This is it! Your chance to get that rarest of gourmet treats. Genuine, 100% organically farmed, handpressed verjus. “What is verjus”, you might ask. Yes, you might well ask, as it is relatively unknown outside of France. Simply, verjus is the unfermented pressed juice of unripe wine grapes. Hence vert-jus or green juice. Traditionally, the French, in vineyards slated to produce fine wine, thin the grape bunches before they have ripened to allow the remaining bunches more of a chance to produce quality grapes. One could just drop the thinned grapes on the ground as compost, but thrifty French farmers have gathered the thinned green grapes, pressed them as they later will the grapes for wine, filtered them and made verjus. Sadly, this custom is seldom seen in New World grape growing regions such as California or Australia. Mainly because we have no need of green thinning. Our warmer temperatures and lack of rain in summer and early fall assures that almost all the bunches mature and ripen with little chance of rot or mildew among crowded bunches. In addition, verjus has an extremely short shelf life. It’ll last six months sealed, but only three months after being opened. So, I repeat, this verjus giveaway is a rare opportunity to get your hands on some.
“But what can I do with it”, you ask? Basically, use it anywhere you would vinegar. But with better results. The French swear by it for making a wine-friendly vinaigrette. The floral taste — somewhere between fresh tart apples and pears — and the gentler acidity keeps it from fighting with wine as harsher vinegar does. Cousin John swears by it to poach eggs and fish. Many chefs like to “brighten” sauces or roasted meats by drizzling lemon juice or something acidic on it. Verjus will work even better. We’re loving it drizzled over fresh tomatoes or to “finish” cooked green beans.
“Okay”, you say, “I’m hooked. I want to live the Verjus Lifestyle. How do I enter?”
Here’s how it goes. The goal is to corral all of you who comment on my posts on Facebook, Flickr, email or anywhere but on the blog. So the catch is going to be commenting on the blog. Here’s the deal:
1. The contest starts with this post and ends with whatever post is current November 15th.
2. I will assign a number to every comment and use a random number generator to pick the winning number at the end of the contest.
But here’s where it gets fun.
3. Every time you comment, you will get another number — hence another entry. However, only one comment per post gets a number.
4. Every time you steer a new reader to the blog and get them to comment — and mention who sent them — both of you get another entry.
5. If you have been a frequent commenter in the past, you are automatically starting with two entries.
If this contest generates the comments I hope it will, I’ve got Two Terrier products lined up for future contests: Two Terrier Honey, Two Terrier Lavender Oil… Ironically, the only thing I’m hesitant to give away is wine. Since we aren’t yet bonded (which means being square with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms), I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ship alcohol through the mail. But getting bonded is my winter project, so maybe soon.
On your marks, get set, comment!