Cranberry Wine: ‘Tis the Season

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glazed holiday ham. (Drools.)

Arguably, there is no single style of fruit wine more made for the holidays than cranberry. And while cranberry wine served with a holiday meal is a slam dunk, that’s not the end of the story.

Everyone who knows their way around a kitchen understands what the cranberry can do for traditional poultry and pork dishes.

And, if you’ve dropped by an upscale restaurant or club lately, no doubt you’ve seen the trendsetting club goers with technicolor cocktails infused with cranberry and other lively fruit flavors like pomegranate.

With Christmas entertaining on the agendas of so many, let’s take a quick look at a couple of ways cranberry wine is being incorporated into holiday dinners and party-throwing.


We’ve all seen recipes like “Pork Cutlets with Cranberry Wine Sauce” that call for some generic “white wine” and some form of cranberry (canned, jellied, sauced, etc.) to create the “wine sauce.”

I think it’s safe to say that most of these recipes are written up with the assumption that the cook does not have access to real honest-to-goodness cranberry wine.

For your favorite holiday recipes calling for cranberry sauces, glazes and marinades, “substitute” the real thing: real cranberry wine.

As an example, here’s a recipe put together by the folks at Montezuma Winery, who make a sweet cranberry wine they call Cranberry Bog in the prestigious wine region of Finger Lakes, New York. Unless you live in New York state, you’ll never find Cranberry Bog at retail, but Montezuma ships it to 46 states.

Cranberry Bog Glazed Ham

• 5lb. pre-cooked ham

• 1 – 8oz. can whole cranberry sauce

• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

• 1/4 cup Cranberry Bog cranberry wine

• 1 tsp. prepared mustard

• whole cloves (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Glaze: In saucepan combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, wine and mustard; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Place ham on rack in  shallow baking pan.

Score top of the ham in diamond pattern; stud with cloves. Brush cranberry mixture over ham and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 15 minutes with wine glaze. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving. Pass the remaining cranberry mixture with the ham.


Montezuma Winery also has a recipe for a refreshing mixed drink perfect for the holidays: festive, colorful, and lighter on the alcohol than a typical martini:


• 4 oz. Cranberry Bog cranberry wine

• 1 oz. Bee Vodka

• 1/2 oz. triple sec

• 1/2 oz. vermouth

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add above ingredients, cover and shake. Strain into martini glass.

Hey, what are you waiting for? Currently, we have two 100% cranberry wines listed on the site: Montezuma’s Cranberry Bog and our current Pick of the Week: Century Farm’s Cranberry Wine (currently sold out as of January, 2012 — sorry!). Between the two, they ship to almost every state in the union.



Categories: Restaurateur's Blog