Eppa Sangria Cranberry Preserve with Easy Yogurt Pannacotta

cranberry sangria preserve with yogurt pannacotta

cranberry sangria preserve

There is a tangible sense of excitement and expectation in December. I always feel like something amazing is going to happen, a feeling echoed perhaps from thousands of years ago at that very first Christmas... December has since always been a month of hope, and is definitely the happiest month of the year. In my life December has always been the month of new beginnings-T and I were married in December four fleeting years ago, we came to this country on the last day of the month to bein our new life together here, and it is also the month that I began another beautiful new journey as a mom to my little monkey. I am always excited to see what December brings! 


One of the things I enjoy the most about this time of the year is getting together with friends and family. Everyone takes the time out and makes the extra effort to get together, sit at one table, share stories, laughter and create memories. Food is festive, rich and plentiful and wine always seems to flow more freely.
Living close to Napa Valley I always like discovering new wines to try and I was only happy to accept when the people of Eppa Sangria asked me if I would like to review their wine.

On a whim I also used it to make a cranberry preserve or dessert topping for a creamy panna cotta that I made lighter replacing half greek yogurt in place of cream. I think I came up with the perfect Christmas time dessert- it is a light refreshing end to a heavy meal, is super easy and takes only a few minutes, a saucepan and a spoon to put together, you can make it ahead to set and chill in your fridge and it doesn't take up oven space. With a seasonally apt red cranberry topping infused with spices and wine how much more perfect can it get?

Eppa Sangria

I made the dessert for some friends who came home for dinner and I also served them the wine which I was not so surprised to note was preferred more by us women because of its sweet taste and fruitiness. I think Sangria just looks so pretty too, with the bobbing bits of fruit that infuse the wine with their bright fresh flavors.

Eppa Sangria is a combination of Cabernet and Syrah from beautiful Mendocino County, blended with fruit juces from antioxidant-rich fruits, including pomegranate, blueberry, Mediterranean blood orange and acai. I was pleased to learn that this makes it nearly twice as antioxidant rich as a glass of red wine and it is also certified organic- something that is not very easy to find. You can buy it in Whole Foods or other stores mentioned on their website and you can also have it shipped to most states. It came to me well packed in thermocole bottle savers and could be a good gift idea to send friends and family who don't live close by.

Eppa Sangria

I made the cranberry preserve by simmering the red berries until they burst with spices and citrus zest and it is even more delicious than it looks, especially when paired with the refreshingly light and so easy to make pannacotta. I'm sure it would taste great with crackers or cookies, plain yogurt, or even with cheese. I would probably spoon it over ice cream especially this one.

cranberries simmering with spices in wine Cranberry Preserve

Recipe for Cranberry Preserve / Dessert topping 

1/2 cup wine ( Eppa Sangria or any red wine)
1/2 cup water ( you can also use orange juice instead of the wine and water, or just use all water)
1 cup sugar or more to taste
4 pods cardamom
3 cloves
zest and juice of two small clementine oranges
2 cups cranberries

Heat the spices along with the water, juice, wine and cranberries and boil until the cranberries burst.
Rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant and stir it into the wine until the sugar is melted.
Taste and add more sugar if your cranberries are too tart.
Keep stirring on simmer until the mixture thickens into a jam like consistency. ( to test put a drop of liquid on a chilled plate, if it doesn't run when tilted, it is done, else simmer some more)
Pour into a clean sterilized jar and store in the fridge.

Recipe for Yogurt Pannacotta
( Serves 4)

  • 1 teaspoon gelatine powder ( half an envelope) 
  • 2 tablespoons cold water 
Sprinkle the gelatine powder evenly over the water in a small bowl or mug.You don't want the gelatine to clump up so sprinkle it over the surface of the water with your fingers as evenly as you can instead of dumping it in with a spoon. Set it aside to let "bloom" or soak up the water for about 5 mins.
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or lebni whisked well till smooth- you can just stir it with a fork ( fat free greek yogurt is ok- I use Fage 0% If you can't find greek yogurt and only have regular yogurt, you will need to drain out the water to make it thick see my post here)  
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream ( the kind that you can pour, not whipped) 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean slit in half and the seeds extracted with the tip of a knife or you can use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • Add the vanilla seeds along with the pod to the cream in a saucepan. 
  • Stir in the sugar and heat the cream until it stars to simmer at the edges of the pan- don't bring it to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and mix in the bloomed gelatine into the hot cream so it melts completely.
  • Let the mixture cool and fish out the vanilla bean pod. ( don't throw it away! wash and keep for another use or put it into your sugar bowl) 
  • Pour the cooled cream mixture into the whisked yogurt and stir till well mixed. 
  • Pour into ramekins or small bowls or even glasses or mugs and let set in the fridge overnight or atleast for 2 hours. If you plan to unmold the pannacotta, it is better to let is set for atleast 8 hours. 
Serve it cold topped with a tablespoon or so of the cranberry preserve.
As you can see I just served them in these little ceramic pots which I think also helped to ensure that my pannacotta was thick and creamy, but you can also unmold it. To unmold slide in a butter knife around the edges to loosen it from the ramekins. Place a plate over the ramekin and invert the whole thing, using one hand to hold the plate and the other to hold the ramekin.
Tap the ramekin to get it off. If it is still not coming off, run some hot water over the bottom of the ramekin and try again.

