Posts Categorized: News

Perfect Pairings

At Union Wine Company we love to support and collaborate with other fellow artisans in our community.

Our favorite cheesemonger, Steve Jones of Cheese Bar and Chizu, has been honing his skills for 15 years and just released his very first book: CHEESE BEER WINE CIDER: A Field Guide to 75 Perfect Pairings. Co-written by Steve Jones and Adam Lindsley (and photographed by your humble narrator, David L. Reamer) you can order a copy of CHEESE BEER WINE CIDER at Powells Online or keep an eye out for copies at your local bookstore or wine shop.

It is, as the title says, a guide to pairing specific cheese with their appropriate ‘adult beverage’ counterparts. We thought this would be a great opportunity to have Steve formally taste three of our Underwood wines—Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Rosé—and choose a cheese that he thinks would go well with each. If you are going to be doing some entertaining in the next few weeks, or if you just want to have an indulgent late spring picnic, this will help you to know the best cheese to accompany your favorite cans. So, without further ado…

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UNDERWOOD PINOT NOIR paired with SUMMER COMTÉ.

Comté is a cow’s milk cheese from France’s Massif du Jura region. It has a very earthy taste (think mushrooms cooked in brown butter) but also has a slight sweetness which pairs quite well with our Underwood Pinot Noir. There are various styles of Comté, but this one gets its name from the season it is produced, when the cows are dining on the lush and verdant summer grasses.

Underwood Cheese Pairings

UNDERWOOD ROSÉ paired with 1605 MANCHEGO

This very popular aged Spanish sheep’s milk cheese comes from the windmill-dotted La Mancha plateau immortalized in Don Quixote. (The producing farm, 1605, actually takes its’ name from the year the book was first published!) Much like the terroir of its origin, Manchego is dry, pale and very sheepy. As it ages, the cheese’s nuttiness and buttery qualities increase, making it absolutely delicious, and a perfect pairing to our Rosé.

Underwood Cheese Pairings

UNDERWOOD PINOT GRIS paired with JACQUIN BUCHERON.

Bucheron is from what is called the Bloomy-Rind Family. A French goat’s milk cheese, it has its origins in the Loire Valley which is accepted as the home of chèvre. The Jacquin Family has been making cheese in the Loire Valley for four generations. Bucheron, from the French word for “log”, has two distinct parts: a gooey section that has started to break down just below the rind, and, a more traditional, dryer, white chèvre filling the center. The contrast between the salty cream of the buttery ring and the lemony, goaty center make for a complex flavor, as well as a great pairing for our Pinot Gris.

Underwood Cheese Pairings

Big thanks again to Steve Jones for taking the time to share his knowledge and palette for this little culinary experience. A good time was had by all!

Underwood and Cheese Bar

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

10 Things We Learned at a Rose City Rollers Bout

At Union Wine Co. we love to support our local community. The Rose City Rollers are an organization of brave, talented and creative folks that we are proud to partner with. We admire the people and the game, even though it took us a minute to learn to call it a bout.

Rose City Rollers

The Rose City Rollers have been a part of the Portland community for the past 15 years. Since the beginning it has been a welcoming group for the players and fans alike. We chatted with a couple of players from the High Rollers team and they stated that a primary reason for joining a roller derby team was to make friends. Nooga Knockout is originally from Chattanooga, TN, where she first started playing roller derby. She moved to Portland 3 years ago and knew that she would find a community in a new city through roller derby. When she first started she didn’t have much skating experience. She said at first it was scary, but the more she does it the more natural it feels. Now, as soon as she puts on skates, she feels comfortable.

