Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Citrus Glaze and Pinot Noir

Finding the perfect food and wine pairings can be intimidating — especially if you’ve got guests coming in a few hours and still have to select the right bottle! When in doubt, though, go with pinot noir. This smooth operator is a dynamo with food; its acidity infuses it with incredible versatility, so it pairs with everything from lamb to Chinese pizza. Try this delectable duck breast with pomegranate-citrus glaze; it’s guaranteed to delight your taste buds.

Oregon Wine | Rainstorm Pinot Noir

Fine and Fowl

Rainstorm Pinot Noir blends the earthy, complexity characteristic of the Willamette Valley with the bright, fruitiness of the hotter, drier Umpqua Valley. The result is a harmonious, yet layered, wine with the fresh acidity to complement the the richness of the glazed duck. For this recipe from the Kitchn.com you will need:

  • 2 duck breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp white vermouth
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ⅛ tsp cardamom

To make:

  1. Heat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Place the breasts fat side up and use a knife to crosshatch the skin. Don’t pierce the meat itself.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the breasts fat side down in a large skillet.
  5. On low, cook the breasts for about 10 to 15 minutes. The fat will render out without cooking the breasts too much. You don’t want it to spit or flare, so keep it very low.
  6. As the fat renders, mix the pomegranate molasses, vermouth, OJ, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes or until 210F. Turn off heat and set aside.
  7. By this time, the skin on the breasts should look crisp. Turn off the heat and remove them from the skillet.
  8. Pour the liquid fat into a bowl and refrigerate. You can also use it to saute vegetables to have with dinner.
  9. Put the breasts back into the skillet, fat side up, and brush with the pomegranate mixture.
  10. Pop it in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes (or about 130F for medium rare or 160F for a hint of pink in the middle).
  11. Remove the breasts from the oven and put them on your cutting board. Tent them with foil for a few minutes.
  12. Brush them with more glaze.
  13. Slice thin and serve over wilted greens or sauteed root vegetables.
  14. If you have leftovers, serve the duck over a salad of fresh greens with a little mustard.

Oregon wine is a reflection of the area’s unique geography and climate. Rainstorm Pinot Noir blends the best of the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys to deliver a delightful, fresh, and vibrant partner for any number of dishes. Bon Appetite!

Go Blackberry Picking in Willamette Valley

Stop whatever you’re doing, and head over to gorgeous Willamette Valley. August is berry-picking time, and this 150-mile stretch of Oregon is popping with flavor.

Willamette Valley Wines | Rainstorm Pinot Noir

While Willamette Valley wines are world-renowned and vineyards dot the landscape, the area also boasts acres of farms. These growers and producers help fuel Oregon’s appetite for hyper-local foods. If you are in the mood for blackberries bursting with sweet juice with the slightest hint of sass, go to the nearest U-Pick location (find one here!).

Sure, you can buy berries at farmers’ markets, but there’s just something about picking your own. You get to select the plumpest, blackest berries on the bush and start imagining all the wonderful preserves, desserts, and dishes you will enjoy as the result of your harvest.

Try a spinach, feta, and blackberry salad with a balsamic dressing or whip up a to-die-for blackberry and pinot noir steak sauce. You’ll need:

  • ½ cup Rainstorm Pinot Noir
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • ⅔ cup beef stock
  • ¼ cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbsp blackberry preserves
  • 1 tbsp butter, cold
  • 2 steaks
  • Fresh rosemary

Sear two steaks with a sprig of rosemary. While those are resting on a plate tented with tinfoil, make up the sauce. Using the same pan, cook shallots and thyme on medium heat until soft (about 2 minutes). Add the wine, and turn the heat up. Scrape browned bits from the steaks — wonderful flavor!

Reduce the wine by half, which takes about 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, berries, and berry preserves. Mash the whole berries with the back of your spoon. Simmer until the sauce coats the back of your spoon. Remove from heat and add the cold butter. Salt and pepper as desired. Drizzle the sauce over your steak and enjoy.

The possibilities are endless — and delicious. Of course, the berries may be too irresistible to make it all the way home! In that case, get your fruity fix from your favorite Willamette Valley wines.

Crater Lake: The Deepest Lake in the US

As you relax with a perfectly chilled glass of Oregon Pinot Gris, you can thank the region’s dramatic, varied, and exciting landscape for the crisp, clean flavors. From snowy mountain peaks and rugged forests to fog-swept ridges and cool, rich valleys, Oregon has a lot to offer — including the deepest lake in the US. Dive in to Crater Lake.Oregon Pinot | Rainstorm

 

1 of the 7 Wonders of Oregon

Crater Lake was formed when the volcanic Mount Mazama erupted. The violence of the fiery explosion caused the mountain to collapse. The resulting “crater” is filled with the deepest, clearest, bluest water you’ll ever see.

The dramatic setting does the remarkable body of water justice: 2000 foot cliffs surround the 1943-foot deep Crater Lake, and hundreds of acres of glacier-carved terrain treat visitors to exceptional adventures. Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backpacking, camping, boating, and picnicking are favorite activities. What could be better than enjoying the stunning views with a picnic basket full of cheeses, charcuterie, and your favorite Pacific Northwest wines?

Want to plan a visit? July through mid-September are prime months; the weather is mild, and you’re not likely to get rained out of your excursions. Even in warm months, though, make sure to bring layers and a warm jacket. The weather can be moody!

In the winter months, many roads are closed, though the park remains open. If you want a taste of delicious peace and quiet, try snowshoeing or skiing. Again, be prepared with cold weather gear, and make sure you tell people where you’re going and when you plan to return.

Once you set eyes on the fathomless depths of Crater Lake, you’ll see why it is one of the seven wonders of Oregon. While you’re planning your visit, enjoy the eighth wonder: some vibrant Oregon Pinot Gris, Noir, or Rose.

Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Lineup

It’s summer in the Pacific Northwest, and that can mean only one thing!

Hiking along the shoreline of the amazing Crater Lake? Strolling through the aromatic International Rose Test Garden? Biking down Mount Ashland? Berry picking in the Willamette Valley? Terrific tastings of clear, crisp Oregon pinot gris? Ok, summer here means a lot of things! But one of our favorites is the Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series.

Oregon Wines | Rainstorm Wines

The “Wild” Life at Oregon Zoo

In 1979, the Oregon Zoo became famous for more than its animal life. It was the first zoo to host a summer series of concerts. Today, these events are eagerly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed. Music ranges from classic American to intricate Croatian to a Bowie tribute band from Brazil. Like diverse Oregon wines, there is a “flavor” for everyone at the zoo.

General admission tickets grant you a festival-like experience — get out the blanket and get ready to relax. This is first-come-first-serve, so get there early! If you want to be sure of a spot, take advantage of reserved seating. If you really want to live it up, opt for “Terrace” seating. You’ll enjoy a private cash beer and wine bar and a buffet. (Stage views are first-come-first-serve.)

Local brews and wines are available for purchase, as are foods from a variety of vendors. (No outside food/beverages permitted.) The Concert Series is committed to showing off the best of the area’s local and sustainable food and drink options. Enjoy!

The Oregon Zoo sure knows how to put on a show. Better yet, you get a two-fer: an awesome performance and a day at the zoo. Your ticket allows you admission to the zoo on the day of your concert, so you can arrive early and visit your furry, feathery, and slithery favorites.

It’s summer in Oregon — and the possibilities are endless. Get your concert tickets now!