Why only drink beer this St. Patrick’s Day weekend when you can have delicious wine? We asked our wine chemist/culinary whiz Conor for wine pairing suggestions for some popular Irish recipes. Which one will you try?
Dish: Irish Beef Stew
Wine: 2014 Signature Series Cabernet Franc
The 2014 Cabernet Franc possesses great depth of layered flavors and aromatics that are coaxed out slowly throughout the course of a meal. The wine begins with subtle nuances of black and pink peppercorn, white floral aromas, that extends into hints of fresh raspberries and strawberry preserve. The finish is robust yet reserved filled with hints of cocoa nibs and tobacco leaf. The wine possesses great balance of acidity and round tannins, perfect for cutting through the heartiness of an Irish beef stew while also holding its own alongside this heavier dish.
Dish: Corned Beef & Cabbage
Wine: 2015 Signature Series Reserve Chardonnay
While most might pair a lighter red wine possessing higher acidity with corned beef, I have chosen our 2015 Reserve Chardonnay. This wine is whole cluster pressed and then barrel fermented in white Burgundy barrels where it is aged sur lie for up to 8 months while undergoing batonnage treatment (lees stirring). The resulting wine is plush with bright acidity and balanced structure giving it full body and weight on the palate that can accompany and cut through the leanness and pepperiness of the corned beef. The aromatics of the wine yield tremendous aromas of tropical fruit (passion fruit, guava, starfruit) alongside irresistible stone fruit aromas (apricot, nectarine, & peach). The finish lend as a beautiful palate cleanser to wash away the heavy flavors and weight of the corned beef and cabbage leaving the drinker longing for another sip.
Dish: Dublin Coddle
Wine: 2014 Signature Series Syrah
Our estate Syrah is reminiscent of an old world Rhone Valley Syrah unlike the popular Australian Shiraz. Its aromatic bouquet scream finesse comingled with stout structure. The nose opens with hints of eucalyptus, mint, white flowers, and herbaceous overtones that extends into a bounty of lush blue, black, and elderberries finishing with hints of toasted oak, leather, and smoked meatiness. The palate is velvety with firm but giving tannins that add depth, complexity, and structure finishing with subtle minerality and bright intertwined acid play. This wine is excellent in accompanying rich pork dishes as the rich tannins and velvety texture aid in elevating the flavor of the dish while simultaneously cleansing the palate and uplifting the appetite.
Dish: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Bailey’s Frosting
Wine: 2014 Quill
The 2014 Quill is one of our premier Bordeaux style blends more reminiscent of old world wine making style and technique versus new world style. Personally I feel this wine is perfect on its own as a sipping wine in front of a fire with a fine cigar, but when it comes to chocolate and sweets, this wine is an excellent accoutrement. The exudes a medium plus body with rounded tannins and a layered palate of red apple skin, cherry, raspberry, baking spices and bittersweet chocolate. The nose opens with hints of cinnamon, black cherry, black and bramble berry, mission fig and cassis. The bold finesse of this wine is perfect on its own accord or the perfect accompaniment to uplift a dessert rich in chocolate.
Rick Leiti of Cape May Point has only been on the Hawk Haven staff for two years but his interest in wine runs deep.
Leiti is originally from Delaware County, Pa., and spent a lot of his twenties working in an office. Eager for a change in scenery, he took some time off to work in Peru.
“That was where I really discovered wine,” he said.
Leiti eventually returned to the Philadelphia area to be close to friends and family. At the time he returned to the area there was a burgeoning wine scene.
“I wanted to be a part of what people were growing and learning about the industry,” he said.
He went to Auburn Road Winery, where he started working part-time in the tasting room. As he gained experience there, his interest in the wine industry grew, and Leiti decided he wanted to invest more time at the vineyard.
Eventually he increased to full-time, working in the vineyard, as a liaison between their wine retail locations, in the wine cellar, and managing the tasting room on weekends.
When Leiti met Seneca Reiley, they moved to Cape May County to start their life together (and will soon be married in Costa Rica, April 2017!).
Leiti asked the advice of the owners of Auburn Winery where they thought he should pursue he wine career locally. They pointed him in the direction of Hawk Haven Vineyard.
