Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!
Now, let’s be honest, no one thinks, “Hmmmm, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. I think I will have my favorite St. Patrick’s Day wine.”
Yeah, um, no. Not even close. And, as much as we would like to think so, green wine just doesn’t sound quite right. Ever.
But, we all also know that thoughts like that are only Double Dog Dares for the creative minds at Spicy Vines. So, we have some ideas and recipes for how you can Spicy up your St. Patrick’s Day and still have your green beers and Irish Coffees (which, by the way, you could add a little Spicy Vines Spiced Red to for a little decadence). Just sayin’.
Sunny Daze Sauvignon Blanc and Corned Beef, Cabbage and Boiled Root Veg:
Wait, what did you say?
Yes, just read and play along. It’ll be fun.
St. Paddy’s is on a Saturday this year, and there’s a good chance your festivities are going to be an all-day thing.
And then, dinner… and cooking it… and that full feeling from a day of green beer.
NOW is the time to bring on the Sunnydaze Sauvignon Blanc.
It’s light, crisp, refreshing and just the right kind of acidic. A nice, well chilled bottle while standing around the steamy kitchen as your corned beef cooks… Doesn’t that sound great?
Then there’s the pairing, and while a little challenging at first, more-so because of perception than actual flavors, it really does kind of work. Most corned beef brines have a good dose of coriander in them, whose citrus notes work quite well with Sauvignon Blanc. There’s also the brininess of the meat itself that gets nicely broken up by crisp fruit flavors of the wine.
Root veg, especially turnips, if you add those to your boil, are a weird veg to match wine to, but Sauvignon Blanc brings out the sweetness and perfuminess of the turnips in a kind fun, even if a little weird, way.
And, the acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc helps cut through the brisket’s buttery fat, leaving a soft finish on the palate.
Never thought you’d ever hear turnips be described as “perfumey,” did you?
Admittedly, the pairing is a little weird, but if you’re not afraid to challenge your palate a little, and allow for a little weird, grab a bottle of Sunnydaze Sauvignon Blanc and try it out. If it doesn’t work for you, by the time you and your guests have a glass while cooking and another for the pairing experiment, you’ll have finished the bottle, and you can crack open a bottle of 2013 Zin Master Zinfandel, because, really, zin kind of goes with just about anything.
But, what about dessert?
Spicy Vines Twist on Guiness Cake
How about a Spicy Twist on traditional Guinness cake? In the interest of supporting local, we subbed out Guinness for some Bear Republic Brewing Company’s Peter Brown Porter. The porter has a little molasses in it, and when used for cooking, reduces down to add a nutty flavor to the recipe. Ryan at The Bear swears by the Peter Brown for cooking, backing, and sauces. The Guinness Cake we adapted came from simplyrecipes.com. So here we go:
1 cup Bear Republic Peter Brown Porter
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cream cheese frosting recipe
Preheat oven, prepare pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8 or 9-inch springform pan with butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
Heat Peter Brown, butter, add cocoa and sugar: In a large saucepan place the stout and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugars and whisk together. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.
Beat sour cream, eggs, vanilla, then add to stout butter mixture: In another bowl beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until very, very well combined. Add to the butter-stout mixture and whisk together.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, add to stout-butter mixture: In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the stout-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together.
Bake: Pour into the prepared pan and give the pan a few short drops onto the countertop to shake the air pockets in the batter to the surface and out of the cake. Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes.
Cool: Allow to cool on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge to separate the cake from the pan and pop the ring off the springform. 7 Frost: Spread frosting on the cooled cake and serve.
Modified from Simply Recipes ~ https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chocolate_guinness_cake/
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick, 4 ounces), room temperature
8 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar), sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Beat the cream cheese and butter together: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until completely smooth, about 3 minutes on medium speed. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure that the mixture is mixed evenly.
Beat in vanilla extract and powdered sugar: Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer running, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Powdered sugar has cornstarch in it that will thicken the frosting as well as making it sweet. Keeping adding more powdered sugar to the frosting until you get your desired level of sweetness and thickness.
Spread or pipe the frosting to decorate: Use a blunt knife or spatula to spread the frosting, or spoon the frosting into a piping bag to decorate your cupcake or cake.
