By Shelly Detwiler, OCJ food writer
Nothing attracts middle-aged women more than wine. A 2013 Gallup poll states that wine continues to rank as the top beverage choice for those 50 years and older, with women doing most of the buying. This is good news for the Ohio Wine Industry. Ohio Wine is big business producing over 5.93 million gallons of wine retailing for over 61 million dollars annually making us the sixth largest wine producer in the country. The Ohio Grape Industries says there are 265 wineries in the state and that continues to grow. A winery is where wine is produced. A vineyard is anywhere 1+ grape vine is planted. Agriculturally speaking, Ohio ranks ninth in grape production with over 1,500 acres of grapes growing creating 1.3 billion dollars annually.
Wine tourism plays a vital role in Ohio’s wine business attracting over 1.37 million tourists a year. Ohiowines.org and findohiowines.com are great resources for all you wine lovers. Research Ohio Wines to find which of the nine wine trails you want to explore. Search Ohio Wines for local wineries, winery events near you and check out a super cool incentive program called VIP (Visitor’s incentive program). It’s so easy to sign up. I signed Paul up. He loves to try new wine, so I’m sure he’ll love it. You get points for visiting wineries! You can win all kinds of wine things from chillers, coolers to huggers.
Wine tastings seem to be all the rage. Four years ago, we wanted to add an event at our farm that fit into our vision that includes fun, rustic, relaxed and bringing people back to the farm. Mike and Diane from Bokes Creek Winery in Raymond joined us for our inaugural wine tasting and have returned annually. Diane tells me the story goes that when they purchased the property it was overflowing with wild blackberries, and other wild fruits. She began making pies but soon it was out of control. A friend suggested they try making fruit wine. History was made as they dabbled in winemaking, started their winery and sold their first 400 bottles in 2011.
Today, they have a tasting room where they feature live music, open mic nights and share their wines by the glass, bottle or case. Mike and Diane love to share their wines with the low-key, relaxing, laid-back crowds that come to the winery. They are currently making 19 wines and shwines. What’s a shwine? A shwine is their trademark name on a cross between moonshine (brandy) and wine. I’m not much for wine but I’ve tasted a few of these and they are sweet and tickle my taste buds just right.
Bokes Creek produced over 7,400 bottles in 2017. It’s been an incredible journey from that original 400 bottles. They have tailored their fruits and grapes to what works best at their location. Most of their wines feature fruit. They grow red and black raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries and strawberries, supplementing with local berries as needed. They are cultivating seven, soon to be nine, types of grapes including a new variety called Chardonel. Chardonel is a hybrid grape cross of a chardonnay and Seyvel that does very well in Ohio growing conditions. Diane states that they love to pair their wine with certain dishes. Blackberry Bling goes great with tomato dishes, Rhubarb Ruckus is perfect with fried foods and Frontenac is ideal with steak and potatoes. Diane says now they have plenty of wine and buy their pies. It’s no wonder that in 2017, WCMH featured them as one of the best wineries in central Ohio.
Discover the VIP program as well as wineries, wine events and wine trails near you. Cheers to you, this Ohio Wines Month!
Eat well and healthy,
Beef Tenderloin with Bacon, Shallots and Port Wine Reduction
Maize Valley Winery this recipe started as the entree course for one of our monthly, multi-course vintner Dinners. It soon made its way to our catering menu for special events
1 1/2 pounds large shallots (about 24), halved lengthwise, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups canned beef broth
1 1/2 cups tawny Port (Maize Valley’s Little Red Pecker Port-style Wine)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 3- to 3 1/4-pound beef tenderloins (large ends), trimmed
2 teaspoons dried thyme
7 bacon slices, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 large bunch watercress
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. In 9-inch-diameter pie pan, toss shallots with oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are deep brown and very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Boil broth and Port in large saucepan until reduced to 3 3/4 cups, about 30 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste. (Shallots and broth mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.)
Pat beef dry; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In large roasting pan set over medium heat, sauté bacon until golden, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add beef to pan; brown on all sides over medium-high heat, about 7 minutes. Transfer pan to oven; roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 125°F for medium-rare, about 45 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent loosely with foil.
Spoon fat off top of pan drippings in roasting pan. Place roasting pan over high heat. Add broth mixture and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer to medium saucepan; bring to simmer. Mix 3 tablespoons butter and flour in small bowl to form smooth paste; whisk into broth mixture and simmer until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons butter. Stir in roasted shallots and reserved bacon. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Cut beef into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spoon some sauce over. Garnish with watercress. Pass remaining sauce.
Apple Cake with Wine Sauce findohiowines.com
Best of Show, First Place, Dessert category, 2003 Ohio State Fair, Mary Miller
3 Ohio apples (1 ½ lbs, peeled, calved, cored and cut into eighths)
¼ C. sugar
1 c. of Meier’s Haut Sauterne
2 c. flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
¼ tsp. Salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 large eggs
¾ c. milk
¼ tsp. Ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ground nutmeg
¾ c. sugar
1 c. Meier’s Haut Sauterne
In a saucepan combine ¼ c. sugar, and 1 c. of wine. Bring to a boil, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are softened but not broken down – about 8 minutes. Let the apples cool in syrup for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl and drain the apples, reserving the syrup. Set aside:
Preheat oven to 350° and butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan.
In a large bowl, using and electric mixer beat the butter with ½ c. of sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Beat well. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the milk.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Arrange the apple slices on the batter in concentric circles and press them in halfway.
In a bowl, mix 2 tsp. of the sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sprinkle evenly over the apples. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for one hour or until golden and risen – and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven.
In a medium saucepan, simmer the remaining ¾ c. sugar with the 1 c. of wine over moderate heat until deep amber caramel forms – about 12 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Whisk in reserved apple syrup. Brush ½ c. of the syrup all over the cake and let cool.
Remove the spring from the ring and transfer the cake to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm with the remaining syrup.
One Skillet Wonder findohiowines.com
2013 Ohio State Fair, Elaine Moscato, Columbus, Ohio
1½ c. Mon Ami White Catawba
2 lb. Chicken
1½c. Red Potatoes
½ tsp. Onion Powder
½ tsp. Garlic
½ tsp. Thyme
½ tsp. Salt
1 c. Water
2 Tbsp. Butter
¼ c. Flour
4 Servings of Rice
- Large skillet stove top on high, brown chicken breast.
- Add onion powder, garlic, thyme and salt
- Add ½c. of wine, cook chicken until wine is reduced down.
- Add diced red potatoes, cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
- Remove chicken and potatoes from skillet.
- Add butter and flour.
- Stir until a rue is created.
- Add water, then wine, stirring creating the gravy.
- Place chicken and potatoes back into pan.
- Reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Serve over rice.