Tag Archives: Holidays

Make Your Holidays Sparkle With These Cocktails ~ Pear Prosecco Cocktail+ Raspberry Prosecco Christmas Punch

During the holidays I spend an inordinate amount of time in the grocery stores…Most of that time is spent wrestling with plastic bags ~ trying to open them ~ in the fresh produce section!   Today I asked the lady that was working in the produce section how to open the bag. She told me a little trick. She said “Rub your fingers on a cucumber or some produce that has wax on it and then the wax on your fingers will help you open the bag easily.” I tried it and it works. Of course I would end up purchasing the cucumber,  but until I find a better solution…please let me know any tricks you all have up your sleeve to open these tenacious bags.

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blog cocktail

Pear and Prosecco Cocktail

My bubbly friend Cindy treated me to lunch to celebrate the holidays. She served this lovely cocktail which was absolutely fabulous!  Instead of using the traditional Barlett pears, she substituted Asian pears. The fun thing about Asian pears is that they are always ripe. They are picked at the perfect stage of ripeness so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you pluck them from the market.

Cindy purchases Asian Pears from Virginia Gold Orchard which is a fun day trip from Roanoke, Virginia:  http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com

The original recipe for the Pear and Prosecco Cocktail is a Southern Living Christmas Cookbook recipe.

Serves 6

Pear simple syrup:

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup finely chopped peeled pear (or Asian Pear)

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup (2 ounces) pear liqueur

Ingredients to finish the cocktail:

6 thin pear slices (or Asian pear slices) Cindy put the pear slices in the pear simple syrup to keep them from turning brown while she prepared our cocktails.

1 (750-milliliter) bottle prosecco, chilled

Combine water, chopped pear, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.  Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a measuring cup; discard solids.  Stir in liqueur. Divide evenly among 6 champagne flutes. Place 1 pear slice in each glass, and top with prosecco.

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water

Cindy also served sparkling water with fresh cranberries and rosemary ~ refreshing and delicious!

Prosecco Raspberry Christmas Punch

Serves 4

The citrus spice sugar mixture requires it to sit overnight to infuse the citrus spice flavors into the sugar.

6 tablespoons fine sugar

Peel of one Meyer lemon

Peel of two Mandarin oranges

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

6 ounces fresh raspberries + (reserve a few of the raspberries to use for garnish)

1/2 cup gin

1.5  ounces blood orange liqueur

1.5  ounces Cointreau

1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice

1 bottle Prosecco

Citrus peel twists for garnish

Ice

In a small container with a tight-fitting lid combine the sugar, lemon and Mandarin orange peels, cinnamon stick and star anise.  Seal the container and refrigerate overnight. Turn the container over several times while it is in the refrigerator to mix the sugar, spice and citrus.

Place raspberries in cocktail shaker. Muddle raspberries with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add gin and stir gently.  Add citrus sugar mixture, lemon juice, Cointreau and blood orange liqueur. Fill shaker with ice and shake to combine all ingredients.  Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Add prosecco and stir gently.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve in champagne flutes garnished with raspberries and citrus peel twists.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays And Best Wishes For A Bright New Year!

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Sparkling Wines For Holiday Celebrations ~ $30 Or Less

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There are times when only the best will do and that’s the time for special pricey champagnes. Other times, when entertaining large groups of people or mixing bubbly drinks, less expensive sparkling wines are a better choice.  It is in that spirit that I present to you sparkling wines under $30 for the holidays…

…Best Sparkling For Sipping…

Perfectly lovely bubbly to have on hand for last-minute guests or a hostess gift.

Blend of 68% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. Soft and balanced with apple, pear and citrus flavors.  $20 – $25 range.

champagne toast

gloria

Gloria Ferrer has been my “house sparkling wine” forever. I can always count on her to be a bubbly delight.  91% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay. Pear and green apple notes. $23 range.

Gloria will be the perfect choice to create these lovely sparkling cocktails featured in Food and Wine Magazine:  http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/sparkling-wine-cocktails#4  The Marasca Fizz  sounds especially delicious and festive. This Champagne cocktail is served with pitted sweet cherries soaked in an anise-infused syrup.

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.

Benjamin Franklin
Domaina Carneros was founded by the Taittinger family of Champagne, France. This lovely sparkling wine is made in the Méthode Traditionnelle.
Lots of tiny bubbles dancing in the glass. Notes of pear, Meyer lemon and brioche. $30 range.

…for Toasting…

A delightful sparkling wine from Oregon…Argyle 2014 Vintage Brut. Delightful sparkling brut produced in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.   65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Meunier. Notes of ripe pear, fig and roast hazelnut. Balanced with a long finish. $29 range.

Piper

60% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier. Notes of apple, toast, peach and crisp citrus flavors. $20 range.

willm sparkling wine

WillmCrémantd’Alsace Blanc de Noirs Brut.  Cremant d’Alsace is the appellation for the sparkling wines of the Alsace wine region of north-eastern France. The methodetraditionelle is used to make this bubbly.  100% pinot noir grapes. Nice and light (for a pinot noir) but has a good taste structure, apple and citrus notes.  $20 price range.

