Sparking Wine and Champagne for Fall & Holiday Season

Beneath the Cork with Mike H. Assistant Liquor

As a lover of Sparkling Wine & Champagne I am always looking for a reason pop a cork.  With the kids back in school that seemed like a good enough excuse to me.  Here are my top choices for the fall and coming holiday season.  Continue reading “Sparking Wine and Champagne for Fall & Holiday Season”

Wine Wedding Gift

Wine Wedding Gift -

Holly - Practial Party Planning -

My husband and I had the pleasure celebrating one of my husband’s high school friend’s weddings this past Friday. I am typically in charge of the gift, which is fine with me because I absolutely love gift giving. We could go with money, which is always appreciated, but I wanted to do something a bit different… of course!

Continue reading “Wine Wedding Gift”

Don't mind if I Fondue!

Don't mind if I Fondue! Chocolate, Cheese and Steak Fondue - - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

We are going into the month of February and that means less than 2 months left of winter, at least I hope. You hear all the time February 14th, Valentine’s Day is for lovers and I say “NOT”, it’s for everyone.  So if you don’t currently have someone special in your life, get together with family or friends and throw a party to celebrate.  For me any chance I get together with friends means food and fun, right?

Well this Valentine’s Day I am inviting over some close friends and we are going to have Fondue Fun Night. It’s a way for everyone to get involved in the cooking process and who doesn’t love to do that? Fondue really is one of the easiest things to put together. Once the prep work is done, as the host of the party you can sit back and everyone else does the cooking. Here is one party you can relax and enjoy. I did Fondue Fun Night on Christmas Eve one year with my family and set up 3 fondue pots: one for steak, cheese and chocolate and now it is requested we do this every year.

Fondue Station #1

Coborn's Black Pepper Top Sirloin Steak Fondue -

Coborn's Black Pepper Top Sirloin Steak Fondue - www.cobornsblog.comIn the Coborn’s Full Service Meat case, we now carry Black Pepper Top Sirloin Steak. All you have to do is cut the marinated meat in 1-inch pieces and you are ready for your guests to cook their steak to perfection. The Black Pepper flavor marinated on this steak is outstanding. When purchasing, I usually buy 6 oz. of meat for each person. Now all you have to do is get the cooking oil and fill the fondue pot about half full.  Turn the heating switch to about 250 to 300 degrees and wait until it gets hot enough for the steak to cook. I usually put one piece of steak in the oil first and once it sizzles the steak is ready to cook. You will need to fry each piece of meat about 2-3 minutes, and remember to cook until you reach an internal temperature of at least 145°F.

Fondue Station #2Delicious Cheese Fondue Recipe -

Cheese is something I can’t live without. There is no way I could have a meal without incorporating some kind of cheese into it and this recipe is over the top. Remember, I’m from “MINNESOTA” and we take our cheese pretty seriously especially when we devour it like I do.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Havarti Cheese Fondue
Serves: 20
  • 1.5 Cups Havarti Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Cup sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 2 T. Flour
  • ½ Cup Chicken Broth
  • ⅓ Cup Milk
  • ½ Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil, sliced and drained
  • 2 Medium Green Onions, sliced
  • Bread Sticks
  • Fresh Vegetables, cut and/or sliced
  1. In a re-sealable plastic bag, mix cheeses and flour.
  2. Shake until cheese is coated with the flour.
  3. In fondue pot, heat broth and milk just to a simmer over warm/simmer setting.
  4. Add cheese mixture, about 1 cup at a time, stirring with wire whisk until melted.
  5. Cook over warm/simmer setting, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened.
  6. Stir in tomatoes and onions.
  7. Keep on warm/simmer setting.
  8. Serve with bread sticks and vegetables.

