Posts Categorized: Wine Cocktails

Tips For The Season: Pinot Pomegranate Punch

Union Wine Co Underwood Pinot PunchOnce again the season to entertain is upon us. From Halloween straight through the New Year, it’s just a part of life that you will have more guests, throw more parties and have more responsibilities to entertain. But, there is no need to get stressed! One thing we all know about entertaining is that the more you can do ahead of time, the easier—and more fun—it all becomes.

One way to do that is to prep as much food as possible, but another way is to make sure you have plenty of delicious drinks on hand for your guests. And, one of the best ways to check this box is to create a punch or batch cocktail that can be done a few days in advance and stored in the fridge. So, we decided to help out and suggest an Autumnal Sangria style Pinot Noir Punch that has a little bit of a kick but still stays on the fruity side. It can be made up days in advance, and in fact, doing so will only improve the flavors.

Union Wine Co Underwood Pinot Punch

Pinot Pomegranate Punch

2 bottles Underwood Pinot Noir
2 C Pomegranate Juice
1/2 C Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
1/2 C Cointreau
1 C Spiced Rum (such as Flor de Cana)
22oz bottle (2 3/4 C) of Hard Cider

Garnish:
Pomegranate seeds
Cranberries
Orange slices
Cinnamon Sticks

Union Wine Co Underwood Pinot Punch

Combine all ingredients. It’s that simple!

Feel free to add or subtract any amounts to best suit your palate. Refrigerate ahead of time and serve cold, over ice or room temperature. Since the orange and cranberries float, place those in the punch as a garnish. The pomegranate seeds, however, will sink, so we recommend putting them in a small bowl and having your guests help themselves.

(Looking for a funky punchbowl and cup set on the cheap? I highly recommend checking your local Goodwill or Salvation Army!)

Never dealt with a fresh pomegranate? Well here is a nifty technique to help get the most from your fruit.

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Kitchen tip:
How to deal with a Pomegranate.

Step one:

Gently run a serrated knife around the equator of the pomegranate. The skin is very tough but not very thick, so its best to just barely break the skin to preserve the most amount of seeds.

Underwood Pinot Punch

Step 2:

Gently tear the fruit into two halves. You can then go on to tear the halves into smaller segments.

Underwood Pinot Punch

Step 3:

In a shallow bowl of room temperature water, gently break apart each section. All of the seeds will sink to the bottom and all the white pith will float to the surface, assuring easy separation without mashing any of the seeds. Simply dispose of the rind and all pith and strain the seeds through a mesh colander.  Keep covered in the fridge until party time.

Underwood Pinot Punch

Cheers!

Underwood Pinot Punch

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

The Hood River Fruit Loop Apple Picking in the Gorge

Union Wine Co Fruit Loop

If the idea of a Fruit Loop conjures up sugary Saturday morning cereal, you wouldn’t be alone. But out here in the Pacific Northwest, we Portlanders know it as something very different. In fact, an incredibly healthy alternative, the Hood River Fruit Loop is a series of U-pick farms and orchards specializing in Autumnal produce.

Great for day trips with the whole family, the Loop is a very simple drive from Portland: about an hour out Hwy. 84 along the Columbia River and then just up Hwy. 35 through the town of Hood River. On a clear day, the views are beautiful and as much fun as the apple picking. There are many farms along the Fruit Loop to choose from. Each has a myriad of apple varieties available at different points during the Autumn season, as well as pears, grapes and other fruit. You can see what is available and when everything is available on the Official Fruit Loop Website.

Union Wine Co Fruit Loop

For my recent trip out there, I chose to visit one of the farms that is the farthest away from Hwy. 84, but well worth the extra few miles drive: Kiyokawa Family Orchards. Located in the small town of Parkdale, this very accessible family-run orchard has one of the largest selections of apple varietals on the Fruit Loop. I was on the hunt for my favorite apple—Honey Crisp—and I was not disappointed. The Honey Crisps at Kiyokawa were the size of softballs; red, delicious and ready to be picked.

Union Wine Co Fruit Loop Union Wine Co Fruit Loop

Kiyokawa Orchards has many different sections to pick from, so even on the busiest of Autumn weekend days, there is never an issue of overcrowding or a lack of fruit to be harvested.

Union Wine Co Fruit Loop Union Wine Co Fruit Loop Union Wine Co Fruit Loop Union Wine Co Fruit Loop

To commemorate my trip out to the Fruit Loop, I created a cocktail using one of the many amazing hard ciders that are produced out in the Columbia River Gorge, Son of Man Sagardo. A Basque-style cider, possibly the only one produced in this region, it has a very dry flavor that I thought would pair really well with the off-dryness of the Underwood Pinot Gris.

I just needed a little bit of herbaceous flavor to round out the cocktail and found that Dolin’s Génépy des Alpes, with its rich Artemisia flavor, worked perfectly. A very simple cocktail served on the rocks, it really embodies the full flavors of Portland’s most glorious season.

