Category Archives: Dessert Wines

October’s Wine Cocktail: Caramel Apple Sangria

First real weekend in October. Leaves are starting to turn colors. There’s a chill in the air. Perhaps a sweater or two being broken out. Got a long holiday weekend ahead of you? Canadian Thanksgiving? Columbus Day? Perhaps just looking forward to hanging with friends around the fire pit? Already looking forward to Halloween? Whatever your reason to celebrate, chances are you’re looking for a new “sip”. My suggestion? Caramel apple sangria!

Wine cocktails are still a big deal and this is one you can enjoy now through Halloween as a grown up treat…and even past it to provide a fun “adult dessert drink” to finish off your Thanksgiving feasts.

Grab yourself a bottle of your favorite white…something that has some fruit to it…not anything with a heavily oaky quality. You can use anything from an unoaked or LIGHTLY oaked Chardonnay (look for something that has an apple flavor component), to a Pinot Grigio…or go the sweeter route…Rieslings, Moscato d’Asti, Vidal Blanc…even apple wines themselves!

Okay, you’ve made your wine selection. Now grab yourself a pitcher and put together the following:

2-3 apples, cored and chopped- I don’t recommend anything terribly tart. Golden Delicious is a good choice here. Place on the bottom of your pitcher.

Coat with 1/4-1/2 cup of caramel syrup, depending on how sweet you like things.

Next, pour in your selected bottle of wine, 3- 4 cups of apple cider, 1 cup of vodka (regular, caramel…heck, get creative and go with glazed doughnut flavor if you want!), and add a couple of cinnamon sticks (if you like). Stir it up, chill for 30 minutes and VOILA! Your kids may not need to worry about you raiding their candy stash after all.

Enjoy the weekend! Let me know what you think, or if you have a variation.




Around the Wine World For Under $20: Australia’s Sweetheart of a Tawny

I admit it, I’ve been in a rather foul mood as of late. Too much studying, packing, working, and cleaning makes your Corked Cowgirl more of a surly She-Devil. Just a few days before I take a big wine exam and I’m stressing. So what do the stressed do to soothe their frazzled nerves and placate their out of control emotions?

They turn to dessert!

And that is EXACTLY what I’ve done this evening with a sweetheart of a dessert wine from down under. I found a HECK of a deal on a rather unorthodox Tawny port-styled wine from Rutherglen in Victoria, which is one of the southernmost areas of Australia. I figured, “Under $17 for a Tawny? I spend more than that when I take the kids to Dairy Queen. Momma needs her sweetness!” So, I picked it up and decided to pour.

Tonight’s value is RL Buller’s Victoria Tawny, a blend of Carina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Shiraz, made into a fortified wine with a whopping 18% alcohol (yes my friends, I took no chances tonight with my mood…I plan on knocking out the nasties with this one).

In the glass, it’s a bright garnet color with a few orange tints to it. It certainly LOOKS like happiness in the glass to me. But my temperament cannot be placated with mere happy appearances. Nice smell to it as well…cherry, raspberry, and hints of what smells like…Grandma’s gingersnap cookies! Also smells like toffee. Okay, this is starting to get good. I could sniff this one all day. Makes me imagine Gram and Willy Wonka concocting the stuff of my childhood dreams right there in her kitchen.

I know, I know…what does it taste like?

Sweet, delicious goodness! Not what I would expect out of a TRADITIONAL Port, but then again, this isn’t a traditional Port. This has the bright cherry flavors, along with strawberry flavors. It still pulls off some of the tastes you’d expect out of a Tawny…toffee, maybe some fig on the finish. It’s berries and bread pudding all in one. You could pair it up with dark chocolate, chocolate mousse, fresh berries, and mild cheeses…the usual fare. OR…you could be daring and pair it up with pecan pie (which would be incredible together).

Me personally? I went off the deep end and decided to try it with my Kemp’s Blackberry Chocolate Ripple ice cream.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to PURE BLISS! It matches PERFECTLY. Forget Calgon bubble bath, let the decadent flavors take you away in the most seductive dance your tongue will ever partake in.

Yes, you CAN buy happiness. It comes in a bottle of RL Buller Victoria Tawny…and you can get it for under $20.

What are you waiting for? Run to your happiness!

…I’m going to saunter off to the freezer to get seconds and pour another glass.



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