To make Sangria:

It couldn't be easier! Sangria is just red wine served chilled or with ice along with some chopped fruits- apples, peaches, mango, berries, citrus-anything you like! if you like you can sweeten it with sugar or honey or spike it with a little brandy or rum or add fruit juice or even soda instead. Sangria Blanca is made with white wine and you can even make it with a mix of the two, or even a non alcoholic version with grape juice instead of wine.

Here is how I made it:

Simply chill the Eppa Sangria or other red wine and pour into glasses or a decanter with cut fruit and cold water or ice- I used clementine slices and also added freshly squeezed clemetine juice and zest ( grated skin of the clementine- make sure they are organic and un-sprayed else wash them really, really well and also make sure not to get any of the white parts under the orange zest which is bitter) and stirred in some sugar syrup to taste. You can even make it a day ahead and keep in the fridge to let the flavors infuse better.

Sugar syrup
1:1 ratio of sugar to water ( e.g for 1/2 cup sugar, mix in 1/2 cup water or fruit juice, and you can also add in some spices like cardamom, cloves or zest )

Bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir just until all the sugar is melted. That's it.
Stir into wine or fruit juice to sweeten. You can use plain sugar if you want but sugar syrup just helps to ensure that the sugar is melted and avoid gritty sugar granules.

To make Mulled Wine:
Cold days are made warmer with mulled wine which is red wine heated with spices and citrus zest and served warm in mugs, sometimes with fruit bits or even raisins and can also be sweetened or spiked with other alcohol.

Here is how I make Mulled Wine:
Simmer red wine like Eppa Sangria or port with a little sugar syrup to taste and some grated orange zest and spices- cardamom and cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon until warm and serve in mugs.

Note: I received a free sample of Eppa Sangria to review with which I prepared the above recipes but I was not compensated to write this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Before I go I want to quickly point my facebook friends who liked the poinsettia wreath I made out of my stash of brown paper grocery bags to the beautiful craft blog I recently discovered via pinterest from where I learnt to make the poinsettias. I just glued my finished poinsettias which were spray painted with gold and some leaf cutouts to a circle cut from paper and hung it up :)



  1. That wreath sure did come out great Rose. I've never had panna cotta with yogurt, but yours sure does look and sound like something I would like. Excited for our lunch Thurs. Hope you are having a great week.

  2. A delightful dessert! That preserve is awesome.



  3. Stunning preserve, wat an excellent and very tempting pannacotta, wish to taste it.

    Btw grocery bag wreath looks damn cute Rose, keep up your great work yaar.

  4. such magical pics rose- love it; I especially loved the lil one's pic with the cranberries ! The wreath is a lovely use of the brown paper; seasons greetings gal

    1. Thanks Priya I really like that picture too, he climbed up and began playing with the berries so he was more than happy to pose for me!

  5. LOVELY photos Rose and looks like December is extra special for you packed with special occasion to celebrate one after the other.

  6. Lovely crafted wreath, so soft looking! Beautiful cranberry preserves-just love all your pictures Rose;-) Looking forward to our lunch;-)

  7. was good to hear from you, it's been a while :) those staub dishes are so so gorgeous!

    1. I was off facebook and blog wandering for a bit but missed it too much so I'm back :))

  8. Wow this looks so yummy...can I have some??? Pleaseeee..

  9. Yum Yum ....Pls pass me some :-)

  10. Hi Rose, your panna cotta looks tempting and the cranberry preserve is perfect with the panna cotta :)
    Thanks for submitting your photo to DMBLGiT. Wishing you good luck !

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