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Month: December 2020

Wine Cocktails

Holiday Mulled Wine Recipe from McGrail

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

Regardless of the fact our winemaker isn’t always pleased with me when I make cocktails and other drinks that involve adding something to his wine, Mark and I both know some people LOVE that sort of thing, and in this business, it’s all about making customers happy. It’s fun, trendy, and just a change of pace. While discussing this sometimes sore subject with our SIP Club members, Mark mentioned having drunk Glögg (or did he call it Glühwein?) in his younger years.

What the heck am I talking about? Holiday mulled wine. Glögg and Glühwein are the Swedish and German names, respectively, for it. In Swedish, it translates to “glowing ember,” and in German, it means “glowing wine,” which seems to imply that this stuff can make you feel pretty dang good when you drink it. Mark recalled having a foggy memory after just one glass. Somehow he’s still quite fond of the stuff, but I’m curious to know exactly what was in it.

Traditionally, mulled wine contains baking spices, fruit, and wine, of course, and it’s typically drunk around Christmastime. It’s quite simple to make, but it sure can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside! This is an easy recipe I’ve made up using our Shamus Patrick Red Blend. We’re looking forward to sharing this with our SIP Club members this week!

Holiday Mulled Wine

Holiday Mulled Wine

Ingredients:

  • 750mL bottle McGrail Shamus Patrick Red Blend
  • 1 navel orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 black pepper corns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple or orange juice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup brandy, dark rum, or bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole cranberries, as a garnish (optional)
  • extra cinnamon sticks, as a garnish (optional)
Holiday Mulled Wine

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan, combine Shamus Patrick Red Blend, orange slices, lemon slices, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks, black pepper corns, bay leaf, brown sugar, and optional juice and liquor. Stir to combine.
  2. Heat the wine over medium-high, until it just reaches a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Do not allow to boil, as this could cook out the alcohol. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes and up to three hours.
  3. Use a mesh strainer to remove all non-liquid ingredients from wine before serving.
  4. Serve warm in your favorite mug and garnish with cranberries or extra cinnamon sticks, while enjoying your favorite holiday movies.
Holiday Mulled Wine

What You Should Know About Mulled Wine

  • Glühwein is sometimes prepared “mit Schuss,” or with a shot, which is why I included the optional brandy or rum in the recipe.
  • If you somehow have leftover mulled wine, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and should ideally be consumed within three days.
  • To reheat the mulled wine, simply bring it to a simmer on low heat in a large sauce pan on the stove.
  • Fresh ginger, cardamom pods, nutmeg, allspice, and raisins can be added to mulled wine, depending on one’s personal preferences.

Holiday Mulled Wine

National Mulled Wine Day

Celebrate National Mulled Wine Day with us on March 3rd, 2021!


Please let us know if you make this warm holiday recipe and what your thoughts are! We love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Wine Cocktails

Holiday Sangria Recipe from McGrail

By Laina Carter of McGrail Vineyards

Regardless of the fact our winemaker isn’t always pleased with me when I make cocktails and other drinks that involve adding something to his wine, Mark and I both know some people LOVE that sort of thing, and in this business, it’s all about making customers happy. It’s fun, trendy, and just a change of pace.

Sangria is perhaps one of the most popular drinks to create with wine. Traditionally, sangria contains chopped fruit, red wine, and some kind of spirit. It’s quite simple to make, but it sure can make you feel fun and festive! This is an easy recipe I’ve made up using our Red Blend. I hope you enjoy this holiday sangria recipe!

Holiday Sangria Recipe

Holiday Sangria Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped honey crisp apples
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped Bosc pears
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped D’Anjou pears
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange slices
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 bottle of McGrail Red Blend
  • 3/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 6 oz. lemon lime soda
  • 6-8 oz. berry-flavored sparkling water
  • 6-8 oz. orange-flavored sparkling water
  • Rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large punch bowl or very large pitcher, combine cranberries, chopped apples, chopped pears, orange slices, lime slices, lemon slices, pomegranate arils, cinnamon sticks, cloves, Cabernet, brandy, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Stir.
  1. Chill for at least an hour. We’ve found that allowing it to sit overnight maximizes the fruit and spice flavors.
  2. Add ginger beer, lemon lime soda, and sparkling water. Stir.
  3. Serve over ice. Add rosemary sprigs and/or cinnamon sticks as a garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Please let us know if you make this holiday sangria recipe! We’d love to hear from you.

Cheers!

Vineyard Related

December Vineyard Updates 2020

By Mark Clarin of McGrail Vineyards & Winery


December Vineyard Updates

Autumn is a time to reflect and to give back. The leaves of the vine give back their carbohydrates to the vine to be stored in the root system for the winter. It is a very important piece in the cycle of life for a grapevine. The green leaves turn to beautiful colors of yellows, golds, and reds, as the vine takes back what was not needed to ripen the glorious clusters that we harvested at the end of summer. 

December Vineyard Updates

Winegrowing requires attention in the vineyard all year long. The tasks change as the seasons change. This time of year, we are spreading compost and looking for grape stakes that need replacing. We are looking for volunteer plants and removing them. It always amazes me how many volunteer trees we get every year. This year we found over 40 trees on our Lucky 8 vineyard. Mother nature is prolific. 

As I reflect on the vintage 2020, I remember an almost perfect growing season. The fires during the harvest created less than ideal working conditions, but we seem to have come through relatively unscathed. Tasting through the vintage confirms that our efforts throughout the year in the vineyard are worth it in the glass.

December Vineyard Updates

A new season means new tunes…

Enjoy our playlist featuring dormancy ditties as part of our December vineyard updates!


Please let us know your thoughts on our December vineyard updates. Did you learn anything in particular? What did you find the most interesting? We’d love to hear from you!

Cheers!