I think Mark Twain said it best:

“’It’s Spring Fever. That’s what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want – but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

April is upon us, and we definitely ‘want it so’ … We are ready – beyond ready – to embrace it!

And let’s be honest. We’re all really really ready for full-time Spring!  We’re all ready to say good bye to fluctuating temps, slush, mud and wind. We’re ready to dig out the summer clothes and the flip flops and fire up the grill.

As much as we all enjoy our roast turkeys and hams over Easter week, we really can’t wait to start thinking BBQ sauce, can we? We’re an impatient lot, we western Canadians. Especially this year!

We have a few suggestions that may help propel you toward frostbite freedom. With the weather outlook more positive this month, we’re thinking “Look out BBQ season! Here we come.”

There aren’t many things that scream ‘warm weather’ like raspberries and strawberries.  Consequently, both our Raspberry Fruit Wine and Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine are patio favourites!  We’ve recently discovered that a yummy “Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ Sauce” on grilled pork tenderloin is a great accompaniment to Raspberry Fruit Wine 😊  Here’s an easy version you can try this weekend!


Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ Sauce:

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 cup diced onions

1 minced garlic clove

2 teaspoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

½ cup tomato sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 cup fresh raspberries

Heat the oil, add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the chipotle peppers, tomato sauce, raspberries, brown sugar and cider vinegar and stir together. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the sauce until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.  This makes about 1 ½ cups of sauce.  You will need ½ cup for each 1-lb. pork tenderloin.

 Yum! Can’t you just taste it now?

And there’s more great news for all Spring Fever sufferers:   Bumbleberry Fruit Wine will be back on the shelf very soon!  If you haven’t tried our Bumbleberry Fruit Wine with barbeque fare, then this season can be a whole new flavour experience for you. Bumbleberry is ultra-smooth, a medium fruit wine that is truly the best of the prairie flavours combined – saskatoon berries, raspberries, strawberries, and rhubarb.  It’s unique, but doesn’t sacrifice its wild berry flavours. Sound like the perfect ‘chill’ wine?  It is!

Recommended weekend pairings?  Beef burgers, Chicken Pizza, or Baby-Back Ribs.

And for a quick change-up, here’s our favourite Berry Barbeque Sauce recipe, excellent on all three…


Sensational-Saskatoon BBQ Sauce:

2 cups frozen saskatoon berries

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. chili powder  

2 tbsp. hot sauce

2 tbsp honey  

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft.  Add remaining ingredients and cook 20-25 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to pulse the sauce.

If you don’t have saskatoon berries, use frozen mixed berries.  Prairie berries are not only great in fruit wines…. they give everything the taste of summer.

And if you have never tried pizza on the barbeque before, here is a very easy version to get you started:


Grilled Barbeque Chicken Pizza:

2 cups cubed cooked chicken (deli-rotisserie works great)

½ cup barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 prepared pizza crust

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped green bell pepper

Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, combine chicken, barbecue sauce and chili powder; mix well. Spread evenly on pizza crust. Sprinkle with cheese, onion and bell pepper.  When grill is heated, place pizza directly on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches from medium coals. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom of pizza is crisp and cheese is melted.


So whatever strikes your BBQ fancy this month, pair it up with fruit wine.  Summer will seem like it’s right around the corner!  Can’t you hear the sizzle now?

In ‘on-the-road’ news, we’ll be at the Strathmore Spring Market on April 27th.  Bigger than ever this year, come visit us in the beautiful Strathmore Motor Products Sports Center between 11 and 4.  You will find ‘Spring’ treats for everyone.  Guaranteed!

Finally, for those of you who have been asking after Saskatoon Dessert Wine lately, please note that the saskatoon berries have been pressed and the bulk wine is now in the process of becoming delicious!    Delightfully smooth and fruity, the prairie’s favourite berry is ready, liqueur-style, to join your favourite cocktail or lemonade (so yes, it fits into BBQ season just fine), or ready to finish off that perfect meal all on its own.  Come find us this weekend (and every weekend) at Calgary Farmers Market West, Crossroads Market, or look for us in your favourite liquor retailer.

And don’t forget that our year-round market locations are literally bursting with Spring treats and Spring activities.  Visit the websites, or follow the social media channels for Calgary Farmers Market West and Crossroads Market to stay up-to-date on Calgary Spring happenings.  Don’t miss the Herb Gardens Workshop at CFM this month, or the ever-popular 2024 Book Drive at Crossroads.  There’s never a dull moment and there’s so much to be experienced!

Let’s face it:  we are all ready for a great new season -and Field Stone looks forward to making Alberta fruit wines a big part of your Spring and Summer enjoyment.

Happy April everyone!  Let the grilling begin.


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