Outlanderday Cooking: Wine and Wedding feasts!

First of all, before we discuss any other cooking or dining plans for this evening’s episode, I want to try to answer a question one of my followers left me. She wanted to know whether Colum’s wine goblets were available for purchase anywhere? Well, I had to go in search of them after that! Alas, I was not able to find the exact goblets- I am quite certain that Colum probably had his specially crafted just for his table! I did however find a number of other beautiful goblets and glasses on my search and will share them with you!


Outlander wine goblets

Why is their Rhenish wine not white post:

Colum and Claire enjoying the Rhenish wine


Now, unfortunately for Claire, she will be celebrating her Wedding feast at a local tavern/Inn and not at Colum’s fine table… or at a well set Sassenach one either.



If she were celebrating her Wedding feast under more suitable and appropriate circumstances, she would of course enjoy some of the treasured Rhenish Wine and perhaps she might have received some of her own exquisite goblets to set a future table with?  Here are just a few examples of such elegant Wine ware that I found!




Pitcher/Decanter to serve the Rhenish Wine from!

Jacobite wine goblets

Jacobite Wine Goblets, found on my search… unfortunately no link to their maker or other information was available.

Celtic wine goblet

Celtic Wine Goblet, one of many available at



Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets from:


These next three were all found on Amazon!

pewter wine goblet at amazon gold wine goblets from amazon etched wine glasses


Update! If you still can’t find that perfect glass or goblet, I suggest you try searching here!


Ahhhhh and now that such dreaming is out of the way, Claire will have to just be happy that she has been found a clean dress to wear! And, tis a truly pretty one at that! Thank Heavens for Ned Gowen!

Outlander wedding dress first look


As to her Wedding feast, well it most likely be what ever the Inn is serving tonight, which we understand is roast beef, fresh bread and plenty of Ale to wash it all down! I’ve heard that Jamie might possibly be able to procure some better tasting wine for them to celebrate with privately? We’ll have to see if he has any luck on that!


We will be joining in the celebration and will feast on the same fare everyone else at the Inn tonight!  Theresa at has provided us with an excellent recipe for roast beef so we shall attempt that!

sliced-beef-copy rubbed-roast-copy


I am going to experiment a bit with the roast though. I have a very small beef roast and am going to try something with it? I’ve done this in the past and it turned out delicious so I am going to try it again and combine it with the rest of Theresa’s recipe?  What I will do is very carefully open the roast so it is a flat piece of meat, then spread an herbed goat cheese mixture over it and roll it back up, tying it once I am finished. After that process, I will go on with Theresa’s recipe! I will provide pictures and results in an update post later tonight… hopefully? If I am not too teary eyed and wine sloshed from the whole Wedding event!


Other posts related to the upcoming Wedding!

Thousand kisses poem:

Dunvegan Castle is included in the Wedding plans and invitations!

Preview of tonight’s episode:

Rhenish/Rhine Red Wine- Joseph Handler Sweet Red

 Previous Rhenish Wine post:


After taste testing this wine, I can very happily give it high praise and approval! It was definitely a good bargain and will not have to be moved to the cooking only category! I am not normally a fan of Red wine, Rhenish or not, but this one won me over!  It was slightly dry with a bit of a smoky flavor that enhanced the fruitiness. It was a good mix of muted fruit flavors with no one particular fruit overpowering it. It was excellent and I shall have another!

Joseph Handler Sweet Red Rhine wine

Joseph Handler Sweet Red Rhine wine

Outlander: The Gathering and some Shinty!



Preparing for tomorrow’s episode of Outlander: The Gathering!


The men of Castle Leoch enjoy a game of Shinty! I love this video, waited all afternoon to find a link to it for you! It kind of reminds me of  my youth watching friends play their own battle field version of Rugby! But, then I was raised on Hockey, so I do enjoy a good bit of bloodsport every now and then!  I wonder if they played the Shinty before or after the Boar hunting?! What a day, I hope Mrs. Fitz is well prepared with food and drink for everyone!


Shinty (Scottish Gaelic: camanachd, iomain) is a team game  played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England  and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.

