Meet the Team – 10 Questions with Ryan

Welcome to our monthly blog series, Meet the Folded Hills Team, and our December 2023 edition. This is a little “get to know you”, highlighting one of our fabulous team members each month. We will ask them ten questions, find out their favorite FH wine, and even get one of their favorite recipes to pair with it.

This month we are talking with Ryan Stewart, Membership Coordinator here at Folded Hills.

FH: Hi Ryan! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us for our Meet the Folded Hills Team series. Let’s find out a little more about you. Where did you grow up?

RS: I grew up in the suburbs of Spokane, WA, on the state’s east side. It was a beautiful place to live, surrounded by the Spokane River, local mountains, and gorgeous ponderosa pines!

FH:  When you were 10 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

RS: For a long time, I wanted to be an archeologist when I grew up. While this was partly inspired by films like “Indiana Jones” and “The Mummy,” I have always been fascinated with history and world cultures. I still get to pursue this love today – wine is steeped in history and tradition!

FH: What do you do in your spare time?

RS: When the weather is nice, I enjoy going for walks, bird-watching, fly fishing, and skiing during the winter. On cozy days, I prefer to stay indoors with some tea and a good book or a board game.

FH: Who is someone you would love to have dinner with….could be anyone, dead or alive.

RS:  Hildegard of Bingen. Saint Hildegard was a medieval powerhouse, a Benedictine abbess and polymath. She founded two monasteries during her life, and her writings and treatises put her at the forefront of medieval literature, herbology, philosophy, medicine, theology, cosmology, and natural history. If that wasn’t enough, she was also a prestigious musical composer and poet, setting 77 of her lyric poems to music, including her Ordo Virtutum, one of the oldest surviving music dramas. Talk about an exciting dinner!

FH: What were you into in high school?

RS: I was (and am) a band geek. I started in fifth grade and recently earned my Master of Music degree!

FH: What is something about you that most people don’t know?

RS: I enjoy performing close-up magic. My uncle is a professional magician, and I have always loved the sense of wonder, mystery, and fun he shares when performing his tricks, whether on the big stage or at the dinner table. Although I never reached his level of expertise, I performed small shows until I finished college. I still like to break out the occasional minor miracle here and there. 

FH: Where is your favorite place to be?

RS: In the forest, resting by the campfire after a long hike.

FH: What travel destination is on your bucket list?

RS: Scotland. I would love to visit castles from the 13th century, see puffins on the Isle of May, and explore the beautiful Scottish Highlands. I wouldn’t mind a tour of some of the whiskey distilleries around Islay, either! 

FH: How did you first get into wine?

RS: I’ve enjoyed wine since my 21st birthday. There are many beautiful vineyards in Washington! But I only worked professionally in wine once I started with Folded Hills. It’s been an excellent opportunity to learn about all aspects of the wine industry, from vine to table.

FH: Last but not least, what is your favorite Folded Hills wine, and can you share a recipe that you love to pair with it?

RS: My favorite Folded Hills wine has to be the 2021 Estate Syrah. It’s the perfect holiday wine with notes of dark plum, black cherry, and delicate layers of five spice and tapenade. Pair it with steak, red wine reduction sauce, and a generous helping of potatoes and mushrooms for a cozy winter meal! 

Thanks Ryan! It’s cold and rainy, and that sounds amazing right about now.

‘Till next time! Hope to see you soon.

Ryan’s Favorite Pairing Recipe –
Steak, Potatoes, and Mushrooms, with Red Wine Reduction

Pair with our 2021 Estate Syrah







Ingredients for the steak:

Two 10-12 oz cuts of your favorite steaks (Ryan likes New York Strips!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp cooking oil (ideally with a high smoke point, such as canola or grapeseed oil)

Ingredients for the red wine reduction:

6 tbsp butter
2 shallots (¼ cup; finely diced)
2 tbsp of tarragon, chopped
½ bottle of good red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah are perfect for this recipe, but I recommend saving the 2021 Estate Syrah for your wine glass!)
1 cup beef stock

Ingredients for the potatoes:

½ lb mini potatoes
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the mushrooms:

2 tbsp olive oil
¼ lb baby portobello and shiitake mushrooms (or any mushroom you like), sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


For the steak:

  • Remove steaks from the fridge, season with salt, and bring to room temperature (at least 45-60 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 450°F / 230°C.
  • Heat some oil over medium-high heat in a stainless steel or cast-iron pan. Season the steak with crushed black pepper.
  • When hot, add steaks, and do not move them for 2-3 minutes. Flip steaks, then transfer pan to the oven to cook. Depending on the thickness of steaks, it can take 6 to 8 minutes to cook to your liking.
  • Allow steaks to rest after cooking for 10-15 minutes under foil.

For the red wine reduction:

  • In a saucepan, add a couple tablespoons of butter over medium heat, and when hot, add shallots and reduce until light golden brown.
  • Add the tarragon and wine, and let it reduce until about ¼ of the wine remains.
  • Add beef stock and reduce it for a few minutes. When ready to serve, add remaining butter to the sauce and incorporate well.

For the potatoes:

  • Poach potatoes in boiling water and cook through (8-10 min). Drain and set on cookie sheet to rest when they are cooked.
  • When ready to cook, reheat them in a frying pan over medium-high heat with olive oil, garlic, chopped herbs, and parsley.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve.

For the mushrooms:

  • In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat, and when hot, add the sliced mushrooms.
  • Cook until they have released their water.
  • Add the garlic and herbs and mix well. Serve with Estate Syrah and enjoy!

Click on the image below to download a printable copy of Ryan’s Favorite Steak, Potatoes, and Mushrooms, with Red Wine Reduction.