Full disclosure...this is a post from years past. But, still relevant, so sharing again!
‘Tis the Season of last minute gift grabbing: heading to someone’s house, a party, or an appointment, and wanting to give something better than a regift from last year. Keep a case of easy drinkers and pretty tissue handy all season long so you never show up empty handed.*
Perhaps the most obvious, but for a reason! People work hard to throw a party at their home and always appreciate the acknowledgement of a gift. And – if you call it a hostess gift instead of a bar contribution, they feel like they get to keep that special bottle to themselves.
…are always better with a little wine. Don’t trust Uncle Jack to have enough supply to keep everyone going through the course of a family get together. Bring a bottle of your own to make sure there is enough for the duration!
I was getting my hair done 2 weeks before Christmas last year and someone popped in to give my stylist a bottle of wine. There I was, a winery employee, and totally empty handed. A nice bottle can go a long way for the people with whom you have a great relationship, but maybe didn’t make the major mall shopping list.
*Note: in no way am I suggesting that these wines should be consumed in your car, which is illegal. If you think you might be tempted, keep the corkscrew at home. Also, be careful about the weather! Wines left outside overnight when the temps drop could freeze, and that is really sad.
We're excited to share that we've doubled up this holiday season to give you the greatest experience ever at Fidelitas!
Introducing your Club Concierge Team.
Michelle and Skye are here to help with anything you bring to us (even recipe ideas or deciding what wine will pair best with irksome in-laws).
Need something special shipped to your cousins across country, no problem! We'll even wrap it up in shimmering paper, tie it with a bow, hand write your gift note, and ensure that we ship it to arrive on time.
Trying to come up with a gift that keeps on giving for that special someone who deserves something special all year round...look no further! We'll help you set up a customized gift Wine Club Membership.
Know someone who is already a Fidelitas fan and want to pick out something unique? We'll gladly ponder their wine history to see what their favorites are and dig around in our Library for something comparable or find a Large format they will enjoy.
Did you know that we'll even hand deliver local gifts for you? We pack up the trusty Subaru with cases of wine and find our way to your office to give those hardworking employees of yours a gift they will be sure to enjoy.
We even have something for the novice wine drinker!
No task is too big or too small. We are on call to do the work for you this holiday season!
Contact your Concierge Team at email@example.com or 509.554.9191
P.S. Please help us in welcoming Skye Dissette as a permanate addition to the Club Concierge Team!
Is it just me, or did 2016 feel like it never happened? We just finished up our LAST club release of the year and that boggles my mind. Something else that boggles my mind is walking into Target and feeling like you are already behind on the holidays. As we enter this festive season it’s time to look back on what we have released this year and add it to the holiday wine list! Who wants to go shopping?
The best wine to have with your turkey! This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon has just the perfect amount of acidity to balance out the fruit. I say it pairs well with turkey but at my household it seems this wine is gone before appetizers are even served…at 11am.
A blend that pleases them all. No matter the wine drinker, it is always smart to have a heavier blend on the table. It helps that this wine is from some of the best vineyards on Red Mountain!
As most of you know, we like our Cabernet’s here at Fidelitas. So, let’s start with one that we released earlier this year! This Cabernet is a bit brighter than the others that will go perfectly with your holiday dish.
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Look no further! This wine is sourced from the very first block that was planted in the Champoux Vineyard (vines dating back to 1972!). A dark, rich, luscious Cabernet that will please any wine lover. We are also down to the last few cases of our 2012 vintage and hey, we will even wrap them for you!
Ahh...Charlie’s second vintage! I may be biased, but Charlie’s Cabernet’s are fantastic. Especially when they come from his own vineyards. Snag yourself this special wine, it hits all the right taste buds and looks pretty on the table!
Come on…you must have a Merlot at the party. We all know that Charlie makes some of the best Merlot’s around, and this one is possibly my favorite (sorry, Red Mountain Merlot!). Ciel du Cheval is owned by Jim Holmes, the pioneer of Red Mountain itself. Charlie and Jim make a dynamic duo and it shows with this wine. It will pair with pretty much anything on your holiday menu.
Happy Holidays from Fidelitas and let’s get to shoppin’!
We are approaching the holiday season quickly and we here at Fidélitas have some awesome upcoming events that we would love to share with you!
Red Mountain Wine Walk
Wine Walks are a fantastic way to explore the area wineries and Fidélitas is happy to be a part of a special one highlighting Red Mountain. We have partnered with 6 other Woodinville Wineries to bring you the Woodinville Red Mountain Wine Walk. Obtain your card and begin your journey at any of the wineries below. Simply enjoy a tasting at each, collect your stamp, and soak up all the knowledge you can about the special AVA that is Red Mountain. Once you’ve completed your card, simply place it in the envelope at the last winery and it becomes your entry for a chance to win some pretty incredible prizes! The Woodinville Red Mountain Wine Walk goes until December 15, 2016, so you still have time to get in on the goodies!
Friends and Family Day at Fidélitas!
Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, Fidélitas opens its doors to our Friends and Family for free tastings! That’s right, free tastings! You’ve feasted and shopped and now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some fabulous wine. You simply need to rsvp to let us know you’ll be joining us. Club members receive two additional tastings and non-clubbies can grab two complimentary tastings. We’ll be full of cheer and pouring our favorites! You don’t want to miss this! Click here to sign up!
Fidélitas Holiday Shopping Party!
What’s that you say? Come to Fidélitas, grab some yummy bites, sample some wine, and shop? Done! Each December we host our Holiday Shopping Party in both Woodinville and on Red Mountain. This year it’s Friday, December 2nd on Red Mountain and Saturday, December 3rd in Woodinville. Wines that make up our gift packs (can you say delicious?) are open, tasty appetizers are available, and guests have the opportunity to purchase wines that are beautifully packaged and ready for gift giving or can create their own custom set. I’m sure there’s at least one (or five!) person on your gift list that would love to receive some amazing Fidélitas wines for the holidays. As an added bonus, the ever popular Staff Cookie Bar will be making an appearance as well! Tickets are just $15 each, and as this is a highly popular event, please rsvp to either Amy (if you will be attending in Woodinville) or Chelsea (if you’ll be attending on Red Mountain) as soon as possible. Pre-purchase a gift pack (available here) and your ticket is free!
We look forward to seeing you in the tasting room soon!
Driving down Sunset and around Red Mountain it is so clear why this truly is my favorite time of the year. The leaves have been changing and if you’ve recently paid a visit to Red Mountain you can see the beauty that is hiding down every row. As we begin to release the last wines of the year we are set to showcase our Ciel du Cheval Release, which is always my favorite release of the year.
The Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is the second oldest vineyard on Red Mountain and was planted in 1975. Many people often ask the translation of Ciel du Cheval and for those of you who speak French or remember learning French in school know it as, “sky horse.” Now flashback to the 1970’s when Red Mountain was nothing more than a hill with sagebrush and you have a newly planted vineyard that looks in the direction of the Horse Heaven Hills. And there you have it! The long unanswered question of the meaning behind Ciel du Cheval. These wines are the perfect pairing for every holiday table and gathering. Recommended to drink now or share with friends and family.
2013 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard provides the fruit for this big, bold, Cabernet Sauvignon, giving us everything we’d hope for from a Red Mountain Cab. We find red and black fruits on the nose, along with chocolate, tobacco, and a touch of baking spice. These are confirmed on the palate, adding blueberry and cassis, currants, mulled berries, and vanilla, all amongst chewy tannins, and a lengthy finish. Drink now through 2025.
2013 Ciel du Cheval Merlot
Merlot is one of Charlie’s favorite grapes to work with, so the opportunity to create a varietal Merlot from one of the most established vineyards on Red Mountain was irresistible. The aromatics on this 2013 vintage are dense and plentiful, with raspberries, strawberries, violets, and white pepper. The palate is rich, adding notes of bourbon soaked cherries, sweet tobacco, and a slight minerality, all with a soft intake, and elegant, rounded tannins. This wine has plenty of time to develop in the cellar. Drink now through 2023.
2013 Ciel du Cheval Red Wine
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine is our ‘right bank’ blend, comprised mostly of Merlot. This wine is soft and elegant, showcasing raspberry, blackberry, dried thyme, and just a touch of cocoa. The palate is plush and velvety, full of red and blue fruit tones, cedar, and baking spice, surrounded by fine grained tannins and a lasting finish. Drink now through 2021.
2013 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Franc
This varietal Cabernet Franc from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is a perennial fan favorite, and is always hard to come by. The nose is delicate, with blueberry and plum notes, fresh figs, and a soft mocha characteristic. The palate is lush, showing velvety tannins, and an elegant, lengthy finish. Drink now through 2021.
2013 Ciel du Cheval Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot, rarely a standalone varietal, is the sole grape in this unique wine from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. We love the unique, bold style, and deep purple hue of this limited production wine. Aromas of dense, dark cherry, cola, plums, and sage rise from the glass, backed by a palate of blackberries, dried herbs, and minerality, all set with balanced acidity and structured tannins. Drink now through 2021.
And just like that, it's November. I've been getting happily settled into my fall routine and my favorite part has been making a warm, belly filling dinner, opening a bottle of red, and finding my place on the couch to watch my favorite shows. Have you seen "This Is Us" yet?? My new favorite! Here are five fall weeknight pairings that have been a hit at my house:
Show: This Is Us on NBC
Show: The Walking Dead on AMC
Show: Grace and Frankie on Netflix
Dinner: Chicken Kale Sweet Potato Stew
Show: Saturday Night Live on NBC
Dinner: Zucchini Noodle Skillet Lasagna
Show: Friends reruns on Netflix
Charlie and I attended the Auction of Washington Wines back in late August. In the midst of the nervous and excited attendees and bidders, was an even more nervous and excited group of individuals: the Washington winemakers. Cell phones in hand, they were arranging trucking, and cellar space, and barrels for the first of the crop to arrive. Not even a full week later, we had Sauvignon Blanc from Klipsun Vineyard in the cellar. Harvest 2016 was fast and furious, and providing high yields of quality fruit, and now that we’re on the other side, we might even consider it fun.
