Earlier this year I had the chance to connect with Carlene O’Neil when I won one of her books in the Cypress Cove Mystery series. We made sure to meet each other in person at Left Coast Crime and even though her books don’t have recipes included, I was delighted when she offered to provide one for my review of ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE. She had one word for me…SANGRIA! A fruity wine concoction, it was the perfect beverage choice for a birthday luncheon I recently hosted for a very good friend of mine. Sangria can be made with either white or red wine, but Carlene’s recipe uses red. I love the vibrant colors of her Sangria, with the ruby-red wine complimenting the brilliant colors of the oranges, lemons, limes and bright green apples. Sangria is a celebration in the goblet and on your taste buds! Thank you, Carlene, for letting me share your yummy recipe!
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE, the first book in the Cypress Cove Mystery series, is a celebration in book form as well! Set in Cypress Cove, Monterey County’s wine country, Penny Lively inherits Joyeux Winery from her great-aunt. Recently fired from her investigative photojournalist job when she refused to doctor photos from a riot to boost circulation, Penny takes over the winery. She had been a great photojournalist because she was good at sticking her nose into other people’s business, so it came as no surprise when her distant relative and owner of the neighboring winery, Antonia Martinelli asks her for help. It seems someone is sabotaging Antonia’s wines and she wants to quietly find out who the culprit is since she suspects it could be one of her children.
With harvest underway and the Autumn Festival right around the corner, Penny doesn’t have much time to investigate and her winery manager, Connor, tells her it’s a bad idea and that it’s none of her business. Yet the mystery pulls her in and she starts snooping. When Antonia’s wine tasting room manager is found murdered, Penny knows it’s too late to back out of her investigation and she’d better find the answers quickly since she could be the next victim.
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE is an entertaining, well plotted book. I loved the winery setting with the tidbits of running a winery, harvesting, and making wine woven into the story. I think Carlene must have done some awesomely fun wine tasting tours…ahem…I mean research, to write this book. The characters were well developed and Penny is a likable, sassy protagonist. She has several one-line zingers that had me laughing out loud, and one incident was so funny (at least to me), I had to go back and re-read it the next day for another chuckle.
The author’s subplots are nicely woven into the main story, with several strong suspects that kept me guessing to the very end. Carlene managed to pull all the threads together and wrap up the ending for a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed the interaction between Penny and her friends, which gave the book depth and insight into Penny’s character. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series and seeing what happens next at Joyeux Winery!
Thank you to Carlene O’Neil for providing one lucky winner a signed copy of ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE! Please use the Rafflecopter box located below the recipe to enter. Contest ends Monday, May 9, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST. Winners will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
1/2 green apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 lime, sliced. Save the other half for garnish.
1/2 orange, rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed. Save the other half for garnish.
3-4 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup orange juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup brandy, plus more to taste
1 750 ml bottle dry Spanish red wine
Ice to chill
Add apples, orange, lemon, lime, and sugar to a large pitcher and muddle with a wooden spoon for 45 seconds.
Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again to combine the flavors
Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. Stir to combine.
Add ice and stir once more to chill. Garnish with orange segments and sliced limes (optional).
Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, though best when fresh.
I served Catch-22 Salvadorian Shrimp over rice instead of salad for the birthday luncheon. The buttery, spiced shrimp were the perfect accompaniment to this refreshing, fruity sangria!
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I like to drink ice tea in the summer.
When the weather is warm I prefer white wine and when cold, red wine. Although since trying this sangria with the chilled red wine, I would be happy to drink it during the summer too 🙂 Of course on the rare occasions that I eat beef, I like a hearty glass of red wine no matter what the weather is like.
Looks like a really nice summer drink. Will give it a try. I really like a nice red fruity wine on occasion. Or a pina colada. Otherwise I prefer iced water in the summer
I like white wine and Sangria. Thanks for chance to win a new sees starter.
Raised in Napa , I love books about wine country especially California ones. I see there is a book 2 a plus.
