Creating the Perfect Springtime Cocktail

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

There is a particular Portland phenomenon we have been noticing for years. Every Spring there is one weekend when, with no conscious cues or communication, everyone in town decides it’s time to cut their lawn. It’s that first perfect weekend, when the rain has let up, the grass is a little too tall and healthy, and so the ol’ lawnmower gets dusted off, gassed up—or charged up (it is Portland after all)—and put to the task.

During that weekend, all of Portland is filled with that unmistakably sweet, musky scent of freshly cut grass. The kids are playing in the yard, the parks are full and Spring has officially Sprung.

Enter Lucas Plant, bartender and cook extraordinaire, Navy man, father, and all-around charming guy. Lucas has worked at many of the best spots in Portland from Clyde Common to Central to Oven & Shaker. Currently, Lucas is a “Luxury Spirits Broker” for Coastal Pacific, but he is also part owner of Bull In China. We asked Lucas to create a cocktail that captured the happiness of the first weekend of Spring and all the nostalgic flavors it evokes.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail
Lucas set to the task and concocted an intriguing cocktail, (whose name, coincidentally, originated from the memoir, ‘I Couldn’t Smoke the Grass on my Fathers Lawn” by Charlie Chaplin’s son, Michael.)

Grass Clippings

3 1/2 oz Kings Ridge Riesling
1/2 oz Bee Local Honey Water
1/2 teaspoon Bee Local Bee Pollen
1/2 teaspoon Steven Smith Powdered Matcha Tea No. 7

STEP ONE: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

Lucas uses a professional bar spoon, but a 1/2 teaspoon measure works just as well.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP TWO: Shake like your life depends on it!

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP 3: Strain (to remover solids) into another shaker with no ice.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP FOUR: Shake again as if your life depends on it. This step is very important as it aerates the liquid and releases all the pollen and matcha flavors.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

STEP FIVE: Pour into a chilled coupe glass and enjoy.

Union Wine Co Green Cocktail

Many thanks to Lucas for lending his time and talents to this post. And, if you dig the custom apron he is sporting, check out Portlands own OROX Leathers.

Also, head over to Bull In China for all your professional (and unprofessional) bar accoutrements.

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

Keeping the Portland Airwaves Free: Freeform Portland Radio 90.3 FM

Freeform Portland Radio

Here at Union Wine Co. we think of ourselves as more of a family than just a place of work. We try to encourage and support everyone in their passions and side projects.

Allow us to introduce Amy Carr. By day, Amy is the Logistics and Compliance/Customer Service Supervisor. She has been a part of the Union Wine Company family for about 5 years, beginning at Amity Vineyards before moving over full-time to UWCo.

When Amy was only 12 years old, her father gave her a copy of Nick Hornby’s (best) novel High Fidelity, which introduced her to a main character who is always striving to share the classic music he loves and the new bands he discovers. And so, a seed was planted…

Fast Forward to early 2015. A few of Amy’s friends decided to found Freeform Portland, an entirely independent, community-sponsored, non-profit, freeform radio station. Going live the following year, they broadcast on 90.3 and also 98.3 FM from the NE Alberta Area. Officially they are a “low-power” FM station; their radio broadcast range is only about 5 square miles, but, lucky for us, we live in the digital age so everyone can enjoy their full array of programming at FreeformPortland.org/listen.

Freeform Portland Radio

The DJs are free to play music from records, tapes, CDs or digital files. There are no commercials or talk programs. Generally, the only speaking you will hear are the DJs identifying their chosen songs during music set breaks, although there are some great “in studio” band interviews from time to time. All songs from every show are also listed on their website.

Freeform Portland Radio

Two amazing things that FFP can boast are, 1., it is absolutely 100% volunteer run, and 2., it is absolutely 100% live programming, meaning no prerecorded shows. There is a live DJ playing music in the booth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Freeform Portland Radio

At the station, Amy goes by the handle DJ Stellar Luna. Her show, “Nightlight” runs on alternating Mondays from 10 PM to midnight. Amy’s playlist differs every week focusing mostly on Neo Psychedelia, New Wave, Hip-Hop and Latin. Asked what some of her favorite bands are, Amy mentioned, in no particular order:

La Femme (which she plays at least one song by during every show)
Bomba Estereo
LCD Soundsystem
Thee Oh Sees
Echo & the Bunnymen

Amy was drawn to the radio station for many of the same reasons that she was drawn to Union Wine Co.—each puts a great emphasis on authenticity and a truly meaningful reflection of the community.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

As you might imagine, the broadcast booth is small but is filled with all sorts of amazing music, movie and cultural paraphernalia.