While comparisons are often made with field hockey,, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.


Shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. It is thought to predate Christianity, having come to Scotland with the Gaels from Ireland.   Hurling, which is a similar game to shinty, is derived from the historic game common to both peoples which has been a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.   Shinty/Hurling appears prominently in the legend of Cúchulainn, the Celtic mythology hero.   A similar game was played on the Isle of Man known as cammag, a name cognate with camanachd. The old form of hurling played in the northern half of Ireland, called “commons”, resembled shinty more closely than the standardised form of hurling of today. Like shinty, it was commonly known as camánacht and was traditionally played in winter.

The origins of the name shinty are uncertain. There is a theory that the name was derived from the cries used in the game; shin ye, shin you and shin t’ye, other dialect names were shinnins, shinnack and shinnup,[8] or as Hugh Dan MacLennan proposes from the Scottish Gaelic sìnteag.   However, there was never one all encompassing name for the game, as it held different names from glen to glen, including cluich-bhall (play-ball in English) and in the Scottish Lowlands, where it was formerly referred to as Hailes, common/cammon (caman), cammock (from Scottish Gaelic  camag), knotty and various other names, as well as the terms still used to refer to it in modern Gaelic, camanachd or iomain.

The game was traditionally played through the winter months, with New Year’s Day being the day when whole villages would gather together to play games featuring teams of up to several hundred a side, players often using any piece of wood with a hook as a caman. In Uist, stalks of seaweed were put to use due to a lack of trees. Modern camans are made from several laminates of ash or hickory, which are glued and cut into shape, although one-piece camans were still commonplace until the early 1980s. The ball was traditionally a round piece of wood or bone, sometimes called a cnapag, but soon developed into the worsted leather balls used today.


Besides the Shinty and the Boar hunting, one should not forget just how important the Clan Gathering was in other respects. This was the time for all of the Clan’s members to meet, discuss and make decisions for the entire Clan.  I previously did some research on the Scottish Clan system for my own story and I will share it again here as it might help you to understand a bit better just how their Clan system worked.  The following link will take you to my post on the history of Scottish Clans. Some of the information is general, and the other part of it is an explanation of the clan history relating to my work on Dunvegan Castle and Clan MacCleod.


The upcoming Clan gathering for the MacKenzie is a crucial turning point for Jamie because he will be forced to make a decision regarding his membership and allegiance to the Clan MacKenzie. I am not going to say anything else on this point out of consideration to  those who have not read the books! There are a number of viewers who have not read the books and I don’t want to add too many spoilers here for them!


Now, as to my own preparations for the upcoming Gathering, I am taking it all quite seriously… as well we should!  I spent much of last night and today working on the Feasting menu. Much thanks of course, to Theresa and her!  Her menu suggestion for this week’s episode can be found here: .  I have made a few slight adjustments to it in regards to my own menu. She suggested roast pork tenderloin, but I will be substituting some of our favorite pork bellies from Trader Joe’s!  I do still plan to glaze them with the Cider sauce though.


Haaaaa, For some one who seldom drinks anymore, this cooking adventure is causing me to once again stock my shelves with Alcohol… Today’s purchases in preparation for Tomorrow’s feasting! The Cider is for the Cider sauce, the Whisky is for the Atholl Brose- which can also be found at  and the wine is the Rhenish Red that I plan to taste test!



Along with the porkbellies and Cider sauce, we will be trying some Clapshot Rosti  (clapshot is what you get when you mix potatoes and turnips together! Our family is not so fond of the neeps alone) and some Parsnip Crisps.  I could not resist the parsnip crisps as they reminded me of my childhood.  Those recipes can be found here at BBC Food Recipes:


As I mentioned, I will also be attempting the Atholl Brose recipe even though I am not a fan of Whisky… I know, I know, I should probably be banished from the Castle for that!  I did find the Dewar’s Highlander Honey and am hoping that this will improve upon the whisky taste?  One other thing I am going to try is, a version Cranachan, a Scottish dessert.