August 24, 2016: Sauvignon Blanc is picked from Klipsun Vineyard. We love the lower elevation and proximity of this vineyard site, which helps to maintain crisp acidity in a warm growing region. This vintage, the Sauvignon Blanc is being aged in French oak barrels specifically designed for Bordeaux-style white wines.
August 29, 2016: by the end of August, we had brought in Merlot from Quintessence Vineyard and Red Heaven Vineyard. Charlie even sourced a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon from some specific sites before Labor Day.
September 10, 2016: Quintessence Vineyard Merlot gets some time in our open top wood fermenters. Charlie keeps me on my toes, trying new methods each year. “It’s possible our best wines are still yet to come,” he tells me from time to time. We’ll see, Charlie.
September 10, 2016: We host 50 of our closest friends in the Fidelitas Estate Dinner. Probably one of the most lovely evenings I’ve spent on Red Mountain.
September 13, 2016: In some ways, I wish I could just share screen shots of my texts with Charlie during harvest. After he sent me this picture, I ask “Oh! Is the cellar full?” His reply (an hour later) “It’s been full. Second round on all the tanks.” Sorry for asking, Charlie. Keep up the good work.
September 16, 2016: Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 169, is picked in Quintessence Vineyard. Charlie, feeling funny, tells me that Brown Mountain can be seen in the distance.
Sunday, September 25, 2016: “These fermenters don’t know it’s 6AM on a Sunday,” Charlie texts me…at 6:11AM on a Sunday.
October 1, 2016: Cabernet Sauvignon is picked in Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. These are some of the most established vines in the Red Mountain AVA
October 4, 2016: Cabernet Sauvignon is picked from our own Estate Vineyard. This is several weeks later than last year, and nearly 5 weeks later than the first Cabernet to come off of Red Mountain. People question me on how such a small AVA can produce different fruit. Well, if it ripens 5 weeks apart from each other, that is a huge indicator. Slope, aspect, elevation, and so many other factors are going to have a giant impact on the final profile of the wine.
October 22, 2016: We kick up our heels with the Harvest Party. The fruit is off the vines, and most of it is tucked away in the barrels where it will spend the next couple of years. Tacos and red wine are enjoyed by all!
Until next year!
Team Fidelitas decided we would head from Red Mountain to Walla Walla in mid-September. As Jess would put it, “we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.” Everyone came to the same conclusion. Fantastic wines and fantastic people. The great thing about the wine industry in Washington is that we are all friends, even if we have never met. Each winery greeted us with open arms and delicious vino. And that is what helped make our experience in Walla Walla so memorable. It was my first time and will certainly not be my last.
Here is a peak into our three-day itinerary.
Day 2 (the ultimate tasting day):
Spring Valley Vineyards
If you are planning a trip to wine country look no further! From Yakima Valley to Red Mountain to Walla Walla, we have you covered. Just reach out. We will give you some great recommendations.
I love Fall! There is a certain crispness to the air and all the leaves are magically turning beautiful shades of orange, yellow and fiery red. Our Estate vineyard has even begun its transformation, from vibrant green to earthy browns.
Fall is a time when we begin to move indoors and think of warm fires and hearty, satisfying meals. It’s also a segue into the holiday entertaining season, one that is usually filled with family and friends and lots of get togethers. The appetizer below is a fantastic one to bring to a party – it takes hardly any time to prepare and is warm and ready in under 15 minutes. The topping includes our Product Spotlight for October, the 2013 Red Mountain Malbec, but honestly, any of our red wines would be amazing. Warm brie, red wine and crostini, what could be better?
8 oz wheel of Brie
1 cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup Pecans, chopped
1 T Malbec wine
Crostini for serving
Preheat oven to 425. Mix the brown sugar and pecans and slowly drizzle in the wine. Mix until a thick paste forms. You may need to add or reduce the amount of wine. Topping will keep in an air tight container for 2-3 weeks.
Slice the top off of the Brie as close to the rind as possible. Spray an oven safe serving dish with non-stick spray. Place Brie in pan and bake for 6-7 minutes or until warm. Add ¼ to ½ cup of topping and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes until bubbly. Serve with crostini.
I’d like to give a shout out to our friends who make our harvest go off without a hitch. To the crew who arrives in the early hours of the morning, often before the sun shines, and works hard through the afternoon. They show up 6 days a week all year round. They work together to make sure the processes are run efficiently and the grapes come in on schedule. They prune, they pick, they move fiercely down the vineyard rows and fill crate upon crate, and bin upon bin, full of the mighty grapes we use to make Fidelitas wines. A big thank you from Team Fidelitas to our Vineyard Crew and Vineyard Manager, Dick Boushey, who has brought in such a great group.
Cheers to the 2016 harvest!