If you’ve ventured out of the basement at all lately, you’ll have noticed that the summer heat is upon us.  Always a long time coming, it’s nothing short of super-appreciated.  Now that it’s here, I find myself almost frantically trying to make the most of it, before it’s gone again! Yes, the summer’s short around here, and so we need to make every moment count.

Enjoying summer meals on the patio is a big part of what I love about summer. Enjoying a sizzling burger with chilled glass of Bumbleberry Fruit Wine, or sipping a glass of Raspberry Fruit Wine while munching on patio appetizers can’t be beat. The final course, however, can be really fun. I’m talking about using dessert wines for scrumptious summer desserts.

If you’ve been by the farmers markets lately, you’ll notice that FRESH BERRIES are in vast supply! Beautiful, luscious berries piled up in boxes, just waiting for you to take them home. I have a stock tip for you: TAKE SOME.  With the addition of our flavourful dessert wines, you can make some mouth-watering berry desserts with very little effort, that will leave your guests asking for more.  Here’s three of our favourites.

 

Field Stone Summer Swirl Dessert – the simplest of them all!
1 liter softened vanilla ice cream
125 ml Raspberry Dessert Wine
Combine in a blender and blend. Pour into martini glasses. Re-freeze. Top with fresh raspberries and some chocolate shavings. Yum!

This easy-as-pie summer pleaser can be used with whatever berry you may have on hand. If you have strawberries – use our Strawberry Dessert Wine. If you have blackberries or blueberries, use our Black Currant Dessert Wine. Saskatoons? Use Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine. You get the idea. There are some great combos out there. Whatever your choice, the results will be delicious.

 

 

With a little more effort, you can serve up this beautiful trifle on the patio table. Everyone loves strawberries – especially this time of year – and here’s a great way to enjoy the flavours:

Field Stone Creamy Strawberry Trifle
1 baked white cake, 2 layer size
2 cups (or desired amount) sliced fresh strawberries
1 vanilla pudding and pie filling, 6 serving size
3 cups milk
1/2 cup Strawberry Dessert Wine (or more, to taste)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cut cake into chunks.  Cook pudding with milk according to package directions. Cool to room temperature. Hasten cooling by placing pan in cold water, stirring often.

Whip cream and vanilla until stiff. Make layers of cake chunks, a generous sprinkle of Strawberry Dessert Wine, sliced strawberries and pudding in glass trifle bowl, using as many layers as needed according to size of bowl. Make the last layer pudding. Spread whipped cream over top. Chill. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired. Serves 12.

And here are my two favourite flavours in the world, in perfect harmony…

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

3 cups fresh raspberries

½ cup Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine

2 cups chocolate chips, melted and cooled

16 oz cream cheese, softened

¼ cup honey

3 Tbsp. Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine

3 Tbsp. crème de cacao

1 tsp vanilla

Gently combine raspberries with ½ cup of the wine. Beat together melted chocolate, cream cheese and honey til fluffy. Beat in 3 Tbsp. raspberry wine, crème de cacao and vanilla until blended. Spoon raspberry mixture evenly into 8 small dishes. Top each serving with mousse. Garnish with chocolate curls and refrigerate for up to one day before serving.

Does patio dining get any better than that?

 

As I’ve mentioned many times before, another wonderful way to make the most of the berry season is to serve up delightful, colourful, fruit wine sangrias.   Fruit wines aren’t just great on their own, they take your sangrias to a whole new level.

With B.C. cherries vastly available this week, I offered this one to my guests last evening, to rave reviews!  Trust me, this one has “summer” written all over it:

Cheery Cherry Sangria

1 – bottle Cherry Fruit Wine

4 – shots Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine

1 – each, lemon and lime

1 – peach, sliced

12 cherries, pitted and sliced

½ cup apple juice

1 can club soda

Add the juice of one half of the lemon and one half of the lime to the pitcher.  Slice the other halves and add to pitcher with pitted cherries and the sliced peach.  Add wines and juice and chill for at least an hour.  Add soda and ice just before serving. Delish!

 

Got strawberries?  Serve them in a pitcher …

Scrumptious Strawberry Sangria

1 bottle Field Stone Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine
2 Tbsp. sugar or apple juice concentrate
1½ cups strawberry lemonade
4 shots Field Stone Strawberry Dessert Wine

1 shot brandy
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 can club soda

Mix ingredients in a pitcher and chill. Add club soda and ice just before serving.

 

Got rhubarb?  Try this one….

Strawberry Rhubarb Sangria

¼ c. sugar

½ c. water

2 rhubarb stalks, chopped

½ c. orange juice

1 orange, sliced

1 pint strawberries, quartered

4 cups chilled seltzer

1 bottle Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine

In small pan, combine sugar & water, bring to a boil and add rhubarb.  Set aside and let cool.  Combine all other ingredients, then rhubarb mixture.  Serve over ice.

Delicious, sparkling, colourful and refreshing, these sangrias make the most of berry season. Serve one today!

Of course you can find many more summer recipes using fruit wines at www.fieldstonefruitwines.com on the “Recipes” page. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for daily news and recipe ideas.

In other news, as you may have guessed, our farmers markets are now in full swing.  This week we added one more:  Clearwater Farmers Market, Main Street, Rocky Mountain House – at 5:30 pm on Thursdays.  You can find a complete list of our 20 Alberta seasonal markets anytime by visiting www.f

ieldstonefruitwines.com/find-us.  Please come find us at a market near you this summer.  We’d love to meet you!

In closing, we’d like to offer a big thanks to everyone who has supported us at Farmers Markets around the province these past two months. Isn’t summer great?  Warm weather, sunshine, farmers markets, seasonal fruits, garden bounty.

Just add patio-perfect, award-winning, Alberta fruit wines, and stir.

Happy July everyone! May you have a “berry” wonderful summer.

 

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