Posts Categorized: News

Easy Dinners, Amazing Pairings: Fried Chicken and Bubbles

Let’s face it – the holidays are hectic. The days between Thanksgiving through New Year’s can often be described as organized chaos, from shopping, family drama, unexpected guests, and meal planning. Throw in a global pandemic and it’s enough to make anyone a bit crazy. So you may be searching for easy meal ideas and ways to support the local Portland restaurant scene. Enter Big’s Chicken.

Somewhere throughout history, some brilliant guy or gal figured out that fried chicken pairs beautifully with sparkling wine. Pull out a bottle of Underwood Bubbles, place your order online through Big’s Chicken, and voila – a full dinner with drinks are served.

Big’s offers a wide array of options to put an easy and complete dinner on the table. First, let’s talk about the chicken. This post is all about the fried chicken, but Big’s also offers a grilled option. You can get a whole bird, half-bird, or just the wings. There is also a delicious fried chicken sandwich option. Watch out—the wings have a kick!

Now let’s talk sides. We opted for the classics of coleslaw and jo-jo potatoes, as well as the black-eyed pea salad (perfect for good luck on New Year’s Day). Word on the street is the fried Mac N Cheese Bites are to-die-for if you’ve got room for more.

And don’t forget the sauce! There is a variety of options in which to dip the crispy jo-jos or to pour over the chicken. Shown here are the Fresno Sauce (also used to marinate the wings) and the White Gold Vinaigrette (the same sauce for the slaw). The Fresno sauce will set your mouth on fire, so be sure to have a glass of Bubbles at the ready.  😉

This pairing of fried chicken and sparkling wine is the perfect dinner to keep it classy while keeping it real, and of course to keep those #pinkiesdown. Whether you are looking for an easy meal to ring in the new year, tending to a hangover on New Year’s Day, or just want to take a break from cooking, Big’s Chicken has you covered. Just don’t forget the Bubbles.

 From all of us at Union Wine and Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group – we wish you a safe and physically distanced New Year’s. 2021 can’t come soon enough!

  Photography & Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer) Food by Bigs Chicken

Shop Local PDX

Small businesses are the foundation of our communities, and they can all use some extra love this holiday season.

If you are in the Portland area and looking to shop-small we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite spots with links to their COVID shopping guidelines so that you can feel safe and informed as you shop for your loved ones.

Thousands of stores across the country are offering private shopping appointments, curbside pick-up, and seasonal specials so be sure to check out what’s available in your area – we guarantee you’ll feel some extra holiday cheer this year when you shop near. 🎁


Betsy and Iya:

1777 NW 24th Ave

Full of jewelry, clothing, accessories, and more, this NW boutique can easily be a one-stop-shop for all your gifting needs. Independent artists and designers from all over the country have stocked the shelves, and a piece from their signature line of jewelry is sure to be on at least one of your shopping lists.

https://betsyandiya.com/pages/we-are-stronger-than-covid


Pistils Nursery:

Slabtown Location: 2139 NW Raleigh St Suite 108
North Location: 3811 N Mississippi Ave

Whether you are shopping for a seasoned green thumb or some succulents for a newbie plant owner, Pistils is a magical place to find some greenery. Their friendly and knowledgeable team will help you select the right plant vessel for a one-of-a-kind gift.

https://pistilsnursery.com/pages/visit


Powell’s City of Books:

1005 W Burnside St

Books! All of the books! Do we need to say more?! If their inventory is overwhelming that’s ok, a gift card is to the rescue.

https://www.powells.com/locations/powells-city-of-books


The Yo! Store

935 NW 19TH AVE

Quite possibly the most charming selection in town of clothing, toys and books for the little ones in your life…and a few things for mom too.

https://yoportland.com/


Snow Peak

404 NW 23rd Ave

For the outdoor enthusiast who appreciates long-lasting, quality-made goods. Snow Peak is stocked full of gift ideas and will surely bring a whole lot of joy for years to come.

https://snowpeak.com/pages/portland-store


Local Milk Run

Give the gift of good eats this season with a holiday delivery or subscription from Local Milk Run. Partnering with local farmers, butchers, bakers and makers, this will be the freshest gift under the tree.

https://portland.localmilkrun.com/shop

 

Bridge and Burn
1029 SW Harvey Milk St

Bridge and Burn features seasonal collections of clothing designed in Portland and inspired by the PNW. Check all the boxes with high quality, comfortable, and thoughtfully designed pieces.

https://www.bridgeandburn.com/pages/portland-clothing-store


Spartan Shop

1210 SE Grand Ave

Spartan Shop offers a beautiful assortment of home goods, lighting, furniture, art, décor, bath + body products, and fine jewelry. If you have someone on your list who is traditionally hard to shop for, you are sure to find the perfect gift here.

https://spartan-shop.com/


Rejuvenation Holiday Pop Up

1100 SE Grand Ave

Shop seasonal florals + wreaths from Fieldwork Flowers, handwoven baskets from Amsha, + gifts from a curated assortment of Portland makers.

https://www.rejuvenation.com/stores/en/portland/events/f9016c


MadeHere

40 NW 10th Ave

Shop over 200 PNW brands all in one place and earn extra credit on supporting local makers! There’s something for everyone on your list (including yourself) at this fun NW spot.

https://madehereonline.com/pages/covid-19-updates


Kitchen Kaboodle

NE: 1520 NE Broadway
NW: 2315 NW Westover

Making a house a home since 1975, Kitchen Kaboodle is a cook’s paradise. From tabletop décor to appliances, the foodie in your life won’t be disappointed.

https://www.kitchenkaboodle.com/

The People’s Coast

We all know the Oregon Coast is epic. Its vast coastline boasts rugged cliffsides, dense temperate forests, pristine beaches, wildlife galore, and plenty of hidden gems along the entire 363-mile stretch. But did you know that all of this is public land?

In 1967 the State of Oregon passed the Oregon Beach Bill, which established free and public access to Oregon’s coastline, including 16 vertical feet above the low tide line so that homes with beachfront backyards would not interfere with the public’s ability to enjoy the ocean. Oregon is one of only a few states that have established this access to the people, and Oregon’s public access law was even reinforced by the Supreme Court in 1969. Thus, this part of the country is frequently referred to as “The People’s Coast”.

Oregon’s coastline is broken down into three sections.
1)The North Coast: Astoria to Lincoln City
2)The Central Coast: Lincoln City to Florence
3)The South Coast: Florence to Brookings-Harbor, near the California Border.

To begin exploring the People’s Coast we have put together an ideal day on the North end, beginning at the famous Haystack Rock (Goonies Never Say Die) in Cannon Beach, just a 90-minute drive from the Portland metro area. Cannon Beach is part of the traditional territory of the Tillamook Tribe and was formally named after a cannon from the US Navy ship ‘Shark,’ washed ashore in 1846.

Formed out of lava that flowed from the Cascade Mountain Range, Haystack Rock is a result of the lava sinking deep below the ocean, cooling and hardening into black basalt rock, and over time (millions of years) the basalt was pushed upwards as plates shifted, creating what we now see emerging 235 feet out of the ocean. Three additional smaller rock formations known as The Needles lie just to the south of Haystack. The rock is home to a variety of tidepools full of sea life and many species of birds, including puffins who make their way to the rock in the spring and summer months. The rock and its intertidal areas are one of only seven Marine Gardens in the state of Oregon, as well as part of Oregon Island’s National Wildlife Refuge. If you visit in the summer and get extra lucky, the tide may be low enough for a couple of days and you can walk all the way around the rock. It’s pretty spectacular to see!

After spending the morning exploring Haystack, a mile-long beachcombing stroll will lead you to Sea Level Bakery + Coffee. This cozy spot is the ideal place to grab some fuel for the next leg of your adventure. Their banana bread is perhaps the best we’ve had…topped with crunchy coconut flakes and macadamia nuts…pair it with an oat milk latte for a winning combo.

Oswald West State Park covers over 2,400 acres of Oregon’s North Coast and begins about 10 miles south of Cannon Beach. It’s a fitting stop on our tour as it is named after the 14th Governor of Oregon who spearheaded the bill to make Oregon’s beaches public. If you’d like a challenging adventure you can hike up to Neahkahnie Mountain for epic views of the ocean and surrounding Oregon Coast mountain ranges. The final few meters are a rocky scramble but well worth the effort. For a muddy and rooty hike/run check out Cape Falcon Trail, a 4 mile out and back through coastal forests to an incredible cliffside where you can stop to collect your thoughts and take in the beautiful views your legs just earned you. Pro tip: plan this route for sunset on a clear day–it’s one of the most amazing spots in the area to watch the sun go down.

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to Cannon Beach and hit up Public Coast Brewing–appropriately named to keep this adventure theme alive! Place an order for their fish tacos and bring them back to your private cabin in the trees, The Haystack Haus. This well-appointed coastal getaway is outfitted to be the ideal retreat after a day of exploring. The hosts will even help you out with curated adventure planning and each guest is welcomed with locally roasted coffee beans, salt-water taffy made at a candy shop just down the street, and an assortment of seasonal, Oregon-made treats.