Fondue Station #3

The BEST Chocolate Fondue Recipe -

What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate and especially some strawberries? For most of us, you don’t say Valentine’s Day without thinking about thick, luscious, tastefully delicious chocolate. I cut up a variety of fruit and things and served it with this chocolate fondue recipe – that was scrumptious.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Fondue
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 T. Butter or Margarine
  • 14 oz. Can Sweet and Condensed Milk
  • 2 T. Water
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  1. In heavy sauce pan, over medium heat melt chocolate chips and butter with sweet and condensed milk and water.
  2. Cook and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Add vanilla or almond flavoring.
  4. Then I usually pour it in my fondue pot to keep warm.
  5. Serve warm as a fruit and cookie/cracker dipping sauce or drizzle over ice cream or cake.
Here are some ideas of things you can have to dip into your chocolate fondue! Pound cake cubes, cherries with stems, orange sections, melon balls, pineapple chunks, strawberries, banana slices, apple wedges, grapes, dried apricots, peach chunks, angel food cake cubes, kiwifruit slices and marshmallows.

Quick Tips

  • If you do purchase a Fondue Pot they come with the skewers and at the end of each skewer they are color coded. Assign each guest a color and they never are left to wonder which skewer is theirs.
  • When serving fresh vegetables with your fondue, I usually serve fresh green beans and asparagus.  Heat a cooking pot full water until it reaches a rapid boil. Add your asparagus or beans and cook for 1 minute. Immediately place in a bath of cold ice water. It stops the cooking process and your vegetables turn out crisp with a beautiful green color.

Hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day and Enjoy… I will!

Coborn’s, Inc. Meat and Seafood Merchandiser

Click Here for more articles written by Jayne - Family, Friends and Food with Jayne

What is Champagne? - Have you ever wondered "What is Champagne?" check out this blog for the answer! - Have you ever wondered "What is Champagne?" check out this blog for the answer!

Often I am asked, “What is Champagne?”  Technically speaking the answer is as follows… Champagne is a light sparkling wine, which is made only in the Champagne region of Northeastern France.  It is different from all other sparkling wines in the world for three major reasons.  First, a wine can only be labeled champagne if it is made in France’s Champagne region.  Second, to be called “Champagne” it must be made only from the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier or Chardonnay grapes which grow in that region of France.  Third, “Champagne” must acquire its bubbles through two fermentation processes, once in barrels and again in the bottle it resides. Sparkling wine can be produced through this method elsewhere in the world but is not Champagne and can only be called “method champenoise” on labels.

The history of Champagne, the sparkling wine, dates to the late 17th century. Because the Champagne region is one of the coldest regions in the world, wine was made in the fall but left to settle over the winter.  However, the cold temperatures made the yeast dormant before they could finish turning the grape sugar into alcohol.  Of course, when spring arrived and temperatures raised, the yeast awakened and re-fermented.  This re-fermentation created the bubbles we have grown accustomed to in Champagne.  At that time however, these bubbles made their wine weird and scary compared to their counterparts in Burgundy.  This is where the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon enters the story in 1688.  It was through his persistence of experimenting with blending, removing grape skins and finding a vessel and closure that could contain the Champagne without exploding, that we evolved to the style of true Champagne that we enjoy today.

Until next time – Cheers!

– Mike
Assistant Liquor Division Manager
Coborn’s, Inc.

Click Here for more blog articles written by Mike

Beneath the Cork with Mike -

Wine Pairing with Valentine Dinner

Coborn's Blog: Valentine's Day Wine PairingShopping for wine to serve during special occasions and holidays can often be difficult. This Valentine’s Day let me help make it easy for you to pick up something for your sweetheart. Before I offer a specific suggestion let me indulge for a moment on a broader topic. Sparkling wine/Champagne as a whole is always a great choice when finding wine to bring for a special occasion. Sparkling wine is incredibly versatile in that, whether you prefer something sweet or dry, it pairs perfectly with appetizers, meals, desserts or on its own.

Back to the task at hand, simplifying the Valentine’s Day wine choice. Go to your favorite Coborn’s Liquor and simply ask, “Where is your Roscato?” Roscato is made much like Moscato only with other Italian grape varieties that I won’t bore you with and it’s red! It has a tempting gentle fizz and a seductive touch of sweetness to appeal to any wine drinker. It has low alcohol which helps balance the sweetness and adds to its food versatility. Roscato will fit any part of your Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart but tastes best with traditional Italian cuisine, spicy foods or dessert.

Coborn's Blog: Beneath the Cork with Mike

Until next time – Cheers!

– Mike
Assistant Liquor Division Manager
Coborn’s, Inc.

Click Here for more blog articles written by Mike

Beneath the Cork with Mike -