Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
February is almost here, the time of year our thoughts turn to romance and love for one special day. But is that one special day just for couples? I think now. Valentine's Day can be for you sweetheart, your best gal pals, or just for you. And what better way to celebrate than with wine and chocolate? Here are some guidelines to help you prepare the perfect wine and chocolate experience.
You cannot go wrong with milk chocolate and a sweet red. Lost Oak's Dolce Rouge has a velvety texture, full body, and delicate sweetness that will meld with the rich and creamy milk chocolate. For a bolder experience, pair dark chocolate with full bodied dry reds. Dark chocolate and dry red wines have tannins in common making them a match made in heaven. We suggest making the experience extravagant with our Shiraz Reserve or Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. You should probably splurge on the chocolate too and try something that is 60% or more cocoa. When pairing chocolates that have additives like fruit or nuts, look for wines with similar flavor profiles. Crimson Oak and chocolate covered cherries would hit the spot. Maybe fancy chocolate just isn't your thing. What about the classic peanut butter cup? Reach for a more fruit forward wine like our Petite Sirah. It may seem like wine and chocolate pairing is only for the red wine drinkers, but this is not true. White wines can complelement many different types of chocolates, the most obvious being white chocolate. White chocolate tends to be more creamy and sweeter than even milk chocolate, so our Sweet Duet would pair perfectly. Dryer whites, like Quartet or Viognier, pair well with chocolates that have caramel or toffee.
But maybe the best pairing advice would be to grab your favorite bottle of wine and an assortment of chocolates and try them all! Wine and food pairing is about exploration and finding what you, your sweetheart, or your gal pals like best.
Lemon Thyme Pork Recipe
Try this simple, flavorful dish with Lost Oak Winery Quartet - a complex, aromatic, fruit forward wine. The lemon in the sauce brings out the citrus notes in the Quartet and we are sure you will love this pairing!
- 4 thin, boneless pork cutlets (chops) approx. 1/2 inch thick
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lemons
- 1 package fresh thyme (2-3 tsp leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 1 cup jasmine rice (you can substitute with 2 packages of 90 second butter & garlic rice)
- 6 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tsp chicken stock concentrate (mat use "Better than Bouillon")
- Pat pork dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil on medium high and cook pork until browned (approximately 2-3 minutes per side). Turn off heat and set pork aside to rest.
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in bottom of rice pan. Saute 1 clove garlic approximately 30 seconds. Bring water to boil in pan with butter and garlic. Add the rice and cook.
- Make the sauce. Add 2 tbsp butter to pork fry pan, saute 1 clove minced garlic and thyme leaves approximately 30 seconds. Stir in chicken stock concentrate and 1/2 cup water and simmer. Stir in sour cream, 2 more tbsp butter, juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1 tbsp). Season with pepper.
- Fluff rice. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Top with pork. Spoon sauce over all. Serve with lemon wedges,.
Meet Nancy, one of our amazing event center staff! Nancy is often responsible for the setup in our event center making her a valuable member of our event team.
When Nancy isn't drinking wine, she is drinking Dunkin' caramel iced coffee with cream and sugar which she says is her weakness. She is trying to be better about drinking more water, however. When she's not at the winery, she is working her full time job with Community Healthcare of Texas/Providence Hospice or spending time with her kids, furry kids, and her one year grandbaby, Paxton. She likes to binge watch Dexter or The Punisher on Netflix. Her favorite food is Krispy Kreme donuts but she could also eat Mexican food every day.
When it comes to her prior work experience that helps her do her job at Lost Oak Winery, she has been in customer service since she was 15 years old. She loves taking care of people and doing what she can to make them happy. She has been working at Lost Oak Winery for 7 years. She's worked in almost every role here but is happiest at the event center where she has been working for about a year or so. Being a part of someone's dream wedding is something special to her.
The funniest thing that has happened to Nancy happened years ago when she was in charge of making sangria for Sangria Thursday. She would make it in a very large tub. She accidentally dropped a huge spoon in it and it spattered all on the ceiling, walls, and floor and drenched her clothes and shoes. She literally had sangria drippoing off of her hair and eyelashes. It was like an explosion. She was very careful to hold on to the spoon from then on!