(Note: Son of Man can be purchased at a few places around town, but I found it at Belmont Station.)

Underwood Pinot Gris Apple Cider Cocktail

Basque in the Glory

2 oz. Son of Man Sagardo Basque Style Cider
1 oz. Underwood Pinot Gris
1/2 oz. Dolin Génépy des Alpes

Pour all ingredients over ice, stir vigorously and enjoy!

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

Link Up with Freeland Spirits

Underwood Strawberry Cooler Freeland GinEarlier this summer we were on the search for the perfect spirit to complement our Underwood Strawberry Cooler. We thought the bright and floral notes of a gin might be the best pairing. After tasting a few, we landed on Freeland Spirits’ Gin.

Freeland Spirits not only has amazing tasting gin, but they are an incredible women-owned craft distillery located in NW Portland. One of the few distilleries owned and operated by women. They have been open just over a year but their beautiful tasting room, original packaging, and warm personalities have already made a positive impact in the distillery community in Portland. 

Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits Gin Underwood Strawberry Cooler Cocktail

We worked with their team to create a cocktail that was just released on their menu and will be featured at the Distillery Row Beach Bash this Sunday (8/18). Grab some Strawberry Cooler and Freeland Spirits Gin to create this cocktail at home or stop by Freeland Spirits on NW Vaughn in Portland to find it on their menu.

Link Up 

Underwood Strawberry Cooler
2oz Freeland Spirits Gin
1oz Lime
1oz Simple Syrup
2oz Coconut Milk 

In a shaker tin add Freeland Gin, lime, coconut milk, and simple syrup shake and strain into a glass of their choice and ice and top with Underwood Strawberry Cooler!
Cheers! 

Underwood Strawberry Cooler

Frosé at Home

We were very excited to be the wine sponsor for this year’s Waterfront Blues Fest in Portland. Besides providing our wines for the event we wanted to do something extra special that would elevate the 4-day experience. Since Blues Fest days are usually nice and hot, we created a Frosé drink using slushy machines and it turned out to be a tasty—and popular—cold wine option. So popular in fact that a few people asked for the recipe!

Underwood rosé frosé

Since we all can’t have a commercial grade slushy machine in our homes we came up with a smaller scale version that you can enjoy at home. All you need is a little time and a blender.

Pour 1 full bottle of Underwood Rosé into a baking dish. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight). While waiting for the wine to freeze, make a simple syrup by boiling ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Do this early enough so it has time to cool.

Underwood rosé frosé

Once the rosé has been in the freezer for a number of hours, it should be slushy but not completely frozen. Take it out, pour it into a blender with a handful of ice and 4 oz of simple syrup. Blend until completely combined and place the blender in the freezer for another 1-2 hours.

Underwood Frosé

Pour into your favorite Mazama Wares glass and enjoy on a nice day.
Frosé will stay good in the freezer for a couple of days.

Underwood rosé frosé

What is a Radler?

Underwood Radler

Traditionally a radler is a low alcohol (sessionable) beer-based beverage. Usually consisting of half beer (something light like a pilsner or wheat beer) and half lemonade (grapefruit juice is also common). Originating in Germany, radler roughly translates to cyclist. As the story goes, one hot day in 1922, an innkeeper in the Bavarian countryside mixed lemonade with beer to create a refreshing, quaffable beverage for all the cyclists riding by. Some say part of the reasoning behind this was because the innkeeper was running out of beer and needed to create a product that he could continue to serve.

Another common term you’ll hear referring to a beer based beverage mixed with a carbonated lemon/lime juice is a shandy. The shandy originated in Britain in the 1850s and was traditionally mixed with ginger.

What is our Riesling Radler?

Underwood Riesling Radler

We’re not precious about our wine. Like a traditional radler, ours emulates the flavors of hops and citrus (we use grapefruit puree), yet adds Oregon riesling to bring a crisp and refreshing approach. Our Riesling Radler is gluten-free with a 3% alcohol level, a perfect pairing for the hot summer months. 

Learn more about the story behind our Riesling Radler here.

Underwood Riesling Radler Cocktails

Another way to enjoy our Riesling Radler

While one of the things we love about our Riesling Radler is it’s sessionable quality, sometimes you want a little more to it. Or, if you are running low on the radler, this helps make it last longer. It’s the perfect base for a cocktail and is asking for a spirit with a pronounced character. The smokiness from the mezcal balances well with the sweet notes from the radler.

Serves 2

1 can Underwood Riesling Radler
2 oz Mezcal Unión
Lime and orange slices
Ice

Grab 2 old fashioned cocktail glasses and add ice to each glass. Pour 1oz of mezcal into each glass. Pour half a can of Riesling Radler equally into the glasses. Squeeze a slice of lime and orange into each glass. Top with extra citrus slices, stir and enjoy.

Cheers!

Underwood Riesling Radler

Underwood Riesling Radler

Underwood Riesling Radler

Thanks to our friends at Mazama Wares for the colorful cocktail glassware.