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We’re on a new adventure – buying a home for the first time. One of the things we envisioned for our house was a nice sized yard so we would have space for gardening, kids to play, and summer entertaining. It looks like our dreams are coming true and we are finally planning a celebration with friends and new neighbors.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wine and the Menu
The first things I always figure out for my party menu are drinks and desserts. I’ve already got that figured out for my next party, thanks to Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.
I easily found the wine in several varietals at local stores and am happy to say the ones I tasted are delicious. I can confidently put them on my beverage table to share with friends. I especially enjoy the Cabernet Sauvignon and I am generally a Moscato kind of girl. When a company has been in the wine business for over 30 years they know how to deliver wine that makes people happy.
I love planning a party and creating wine pairings so I am adding that element to this party by pairing the wine and dessert. Since we will hopefully have this party soon after we move into our new home, I want to keep it simple. I checked this simple entertaining social hub for party tips and decided to go with an appetizer and dessert party. The easy party menu below will help me stay stress-free and able to enjoy a glass of wine while I visit with guests. Generally the glass of wine is AFTER everyone leaves since I’m running crazy most of the evening.
- 3 Pepper Shrimp
- Smoked sausage in barbecue sauce
- Veggie tray with French Onion Dip
- Cracker assortment
- Cheese, charcuterie, and honey tray
- Grapes and strawberries
- Death by Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes with Cabernet Sauvignon Cherry Filling and Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Lemon Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Frosting
- Iced tea
- Fruit infused water
- Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
- Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonney
The Cake and Nothing but…
…the Death by Chocolate Cherry Cupcake. As soon as I read the tasting notes on Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, I knew what I wanted to make.
Opens with aromas of cherries, berries, cedar, brown sugar, and toast. Flavors of berries, toasted marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker follow with a toasty caramel finish.
One of my favorite cakes is Dark Forest Cake. Just the thought of rich dark chocolate cake and sweet cherry filling are enough to make me melt into a puddle – kinda like I am now – and I knew it would pair beautifully with the Cabernet Sauvignon. I have an amazing Divinely Chocolate Cake recipe but it doesn’t translate well into cupcakes so I tweaked it to make the chocolate cupcake recipe I’m sharing today. Make sure you check it out, and check out this post all about cherries while you’re at it.
Dark chocolate cupcakes filled with a red wine cherry filling and topped with rich chocolate frosting.
- 2 cups raw sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix milk and vinegar and let sit while you mix dry ingredients.
- Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Lightly beat eggs.
- Whisk coffee, oil, and eggs into soured milk.
- Mix into dry ingredients until well incorporated.
- Fill greased cupcake pans, paper liners, or silicone wrappers 3/4 full.
- Bake 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
Instead of mixing a plain sweet cherry pie filling into the dark chocolate batter, I made this easy Cabernet Sauvignon Cherry Filling to fill them with after they cooled. I may never go back to traditional cherry pie filling. I can eat this by the spoonful. I especially love how the liquid in this recipe is just thin enough to soak into the cupcake but if you cook it a little longer it will thicken up enough for a pie.
- 1 cup sweet cherries (diced small – approximately 20 cherries)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 cup Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
- Mix sugar and cornstarch together then mix into cherries in a saucepan.
- Heat cherries and sugar in saucepan over medium heat until cherries start to soften and sugar cornstarch mixture is liquified and bubbling.
- Add wine.
- Cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened.
- Let set to cool (will thicken more as it cools).
To finish them off I piped on the best dark chocolate buttercream frosting I’ve ever eaten. Pure chocolate heaven. I say you’ve never had a dark chocolate buttercream frosting like this, but maybe you already have your own secret recipe. It’s really the frosting on the cupcake to turn these into “death by chocolate”, and I decided not to keep my recipe a little secret even though I desperately wanted to. I’m sharing it next week.
There’s still time to plan your own summer party.
Check out the Simple Entertaining Social Hub for more great party recipes and tips.