At Home with Samantha Sheehan
Samantha has been making wine in Napa, California for more than 10 years under the brands POE Wines and Ultraviolet Wines. A California native, Samantha pays homage to the climate and Sheehanterroir by keeping her wines bright and fruit-forward. She believes in minimal-intervention farming, maintaining vineyard biodiversity and using organic grapes for her wine. Similarly, she sources local, whole citrus for her third label, Mommenpop, which features an Orange, Blood Orange, and Grapefruit aperitif, each of which is exploding with flavor and juiciness. Each aperitif tastes delicious on its own over ice, in a spritz (with sparkling wine, beer, or cider) and delicious in higher-proof cocktails (like Negronis, Manhattans, Palomas or Martinis).
Samantha was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “15 Women to Watch in Wine” and has been featured in Bloomberg, Wine&Spirits Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the LA Times, among others. In 2020, Mommenpop Grapefruit won a Good Food Award, and was rated 95 points and named one of the Top 100 Spirits by Wine Enthusiast.
A Negroni needs no introduction, but one of the things that I love about using Mommenpop to make this classic drink is that the citrus element really shines. Mommenpop was born one summer a few years ago when I was drinking Aperol and Campari spritzes non-stop. It was important to me to use fresh, local, organic ingredients while keeping the flavor cues of a classic Italian aperitif. I like to think of the Mommenpop Negroni as a more modern, citrus-forward take on an old Italian favorite.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy Mommenpop is by itself on ice with a citrus twist, or mixed with something sparkling (wine, beer, cider, sparkling water) to make a spritz. But for a slightly more complex beverage, I love using both the Grapefruit and Blood Orange flavors to make a classic Negroni. This recipe is easy to make for one, or for a crowd. – Samantha Sheehan
1 oz Mommenpop Blood Orange
1 oz Gin
Combine 1 oz Mommenpop Grapefruit, 1 oz Mommenpop Blood Orange and 1 oz Gin over ice and stir to combine. A large rock works well here. Garnish with any citrus you have on hand - I like an orange twist or slice. Enjoy!
Spaghetti with Pork Ragu
This pork ragu is perfect for the colder winter months when you want something hearty. Pairing perfectly with Ultraviolet Wines Cabernet, just looking at it made our mouths water.
4 tsp salt salt
1 ½ fine-diced yellow onion
1 bulb fine-diced garlic
1 bulb fine-diced fennel
12 oz can of organic chopped tomato
3 cups dry white wine
8 cups chicken or pork stock
1 lb spaghetti
FOR THE RAGU: In a bowl, combine the ground pork shoulder with the 4 tsp of salt and mix thoroughly until the ground pork becomes sticky. Transfer into a container and refrigerate. After 12 hours, roll the pork into the shape of large meatballs. In a rondeau or stockpot, cook the rolled pork over medium to high heat until all sides are browned, working in batches to allow plenty of surface area. The brown glaze that forms on the bottom of the pan (the ‘fond’) is desirable and will flavor the sauce later, but adjust the heat to ensure it doesn’t burn.
When all the pork has been browned, turn down the heat to medium and add the vegetables over top of the meat. Do not stir. The remaining moisture of the meat will steam the vegetables until they are translucent in about 25 minutes. Use a wooden spoon and the liquid that has collected to scrape the brown fond loose from the bottom of the pan. As the remaining liquid evaporates, the meat will again begin to brown and build a fond on the bottom of the pan. When nearly all the moisture is gone, add the wine and scrape up the fond a second time.
When the wine has reduced by three-quarters, add the tomato and chicken or pork stock. Bring the sauce to a simmer and, with a wooden spoon, again scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure that you remove any remaining fond (if any is left there is a high risk of burning the ragu). Simmer for approximately 2½ hours – enough time for the collagen in the meat to break down and enrich the sauce.
When finished, use a potato masher to break apart the meatballs, looking for a Bolognese consistency. Allow to cool, transfer to a container and put the sauce in the refrigerator to rest overnight.
TO FINISH: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Add the cold ragu to a separate pan over low to medium heat and let the ragu melt like butter. Do not add any water to speed up the process. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling salted water and cook as specified on the box. Strain the pasta from the water and add it to the pan with the melted ragu. Stir until incorporated and serve in a large pasta bowl. Grate fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Buon appetito!