You can find information and a recipe for it here:


Now, after a busy day of shopping and researching, I am ready to go taste test the Rhenish Red Wine!









Rhenish Wine update!

Previous Rhenish Wine post:


Just a quick update to let you know that I did find a Rhenish Red Wine at my local Trader Joe’s!  It was a bargain at under $5 so I decided to pick it up and will be trying it out! I have not had a chance to taste it yet, it’s chilling for now and I will update on whether it was truly a good find or not… or whether I will be using it to flavor some cooking!

Joseph Handler Sweet Red- Reinhessen Germany

Joseph Handler Sweet Red- Reinhessen Germany



I did also find two reviews of it on other sites and am including those here!

The Wino that I know: Joseph Handler Sweet Red


This other video review is for the 2010 Joseph Handler Sweet Red from Thumbs Up Wine Review

Outlander: Why is their Rhenish wine not white?!


Previous Outlander post:

In my previous Outlander post, I mentioned my personal confusion as to why the Rhenish Wine was a Red or Rose and not a white variety that I am so fond of and familiar with? I also mentioned that I would do some research on this and return with my findings.

Colum and Claire enjoying the Rhenish wine


I did go forth and research this puzzle that was nagging at me. So, now I will provide a very abbreviated history of the Rhenish wine and some possible reasons why the wine was not white!

First of all, we need to know a bit about the general history  Rhenish or Rhine Wine and the area from which it comes. 

Rhine wines are wines which come from the valleys surrounding the Rhine River in Germany. There are a number of tributaries to the Rhine River, and these tributaries make up the many different wine regions of the Rhine River valley. Some of the wine regions in this geographical area include:


  • Ahr
  • Nahe
  • Pfalz
  • Rheingau
  • Rheinhessen




Germany produces wines in many styles: dry, semi-sweet and sweet white wines, rosé wines, red wines and sparkling wines, called Sekt. (The only wine style not commonly produced is fortified wine.) Due to the northerly location of the German vineyards, the country has produced wines quite unlike any others in Europe, many of outstanding quality. Until end of the 1980ies German wine was known abroad for cheap, sweet or semi-sweet, low-quality mass-produced wines such as Liebfraumilch.

The wines have historically been predominantly white, and the finest made from Riesling. Many wines have been sweet and low in alcohol, light and unoaked. Historically many of the wines (other than late harvest wines) were probably dry (trocken), as techniques to stop fermentation did not exist. Recently much more German white wine is being made in the dry style again. Much of the wine sold in Germany is dry, especially in restaurants. However most exports are still of sweet wines, particularly to the traditional export markets such as Great Britain, which is the leading export market both in terms of volume and value. The United States (second in value, third in volume) and the Netherlands (second in volume, third in value) are two other important export markets for German wine.

Red wine has always been hard to produce in the German climate, and in the past was usually light colored, closer to rosé or the red wines of Alsace. However recently there has been greatly increased demand and darker, richer red wines (often barrique aged) are produced from grapes such as Dornfelder and Spätburgunder, the German name for Pinot noir.




Greman wines-red, rose, white, dry, sweet

Greman wines-red, rose, white, dry, sweet


Early history of German Wines


Viticulture in present-day Germany dates back to Ancient Roman times, to sometime from 70 to 270 CE/AD (Agri Decumates). In those days, the western parts of today’s Germany made up the outpost of the Roman empire against the Germanic tribes on the other side of Rhine. What is generally considered Germany’s oldest city, Trier, was founded as a Roman garrison and is situated directly on the river Moselle (Mosel) in the eponymous wine region. The oldest archeological finds that may indicate early German viticulture are curved pruning knives found in the vicinity of Roman garrisons, dating from the 1st century AD.[3] However, it is not absolutely certain that these knives were used for viticultural purposes. Emperor Probus, whose reign can be dated two centuries later than these knives, is generally considered the founder of German viticulture, but for solid documentation of winemaking on German soil, we must go to around 370 AD, when Ausonius of Bordeaux wrote Mosella, where he in enthusiastic terms described the steep vineyards on river Moselle.[3]


