St. Ambrose Thanksgiving Survival Tips

It’s Thanksgiving season! You know what that means – food, family, and fun. And yeah, plenty of associated travel, stress, and potentially awkward situations. The holidays are stuffed full of the good, the bad, the awkward, and the ugly. We’re going to give you four ways that St. Ambrose Cellars can you help you survive unscathed.

Exercise Your Right


Uncle Joe has some strong opinions on recent events. Your cousins in college have been doing a lot of reading. And there’s always a nosy relative asking everyone questions a bit too personal. What’s the solution?

We, of course, want you to exercise your rights to free speech – but in a crowded space with lots of sharp kitchen utensils, you might want to exercise your right to refreshment instead. While everyone waits for the turkey, plop down a few of our XR Cyser bottles and change the topic of conversation yourself. “Apple Pie in a Bottle” is sure to get people talking about something a little less contentious.

Blend In


Ok, so maybe that didn’t work. Or maybe food is taking a lot longer than anticipated. Need to get away? The Real Tree AP Camo St. Ambrose long-sleeve will buy you the time you need. If the house doesn’t have a forest foliage themed wallpaper scheme, you can always run into the backyard. Nobody will notice, and you’ll get some needed alone time!

Show Your Red, White, and Blue Pride


The key to a peaceful dinner? Having a drink for everyone. We’ve got you covered, and you can show your patriotism.

For the red, we’ve got our 2013 Pinot Noir. Easy drinking Pinot goes great with the wide variety of big flavors you’re going to encounter on the Thanksgiving buffet table.

For the white, you’ve got 2011 Riesling Reserve. This classic from our cellar is running out and you’re going to want some of this before it’s gone! The refreshing taste of Riesling helps you get ready to mow down another turkey leg or six without overpowering the food.

For the blue, how about bringing in the Star Thistle? This traditional mead is unique and will be a new addition to many of your friends palettes. Star Thistle Mead is a semi-dry mead in the traditional style– simply fermented honey and water. It is a perfect entry point to the world of still mead and features a rich honey flavor with a crisp, dry finish.

Sweeten the Deal


Ok, let’s lay off the booze for a minute. How about adding some sweet, sweet, honey to your Thanksgiving meal? You could try this glazed shallot recipe, which features XR Cyser, for something different. Or you could some cinnamon raw honey, or the classic Tupelo, to pretty much anything on the table.

Close Strong


Finish the night strong with one of our dessert wine or dessert mead options. 2011 Forte is a red port-style wine that goes great with your favorite cigar, cheese, chocolate, or other after-dinner refreshment of choice, if you catch my drift. On the other side of the aisle, we’ve got the incomparable Royal Reserve.

Royal Reserve is aged in bourbon barrels for almost two years. As Noel says on the website, it is “The Nectar of the Gods!”.


There you go – a surefire survival guide to your Thanksgiving. And plenty of advertisements.

Cinnamon & Raw Honey Is Here

Cinnamon & Raw Honey Is Here

We are always excited to share goodness from the hive with our faithful customers as well as our new ones. Our newest product from Sleeping Bear Farms is sure to utterly wow your taste buds, but we’re just as excited about the health benefits of this collaboration between our own raw honey and organic cinnamon bark!

This flavor combo is truly divine. We’ve been trying it on pretty much everything we can think of, inspired by the guy in the Bee Barn who encouraged this idea come to fruition, Mr. Lane.

Nathon, our humble production manager at Sleeping Bear Farms, says that he and his daughters starting making their own version of this delectation at home and spreading it on toast, stirring it into oatmeal, adding loving spoonfuls to their hot water for a tasty treat before bedtime or to soothe and tame a tempestuous tummy.

He says he and his wife even like to make a little moonshine with this blended perfection. After discovering the vast array of health benefits to this palate pleaser, he knew he had an idea worth sharing with all of us.

Thus began the road to developing our first “flavored” honey, made with the star of the show at SBF and St Ambrose Cellars; Star Thistle Honey. Star thistle is an abundant wild flower that our worker bees seek out in while summering here in Benzie County and the outlying areas. Star Thistle, or Centaurea solstitialis, is an incredible source of pollen, thus nectar for our revered pollinators. A plant with a tap root system, it has a crucial role in restoring the soil by bringing up vital micronutrients. While agriculturists may consider this an invasive species, or “weed”, we know the valuable role it plays in our production of ‘the nectar of the gods”—honey. We think star thistle is the bee’s knees!

Raw Honey Benefits

Raw Honey has numerous health benefits, from allergy reduction and wound healing to stabilizing blood pressure and balancing sugar levels. It is considered the most perfect food, as it contains all essential nutrients to sustain life. And did you know that honey NEVER spoils? An archaeological dig unearthed honey in a hive from over 5,000 years ago and it was still good!

Cinnamon Health Benefits

And cinnamon? Well cinnamon is known since ancient times as a gift fit for kings! Evidence based health benefits of the cassia bark suggest that cinnamon is:

  • Loaded with Antioxidants
  • Loaded with Anti-inflammatory properties
  • May cut the risk of Heart Disease
  • Can improve Insulin Sensitivity
  • Beneficial for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Reduces growth of Cancer cells
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal

Combining these two powerhouses together is not simply delicious, it is also potent medicine; good for your senses, your soul, and your well-being.
You’ll find the 1.5 pound jar of cinnamon honey stocked here in our tasting room. It is also available at Oryana Food Co-op, Family Fare, Olsen’s and more in Traverse City and online at sleepingbearfarms.com.