Allie Jackson, Swinging Bridge Wines Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, shares a few of her favourite things.

I love being outside, enjoying the warmer weather in spring, even taking a dip or two in Lake Canobolas, when the water is still a little fresh. I’m a big dog person and have two extremely energetic Jack Russells – Eddy and Ivy. if you’re an Orange local you’ll often find them walking me around town.

The #003 Amber is one of my spring favourites! I enjoy this drop because it’s a quirky, vibrant wine with a touch of complexity, perfect for warmer spring days. A recipe perfect for spring is Jill Dupliex’s ‘Chicken with Grapes’. I love to roast the flat chicken dish in fig jam until crispy and served on a bed of couscous and it pairs beautifully with the #003 Amber! Read on we’ve included the recipe for you.

I am currently reading The Perfumed Thief by Timothy Schaffet it’s a novel set in Paris during the war and good read during the long lockdown days. If the sun’s out you’ll find me reading in the hammock. In between books or when I need a bit of variety, I love to draw, I’ve always got my sketch book on me in case inspiration should hit.

Spring brings with it the flowering Port Wine Magnolia which is possibly my favourite flower, I enjoy drinking my cappuccinos under the Hawkes General Store’s Port Wine Magnolia and admiring the beautiful flower, although these days I’m restricted to sitting under the trees in my backyard.

I’m a big socialite who enjoys nothing better than good food and great wine, nothing makes me happier than taking advantage of the warmer weather and putting together a beautiful outdoor spread to share with family and friends, complete with multiple cheese’s, one is never enough! Gouda, swiss and brie with my favourite beetroot hummus and seasonal fruits like blueberries and passionfruit. Fingers crossed they will be more of this as restrictions ease and the warmer weather really sets in!

 

Chicken roasted with red wine and grapes

Ingredients

2 red onions, cut into wedges
350g large seedless red grapes, cut into small bunches
1/4 cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar, plus extra to drizzle
4 rosemary sprigs
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 chicken thigh cutlets (with skin on and bone in)
200ml light red wine (such as pinot noir or merlot)
2 fresh bay leaves (see Notes)
Creamy mashed potato, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C. Scatter onion wedges and grapes in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then toss with the balsamic vinegar, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until onions are tinged golden and the grapes have wilted.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based frypan over high heat and brown the chicken skin-side down for 15 minutes or until deep golden (cover the pan with a splatter guard if possible).

Add the chicken, skin-side up, to the roasting pan with the onion and grapes. Add the red wine and bay leaves and roast for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Serve the chicken, grapes and onion with mash, drizzled with the pan juices and a little extra balsamic vinegar.

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