Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green” is the line that is rotating in my head this morning as I’m humming through Christmas carols. Many of you are probably familiar with The Wassail Song… but possibly not so familiar with the traditions of early England. Apparently in the cider-producing counties of west England, “wassailing” involved singing processions and ceremonies throughout the orchards, where participants raised a cup to the health of the apple trees, in the hopes that they might better thrive.
Now how much fun would it be to put fruit wine in that wassail cup and do the same for our saskatoon berry trees? The leaves may not be green at Christmas time, but the plants are no less worthy of our care because they are dormant in December. The early British might have been on to something… and perhaps next year we will organize a Saskatoon Berry Orchard Wassail….
But back to this year!
December is such a great month for fruit wines. Whether you are attending office parties, entertaining friends, buying gifts or planning holiday recipes, you can incorporate fruit wines into any and every event. In addition to purchasing fruit wines, dessert wines or gift packs for gift-giving (which, incidentally, makes gift-shopping as easy as pumpkin pie), there are many ways you can offer your friends and family the great flavours of fruit wines throughout the season.
To assist you in this, I have started a 20-day countdown on our Facebook page, wherein I am posting a new recipe each day that you can use in your holiday entertaining, or just for your own enjoyment. The recipes vary from drinks to desserts to main course items, using each of our wines in a unique way. As such I am not going include holiday recipes in this newsletter; I will rather refer you to www.facebook.com/fieldstonefruitwines and let you enjoy all the ideas there! No worries though… my favourites for the Christmas feast will all be included in the December posts at some point. Some will also appear in our Twitter and Instagram feed.
And speaking of the Christmas feast, please note that all our fine stores have a great stock of Bumbleberry Fruit Wine this month. Many of you have now made Bumbleberry a staple pairing with a roast turkey meal, and for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet, we urge you to consider it this year. Parsley, sage, thyme… accompanied by subtle flavours of native berries…. it really is great marriage. Take a break from a traditional white wine pairing, and try something different this year.
Remember, finding a store near you is as easy as visiting www.fieldstonefruitwines.com/find-us and scrolling down the page!
As of today, almost all our Christmas markets are over, but never fear, we are still full-time weekends at Edmonton Bountiful Market and Calgary Farmers Market. Both have all our wines available for your holiday season pleasure, as well as pre-packaged gift packs consisting of one fruit wine and one dessert wine, at 10% off. At $40 each, these are the perfect hostess gift, office exchange gift, or foodie gift! There are also some extended hours at both markets for December. Check out the details here: www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca and www.bountifulmarkets.com.
Come on down!
We have just four more seasonal Christmas markets around the province this month: Rimbey, Alberta (Dec 7) at the Community Centre; Bentley, Alberta (Dec 14) at the Blindman Valley Ag Centre; Cochrane, Alberta (Dec 14/15) at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre; and the Glow Gardens Festival, Edmonton Expo Centre, through to January 4. More information on Edmonton’s beautiful light festival can be found at www.glowgardens.com. It’s not something you want to miss, especially with the addition of the Christmas market this year. So come on out and shop the remaining Christmas markets – nothing can get you in the Christmas spirit faster!
One more note: Our “Mulled Cherry Wine” special continues this month at all our markets. Be sure and pick up our two-Cherry pack for Christmas Eve. because simmering Alberta Cherry Wine with apple juice, cloves and cinnamon will add a new dimension to your festive Christmas drinks.
Finally, I don’t want to finish up December’s newsletter without addressing the perfect New Year’s Eve! As many of you already know, our Dessert Wines are a perfect match for a little sparkling wine. So for a slightly different twist this year, why not adapt the traditional Canadian Kir Royale to include a little Italian sparkling wine….
Canadian-Italian Kir Royale:
2 oz Prosecco
1 oz Field Stone Black Currant Dessert Wine
Pour together in a champagne flute and enjoy the beautiful colour as well as the taste. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This is a lovely and beautiful celebratory cocktail, and a great one to enjoy with friends and family.
And … that’s all for this month.
So from all of us at Field Stone, in the closing words of The Wassail Song:
Love and joy come to you,
And to you glad Christmas too,
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year!
And God send you a Happy New Year!
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