Advent Day 21 and an early Christmas surprise

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot Blend (Lodi)
Winery: American Vintners
Cheese: Red Leicester

Three more days to go… For the 21st day of Advent we have a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Blend (the classic fruit-forward blend reminiscent of a Bordeaux) and the Red Leicester. Does this pairing seem familiar? It should because it was the exact same pairing of Day 9. Come on fellas, it’s like y’all ain’t even trying here. Oh well, it was bound to happen.

Now to the early Christmas surprise! I find one of the fun things about being a sommelier-in-training and working in the wine industry is when friends come up with homemade creations and want you to try them. I’ve gotten samples of homebrewed whiskeys, beer and of course, wine. It’s an adventure for me because I never know what to expect. Fortunately most of the adventures end deliciously well. đŸ™‚

So this appeared on my doorstep, along with a Christmas card from my friend Anne. One of her holiday projects was making pear cordials. One batch was made with brandy, the other vodka. Anne thought the brandy was too sweet so she sent me jar of the pear cordial made with vodka. Carleen poured me a glass and insisted that I try it then blog about it, so without further ado…

It has a pretty golden orange color, almost looks like honey. Looks like it has a bit of leg when I swirl it, no doubt due to the alcohol. Oh, this smells delicious. Pear, a generous amount of spice (cinnamon) and possibly some honey… I get the feeling this may be a good one for taking the chill off of a Michigan winter (though so far the winter down here has been rather tame). The fruit and spice really come through in the tasting. This is very sweet – I can see why Anne went with a neutral spirit like vodka. The result is a sweet, fruity, spicy cordial that is pretty light in body. There is warmth and a slight bite from the vodka, making this cordial more of a sipper than a guzzler. There is more spice on the aftertaste than fruit, the warmth is pretty long lasting as well. Definitely a winter beater, this one.

Overall this is a cordial that is smooth and easy to drink. Great job, Anne! And thanks!

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