“The first thing that I really connected with was their amazing wine,” said Leiti. “The next thing was the vibe there. Todd and Kenna are working tirelessly to create amazing wine and surround themselves with a staff that is as passionate about their vision as they are.”
At Hawk Haven, in addition to working in the tasting room, retail outlets and working in the vineyard, he also does the winery tours.
“I love interacting with the public and educating them about all the amazing wine that is made here,” he said.
Leiti said that on the top of his list of dreams is to one day own his own winery. But for now, he is enjoying learning all he can and helping make great wine at Hawk Haven. He recently received a certificate from Wine & Spirit Education Trust and noted that there is always something new to learn.
“For the better part of my twenties, I spent so much time not knowing what I wanted to do. Then I found my passion is wine and it gave my life a direction,” he said.
When he isn’t working, Leiti enjoys relaxing with his favorite Hawk Haven bottle, Quill.
Ladies and Gentlemen, put down the Coors/Bud/Miller Lite. Your sacred day of watching the greatest sporting event of the year should involve you treating yourself to something a little more tasteful. And by tasteful I mean food-worthy wine. You know that monster spread of dips, wings and pizza you have planned to devour all day? Pair it up!
But with what wines you say? Here’s a start…
With either spicy buffalo or barbecue you’re gonna wanna snag a bottle of our Flying Press White. Its slight off-dryness will go along quite peacefully with the sweet tinge of bbq sauce (other bbq sauce foods work too here!). Also that ever so bit of sweetness to the wine will go most excellently with some of that heat off of the spicy buffalo sauce. After all, who doesn’t like a little sweetness with spice? Remember FPW is a blend of Riesling and Pinot Grigio…two acidic grape varietals whose acids love to freshen up some good poultry.
You’ve probably heard our staff call the Flying Press Red a “good pizza wine.” And it is, because it’s a great everyday red. But don’t look past our 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. Bright red fruits on the palate that showcase big acids will pair nicely with fairly acidic tomato sauces. Firm tannins will also balance out all the fatty goodness you’ll be dealing with from that cheese, and (if you’re like me) that meat-lover’s meat.
For creamier dips, I’d go with our 2015 Barrel Chardonnay all-the-way. Those soft vanilla nuances will complement anything rich, but the fresh mid-palate lemon and pineapple will give an added dimension of fruit to your chip-into-dip experience. Think about dill dip. I mean its just dill and fat and chip salt. Tell me that added zest of lemony nourishment wouldn’t raise the bar!
For salsa style dips, rock out with the Tempranillo. Its red pepper spice will go right along with some other peppery flavors you might encounter while its soft, approachable tannins won’t rough up the saltiness you pick up from your classic potato chip. Tempranillo is the great grape behind a Rioja in Spain and finds itself right at home with traditional Latin fare foods.
So whatever you’re eating while you watch the game (or just the commercials, we won’t judge), we hope you pair it with your favorite Hawk Haven wine! Let us know what other pairings you come up with. Cheers!
We at Hawk Haven firmly believe that you should find something to celebrate in every day, and as it is her birthday, today we are celebrating the hat-wearing, wine-loving, people-charming Celine!
Hailing from Northeast Philly, Celine met her chef husband of almost 30 years when she was still an Archbishop Ryan Ragdoll. A graduate of West Chester University, Celine went to work for the railroad, marketing transportation to food & agriculture shippers. It wasn’t long after Celine moved to Warrington, Bucks Co., PA that she suddenly found herself facing a breast cancer diagnosis . A mother of two little boys then, she was determined to turn lemons into lemonade. Immediately focusing her attention on cultivating a healthy lifestyle, she pursued her master’s in health education and her health & wellness coach certification. Now, when Celine’s not in the Tasting Room or mingling on the crush pad, you’ll find her teaching healthy eating classes at Bucks County Community College or hard at work for a leading healthcare company.
Celine fancies herself a world traveler, and what makes her hair fly back the most is following her rock star heroes around the globe to take in concerts in exotic places. One lucky lass, she’s had the good fortune to be in Dublin, Ireland twice when Bruce Springsteen was performing. And, as Rod Stewart’s #1 fan, she’s even traveled to Scotland to see him perform at Edinburgh Castle!
