Add pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla, sugar, and 1 cup water into a four quart saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stir occasionally, until pumpkin is tender, about 45 minutes. Allow to come to room temperature, add the bottle of FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Mash pumpkin gently and place a fine-mesh sieve inside a large saucepan. Strain pumpkin mixture through sieve, discarding all solids. Rewarm till just heated through, serve in glass mugs garnished with a cinnamon stick.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, carrots and peppers, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add the mussels and FitVine Pinot Grigio and simmer, covered, until the mussels open, 4 to 6 minutes. (Discard any mussels that remain closed.) Splash with lemon juice, sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest.
Serve with toasted crusty bread and mixed green salad and chilled FitVine Pinot Grigio.
Chocolate Red Wine Loaf Cake
Decadent chocolate loaf cake with red wine and walnuts, frosted with a luscious chocolate walnut icing.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and then stir in the FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon.
Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the wine mixture until combined. Mix in 1/2 cup walnuts. Pour into the greased loaf pan.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 20 minutes to cool down and then remove to a rack to cool.
Combine the margarine, 1/4 cup cocoa, chocolate bits and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and mix in the vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts.
Spread on top of the cooled loaf.
Serve with a glass of FitVine Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers!