Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
Zack Shelley, our employee spotlight of the month, is one of our knowledgeable tour guides and tasting room specialists. He is always the first to have fun facts about wine, the winery, science and more. If you ever want to know the history of Lost Oak Winery or the scientific facts about winemaking, Zack is your guy. Read more about Zack and make sure to join him and winemaker, Jim Evans, for a virtual tasting of our new Tempranillo, Shiraz Reserve, and our Cabernet Reserve on September 25th, 2020 at 6 PM!
What are you drinking when you aren't drinking wine?
Bushmill's Black Bush Irish Whiskey, aged 10-12 years in Sherry casks or Maker's Mark Bourbon.
When you aren't at the winery, where are you?
In Colorado, skiing, camping, and visiting friends. Florida at the beach and visiting family. Or, high school football games and dance competitions for my daughter.
What have you binge watched on Netflix?
Harry Potter, Avengers, Indiana Jones. Still waiting for that next 'Avatar' movie to come out! Sorry, I haven't been a huge Netflix only series fan.
What is your favorite food?
BACON! Anything with bacon. Okay, chicken marsala (pounded thinly of course) with baby bello mushrooms and four-cheese ravioli or gnocchi and fresh asparagus, al dente. Great second (or even first) is a nice thick New York Strip Steak cooked Pittsburgh style. Rare, of course, with a nice big baked potato. And no, none of that 'sweet potato' crap!
What prior experience helps you in the job you do at Lost Oak Winery?
Running a non-profit environmental company in Colorado for 10 years. I have a water chemistry background and had my own small water quality lab, working with dozens of municipalities and townships in the Big Thompson River watershed, working with public and numerous state and federal agenies in regard to water quality, water pollution, forest fires, and flooding impacts.
How long have you been working in your area of expertise?
So, I kind of do a little bit of everything here. Tasting room specialist, tour guide, work in production, work in vineyard, work at the event center when needed, and kind of annoy those who have to work directly with me!
Tell me about one of the funniest things that has happened to you in this job.
I won't go into the specifics, but I once had a customer ask me if I'd like to see her belly dance. My coworkers will never let me live it down.
Red Wine Berry Spritzer Recipe
When it's 95+ degrees here in Texas, heavy drinks and food just don't sound as appealing. If you like drinks like White Claw, this is the cocktail for you! This Red Wine Berry Spritzler is light, low calorie, and cold, making it the perfect summertime drink to get you through these hot summers. They are extremely simple to make as well. Follow along with our private event coordinator, Brooke, as she makes this delicious wine cocktail. You will need one bottle of sweet red wine (we recommend Lost Oak Dolce Rouge), La Croix berry sparkling water, and frozen blueberries or blackberries (or both if you want).
So there you have it! Let us know if you try this recipe in the comments!
Red Wine Berry Spritzer Recipe
Mojitos are a wonderful, light drink option during the summer, especially here in Texas where it gets hot enough for you to be able to cook an egg on the sidewalk. A traditional mojito uses rum, lime, mint, and club soda. This recipe, originally created by the spruce Eats, is a variation using white wine. We recommend using Lost Oak Sauvignon Blanc or Blanc du Bois (dry or sweet works depending on your taste). Once you have chosen your wine, you will need sparkling Italian lemonade, limes, and mint. If you only have a dry wine but would like your cocktail to be a littler sweeter, you can also add some simple syrup.
To start, make sure your wine and sparkling lemonade are both chilled. Combine one 750 mL bottle of wine with 2 cups of Italian Sparkling lemonade. You will then add the juice from two limes. Use fresh lime juice versus bottled lime juice for the best results. Mix in 2-3 tspns of simple syrup if you want a sweeter cocktail. Add the mint right before serving to avoid the leaves turning brown. The original recipe recommends mincing the mint. We don't want tiny bits of mint floating around in our glass, however, so we recommend "spanking" your mint leaves. If you have a muddler, you are free to use that. If not, simply hold the leaves in your hand and smack them between both hands. Rub the mint leaves between your hands very briefly to release those oils and flavors. Then add them to your pitcher and stir to combine.
Once you're mojitos are ready, serve over ice, garnish with a lime and/or sprig of mint, and enjoy! Cheers!
White Wine Mojito Recipe
Our Employee Spotlight for May 2020 is Susan Brayfield! Susan is our office manager at Lost Oak Winery. She handles everything from paying bills to purchasing anything we need at the winery to keeping up with our Wine Club. The winery is able to run as smoothly as it does in large part due to Susan's contributions. Not only is she a valuable part of the Lost Oak Team, she is also a joy to be around and is constantly a positive force around the winery. She cares about everyone and is always the first person to suggest throwing other employees birthday parties to make them feel special.
