Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Summer Cocktail, The Winejito


Those hot summer days and nights call for a light & refreshing cocktail. The Winejito is a twist on the popular Mojito, which is made with rum or gin. Wine cocktails are becoming very popular even in restaurants because many customers do not want to consume a high alcohol content spirit or do not enjoy the taste of them. This cocktail uses crisp sauvignon blanc, fresh mint & limes, cool and sparkly Italian Limonata, and a hint of sweet agave nectar. You can make a single glass or whip up a pitcher for a night on the patio with friends or the perfect picnic. We experimented making this recipe using sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot grigio. The sauvignon blanc was the winning combination. It tastes just like a mojito, but better in our opinion! 


Ingredients

2 Limes
6 Fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chilled Sauvingnon Blanc
1/4 cup San Pellegrino Limonata or club soda 
(The Limonite just gives it the spot on Mojito taste)
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Ice

Directions

*In a cocktail shaker mule the lime, mint, and agave together. 
You do not need a fancy tool, we used a ice cream scooper.

*Add ice & the chilled Sauvingnon Blanc and shake.

*Pour in a wine glass and then top it off with the Limonata

*Add more mint and a lime wedge






The Perfect Picnic


"It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine. It's Summertime." - Kenny Chesney

The sun is out, the temperature is up, it’s summertime which is excellent picnic weather. Planning the perfect picnic doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming. We’re here to show you how to have the perfect hassle free picnic in no time at all. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, FUN!!

The perfect picnic begins with selecting a good location. You can have your outing at the beach, a local park, or get creative and find a flat rooftop with an amazing view. If you don’t feel like traveling, just open the back door and picnic in your backyard. Also if you think picnics are strictly for daytime, guess again! Break the rules, try something a little different and eat outside under the stars.

Now that you’ve picked a location we can focus on my favorite part, FOOD, and DRINKS!!! When trying to decide on which delectable goodies to make, you’ll want dishes that travel well, can be prepared ahead of time, served at room temperature, or chilled. Food that can be held in your hand or only call for a fork is definitely a plus. A few appetizer suggestions: nuts, a cheese tray, or summer fruits.  Sandwiches made with hearty baguette bread, pasta or tuna salad, or fried chicken are great for the main dish. Cheesecake in a jar, brownies, cake pops, or seasonal fruit and dip are just a few dessert ideas.

Nothing goes better with a picnic than wine.  When choosing a wine look for tasty options with alcohol content 12% and under.  You wouldn’t want anybody to pass out while day drinking afterward. JOKES! On a more serious note, rather than risk forgetting the corkscrew, why not try canned wine which is becoming increasingly popular.  Our pick for the summer is Barefoot's Canned Wine Spritzer. It's convenient, fizzy, and light. With fun flavors like summer red, crisp white, and red sangria, it's the perfect on-the-go picnic option.

If a larger group is heading out for a picnic, another option would be boxed wine. Most boxed wines serve about 10 glasses of wine per box and don't worry, it does not taste cheap. There are excellent box wine choices. Our favorite is Beso Del Sol's White Sangria. Beso Del Sol also carries individually boxed wines called tetra packs. They are equivalent to 3 glasses of wine in one single serving. Many wines are now being sold in non-glass packaging, which works when you head out to an outdoor concert that doesn't allow glass bottles.

If you're having a picnic close to home or in the backyard, whip up a light and refreshing wine cocktail that you can serve in a pitcher. Try our winejito. Click to learn how to make this easy recipe.

Last but not least how about a few games to pass the time when having fun in the sun.  Play a game of Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid, or Trivia.  Get those hips moving with a hula hoop contest or have a sack race.  Bring a coloring book or blow bubbles.  Whatever you do, Summertime is the perfect time to sit back, unwind, have a picnic and create lifelong memories.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Merlot Chocolate Sauce

Indulge this Valentine's Day with a wine chocolate sauce sure to satisfy the tastebuds. This simple 3-ingredient sauce is so easy to make, it can be whipped up in no time. All you need is butter, red wine, and chocolate.


The sauce was silky and smooth, and we could smell the aroma of merlot as we dipped our strawberries in the sauce. We indulged even more by sipping on the merlot, which added to the flavor of the sauce.




We found Opera Prima Merlot on sale for only $2.49 at our local grocery store. All the items were on 
sale, including the Belgian dark chocolate. Enjoying wine and treating yourself to new things does not have to be expensive. 









The wine chocolate sauce is also the perfect touch to a date night. Grab skewers and dip different fruits and marshmallows. We can't lie to you, it was so good we started using our fingers. Not to go too far into detail, we will keep it PG, you and your date can really get creative. 


  Ingredients
3 tbsp's butter
3 tbsp's red wine
6 ounces of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips


Directions 
In a non-stick sauce pan, combine all 3 ingredients. Stir over low heat until melted. Make sure you attend to the chocolate, it will melt fast. (Ouch, we burned the 1st batch)!!!

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Wine Day Trip to Grafton, IL.

