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 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

Wine Cocktail: Northwestern Comfort

underwood wine

On a dreary, rainy day in Portland we met up with bartender Jon Davidson to craft a cocktail that is anything but grey. Incorporating some of the best of the Pacific Northwest, and a pop of protein, we like to call this drink, “healthy”.

Northwestern Comfort

1 egg white
.75 oz lemon juice
Dash allspice
Dash cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except for the Pinot Noir in a shaker. Shake and strain into a glass. Layer Pinot Noir on top. Garnish with a pear slice.

  

 

About The Bartender

Jon Davidson, Bite of Oregon Iron Mixologist Champion, hosts a biweekly mixology segment on Portland’s KATU, Channel 2, featuring cocktails he has created during the course of his fourteen-year bartending career. He currently tends bar at Stanford’s in Portland, and on the side he designs cocktail menus for a variety of regional establishments.  Jon favors bold and multifaceted flavors when designing cocktails, and loves to incorporate unexpected ingredients (cumin, anyone?).
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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. 

 

Underwood Pinot Cranberry Sauce

pinot sauce

Here in Portland, colored leaves are taking over every street, evening walks are starting to require a puffy, and after almost two months, harvest is almost complete.

You know what that means? Pinot Noir season is officially here!

(Editor’s Note: even though we drink Pinot Noir year-round, our Oregon staple just feels right during the colder months).

So when you’re pouring that glass for yourself tonight, consider saving some for this delicious cranberry sauce. It is easy enough for a weeknight hors d’oeuvre, yet delicious enough to serve alongside at Thanksgiving dinner. Warning: may cause double dipping.

Underwood Pinot Cranberry Sauce

12 oz fresh or frozen Cranberries
¾ Cup Underwood Pinot Noir
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cinnamon Stick (1 – 1½ inches)
1 tsp grated Ginger
Zest of one Orange
1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground Allspice
1/4 tsp of kosher salt

Combine cranberries, Underwood Pinot Noir, and sugar into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally until cranberries begin to pop. After about 5 minutes, reduce heat to low and break up berries with a wooden spoon. The consistency should become a thick jam-like sauce. Stir a couple more times, remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or reheated.

Tip from our crew:  When we made this sauce for a winery happy hour, we paired it with Chèvre atop crackers and it was as gone in seconds.

adding wine

Photography by Emily Triggs