Kings Ridge

Did you think we would forget about wine? No way! Our Kings Ridge Pinot Gris is the perfect pairing for your fish tacos and a stellar way to celebrate a day well spent. Crafted with grapes from the coolest parts of the Willamette Valley, this crisp and refreshing white wine will become your new go-to after a long day outdoors. Cozy up in the Adirondack chairs on the back deck of the Haus, open up a bottle, and cheers to The People’s Coast, your coast.

Photography by Larissa and Randall Fransen
Sea Level Bakery + Coffee: @sealevelbakery
Public Coast Brewing: @publiccoastbrewing
The Haystack Haus: @thehaystackhaus

The Best Thing to Happen in 2020? Nouveau is Back.

Underwood Nouveau

Last year, we introduced our very own Underwood Nouveau Pinot Noir to celebrate the first grape harvest of the year. This year on Beaujolais Nouveau Day (11/19), we are releasing both bottles and cans to ring in the first pour of the 2020 harvest. We think we can all use a glimmer of brightness right now, don’t you agree?

Beaujolais Nouveau Day is a national celebration that lands on the third Thursday of November. It was originated in France but is celebrated all over the world as an opportunity to imbibe the first wine of the season.

Our Underwood Nouveau is a riff on a Beaujolais Nouveau, which is traditionally made from Gamay grapes. Instead, we use our Pinot Noir grapes to remix our traditional Pinot Noir. For context, our Pinot Noir usually takes a full year to make, but our Nouveau only takes one month from start to finish. We’ve been busy!

Underwood Nouveau

This year, we started harvesting on the morning of September 10th. It was a labor of love. We handpicked the grapes in whole clusters without crushers or de-stemmers. We used the process called “carbonic maceration,” for fermentation. Here’s how it works: we place full bunches of grapes into stainless-steel vats, which are then filled with CO2 to remove oxygen. After about 10 days, alcohol levels reach around 2% ABV, allowing the grape skins to split open and release the juice. Towards the end of fermentation, the grapes release the berry flavor without releasing the bitter tannins from the skins.

So what should you expect from our Nouveau Pinot Noir this year? Surprise, delight, and a whole lot of brightness. Our Director of Winemaking JP Caldcleugh, describes the wine as “A berry medley that jumps out of the glass. It’s full of life and energy. It’s big. It’s in your face. It’s the freshest expression of our Pinot you can find and it gives us a peek into what the year’s harvest flavor profiles will bring.”  Remember, this wine is meant to enjoy immediately, so drink up!

For the stunning artwork on the labels and cans, we brought back Jeremy Alan of The Ellaphant in the Room, whose work speaks to the beauty of art nouveau and complements the whimsy and youthfulness of the wine.

Underwood Nouveau Bottle

We’re pleased to present Union’s Underwood 2020 Nouveau Pinot Noir this fall to bring some much-needed light back into our homes as we hunker down for the winter. Stay safe and enjoy…with pinkies down, of course.

A Step by Step Guide to Surviving Election Day

Election supplies

The day is finally upon us! Are you excited? Nervous? Stressed? Completely over it and checked out? We’re right there with you. One thing we can all agree on is that stress levels are at an all time high, but we believe the key to getting through the madness is to slow down and stock up on all of your tried and true creature comforts.  And we’re here to help. So here’s the plan:

STEP 1: Stock up on the essentials! What are your go-to comfort foods? Make a list of the things that make you feel the coziest and head to the store. Here’s what’s on our list:

a. Underwood Canned Wine (duh)

b. Frozen Pizza

c. Brownies + Chocolate + Frosting (go big or go home!)

d. Cookie Dough

e. Tissues…maybe we will cry tears of joy? Either way be prepared!

f. Bedtime Necessities

g. Coffee

h. Advil

i. Underwood Bubbles

j. Juice

2)  Prepare: Get comfy and don’t forget your mental health

a. Download your favorite meditation or relaxation app in-case you need to take a little break…or a few.

b. Put on your pj’s, it’s going to be a long night

3)  Here we go!

a. Pop open that can, or cans, or bottles.

b. Get to work on that pizza. Make sure to have a side of treats close by. We give you full permission to eat the whole pizza. Stress eating is normal and natural, we won’t judge.

c. Don’t forget that outside exists! Go for a walk, play with your pup, or just get some fresh air. It’s 100% ok to leave the house in PJ’s and sneakers. Maybe the only good thing to happen in 2020?

4)  Re-coop

a. Make yourself a cup of sleepy time tea

b. Draw yourself a bath, light some candles, set out the crystals

c. Grab an eye mask and some earplugs

d. Put on some soothing tunes and doze off

5)  Good morning! Congratulations! You made it! Celebrate with an extra cup of coffee, or a mimosa if you are waking up to good news! You deserve it.

Pro tip: brownies are an acceptable breakfast choice today.

Cheers!

#pinkiesdown