diced heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray


Roast garlic and jalapeños in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (both will blacken in spots), 5 to 10 minutes for jalapeños, 15 minutes for garlic. Cool, then peel garlic.

Puree garlic, jalapeños, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Scoop 1/2 cup puree into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish. Place fish on puree, flipping once to coat both sides. Cover dish; refrigerate 10 to 20 minutes to marinate.

Transfer remaining puree into another bowl for salsa. Mix in tomatoes. Rinse onion in a small strainer under cold water; drain. Add to tomato mixture. Stir in cilantro, mint and basil. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat grill with cooking spray; heat to medium-high (about 375°F).

Remove fish from marinade; place on grill. Cover grill and cook 3 minutes. Uncover, flip fish, cover again and cook until fish is done, about 2 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer fish to plates; spoon salsa on top.