Few things are more controversial in the South than libations. It’s certainly not uncommon for people to be on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to imbibing, and I know convincing people to believe otherwise on the issue is about as effective as digging a hole with a wet noodle. But as this month of thankfulness cruises on, I can’t help but be thankful for wine, no matter what the popular opinion may be.
Wine is our family trade. It puts food on our table and keeps a roof over our heads. It clothes my children, puts gas in my car, and allows us a career that flexes with life’s challenges and opportunities. Many times, it’s our currency, helping us to be able to afford things that would normally be out of reach for us. There are so many wonderful friends, family and neighbors who willingly work for wine when we need help bringing in the harvest, bottling, or just need an extra set of hands. We are thankful for each and every one.
The thing I love the most about being in the wine business is seeing the joy that the winery brings people. As soon as a guest walks in the door of our little winery set in the middle of the woods, all of their troubles melt away. They are just so happy to be there, charmed by the ambiance and delighted by the wine itself. No one walks into a winery angry and they certainly aren’t upset when they leave. It doesn’t take much, just a smidgeon, for wine to ease the tension and lighten the mood of a first date, a visit from the in-laws, a mother/daughter trip, or even a holiday table. So, spike the cranberry salad, and lighten the holiday mood…in moderation, of course.
- 1 -16 oz. package fresh cranberries
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 – 3 oz. package raspberry Jello
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¾ cup sweet red wine
- 1 cup whipped cream (homemade or store-bought)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Combine the cranberries and the orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the cranberries have popped and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a measuring cup, reserving the solids. Add enough warm water to the cranberry- orange juice to make 1 cup. In a bowl, whisk together the cranberry- orange juice, Jello and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the wine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until the mixture begins to thicken. Fold in the whipped cream, reserved cranberry solids, and the nuts. Pour into a serving dish. Return to the fridge for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Serve and enjoy!