Susan loves coffee with creamer, no matter the flavor. Her favorite food is fajitas with all the fixings and at home she enjoys sitting on her patio reading a good book or watching 30 Rock. Before she started at Lost Oak Winery, Susan was a teacher at middle school. She says that people don't change much after 6th grade and that has been beneficial knowledge in her job. June 3rd will mark her one year "wineaversary" here at Lost Oak, but before she was even a teacher, Susan was a marketing analyst for a pharmaceutical company. This gave her an advantageous understanding of how to use and think about data.
Susan says that she laughs and smiles often when talking with our guests and vendors. She enjoys connecting with other people and helping people choose a wine that they'll like and that will make wine feel accessible. She told someone recently that she thought Texas Trio would go great with a Grump's burger and fries. Sometimes guests are surprised at pairing humble food selections with wine, although it often ends up being delicious. Those types of conversations make her smile on the job.
This savory dinner recipe is provided by D'Caterers. We will be cooking this dish for our virtual cooking class on April 13, 2020. We hope you enjoy!
Chicken & Portobello Scallopine in Madeira Sauce
- 12 oz chicken breast
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 4 tbsps butter
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium cap portobello mushroom (fins removed; washed; sliced)
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup Madeira
- 2 tsp beef base
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 2 oz Heavy Cream
- 2 cup fettuccini (cooked)
- 1 cup asparagus
- 1/4 cup red & yellow cherry tomatoes (quartered)
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp parsley
- Slice the chicken in medallions, cover with plastic film and gently pound out; season with pepper. Quarter the tomatoes; reserve. Cook and shock the fettuccini; reserve. Trim asparagus to 2" pieces, blanch and shock. Remove the fins from the mushroom, wash and slice to 1/8". Fine chop the parsley, wrap in a non-terry towel and rinse under cold water (squeezing regularly) until the water runs clear, squeeze our remaining water and shake into a bowl; resere. Combine water and beef base.
- In a saute pan, melt butter and 1 tbsp canola oil. Dredge the chick in flour (shake off excess) and place in pan. When flour starts to brown, flip the chicken. Add garlic and mushroom and saute. Add Madeira and reduce by half. Add beef brother and reduce by half. Add cream; bring to boil. Add pasta and parsley and toss. Remove from heat.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp canola oil on high heat. Saute tomatoes until they start to carmelize. Add asparagus and saute to heat.
- Divide pasta onto the center of two plates. Divide the chicken around the pasta; cover with remaining pan sauce. Top with asparagus and tomatoes. Enjoy!
If you haven't seen it already, the recipe for the crepes can be found here. This is the recipe and directions for the filling and sauces. The end result is a mouthwatering, savory brunch crepe filled with a chicken florentine in a savory pesto cream, topped with a lemon butter glaze and bruschetta. This recipe was developed by Cocina Malvada Catering!
Bruschetta Topped, Chicken Florentine Crepe
Savory Pesto Cream
- 1 medium shallot
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 3 tbsps white wine (Blanc Du Bois, Sauvignon Blanc, or Texas Duet would work here)
- 1 tbsps pepper
- pinch of salt
- Finely chop shallots and mince the garlic
- Place a sauce pan on medium heat and add 2 tbsps olive oil
- When oil is hot, add shallots to caramelize.
- Add minced garlic, pesto, salt and pepper in right before shallots finish caramelizing and stir.
- Add wine, followed by the heavy whipping cream and bring to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. This will allow water to evaporate from the cream and allow it to thicken.
- The sauce is ready when you can run your finger on a spoon and see a definite mark
Mushroom, Spinach, and Chicken Cream Filling
- Roasted chicken breast, shredded (can use a store bought rotisserie chicken)
- 2 Portabello Mushrooms, diced
- 8 oz bag of spinach rinsed
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- more salt and pepper to taste
- Place a sauce pan on medium heat and add olive oil.
- When the oil is hot, add mushrooms and salt and stir until all the mushrooms are coated. Then cover.
- After 5 minutes, when the mushrooms have released their water and are sizzling, uncover and allow most of the water to cook out.
- Add the entire bag of spinach and stir. It will seem like a lot, and that is ok because it will reduce significantly as it releases its water content.
- When your sautéed veggies seem close to losing all of their liquid, add your shredded chicken.
