Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée is a blanc de noirs style California sparkling wine, meaning the pale wine is made from dark skinned grapes - pinot noir in this case.
In case you hadn’t noticed, May wedding season is in full bloom. Champagne and sparkling wine are classic beverages for this celebratory season, but few seem as appropriate as Iron Horse’s Wedding Cuvée. The peachy pink wine is ideal whether you’re looking for a wedding toast or a sparkling wine to give as a wedding present along with a pair of champagne futes. Crafted from pinot noir grapes with a hint of chardonnay, the Wedding Cuvée has a soft richness to it with a hint of fruit at the end.
Joy Sterling, who runs her family’s winery, says she always loves the moment when she pours Wedding Cuvée at tastings. “Everywhere I go I meet people who became engaged over it, had it at their wedding, in the delivery room and for anniversaries,” Sterling says. I like sipping it on its own, but the wine also shines with salmon in a spring preparation with morel mushrooms and wild spring onions. It would also be delicious with lighter pork dishes or this soup made from the wild onions called ramps Epicurious.com. Sterling says she enjoys it with bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa content – she swears the combination is like eating chocolate-covered strawberries.
Iron Horse's open air tasting over looking the vineyards is the scene for the new After Hours Friday wine and food pairing. (Photo Ion Horse Vineyards)
If you happen to find yourself with a free Friday afternoon in Sonoma County, then reserve a spot for Iron Horse’s After Hours, a new happy hour with wine and food pairings. It’s available for up to 30 people from 5:30 to 7 p.m. every Friday through October. To make a reservation, contact tasting room manager Lisa Macek at (707)887-1507 or email her at email@example.com.
Raspberry wine mingles with champagne in this sexy cocktail.
When Valentine’s Day approaches, the sexiest thing you can serve is a cocktail that stars sparkling wine or champagne. The combination of hearing the cork popping and the tickly bubbles seem to inspire romance.
Whether raspberry makes your heart flutter or you prefer the sophisticated and subtle flavor of roses, you’ll find that both my Raspberry Royale and Vintage Rose cocktails delightful. These are exactly the kind of fun and creative drink recipes you’ll find in my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion being released this summer by Clarkson Potter.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 ounce Trader Joe’s Raspberry Wine
4 to 5 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling wine
1 lemon twist
1 fresh or frozen raspberry
Add raspberry wine to a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne or sparkling wine. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to release the oils and then drop it in. Add the raspberry and serve.
Cafe Chloe infuses simple syrup with organic rose petals to make this syrup.
The Vintage Rose cocktail features a lovely rose-infused simple syrup created in the kitchen of Cafe Chloe in San Diego’s East Village. If you can’t get there to buy your own bottle, then take simple syrup and add rose water from a Middle Eastern grocery until you have a flavor you like. By the way, rose has long been regarded an aphrodisiac; its essence actually helps calm the body.
Vintage Rose Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail
3/4 ounce rose syrup
4 to 5 ounces chilled sparkling wine or champagne
lemon twist (Meyer if possble)
organic rose petal (optional)
Add the rose syrup to a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to release the oils and then drop it int the flute. Add an organic rose petal if you’ve got one handy.
Serve them in your favorite flutes, I’m currently in love with the vintage-y Horta champagne flutes that are a steal in my opinion for $12 apiece from Anthropologie.com.
A twist of Meyer lemon mimics the lemony fragrance of my favorite lavender roses.