Sunday, March 8, 2015

In The Garden With Jardesca

 My daffodils are on the cusp.
Those buds have been holding firm during our indecisive late winter weather.  Ice one day, snow another.  In the 70's for one day, 40's the next. Oops, how about a few more inches of snow and then an all day downpour.
Jeesh... enough already!
With fingers crossed, I am hoping to see their pretty yellow faces this week. Our snow has now melted and we are predicted to be in the 60's most of the week.
In fact, our lovely weekend allowed for some time spent in the garden.  I managed to pick up 3 wheelbarrows full of downed limbs and twigs, fill my large bucket with weeds and trim back some of the perennials and herbs.

Gardening is a hobby I enjoy even though it can be a lot of work.
Sometimes after the work is done for the day I enjoy a glass of wine on the patio.  A nice time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Recently I was offered the opportunity to sample and review a  product called JARDESCA.
After reading the description, I could envision it as a nice wine to sip surrounded by the sights and sounds of the garden.


What is it? 
JARDESCA is a new, exciting and versatile aperitif handcrafted in Sonoma, CA -  a blend of three white wines and eau de vie brightened by 10 botanicals - inspired by the gardens and vineyards of California.  Europeans have long enjoyed the palate-refreshing benefits of aperitifs and Americans are finally catching on as noted with the growing trend of using aperitifs for low-proof, wine-based cocktails. But now we have our own "perfect opener" and it not only works well as an ingredient in simple cocktails, it's beautifully sippable solo on the rocks with a fresh citrus and garden garnish (orange is my personal favorite, with basil, mint, or thyme - all lovely!) or topped off with sparkling water or wine. 
What are some of the botanicals in Jardesca? 
--Botanicals are at the heart of Jardesca, giving it the garden-to-glass and palate freshening properties that give it complexity and depth.There are 10 botanicals used in the Jardesca blend, including pink peppercorn, pink grapefruit peel and bay laurel – inspired by the flavors and notes of California gardens. 

Someday I'd like to visit the wine country of Napa Valley and Sonoma.  In the meantime I will enjoy a taste of the region in my own garden.

 The bottle is so pretty and reminiscent of a garden with the lattice background.  Note the blue and yellow flowers too.

I liked the idea of adding fresh citrus and a garden garnish.
After a bit of rummaging around the herb garden I was able to find a few sprigs of lemon balm poking their heads out from the slowly warming earth.

My first sip told me that this was something a bit different from my usual glass of wine. Slightly higher alcohol content due to the apertif nature.  While I won't pretend to be able to pick out each of the botanicals, I did detect a pleasant slightly fruity scent.  My addition of oranges and lemon balm increased the fruitiness, although I would by no means label it a sweet taste.
Once the garden gets growing I look forward to some new flavor combinations.  Perhaps some fresh mint or basil would be nice.

The folks at JARDESCA provided the following recipes for those wanting to take it up a notch ;-).

The basic: 
Jardesca Spritz 
Pour three fingers of Jardesca (3 oz) over ice in a stemless wine glass or rocks glass 
Add 2 oz Prosecco or sparking wine 
Add your favorite citrus or herb garnish (an easy way to present garnishes so that you don't get stuck bartending your own party:  lay out a tray of sparkling water and wine, even a bottle of gin or pisco (which works beautifully as a complementing grape spirit), an array of fresh herbs - mint, basil, thyme, lemon verbena; fresh citrus (meyer lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, orange) and a fresh juice or two and let people play! It's a great conversation-starter! 

More complex: 

Jardesca Ruby Sparkler

From nationally-acclaimed mixologist, Duggan McDonnell (San Francisco) 
3 oz Jardesca
1 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 Sparkling Moscato
Stir, fill glass with ice, garnish with floating pomegranate seeds and a sprig of mint

Drop fresh berries into the base of the glass
3 oz Jardesca
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer
Add ice, stir, float 1 oz Pinot Noir,
Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

Currently JARDESCA is available in California or online.
More information is available on their lovely website here if you are interested.


  1. How wonderful to be able to get out in the garden. Mine is still under several feet of snow. It amazes me that daffodils are blooming in the Northwest, but not quite blooming in the Southeast. Crazy weather!

  2. Jardesca in your lovely garden seems a perfect fit! My daffodils have been blooming for some time already. Winter seems to have passed us by this year...and spring came early.

  3. How nice to have spring already. Still snow around here but it is melting and today it was a warm 48 degrees. : )

  4. We still have so much snow which has been piling up for the last six weeks or so. This wine sounds lovely and the bottle is beautiful. Have to check out the website.

  5. I checked it out Kim and must say it looks very inviting, especially in such a stunning bottle. Must admit that's not a cheap wine, and much more than our everyday wine limit, but see that it is fortified and can therefore be kept for quite a while without spoilage. If I see it come into Costco - we buy most of our wine there - I may spring for a bottle. Would be pleasant on a hot Summer's evening - remember those days?

    Garden looking lovely, like you we're doing clean up and it's hard work!
    Hugs - Mary

  6. I think I will not see my daffodils until June as we have aa pile of snow still remaining n our front yard that is very shaded. Our temperatures have also warmed up to the 60's and it feels so good!

    Jardesca sounds like an interesting aperitif! I will ahve to try it. I've visited Sonoma and Napa Valley a few times--they are both beautiful areas and my husband and I really enjoy tasting the different wines at different vineyards/ If you ever go, take the wine train ride in Napa--we enjoyed having lunch on it!

  7. Are you sure that Jardesca didn't make that bottle just for you? It looks so perfect with your table and garden. Really, with the yellow, blue and white fits perfectly on your table. You make me want Spring more than ever! Thanks for sharing your new find with us.


Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
I will do my best to answer any questions here in the comments section.