If you’ve listened to reports lately, you’ve heard the experts tell us that Indian Summer is waving goodbye, and Old Man Winter is coming up the road. Summer markets finished, Thanksgiving behind us, fall field work completed. What do we look forward to now?
Let the winemaking begin.
Unlike grape wines, fruit wines can be made year round, and as you know, we concentrate on our winemaking in the late fall and winter months. It’s a busy time for us, but an enjoyable one. Some days the heady berry aromas in the winery are overwhelming. Some days you want to jump right in the tank. We haven’t done it yet.
Presently, we are concentrating on our new vintages of Cherry and Raspberry Fruit Wine, and Strawberry Dessert Wine. Generally speaking, these three Alberta fruit crops produced very well this year. In fact our fall strawberries are still producing! Very seldom are we still picking lush red strawberries on October 15th. All in all, it promises to be a very interesting winemaking season, so stay tuned.
With roasted turkeys and hams behind us, some of you are looking ahead to the next party that involves great food and good wine. OK, all you ghoulies and ghosties, itching for a great Halloween Party, here’s a few ideas for fruit wines with scary themes.
Black Widow Martini
2 parts Black Currant Dessert Wine
3 parts Vodka
1 part Triple Sec
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 part Pomegranate juice
black licorice strings
Shake together in a shaker with cracked ice. Pour into martini glasses . Cut 6 sections of black licorice and fashion into a spider hanging over the edge. Eeek!
(For an even more interesting flavour, substitute Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine for the Black Currant).
OK, I love this one: Icy Severed Hand Punch!
For a blood-red punch use:
1 bottle Field Stone Raspberry Fruit Wine
splash of orange juice
2 Tbsp. sugar or apple juice concentrate (opt)
2 shots Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine
2 shots Raspberry Vodka
2 cups club soda
For the icy hand: Fill 2 latex gloves with water, tie the ends and freeze. Once frozen remove the glove and you are good to go. For extra effect, use Raspberry syrup or preserves to squirt more “blood” over the hand and floating marshmallows. Scary!
And one more:
Black Night Martini
2 parts Blavod Black Vodka
1 part Raspberry Dessert Wine
Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Rim the glass with red sugar. Be sure to “drip” some down the side. You can also garnish with black gummy worms or blackberry “brains.”
For an extra-fun Halloween fix, be sure and visit the indoor markets. Halloween activities are alive and well (or should I say dead and scary) and you can read all about the “Spooktacular Family Fun” planned at Calgary Farmers Market that weekend. Check out their website for the many, many scary details!
And that brings us to Santa…
On a completely different note, and at the great risk of rushing the season, I just have to tell you about some Christmas Markets we will be attending. They are right around the corner! Take the stress out of Christmas shopping this year by picking up a lovely gift pack of fruit and dessert wine for all the special people on your list. We’ll have a variety of packs and combinations all ready for purchase. All you have to do is add your name.
Our Christmas Market activity begins on November 6, 7 and 8 at Millarville Farmers Market. Three days of non-stop Christmas shopping and holiday fun are not to be missed! Come on out to the Millarville Racetrack and get in on what has become a Christmas tradition in the Calgary area. There are far too many activities to list, but you can read all about them right here. See you there!
Also on November 6 and 7, you’ll find us at the Medicine Hat Christmas Market. Sponsored by the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede, this event has become a family favourite year after year. Running both days at the Fieldhouse, you’ll find everything you need for your Christmas list, including delicious local fruit wines! More information, visit their website page. Don’t miss it!
In the weeks following, you will also find us at the Olds Christmas Market, the Lethbridge Christmas Market, the Strathmore Christmas Market and, for the first time ever, the St. Albert Farmers Market. We’ll have all the details in our November newsletter.
Trust me, there’s nothing to get you in the Christmas mood like a Christmas Market… so stay tuned, and we hope to see you at one!
And finally, just a reminder that the winery is now closed for the season. We do take appointments for tastings by phone, however, so call us at (403) 934-2749 if you wish to visit. We’d like to thank everyone who visited this summer and we’d especially like to congratulate Kristy Grotrian of Strathmore, who won our draw. Congratulations, Kristy!
And that’s all the news for October.
Happy Halloween, everyone! Eat, Drink and Be Scary.
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