Serve the cake with Spiced Red, of course.
Spiced Drunken Leprechaun
We found this recipe at sugarandcharm.com and fell in love. But of course we had to Spice it up, so we subbed in our new Spicy Vines whiskey. Yes, you read that correctly, whiskey. Inquiries welcome.
1 ounce Peter Brown Porter Reduction simple syrup (recipe below)
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1½ ounces honey simple syrup (recipe below)
3 ounces SPICY VINES Whiskey
4 mint leaves
Peter Brown Porter Reduction Simple Syrup
2 bottles Bear Republic Brewing Company’s Peter Brown Porter
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup honey
Prepare the reduction sauce and honey simple syrup below and let them cool.
Shake all of the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into a coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a mint leaf!
Peter Brown Simple Syrup:
Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat until mixture becomes a thicker consistency and dissolved to about half the amount. This could take 30 minutes.
Let it cool and pour into a glass bottle to store.
Bring to a boil until honey has dissolved.
St. Patrick’s Day Festivities at Spicy Vines
On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, the Spicy Vines team will be up and at it before sunrise opening the tasting room for the City of Healdsburg Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Weather permitting, we will set up our patio with tall tables and stools for prime parade viewing and serving a green St. Patrick’s Day version of our Fleur de Spice sangria for $5.00 a glass. I know, we said no green wine. This isn’t just wine….it’s sangria, and it’s fantastic no matter what the color. It also comes with a lollipop, so…
Fleur de Spice sangria will be flowing all day and we have live music in the tasting room from 7-10pm for our weekly Saturday Night Jive!
For those not ready to brave the early morning with lollipops and sangria, we will also be serving free hot green tea to cut the morning chill while you get your parade on.
St. Patrick’s Day weekend is also Healdsburg’s Sidewalk Sale weekend, and we will have our 2013 Zin Master offered at 50% off a case, as well as some other deals that you’ll just have to come by and take a look see for. (But, the inside scoop is that the sidewalk sale just may be the time to pick up you wines for that wedding you’re having soon or that graduation party you’re going to be throwing.)
Well, that’s the Spicy Report for all things St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re local and can come by, we’d love to see you. If you can only celebrate with us in spirit, we love that too, and will be celebrating with you in kind. But, no matter where you’re celebrating, we wish everyone a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day.
Slainte and Erin Go Bragh!
YIELD: Makes 8 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 45 min
TOTAL TIME: 7 hr
After popular demand, we are releasing what has always been a secret recipe of ours.
2 cups chilled heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
2 tbl espresso powder
1 bottle Spicy Vines Original Blend*
1/2 cup sugar
Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream
Reduce the bottle of Spicy Vines’ Original Blend red spiced wine and sugar in a small saucepan on high heat until slightly thick. Reduce the read to medium until the contents become a thick spiced wine reduction. Set aside.
Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard and spiced wine reduction into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.
Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.
Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day.
To vary the flavor, you can replace the 1 teaspoon vanilla with 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream) or 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tablespoons Cognac (either one whisked into strained custard).
Q: What did the strawberry say to the other strawberry?…
A: “If you weren't so fresh, we wouldn’t be in this jam.”
We’ve been busy little bees experimenting with a line of spicy preserves and jams. Our signature spiced wine reduction makes an excellent addition to to any jam or preserve recipe. Not digging strawberries these days? Improvise or blend with this recipe, a little fig, raspberry, blackberry, and so much more!
Sultry Strawberry Jam:
3 pounds strawberries
1 bottle Spicy Vines Original Blend
3 1/2 cups raw sugar
3 tbl fruit pectin
Juice of one lemon
Wash and slice the strawberries into large chunks, removing stems.
Mix all ingredients in medium pot and bring to gentle simmer. Simmer for forty minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in pectin and mix well. Jam should be set, but if it still contains too much liquid, simmer for longer and check every ten minutes.
Serve with bleu cheese, brie and crackers for easy and elegant h’ordeuvres. Don’t forget a glass of Spicy Vines!
*Recipe makes 6 half-pint jars
Our winemaker Doug Hackett is a really interesting and innovative guy who uses his considerable skills to make dynamite wines. We thought you might like to learn a little more about his style and vision for Spicy Vines, and what we can expect to taste in the next few years.
