We are on to Day 7 of the 12 Days of Wine!
We don’t often dip into fortified wines, but it’s the holidays! We are sharing with you a port style dessert wine from Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley from Trella Vineyards near Roseburg.
Trella Vineyards Barrel One, Malbec Dessert Wine, Umpqua Valley
The Barrel One was made in 2014 with their very first harvest of Malbec. They sold all of their other grapes that year and this was the only wine that they made. It was barrel-aged for 3 years, then aged in bottle for 6 years prior to release.
You can find it here on their website https://trellavineyards.orderport.net/wines/current-releases
It runs $45.
You get dark plum notes, black cherry, dried black currant, dried fig, blackberry, dark chocolate, nutmeg, clove, and other spices.
It is rich and delicious by itself for dessert, but our pairing knocked it out of the park.
Chocolate brownie with black cherry compote (with cloves and nutmeg) bleu cheese in sweetened ricotta with crushed pistachios
This is definitely a wine to pair with dessert!
To begin with both chocolate and blue cheese are great to pair with port-style wines. How did we tie both of those together in one bite?
We did chocolate brownie bites topped with a black cherry compote comprised of frozen black cherries with a black cherry jam, heated with ground cloves and nutmeg. This pulled out the fruit and spice notes in the wine.
We topped it with a crème of ricotta, honey, and blue cheese (blue cheese and honey with port…yeah that’s delicious) and finished it with crushed pistachios and a drizzle of honey.
I might have moaned a bit with pleasure at this bite.
It’s rare to come across a winery doing a fortified dessert wine, so when we found this one while visiting Trella in Roseburg we couldn’t leave without a bottle!
Trella Vineyards has a cool little tasting room in downtown Roseburg. The Jackson building that they are in was built in 1913.
Stephen and Susan Williams both doctors moved to Roseburg and established Trella Vineyards at the base of the Callahan Mountains. Terry Brandborg of Brandborg Wines makes the wines for them.
We spent a lovely evening with them in their tasting room learning about their wines.
You can read more about that in our piece Exploring undercovered Umpqua Valley – Day 5 of the Scenic Route
A perfect dessert spoonful, great for pairing with Port!
- Brownies (premade. I use the mini brownie bites from Trader Joes)
- Frozen black cherries
- Dried Morello Cherries
- Morello Cherry jam
- Ground Madagascar Clove
- Fresh Ground Nutmeg
- Blue cheese
- Pistachios (shelled & crushed)
- Cut your brownies into bite-size pieces that will fit in your spoon
- Chop up the dried Morello cherries into small pieces
- Place the frozen cherries in a pot, add the dried cherries, cherry jam, and heat until the cherries thaw (the mixture will become more liquid as it heats)
- Break up the frozen cherries, add a dash of clove & nutmeg and stir keeping warm over low heat
- In a small bowl mix 2 tbs of ricotta, 1 tsp of blue cheese, and 1 tbs of honey (you can increase this if you are making more)
- Place the brownie piece in the bottom of the spoon
- Top with the cherry compote
- Add a dab of the ricotta mixture
- Top with crushed pistachios
Use your imagination here! The fruit is up to you, try different spices, & nuts.
I enjoy the blue cheese, if you don't, try adding a little creme cheese to keep the consistency of the topping.
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.