With the chill in the air, and the yellow leaves everywhere, it certainly feels like fall today! For some good advice on how to enjoy it, consider this quote from David Henry Thoreau:
Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
It’s great advice! In spite of the difficult year behind us, it seems to me that resilient Albertans still want to make the most of it, to immerse themselves in it…
So, metaphors aside, we think that nothing says “taste” and “drink” the fall season like the Thanksgiving feast. Even the word conjures up images of the beautiful fall colours, the warmth of late autumn, the bounty of the harvest. Is your Thanksgiving feast going to be scaled back this year? No worries… it can still be the most wonderful time of year (sorry, Santa).
After all, it’s never a bad time to plan a great meal …
No matter what size your table this year, fruit wines can usher in a native berry theme, so appropriate to an autumn feast, and be a great companion to the balance of the day’s treats.
So, in celebration of Alberta’s fruit, here are five festive feasting ideas:
Start by introducing your fruit theme early. Pre-meal, consider serving this lovely, fall-flavoured Sangria, fragrant and festive:
Cherry Cider Sangria:
2 bottles Cherry Fruit Wine
500 ml. apple cider
2 – 250 ml. bottles ginger beer (non-alcoholic)
Red and green apple, sliced
Orange and lemon zest (opt.)
Mix all ingredients together in a large pitcher. Chill for at least one hour to let flavours mingle. So easy – and pretty, too!
Serving an Appetizer? With a little more effort, you can make your own Fruit Wine Jelly.
Raspberry Wine Jelly:
3 ½ cups Raspberry Dessert Wine
4 cups sugar
½ cup lemon juice
1 package certo
Put wine in a deep saucepan, add certo and lemon juice. Stir, and bring to a boil. Add sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat, pour into jars and seal. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Let cool. (Makes 6 – 250 ml jars). Serve on wheat crackers on top of cream cheese, or on Triscuits with a slice of brie. Yum!
Now, on to the Main Event…
For a slightly new flavour inside the big bird, try this one this year:
Savoury Saskatoon Berry Dressing:
Thaw two cups of frozen saskatoon berries and soak in Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine overnight. Add to your favourite stuffing recipe for a yummy flavour boost. Adds a new dimension with so little effort!
And, at the risk of being too predictable, I am once again including this great recipe, certainly one of our all-time favourties:
Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire:
1 bag fresh cranberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 cup Wild Black Cherry dessert wine
¾ cup wildberry juice
¼ cup honey
Simmer all ingredients until berries are soft and slightly reduced. Cool and serve. As many of you already know, this really takes Cranberry sauce up a notch …
Don’t forget to treat yourself to a bottle of chilled Bumbleberry Fruit Wine to accompany the turkey. Bumbleberry’s hints of wild berry flavour guide your tastebuds through the savoury flavours of hot stuffing and poultry with ease. (And if you’ve chosen ham this year, you’ll want to pair it with our off-dry Cherry Fruit Wine. Truly a match made in heaven!)
Well, that leaves dessert… may I suggest something a little lighter this year?
Saskatoon Berry Crème:
2 ½ cups whipping cream
¾ cup sugar
½ cup Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Heat cream and sugar over medium heat and and whisk occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in wine and lemon juice. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then carefully pour into clear serving dishes. Chill overnight. Top with an assortment of fresh berries.
Serve this with a small glass of chilled Saskatoon Dessert Wine and you have a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Guaranteed.
As for one-stop shopping for your feast, remember that we are open every weekend at Calgary Farmers Market, Gasoline Alley Market (Red Deer) and Edmonton’s Bountiful Market. Our outdoor summer markets are now finished for the season, but thank you for visiting them. Thanks to all of you, it has been a good summer, despite everything. We appreciate all your encouragement and support, and we enjoyed meeting every one of you!
Alas, the winery has closed for the season, but the good news is that our draw winner has been identified! Congratulations, Vicky Wallace of Calgary, and thank you for visiting the winery this summer.
And that brings us to Santa…
At the great risk of rushing the season, I just have to tell you about some Fall/Christmas Markets we will be attending. They are starting this month…
The ever-popular and much-loved SIGNATURES SHOWS will start off the season on October 15-17 with FALL INTO CHRISTMAS, MEDICINE HAT, followed by OUR BEST TO YOU, RED DEER on October 22-24, followed by FALL INTO CHRISTMAS, LETHBRIDGE on October 29-31. These three shows are truly wonderful handmade artisan markets, and after a year’s hiatus, we are very excited to participate again. There are a few changes this year – such as timed entry and online tickets – so you can rest assured that all health protocols are being followed and you can shop with ease. Don’t miss a chance for early, one-stop Christmas shopping. Details as to location, dates, times and protocols can be found at www.signatures.ca. We hope to see you at one of them.
Our Christmas Market activity moves into high gear in November and December but I will save more details for November’s newsletter. Suffice to say we are making tracks around the province this coming season so we hope to make your fruit wine Christmas shopping very convenient for you this year. Fruit wines, dessert wines, pre-packaged gift packs and great prices make your Christmas shopping easy. Remember you can always keep abreast of our travels by following us on social media.
And that’s all the news for this month.
We hope you enjoy your fall season as you “taste” and “drink” its influences.
Happy October, everyone! Take a big bite.