On a crisp fall Sunday afternoon, 3 Ladies on a Vine jumped in the car and took the 45 minute drive to the river town of Grafton, IL. Although Grafton is less than an hour away from St. Louis, it still transported us to another world. As we drove through the scenic road to Grafton, we were surrounded by the river and the bluffs topped with fall foliage. There was a light drizzle and the sun wasn't shining, but the simplistic beauty of nature reminded us to take a moment to appreciate it.

As soon as we drove into the small river town, we saw quaint gift and ice cream shops, bars, and restaurants. You could park your car and walk the river road to explore what is has to offer.

Our first stop was Grafton Harbor. This floating winery sits right on the water and it can be reached by boat, foot or car. We were greeted by a welcoming smile and we quickly started our wine tasting. Their wines are maritime themed, which are really fun; but what we really enjoyed was the take away aerated wine glass that rocks back and forth. All the wines were tasty!

We topped our visit off at Grafton Harbor with an amazing wine slush
Right across the street from Grafton Harbor was Grafton Winery and Brewhaus. It is not on the water
but the river is in clear view. Grafton Winery is very spacious and has a gift shop, large patio and restaurant. A string trio was playing and the restaurant was bustling with people. We loved the tokens to keep track of your wine tastings. The pours were generous and one of us couldn't finish their five tastings! Grafton Winery had a excellent wine selection and we really enjoyed the music and atmosphere. If it wasn't raining, we would have definitely took advantage of the large wrap around patio. 



In order to get to our 3rd winery, we either had to drive up the hill, or catch at ride on the Aerie's Winery shuttle at the bottom of the hill. We chose to take the shuttle, and as soon as we got to the top, the breathtaking view appears. We could see the city of Grafton, the river, and the bluffs, it was a brief moment of serenity. We also found out that Aerie's Winery has cabins and event space for rent. The tastings were really reasonable at $1 a tasting. Aerie's Winery is must see for the amazing view!

After all the wine and walking, we were famished. We decided to head back to Grafton Harbor, which is also home to Grafton Oyster Bar. OMG, it was soooo good. They prepare creole inspired dishes that are literally mouthwatering. The shrimp and grits was the crowd favorite. Take a look at our video below to see what else we chose to eat and our fun time in Grafton, IL. 

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

So Medieval - A Game of Thrones Party

If you haven't heard of Game of Thrones then you must have come from medieval times, no pun intended. This HBO drama series is on it's 7th season and is based off the fantasy novels of author George Martin.  Episodes have reached ratings of over 10 million viewers from around the world and it's growing by the day.

Game of Thrones is a medieval fantasy about two powerful families trying to gain control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and sit atop the Iron Throne. To gain control, the characters must show extreme heroism and battle for survival. Fans enjoy the show because the families play a deadly game of treachery to get to the top, and no main character is safe. The show is intriguing due to the countless plot twists and sub-plots, which keep you on the edge of your seat. Episodes are also filled with murder, plotting, sex, violence, witchcraft, dragons, sword play, and lots of wine drinking, our favorite part!


Die hard fans of the show are now throwing their own Game of Throne's parties. It's impressive the grand spreads and decorations that fans come up with. By no means do you have to spend tons of money on the party decorations. We made a quick run to Dollar Tree & Goodwill and spent around $10 on decorations. Being that it's so close to Halloween, we found the knight shield, armor hat, and sword in the Halloween section at Dollar Tree and our total came to $3.00. We then went to Goodwill and found the wicker baskets, skull, brass bowl, cup, and candle holder. The vines are real and are growing by our house.

For the food, you want it to look medieval, although most people in the medieval times were poor and ate a lot of barely; in the show you see characters eating fruit, nuts, cheese, game meat, and bread. The possibilities are endless depending on how much time you have. We used whole fruit to make it look more realistic, blocks of cheese, nuts, olives, bread, and olive oil.

Now to the best part, the wine! According to research, people in medieval times enjoyed lots of wine. Many of their wine selections were based on personal health. They were very selective of what wine to drink with each meal. According to medivalists.net, "it was believed that all things were made up of four qualities - hot, dry, cold, and wet - and to maintain good health your meals and drinks had to balance those levels in your body." For instance, if you were eating a cold fish, you will need to be drinking a hot wine. Before researching, we assumed all medieval wines were dry wines, but they enjoyed everything from red, white, sweet, dry, weak, and strong. They saved sweet wines for special occasions and drunk in small quantities.

We suggest a Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon for the Game of Throne's party, which goes well with intense cheeses and meats. Also, try our hot mulled wine recipe and serve it in a brass caldron. If serving dessert, serve a sweet riesling or a moscato d'asti.

The possibilities are endless, just let your creativity flow. It's not to late to catch up on all the episodes of this epic medieval fantasy, HBO has all previous seasons ready for binge watching and lots of wine drinking.

Please share with us what you like about Game of Thrones in the comment section below! Follow us on Twitter & Instagram & please subscribe.