Just southwest of Portland, Union Wine Co. is one beloved craft operation on track with the trendsetting nature that fuels the area’s (lovingly dubbed) refrain: “keep Portland weird.” Of course, the winery’s particular strand of “weird” strictly embraces its many positive connotations—innovative, pioneering, the ideal balance of sweet, tart and spicy. Union’s newest offering, Red Haute Pinot, plays upon all these hallmarks. It is the perfect follow-up to the company’s other one-of-a-kind favorites, such as wine in a can and a mobile wine tasting truck housed in a vintage French van.
In a well-matched collaborative effort, Union teamed up with fellow Portland staple Marshall’s Haute Sauce to introduce complementary aspects of Marshall’s spicy sauces into the 2014 Kings Ridge Pinot Noir. Each element of their hybrid brainchild pulls its own weight from bottle to glass. A layered procession of cranberry (courtesy of Starvation Alley juice), mulling spices and a touch of heat from the infusion of chili flakes gives a rich yet balanced boost to Willamette Valley Pinot Noir grapes’ red fruit notes. Crisp and dry gives way to a sweet/tart combo, while cloves, cinnamon and star anise tie together each profile before a residual heat kicks in at the back of the throat. But fear not, this marriage of bold flavors still turns out to be highly glug-able.
Serve it up alongside the turkey, but remember to save room for another glass with pie. Try over ice for a spicy vs. chilled power play, or wrap your hands around a warm mugful. Red Haute Pinot is available for a limited time at New Seasons market locations or in Union’s online shop.
Follow on Facebook: Union Wine Company
Track on Twitter: @UnionWine