Rosé

Aimery

Aimery Crémant Brut Rosé!
‘Crémant’ sparkling wines are made using the same method as Champagne. Ribbons of bubbles and sparkling notes of berries just like your favorite champagne, without breaking the bank. Delicate, fresh with a long, mouth-filling finish. The color of this sparkling blushes just slightly and tiny bubbles consistently rise to the top of glass. Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar: http://mrbillswinecellar.com/
This bubbly makes a lovely holiday hostess gift. $17 range.

McBride Sisters

NEW ZEALAND SPARKLING WINE!

McBride Sisters Brut Rosé

Notes of raspberry and toast with a creamy finish.  $25 range.

tazmanian-champagne

Jansz Tasmania is a pioneer of deluxe sparkling wine in Australia. Jansz is made by the méthode champenoise.   Jansz Rosé ~ pale salmon in color, with a fine bead, this wine has a rich floral bouquet of strawberries with a soft and creamy palate. Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar: http://mrbillswinecellar.com  $26 range.

Best Bubbly for Mimosas, Punches and Cocktails 

mimosa strawberry

cristalino

When the occasion calls for “massive amounts of mimosas” ~ when every friend and relative converge on your house for holiday frivolity ~ a less expensive but reliable bubbly is the answer.  Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava.  $10 range.

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This bubbly Cava is produced by the same winery that gives us Gloria Ferrer, one of my favorite sparkling wines:  https://www.gloriaferrer.com/carneros-winery

The perfect casual sparkling sipper…from Catalonia, Spain. 100% Chardonnay grapes.  A bubbly value…$10 range.  Lots of fun bubbles. Notes of baked apple with just a touch of lemon. Available on-line. I also found this Cava locally at Tinnell’s in Roanoke, Virginia. http://tinnells.com

Happy Holidays!

You are invited to visit my Facebook page: Bubblybee

Please follow me on Instagram: bubblybeeboop

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Chocolate Goes With Wine!

Today, October 28, 2016,  is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!  In anticipation of this delicious day I sauntered downtown to find some fabulous chocolate…

elisMy first stop was Eli’s Provisions right in the heart of the market…one of my favorite places to purchase products made in Virginia. They were sponsoring a wine – featuring Virginia wines available at Eli’s – and chocolate tasting.  https://www.facebook.com/elisprovisionsroanoke

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Virginia is for chocolate lovers too!

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Pictured above chocolate samples from Chocolate Paper, Downtown Roanoke. This adorable store gets its name because they sell chocolate and greeting cards (plus lots of gifts that are perfect for any occasion).

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Melissa, one of the owners of Chocolate Paper offered us samples of chocolate to pair with our wine. She is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet…is she so sweet because she owns a chocolate store or does she own a chocolate store because she is so sweet….hmmmm…

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Our first pairing was Veritas Chardonnay (unoaked) with Graffiti Zoo, Tropical Tucan...creamy white chocolate with a tropical twist of pineapple and macadamia nut.  Melissa said that she really likes citrus paired with unoaked chardonnay and she is right, this pairing is decadent.

Veritas Winery, Charlottesville, Virginia:

http://www.veritaswines.com/

xxo-wine

Our next taste of wine was Blanco XOCO ~ grape wine with natural flavoring added.  We did not pair it with chocolate because the chocolate flavor was already infused into the wine! Sweet white wine made with Rkatsiteli and Vidal Blanc grapes and chocolate essence.

One of the guests at the wine tasting said that she would make a “Tres Vinos Cake” like a “Tres Leches Cake” except instead of soaking the cake in Tres Leches she would soak the cake in the Blanco XOCO! I like how this lady thinks and may have to try this sometime!

Horton Vineyard, Gordonsville, Virginia:

http://hortonwine.com/

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Our third tasting was Trump Meritage paired with a Lindt Bittersweet chocolate which was a delightful combination. One of my favorite pairings is dark chocolate with a bold red wine.

Trump winery, Charlottesville, Virginia:

http://www.trumpwinery.com/

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Our last sip was Chateau Morrisette 2011 Heritage After Dinner Red Wine.

Winemaker’s Notes: Entrancing aromas of plum and black cherry presage the intensely fruity entry, layered with the character of black tea, baking spices, vanilla and cocoa. The texture of this deep ruby colored full-bodied wine is silky and emollient; lingering aromas will persist on the palate. Like all Port-style wines, heritage is fortified and finished sweet.

Chateau Morrisette Winery, Floyd, Virginia

http://www.thedogs.com/

My last bite was a Asher’s Raspberry Cream. Asher’s is made by a family owned business in Pennsylvania.  Another reason to love Asher’s chocolates…they have a chocolate blog!!!

http://www.ashers.com/blog/

Halloween and Thanksgiving  Chocolate Goodies Abound At Chocolate Paper!

chocolate-bar-with-candy-corn-1peeps-2

Candy corn chocolate bar and Peeps!

pumpkin-1Beautifully crafted milk chocolate pumpkins!

turkey-1Cute little chocolate turkey!

Whenever I stroll through our downtown market I find delightful handcrafted goodies such as these beautifully crafted gourds…

gourd-1

Happy Hokies! Virginia Tech Basket handmade out of a gourd!  Created by The Gourdian Angels, Goodview Virginia. I found this beautiful basket on the market in Downtown Roanoke.

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halloween-gourd-1

Happy Halloween!

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