As we approach Valentine’s Day—a holiday that sees a surge in wine and candy consumption—two of our favorite Portland food and drink brands have united to produce none other than wine lollipops. Union Wine Co. Wines, which last grabbed our attention with their very tasty Underwood Wine in a Can, have lent their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris to QUIN Candy, an artisanal sweets shop focusing on fruit-based, all-natural candies. The result is a white wine lollipop tasting of peach, grapefruit, pear and of course wine; and a red wine lollipop tasting of cherry, blackberry, a hint of cola and again, wine. It’s candy for adults that tastes unexpectedly good.
QUIN’s founder, Jami Curl, shares with CH that the lollipops aren’t as easy to make as they might seem. “When we started doing this it was a lot of trial and error to figure out how to get it to taste like wine,” she explains, as opposed to tasting like the fruit notes found within the wine. “We figured out we could take a wine and make a reduction and that goes into the candy, along with a couple of other ingredients that bring out the flavor of alcohol.” The twice cooked reduction process actually removes the boozy notes, which Curl combats with a secret, all-natural ingredient she discovered. This additional ingredient rounds out the lollipop and delivers the wine taste one would expect, without the strong effects of the drink in its natural state. For lovers of wine and candy, this is a delightful amalgamation made from top of the line ingredients by a small, expert team.
The QUIN Candy + Union Wine Company collaborative lollipops are available for purchase online in a special Valentine’s Day package, featuring a 10-pack of lollipops, two cans of wine and two tumblers for only $20.
Images courtesy of Julia Saltzman for Union Wine Company