Freeform Portland Radio

Freeform Portland Radio

Recently we asked Amy to create our first official Spotify profile, beginning with a Union Wine Co. playlist, a constantly growing curated mix.

In addition, Amy has created playlists to match the vibe of our three labels:

UNDERWOOD (aka the party) playlist
KINGSRIDGE (aka the adult hipster) playlist
ALCHEMIST (aka the sexy) playlist

Subscribe to them all now so you have the perfect soundtrack the next time you are enjoying our wines!

Freeform Portland Radio

We want to thank Amy for sharing her time and passion with us, and allowing us a small glimpse into the amazing world of Freeform Portland. Hopefully this will inspire you to check out some of their programming.

Freeform Portland Radio

Text and Photos by David L. Reamer (@dlreamer)

(Amy’s IG is @amycoche)

Mezcal Rosérita

Underwood Rosé Mezcal Rosérita

Cinco de Mayo is Sunday and we are ready to go with our resurrected—and improved—Rosérita! We’ve updated this cocktail with our team’s favorite liquor: mezcal. If you’ve never tried mezcal, we highly recommend giving it a shot. The smokiness from the mezcal and the fresh, robust fruit flavors of our Underwood Rosé creates a balanced and tasty blended beverage.

Our favorite thing about mezcal is that it can be made from different varieties of agave, while tequila is only made from one. This allows different mezcals to have more complex and unique flavor profiles compared to tequila.

Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.

Cheers!

Underwood Rosé Mezcal Rosérita

Mezcal Rosérita

Serves 4

4 cups ice
10oz mezcal
6oz Underwood Rosé
4oz strawberry puree
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of half an orange
2.5 oz Green Chartreuse
1.5 oz agave nectar
10 dashes grapefruit bitters
Salt for your glass rim

Put all the ingredients together in a blender and blend until slushy. Pour into glasses with salted rims and add a lime wedge. Enjoy with friends or co-workers on a sunny afternoon.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Since such a large part of the Pacific Northwest culture revolves around food, we decided to start up a series here on Field Notes that features local chefs who love to drink and cook with Underwood wines. For this post, we reached out to one of the founders of the Portland institution Bunk Sandwiches, Nick Wood.

Nick was raised in Cincinnati, but really cut his teeth in New Orleans, cooking for several fine dining restaurants, including Brennans and Martinique Bistro, before relocating to Portland. Because of this, on his days off, Nick loves to return to the cuisine he feels most comfortable with, Creole. When we asked Nick to come up with a recipe using the Underwood Pinot Noir, he immediately suggested Marchand de Vin, a Creole take on a classic French sauce, literally meaning “Wine Merchant”. We had never even heard of this sauce but apparently it is a mainstay of all the best  restaurants around New Orleans.

It’s a pretty simple recipe and one that is guaranteed to knock the socks off anyone lucky enough to indulge. Make sure to enjoy with some crusty French bread and plenty of Underwood Pinot Noir!

Marchand de Vin Sauce

Marchand de Vin Sauce
(the best sauce you’ve never heard of)

** Serves 4 people **

Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves
3 shallots
4 green onions (tops reserved)
8 large cremini mushrooms
1/2 lb tasso or smoked ham
1 can Underwood Pinot Noir
1 QT beef stock
unsalted butter
salt & pepper
Tabasco
Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 lb steak, such as bavette or tri-tip

****

Dice first 5 ingredients, setting green onion tops aside for garnish.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Season steak well with salt and pepper. Heat a wide, heavy bottomed pot, add 2 Tbs of olive oil and sear steak on each side. Place steak on a sheet pan and finish in the oven, 5-10 minutes depending on size. Set aside to rest.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Place beef stock in a small pot and reduce by half, keep warm.

Heat up the large pot again, (leaving any steak bits in the bottom), add 2 Tbs of butter and 2 Tbs of oil to the pot and sauté top five ingredients on medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently so as not to burn. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Without lowering heat, slowly add the can of Underwood Pinot Noir and bring to a simmer, continuing to stir for 5 minutes.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Add warmed beef stock gradually with a ladle and let liquid reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn off heat and add 2 Tbs of butter and a generous splash of  Tabasco and Worcestershire to taste.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Slice your steak, arrange on a serving platter, and cover generously with sauce. Garnish with green onion and Enjoy!

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

And special thanks to Nick for spending his day off hanging out and sharing his culinary prowess.

Chefs at Home Series: BUNK’S Nick Wood

Text and Photos by David L. Reamer (@dlreamer)