Celine achieved “rock star” status herself when she landed every college kid’s dream job! She had the honor of strolling Sesame Street as the first Big Bird character during the Sesame Place Theme Park’s debut season.
Thrilled to become one of the cast members of Hawk Haven’s Season 5, Celine started pouring in our Tasting Room in April 2013. A desire to learn about all things wine set Celine on a path of discovery. She toured many wineries until she found just the right mix of vino & vibe. When she met our proprietors, Todd & Kenna, she knew Hawk Haven was the real deal!
Celine’s favorite Hawk Haven bottle is any one she has on hand to give to a friend. She used to give fudge from the shore as her calling card; now, she loves to give Hawk Haven wines and regale friends and family of stories from the winery.
Her favorite thing about working at Hawk Haven is getting to mix and mingle with our extraordinary patrons — every person, without exception, who crosses the threshold of Hawk Haven comes seeking pleasure. When the day is done, Celine always leaves with a smile on her face, happy to have shared her passion for wine with fascinating, like-minded people.
Her advice to other wine drinkers: “Be adventurous! Don’t be married to one varietal. Love the wine you’re with, but keep trying new things! And never take yourself (or your wine) too seriously! Drink whatever makes your hair fly back! Sláinte!”
Winter is in full swing here at Hawk Haven. Just a little over a week ago, we had about 7 inches of snow!(Don’t worry oenophiles, our vines lie dormant for the winter months.) While the vineyard is at rest, the staff has some extra time on their hands. What to do? We think it’s the perfect time to host a few cold weather adventures in wine tasting! It’s a chance to get to know our staff and really experience what makes Hawk Haven special!
This past weekend, we held our Annual Cellar Tasting. Wine Maker Todd Wuerker took a short break from his winter wine making tasks to pour some of his favorite cellared wines, and wow, they are amazing! These are wines that were released and almost sold out. A few cases are stowed away for safe keeping and you guessed it, a rainy or snowy day. Some favorites from the event were the 2014 Signature Series Reserve Chardonnay, the 2008 Merlot (a small taste of heaven), and the Governor Cup winning 2012 Signature Series Cabernet Franc. Be sure to keep an eye out for this event in the future because you do not want to miss out on these hidden gems again! We are extending the sale of these special wines online through midnight on Tuesday, January 17th. See our online store for details.
Now, we set our sights on the month of February for three very exciting weekends. The first will be held over Valentine’s Weekend, when we host the Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend. Visit our romantic tasting room and enjoy a wine tasting paired with gourmet chocolates. Since one weekend definitely is not enough for wine and chocolate, we will continue the wine & chocolate pairing through President’s day weekend as well! See the Special Events page on our website for details.
The last weekend in February we will host the much anticipated Futures Sale. We invite the public to purchase futures of our soon to be bottled wines at a discount. The sale includes a selection of our 2015 reds and 2016 whites. Limited quantities of the wines will be available for pre-sale at a DISCOUNT during the weekend of February 25th & 26th. If you live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Florida, we are offering the option to SHIP them direct to you before the official release date. If you live outside those areas or if you prefer to visit our tasting room, we are offering a PICK UP option as well.
Wine Club members are invited to participate in an exclusive barrel tasting during the Futures Sale. Wine Maker Todd Wuerker along with his wine making staff will be using an instrument called a “wine thief” to offer samples of wine straight from the barrels where they are aging. Learn about the wine making style of the Hawk Haven Vineyard dream team as they walk you through their process and labor of love. If you are not a Wine Club member, you can become one by making a qualified purchase from our tasting room.
If you can not make it out to any of these events, don’t sweat it! The Tasting Room is open everyday from 11am-5pm and 11am-6pm on Saturdays. Stop on by and get a taste of our newest release, the 2014 Quill. Each vintage of Quill has provided new and exciting flavors and a different take on our Bordeaux-style blend. This latest vintage is composed of 54.5% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4.5% Malbec. Wonderful aromas of cinnamon, blackberry, cherry, and tobacco leaf grace the nose, cherry and raspberry flavors on the palate and a nice finish of baker’s chocolate and vanilla. The 2014 Quill is well worth a visit to the tasting room soon.
We are counting down the days until warmer weather, but until then join us for some fun this winter!