As you may already know, before coming to us, Doug was a founder and winemaker for two boutique wine brands. He’s a true artisan who has received more than 100 medals and 90+ point ratings throughout his winemaking career.
Doug’s passion has always been producing small lot artisan wines, never “controlling them” but instead shepherding them through the process, allowing them to develop into the best wines they can be.
This year, he has a few new things for us—a 2015 Pinot Noir recently bottled that Doug says will be a “phenomenal Pinot,” a Cabernet Sauvignon (he’s always wanted to do a large Cab), a Cabernet Franc, and a Sauvignon Blanc, which will be available in 2017. The other wines will be available in 2019.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and the Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from a small AVA at the northern end of the Alexander Valley—Pine Mountain/Cloverdale Peak. It’s all mountainous and ranges from an elevation of 2,000 feet to 2,800 feet. Given Doug’s history of working with mountainside fruit (Syrah in the Sierra Foothills and mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon in Mendocino) he’s excited about this opportunity.
The gentleman who owns the land loves Spicy Vines and Doug’s winemaking philosophy, which will make our three-year stint on the land a great pleasure. Signing agreements for a minimum of three years is something Doug feels strongly about because it lets him really get to know the vineyard—its microclimates, etc.—to make the best wines possible. And that produces the greatest benefit for the grower, the winemaker, and the customer, says Doug.
There’s just one thing… since Doug is making less than 100 cases of the Cabernet Franc, that particular wine will be offered to wine club members only. We get a kick out of making special wines that only wine club members can taste. Most wineries don’t do that and it’s a nice perk for our biggest fans. This year we did a Carignan. Next year will be a “funky blend” and the year after that, will be the Cab Franc. Join us to get all the spicy perks!
Speaking of perks, another happy byproduct of Doug’s obsession with seeking out small eclectic AVAs and vineyards is our ability to price wines affordably. Instead of following the popularity of a region, Doug goes to where the grape grows best and, in many cases, can outdo what comes out of those more popular regions. Since we pay less for wines sourced from regions that aren’t necessarily trendy, we can carry the value through to all of you.
As Doug will tell you,
“What I bring to the table is the ability to find eclectic, privately owned vineyards where the grapes are phenomenal at a great value. That allows us to sell our wines at reasonable prices.”
When Doug’s not in the vineyard or in the process of creating beautiful wines, you may find him in the tasting room. Come see us sometime and get to know him better!
Melissa Pederson, Anders’s mother and longtime Pleasanton realtor, raised Anders and his sister Kelly in Pleasanton, California. Anders was a person of conviction, despite having a vision impairment he set out to master and enjoy all things in his life. His enjoyment led to many accomplishments in his academics, athletic pursuits, international travels, and careers including the creation of Spicy Vines. Anders was a firm believer in trying new things and embracing life with a twist.
In November of 2015, Anders donated a kidney to his sister Kelly as they were a perfect match. While the transplant was a success to his sister, Anders unfortunately and tragically passed due to complications of the the surgery within a week of the operation. Anders’ generous gift surrounding his kidney donation will be remembered forever by his sister, family, and friends as he continues to remain an important part of their lives today.
The Pederson family created the Anders Pedersen foundation to support kidney transplant research.
Adding spice to his life
Anders was a determined and adventurous young entrepreneur who embarked on the journey of creating a spiced wine with co-founder Crystalyn Hoffman.
Upon the return of Crystalyn’s Europe travels, she described to Anders her insatiable craving for a German mulled wine. The two made a bet on whether there was a winery in America that produced spiced wines, despite all searches; Anders was unable to find a spiced wine company in the US and lost the bet. This reveal sparked a new goal for them, to replicate the wine and share it with the American wine industry.
