Amy LaBelle

Winemaker, Meet Jalapeño: New Hampshire’s LaBelle Winery

Kelli Bergthold In the Kitchen with Chile Peppers Leave a Comment

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This is good news for chileheads! LaBelle Winery’s Jalapeño Cooking Wine doesn’t disappoint on clarity, taste, or heat. While the wine is too hot for sipping (by most people), it is perfect for cooking spicy dishes. Combined with other ingredients, the wine lends an intriguing heat and complexity to various dishes. Cocktail sauce, traditionally made with horseradish and Tabasco-type hot sauce for heat, became smooth and savory with the substitution of the Jalapeño wine. Used to marinate steaks, the wine gave the meat a subtle heat and slight overtones of that distinct pepper flavor. Taking a few of the recipes listed on LaBelle’s website,, the Fiery Foods editors put together a meal that, simply put, didn’t last long on our plates! Check out some of the recipes we used:

Bloody Mary with Jalapeño Wine Bloody Mary

A lighter alternative than vodka-based bloody mary mixes!

3 oz. LaBelle Winery Jalapeño Pepper Wine
1 ½ cups Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. Horseradish, if desired
1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine the ingredients and pour over ice in tall glass. Garnish with whatever you’d like! Celery is most common, but something unusual like green pepper slices or asparagus stalks are fun too.

Heat Scale: medium
Serves: 2

LaBelle Jalapeño Wine Guacamole

4 ripe large avocados, peeled and pitted
½ cup finely chopped white or green onion
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (reserve sprigs for garnish)
1 4-ounce can diced mild green chilies, drained
1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño peppers
½ Cup LaBelle Winery Jalapeño Pepper Cooking Wine

Mash avocados in a bowl. Mix in onion, tomatoes, cilantro, LaBelle Winery Jalapeño Pepper Cooking Wine and chilies. Mix in jalapeños to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with a few sprigs cilantro. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of guacamole to prevent browning. Refrigerate.)

Heat Scale: mild
Serves: 6

Shrimp Shooters

Shrimp Cocktail Shooters

12 large cocktail shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tblsp horseradish (jarred)
1/4 cup LaBelle Winery Heirloom Tomato or Jalapeño Pepper Wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
Thinly sliced lemon pieces for garnish if desired

Mix all ingredients but the shrimp to form a cocktail sauce. Place a large dollop of the sauce in each of 12 shot glasses. Hang a large shrimp over the edge of each glass, and garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serve on a tray as appetizers and enjoy!

Heat Scale: mild
Serves: 4

LaBelle Winery Marinade for Steak

Marinated Steak

1 cup LaBelle Winery Heirloom Tomato, Onion or Jalapeño Wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seed

Mix all ingredients in a large zip top bag. Place steak to be marinated into bag and place bag in refrigerator for up to 6 hours before grilling. Best with flank steak, but also great with steak tips and sirloin. Enjoy finished meal with a bottle of LaBell Winery Blueberry Wine (aged lightly in oak – similar to a merlot). Enjoy!

Heat Scale: mild
Makes: 2 cups



What’s next for LaBelle winery? “We just started fermenting a new red using the Noire grape,” says LaBelle. “It’s our answer to cabernet.” With five new wines released this summer, and a large winery expansion in the plans, we’ll be keeping an eye on Amy LaBelle and her tasty creations.

Want to get your own bottle of LaBelle’s Jalapeño Cooking Wine or one of their many other wines? Visit their website here.

Want more recipes using LaBelle wines? Click here!




Kelli Bergthold is a freelance writer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a Fiery Foods SuperSite associate editor. Raised in a family of foodies, and the daughter of a devoted chile-head, she spends far too much time thinking, eating, and writing about food.

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