Just released – VERJUS made from Spoiled Dog Winery’s estate Pinot Noir grapes (unfermented) infused with Lavender Wind Farm’s lavender. A culinary delight with many uses, especially in dressings and sauces. Verjus derives from the French term “vert jus”, literally “green juice” and is pressed from semi-ripened high-acid low sugar wine grapes winemakers thin from the vines just before picking the grapes for wine. Because Verjus is made from wine grapes and shares the same acid-base as wine, it is an elegant and delicate alternative to vinegar and lemon. It is, therefore, “wine-friendly” and the secret of wine country and classically-trained chefs.
The Verjus is infused with lavender from Lavender Wind Farm. The hint of lavender adds complexity by enhancing the flavors and also contributes to its lovely color. This Verjus is a joint product made by two Whidbey Island businesses: Spoiled Dog Winery and Lavender Wind Farm. Their logos are prominently displayed on the label. Karen Krug of Spoiled Dog Winery wanted to do something with grapes which weren’t ripe enough to make their premier wines and weren’t wasted. Verjus was the answer – the French have known about it for years! Karen previously talked to Sarah at Lavender Wind about infusing her lavender into their wine, however Sarah would not be able to sell the end product unless she had a liquor license. Now there was an answer – VERJUS, because it is not fermented, a liquor license is not required to sell it, AND it is infused with Sarah’s lavender. A Whidbey Island Grown product from two Whidbey Island businesses.
Verjus’ natural flavor enhances cooking by adding richness and complexity. It pairs famously with wines as a salad dressing, by itself or as a simple dressing blended with olive oil. See some recipe ideas such as Buttermilk-Verjus Salad Dressing; Arugula and Orange Verjus Salad; Roast Pork, Orange, Beet and Verjus Salad, or my favorite: Crabmeat salad with Nectarine, Verjus and Red Onion.
Use its sweet tart flavor to enhance sauces or heighten the flavor of any fish, chicken, game, red meat or vegetable dishes. Some recipe ideas are Crispy Salmon, Spring Vegetables & Verjus Sauce; Braised Chicken with Grapes, Olives and Verjus; Slow-Cooked Lamb Shanks in Verjus or Salmon Poached in Verjus; Honey-Roasted Pear Salad with Thyme Verjus Dressing.
It also makes a refreshing drink with much less sugar than other fruit juices. Check out recipes for Verjus Martini; Verjus Cocktail, Verjus Mojitos or experiment with it substituting Verjus for sweet-sour juices (lime juices). A definite receipt to try is Verjus Mint-Sorbet for those hot summer days!
You can buy this Verjus at Spoiled Dog Winery, 5881 Maxwelton Rd, Langley or Lavender Wind Farm, 15 Coveland Street, Coupeville. Or get it online.