Easy Ways to Give Back

Ways to Give Back

The holidays are in full swing and amidst the hustle and bustle of our lives it’s nice to stop for a moment and give back to our communities, especially during a time that can be more stressful for families in need.

Here’s a few easy ways you can help out this season. Sometimes all it takes is one small effort to make a big difference in someone’s holiday.

+ Buy a Meal, Give a Meal

Many grocery stores and food retailers are running programs where you can easily add a meal at check-out, ranging from $5-$10.  Consider this as you do your holiday meal shopping.

Ways to Give Back

+ Food Bank Donation

Most food banks are set up for online donations, making giving back a breeze!

+ DeClutter

Clean out a few items from your kiddos toy box and donate to a local shelter or non-profit, making the holiday a little brighter for another child.

+ Care Packages for the Houseless

Grab a handful of essentials (warm socks, toiletries, water, a snack) and keep a few packages on hand to give out on your daily commute. Chances are you will pass a few houseless neighbors on your drive who could really use these items.

Ways to Give Back

+ Donate Your Miles

Have a bunch of air miles you may not use? Consider donating them to an organization like Make a Wish. Your miles can help give a child with terminal illness the trip of their dreams. https://wish.org/travel

+ Wrap Gifts

Volunteer a couple hours of your time to help wrap gifts for foster children. A quick Google search in your area should provide you with a few options and locations.

Happy Holidays!

A Bubbles Cocktail to Celebrate the End of 2021

Underwood Bubbles Cocktail

It’s December 1st and we kind of can’t believe it. The year has been another wild one, but we still have a lot to celebrate. All of the fruit that came in for our 2021 vintage was incredible, the harvest had its bumps but was still one for the record books. We love kicking off the final month of the year with our Underwood Bubbles and here’s a cocktail to help you get through the end of 2021. Enjoy one today and keep this cocktail in your back pocket to ring in 2022.

St. Germain Bubbles Cocktail

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) St. Germain

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon juice

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup

3 ounces (6 tablespoons) Underwood The Bubbles (about 1/2 glass)*

Underwood Wine Cocktail

Place St. Germain, gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a glass of your choice.

Top off the glass with Bubbles (no need to measure). Garnish and serve. (Note: You can also make a large batch of St. Germain, gin, lemon juice, and syrup ahead if desired, then measure out 6 tablespoons per glass.)

Underwood The Bubbles St Germain Cocktail

Cocktail by A Couple Cooks

Photography by Nicole Morrison

A Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving with Underwood Nouveau

Whether this is your first vegan Thanksgiving, or you’re a ‘seasoned’ vegan professional, there are endless ways to enjoy Thanksgiving while ditching the meat. Our favorite Thanksgiving meal is always paired with the right wine, and our limited release Underwood Nouveau Pinot Noir pairs well with meat or meatless turkey, herbs like thyme and rosemary, and any roasted or mashed root vegetable.

Our Underwood Nouveau is a riff on a Beaujolais Nouveau, which is traditionally made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France. Always looking for an Oregon angle, we decided to use our Pinot Noir grapes in the Underwood Nouveau for a fresh take on our traditional Pinot noir. The Gamay grape is actually a cousin of the Pinot Noir grape and flourishes in very similar climates.

Nouveau is known for being a fresh, fruity wine that celebrates the first pour of the season. 2021 is our third vintage and it’s our favorite so far. As a reminder, all of our wines are vegan and gluten-free. Enjoy!

Vegan Thanksgiving Salad

MARSHALL’S BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound brussels sprouts

½ lemon, juiced

½ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons Marshall’s Red Chili Lime sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

4 cups mixed lettuce

2 mixed-color snacking peppers or bell, diced

1 cup spiced nuts* (see below)

Shaved parmesan for garnish (substitute Violife for vegan parmesan)

PREPARATION:

Clean and thinly slice the brussels sprouts.

In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and hot sauce, season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the brussels and toss to coat. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add the lettuce, peppers, nuts, and cheese and toss to combine.

*Easy spiced nuts: 2 cups of your fave nuts (I used hazelnuts and cashews), roast at 350° for 15 minutes, let cool, and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon Marshall’s Volcano Sparkle, 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Vegan Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

VEGAN MASHED POTATOES

(inspired by JULIE PIATT’S recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

2 heads cauliflower

15 medium potatoes – a mix of Russet and Yukon Gold

2 cups vegan mayo – Follow Your Heart or similar

1 stick vegan butter – Miyoko’s or similar

1 head roasted garlic

2 tablespoons sea salt

PREPARATION:

Slice the top half of garlic so tops of cloves are exposed. Drizzle olive oil and salt on top.

Replace top of garlic head. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes, or until golden in color and soft.

Fill a large pot with water to 3/4 full.

Add the potatoes to the pot and boil on high until they are soft. For Instant Pot users, cut potatoes in half, add ¼-1/2 cup of water to bottom of pot, sit potatoes on steamer rack in pot, cook on high for 12 minutes. Let rest 3-5 minutes then manually release pressure.

In a separate large steamer pot, steam the heads of cauliflower until they are very soft and translucent. Instant Pot users, similar to potatoes but cook for 2-3 minutes on high.

For those who prefer to remove potato skins—empty the potatoes into a strainer, drain the water and gently rub the potato skins off with your thumbs under a cool stream of water. Omit step 4 if you prefer to leave skins on.

