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Wine-Down December: Crockpot Classics and Perfect Pairings


As the holiday season approaches, our calendars fill up with festive gatherings and joyful celebrations. For those busy December days when time is of the essence, we've curated the perfect pairings of comforting crockpot dinners and exquisite wines. Whether you're hosting a holiday party or enjoying a cozy night in, these combinations are sure to elevate your December dining experience.



1. Mulled Wine Magic with Slow-Cooked Beef Stew Mulled Wine Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine

  • 1 orange (sliced)

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 cloves

  • 1 star anise

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.

  2. Set on low for 1-2 hours until warm and infused with spices.

  3. Strain and serve in mugs, garnished with an orange slice.

Slow-Cooked Beef Stew Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 2 carrots (sliced)

  • 2 potatoes (cubed)

  • 1 onion (chopped)

  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 2 tsp thyme

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Brown the beef in a skillet.

  2. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.

  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

  4. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread.

Pairing Tip: The robust flavors of the slow-cooked beef stew complement the spiced warmth of mulled wine, creating a perfect winter pairing.

2. Chardonnay Cheer with Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Chardonnay Cocktail Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Chardonnay

  • 1/2 cup peach nectar

  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 2 tbsp honey

  • Sliced peaches for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Mix Chardonnay, peach nectar, brandy, and honey in a pitcher.

  2. Chill for at least 2 hours.

  3. Serve over ice and garnish with sliced peaches.

Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fettuccine pasta (cooked)

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken in the crockpot.

  2. In a saucepan, melt butter and add garlic, then stir in cream, Parmesan, and mozzarella until smooth.

  3. Pour the sauce over chicken in the crockpot.

  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

  5. Shred chicken and serve over cooked fettuccine.

Pairing Tip: The buttery notes of Chardonnay complement the richness of the creamy Alfredo sauce, creating a luxurious and indulgent pairing.

3. Zinfandel Zest with Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos Zinfandel Sangria Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Zinfandel

  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 2 cups ginger ale

  • 1 orange (sliced)

  • 1 cup mixed berries

  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine Zinfandel, brandy, ginger ale, orange slices, and berries in a large pitcher.

  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

  3. Add sugar if a sweeter sangria is desired.

  4. Serve over ice.

Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder

  • 1 cup salsa

  • 1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (minced)

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Corn tortillas

  • Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions:

  1. Place pork shoulder in the crockpot.

  2. In a bowl, mix salsa, chipotle peppers, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

  3. Pour the mixture over the pork.

  4. Cook on low for 8 hours, then shred the pork.

  5. Serve the spicy pulled pork in corn tortillas with desired toppings.

Pairing Tip: The bold flavors of Zinfandel complement the spiciness of the pulled pork, creating a fiesta of flavors in every bite.

This December, take the stress out of meal planning and elevate your festive gatherings with these delightful crockpot dinner and wine pairings. Whether you're sipping on mulled wine by the fire, indulging in creamy Alfredo pasta, or enjoying spicy pulled pork tacos, these combinations are sure to make your holiday season merry and bright. Cheers to a delicious and stress-free December!


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