The wild vine, the forerunner of the cultivated Vitis vinifera is known to have grown on upper Rhine back to historic time, and it is possible (but not documented) that Roman-era German viticulture was started using local varieties. Many viticultural practices were however taken from other parts of the Roman empire, as evidenced by Roman-style trellising systems surviving into the 18th century in some parts of Germany, such as the Kammerbau in the Palatinate.[3]


Almost nothing is known of the style or quality of “German” wines that were produced in the Roman era, with the exception of the fact that the poet Venantius Fortunatus mentions red German wine around AD 570


History of Rheingau area

Kloster Eberbach was built by the Cistercian monks who founded much of the Rheingau wine industry, and the buildings still house a wine cellar of the Hessian state winery and is used for wine auctions.

Old wine cellar at Kloster Eberbach

Since the Verona donation in 983, the Rheingau belonged to the archbishopric of Mainz. Legend has it that Charlemagne let the first vineyards be planted in the region, close to present-day Schloss Johannisberg.[2] However finds like a Roman origin grapevine cutting knife point to even earlier cultivation. Better documented is the early influence of the church on Rheingau winemaking, which was controlled from Eberbach Abbey. Augustinians and Benedictines are known to have inhabited the area of the later abbey from 1116, and in 1135 the Cistercians arrived, sent out from Clairvaux. Legend has it that the Cistercians, which are also credited with having founded the wine industry in Burgundy, brought Pinot noir with them to Rheingau, although the earliest record of the grape variety in Rheingau is from 1470.[3] The slopes down from the Taunus mountains belonging to Kloster Eberbach were planted as vineyards in the 12th Century, and early in the 13th Century the vineyards had reached their present area. In medieval times, more red than white wine was produced, usually as Gemischter Satz, i.e. the vineyards were planted with mixed varieties which were vinified together.  For our purposes and understanding, this mixing of varieties would have at times resulted in variations from the Whites to Rose or lighter Reds.


Geography, Terrain, and history of Rheinhessen (wine region)

The Rhine forms the eastern and northern boundary of the region, with the Nahe River to the west and the Haardt Mountains to the south. The Palatinate wine region lies to the south, the Rheingau lies across the Rhine to the north, and the Nahe wine region to the west. Known as the “land of the thousand hills”, the terrain is undulating with vineyards mixed with orchards and other forms of farming. Its larger towns include: Mainz, Worms, Bingen, Alzey, Nieder-Olm and Ingelheim.

In general the wines are best nearest the Rhine, where the soils impart more complex flavours. The best known area for white wines is the so-called Rhine Terrace (Rheinterasse; sometimes Rhine Front, Rheinfront) between Oppenheim and Nackenheim, which by itself is bigger than the whole of the Rheingau. A part of the Rhine Terrace, between Nackenheim and Nierstein is known as the Red Slope (Roter Hang) because of the presence of red slate.[3] The main red grape area is around Ingelheim, in the north of the region opposite the Rheingau.

Grapes have been grown in the region since Roman times, and viticulture was promoted by Charlemagne.

When the owners of Stadecken-Elsheim the Counts of Katzenelnbogen first cultivated Riesling in 1435 they called the wine from this part of their county the Wine from the Gau.[4] At the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse, was awarded with Rhenish Hesse as compensation for the loss of his Westphalian territories. As a result, he amended his title to “Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine” and the name of the region was created.

Liebfrauenmilch is named after the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in Worms, which also was the name of a good and famous vineyard. Later, Liebfrauenmlich was used as a name for a semi-sweet wine style produced in several German regions, and became responsible for much of the erosion of the German wines’ reputation on the export market. The most famous Liebfraumlich brand, until they changed their classification, was Blue Nun which was created in 1921. Today, no quality-oriented top producer in Rheinhessen would dare to produce a Liebfrauenmilch for fear of their reputation.


Well, after reading through the history and other research, it does indeed seem that I completely missed out on experiencing the long history and the varieties of  Red Wines during my years in Germany! It is entirely plausible and probable that during the 1740’s Colum would have enjoyed some Rhenish Red and Rose type Wines!


