Thursday, October 20, 2011


What do carrot cake and apple cider have in common? Besides being signature fall favorites, they both wouldn't be craved without the help of cinnamon.

Native to Southeast Asia, cinnamon is harvested from the inner and outer bark of small evergreen trees from the genus Cinnamomum. The inner bark naturally curls into quills creating cylinders commonly referred to as cinnamon sticks. In Southeast Asian cooking, a few sticks are added, along with other spices, to hot oil and cooked until fragrant before other ingredients are added. Cinnamon is also used in ground form, which is freshest if made at home using a spice grinder or grater.

Cinnamon is used for it's intoxicatingly sweet woody scent and delicate yet vitalizing taste. Whether it's sprinkled in cake batter or dipped in cider, cinnamon is used throughout the world not only in sweet, but also savory dishes. It's combined with other spices to meats and vegetables as well as curries to maximize the succulent flavor. Wild Ginger adds the iron red spice to various dishes on the menu, including the Monk's Curry, and the seasonally available Sri Lanka Pork.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Autumn has arrived. While the leaves change from flourishing green to vibrant orange, yellow and vermillion red, people are starting to get ready for the cold of winter by seeping tea and baking treats. One of the most common spices used in these warming autumn favorites is clove. Wild Ginger uses this fragrant spice for it's rich scent and robust taste.

Indigenous to Indonesia, the clove tree is an evergreen that produces clusters of flower buds, which gradually change from a pale white to bright red making them ready for harvesting, once harvested the flower buds are then dried and used in cooking whole or in ground form.

Not a typical everyday spice, clove is sparingly added to a few select sweet and spicy dishes on the Wild Ginger menu, including the Monk's Curry, and the seasonally available Sri Lanka Pork.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet our Sommeliers ~ April

Meet April Pogue, one of our Wild Ginger Sommeliers. Like a Grenache from the Priorat region of Spain, she is approachable and easy going, but can be intensely focused, and is sometimes even a little flamboyant.

She joined the Wild Ginger wine team in 2010, and says her favorite part about working at Wild Ginger is having the opportunity to constantly learn more about wine, and the culture surrounding it, with such a diverse group of wine aficionados.

"We all have different styles and backgrounds, which creates such a dynamic formula." says April. "Plus, we work with the best list in Seattle, so everyday I look at it and learn."

April began her wine venture while working at the 5th Floor in San Francisco. "Upon joining the team, it became pretty clear to me that in order to fit in with the culture, I needed to bone up on more than just the basics of wine," says April. This observation influenced her to purchase her first wine education book "Windows on the World Wine Course" by Kevin Zraly. She soon became a wine fanatic. Her education was then furthered at Spago Beverly Hills by wine enthusiast Bonnie Graves, whose passion for wine and gift at teaching influenced group blind wine tastings which turned out to be a fun, informative challenge.
She found her most memorable wine managing a wine bar in Bellevue while getting together with the owners and participating in a monthly tasting group that sampled high-end wines. On a particular night, they had an assortment of 2nd growth Bordeaux from the 2000 vintage.

"My favorite was the 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou," says April. "Everything was perfectly balanced, the fruit, earth, tannins and acid. It was totally muscular, but had a lot of finesse as well. Yeah, I could drink that baby every night."

On the topic of food and wine pairing, Aprils likes to try the untraditional avenue. When selecting the fragrant duck, her favorite Wild Ginger dish, April goes for the Grenache while others would normally pick a Pinot Noir. She chooses Grenache for its pleasant fruit profile that complements the jammy sweetness of the plum sauce, yet reflects the robust earthy qualities in the duck.

"As for a perfectly balanced Grenache, I absolutely love the southern Rhone Valley and would choose the 2004 Domaine du Pegau, Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf-du-Pape," says April.