Category Archives: Wine and Food

A Pork Chop Recipe for Those on the Fence About Pork

In the winter months you might crave a little heavier, more satisfying meal. I don’t eat a lot of meat … especially pork, but I have a new appreciation for the pork chop. There are all kinds of new heritage varieties of pork which are nice to try, but even the standard pork chop when drizzled with a silky reduction becomes exciting.

Silky reduction you say? What are you talking about? I will make it easy for you.

1)    Always use a stainless steel pan. The brown bits will stick to the bottom of the pan to flavor your sauce.

2)    Heat 1-2 tablespoons of grapeseed or vegetable oil over medium-high heat – you want it almost smoking. Put your Pork Chops in the pan and cook until they are deep brown and cooked through. Take out when done and set them aside to rest. (If you cut immediately you lose all your juices)

3)    Pour off any fat from the skillet, but do not wipe it out and leave the little brown bits. Put on medium heat and add 1 shallot, 2 cloves of garlic, one teaspoon of yellow mustard seed, and stir for 4 minutes.

4)    Add your liquid ½ cup red or white wine. Add thyme, rosemary, & some lemon zest. Simmer and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens and reduced for about 4 or 5 minutes

Lastly, when it is done add a tablespoon of butter and swirl it around. Season with salt and pepper and maybe a little lemon juice.

Lay your pork chops on each plate and drizzle it over top.

I can’t say I don’t like pork anymore; it’s all about the sauces.

By Sandra Price

Fall Back: It’s Time Again for Mulling Spices

Dutch Apple Spice1By: Dori Corr

Mulling is a centuries-old practice, dating back to Roman antiquity, in which various spices and fruit essences are infused into heated wines, juices, or ciders. The recipe for using these spices may vary somewhat, but in general can include allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and various dried fruit peels.

“We love the combination of a fuller-bodied sweeter wine, like our Concord, with bold spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, for a well-balanced wine.” ~ Mike Conti, General Manager, New Hope Winery

The word “mulling” comes from the Old English word for “muddled” and is thought to derive from the confused state brought about by the consumption of alcohol with the spices. The popular phrase “mulling it over” (meaning to consider an idea carefully) is most likely derived from the slow and deliberate process of creating mulled beverages. In Elizabethan times, mulled drinks were used for medicinal purposes. Nutmeg for example, was believed to ward off the plague.

It was Charles Dickens, in his vivid portrayals of Victorian-era England, who popularized mulled wine into a traditional holiday drink. A mulled wine, punch known as a Smoking Bishop, is mentioned in his timeless holiday classic, A Christmas Carol.

In Food and Cooking in Victorian England – A History, author Andrea Broomfield reviews the history of the sweetly spiced wine beverage. “Its whimsical name recalled its medieval origins when it was sometimes served at guildhalls and university banquets in bowls that resembled a bishop’s miter.”

New Hope Winery offers two delightful mulled wine options:

  • Dutch Apple Spice wine is a sweet apple wine enhanced with cinnamon and spice flavors. An autumn classic, it can be served chilled, room temperature, or warmed (which is how it is sampled in our tasting room.)
  • Holiday Spice wine is a rich and intensely fruity red wine, enhanced with natural mulled spice flavors. Serve warm to achieve the ultimate “cozy” experience!

Stop by New Hope Winery any day of the week, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, and sample our mulled seasonal classics. Our wines may not be served from a bowl resembling a bishop’s miter, it is nonetheless warm, toasty, and deliciously satisfying.

Ten Tips for Pairing Wine with Barbecued Food

IMG_1377By: Dori Corr

Ask a thousand backyard grill-jockeys what the ultimate way to barbecue is, and chances are you’ll get a thousand different answers. Just as there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding the single best way to barbecue food, there are no absolutes when it comes to the best wine to pair with barbecue.

When it comes to pairing wine with grilled foods (or any food for that matter), ultimately it is your palate that should dictate what to choose. That being said, New Hope Winery can offer some basic guidelines to help you when selecting the wine that best enhances the flavor and enjoyment of your barbecued foods.

Barbecuing food brings out a plethora of different flavors – sweet, spicy, smoky, acidic, savory –requiring an equally diverse selection of wines. The basic theory of wine and food pairing is to match the intensity of flavor of the wine and the intensity of the flavor of the food.

In the most general of terms: If your food has subtler flavors (chicken, fish, shellfish) consider pairing it with a more delicate wine. “Heavier” grilled foods (burgers, steaks, ribs) typically require the bolder, earthier red wines that can stand up to hearty flavors.

For example, a light Pinot Grigio may wilt when up against a heavily smoked rack of ribs with a spicy sauce, but it would be excellent with grilled fish or vegetables. On the other end of the scale, a Cabernet Sauvignon complements a nice thick grilled steak or smoked brisket, but would surely overpower a lightly seasoned chicken breast.

Now let’s “dig-in” and consider these ten tips for pairing wine with grilled foods:

1. When pairing wine with smoky foods, choose a wine with low alcohol and no oak. High alcohol provides too much “heat”, and oak flavor overpowers smoke flavor and deadens the full flavors of the food.

2. Save your “fine wines” for more refined foods. The heavy flavors of barbecue are well matched by less expensive wines.

3. Sweet wines are particularly good at taking the heat out of spicy foods. Think “sweet wine for spicy foods and tart wine for sweet foods.”

4. Choose “younger wines” – the fruitier the better. The “earthiness” of older wines will compete with savory and earthy flavors in the barbecue.

5. Avoid wine selections high in tannins. Tannins provide too much body (also known as “mouth feel”) to already full-bodied, highly textured food. For example, old vine Zinfandel may be highly spicy and too tannic for barbecue, but youthful Zinfandel, with cleaner mouthful and silky tannins and complement barbecue.

6. Cabernet Sauvignon is great for steaks and burgers with a higher fat. The tighter tannins are significantly mellowed by the meat’s fat. Top your burgers with bold cheeses, like blue or sharp cheddar and this varietal gets even better!

7. Riesling pairs well with grilled brats, shrimp, barbecue chicken, grilled pineapple, and a variety of grilled veggies.

8. Chardonnay will work wonderfully with grilled fish (including shellfish), chicken with creamy sauces, and grilled corn on the cob with butter.

9. Merlot, with its fruit-forward flavor, will support spicy food and not aggravate it. Grilled pork chops and garden-variety salads with lighter dressings are also enhanced with Merlot.

10. Keep notes on what wines paired well with your favorite foods (you’ll forget, I promise) and most of all − drink wines you enjoy and don’t get too hung-up on “the rules” of wine and food pairing.

Use this season of abundance as an excuse to experiment with wine and food pairings! Shake up your wine picks to enhance the easy-going styles and over-the-top delicious flavors that that come off the grill this time of year.

New Hope Winery is here to help you make the most of your wine and food pairing choices. Feel free to call us at 215-794-2331, or stop by, and our wine educators will gladly offer guidance on which wine will go best with your grilled fare.