Sangria is my go to drink for the summer whenever friends come over, or just my husband and I are cooking out! I love that you can make it so many different ways. If I’m in a light drinking mood, I’ll use a Sauvignon Blanc with lemons, limes, and blueberries. Highly recommend!
And Woot! to a new cozy series, always looking for new ones to try 🙂
I love Sangria and don’t get it often enough. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the review.
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I don’t drink much. But I do like a glass of Moscato with my friends
Sangria is good. My preference is a Margarita. Thanks!
i don’t drink but i do like the Starbucks stawberry frappachino when my husband takes me there. I tell him if you happen to drive by a Starbucks please help me out and take me to get my drink and he smiles as he knows i always ask.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore. So now my favorite summer drink is unsweetened ice tea. Homemade by the sun.
I love Sangria and could drink that all year round ~
My favorite summer drinks are iced tea and water.
Can’t wait to try the sangria recipe and read your new book.
Can’t wait to try the sangria recipe and read your new book. How about one with white wine? Love red in the winter and white in the summer.
Both the book and the Sangria sound YUMMY!
I don’t drink wine but I love smoothies or strawberry lemonade especially fresh squeezed lemonade.
My favorite summer drink is homemade lemonade. My Daddy taught me how to make his lemonade when I was a little girl.
I am not much of a wine drinker, but I prefer red. Thanks for the Sangria recipe. We first had Sangria while living in Spain. Delicious!
The last time I had Sangria was when I was an exchange student in Spain! Loved it then and I know I will love it again! Thank you for the great recipe!
With wine, I prefer it on the sweet side, if there is Sangria I will drink that, I love Sangria, I have got to try this recipe, thanks!
I like red wine. Or Volka sours. Thank you for the chance to win a signed copy of One Foot In The Grape.
I prefer white wine, but I like both white and red sangria. This recipe looks amazing and I’m definitely going to try it. Book also sounds amazing, can’t wait to read.10
I adore Sangria and have been craving it ever since we got a warm day a couple of weeks ago. The weather is looking to warm up this weekend, and as it is Mother’s Day, I’ll probably mother myself and make a big picture. Thanks for the recipe, and I look forward to reading this book.
I rarely have a drink any more but if someone offered me a glass of your Sangria I wouldn’t turn it down!
Sangria…white and red…is my all time favorite drink!!! love it a LOT!
Sounds wonderful…interesting you use Spanish wine…and I am going to pass on this recipe to a Friend who loves Sangria.
Since Sangria originated in Spain, I’m sure the author was trying to remain true to its heritage. However, I think any light, dry wine would be an acceptable substitute!
I don’t really drink the usual Summer time drinks, so I just drink water and soda. Thanks for having the giveaway.
I don’t imbibe in any alcoholic drinks but in the summer I enjoy either ice tea or just simple ice water with a slice of lemon. Thanks for offering a giveaway. firstname.lastname@example.org
Another series to add to the list! I just can’t seem to keep up!
Love sangria on ice…and wine coolers,,fruity drinks
I love wine, and I choose according to the weather or event. In cold weather or with heavy meals I choose a nice Cabernet. In warmer weathers or light meals I like a nice chilled Pinot Grigio. I like ‘sprinters’ and Sangrias with appetizers and mulled wine with cheeses and a warm fire. Wine? Yes!
Thank you for the intro & the review Kim! I like a nice, cold glass of raspberry lemonade in the summertime. I’m anxious to try the debut of this series.
I refer red between the two and the sangria looks wonderful for summer!
Ice tea…cold water…a coors beer……mostly Ice cold water
Thanks for a chance to win! The Sangria is a perfect summer drink!
either red or white doesn’t matter email@example.com
I love unsweet tea.
Iced tea is my drink of choice but I do like white wine too!
I like me sweet tea. When it comes to wine I like the Simi dry.
I like both.
Red wine is my favorite.
And sangria is great stuff!
I love this recipe!
I LOVE sangria, summer or winter!! I will try the recipe and will add One Foot in the Grape to my TBR list!!
Thanks for the review, the recipe and the chance to win One foot in the Grape!
I love a nice glass of red wine.