Winter Libations

Beau Walker is an employee of Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room and a contributor to Southport Magazine. On the left is a bottle of McKeown's Cranberry Cider, while Silver Coast Winery's own Holiday Red appears on the right. Photo by Bethany Turner

Beau Walker is an employee of Silver Coast Winery Tasting Room and a contributor to Southport Magazine. On the left is a bottle of McKeown’s Cranberry Cider, while Silver Coast Winery’s own Holiday Red appears on the right. Photo by Bethany Turner

by Beau Walker

Already? The holidays are here again and Southport is a surprisingly festive little town this time of year. We’ve had our first dusting of snow, unpacked our winter coats—and perhaps found that twenty dollar bill from last year’s stocking and are wondering where to spend it.

Well, Silver Coast Winery’s Tasting Room right here in downtown Southport celebrated its second anniversary the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. This occasion makes the perfect opportunity to swing on by to share some snacks, enjoy a glass of your favorite Silver Coast wine, or indulge in a chilled brew from our craft beer selection. While you’re in, stock up on libations for the cornucopia of holiday celebrations and gatherings to take place between now and New Year’s Eve.

This season, the Tasting Room will be featuring Silver Coast Winery’s Holiday Red and McKeown’s Cranberry Cider.

Holiday Red
This wine, though wonderfully refreshing chilled as a summer-time porch sipper, is most comfortably enjoyed at home when festively mulled with honey, orange, clove and cinnamon. Perfect for wintertime gatherings, whether with friends and family or finding a little solace in front of the fire, this holiday wine helps warm the heart of even the season’s most frosted Scrooges and lift the spirits of all.

Recall sweet holiday candied memories with this blend of classic European grapes. Complete with red raspberry aromas and flavors, this soft red wine is ideal for your holiday season. The bottle comes with a label designed by artist Justine Ferreri, as well. Here’s how to enjoy our Holiday Red mulled.

Mulled Wine Recipe:
Bottle – Silver Coast Holiday Red
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup orange juice
Integrate and simmer. (Do not boil!)
Add whole cloves and cinnamon sticks to taste.
Continue simmering in a slow cooker pot on low heat for two hours.
Ladle to serve in your favorite holiday mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

McKeown’s Cranberry Cider
McKeown Orchard, located in Rougemont, Quebec, Canada, is the source for this authentically English-styled cider. McKeown’s Cranberry Cider is not only crisp and refreshing; it perfectly balances the sweetness of autumn-harvested McIntosh apples, picked at peak sugar content, blended with a healthy, happy holiday tartness of cranberry.

This time of year, no holiday festivity is complete without this sparkling cider’s complement of crackling carbonation.

Champagne and Sparkling Wine

“Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” Dom Peringon’s famous quote defines the true essence of Champagne.

Champagne, by law and treaty agreement, must come from the Champagne region of France. Other similar drinks are known as sparkling wine or “bubbly.”

The famous bubbles of the “bubbly” are caused by a second fermentation. The winemaker adds sugars and yeast to the still wine (usually in the bottle) to form carbon dioxide. This reaction, or secondary fermentation, creates millions of tiny bubbles and immense pressure that, when a bottle is uncorked, releases a satisfying “pop!”—the symbolic sound renowned worldwide to mean, “Let’s party!”

For Christmas and New Year’s Eve, consider your “bubbly” based on your sweet tooth. Typical classifications include:

Brut: very dry, most versatile for pairing with food.
Extra dry: despite the name, it’s middle of the road.
Sec: sweetest type of all Champagnes.

As long as we celebrate the holidays with loved ones, any beverage choice will do—be it wine, cider, bubbly or Champagne!

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