- Add Pesto Cream and mix it all together, bring to a simmer, then remove and set aside.
Lemon Butter Glaze
- 1 Large lemon juiced
- 2 tbsps Butter
- 3 tbsps Confectioners sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- In a sauce pan, on medium heat, melt the butter.
- Set heat to low and add lemon juice and confectioners sugar and whisk until it all comes together, about one minute. Set aside
Tomato Bruschetta Topping
- 1. Medium roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 cup Fresh basil, finely sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- In a sauce pan, on medium heat, add olive oil and allow it to get hot.
- Add Tomato and stir it for about one minute.
- Add basil and garlic and stir. Bring it all to a simmer. Set aside.
Final Steps: Spoon the chicken filling on to the center of the crepe and roll sides over. With a brush or spoon spread lemon butter sauce over the crepe. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction (made using balsamic vinegar) and top with the tomato bruschetta.
Mother's Day might look a little different this year. With COVID-19 leaving many places closed or at reduced capacity, your options for Mother's Day are probably limited. But you don't have to go out to have a delicious meal. The following is the recipe to make the crepes. This recipe is from The Flavor Bender. The sweet crepes are delicious filled with berries and nutella and topped with whipped cream. The filling and sauces for our Bruschetta Topped, Chicken Florentine Crepes will be posted here!
- 1 1/4 cup milk 10 fl oz
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp oil or melted butter
- 2 tsp sugar for savory crepes, OR
- 2 – 3 tbsp sugar for sweet dessert crepes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz all purpose flour scant 1 cup
- 1-2 tbsps melted butter
MIXING WITH A WHISK
- Place the milk and eggs in a jug/bowl. Whisk to combine (you should have about 2 cups of liquid).
- Add the oil or butter and whisk it in.
- Place the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- Add about 3/4 – 1 cup of the liquid and mix gently to form a smooth paste. This should not take more than a few seconds. Take care not to over-mix.
- Add the rest of the liquid and mix to form a smooth, watery batter.
- Cover the batter and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. The batter can be kept in the fridge overnight as well.
MIXING WITH A BLENDER
- Add the ingredients into the blender. Add the flour last. Blend for a few seconds until you have a smooth batter. You can use a stick blender as well for this purpose.
- Cover the batter and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. The batter can be kept in the fridge overnight as well.
Cooking the Crepes
- Preheat a 10 inch non-stick pan over medium heat.
- Brush a layer of butter on the heated pan. I used a silicone brush, but you can use a butter soaked paper towel or cloth as well.
- Always mix the batter first, before you make each crepe. This is to make sure the batter is uniformly mixed.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot pan, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Swirl and spread the batter along the edge of the pan first and then fill the middle with the remaining crepe batter. Make sure the batter is as evenly spread as possible.
- Place the pan back on the heat to let the crepe cook.
- For extra soft crepes – cook the crepes only until they are just set at the surface (about 30 seconds) and there’s no browning on the edges. You can flip over the crepe gently, and cook for a few seconds on the other side (optional), or remove the crepe from pan and place it on a plate.
- For classic crepes – cook the crepes until the edges are starting to brown become a little crisp (about 40 seconds). Flip the crepes over and cook for a further 10 – 15 seconds on the other side until the crepes have caramelized spots.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up (remember to mix the batter each time).
- Stack the cooked crepes on a plate or wire rack.
Once your crepes are ready, you are ready to move on to the rest of the recipe for Bruschetta Topped, Chicken Florentine Crepes.
Shrimp farfalle pasta is a wonderful dinner option for those warmer spring evenings. Our very own, Roxanne, will be making this dish from her own kitchen on 6:05 Lost Oak Live on April 29th on our Facebook page! Keep reading to get the recipe!
To start off, you will want to season 2 lbs of raw shrimp with a tsp garlic salt and let stand for 30 minutes. When it is ready, you will sautee the shrimp in 2 tablespoons of butter and season to taste with more garlic salt. Cook the farfalle pasta right before this step as shrimp cooks quickly.
After the pasta has been cooked and drained, you will add 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes. Cubed tomatoes can be substitued if you do not like spicy.
Then you will add 1/3 of a bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing, 1/2 cup of dry white wine (we recommend our Blanc Du Bois), the juice from 1 lemon, one 16 oz container of sour cream, 16 oz. of shredded monterey jack cheese, and 16 oz. of cheddar cheese. Stir all of the ingredients until blended. Add more Italian dressing and white wine if it is too dry. Then add the shrimp. Garnish with chopped green onions and then serve!
