Warm Soup And A Red Wine Blend

Once a month I host a Girls’ Night In with my moms and tots group.

Please note that the youngest “tot” is in college and many of the “tots” have tots of their own.

This month’s get together fell on one of our cold January nights.

I know, cold temperatures in Chicago in January?!?! Shocking!


The deal for these monthly parties is that everyone brings an appetizer or a salad to share and I supply the wine and other beverages.

This month, though, seemed to call for some warm soup. So I enlisted my personal chef (aka my retired husband) to whip up a batch of his mom’s Sausage & Tortellini Soup.

Sausage and tortellini soup

You are going to want this recipe.

Sausage & Tortellini Soup

  • 1 Pound Italian sausage
  • 1 Large onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, pressed
  • 3 Cans of beef broth (14 1/2 ounces each)
  • 2 Cans of diced tomatoes, undrained (14 1/2 ounces each)
  • 1 Can of tomato sauce (8 ounces)
  • 1 Cup dry red wine
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 Small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 Package refrigerated cheese filled tortellini (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese

Discard sausage casings. Cook sausage, onion and garlic in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Return mixture to pan. Stir in broth and next 6 ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes. Skim off fat. Stir in zucchini and tortellini; simmer 10 minutes.

Sprinkle each serving with cheese. Yield: 10 cups

Peter says it was easy to make. The ladies and I all said it was delicious!

Peter paired this soup with a red blend: 2007 Facets of Gemstone.

2007 Facets of Gemstone

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (48%) and Merlot (42%), rounded out with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

It features a lovely, full body and lots of juicy, dark berry fruit.

The Gemstone Vineyard has changed hands since this wine was produced. The new owners continue to produce a red blend like this in very small quantities.

But don’t be discouraged because you can’t find this particular wine to pair with a bowl of Sausage & Tortellini Soup. There are other red blends that will do just fine.

First let’s talk a bit about red blends. What are they? Why should we drink them?

Red blends have historically had the reputation for being the wine soup made up of all the grapes that a vineyard couldn’t figure out what else to do with.

Sometimes that is the case. But there are lots and lots of great red wine blends made with thought and intention by very skilled winemakers.

Red wine blends tend to be a bit less expensive than single varietal wines by the same producer. They also tend to be a bit easier to drink – blended for smoothness. In general, red blends are more approachable even for the rookie wine drinker.

Here are a couple more I like.

First of all, my “go-to” red blend, The Prisoner.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner is widely acknowledged as the wine that brought credibility to the concept of a red wine blend worth buying.

I find it to be a very reliable wine, well worth the $40ish price tag. It is smooth and flavorful but not overpowering or too spicy.

Check out my review of The Prisoner here.

Another red blend that I like is the Rancho Sisquoc Flood Family Vineyard Sisquoc River Red from Santa Barbara County. ($20 per bottle)

This blend is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Syrah.

Pretty much you name it, it’s in there. OK, not really, but definitely a true blend of many different reds.

Rancho Sisquoc River Red

Interestingly enough, some wine makers do not disclose the blend of grapes that go into their wine. For some it is a proprietary secret, others are concerned about judgements being made about the wine without tasting.

For instance, a red blend containing even the mention of Zinfandel might be passed over by someone who doesn’t care for Zin. While the truth of the matter might be that the Zin is a tiny fraction of the blend, included for just a tiny bit of zest.

Just the other night we enjoyed a Sans Liege The Offering Red Blend. ($29 per bottle)

The Offering

This winemaker proudly displays the make up of the blend on the front label.

This lovely GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) from Santa Barbara County includes a splash of Viognier, a white wine often used to smooth out red blends.

Check out these blends and others at your local wine store.

And definitely try the soup!

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a red wine blend to recommend?

No one paid me to say this.

Designated driver, Uber or cab

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Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Looks like such a fun evening. Soup looks positively delish! So nice that you have a nice group of ladies to raise heck with. Have a great weekend!

  2. First, we love Uber. Not big sippers, but don’t like to take chances with our life, someone else, or the law. Probably should have stated law first. I do not get paid by Uber to say this, but everyone should use Uber if going out and you think you will have an adult beverage…down off soapbox.

    The soup recipe looks fabulous, going to pin your post so that I won’t have to search for recipe again. May need to make it today. Take care. I hope this soup goes well with our box of wine.
    Beemie recently posted…The Clock:My Profile

  3. Sounds like a fun night, and the soup sounds delicious!

  4. Looks delish! I love a big bowl of hearty, hot soup on a winter evening. My secret is to add lots of vegetables to any soup recipe in order to make it a one-pot meal. I freeze the leftovers too, like you. The only time my husband gets excited about soup for dinner is when I make a loaf bread to serve with it.

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