Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spiced Winter Red is back for the fall at Vynecrest

Spiced Winter Red is available starting today.

The 2013 harvest is going great. We are picking Lemberger and Merlot this week. Just a few more weeks and all of the grapes will be in; we just need this great weather to hold out until then.

It is just about time to set our sights on the holidays. Christkindlmarkt opens in just a few weeks on November 21 and we will have a booth there as always.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Vynecrest is donating $1 to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition for every 3 pack of the month sold.

October Specials 

* Wine of the Month - Chambourcin, additional 10% off
* 3 Pack of the Month - 3 First Blush for $25
(at winery only, 3 pack can't be combined with other discounts)

Upcoming Events

  • October 3 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm
  • October 4 - Artist Harvest, Kutztown, 5 - 8 pm - Throughout downtown Kutztown the Artist Harvest is a celebration of art at multiple locations. Come explore the town and meet our artists and photographers while enjoying the bounty of the season. For more information and a complete list of participating vendors click here.
  • October 10 & 17 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm
  • October 19 & 20 - Lehigh Valley Wine Trail Chambourcin Weekend - Vynecrest will be highlighting the versatility of our Jewel of the Lehigh Valley, the Chambourcin grape, by pairing our 2012 dry Chambourcin wine with Sticky Chicken - slowly cooked chicken basted in a flavorful sticky marinade that clings to the chicken. This sauce, made with our Chambourcin wine (recipe available), can be used for Sticky Chicken over rice or Sticky Chicken Wings.
  • October 24 & 31 - Macungie Farmer's Market, Memorial Park, 4 - 7 pm

Glass Half Empty
by Jan Landis

In 1999, our son Ben was studying for his MBA at Lehigh University and had contact with ArtsQuest staff members who are involved with Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem. One thing led to another and we signed on to be the winery at this festival for the four-week Christmas season.

Since we prided ourselves in making wines similar to those of Northern France and Germany - Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Lemberger -we felt strongly that we needed to develop a German Gluwein for Christkindlmarkt. We already grew the Baco Noir grape in our vineyard which had a wonderful complex nature, so we researched recipes for a Gluwein and began to develop our own Spiced Winter Red.

Our other son, Sam, was home at the time and John, Sam and I spent an afternoon in my kitchen trying various recipes adding spices to our Baco Noir wine and heating cups of it in the microwave. Various amounts of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and orange extract were tried until we came up with a winning combination.

We chose a black and white Currier & Ives-like photo of the winery for the label, and bottled about 100 gallons. We thought it was a great wine warmed up in a crockpot and served with shortbread or spice cookies; if only it would sell. And sell it did! So well, in fact, it only lasted for the first two weeks that first year at Christkindlmarkt.

Greatly encouraged, we made more of it the next year and again it sold out. We seem to keep making more of this holiday favorite each year as it is also popular with campers in the off-season. We take pride in using freshly ground spices in our recipe which hasn't changed very much since that first time in my kitchen. The only difference is now we make about 1,100 gallons of Spiced Winter Red, and we don’t make it in my kitchen.

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