Posts Categorized: News

Bubbles, Par Avion

One of our favorite (and more obscure) vintage cocktails is a slight variation on the classic daiquiri, called an Airmail. It’s a simple cocktail that packs a surprisingly impressive punch. Originating in Cuba in the 1930s, this simple mix of rum, lime and honey creates an elegant base to accentuate with ice cold bubbles. Whether pouring single cocktails or making up a batch for friends, this easy and light cocktail is always guaranteed to impress.

To help with this cocktail, we enlisted the skills of perfume maker extraordinaire and amateur mixologist Josh Meyer, founder of Imaginary Authors.

We had him make up a few cocktails and pick his favorite scent to accompany the light, fruity springtime vibe.

The Airmail

2 oz rum (we prefer the Flor de Cana 4 year)
1.5 oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio)
1 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz Underwood Bubbles

Combine the rum, honey syrup and lime juice in a shaker with plenty of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into your favorite coup glass and top off with the Underwood Bubbles.

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To make the syrup, put 4 oz of honey in a heavy bottomed pot with 4 oz of water. Gently warm, constantly stirring until al the honey is dissolved.

We are big fans of Bee Local honey, brought to you by the fine folks at Jacobsen Salt Co.

Juice them limes like a boss…

Can’t forget the rum…

Follow Josh’s example and shake vigorously.

Strain, top with bubbles and Enjoy!

According to Josh, the best Imaginary Authors scent to accompany an afternoon of drinking the Airmail cocktail is Saint Julep. With notes of Tangerine, Southern Magnolia, Grisalva and Crushed Ice, this sweet and inviting scent will take you right back to the the cafes of 1930s Havana, laughing and drinking while trading war stories with a tipsy Ernest Hemingway.

Text and Photos by David L. Reamer (@dlreamer)

Union Wine Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

Let’s be honest. There is almost nothing that accompanies a crisp glass of Underwood Bubbles better that some ice cold, freshly shucked oysters. And being situated in the Pacific Northwest, we have year round access to some of the best oysters in the world! It’s always a treat to order oysters at a restaurant, but they make an elegant and unexpected appetizer when entertaining at home. Many people don’t consider this an option because they have never been taught the proper (and amazingly simple) technique to shuck at home.

Well, have no fear. Union Wine Co. is here to teach you the step by step of how to expertly open and clean our favorite bivalve like a seasoned pro.

All you will need is a shucker and a thick kitchen towel. For beginners we recommend the more blunt point versions with hilt guards (pictured in the center.) Once you have mastered these, you can move up to the thinner, sharper pointed shuckers. Also, we recommend starting with Netarts Oysters. They are local, delicious, very user friendly and always available at the Woodstock Fish Market where, incidentally, you can also find your favorite bottles of Union Wine.

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

STEP ONE:

Procure a thick kitchen towel, fold longways 3 times and then roll up one side as pictured below. This will keep the oyster secure and prevent any slippage.

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

STEP TWO:

Turn the oyster belly up. Secure the flat, rounded part of the oyster under the edge of the towel, hold firmly and gently find the small hole or “hinge” at the back of the oyster. The key word here is Gently…. (and we can’t stress this enough- opening oysters is not an act of strength or force but of gentle control…) So, very gently insert the tip of your shucker into the hinge. You may need to feel around until you get the hang of it, but trust us, it’s there.

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster
Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

STEP THREE:

Once you have the point securely in the hinge, just twist the shucker slightly back and forth until the top shell releases. As you peel back the top shell, use the shucker to separate the oyster from the muscle attaching it to the shell. Remove the top shell and set aside.

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster
Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

STEP FOUR:

Without spilling the “liquor” (the delicious briny liquid inside the oyster) gently slide the shucker underneath the oyster to separate it from the muscle attaching it to the bottom of the shell. Wipe away any grit that may be on the edge of the shell. At this point, place the oyster on a bed of rock salt or crushed ice, and repeat the steps until all oysters are shucked and ready to be enjoyed.

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster
Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

Grab a can or bottle of Underwood Bubbles and Bon Appétit!

Union Co. Life Skills: How to Shuck an Oyster

Special thanks to shucker extraordinaire Quincy Sanders, whom you can find most days shucking dozens of Oysters at Canard and his lovely girlfriend Avery Stark, who is one of the many talented front of the house folks at the brand new Portland hot spot, Bullard.

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer

Spring Break Spritz

After a record-breaking snowy winter in the Pacific Northwest, we couldn’t be more ready for spring weather. We’re sure the rest of the country feels the same. With spring break just around the corner, it is finally time to hang up your winter coat and break out the bubbles.

We took the classic Italian Aperol Spritz and put our spin on it using Oregon grown Underwood Bubbles. The Aperol Spritz has been popular in Italy since the 1950s. Usually being drunk as an Apéritif, or a before dinner drink, and paired with delicious cheeses and cured meats.

