There is something about the smell of onions, garlic, and mushrooms sauteing in butter that makes my mouth water. Add a pinch of fresh herbs and pour a glass of delicious white wine and bam! My perfect Friday date night.
And we don't just pour any white wine, we pour Viognier. Cameron Stark's Viognier. A delicately balanced Viognier is a sign of a truly skilled winemaker. This dry white wine, has a bold body that is developed during the time it spends fermenting in barrel. During this process, minimizing exposure to air is challenging yet crucial in order to maintain the wine's luscious floral notes.
The fresh herbs and mushroom sauce of this dish balance the lemon meringue, kiwi, and Gravenstein apple notes of a full-bodied white wine.
Pop open the bottle and use a little to deglaze the pan. Cork it and stick it back in the fridge so that it is the perfect temperature to serve with dinner.
Caramelized Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
4 thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme and marjoram
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic - minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 onion, diced
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/3 cup Viognier - measure out the wine and then place in the refrigerator to have with dinner
salt and pepper
Photo credit and recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is. Thank you Jessica!
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Today, we are picking the first grapes for what is Unionville's 27th harvest. Two years after the first grapes were picked and fermented, they were sold in the newly-opened tasting room- 25 years ago. Although I've been thinking about this moment for about a year, we've started our anniversary celebration and I'm still struggling to put it all in context.
In the past few years I've learned so much that could be shared with you now. I've spent hours at the township building, reading through letters written back and forth between parties involved in the winery's founding in the early 1990's. I've walked the vineyards, pausing with each "King of the Vineyard" as Conor calls them- the craggy, gnarly vines nearly as old as me. I've stared at the black and white photos in the hallway of the 1858 Farmhouse of the family and workers who tended to this property many decades ago.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I know that is cliché to say, but it truly is a great time at Unionville. We’ve got all of our reds pressed and in barrel. Cooler, stainless-steel fermentations are finishing up in tank, I’m finally able to breathe a little easier, and wake up a little later. With the holidays upon us, the wine making team has a lot on the mind, but one thing standing out is the blending, bottling, and release of Vat #23 – the latest rendition of our opulent Port wine.
Port has a storied history at Unionville – the fortified delight has been made at the winery since its first vintage in 1993, Before we delve into that, we have to talk a little about how Port is made and the different styles in which it can be presented. Port, named for its origin country, Portugal, is typically a sweet or medium-dry red wine, fortified with distilled grape spirit, then cellared and bottled at different times and in different ways to present specific stylizations. The two most recognizable presentations of Port wine are Ruby and Tawny Ports. Ruby styles are young wines usually aged for only a couple of years (or less). They’re released early to showcase juicy acidity and fruity characteristics of young wine with fuller mouthfeel and complexity
Since I started at Unionville 5 years ago, it has always been a goal to have our wines evaluated by top critics. In the years since, John Foy at the Star-Ledger has called our wines "Napa worthy," and Stuart Pigott, who freelances for James Suckling and Wine Business Monthly wrote that our Syrah was the best expression of the grape in the United States. T.J. Foderaro at Inside Jersey Magazine, Alan Richman (Saveur), Robin Shreeves (Cherry Hill Courier-Post), Rosie Saferstein (NJ Monthly), and the Trenton Times' Susan Yeske have all added their voices to the coalition of the willing in the last couple of years.
Having Unionville in the pages of one of the major wine magazines had remained elusive, until last summer when Mark Squires, East Coast wine critic for the Wine Advocate sat down and tasted...
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