Welcome to our new monthly blog series, Meet the Folded Hills Team. 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.
Without further ado…let’s meet the Folded Hills team. This month we are talking with Jenna Buchholz, the Hospitality Manager here at Folded Hills. If you have visited either of our tasting rooms, chances are you’ve met her.
Here is Jenna!
FH: Hi Jenna! We are so glad to have you for our first monthly team member focus! Let’s find out more about you. Where are you from?
JB: I come from cornfields and back roads. A little slice of my grandpa’s paradise in an unincorporated community called Prairie, Illinois.
FH: When you were 10 years old what did you want to be when you grew up?
JB: When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be a Broadway star!
FH: What is your favorite style of wine?
JB: My favorite style of wine is Northern Rhône, which I believe is the benchmark to which cooler climate vineyards in California should try to live up to. This is what initially attracted me to Folded Hills Syrah. I think our wine emulates Northern Rhône Syrah quite exquisitely. Our wines are filled with character – broodiness and earthiness abound while showcasing a spicy fruity characteristic that can only be achieved from a complex terroir.
FH: What is your guilty pleasure?
JB: My guilty pleasure is poetry. Words arranged in art. This isn’t necessarily something I’m ashamed of, but it’s not something you can often bring up in a group and have people relate to.
FH: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?
JB: It would be interesting to have dinner with Meryl Streep. Although, I would be too intimidated to eat.
FH: What types of music do you enjoy?
JB: I like to listen to musicals. I also enjoy western art, classic rock, folk, country, etc., but musicals always make me feel the giddiest.
FH: What is something you wish you were better at doing?
JB: Telling jokes. I always get so wrapped up in the story that I forget the punchline.
FH: Tell us how you first got interested in the world of wine.
JB: I first got into wine right after college. I needed a summer job to maintain my Quatro’s Pizza habit, and to enjoy the last 2 months with my friends before we all moved back home. I started working two days a week in a tasting room called Blue Sky Vineyard on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail in Southern Illinois. This eventually led to cellar work, vineyard work, and then finally full time behind the bar. This “summer job” changed my perspective and derailed my dreams. What had been important to me before took a back seat to wine. I decided to haul it out west to California and fully immerse myself in this decadent world of vines and vintages.
FH: What was your first job?
JB: A video rental store. I mostly spent time cleaning DVDs and sleeping on the couch in the back.
FH: Lastly, what is your favorite Folded Hills wine, and can you share a recipe that you love to pair with it?
JB: My favorite FH wine is 2021 Clairette Blanche. I appreciate the rarity of the grape (only four acres planted in the United States, of which we have one) and the incredibly powerful and nuanced nose and flavor profile. Pineapple, lychee, and sweet almond jump from the glass.
I love to pair it with a shrimp noodle salad because the citrusy notes of the wine soften the flavors of the honey lime sauce and the dryness of the wine lets the sweetness from the shrimp shine. The crispness of the Clairette Blanche enhances the firmness of the shrimp texture.
Thank you Jenna! We can’t wait to try that yummy recipe and pairing.
Stay tuned for next month’s Meet the Folded Hills Team – Ten Questions Monthly Blog Series post. Any guesses who it could be? Who would you love to hear from?
‘Till next time! Hope to see you soon.
Jenna’s Favorite Pairing Recipe –
Glass Noodle Shrimp Salad
Pair with 2021 Clairette Blanche
⅓ cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp. honey
1 serrano chile, very thinly sliced
1 – 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. fish sauce (use slightly less when pairing with wine)
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. large shrimp (preferably wild), peeled, deveined
6 oz. bean thread (cellophane or glass) noodles
1 English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
½ cup salted, roasted peanuts, crushed, divided
1 cup basil leaves
- Stir lime juice and honey in a small bowl until the honey dissolves. Mix in chile, ginger, garlic, fish sauce (use slightly less when pairing with wine), and 3 Tbsp. oil; season dressing with salt.
- Toss shrimp and 2 Tbsp. dressing in a medium bowl to coat; let sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles according to the package directions. Drain and add to bowl with remaining dressing along with cucumber and ¼ cup peanuts; toss well.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Pour off any liquid from the shrimp and pat dry; season all over with salt. Cook shrimp, tossing occasionally, until browned and bright pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with noodles, add basil and toss well to combine.
- Divide noodle salad among bowls and top with remaining peanuts.
Click on the image below to download a printable copy of Jenna’s Favorite Glass Noodle Shrimp Salad recipe.