Tag Archives: Drinks

What Goes Well With Red

“Red, red wine, Go to my head, Make me forget that I, Still need her so.” These were the lyrics to “Red, Red Wine” as they were first written by Neil Diamond. Many GenXers will be more familiar with the UB40 edit which expanded to include lines such as, “Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine, You keep me rockin’ all of the time” and, “Red red wine, you make me feel so fine, Monkey pack him rizla pon the sweet dep line.”

Whether you prefer the more conventional Diamond version or the slightly more upbeat jams of UB40, one thing is clear, there are a lot of people who give red wine a lot of credit. If you are one of these people and are looking to incorporate red wine into your diet, remember, your tongue is your best judge of what goes well together, but dark to light is the general guideline. Red wines are normally served with heavier foods and are not usually paired with opening courses and appetizers. There are some food choices you may want to consider to complement your red wine choice.

1. Barbera
When Billy Joel sang, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” he was probably drinking Barbera, the standard red wine found in Italian restaurants and pizza places. Its low tannins go well with tomatoes and the acidity is good for breaking down rich, fatty foods like salami and cheese.

Pouring a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon

2. Cabernet Sauvignon
Known for its nobility, the medium or full bodied taste of Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with hearty dishes like roast beef lamb and coq au vin. Recipe suggestions include slow roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel and citrus and beef fillet.

3. Gamay
Tossing some meat on the barbie? Break out the Gamay. It goes well with veggies from the griddle or sardines and sausage. Store in the refrigerator one hour prior to opening and serve lightly chilled. Try it with a sizzling sausage salad or some spare ribs with barbecue sauce.

4. Merlot
Merlot is a traditional holiday staple. Serve it with your Christmas turkey, road chicken or duck or winter casseroles or just open it up for a Friday night dinner in front of the T.V.

Glass of Pinot Noir

5. Pinot Noir
Another holiday classic, Pinot Noir goes perfectly with roast turkey and lamb and also works well with mild, creamy soft cheeses.

6. Shiraz
Enjoy the full bodied taste of Shiraz in the winter with roasted veggies and grilled steak. Enjoy its hints of mocha and blackcurrants with herbed pork fillet.

7. Zinfandel
Bring on the Zin as a fabulous complement to sautéed field mushroom or succulent roast or braised venison. California’s historic wine, Zinfandel was immortalized by leading producer Joel Peterson who characterized it with the slogan, “no wimpy wines here.” Get tough with this American classic and bring some class to the party.

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Our 4 Favorite Holiday Drinks

Hosting holiday gatherings is a wonderful way to bring friends and family together, but it can also be overwhelming. From making sure the food is perfect and the place settings are just right, there is a lot of work to be done. When it comes to serving holiday drinks, we’ve got you covered with our four favorite holiday drinks, one of which the whole family can enjoy together.


Candy Cane Hot Cocoa

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa
This warm drink blends rich chocolate flavor with the season’s favorite peppermint candy in a delicious drink the whole family can enjoy.


  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
  • 4 finely crushed peppermint candy canes
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 4 mini peppermint candy canes
  • Red sugar sprinkles

In a medium saucepan, heat milk until hot but do not allow to boil. When milk is hot, whisk in chopped chocolate and crushed candy canes. Allow both candies to melt and stir mixture until it is smooth and creamy. Pour into mugs and add whipped cream on top. Sprinkle red sugar crystals on top of whipped cream and serve with a mini candy cane garnish or stirring stick.

Pumpkin Spice Martini
Enjoy the last few days of pumpkin spice with this festive martini.


  • 1 ½ oz vanilla flavored vodka
  • 1 ½ oz Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 ½ oz pumpkin flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Add ice and water to your martini glass and swirl to chill. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and pour vodka, Irish cream liqueur and pumpkin liqueur on top. Cover and shake well, or until the outside of shaker is frosted. Strain into chilled martini glass and add whipped cream. Add pumpkin pie spice to the top of whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon stick.


Red Santa Sangria
This blend of fruit and red wine is perfect for any holiday party.


  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds
  • 2 red Bartlett pears seeded and sliced
  • 2 star fruits thinly sliced
  • 3 bottles red wine
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (or grenadine for sweeter results)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 liter club soda chilled

Place pomegranate seeds, pears and star fruit into a large pitcher or serving bowl. Pour wine, brandy and pomegranate juice over fruit. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Chill in refrigerator for several hours, or for a stronger flavor combination, allow to chill overnight. Right before serving, pour club soda into sangria and gently stir to mix.

Cranberry Prosecco
This festive bubbly drink is perfect for any holiday toasts.


  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bottle prosecco

In a small saucepan, cook cranberries with sugar until they begin to produce juice, about five minutes. Allow to cool. Spoon cranberry mixture into the bottom of a glass and top with prosecco.

Not only are these holiday drinks quick and easy to whip up, they are guaranteed to delight you and your guests. Make one of our favorite holiday drinks the signature cocktail for your holiday gathering and let the festivities begin!

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