VinePair: These New England Wines Have a Special Ingredient — Cranberries
excerpt from VinePair.com, November 22, 2021
New Hampshire’s LaBelle Winery produces two cranberry wines: Traditional Cranberry and Cranberry Riesling.
The Cranberry Riesling, a 50/50 blend of the Traditional Cranberry and Riesling wines, was introduced about four years ago and is a fan favorite. “So far this year, before the rush, we have sold about 900 bottles,” Marie King, lead educator at LaBelle Winery, says.
“By blending in our Riesling wine, we have made the cranberry note softer and the wine more food friendly. It pairs very well with turkey, ham, and pork roast and is a little more sophisticated on the palate.”
Cooking with the cranberry wine is “a big yes” for King. “You can use it for creating cranberry sauces, compotes, or relishes,” she says. “But you can also use it to give a little cranberry zing to your stuffing, use it for brining your turkey, or reduce it and use it for a dessert sauce.”
The winery also sells its Spiced Cranberry jam (made with the cranberry wine) and suggests it as an accompaniment to a cheese. “At my house, I like to start guests off with a cranberry cocktail or cranberry Mimosa to whet their appetite, then serve the Cranberry Riesling for dining,” King says.
King notes the cranberry wine at LaBelle is very approachable for novice wine drinkers, and wonderful for cocktail recipes. “Toward the front of the palate it has sweet fruit and toward the back of the palate, a big, refreshing tart note,” she says. “We use it for our Cranberry Cosmo, Winemaker’s Smash, and I personally love it for spritzers with fresh lime juice, lime seltzer, and ice.”
And of course, it’s a perfect pairing for Thanksgiving. “Turkey and cranberry,” King says, “go together like peanut butter and jelly.”