Posts Categorized: News

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

Wine Cocktail: Fireside

wine cocktail

With chilly nights and winter sniffles hitting Portland, we ran straight to Brew Dr. Kombucha to create a wine cocktail that’ll cure what ails ya. With a splash of Underwood Pinot Noir and equal parts Bourbon and Booch, this homegrown remedy is best enjoyed in front of a crackling fire (if a fireplace isn’t readily available, the YouTube Yule Log will do). Recipe by Bartender Jon Davidson.

Fireside

1.5 oz Bull Run Straight Bourbon Whiskey

1.5 oz Brew Dr. Kombucha Superberry

.5 oz lemon juice

1 oz black pepper simple syrup

1 oz Underwood Pinot Noir

1 oz Vinn Strawberry Liquor

Build and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.

jon davidson lemon squeeze shake pour

Photography by David L. Reamer

10 Things I Learned Working Harvest

saraintern

Did you know that wineries produce an entire year’s wine vintage in just a two month window of grape harvesting? If mother nature doesn’t cooperate, the fruit isn’t picked at the right time, or we get off schedule, things might go awry.

Because of that, Union Wine Company (and most wineries around the world) hire Harvest Interns, the miracle workers that help ensure our harvest runs smoothly. Working directly alongside our winemakers and our production team, this year’s team of 30 Harvest Interns have watched fruit turn to wine (and everything in between).

We asked Sarah Richins, Union Wine Company Harvest Intern, to tell us all about her harvest experience. Without further ado, we’ll let Sarah take it from here.

I started at Union Wine Company last month to work my first ever harvest. We have interns from Chile, Brazil, South Africa, and even Ireland – it is amazing to hear people’s stories and what drew them to working a harvest in Oregon.

Since I started, I have gone from terrified of driving a forklift to operating all kinds of machinery like a pro, I have dug out a tank full of grapes in less than three hours, and I have newfound respect for how much work it takes to craft the perfect Pinot.

Here’s some more things I have learned while crushing the 2018 harvest.

  1. I am way stronger than I think.
  2. Forklifting is like riding a bike – you have to keep practicing, and after you haven’t been on it for a while you can pick it up again (sometimes after a few failed attempts).
  3. Getting dirty is fun, and definitely part of the process – so get ready and always bring a change of clothes.
  4. It’s always important to ask for help. You have to know what you’re doing first in order to execute it properly later.
  5. Staying up until 3AM with coworkers is OK – we all need nights out to dance away to 60s/70s funk. Plus, we work the swing shift, so 3AM is the new 10PM.
  6. Food tastes better after working a harvest. The amount of food I consume now is the same as when I was training for a marathon.
  7. There is no bond like a harvest shift bond. Nothing beats co-workers turned friends.
  8. It’s okay if you have a bad day where nothing seems to be going right – we ALL have those days. Just remember that it will get better and keep your attitude high.
  9. I am even more obsessed with wine than I was before and can’t wait to continue to learn and grow in this field.
  10. Your hands will be dyed purple forever – get used to it.

If you want to learn more about the winemaking process, or just want a killer upper body, I highly recommend working a harvest at Union Wine Co. I can guarantee you will never take happy hour for granted again.

Editor’s Note: if you are interested in working next year’s harvest, please contact ellie@unionwinecompany.com.