We are lucky to have Nancy on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery!
Easy Pork Stir Fry Recipe
This savory and spicy pork stir fry recipe from Hello Fresh is easy to make and absolutely delicious. Pair this dish with our Lost Oak Winery Gewurztraminer. Our Gewurztraminer is a uniquely flavored wine that gets even better with any type of Asian food. In the Alsace region of France, where this wine reachers its pinnacle of character, it also pairs well with a soft, "stinky" Muenster cheese. Give this pair a try and let us know what you think!
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 12 tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sriracha (more if you like it really spicy)
- Juice of one lime
- Brown ground pork in vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Partially cook green beans in microwave approximately 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Cook rice. Set aside.
- Make sauce: Whisk together cold water and corn starch until corn starch is dissolved. Add Hoisin, soy sauce, lime juice and Sriracha to taste.
- Return ground pork to temperature on medium low.
- Add green beans to ground pork and continue cooking until beans are tender.,
- Add sauce and stir until thickened.
- Serve over rice.
- Top with peanuts.
Grapevines go dormant (go to sleep for the winter) following harvest. The timing of dormancy varies depending on location. Our estate vines here on the winery property and most grapevines in North Central Texas are harvest from late July to mid-September depending on variety. They usually enter dormancy between November 15 and December 15. One knows that dormancy is achieved whenn all of the leaves have fallen from the vines and the shoots are no longer green but brown. Once the leaves have fallen and the shoots are brown, the nutrients and water have migrated down the trunk into the roots beneat the surface of the ground. This offers protection from freezing until spring. Grapevines requires very little maintenance during dormancy, especially nutrient or herbicide and insecticide maintenance. However, there are two very important mainenance activities:
- Pruning. This is critical and in North Central Texas, the timing is very important because pruning too early can stimulate bud break and as stated above, we want to avoid early bud break because of late spring freezes. Once the vines are dormant, we prefer to wait until late February - early March to prune.
- Sufficient water supply. Although grapevines do not need as much water during dormancy, it is possible to have periods of drought. It is important to monitor soil moisture and irrigate if the roots do not have adequate access to soil moisture.
Sometimes in Texas we have warm days in the early spring (late February - early March). When this happens, it is possible to have early bud break and then a freeze in mid to late March that can destroy the primary crop for that year. Some varieties can still have a secondary bug break, but it is usually much less productive than primary bud break (10% to 40% of normal crop load). Normally, early spring freezes do not kill the vines. This, however, is possible if the freeze is severe (temperatures less than 15 degrees F).
Bud break normally takes place here between early to mid-March. There will be small green leaves budding out on pruned spears that begin to develop into shoots. Dormancy is over. These buds will develop into long shoots (3-5 feet or more). These vines then experience bloom in mid to late April. Bloom is when the small clusters shed their flowers and then develop into clusters of small grapes.
Meet Cayla, our employee spotlight for December! Cayla is our event center keyholder and she constantly goes above and beyond to make sure events at the event center turn out perfect. If you are planning an event at Lost Oak, chances are you will get to work with Cayla and you couldn't be in better hands.
When Cayla isn't drinking wine, she loves to drink Dr. Pepper. She hangs out at home with her family when she is not here at Lost Oak Winery. Most of her binge watching on Netflix is controlled by her two little boys so she ends up watching a lot of Paw Patrol and Bubble Guppies. It's a good thing that she works at a winery because Cayla says that she lives off of chocolate, coffee, and wine. We can most definitely provide at least one of those things!
Cayla has 8 years of experience in customer service which she says has really helped her when she's giving hopeful clients a tour of our event center. Being able to connect with the client and have them fall in love with the event center like she has is always a bonus for her. She has been working as event center keyholder for a little over a year and she loves it. One of the funniest things that has happened to Cayla on the job was when a coworker spilled coffee on himself and she laughed at him. Right after that, she spilled an entire gallon of coffee all over, her white shoes, and the floor. While it wasn't funny at the time, she laughs about it when she thinks about it now and is just thankful that the event was already over when it happened.
We are so lucky to have Cayla as a part of our team and we know that you will love her as much as we do!
If you want a rich, savory holiday dinner without all of the work of stuffing a turkey, try this recipe for French Chicken Casserole. This delicious casserole pairs nicely without Holiday 2019.
