Turning up the heat in the local wine industry
By Erika Heeren
Photos By Kimberlee Miller
When it comes to new tastes and treasures, there’s always something fresh in Idaho. The same rings true for Potter Wines, a winery located in Garden City. The family-owned business is bringing a new flavor to the Treasure Valley, and it’s already becoming a local favorite.
Potter Wines was founded in 2011 by husband and wife team, Von and Crystal Potter. Von, a wine hobbyist, enjoyed experimenting with new flavor combinations and the wine-making process.
“It was something that knew I wanted to try. I started messing around with it and it just snowballed from there. We started making traditional reds and whites, and then it grew from there,” explains Von. “I’m 100% self-taught…every day is an experiment.”
The experimentation paid off. In 2011, Von created a jalapeno flavored wine, and knew he had something unique to take to the local community. The Potters began to sell their reds, whites, and jalapeno wine at the local farmer’s market. Once local enthusiasts had a taste of Potter Wines, they kept coming back for more.
Today, Potter Wines offers a wide variety to suit any discerning palate – and those looking for a little fun. The jalapeno wine has matured into an entire product line. Patrons can choose from the original jalapeno wine, chipotle jalapeno wine, and jalapeno wine lemonade. Potter Wines also offers seasonal flavors of the jalapeno wine lemonade, including strawberry and watermelon. The wines feature a sweet heat, with a slightly spicy taste. Local fans have found new and creative ways to incorporation the products into their libations as the flavors work well with tequila, vodka, or whiskey.
“They make great margaritas, Bloody Marys, and sangrias. For food pairings, anything Thai or Mexican food really compliments the spice in those foods,” noted Crystal.
If you’re feeling a desire for culinary creativity, try it at your next dinner party! The Potters recommend using the jalapeno wine lemonade to spice up your next taco night. Both the original and chipotle wines pair well with seafood – especially clams, shrimp, or fish. For inspiration, the winery has created a guest recipe page on their website featuring exciting ideas for enhancing the flavor of favorite dishes with the jalapeno wine product line.
The winery’s Syrah – Swanky Devil – is also a fan favorite with its full-bodied depth, featuring hints of black currant, cocoa, and clove. For traditionalists, Potter Wines also offers a merlot and a Riesling, a chardonnay that will be available in May of 2019, as well as a robust red blend in a pouch. For outdoor enthusiasts, the jalapeno wine lemonade is also available in a convenient pouch.
“People in Idaho seem to really love the option to take their wines in a pouch, because they can take it camping or hiking, to concerts, or on the river. It’s very recreational friendly.”
Crystal and Von are also celebrating the new tasting room for Potter Wines, located off Chinden Boulevard in Garden City, where guests can sample the wines and jalapeno wine lemonade. You can also try one of the specialty wine-based cocktails, like a unique spin on a mule, tasty mimosas, or the “Hell” Mary. The space has a relaxed atmosphere, gorgeous art-deco design, and offers options for hosting your next event. The tasting room also serves brunch every second Sunday of each month and features live music.
For more information about Potter Wines, and to see their selection, visit jalapenowines.com.