All posts by hawkhaven

St. Patrick’s Day Wine & Food Pairings

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.

Win with Wine this Superbowl Sunday!

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!

Hawk Haven Happenings

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 17thSee 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!

Healthy Eats and Fine Wine

Ah, the New Year is upon us and many are preparing their New Year’s Resolutions.  Whether that be to revisit an old friend (the gym) or start a restrictive diet plan, most health related resolutions are often not kept after a month or two into the New Year.

But, we have a proposition for you…

Why not make a few healthier meals a couple times a week and start being a little more active each day and you can still live the life you want to live?  Perhaps a life that still involves wine…

We kicked off the healthy eats train a little early with a Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille courtesy of Love and Lemons.  To make it more interesting, we paired it with our 2014 Signature Series Tempranillo. Aged for 18 months in French Oak Barrels with mocha and cinnamon spice on the nose, chocolate-cherry flavors and long vanilla tannins on the palate, the Tempranillo is easily a favorite among staff and customers.  Naturally the Tempranillo was a perfect pairing for the ratatouille, which called for a medium-bodied Spanish red to compliment the fiery roasted vegetables.

What ingredients will you need for Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille?  I just about quadrupled the recipe, but if you’re not feeding an entire army, then these ingredients will be enough for about 2-3 meals.

  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini/yellow squash
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 can of Chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Red or White Wine Vinegar
  • Dried Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh Basil
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • Optional: Feta Cheese (I highly recommend a generous sprinkle on top of your plate) and/or Kalamata Olives
  1. To start off preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then begin chopping up the eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini/squash into 1 inch cubes.  Chop the onion into long strips.
  2.  Combine all of the chopped veggies and chickpeas onto a pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano.
  3. Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes.  In the mean time, put the quinoa and 2 cups of water on the stove in a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Take the vegetables out of the oven and sprinkle the garlic and several pinches of red pepper flakes on top.  Then, splash 1-2 tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar over the vegetables and pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Plate the quinoa and the veggies and sprinkle some fresh basil and feta on top of your plate.  Compliment the yummy flavors of the veggies with the 2014 Tempranillo.


Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year!

Looking Towards the Future, Looking Towards Wine

Regardless of who you voted for, we can all agree that this election season has been quite exhausting.  Right up until they announced the victor and our new leader, we were all feeling mentally drained and on edge.  Now, we can celebrate the end and here at Hawk Haven we choose to celebrate with the very thing that got us through this election season… Wine!  wine-meme

Wine has been a faithful friend during those late night debates and grueling conversations with certain friends and relatives that are never afraid to tell you their opinions of your political views.  Personally, I was gripping my glass throughout the night as reporters repeatedly exclaimed it was “Too Close to Call.”  That is all over now though, and therefore we should all rejoice that we are on the other side of what seemed like a never ending  tunnel.

For your sake and your sanity, we’d like to prescribe you with bottles and bottles of wine.  Stock up for yourself or take a peace offering, and by that we mean a bottle of fine wine, such as ourCellar20 2014 Talon, to a friend or relative that you might have butted heads with over the election.  Talk about things other than the election and laugh over the tension that was once interfering with your relationships.  A good bottle of wine and good conversation might be exactly what you need to happily move forward.

You could even cook a great meal to accompany your wine selection.  We suggest a nice and comforting hearty pasta dish for dinner, especially if you’re pairing with the 2014 Talon.  This Tuscan Styled blend will accompany a meaty dish such as a bolognese or a cheesy pasta bake such as this Italian sausage and kale dish.

Maybe you want to throw a small wine gathering with your friends to celebrate a return to normalcy.  Here are 3 quick suggestions and tips for your potential gathering…

  1. Make it a BYOB:  This way you don’t break the bank purchasing your favorite wine, but you can celebrate each other’s differences in tastes when it comes to wine
  2. Be Sure to check out great wine and food pairings (such as the recipes above)
  3. Find a really fun playlist to play at the party such as this election day distraction playlist or play a movie that you and your friends love that is sure to provide a good laugh

Hawk Haven WinesAs the election hype drags on, try not to stress over things you can not change.  In time, we will heal the nation’s divide, but what better way to start than sharing some wine and good times with those you love.  Whether, you are celebrating or mourning the outcome of this election, have pride and poise in your own beliefs and just enjoy the brief break from this headache inducing election.  You can stop by the Hawk Haven tasting room any day from 11am-5pm to pick up your prescribed dose of wine.   We are certain that wine will do wonders for the soul. Cheers Everyone!