Posts Categorized: Partners

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

Van Life: Tips and Tricks

Gypsea life uncovered

Guest written by Laysea Danielle (@gypsealaysea)

Sunsets out our bedroom window, bathing in fresh rivers, and picture perfect destinations. Gypsea life seems like both perfection and intangible. How do I move all of my things into a van? What do I even need? Where do I park, sleep, shower, and dear God where will I poop!? Have no fear, Laysea is here! I have been around the world and back again, and have condensed all of the how to’s and cheat codes to living on the road. Everything you need, and nothing you don’t; because, after all, it’s simplicity we’re after.

Gypsea life uncovered
Gypsea life uncovered
Moving out of a house and into a tiny home might be intimidating at first. Weather you are moving into full-time gypsea mode, or weekend warrior status, selecting the right home is important. I live in a 1983 Volkswagen Westfalia, and my partner lives in his remodeled 4×4 Toyota Chinook, so we each deal with a very different storage situation. The rule of storage all about versatility. I try to only keep items that are multifunctional. Bowls that can be plates, cups that can be for any beverage, one single sauté pan that can double as a soup pot. I like products that are pro van life, requiring no tools, or cups, and are recyclable. (My favorite example is Union wine, canned and perfect for camping). The same goes for clothing, and trust me, it’s not easy. And I’ll be honest, I have WAY too much clothing than anyone who lives in a van should, but hey, I make it work! Organization is how I make it possible. The way you fold and store your clothing should be space oriented, folded down as small as possible, and compact. Allow this shift to be a time to purge and let go of belongings you don’t need. You will quickly find that your comforts are frequent, and the rest will settle and collect dust. I have pulled all of my belongings out of my van and simplified time and time again. Knowing what you will need is something that is learned. Allow yourself time to adjust, and let go, and redefine what you need. Simplifying your space around you will lighten the energy you reside in and clear up space for time to create and explore.
Gypsea life uncoveredGypsea life uncovered

If you are moving into a tiny home full time than this will mean a huge shift for work. Working remotely as I do makes it fun to go to new coffee shops every day, exploring new towns and getting to know the communities. It is also very easy to find jobs on the road, whether it be selling craft items, picking up side jobs from Craig’s list ads, or putting down temporary roots and picking up a part time job can really be a fun way to immerse yourself. With that being said, money will quickly become a much smaller problem than typical life in a city! Say goodbye to rent and other miscellaneous bills that come with residing in a traditional home. Water bills will cease to exist when you fill up your reusable large water storage in fresh rivers and water fill centers. I try to always camp for free by using BLM land and freecampsites.net. Making friends on the road will open up possible driveways to sleep, or if you use Facebook forums for van camping can create opportunities to learn more from fellow travelers or tiny home owners alike. Which brings me to showers!

Gypsea life uncovered

We all lust after the perfect natural shower, romantically bathing in a hot spring or in a fresh water river, but that is not always available. My secret is having a membership to 24 Hour fitness. They have locations all across the country and come included with towel service (nobody likes wet towels taking up van space) and a sauna / steam room so you never have to actually work out if you don’t want to. Most gyms own the parking lot and as it’s a 24 hour business you can camp in the parking lot any time. Waking up and using the bathroom in the gym is not uncommon for me as well. Which brings me to my next and most commonly asked question: where do you use the bathroom!? Waking up and heading directly to a coffee shop is both gastrointestinally beneficial and also helps me start my work day! Campsites have outhouses, and BLM land have wide open spaces (follow Leave No Trace procedures). The biggest problem is when nature calls too quickly or when a bathroom of any kind isn’t available in a city. Now, brace yourself, this is going to get graphic. I have friends who have a bucket they use and clean. I have heard of tools that help women pee into a bottle, and I have man friends who will recommend keeping a large gallon jug for emergencies to urinate. Women: I am an advocate for thick plastic bags that work perfect for an emergency as they can tie up and be thrown away. (24 Hour Fitness has them complimentary for wet clothing at the gym) I’m not into the portable bathroom that you keep in the van, but to each his own!