10 Things We Learned

  1. The game is called a bout, there are 2 periods that each last 30 minutes. In each half, they fit in as many 2 minute jams as they can.
  2. The only person who can score is the jammer. The jammer wears a star helmet cover.
  3. The jammer can pull her helmet cover (also known as a panty) off twice per jam and give it to anyone else on her team who might be able to shoot through a gap and score.
  4. Inline skates are prohibited, players must wear four-wheeled roller skates.
  5. The best-dressed fans have some sparkle on.
  6. Don’t miss the epic halftime show.
  7. 5 skaters are on the track for each team at a time, unless someone goes into the penalty box. Each team consists of 15 skaters in total.
  8. The skaters are referred to as a Pack.
  9. Roller Derby skaters choose a nickname to use as an alter ego, they are usually witty, referring to something about themselves or pop culture.

       A few examples:

    • Eve Anne Hellical
    • Bonnie Thunders
    • Beyond Thunderdame
    • Big Bang Fury

10. And of course, watching a bout is best enjoyed while drinking Underwood canned wine.

Rose City Rollers

Rose City Rollers

Underwood Wine

Keeping the Portland Airwaves Free: Freeform Portland Radio 90.3 FM

Freeform Portland Radio

Here at Union Wine Co. we think of ourselves as more of a family than just a place of work. We try to encourage and support everyone in their passions and side projects.

Allow us to introduce Amy Carr. By day, Amy is the Logistics and Compliance/Customer Service Supervisor. She has been a part of the Union Wine Company family for about 5 years, beginning at Amity Vineyards before moving over full-time to UWCo.

When Amy was only 12 years old, her father gave her a copy of Nick Hornby’s (best) novel High Fidelity, which introduced her to a main character who is always striving to share the classic music he loves and the new bands he discovers. And so, a seed was planted…

Fast Forward to early 2015. A few of Amy’s friends decided to found Freeform Portland, an entirely independent, community-sponsored, non-profit, freeform radio station. Going live the following year, they broadcast on 90.3 and also 98.3 FM from the NE Alberta Area. Officially they are a “low-power” FM station; their radio broadcast range is only about 5 square miles, but, lucky for us, we live in the digital age so everyone can enjoy their full array of programming at FreeformPortland.org/listen.

Freeform Portland Radio

The DJs are free to play music from records, tapes, CDs or digital files. There are no commercials or talk programs. Generally, the only speaking you will hear are the DJs identifying their chosen songs during music set breaks, although there are some great “in studio” band interviews from time to time. All songs from every show are also listed on their website.

Freeform Portland Radio

Two amazing things that FFP can boast are, 1., it is absolutely 100% volunteer run, and 2., it is absolutely 100% live programming, meaning no prerecorded shows. There is a live DJ playing music in the booth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Freeform Portland Radio

At the station, Amy goes by the handle DJ Stellar Luna. Her show, “Nightlight” runs on alternating Mondays from 10 PM to midnight. Amy’s playlist differs every week focusing mostly on Neo Psychedelia, New Wave, Hip-Hop and Latin. Asked what some of her favorite bands are, Amy mentioned, in no particular order:

La Femme (which she plays at least one song by during every show)
Bomba Estereo
LCD Soundsystem
Thee Oh Sees
Echo & the Bunnymen

Amy was drawn to the radio station for many of the same reasons that she was drawn to Union Wine Co.—each puts a great emphasis on authenticity and a truly meaningful reflection of the community.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

As you might imagine, the broadcast booth is small but is filled with all sorts of amazing music, movie and cultural paraphernalia.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

Recently we asked Amy to create our first official Spotify profile, beginning with a Union Wine Co. playlist, a constantly growing curated mix.

In addition, Amy has created playlists to match the vibe of our three labels:

UNDERWOOD (aka the party) playlist
KINGSRIDGE (aka the adult hipster) playlist
ALCHEMIST (aka the sexy) playlist

Subscribe to them all now so you have the perfect soundtrack the next time you are enjoying our wines!

Freeform Portland Radio

We want to thank Amy for sharing her time and passion with us, and allowing us a small glimpse into the amazing world of Freeform Portland. Hopefully this will inspire you to check out some of their programming.

Freeform Portland Radio

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

(Amy’s IG is @amycoche)

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