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Nov 22, 2021

Wine is essential to the Thanksgiving meal, and of course we discuss some pairing strategies as we do every year. Our quick “greatest hits” is from the TV spot I did with WWLP in Massachusetts, where I discussed wine pairing – check it out here: 

After we do a review, the focus of this show is how to wow the crowd with easy wine cocktails. You can use what you have on hand or grab a few basic items and you'll become the holiday host of the season. We talk about these marvelous cocktails, with tips on how to make them, but as promised the links to the recipes are below.


1. Apple Cider Mimosa: The key to this one is to make sure you rim the glass with sugar and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. It’s not hard to add sparkling wine to apple cider, but the festive rim with it’s delicious spices will make the drink shine. Here’s the link to the recipe: :


2. Cranberry Mimosa: A variation on a theme, this time you want to use a little less cranberry juice and more sparkling wine to ensure the blend doesn’t taste too tart or bitter. Again, the key to a delicious drink is going to be the sugar-rimmed glass. Recipe:


3. Kir/Kir Royale: A classic wine cocktail from Burgundy, this couldn’t be easier to make. No recipe needed – 2 parts Aligoté, Chablis, or an unoaked, fairly neutral wine with excellent acidity, to 1 part Crème de Cassis (dark red liqueur from blackcurrants) and you’re in business. If you want to go nuts, go for the Kir Royale and use Champagne or sparkling wine instead of dry white! 

Photo: Kir Royale from Pixabay


4. The New York Sour: According to, this drink has been around for at least 140 years (and they claim that despite the name, it originated in Chicago!). It’s a spin on a Whiskey Sour – the classic with rye or bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and, for a touch of salmonella, a raw egg white. This drink is the same ingredients, but after the Whiskey Sour is shaken and poured, you very slowly pour red wine on top and you get a pretty looking red wine float, which also adds some great fruitiness and acidity to the drink. Here are details:

Photo: Unsplash

5. Hot Spiced Wine: I love this recipe because it include kirsch/cherry brandy. The base of the drink is red wine and kirsch but the get and go is all about the spices you add – peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and various citrus zest make this wine cocktail really sing. A perfect wine for a cold, fall day. And you can make a huge vat of it ahead of time and reheat it for guests! Check out the recipe here:



6. Murderer’s Row: I know I should have introduced this one for Halloween, but the fact that this cocktail includes Port, and I really love the idea of serving Port with dessert (but I understand you may not want a lot left over!), makes it an MVP for a big holiday meal. Crush up blackberries, then grab some Port, bourbon, lemon juice, pear juice, and simple syrup, shake it up and you will be the hero of the night…and feel free to rename the cocktail to (YOUR NAME HERE) Row! Recipe:

Photo: Unsplash

7. The Paysan from the now closed restaurant, Poste in Washington, D.C.: As I say in the show, Chambord with anything pretty much wins the day for me. This wine cocktail is like a dream come true – fruity red, cranberry juice, orange juice and Chambord with zests of various citrus fruits and BAM! A delicious wine cocktail is born. Here is the link to the recipe:


8. The Francophile: I have no idea why the recipe here calls for Rioja when it’s called the Francophile so I’ve changed it to incorporate Bordeaux (Merlot-based, basic Bordeaux is perfect. It should have some tannin and acidity to offset the brandy). This is another variation of mulled wine, this time with Calvados, the apple-brandy that is an AOC and is required to be aged in oak before it’s released. You can go high rent or get another apple brandy, but either way, the combo of Calvados, Bordeaux, cinnamon simple syrup ,and lemon juice heated up will make you the hostess with the mostess/host with the most. Here is the recipe:

Photo: Unsplash


Happy Thanksgiving or happy fall – either way, we are grateful to you for listening and for your support!!



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