Wine Can Chicken on the Grill

Wine Can Chicken
(The Best Damn Chicken You’ll Ever Eat!)

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

Most people are familiar with Beer Can Chicken, a technique where you barbecue a whole bird balanced on a beer can. This is done so that as the bird roasts, the beer steams and flavors the bird from the inside out.

Well, we wondered how this would work out if we used an Underwood Pinot Gris can instead, and let us say that we were absolutely blown away by how easy and how delicious this turned out! To make a more complete meal out of it, we roasted some potatoes at the same time, and while the bird was cooking, we whipped up a simple Chimichurri sauce.

STEP ONE:

Remove any offal or neck pieces from the cavity of the bird. Rinse well inside and out with cold water and pat dry.
Evenly coat the whole bird with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

STEP TWO:

Fire up your grill. Whether you’re using charcoal or gas, you don’t want any heat directly under the bird, so keep the center free of direct heat.

Crack a can of Pinot Gris and drink about 1/4 of the wine. This is actually a very important step, as it will create a little room for the wine to steam and not overflow into the grill. Slide the can into the cavity of the chicken and place it in the center of the grill.

This is the most important part—make sure the can is sitting flat on the grill and splay the legs so that they form a steady tripod. We found it best to lean the legs into the grooves of the grill plate. Cover the grill and let the bird cook for about 10 minutes. Check to make sure the bird hasn’t fallen over and then recover it and DO NOT UNCOVER IT for at least another 45 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, try to keep the heat around 450 degrees. The bird will take about 1 hour to cook altogether.

You can also place a few medium red potatoes on the grill—again, make sure they are not directly over the heat, and let them roast as the bird cooks. They should finish at just about the same time as the chicken.

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

In the meantime, make the Chimichurri sauce—a sort of zesty Argentinian pesto. There are many variations of the sauce. Here is ours:

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE:

1 bunch of cilantro
1/2 bunch of curly parsley
3 large sprigs of oregano
juice of half a lemon
1 TBS red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 medium shallot
pinch of salt & crushed red pepper
1/2 C olive oil

Rinse, dry and pick all the herbs. Finely dice the shallot. Set aside.

In a food processor, place the 2 cloves of garlic and pulse several times Then add all the other ingredients except the shallot and the oil. Pulse a few more times.

Once everything is starting to be finely chopped, slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the diced shallot. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

BACK TO THE BIRD…..

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

Cook the chicken until a thermometer inserted reads 165 degrees. Carefully remove the chicken from the grill and set it on a pan to rest. Gently remove the can, it will still have a good amount of VERY hot wine in it so be very careful.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes and then carve, removing both legs and breasts.

Arrange your desired pieces on a plate with a few pieces of the potato and a generous amount of Chimichurri. Crack an ice cold can of Pinot Gris and DIG IN!

Underwood Wine Can Chicken

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

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.

Its Strawberry Season! Pick ’em, Eat ’em, Drink ’em

Strawberry Cooler

Of all the seasons here in Oregon the absolute best one has to be Strawberry season! Oregon Strawberries are nothing like the ones you see around the country, (or, on the rest of the West Coast anyway.) A good bit smaller in size, Oregon strawberries pack a bright red center and a flavor that will put a giant smile on your face.

The strawberry season here lasts only a few weeks, so we recommend not letting it pass you by. Of course, you can go to plenty of local markets and co-ops around town and get beautiful pints of berries, but for the true fans, nothing compares to packing up the family, making the drive out to Sauvie Island and spending an hour or so in the fields picking your own. Besides saving money, it’s a family activity that everyone can enjoy.

For this adventure, we enlisted the help of the Alexander Family. Walter is a North Carolina native and one of the original owners of Pine State Biscuits, and Darcie is one of the best local real estate agents with PDX Green Team.

There are plenty of local farms that allow you to pick your own. We chose one of our favorites, Columbia Farms, on the far side of Sauvie Island, but they are all pretty great.

Strawberry Cooler

If it’s your first time out in the fields, you can bring your own reusable containers to fill up or the farms will provide you with everything you need to get your berries home safely.

Strawberry Cooler

Strawberry Cooler

Once you get out into the fields, the different varieties are marked with color-coded flags for easy identification. Some types are better for baking, some are better for straight munching. We love Hoods the best, but we encourage you to do a little taste test once you get into the fields, illustrated here by the Alexander children, Hazel and Lewis.

(so much for hiding the evidence…)

Strawberry Cooler

Strawberry Cooler

And, while the kids are busy picking and enjoying a few berries, we encourage the adults in the group to quench their thirsts with our Strawberry Cooler. Made with Pinot Noir and just a hint of lime juice, this punch is not super sweet or overly intense but a perfect balance of sweet and tart. And, it’s lower alcohol content makes it perfect for an afternoon out with the family.

As we like to say, Oregon pinot noir + Oregon strawberries + cranberry juice + lime = all summer long.

Strawberry Cooler

So don’t let the next few weeks slip by. Get out there and get those strawberries!

Strawberry Cooler

Strawberry Cooler

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)
WALTER’S IG:  @thewalternative  @pinest8biscuits
DARCIE’S IG:  @darshui @pdxgreenteam

The Perfect Afternoon Drink: Easy Summer Sangria

Underwood Sangria

As Portlanders, we often forget that a gorgeous river runs straight through our fair city. We get so distracted crossing from one side to the other that the simple act of sitting on its banks and enjoying an afternoon with a friend can get lost in the shuffle.

There are great hidden (and not so hidden) parks all along the Willamette River from St. Johns to Lake Oswego to Oregon City. We recommend that you do a little exploring this summer and rediscover a few of these locales. And, we would certainly be remiss if we were to send you out on a Lewis-and-Clark-style Pacific-Northwest Expedition without an appropriate beverage to enjoy once you’ve found your spot.

So, allow us to introduce our new favorite summertime punch, the Easy Summer Sangria. We know that life is hectic, and sometimes the best plans are made at the last minute, so this recipe should fit those situations perfectly. With just a little prep the night before you can be enjoying a colorful and fruity glass of this sangria by the following afternoon.

STEP ONE:

In a large Mason Jar, combine:

3/4 C of white rum
1/2 C simple syrup
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1 large orange
1 C frozen blueberries
1/2 C orange slices cut into small triangles.
3 sprigs of mint

Let this macerate in your fridge overnight.
Call a friend and tell them where to meet you the next afternoon.

Underwood Sangria

STEP TWO:

Once you’ve found a suitable spot, pull out your Mason jar and add 2 cans of Underwood Pinot Gris. For our less coordinated explorers, feel free to add one can at a time. But since we are pros…

Underwood Sangria

STEP THREE:

Fill two smaller Mason jars with ice.

Pour each about three-quarters full of the sangria and then top off with sparkling water or club soda. Mix well, making sure you get plenty of blueberries and orange slices in each glass. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

Underwood Sangria Underwood Sangria

While you are making up the sangria, have your friend shuffle and deal the cards, and then you are all ready to settle in to a fun round of Go Fish with a beautiful view.

Underwood Sangria Underwood Sangria

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

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…

**************

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)