Heating up for a delicious cool-down

Secret Aardvark

Secret Aardvark’s sizzling new Serrabañero Green Hot Sauce combines serranos and habañeros with tomatillos, green tomatoes and spices for a condiment the Portland company calls an “American green” — not verde — sauce. Dash it on any dish where you crave some heat and tang, too. secretaardvark.com


Made in Battle Ground, Washington, by father-and-son team Dave and Mitchell Silagy, respectively, Silagy Roasted Habañero Sauce starts with hand-picked, sun-ripened peppers blended with signature spices and then roasted to perfection. The result is smoky, textured and worthy of becoming a staple in your hot sauce stable. silagysauce.com


From the Portland kitchen of culinary wizard Erika Reagor, Thrive Special Sauce tastes tangy and sweet with a bit of habañero heat. Use it with a rice bowl at Reagor’s N.E. Fremont restaurant of the same name or with a number of dishes — fish tacos, hot wings, mac and cheese, etc. — from your own creative kitchen. thrivesauceandbowls.com

Hot Winter

Named for owner Shaun Winter and the pepper he helped breed, Hot Winter, based in Portland, uses organic heirloom peppers sourced directly from regional farms. The mildest of his offerings, the Poblano, is made from peppers grown by Minto Island (Salem) and Fiddlehead (Corbett), and garlic from Big John’s Garden (Klamath Falls). hotwinterhotsauce.com


What do you get when you combine Grade A dark maple syrup with the fruity kick of habañeros? A saucy Portland company called Hotmaple established in 2013 by Matthew Hilla. The concoction that started it all, the Hotmaple Smokey Habañero Sauce, gives you all the immediate heat and flavor of a habañero without the after-effects. hotmaple.com

Pairing Spicy with Wine

By Jade Helm

Sweet wine lovers, rejoice. You have the ticket to pairing with spicy foods. “Hot” dishes increase the sensation of bitterness and tannin and decrease richness, sweetness and fruit flavors in wine. Remember this and order fruitier, sweeter wines lower in tannin. Now, this does not mean you order a dessert wine for your Thai takeout. An off-dry, fruit-driven wine can go a long way. Consider Riesling, and Gewürztraminer, or even Pinot Gris, Muscat and some slightly sweeter rosés.

Wines with a touch of residual sugar (RS) are often lower in alcohol than their fully dry counterparts. Remember that spicy heat + alcohol = super spice — not a hero or member of a girl band.

Go ahead, kids, try this at home: Wash down a big bite of habañero with some vodka — for science. Next, wipe away the tears. While some of you are blowing steam, others LOVE this sensation — some also enjoy running and liken this feeling to a “runner’s high.” People are difficult to explain. Matching spicy food with wine is simpler.

What about red? Not a problem. Stick with softer, fruitier varieties like Merlot or Gamay.

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