Getting holiday Ready

Thanksgiving was late this year so it’s feeling like a tighter holiday season. I’ve been inundated with samples to try and finally seeing the end of the (tasty) tunnel.

Wine for your dining…
Seven Falls Cellars in Paterson, Washington sent me a case of some of their most popular wines. I have to say I liked them all, especially since they have a price point around $20.

The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a quality cabernet sauvignon at a $22.99 price. It’s starts with the familiar black cherry and ends in smoke and spice.

Seven Falls Cellars Merlot (2014) is more flavorful for my taste, when you add in the black raspberry and currant, and a finish with a hint of cocoa.

The 2015 Rapids Red is filled with red fruit, with just a little spice on the back. I could actually take this wine warmed with some cinnamon or nutmeg, or a full set of mulling spices, to drink in front of the fire.

Although I prefer my chardonnay unoaked, the Seven Cellars 2016 is the red lovers white. It’s bold and buttery, with an oaky vanilla.

Canned Wine with a twist…
Don’t worry about flipping that metal open to drink this wine. ICAN has a unique can: it’s a reusable, insulated can, resembling a bottle, with a twist top.

I love the design and the fact that it can be reused for wine, water, or anything you’d like. The wine also happens to be pretty good because it’s produced by an established winery, Mercer Wine in Washington State.

I was sent the current options: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, and Red. Although Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite wine, I liked that one the least as it tasted a bit watery.

I thought the others were really good – especially the Rose. The Chardonnay had a light frizzante, which made it even more tasty.  I also loved how the cans kept the wine cold.

A most unusual cordial…
I’ve had some unusual spirits over the years, and Somrus Chai Liqueur tops the list. I wasn’t really sure what to think of a chai liqueur, but I’m always willing to give liquor a chance. I’m glad I did.

I found this cordial to be a bit spicy and very creamy. Although the taste is nothing, I can describe beyond a super-rich chai latte at 27 proof. The Indian spices, especially the cardamom, are very obvious, and it’s made with real cream.

I don’t believe in taking a perfectly mastered cordial and doing anything other than sipping it, but there are some fascinating recipes on their website.

A new offering from an old favorite…
Just in time for Christmas, Bailey’s Irish Cream has a very appropriate new liqueur - Red Velvet. I was thrilled to get a bottle of this one and gathered some friends to give it a try. It is even better than we expected.

Bailey’s Irish Cream has always been known for its natural flavors, and the Red Velvet is no different. You’ll taste that dark chocolate, cream cheese, and butter, with a smooth and sweet finish.

It’s delectable by itself (cold or on the rocks) or added to coffee or hot chocolate.
The folks at Bailey’s seemed to agree with my assessment that a cordial doesn’t need to be a cocktail, however, it has become popular in recipes (like the ultimate red velvet cupcakes). We finished my bottle before I had a chance to do any baking, but it’s certainly worth considering.

You’ll want to pick up a bottle (or maybe two) of Bailey’s Red Velvet Irish Cream for the holiday season.


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