Brunch with Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet

This post brought to you by Columbia Crest Winery. The content and opinions expressed below are that of TfDiaries.
When Columbia Crest asked me to host a party to celebrate the launch of their 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet I got excited. Not only did it give me a chance to round up some of my favorite ladies to spend the afternoon drinking wine together, but it also challenged me to find a creative way of doing it. I only had about a week to put things in motion so I got right to work brainstorming ideas to showcase this beautiful 2014 vintage cabernet in the best possible light. So, I decided to host a brunch where almost every recipe was infused with the flawlessly integrated and layered Cabernet Sauvingon. From a Raspberry Thyme Sangria all the way down to Blackberry Cabernet Chocolate Cupcakes, almost everything had a hint of the crowdsourced cabernet. It was an afternoon of adventurous, full bodied flavors packed into delicious combinations such as cabernet infused berry french toast, which by the way is even better than it photographs. Of course the usual Cabernet pairing suspects were there; tons of cheese piled on a charcuterie board served with an endless supply of toasted french bread, pasta salad, and tasting glasses for the wine before it became a winning sangria for the party of 6. 

Of course one of the hot topics of the afternoon had to be 'How did the Crowdsourced Cabernet  come to life?' In 2014 Columbia Crest embarked on an 18 months journey to become the very first winery to crowdsource a wine from vineyard to table. Everything from bud break, to the harvest to the final blend, even the label was put in the hands of the online community. The process brought together wine lovers as co-creator and honorary winemakers, bringing everyone to a deeper understanding and connection to the craft of winemaking. The end result? A delicious cabernet worth bragging about. Columbia Crest is actually the 1st Washington Winery to receive the honor of Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine in the World in 2009 for their 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Which is why it's not a surprise that this wine hits it out of the park. 

The 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvingon Vintage released on June 3rd, 2016 and approximately 1,000 cases of the 2014 Crowdsourced Cabernet will be available for purchase at (or in the Columbia Crest tasting room in Paterson, Washington) for $30/bottle.

Grab The Recipes: 

Raspberry Thyme Sangria
1 8ml bottle of Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet
1 liter of Sparkling Limeade 
1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
3-4 Sprigs of Fresh thyme

Combine wine, raspberries and thyme in a pitcher and chill for at least an hour (overnight is preferred). When it is time to serve, add the sparkling limeade and garnish with sprigs of thyme. (Makes 8+ Servings)

Cabernet Soaked Blackberries & Baked Brie
8 oz Fresh Blackberries 
3/4 Cups Columbia Crest Crowd Sourced Cabernet
1 Tsp. Sugar 
*1 Wheel or Wedge of Brie, rind removed from top.

In a small bowl add the blackberries with the wine. Cover and let soak overnight. 

The day of, bake the brie at 350˚ for 8-10 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from oven and spoon on 1/2 of the blackberries mixture and serve with warm, crusty baguette slices. (Reserve the wine from the bowl and remaining blackberries for Blackberry Cabernet Buttercream, below.)

Blackberry & Cabernet Buttercream
1 Cup Of Butter, Softened
1/2 Cup Cabernet from the Cabernet Soaked Blackberry Mixture, liquid only (Recipe above.)
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla

In a chilled mixing bowl cream the butter until smooth, slowly adding in powdered sugar.

Add vanilla and wine, and mix until smooth. Add the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe on the cupcakes of your choice. I opted for mini dark chocolate. Garnish with remaining cabernet soaked blackberries and thyme. (Yields 16 Frosted Cupcakes)

Cabernet & Berry Infused Baked French Toast
1/2 Cup Columbia Crest Crowdsourced Cabernet
3 Cups cubed Bread, dry/stale
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup of milk
1/4 C Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

In a greased baking dish (I used two 9x9's) add bread and frozen berries.

In a small bowl combine milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Pour over bread and berry mixture, coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate over night. 

Remove from fridge and preheat oven to 400˚. Pour the 1/2 of cabernet over the mixture and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and crisp. Enjoy alone or top with whipped cream.

For more information and to participate in the virtual winemaking experience visit:

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