Aside from fine goblets in which to enjoy the wine, here are some versions of the types of casks, pitchers and such that might have also been in use during that time!


Rhenish wine flagons Rhenish wine cask with pitcher claret-jug-plinth antique wine bottle for rhenish wine


Now, my last concern about the Rhenish Wine was the alcohol content? Normally, the Rhenish Wines should or would have had a lower alcohol content… which would not have done much to relieve Colum’s pains or caused Claire to be so tipsy after only a few glasses of it?  I do believe that I have found the answer to that concern as well!


For those who have read the Outlander books, you will be aware that were relatives in France who were in the wine business. Jamie’s cousin Jared is in the wine business and has dealings with winemakers in Germany in the Outlander book, Dragonfly in Amber.  For now though we will only deal with possibilities that pertain to his dealings in France and Colum’s possible procurements of  Rhenish Red wines with a higher alcohol content!

His stronger Rhenish Wine might have come from the Alsace region.



Riesling grapes growing in Alsace.

Riesling is on record as being planted in the Alsace region by 1477 when its quality was praised by the Duke of Lorraine.   Today over a fifth of Alsace’s vineyards are covered with Riesling vines, mostly in the Haut-Rhin district, with the varietal Riesling d’Alsace (fr) being very different from neighboring German Riesling.  This is partly from difference in the soil with the clay Alsatian soil being more  calcareous than the slate composition of Rheingau. The other differences come in wine making styles, with the Alsatian preferring more French-oriented methods that produce wines of higher alcohol content (normally around 12%) and more roundness due to longer time spent in neutral oak barrels or steel tanks. In contrast to German wine laws, Alsatian rieslings can be chaptalized, a process in which the alcoholic content is increased through the addition of sugar to the must.




The modern history of Alsace-Lorraine was largely influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalisms.

Since the Middle Ages, France sought to attain and preserve its “natural boundaries“, which are the Pyrenees to the southwest, the Alps to the southeast, and the Rhine River to the northeast. These strategic aims led to the absorption of territories located west of the Rhine river. What is now known as Alsace was progressively conquered by Louis XIV in the 17th century, while Lorraine was integrated in the 18th century under Louis XV.

In the earlier times, any wine produced in the Alsace region, whether a White or a Rose type  (very few if any Reds were produced in the area), would have been labeled and marketed as a Rhenish or Rhine wine. The alcohol content would have been much higher, up to 15% due to the terrain and the method of wine making which was more of the French method than the German method.


So, there we have our answers as to why Colum’s Rhenish Wine might have been Rose or Red, and strong enough to put a dent in any pain he was feeling! I hope you’ve enjoyed this history and wine lesson as it relates to Rhenish Wine and to Outlander!

For more detailed information, you can visit any number of related pages:


German Wine


Rheingau (wine region)


Rheinhessen (wine region)


Alsace wine


White Rhine Wine from Germany


Bauer Haus Sweet Red– Bauer Haus Dornfelder and Riesling wines



Just a quick update to let you know that I did find a Rhenish Red Wine at my local Trader Joe’s!  It was a bargain at under $5 so I decided to pick it up and will be trying it out! I have not had a chance to taste it yet, it’s chilling for now and I will update on whether it was truly a good find or not… or whether I will be using it to flavor some cooking!

Joseph Handler Sweet Red- Reinhessen Germany

Joseph Handler Sweet Red- Reinhessen Germany



I did also find two reviews of it on other sites and am including those here!

The Wino that I know: Joseph Handler Sweet Red


This other video review is for the 2010 Joseph Handler Sweet Red from Thumbs Up Wine Review


After taste testing this wine, I can very happily give it high praise and approval! It was definitely a good bargain and will not have to be moved to the cooking only category! I am not normally a fan of Red wine, Rhenish or not, but this one won me over!  It was slightly dry with a bit of a smoky flavor that enhanced the fruitiness. It was a good mix of muted fruit flavors with no one particular fruit overpowering it. It was excellent and I shall have another!

Joseph Handler Sweet Red Rhine wine

Joseph Handler Sweet Red Rhine wine