Wine and the Herb Garden

Wine and the herb garden
Wine and the herb garden – Fresh Basil is a delight!

Why wine needs an herb garden

Herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow. They grow in garden beds, pots, indoors, and anywhere you can find dirt. Even if you have only a tiny space, herbs will thrive. Growing herbs have many benefits. Here are a few.

Herb fragrances in wine

Herbs help you recognize the characteristics of the wine. Herb fragrances will help you discover herbal aromas and flavors in wines. It is surprising how many wines have herbal notes. Smell your herbs regularly. They are delightful; they inspire, and they make you happy. The more you learn their flagrances, the easier to identify that fragrance in wine.

Wine and cooking with herbs

When you cook with herbs, it enhances the aromas and flavors of wine. Herbs can create a sensory symphony that perfectly complements the notes in white and red wines. Grow herbs like rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Imagine sipping on a glass of crisp, aromatic white wine with a Bruschetta of tomatoes and fresh Basil. How about pouring a reduction wine sauce with rosemary over a juicy steak off the grill. The Rosemary will burst with flavors as you sip your red wine.

Pairing fresh garden herbs with wine

The joy of the herb garden – a healthy habit

An herb garden has been associated with numerous mental and physical health benefits. Engaging with nature, tending to plants, and witnessing the growth of herbs can be incredibly therapeutic. Cultivating and caring for your herb garden can provide a sense of mindfulness and relaxation, enhancing your overall enjoyment of wine by promoting well-being. They are many health benefits to making herbs a focus in your diet. See this article in the Washington Post.

Do you need help planning your herb garden? Contact this independently owned aesthetic pruning and landscaping service based out of Oakland, CA – Arbolex Landscape

The indispensable ten – Grow these herbs

  • Parsley: Grow Italian Parsley first, Curley Leaf second—a joy on many foods. Sprinkle chopped Parsley on scrambled eggs, or on pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese. We love it with soups. 
  • Oregano: We use oregano on mushroom pizza and pasta dishes. Oregano is tantalizing on tacos and marinated meats. 
  • Sweet Marjoram: Use it like Oregano. We often use a combination of the two. 
  • Mint: Use mint with pasta, meats, soups, cocktails, and teas. Mint is best grown in a container. It can take over a yard when planted in an open area.
  • Basil: It has many uses. We put Basil leaves in salads and sandwiches. Make pesto to put on pasta and pizzas. We love Basil chopped with fresh tomatoes. Basil dies in the winter, but many people substitute arugula for Basil leaves during the winter months.
  • Thyme: My favorite saying: “You can never have too much Thyme.” Mushrooms and Thyme are a favorite pairing. Use in marinated dishes, on pizza, eggs, and more. A little Thyme goes a long way. Thyme is a hearty herb and will grow through winter. 
  • Rosemary: Use in wine sauces and chicken dishes. We love it on small roasting potatoes on the grill or on a pan in the oven. We have a favorite recipe for a wine reduction sauce with lots of Rosemary.
  • Sage: Sage loves wine. We use Sage in a Tuscan Pork Tenderloin recipe and in this fantastic soup recipe. Use it, too, when you make dressing or stuffing for your Thanksgiving Turkey.
  • Tarragon. It goes great with fish, chicken, and salad dressings. We miss our Tarragon in the winter, but it grows back with vigor each spring. 
  • Dill: Salmon loves dill. Dill on pasta with veggies and a creamy sauce is yummy. Dill and potato salads are magnificent.

Bonus herb

One of my favorite herbs is Cilantro. I did not list it as part of the herb garden because it is challenging to grow. It bolts quickly. I now buy Cilantro at least once a week at the produce market. I cut the bottom of the stems and place the Cilantro standing in a glass of water. Cilantro always makes a red wine more flavorful. That’s unless you are a Cilantro Hater. See Cilantro Wars. Cilantro with spicy Mexican dishes is the perfect match.

Start your herb garden now