Thank you CK Mondavi Wines for sponsoring today’s recipe! As always, all opinions are my own.
I didn’t plan to be MIA all week, you guys. Things just got extremely busy with the holiday hustle – like seriously busy. But in a good way! We had our annual Christmas par-tay, at Casa de Crews last weekend. It was extra special, because we forewent our ugly sweaters, for cocktail attire to celebrate the end of Jason’s law school ‘career’! It was a great night from beginning to end.
And last night, Jason graduated from Stetson Law School! I am seriously so proud of him. Four years of full-time work, part-time classes, a wife, a new (to us) home, etc…my guy inspires me all the time. It’s definitely been a journey for us both, and while he still needs to prepare for the bar exam, I am so excited this long chapter is now over.
So naturally, one party with friends last weekend wasn’t enough. Of course not – have you met me? This weekend, we’ll host my family, Jason’s family, and a small group of close friends for a celebratory dinner! I feel a little insane to cook a meal for twenty-five people, but also proud to feed everyone and fill our home during the holidays with these times. I’ll sleep when I’m dead, right?
I’m also excited to share that I am now a Brand Ambassador for CK Mondavi Wines! I just love their story, and its beginnings. Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, Italian immigrants, and now their sons….and their sons sons. They are a third (and now fourth) generation, 100% American grown.
They have a love for good food, good wine, and family around the table. Honestly, as easy as it is for me to get caught up in my own head about things in life being perfect, at the core, that is what it is all about for me. Truly. And it’s something I need to remind myself on the regular, because with distractions like Pinterest, Insta, etc, it’s easy to feel like maybe you’re not living your perfect life…but no one is. It really is all about family, the friends whom you call family (framily), and fond memories.
When I first received my CK Mondavi Wines, I thought I’d share a recipe to pair with their Chardonnay. I was thinking something with Brie cheese. But then I remembered two things: I have already shared two brie recipes this season, and brie cheese is pretty delish, all on its own. It’s a great way to begin a holiday shindig; wine, and cheese. HELLO. And right now, if you look for CK Mondavi’s special holiday tags, you’ll snag $1 off PRÉSIDENT® Brie, $1 off RONDELÉ® BY PRÉSIDENT® and $1 off any crackers – through January 31, 2017.
So then I thought, what about sangria? I’ve shared several sangria recipes this year, and so I almost didn’t go for it. Except, I don’t have anything in a red, and also my family loves sangria. And since entertaining for the masses that is my large family is what is currently on my mind, a Red Winter Sangria it is!
This sangria reminds me of a mulled cider in some ways. I used a lot of the same spices; cinnamon, star anise, and honey. Instead of my usual vodka for a white sangria, I opted to use brandy, though you may also use a spiced rum, if you prefer.
CK Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon, was the perfect choice for this drink. It’s dry, and sweet, and will compliment the oranges, apples, and spices I mixed in. Since Cabernet Sauvignon also pairs well with hearty pastas, this sangria is a no-brainer for me. Did I mention I was making lasagna tomorrow? FOUR. I’m making four pans of lasagna (two with meat, two without for our vegetarian friends attending). Who would like to come help me prep? I’ll pay you in
If you’d rather sip your cab by the glass, feel free to make a pitcher of this Red Winter Sangria using Scarlet Five, instead.
- 2 bottles CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
- ¾ cup brandy (or spiced rum will also work)
- 3 cups club soda
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp star anise, plus extra for garnish (optional)
- 2 cups fall/winter fruit of choice (I used green apples, oranges, pear)
- cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
- Combine all ingredients into a pitcher. Mix well. Allow at least 2 hours to chill before serving.
- When ready to serve, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and star anise, if desired.
- Will make one large pitcher, making 13-15 glasses.
…and enter to win a wine country weekend in Napa by texting CKMONDAVI to 31279 (The deadline to enter is 12/31/16).