Living in a van can be extremely challenging at times, and can push you to do things you wouldn’t typically do. Van life has created space for me to grow S O much. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I know myself on such a deep level, and I am still deepening that relationship every single day. The amount of struggles I go through are overpowered ten-fold by the magic of gypsea life. My biggest suggestion to anyone making this transition: keep an open mind! Challenges will arise, and plans will fall through. Let go of all expectations, and just live! I could never have predicted or planned the wild twists and turns of gypsea life, and that is what makes it so special. This is no cookie cutter model for traveling, because each experience is so unique. I spell Gypsy ‘gypsea’ because I like to flow like the sea, ebbing and flowing like waves, lapping on the shore of this magical human ride. Make like the sea, and gypsea on.

Gypsea life uncovered Gypsea life uncovered

Photography by Laysea Danielle.

10 Things I Learned Without Cell Service

wine can

Guest written by Logan Dralle, founder of Her Oregon Life and Union Wine Company Ambassador

Ah, The Alps of Oregon. Covering 360,000 acres, the Eagle Cap Wilderness is Oregon’s largest wilderness area, and one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. I call it Oregon’s next best secret, for those willing to put the hours in behind the wheel – it took us about 8 hours to get to our trailhead from Portland.

My friend Crystal and I knew when we requested our PTO dates that we would risk the chance of early snowfall in the Wallowas, but we were all in. Over the course of two days we hiked into Mirror Lake, and summited Eagle Cap.

Here’s what I learned from this trip:

  1. Camp robbers come in all shapes and sizes. Never leave your food unattended.
  2. A Pringles can doubles as coffee ground storage and a backcountry trash can.
  3. The weight of your backpack does matter and so does alcohol percentage. Carrying 35 pounds on your back is hard, so what’s another few pounds in Underwood wine cans at two servings each?
  4. Backpacking without wine is just sitting in the woods.
  5. Cell phone addiction is real. Set it down and remember you are out here for a reason.
  6. Bear sh*& is really big. Be prepared.
  7. You will learn more about yourself. Including how you smell without a shower.
  8. It doesn’t take long for you to miss a real toilet.
  9. Don’t forget to download offline music onto Spotify. Nothin’ like a good ole’ backcountry dance party.
  10. Taking a real vacation is so, so, so important.

In an always-on world full of countless hours spent in front of screens, the best advice I’ll ever give is to pack your bag and get out there. Mother Nature has her ways of reminding you what matters most.

logan dralle logan at wallowas wallowa fox wallowa tent

Photography by Crystal Frankenbery

We’ll Drink To This

 

At Union Wine Company, we’re passionate people. Passionate over the wine we make. Passionate about the place we live and work. And we care a lot about giving back to the organizations that keep our community thriving.

Last month, we presented a check for $100,000 to our local Planned Parenthood. This donation was the result of Get it Girl, our white wine blend made in collaboration with our friends at Wildfang, whose profits (all 100% of them) were given to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.

“This partnership was about more than making great wine. It was about using our platform to stand up for the values we believe in and make an impact for organizations that we care deeply about. It is an honor to be able to write a check of this size to such a fantastic organization. Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette is dedicated to helping people in the local community, something that we at Union Wine Company believe strongly in.”

– Ryan Harms

Union Wine Company Founder, Owner

We are pretty darn proud that our company was able to raise this amount of money for an organization doing so much for our community. It’s far and away the largest donation Union Wine Company has ever made. Even so, we wanted to do more.

After our founder, Ryan Harms, presented the check to Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, our team hunkered down in a conference room – powered by coffee, pastries (and maybe some Bubbles) – to get crafty. After all, winemakers (and those that support the winemaking process) are good with their hands. We spent the morning stuffing bags and making buttons.

Donating $100,000 and making buttons for an organization our company cares so much about? We’d say that’s a pretty great way to spend a morning.

Thank you to all who bought a can or two or three for the cause. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Still interested in getting your hands on Underwood Get it Girl? Limited quantities are still available for purchase on our online shop, with 25% off.

 

 

Photography by David L. Reamer