Category Archives: Wine Tip

Wine Wednesday: Syrah

Hello, my name is Ryan and I am excited to be taking over our first installment of the Wine Wednesday series where today I’ll be talking about one of my favorite varietals: Syrah! I love Syrah in general, but specifically Hawk Haven’s Signature Series Syrah. It is one of my favorites because although I can (and do!) drink it year-round, it’s just a little extra satisfying in the cooler months. It’s such a delicious wine and it really pairs well with the hearty, savory dishes I crave this time of year.

What Makes Syrah, Syrah

Syrah is known as a Rhone varietal, meaning it originated in the Rhone Valley region of Southern France. It is among the top 10 most grown grapes in the world, and its higher acidity makes it a great wine for aging. A lot of people have asked us what is the difference between Syrah and Shiraz, and the answer is: there’s no difference! Shiraz wines are typically from Australia and although flavor profiles may differ as they do in different regions, it’s the same exact grape varietal as Syrah.

Hawk Haven’s Unique Syrah Characteristics

When making this wine, Winemaker Todd used the skins of another Rhone varietal, Viognier, to round out the body and lend some nice floral notes to the nose. These then give way to the spicy pepper, mineral, and dark fruit aromas we expect from a well-made Syrah. On the palate, this medium-plus bodied wine offers generous minerality and notes of blackberry and fresh peppercorns, with smooth tannins lingering on the finish.

Pairing Syrah with Food

Just thinking about this wine makes me happy, but of course drinking it is even better, especially when it’s paired with something delicious. This past weekend I paired the 2015 Signature Series Syrah with two incredible dishes: Rabbit Stew, and Mushroom Bourguignon. One for the meat lovers and one for my veggie loving friends! The wine paired perfectly with both; the flavor components of the Syrah really complimented the earthy characteristics of these two savory meals. Below are the recipes to these soul-warming dishes, enjoy! And let us know why you love Syrah and your favorite pairings!



Rabbit Stew

Mushroom Bourguignon

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!

Behind the Bar Series: Celine

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!

Hceline-winetastingailing 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 35944_144287892264787_1938330_nfly 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!

Hats off to Celine! You may notice that she dons a hat every weekend. In fact, you'll never see her wear the same hat twice. So where does a lady keep 100 hats? In the bathtub, of course!
Hats off to Celine! You may notice that she dons a hat every weekend. In fact, you’ll never see her wear the same hat twice. So where does a lady keep 100 hats? In the bathtub, of course!

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!”

Wine – Keep it Simple

Wine can be a very complicated subject matter. No doubt, tending and training the vines, growing the grapes, knowing when to harvest and finally the craft of bringing all of it together to produce an enjoyable experience to karlshare with family and friends is both challenging and hopefully rewarding for those engaged in the hard work. BUT!! If you are anything like me you are mostly interested in one thing: How does it taste and do I enjoy it.

O.K. you got me that’s two things.

Trust me, you do not have to be a Mensa candidate to enjoy wine. Some folks try to cultivate wine appreciation into an intellectual endeavor. It AIN’T. It is about the visceral impact of a good grape on one’s palate. That is it.

By the way the highest and best use to which a palate can be put is to separate the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. Everything and anything beyond that is simply a bonus. But what a bonus – when you find that just right wine to share with that just right person at that just right moment.

Take it from a lifetime member of the third reading group – keep it simple and savor the damn wine.





Karl is a former drill instructor and recovering attorney. He joined the Hawk Haven team in April of 2012 and we haven’t been able to get rid of him since. To read more about our resident vineyard curmudgeon, click here.

Wine Tip: Rose Wine vs. Blush Wine


Labor Day might signal the end of summer vacations, but there are still several more weeks of  summer weather and what complements a warm sunny day better than a glass of rosé? Or wait.. is it blush? They both look the same, right?

What exactly is in my glass right now?

Turns out, rosé wine and blush wine are the same. If that’s all you needed to know, you can stop reading now, but if you want to impress your friends with your superior wine knowledge, continue on!

The secret to understanding rosé and blush wine is to have a general understanding of how red wine is made. When the red wine grapes are harvested, they are put into a machine that removes all the stems, then the grapes go into a tank where they will ferment. This is when the juice soaks up the color from the skins, and the longer they stay together, the darker the the wine will be. So if you’re making a rosé wine that has a nice pink hue, you simply want to press the juice out a little sooner, limiting contact with the skins.

Did you know: Rosé wine is thought to be one of the earliest forms of wine produced, an ancestor of the red wines we love and drink today. Over time with the development of new wine pressing techniques and equipment, plus a change in tastes for wine, wine makers started fermenting the juice with the skins longer to create heavier, darker, bolder red wines.

So now where does blush wine come in? They are the same thing after all, so why the different name? There are two reasons for this: the rise in popularity of White Zinfandel (a rosé-style wine), and the decline in popularity of rosé wine. Surely every one of you was a “White Zin” drinker at some point in your life, don’t try to hide it, we’ve all been there. White Zinfandel became so popular that wine makers were unable to keep up with demand. And even though White Zinfandel is a rosé wine, for some reason, people didn’t like the name “rosé” anymore, similar to how today we laugh about the olden days of Mateus.

Did you know: Sweetness is not necessarily a characteristic of rosé and blush wines. Many rosés are completely dry, meaning they contain no residual sugar, whereas others are sweet enough for dessert. The main distinction here is the color of the wine.

Try a blush wine with sushi!
Try a blush wine with sushi!

And thus the blush wine was born from the must, solving two problems. First, it was still that pink, sometimes sweet wine we all secretly enjoyed, it just wasn’t called rosé anymore. Second, it could be made from varietals besides Zinfandel which was running low on supply. Now you can find rosés and blushes made from nearly any red varietal such as Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, or Merlot. A blush made of Cabernet Sauvignon, anyone? Come to Hawk Haven and try our Rosé!

Hawk Haven Red-Tailed Rosé
Hawk Haven Rosé

The bottom line here is that blush wine and rosé wine are essentially the same thing, and I want to make another point as well: please don’t stop drinking them! Whether you prefer red, white, or sweet wines, you don’t want to miss out on the many great rosés and blushes out there today. There are some that are very sweet and oh so tasty with a piece of chocolate or some sorbet, and there are some that are very dry yet still bold and fruit-forward, perfect for a barbecued dinner outside on the porch. When you’re doing a wine tasting, try to avoid the temptation to skip the pink wine in favor of something you already know you’ll like. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Please feel free to share your thoughts below. What is your favorite blush or rosé wine? Do you pair it with a particular meal or do you drink it by itself? Let us know!