Combine potatoes and cauliflower into one pot and mash well.  Add all other ingredients and continue mashing until desired texture is reached and all ingredients are combined.

Add more salt, butter, or mayo as needed. Enjoy!

Vegan Thanksgiving Gravy

VEGAN MUSHROOM GRAVY

INGREDIENTS

½cup extra-virgin olive oil

½small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)

4-6ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped

½cup all-purpose flour

4 to 5cups vegan vegetable stock, preferably homemade but vegan bouillon cubes will work•1teaspoon soy sauce, more to taste

½teaspoon kosher salt

¼teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon light miso

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in vegetable stock, a little at a time, until a smooth sauce forms. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened. Season with soy sauce, miso, salt, and pepper.

For a smooth texture, blend in a high-speed blender. For chunkier grave, serve as-is, or pass it through a fine-mesh strainer.

Union Wine Co Vegan Thanksgiving with a Vegan Turkey

VEGAN TURKEY – VERY GOOD BUTCHER’S STUFFED BEAST

INGREDIENTS:

1 Stuffed Beast

BASTE:

1 cup veggie stock

1/4 cup vegan butter

1 sprig each thyme and rosemary

3 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper

PREPARATION:

Make sure to thaw the beast. Remove packaging and cheesecloth.

Baste your beast to keep it nice and juicy using your favorite recipe or our very good baste.

Cook the beast uncovered on a baking pan at 350° for 45-60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes to keep everything nice and moist. Make sure the center of the beast is above 160°. Remove from the oven once nicely roasted, let cool for a few minutes, serve, and enjoy!

A Blackcurrant Cocktail 3 Ways

Underwood Wine and Current Cassis

While we’re a wine company and have an interest in all things wine, we’re always keeping our eyes open for a new liquor or liqueur brand to use to create a wine cocktail. Earlier this year we came across Current Cassis. Their beautifully subtle, classic yet modern label caught our eye immediately. Current Cassis makes a botanical blackcurrant liqueur in the Hudson Valley of New York State. Current Cassis on its own is slightly bitter, yet sweet, so… a perfect balance. There are also decent tannins that complement the wine.

Their liqueur is similar to a classic french liqueur Crème de Cassis. While none of us here at Union are trained bartenders, we went to our friend Google to see if there were any wine and crème de cassis cocktails out there. We found that there are actually several, and they are extremely simple to make. The most common and most classic cocktail is a Kir Cocktail. It is simply a pour of wine, 5-6 ounces, and a half-ounce or so of crème de cassis. There are many riffs on this cocktail and while we could have tried it with all five of our Underwood wine offerings, we chose to give it a go with Underwood Pinot Gris, The Bubbles, and Pinot Noir.

Underwood Pinot Gris Kir Wine Cocktail

Kir

1/2 ounce crème de cassis
5 to 6 ounces chilled Underwood Pinot Gris

Measure and pour crème de cassis and wine into your favorite glass, stir and enjoy.

Underwood Bubbles Kir Royal Cocktail

Kir Royale

1/2-1 ounce crème de cassis
5 to 6 ounces chilled Underwood The Bubbles

Measure and pour crème de cassis and wine into your favorite glass, stir and enjoy.

Underwood Pinot Noir Cardinal Wine Cocktail

KIR NOIR

1/2-1 ounce crème de cassis
5 to 6 ounces chilled Underwood Pinot Noir

Measure and pour crème de cassis and wine into your favorite glass, stir and enjoy.

Underwood Wine Cocktail

Grab a bottle and a few of our wines to see which combination you like best. Current Cassis is slowly making their way to the west coast, but you can find their liqueur at a handful of online retailers.

Our Newest Collaboration

We’ve been fans of North Drinkware since their launch on Kickstarter in 2015 and have sipped many beverages out of their glasses over the years. One day in the summer of 2020, after one or two of those beverages, we worked up the courage and decided to reach out to see if there might be an opportunity to partner on something creative. Needless to say, they were all-in and hit the ground running with a design unique to their process that captures the essence of Oregon. We’re so excited for you to experience drinking wine out of these hand-made glasses.

The Union Wine Co Glass by North Drinkware

The glass shape is inspired by the everyday drinking glasses found in Spain and the design is meant to capture the essence of Oregon’s natural features through 3D depictions of Mt. Hood and our Willamette Valley wine region, featuring Amity Vineyards, separated by the mighty Willamette River. At 6oz, the glass is a perfect size and celebrates our philosophy that the experience of enjoying your evening pour doesn’t require a stemmed glass. Like our wines, these glasses are hand-made locally in Oregon.

The Union Wine Co Glass by North Drinkware

The Union Wine Co Glass by North Drinkware

Overview of The Union Wine Co Glass by North Drinkware

North Drinkware is known for their premium hand-blown glasses which feature popular mountains in the base of each one, all made in Portland, Oregon. Their deep love of the outdoors inspired the start of the brand and allows everyone to bring the mountains home.

North Drinkware and Union Wine Co. are both proud members of 1% for the Planet and with this partnership, both are donating 1% of sales to Willamette Riverkeepers. Willamette Riverkeeper’s mission is to Protect, Restore, Enjoy. They believe a river with excellent water quality, abundant natural habitat, safe for fishing and recreation is a basic public right.

You can purchase the glasses here. Cheers.

The Union Wine Co Glass by North Drinkware