Creating the perfect spiced wine recipe was no easy feat for Anders and Crystalyn alone, the kitchen of Anders’s mother, Melissa Pederson, could attest to that. Anders and Crystalyn sought help from professionals and scientists to assist them and in 2011, the inaugural bottled batch of Spicy Vines Original Spiced Red Blend was corked and bottled! Today, Spicy Vines has grown to become a boutique winery in downtown Healdsburg. What started as bet surrounding a silly little Spiced Wine has since evolved into a growing winery producing ultra premium (non-spiced) varietals and blends. As the winery has grown, Anders’ and Crystalyn’s original little Spiced Wine continues to serve as the company's flagship wine and reminder of how the Spicy Vines story all began. Anders always believed in the Spicy Vines dream he helped create and the team today strive to make the most in life as he did.
Spicy Red Sangria
• 2 bottles Spicy Vines Original Blend
• 1 bottle of bubbly
• 1 can of flavored San Pellegrino water or 1/4 bottle pink grapefruit soda
• 1/2 -1 bottle of ginger beer
• 1 cup of orange mango juice
•6 oz. St Germain (optional)
• Sliced strawberries, grapes, and/or oranges
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and mix well. Refrigerate at least eight hours before serving. Serve over ice and garnish with a strawberry.
Spicy White Sangria
• 2 bottles Fleur de Spice
• 1 bottle of bubbly
• 1 can of flavored San Pellegrino water or 1/4 bottle pink grapefruit soda
• 1/2 bottle of ginger beer
• 1 can of pineapple chunks with juice
•Sliced apples, grapes, white peaches or nectarines
• 1/4 cup of unfiltered apple juice
• 1 bottle coconut water
•4 oz. St Germain or pear liqueur (optional)
A bacon wrapped fillet mignon with a Syrah blackberry reduction sauce to pair with our 2013 Dragon's Kiss - Syrah. Yumm!
We love to cook at Spicy Vines. We test, cook, taste, and adjust all of our recipes until we get them just right for our wine pairing. This is a great dish for your July, 4th celebration this year. If you ask us, nothing feels more American than good old fashioned steak and potatoes!
Don't have a bottle of 2013 Dragon's Kiss? Not a problem. Get one here before you begin.
Syrah Blackberry Reduction Sauce Ingredients
Marinade PrepPour the wine into a large bowl. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary leaves and gently stir to create a marinade. Place the fillets into the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the fillets from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste and lightly coat with olive oil. Sear the meat in a hot cast iron skillet. Cook at 350 degrees until you reach the desired level. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillet. Allow the meat to rest 3-5 minutes before serving.
Syrah Blackberry Sauce
In a small saucepan, cook the shallots in olive oil. Add the blackberries and sugar, stirring continuously. Add the wine, stir some more, and turn the heat up to bring to a boil. Once the sauce has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer until the wine starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the sauce over the fillet mignon. Need another bottle of 2013 Dragon's Kiss to pair with your steak? Not a problem. Get one here.
A lobster and roasted garlic ravioli in a fennel and chervil-infused sauce to pair with our 2013 Risqué Chardonnay.
We love to cook at Spicy Vines. We test, cook, taste, and adjust all of our recipes until we get them just right for our wine pairing. For this ravioli, we had a little extra help from our chef on staff, Crystaln's mom Rita. She suggests having a bottle of Risqué Chardonnay chilled and ready for drinking while you wait for the sauce to reduce.
Don't have a bottle of 2013 Risqué Chardonnay? Not a problem. Get one here before you begin.
Zest and juice both lemons (juice from 1 lemon will be used for the sauce, juice/zest from the second lemon will be used for the ravioli). Juice the orange for the sauce. Chop celery, onions, and carrots for the sauce. Mince the shallots for the ravioli. Clip 8 small fronds of fennel and reserve for garnish. Then, finely chop 1/2 cup fennel for the ravioli. Brush a bulb of garlic with olive oil and roast in foil at 400F for 45 minutes. Use 6 cloves for the sauce.
In a large pot, put 1 gallon of water, celery, onion, carrot, lemon juice, orange juice, peppercorn, thyme, parsley, garlic, bay leaves, white wine, and salt. Bring large pot to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Add lobster tails, and poach for 5 minutes. Remove the lobster tails. When cool, remove the lobster meat, chop, and set aside for the ravioli. Put the tail shells back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce by half. Enjoy a glass of wine while the sause reduces. Strain the remaining liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer the saucepan until you have 2-2.5 cups of sauce remaining. Add the cream, 2 tablespoons butter, 1.5 teaspoons lemon zest and season to taste. Remove the sauce from the heat and cover
In a large saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Saute the fennel, shallots, and roasted garlic until soft. Add the chopped lobster meat and saute for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remaining lemon zest to the pan, stir to incorporate, and let cool. On a flat surface, spread out 24 won ton wrappers and add 1 tablespoon of lobster filling into the center of each ravioli. Brush a little water on the outer rim of the won ton and top of a wrapper. Press gently around the filling and firmly on the edges to create a good seal. Give them a good pinch! Bring a large pan of salted water to boil. Drop the ravioli into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Drain ravioli.
Plate 3 ravioli in the center of each serving plate for an appetizer or 6 for a main dish. Add sauce. Shave parmesan onto ravioli. Freshly grind black pepper over top. Garnish with small frond of fennel. Enjoy with crusty artisan bread and a glass of wine.
Don't forget to enjoy with a glass of 2013 Risqué Chardonnay. Make sure you have enough bottles for the sauce and for enjoying with dinner. You may also need an extra glass while you wait for the sauce to reduce.
There’s nothing like a warm kiss of sunshine on your face while sipping on a glass of bubbly. This recipe is for all of us Californian’s swimming through the much-needed rain we’ve been getting this month. Here’s a little glass of sunshine to get you through.
The Sunrise Mimosa is simply a delightful take on your standard mimosa recipe, and we can assure you that after one sip, you’ll be going bottomless… even if it is raining outside.
This recipe has a hint of tasty chai that dances in your mouth with scrumptious deep red citrus flavors of blood orange. Our recipe is three parts bubbly (we love using Bodkin, a local sparkling Sauvignon Blanc) to one part Spicy Vines’ Original Blend and a dash of freshly squeezed blood orange juice.
- 1 oz Spicy Vines Original Blend, chilled
- 3 oz sparkling wine, chilled
- 1 oz blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1Blood orange slice and/ or curl or blood orange peel
InstructionsBuild in a Champagne flute, adding the blood orange juice last. To garnish, slice a thin sliver of one of your blood oranges and toss in your glass.
PairingYou will love the beautiful pink color of this mimosa, a color that looks even more beautiful aside a charcuterie plate pairing made with sharp blue cheese, walnuts, wild honeycomb and fresh blood orange slices. Yum!
Visit Us this SpringLook forward to this recipe and more in our new downtown Healdsburg tasting room located at 441 Healdsburg Avenue in Healdsburg, California, just a block away from the downtown square. Tasting room will be opening soon and will feature this recipe of our Sunrise Mimosa along with other wine cocktail libations such as, Queen Kitty The Ginger, a hypnotically delightful libation made with Spicy Vines’ Original Blend, ginger beer, grenadine and maraschino cherries, or try our classy, yet sassy, Chaitini, a beautiful martini inspired cocktail make with sake, ginger beer and chai simple syrup. Come visit us soon in our new tasting room and until then, keep sipping on a little sunshine amidst this beautiful rain we’re having.
If you love chocolate and wine, these truffles are just the right dessert for you. In these truffles, chocolate is the dominant flavor, but you can taste the lovely hint of chai from our Original Blend signature spiced wine once the truffle begins to melt in your mouth. The addition of our Original Blend adds a bit of sweetness, spice depth of flavor to the truffles.
- 120mL Spicy Vines Original Blend
- 260 g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
- 60 ml Heavy cream
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Cocoa powder, powdered cinnamon for rolling truffles
- Salt crystals to sprinkle on top
DirectionsPlace the chopped chocolate in a heat resistant bowl and set aside. In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine wine and heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Pour over chocolate pieces and let this sit for a few minutes, until the chocolate is melted. Add butter. Using a whisk, gently stir the until combined. You should get a thick and smooth ganache. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until completely set, about 2 hours.
Using a melon-baller or a teaspoon, scoop out chocolate balls from the chilled ganache. Roll the balls between the palms of your hands quickly and roll the in cocoa powder and powdered cinnamon and store in refrigerator. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator and lightly sprinkle a few salt crystals over each. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
This is a perfect February recipe to make your valentine. Pairs perfectly with a glass of our Spicy Vines Original Blend.