I love warm fall dishes. The aroma of the onions, garlic, and herb merry wonderfully with the roasted sweet potato drizzled in maple syrup. Savory and sweet. Cooking this dish is one of my favorite Thanksgiving day activities. I prepare most of my other dishes ahead of time, so they simply need to be cooked in the oven and we ::cough cough:: fry our turkey. Using the stove top adds a different kind of warmth to the house. A lovely cozy warmth. It is also the prefect activity to keep myself busy while I wait for friends and family to arrive.
I am serving Pinot Noir Reserve with dinner and this side dish compliments the dry cherry and earthy autumn notes of the wine. Pop open the bottle and use 1/4 cup to deglaze the pan and then pour yourself a glass. You did just cook Thanksgiving dinner!
If you already have your Thanksgiving menu planned - this makes a perfect side dish or main course for any dinner! Check out this recipe for smaller serving sizes.
3 cups of arborio rice
3 small sweet potatoes - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme - minced
1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram - minced
1 tsp of cracked pepper
1/4 cup of Pinot Noir Reserve
1 tsp nutmeg (hole nutmeg grated is preferred over powder)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt divided
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 small yellow onions - finely diced
4 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of browned butter
3 quarts of stock of your choice - I used chicken
maple syrup for drizzling
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My name is Rachael White, and I am the new vineyard manager at Unionville Vineyards. I am thrilled to be part of the team and produce exceptional grapes for exquisite wine. I’m eager to begin this role and I wanted to introduce myself to share a little of my background.
I became interested in grape production right out of high school while working at my local research and extension center with the viticulture team. Little did I know when I started that viticulture would become my passion and career going forward. I got to work with industry famous people like Dr. Tony Wolf and Dr. Cain Hickey and interact with growers that were more than happy to share their joys and dismays about farming grapes. I fell in love with the seasonality and the fact I could always be outside! With a newfound purpose, I attended my first semester at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2013 and immediately focused my degree on wine grape production. I took every wine and vineyard related course offered at the time and enjoyed other horticulture courses along the way. I studied
abroad in Cortona, Italy where I learned old world wine tradition and began refining my palate.
I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in December of 2016 and looked to gain more knowledge from elsewhere in the world. I decided to work a vintage in the southern hemisphere and set my eyes on New Zealand. In March of 2017, I started work at a contract winery in the Marlborough region that produced Sauvignon Blanc, but also small batches of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris. I worked on the “Red Team," and processed mostly Pinot Noir
in small orders for clients.
What a difference a year can make. August 2018 through July 2019 was the second rainiest 12 month stretch in the recorded history of New Jersey weather. These records stretch back into the late 19th century, which gives context just to how wet that is. It's not easy growing wine grapes when it rains every other day from August through the end of harvest. As we slogged through a wet May and June, we were making preparations to endure another difficult season. A torrential thunderstorm on July 11th dropped over three inches of rain on most of our vineyards. Todd Wuerker, winemaker at Hawk Haven Vineyard said to me on the phone "it has to stop, it always evens out" and I scoffed at that idea. The weather today doesn't know what happened the day, week, or month before.
Todd was right! An atmospheric switch flipped in mid-July, and high pressure dominated the mid-Atlantic for the rest of the season. There were isolated thunderstorms to dodge through the rest of summer, and Unionville fared particularly well in this stretch. Over the 10 weeks of harvest, less than three inches of rain fell across our vineyards. We went from a historically wet stretch to historically dry, and it came just in the nick of time.
Unionville Vineyards provides guests with a safe, comfortable environment to relax and enjoy fine wine in the serene countryside of pastoral Hunterdon County. With this vision in mind, several important updates to our hospitality policies have been put in place related to group size, children, dogs, food, & more. Please click here to read them before planning your visit to Unionville, to ensure a pleasant experience for all. Thank you.