The Hills Market Blog


Flavors of Fall: Seasonal Craft Beers

Flavors of Fall

School has started and football is near. That can only mean one thing for our beer department, Fall beers are here!

Here are four of our favorites to try:
Southern Tier Brewing Pumking, Lakewood, NY
This is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale with an ABV of 8.6%. It has a medium carbonation and a deep copper color. On the nose, you will find pumpkin, baking spices, vanilla and roasted pecans, while flavors of vanilla, clove and pie crust follow through on the palate.  
Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen, Germany
Bavarians have been celebrating the harvest with beer festivals since the 1400s. Marzen is brewed in March to be ready for the September and October beer festivals. Ayinger's Oktoberfest-Marzen has an ABV of 5.8%. It has a rich golden color, a sweet malty nose, a medium body, and a soft dryness from long maturation.
Indigo Imp Luster, Ohio
Luster is a Flanders Red Ale style beer brewed to commemorate Indigo Imp's 5th Anniversary. It is aged for 10 months in oak wine barrels, giving it a tart cherry aroma and flavor with some oaky notes. With a relatively tame ABV of 6.8%, this is a somewhat refreshing brew great for the early days of fall.
Seventh Son American Strong Ale, Ohio
We were thrilled when this Columbus brewery started canning so that we could get it in our stores. Their American Strong Ale is their flagship brew, and we think it makes a great early fall beer. This ruddy American Strong clocks in at 7.7% ABV and boasts grapefruit and stone fruit hop character balanced by a rich red malt backbone.

Featured Recipe: Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta & Mint

serves 4

6 cups watermelon cubes, from about 1/4 of a large watermelon
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 ounces feta cheese, drained and crumbled
1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Flaky sea salt

Pour off any juice that has gathered around the watermelon. Toss gently with the rice vinegar. Toss with the feta cheese crumbles, just until the watermelon begins to look lightly coated.

Chop the mint leaves very, very finely, into tiny ribbons. Toss with the watermelon and spread in a serving bowl. Garnish generously with black pepper. Taste. If desired, add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately.

A Trio of White Wines to Finish Out Summer and to Welcome Fall

Summer isn't over yet!  Try this trio of white wines, guaranteed to satisfy your palate from these last warm weeks of summer into the cooler months of fall.  And, they're new!

Ruffino Orvieto Classico  $8.99 (WAS $14.99)
Orvieto is a town in Italy's Umbria wine region, just to the south of Tuscany.  The grapes for this wine, Grechetto, Procanico, Verdello, Canaiolo Blanco, are indigenous to the picturesque volcanic hills of Umbria.  This wine has a fruity and floral bouquet reminiscent of green apples and meadow flowers, and refreshing flavors beautifully balanced with acidity and minerality.  A great match for roasted Ohio tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and topped with shaved Parmigiano.
Bonpas Luberon Blanc  $9.99
This is a beautiful blend of Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette & Vermentino from the Rhone Valley's AOC of Luberon, equidistant from Avignon and Provence. It is full of expressive fresh peach, apricot, and mango notes along with citrus and white flowers, and finishes well-balanced and round on the palate. This wine would pair nicely with cheeses and charcuterie.
L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon  $17.99
Few Semillons show their richness and complexity like those produced in Washington state. The cool harvest nights help to ensure crisp, natural acidity, making them fantiastic food pairing wines. This offering from Columbia Valley is a blend of 87% Semillon and 13% Sauvignon Blanc and is remarkably brilliant with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity. The nose has notes of jasmine, citrus blossom, and honey, followed by layers of lemon custard, key lime, and apricot on the palate. Pair this seamlessly with most seafood, spicy Asian cuisine, or even a BLT.


Featured Recipe: Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill and Feta

 Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill and Feta | The

 Serves 6


1/2 red onion
1 pound tomatoes, about 2 large, 1 red and 1 orange 
1 clove garlic
Flaky sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 pound cucumber (approximately 1/3 cucumber), thinly sliced
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese 

Finely slice the red onion and put the slices in a bowl of cold water while cutting up the rest of the vegetables, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. Drain the onion and pat dry.

Place the garlic, a pinch of salt, and the vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.

Add the red onion, red pepper, cucumber, olives, and herbs and let marinate for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and feta, and toss gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lift out of the bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving juices behind. Place on a large platter and serve immediately.

Photo and Recipe Credit:

Spanish Summer Wines | The Hills Market Downtown

Summer isn't just for Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish white wines are making a splash this summer with their unique refreshing flavors.
Two in particular that have just arrived at The Hills Downtown wine department are Pazo de Moneterrey Godello ($12.99) and Nora Albarino ($15.99). 
Godello is a fairly new varietal for the American market, and it is increasing in popularity every year. Godello comes from Northwestern Spain and has beautiful floral aromas, with bright acidity and citrus notes. It's the perfect "patio pounder" but also complex enough to be enjoyed on its own. 
Albarino has been popular in Spain and America for several years and is famous for it's perfect pairing with seafood. It also grows in the Northwestern corner of Spain and is reminiscent of California Viognier with floral and peach aromas on the nose, but a dry finish. 
Stop by and try one today!


