Cupcake Red Velvet Wine: My Holiday Tradition

Holidays are simpler now that my kids are grown.  Still, there are lists upon lists.  Lines to wait in.  Receipts stacking up on the desk that give a sense of dread, even as I avoid tallying them up.

The one thing that helps me transcend the craziness of the holidays is keeping a tradition.

My mother always made Red Velvet Cake at Christmas.  I remember being in awe of its deep red color and pure white frosting. Mom was clearly impressed with this cake as well–it was her tradition to make it a part of every Christmas Eve dinner.

And so, the very act of making this cake at Christmastime has the effect of removing me from the chaos.  The richness of its color, the fluffy white frosting.  It all takes me back to my home in Michigan, sitting at the table with Christmas lights glowing, my Dad asking Ruthie for another piece of cake, me telling my Dad to get his own cake, and my mother’s sweet laugh as she handed Dad another piece.

And just like that, I am transported away from the stress..

Discovering the Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet wine several years ago was, well, the icing on the cake!  It is a red blend, utilizing Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah in its 2014 vintage.  The blend can change from vintage to vintage.


Aromas show lots of dark fruits balanced with smoky oak and dried fruit notes. This does not smell like cake!

The palate is soft and almost creamy with big flavors of ripe black cherry and black raspberry. Some decadent dark chocolate flavors are blended in all leading to a dry finish. Being named after a cake, this wine only hints of sweet cake-like characteristics.

I hope my Mother is not watching, from wherever she might be, as I make my Red Velvet cake.  I cheat and use an easier recipe than I remember hers being. (Cake mix!!!  Don’t judge me!)

The flavor is still much the same, rich and chocolaty but not overly sweet. And that is what makes it such a great pair with the Red Velvet wine, also rich and full of chocolate notes, but not overly sweet.

Red wine and cake…it works! And, it is my own Christmas tradition.


With Red Velvet cake!;

Anytime during the holidays;

When you want a red wine with ripe fruit and rich chocolate flavors but still favoring a dry style.



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