Monday, August 6, 2012

Pinot Noir Syrup

Dear Lauren,

I turned a bottle of wine and 5 tablespoons of sugar into this.
It's Pinot Noir Syrup!

Blackberry & Raspberry Cobbler with Whipped Cream and Pinot Noir Syrup

Krisi's Buttermilk Pancakes with Pinot Noir Syrup

Roasted Asparagus with Hazelnut Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

I also had some on vanilla ice cream. Amazing.

I wondered about a Pinot Syrup & Coke. Like a Cherry Coke? I was just going to mention it, but you know I ended up trying it!! I liked the ratio of 8 ounces diet coke to 1 teaspoon Pinot syrup. But you can play around with it and see what you think.

Later this week, stay tuned for Pain Perdu & Pinot! Made with the Crusty Bread! Yum!

Here are some other ideas that some friends of mine came up with:
Waffles (Traci)
Bread, Cheese, Tomatoes (Christine)
Duck, Venison (Carol)
Pittsburgh Rare Filet Mignon (Sus - she is so fancy! I think any filet would do, right?)
Pancakes (Shelley - took her suggestion!)
Biscuits, Salmon, Filet with Crispy Onion String (Kimberly - such an overachiever with three suggestions!)

And you came up with a PB&J-J+PS! I'll make it for you the next time you come over!

Pinot Syrup
adapted from a recipe by the Cafe Juanita in the Pike Place Market Cookbook, 2003 edition

5 tablespoons organic* or regular granulated sugar
1 bottle (750 ml) Pinot Noir (you can use Merlot of Zinfandel too!)

*According to the recipe, organic sugar has less water content than regular and so it melts and caramelizes more quickly. I bought my organic sugar at Trader Joe's but my friend Woo says that you can get a big bag of it at Costco for a great price.

Spread the sugar evenly in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the sugar turns golden. It took me around 4 minutes but you need to watch the pan carefully because the sugar will go from perfect to burnt very easily!

Note: Once you turn on the heat to melt the sugar, put on two long oven mitts. The next step will cause a fine splatter and you don't want any melted sugar splatter on your skin. It'll hurt. Don't skip this step!

Slowly add 1/4 of the bottle of wine to the saucepan. Again, there will be bubbling, a misty splatter, all sorts of drama! And the sugar will solidify but don't worry. Stir until it melts back into the wine. Add the rest of the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture reduce til it's thickened and right around 2/3 cup. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. Put the contents in a glass jar and it will keep at room temperature indefinitely. This is the jar I used. I never use it for cream but it comes in so handy for things just like this.


P.S. Brooke says you can add a few sprigs of thyme while reducing the syrup and then remove them once cooked and it will give it a lovely flavor.


  1. Could you please tell me where I might find Hazelnut Vinaigrette, as pictured above on the asparagus? I'm guessing probably Trader Joe's?
    Thank you!

    1. Well, I made it!!! From a recipe in the Pike Place Market cookbook! I think any nut oil vinaigrette would work really well with this syrup. I loved it not only because it tasted good but it was really pretty! A light caramel color with the pink of the shallots? So pretty against the green of the asparagus and the burgundy of the Pinot syrup!

      I bet Trader Joe's Pear Champagne Vinaigrette would work really well if you wanted a ready-made dressing!

    2. Thank you for your reply! I can see I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of the Pike Place Market Cookbook. That should be fairly easy since I only live about a 30 minute drive from the Pike Place Market. Thanks again!!

    3. I saw a few days ago that a new edition is out! May 2012! I have it on my amazon wish list now! The one I am using is the 2003 edition. I also have a 1992 edition but I really didn't enjoy it too much. That area is gorgeous! You are so lucky to be right around the corner!

  2. I Love that you made this! One of Bill's co-workers came back from a hunting trip with a plethora of ducks. (Like that word?) So, I made him some with rosemary and some with cinnamon, star anise and black pepper. He loved it! We did, too.

    1. Plethora is one of my favorite words! haha!!! I love the combination, Carol! And I am so appreciative that you posted it here!!!! Thank you!!!

  3. A few years ago, one of Bill's co-workers came home from a hunting trip with a plethora of ducks. (Like that word?) He asked Bill to ask me for ideas. I made him some wine syrup with rosemary and one with cinnamon, star anise, ginger and black pepper. He Loved them and thought we should market them. We thought they were pretty great, too.

    1. Carol, if you ever do market it, let me know! I noticed that Trader Joe's has a Balsamic reduction now. I talked to the employee that was stocking the shelves. He said it was a new item because they'd had so many request for it! It does take a while to reduce it down and I can see why someone might want to purchase it.

    2. Carol, that sounds delicious!

      Sandra, some people really don't have the time/patience/inclination to make even the simplest things. I recently saw bottled simple syrup at Crate & Barrel! $5.99 for what looked like about 375 ml. I'm pretty sure I said "WOW" out loud.

    3. Woo!!!!!! I took your advice about the wine and did not get an expensive bottle! The syrup is amazing so I will never try to pay more!

      I used to be one of those people because it never occurred to me that I could make any of this! Surprise!

  4. It didn't show the first time, so I reposted!

    1. Carol, I think I have the comment set so that they all come to me before they are published. I heard there are crazy robots out there that post to blogs that aren't set up that way. Is it a cumbersome process to post a comment here? Because that's the last thing I want!

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