A Trifecta of Closeouts! | The Hills Market Worthington

A Trifecta of Closeouts!  So nicely priced, you'll want to try all three.

We love a good closeout, and right now, we are fortunate enough to have found three sure to please the red-wine lover in you. Our distributors are trying to make room in their warehouses to stock up for the holidays, so we can buy great wines at low, low prices and pass the savings on to you. Here's what we have in our stores right now.
Trapiche Pinot Noir Mendoza 'Broquel', 2010
Was $19.99, NOW $8.99
From vineyards situated at 1150 meters above sea level in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Argentina, comes this 100% Pinot Noir. It is a toasty and expressive style, with intense cherry, plum and spice notes on the nose and palate. A fleshy wine, it shows impressive depth on the finish. Great with lighter meats, such as veal or chicken, or with meatier fish, such as salmon.

Marchesi de Frescobaldi Rosso di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 'Campo ai Sassi' 2007
Was $26.99, NOW $10.99
100% Sangiovese from Tuscany's Rosso di Montalcino DOC, this wine displays the same characteristics you might find in a great Brunello, but in a more youthful, less complicated manner. Younger vineyard plantings are utilized, yielding a wine that is aromatic, elegant, and less tannic than Brunello. This bottling is full of cherry character, with signature notes of leather and licorice. This one is quite approachable now, or could cellar another 2-3 years. A real treat for pizza or pasta night that won't break the bank.

Pulenta Estate Malbec I 2010
Was $26.99, NOW $12.99
100% estate grown, high elevation Malbec from Mendoza's Uco Valley, this wine expresses intense and unmistakable fruity notes of plum and strawberry, with notes of lilac and vanilla. Elegant and full of character, this wine is drinkable now, or cellar worthy. Try with a nice, juicy ribeye steak.


2012 Machete from Orin Swift | Now in Stock! | The Hills Market Worthington

Machete is a limited release Petite Sirah blend from Orin Swift Winemaker Dave Phinney. Dave is the man behind 'Prisoner', as well as 'Abstract', 'Papillon', and the 'Locations' wines, to name a few. Machete was a project that he launched in 2009. He wasn't happy with the fruit designated for the Machete blend in the 2010 or 2011 vintages, so he used that juice in his other wines. In the 2012 vintage, he re-introduced Machete with a unique labeling concept. The wine is bottled with 12 different, some might say 'risque', labels, so you may not receive the one pictured here.  
The blend is comprised of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Grenache, three varietals that Dave Phinney has used in many of his popular bottlings, and sees 10 months in French oak. In the glass, it is a deep dark bluish red color. Aromatics of ripe blackberries, mulled raspberries, and toasty oak are obvious, while flavors of crushed berries, dark fruit, chocolate, and espresso follow through on the palate. This wine is ready to be enjoyed now, or could be cellared for 5 or so years.
Who knows what future vintages will hold for this rare and limited bottling, so get yours before it's gone.


Recipes by Darista Dips

Below is one of our favorite local recipes from Darista Dips!


4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1¼ cup quinoa

1½ cup vegetable broth

Dressing and filling:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice from 1 lemon

½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint chopped

4 shaved radish

cup cherry tomatoes, halved

½ tsp kosher salt

Feta crumbles (optional)

Pepper to taste

Parsley for garnish


{Yields: 4 servings}

For the quinoa: Rinse quinoa in cold water and strain in a fine sieve until water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, bring broth and quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. 

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest and juice, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss with quinoa and add the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste.

For the salmon: Heat a large non-stick pan over high heat with olive oil (coat pan evenly.) Season the salmon with salt and pepper. When oil is almost smoking hot, place salmon skin side down in pan. Do not move fillet or over crowd pan. Lower heat to medium. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn the salmon (away from you to avoid splashing oil) and sear until just cooked, about 4 minutes, or until just barely pink in the center. Serve immediately with the skin side up.


To plate: Place 1-cup mound of quinoa on center of plate. Top with salmon and drizzle Garlicky Kale Yogurt Dip over top. Garnish with parsley.




2 tbsp unsalted butter + 1 tbsp EVOO

1½ lb ground lamb or ground beef

3 shallots minced

4 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp of each: chopped parsley, cilantro, mint

2 tbsp harissa 

1 tbsp smoked paprika


2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

2 egg yolks

1 cup of bread crumbs or cooked quinoa


{Yields: 25 meatballs}

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add the ground lamb and make a well in the center. Add the cooled shallot/garlic mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Make a claw with your hands and fold over the meat mixture. Carefully mix to ensure even distribution. *Do not mash or over mix because it will make the meatballs tough.* Form into 1½ inch sized balls.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, place meatballs in the pan and brown on each side (about 30 seconds to one minute per side.) Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan and place browned meatballs in a baking dish.


Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through. Spoon push the Moroccan Carrot Dip on a plate and top with a meatball. Enjoy!

dara schwartz | flavor artist | | twitter: @darista | instagram: darista |

Printed Recipe Cards Available at Both Hills Market Locations!