The Glorious Life Blog

The Glorious Life

Welcome to the Gloria Ferrer blog – the perfect place to experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of our winery when you can’t be here in person.


Hog Island Manilla Clam Chowder + 2006 Royal Cuveé

Written By: Stefanie Bagala

It’s really starting to feel like winter around the winery: the vines are looking bare as they prepare to go dormant and the morning fog isn’t burning off as quickly as it did in peak summer months. This cold weather is perfect for a warm cup of homemade soup. Whether you prefer classic Tomato Soup, Chowders, Bisques, Cioppino or Chicken Noodle, the best pairing to your soup (along with a grilled cheese), is of course a glass of freshly popped bubbly – and this week we’re highlighting a pairing with our 2006 Royal Cuveé, which just received an impressive 94 point rating from Wine & Spirits Magazine.

Because the 2006 Royal Cuveé goes best with creamy comfort foods, we decided to showcase one of our FAVORITE recipes: Hog Island Manilla Clam Chowder. This might just be a match made in “Oceanic Heaven”.

Printable Recipe Available Here

Hog Island Manila Clam Chowder

2006 Royal Cuveé

2006 Royal Cuveé


• 1/2 pound high quality bacon, sliced
• 1/2 stalk celery, thinly sliced
•  2 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal
• 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 8-10 medium-size Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered into bite-size cubes. Do not peel!
• 6 pounds small, raw Hog Island® Manila clams in the shell, rinsed (or any clams for that matter) (note: Hog Island estimates ~3/4 lb. of clams per serving)
• 1 quart heavy cream
• Salt and pepper
• Parsley for garnish


  • First step: place clams in a colander in the kitchen sink and rinse throughoughly under running water.  Pick through and discard clams with broken or open shells.  Allow clams to drain in the sink while you prepare your stock base.
  • BASE: In a large stock pot bring about 5-6 cups of water to a boil (no salt) and cook the potatoes until al dente, or just before fork-tender.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, in a second heavy-bottom pot melt the butter with the thyme. Render the bacon in the butter and thyme (over low heat, careful not to burn); once bacon is rendered add leeks and celery, cook until vegetables are translucent. Add carrots and cook until bendable without breaking.  Add the potatoes and 4 cups of potato water.  The base can be made (up to one day) ahead and kept chilled.
  • CLAMS: Portion your clams out per single serving (~3/4 lb per serving) and cook each serving individually. Working in batches, place a single serving of clams in a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat.   Ladle one cup of the chowder base on top and cover the pan, simmer for about 5-6 minutes, or until the majority of clams open. Skim through and pick out any clams that have not opened. (Don’t skip this step — unopened clams may spoil the chowder.)
  • Add in 1/2-cup cream per serving and bring the chowder to a simmer. If it is too thick, add in more of the potato water. When the chowder is bubbling in the middle, it is ready to serve. Pour individual servings into a large soup bowl.
 Serve garnished with cracked pepper and chopped parsley along with some crusty bread or in our case… a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of bubbles. Cheers!
Recipe and photo are courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Co., and can also be found here.