This recipe makes 8 large servings. It is very good left overnight and served the next day.
SHRIMP FARFALLE PASTA RECIPE
- 1 lb farfalle pasta
- 2 lbs raw shrimp
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 can rotel
- 1/3 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (Blanc du Bois would be perfect)
- 16 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese
- 16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- 16 oz. sour cream
- chopped green onions
- 1 lemon
- Cook 1 lb of Farfalle Pasta.
- Sprinkle 2 lbs of raw shrimp with 1 tsp. garlic salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Sautee shrimp in 2 tbsps of butter and add more garlic salt to taste.
- Add 2 cans Rotel to warm, drained pasta.
- Add the Italian Dressing, white wine, juice from the lemon, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, and cheddar cheese to the pasta and stir until well mixed. Add more dressing and wine if too dry.
- Add the shrimp.
- Serve and garnish with chopped green onions.
Sangria is a mixed drink from Spain, made using wine and fruit with some other ingredients like ginger ale, soda water, brandy, etc. There are many recipes out there, many of them completely different. We are going to teach you how to make some of our signature drinks from the winery that people always seem to love.
The first recipe is for our sangria. It's a simple recipe, but absolutely delicious. The wine we use for our sangria is our Dolce Rouge. It's a semi-sweet red and it goes well as a base for sangria.
For this class, you will need the following:
- Sagnria & Cocktail Wine Pack
- 1 2 liter of Ginger Ale
- 1 can of lemonade concentrate (or fresh lemonade)
- 1 can of orange juice concentrate (or fresh orange juice)
- 1 can of strawberry concentrate (frozen daquiri mix)
|1 Bottle Dolce Rouge||
1/8 Can of Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
|1 litre Ginger Ale||1/8 Can of Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
(or 1 cup orange juice)
Sliced Lemons, Limes, & Oranges
1. Thaw the concentrate if using it.
This next recipe is a mix of our Blushing Bride cocktail and this Strawberry Wine Punch from Miss in the Kitchen. This cocktail uses our Rosa Blanca, which is a semi-sweet rosé.
Strawberry Wine Punch
|1 Bottle of Rosa Blanca||1/3 Can Strawberry Concentrate (Daquiri Concentrate)|
|1/3 of a 2 litre of Sprite||2 Cups of sliced strawberries.|
1. Thaw the strawberry concentrate.
So there you have it. These are both extremely simple to make while still delicious and perfect for these warmer spring days. If you wanted to add a little more bite, brandy and triple sec are often used in sangria. So play around with it and figure out what you like best!
During this period of unease, we at Lost Oak Winery are taking every precaution possible to ensure that our guests and employees stay healthy. The safety of our community is of the utmost importance to us. We want to be completely transparent with all of you about what we are doing to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus or any other illness.
So what are we doing to ensure a safe and clean environment? We already keep the bars and tables clean on a regular basis, but we will be making cleaning supplies even more readily available and ensuring that they are cleaned thoroughly after each guest. Typically, we encourage reusing your wine glasses, but for the time being, we will be switching out wine glasses every time you come up to the bar. We will also be continuing to make sure that the wine pourers do not come into contact with the glasses. For large events, we will be using disposable cups only. We understand that some would prefer a wine glass, but at this time, the safety of our employees and all of you is our biggest concern. Bounce houses and other community objects will be on hold for now. If you would like to bring your own outdoor items (balls, hula hoops, etc.), feel free to do so. Just please make sure all items you bring with you go home with you.
So, what can you do to help us prevent illness? First and foremost, please stay home if you are sick. We understand the disappointment of missing out on something fun due to illness. But the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable is much more important and we ask that you help us by avoiding public places while ill. The next thing you can do to help prevent the spread of any illness is to wash your hands. Studies have found that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly. Take a look at the graphic below for tips on how to wash your hands thoroughly and decrease your risk of illness.
In addition to hand washing, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose if you have not washed your hands thoroughly. If you need to cough or sneeze, use a tissue (and throw it away immediately) or the crook of your elbow. Avoid clost contact with people who are ill and make sure to thoroughly clean all surfaces at work and home.
If at any point we decide to cancel any events here at Lost Oak Winery out of an abundance of caution, we will post about it on our social media pages and send out emails to all of our mailing list. We are keeping a close eye on the local developments and will continue to do so in the coming months. In the meantime, please be rest assured that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe while also keeping things as normal as possible.