French Chicken Casserole Recipe
- 1 chicken; cooked, de-boned and chopped
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms - optional
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 1 six ounce package of stove top stuffing mix
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 can of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- In microwave safe dish, heat butter, onions and celery approx. 3 minutes until onions and celery begin to cook.
- Grease a 9x12 baking pan.
- Layer 1/2 of stuffing mixture in pan. Put chicken, onions, celery (and sliced mushrooms - optional) over stuffing. Top chicken with other half of mixture.
- Beat together the eggs, milk, mayonnaise, and chicken brother and pour over mixture.
- Let it sit in refrigerator for 5 hours or overnight.
- Spread 1 can of undiluted cream of chicken or mushroom soup on top of mixture.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Spread 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese on top.
- Bake 15 minutes longer or until knife inserted comes out clean.
Our warm spiced Roussanne is the perfect drink for a cold evening. As it is warming up, the smell of apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove will fill your home, bringing you memories of Christmas and drinking apple cider fireside. Try out this recipe for a warm treat.
Warm Spiced Roussanne Recipe
- 3 bottles of Late Harvest Roussanne 2018
- 1 honeycrisp apple (sliced, but not peeled)
- 1/2 tbs whole cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 slices fresh ginger (approx. 1 in. diameter & 1/8 in. thick, or use a vegetable peeler and shave off a couple strips.
- Brown sugar or honey to taste (optional)
- Pour bottle of Late Harvest Roussanne into a crockpot.
- Insert whole cloves into the flest part of the apple slices and put into the crockpot.
- Add orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and ginger to crockpot.
- Stir to combine. Heat on low for about 2 hours, do not simmer or boil. Once everything heats up you can add brown sugar or honey to taste.
- Remove the cloves from soaked apples and discard. Use the soaked apples and fresh cinnamon sticks for garnish.
- Enjoy a warm glass next to the fireplace for a holiday treat!
Nothing says it's the holidays like delicious food and wine. This recipe from Home Chef for beef tenderloin with a balsamic fid sauce is the perfect alternative to a traditional holiday dinner. This would pair nicely with our 2019 Holiday that is available in the Tasting Room or on our website now!
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Fig Sauce
- 2 beef tenderloins (about 3/4 inches thick)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 small shallots - minced (3 tbsp)
- 2 plastic tubs of concentrated beef stock (Knorr Homestyle concentrated stock) OR
- 2 tsp of "Better than Boullion" dissolved in 1/3 cup hot water
- 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp fig jam (look in the cheese section of the grocery store)
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp minced rosemary (fresh is better)
- Heat medium sized pan on med/med high burner
- Pat beef dry and season with salt and pepper
- Heat 1 tbsp oil
- Add beef to pan and cook to desired doneness (4-7 minutes per side)
- Turn only once
- Remove beef and wipe pan with paper towel
- Melt butter in same pan
- Saute minced shallot 1-2 minutes
- Add stock concentrate, jam, vinegar, water & any resting juices from beef
- Add minced rosemary
- Cook 2 minutes until slightly thickened
- Add salt and pepper
- Top beef with sauce and serve
Our Employee Spotlight of the month is Melissa Davis, one of our keyholders! Melissa is always a joy to work with and she is great at what she does! We are lucky to have her. Read more about Melissa below!
What do you binge watch on Netflix?
What do you drink when you aren't drinking wine?
Freshly juiced ginger, appole, beet, carrot & kale.
How many years have you been at Lost Oak Winery?
Where are you when you aren't at the winery?
At home thanks to COVID19.
What is your favorite food?
Yes!!!! But I especially like veggies.
What previous job experience do you have that helps with your current position?
I was a barista. Caffeine (like wine) is great for the soul.
What is the funniest thing that has happened in your time at Lost Oak Winery?
I decided to go run the trail one day and it had just recently rained. When I got to a portion of the trail known for flooding, I decided to keep going despite the water. At first, all seemed okay, but then I started to think about all the snakes that could be in the water that I couldn't see. I used some sweet ballet moves to get through and then hit another area of even deeper flooding. Needless to say, I did not finish the trail that day.