Just Say No to Ordinary Cranberry From a Can This Thanksgiving

Ho Hum… another year of triptofan-infused, dry turkey, some bagged stuffing and then that jiggly, ribbed mass from the silver can called cranberry sauce?  Not so fast, my friend.  What if you were able to spice up that Thanksgiving table a bit with something that is super easy to make, but still provides that traditional feel that you can be proud to put on your dinner table this year?  Introducing a company favorite: Spicy Cranberry Salsa.  Ole’!

Yesterday, we developed this dish inspired by our sparkly brand manager, Katie, in the test kitchen and then proceeded to pair it with some “traditional” Thanksgiving wines.  This dish really brings some thunder as a side dish and is built to entertain not only at the table but all the way to the couch for the football games (the Lions look great this year!).

Spice up your leftover turkey sandwich, serve as an alternative to traditional cranberry sauce or create a delicious appetizer with crackers and cream cheese. Best when prepared the night before to allow flavors to meld.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa


  • 12 oz. bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 (or 3) jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove stems, but leave seeds if you like heat!)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Place cranberries and garlic in food processor and pulse a few times
  • Add green, onions, jalapeno, lime juice and salt then pulse
  • Add oil and pulse to desired texture
  • Keep tightly covered and refrigerate up to 1 week

We tested this spicy sweet dish with 6 Windsor wines and came up with a top 3 plus an honorable mention that we feel pair the best in order of preference:

  1. 2009 Windsor Muscat Canelli, “Civetta”, Alexander Valley – sweetness is the key here in that is perfectly balances with the spiciness of the dish.  For those who don’t enjoy sweet wines you may be pleasantly surprised with this balancing act, so give it a shot.
  2. 2010 Windsor Pinot Noir, Sonoma County – this light red wine is already a great choice for Thanksgiving because it is so versatile and in this case there were no exceptions.  The bright cherry fruit characteristics marry nicely with the cranberries.
  3. 2010 Windsor Riesling, California – Again, the residual sugar (RS), though much much lower (only 1%) than in the Civetta, it still provides a balance with the spice and the ripe stone fruits still come through and provides a nice finish.
  4. (Honorable Mention) 2009 Windsor Gewurztraminer, California – with 2% RS this worked for many tasters, but then some felt the lychee nut and spice that is characteristic of this variety clashed a little with the dish and elevated the heat, which you might like.  You be the judge and try for yourself.

Need some other options for your family get together this Thanksgiving?  We make it even easier with this Ultimate Thanksgiving Case Collection (at a tremendous discount) and throw in a Free set of Ultima Stemware.  Click here for more information.

Please share some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and wines in our comment section below or if you try this salsa recipe, let us know what you thought!  Cheers!


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