The flavor is balanced with sweetness, bitterness and citrus. The perfect amount of fizz lightens it up and emulates warm days. The Spring Break Spritz is low-alcohol, which makes it the perfect grown-up spring break drink.

Pair with some warm weather at the beach, in your backyard or plan a front porch happy hour with friends. Don’t forget the snacks.

Try it out and let us know what you think on Instagram. @unionwinecompany #unionwine #pinkiesdown

Spring Break Spritz

Underwood Bubbles

Aperol

Club Soda

Orange Slices

Ice

To make this drink, fill two tumblers with ice. Combine Aperol and Underwood Bubbles in equal parts. Top it off with a splash of soda and garnish with a slice of an orange.

Enjoy with a good friend.

Photography by Adam Wells (@ajwells)

 

VALENTINE’S DAY, UNION STYLE

Valentine Cocktail 1

Let’s face it. We all want to treat our special someone to a fabulous Valentine’s Day…but have you looked out the window this week? Portland is in full winter mode, which makes it the perfect time of year to get into some comfy, cozy clothes, cancel all plans and stay in where it’s warm and dry.

But staying home doesn’t mean you have to forgo celebrating everyone’s favorite February holiday. (No offense, George Washington.)
We came up with a sexy cocktail to share with someone special, whether you are reclining in front of a roaring fire or binging on Netflix. It’s a local take on a classic Italian cocktail, combining Campari and white wine. Our Underwood Pinot Gris works great for this, and we decided to add a little sweetness and sparkle to make it a bit more complex.

And, since we all know that no ones Valentine’s Day is complete without a little chocolate, we paired the cocktail with our favorite local chocolate maker, Tony’s Chocolonely. Add some fresh mandarins for extra sweetness and you have a perfect combination, and an impressive little holiday spread.

Valentine Cocktail 1

The Fixed Gear
A Portland take on the classic Italian cocktail La Bicyclette

(makes 2 cocktails)

4 oz Underwood Pinot Gris

3 oz Campari

2 oz Cointreau

Club Soda & Lots of Ice

Combine the first three ingredients in a large glass jar. Add plenty of ice and stir until cold.
Strain into two coupe glasses, top off with a splash of club soda and garnish with a slice of blood orange.

Enjoy with a hearty chunk of Tony’s 32% milk chocolate bar and some fresh Lee mandarins.

 

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer

Employee recipe: Pinot Poached Pears

Here at Union Wine Co., we put great emphasis on the individuality of all our employees and try hard to encourage and support their personal interests and goals. Recently, one of the newest members of our sales team, Patrizio Zarate-Zambrano, admitted to being an avid and accomplished home cook.

Patrizio’s original passion was for acting (he even had a role in a Spanish Soap Opera!) but over the years found himself attracted to travel and other pursuits. He has lived all over Europe but was raised in Madrid in a home constantly bustling with friends and relatives. Every holiday, his mother would fill the kitchen with food to entertain their many guests, and one of her staple desserts was red wine poached pears. She would make them every year and it quickly became a highly requested tradition by everyone who visited.

Patrizio has evolved his mother’s recipe to include the Underwood Pinot Noir, because he says the combination of tannins and fruit forward flavor work perfectly to complement the aromatic spices as well as the sweetness the pears.

PINOT POACHED PEARS

Pinot Poached Pears

 

4 Bosc pears. Not overly ripe or too soft.

1 bottle of Underwood Pinot Noir

2 cloves

1 star anise

2 cinnamon stick

2 long strips of orange peel

½ cup of sugar

4 or 5 cardamom pods (optional)

 

Combine all ingredients (except the pears) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for ten minutes.  While simmering, peel the pears, cut in half and hollow out seeds with a melon baller or paring knife.

peel the pears cut in half and hollow out seeds

 

Place the pears into the poaching liquid, reduce heat to low, simmering for about 20 minutes. Try and turn the pears every 5 minutes so that they cook and color evenly.

Pears will be ready when cooked through but still firm.

, simmering for about 20 minutes

Let the pears cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for three hours. During refrigeration time, turn the pears often to ensure an even coating.

Place the pears on serving plates. Put the poaching liquid back on the stove, bring to a boil, and reduce it to a syrupy consistency. Let the liquid cool and strain while gently drizzling the pears. For an even better result, serve with vanilla ice cream, vanilla/whipped mascarpone cheese or cool whip.

PINOT POACHED PEARS

 

Patrizio Zarate-Zambrano brings with him a deep passion for wine and an extensive knowledge of the industry that spans the globe. With family from both Spain and Italy, he has lived all across Europe. Now residing in Cincinnati, although the scenery may have changed, his home is always filled with delicious food and great wine. When he’s not cooking or playing racquetball, he’s out walking with his two beloved rescue dogs.

PATRIZIO ZARATE-ZAMBRANO

Photography by David L. Reamer