Wine Wednesday: Freixenet helps couples ring in the holiday season

Ahhhh, with just a few days to Christmas, here are a few bubbly cocktails from Freixenet to create wonderfully unexpected good times. Freixenet is one of the most renowned and largest cava houses in Spain, similar to France’s Moet & Chandon, but Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine and not Champagne.  Only products produced in France, well in Champagne can truly be called Champagnes.  All else are sparkling wine.

No matter what you call it, below are a few holiday inspired cocktails and what goes better with a sparkling wine than great, fun food. Make sure you check out the food pairing and save me some Fondue.

On a personal note, you all have made Wine Wednesday such a success!  For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart and overflowing glass. This will be the last Wine Wednesday post until 2011.  Believe me, there are a few great new ideas and food pairings on the horizon.  As I always wish you great things, loads of fun, don’t forget to drink responsibly.

Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

Poinsettia
1/2 oz. Orange liqueur
3 oz. Cranberry juice cocktail
4-5 oz. Freixenet Carta Nevada cava
Chilled orange wedge

In a highball glass or sparkling wine flute, squeeze orange wedge, mix liqueur and cranberry juice. Add cava and stir gently. Garnish with a lime twist.

Arctic Kiss
2 oz. Royalty Vodka
3 oz. Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

Chill vodka over ice if it has not been stored in the freezer. Pour into a chilled cava flute and fill with Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut cava

Red Christmas
7/10 Freixenet Rosado Brut
3/10 Cranberry liquor

Pour the cranberry liquor into a flute glass and fill with the chilled cava.

Red Velvet
3/4 oz. Pomegranate Syrup (Monin)
1/2 oz. Fresh Sour
3 1/2 oz. Freixenet Carta Nevada

Mix together in a 10 oz. (chilled) Martini glass (no ice). Garnish with lemon zest.

3 Cheese Fondue

Ingredients
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup Cordon Negro Brut sparkling wine
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
1 1/3 cups grated Emmenthal cheese
3 oz Camembert cheese
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground pepper
Baquette, cubed

Directions
Stir cornstarch and lemon juice in small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; set aside. Combine wine and shallot in fondue pot or heavy medium saucepan; simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Add all cheeses and stir to combine. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Return fondue pot to medium heat and stir until cheeses are melted and smooth and fondue thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Season fondue with nutmeg and white pepper. Place over candle or canned heat burner to keep warm. Serve with bread cubes.

Brunch Berry Shortcakes

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into small bits
2/3 cup milk
4 to 6 cups assorted sliced or small whole berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries
1 ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar.

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F.

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk; mix in just until dough holds together. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 8-10 times. Gently roll out dough about ¾ inch thick. Using a 2 ½ inch round cutter, cut out 6 biscuits. Place biscuits on un-greased baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes, until browned. Remove to a cooling rack. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and brown sugar. Sever biscuits warm, split and topped with berries and sweetened yogurt. 6 to 8 servings.

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