Wine Tips & An Interview with Twin Liquors for the Umlauf Sculpture Garden Party

Wine Rose pouring

Rosé season is upon us! Hooray! If you follow along on my Instagram account, then you are well aware of my love for wine and rosé in particular. You can imagine how excited I was when the Umlauf Sculpture Garden reached out to me about covering their Garden Party this year! Not only is it a wonderful event benefitting an amazingly special place in Austin, it is also an event that I have volunteered with in years past and is something near and dear to my heart. This year the Garden Party is really taking it to the next level with honorary chairs Paul Qui and Deana Saukum and Matt McGinnis as their VIP cocktail guru. Don’t worry there are still tickets left if you want to come! I reached out to Sandra Spalding, Director of Marketing and Events for Twin Liquors, for tips about how she paired wines for the Garden Party this year and some tidbits that we can all use when choosing wines at home or at restaurants!

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Mulled Wine and Ginger Beer Cocktail

Red wine and ginger beer, maybe two of my favorite beverages ever? Possibly. I never thought to put them together until I recently when I attended a pop-up dinner and they served a version of this drink with the main course. I loved the combo of the seasonal wine with the sprightly tickle of the ginger beer. It was one of the more refreshing holiday themed cocktails I’ve had in a while. The wine makes it perfect for pairing with food, but the ginger switches it up a bit to give a different twist.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-OverheadAhhh. That’s the sound that comes to mind as I am writing about this drink.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-ingredientsFor this recipe, you’ll need:

1 bottle red wine

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon of cloves

3 orange peels (about one small orange)

8 ounces of ginger beer

Serves 4

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-wine-pourFirst, pour the entire bottle of wine into a pot. Yes, the whole bottle.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-orange-peeledSlice the peel off of the orange.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-orange-peelToss those into the pot.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-cinnamon-sticksNext add the cinnamon sticks.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-clovesAnd the cloves!

Stir everything together and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes or until very fragrant. Do not let the wine boil. Hello that will kill the alcohol!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-top-strainNext, strain the mulling spices from the wine. Place a colander over a pitcher and pour the wine. Do this over a sink, it can get messy!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-strainToss the spices away.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-ginger-pourPour the ginger beer over ice into a glass. You could also combine the ginger beer with the wine in the pitcher and let people serve themselves.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-tallAdd the mulled wine and you have the perfect cocktail for sipping at the dinner table!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-FrontWhat are your favorite drinks to serve with dinner?

Coal Vines in Austin

My mom came into Austin for the evening and we decided to go to Coal Vines on 2nd street. I have been to the Coal Vines in Dallas but never had to the chance to try the new Austin location. It was a chilly, rainy night and warm pizza and wine was just what I was craving. I had high expectations since I like the original Coal Vines in Dallas.

Great atmosphere. Dark and cozy with the sounds of Frank Sinatra and other favorites playing in the background. On Wednesday night, the restaurant was that perfect amount of crowded, enough people to fill the place but we were able to snag a table right when we walked in.

I am huge red wine lover, cabernets especially. Lately though I have been going with Malbecs. That night we both chose the Dinseno Malbec after sampling the 14 Hands Cabernet. It was a great accompaniment.

My mom and I spilt everything, my favorite thing to do while eating! We split this salad which is the creamy gorgonzola balsamic vinegar with pears and candied walnuts. My mom is allergic to spinach so they were able to put this with Romaine lettuce instead of the traditional spinach. It was delightful… how could it not be with sweet pears and candied walnuts.

Right before the pizza came out, the server brought the fresh parmesan, dried oregano and red pepper. It’s funny how such simple things make meals so enjoyable.

We got the Special White Pizza, which is different from the regular white pizza. We added sausage and mushrooms. It was delicious and the crust was perfect! Crispy and chewy all at the same time, you know what I am talking about it. This is the small pizza and my mom and I were only able to finish half of it. The decadent cheese made this pizza on the heavier side but it was worth every bite!

Time to dig in! I can say that I enjoyed this Coal Vines as much as the original. The staff were super polite and I will be back soon! My mom loved it too and said she will definitely be visiting their Southlake location soon too!

Check out more at: Coal Vines Austin

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