Happy New Year!
I love January. It’s always a fresh new start, a time of change, a time of reboot. January is also a great time to get your wine cellar organized! From the make/model you choose, to the method in which you keep track of your wines, there are many aspects to think of when considering a wine cellar.
First and foremost, your wines should maintain a steady temperature. 55-59° F is the optimal temperature range along with 55-75% RH for storing wine. Fun temperature facts: wine will age 4 times faster if stored in a closet or pantry! We know that 55°F is optimal. 46°F is entering the danger zone on the cold side and wine freezes at 32°F. Wine enters the danger zone on the warm side at 70°F and is cooked at 82°F.
There are many types of wine cellars in a wide range of prices that will do a great job of keeping your wine at an optimal temperature. A simple search on Google using “Wine Fridge” will bring up a vast array of choices from popular stores such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Home Depot. Choose one that fits your budget and your drinking habits.
Ok, you have the wine cellar, now how are you going to keep track of your wines? If you’re Excel savvy, a spreadsheet listing vintage, varietal, price and tasting notes will do you just fine. If you’re tech savvy, there are several apps out there that will do a great job of keeping your wines in line. Vivino and Cellar Tracker are available both on iOS and Android. Vivino (iOS Android) allows you to scan your wine, save them to your cellar and find food pairings and ratings. They are also fantastic when it comes to socialness. Cellar Tracker (iOS Android)also allows you to scan your wines and add them to your cellar. I’ve found Cellar Tracker to be a tad more user-friendly when inventorying your wines.
You have your cellar and your tracking app, now you need to fill your cellar! Fidélitas can certainly help you with that. Our Product Spotlight this month is our Restock the Cellar promo. We have fantastic pricing on 6-packs of 2015 Klipsun Semillon and 2013 Optu Red Mountain. The case price on our 2013 4040 Red Wine is a steal – definitely stock up on this one! These prices are so amazing that we are only offering them until January 15th, so hurry if you want to take advantage!
We’re just a few days away from Thanksgiving and I’ve officially been dreaming about mashed potatoes for the last three weeks. I’ll pack up my bags and leave my home in Seattle and travel over the questionably snowy mountain pass to get home to my family in Tri-Cities where we spend the majority of the weekend eating, drinking, watching football and enjoying days off from work. The good stuff!
As I am packing my bags I’m also packing up the wine for the weekend. My initial response is to hold back my most treasured bottles for an occasion where I can selfishly drink them myself… but what’s the point? Isn’t the point of the holiday to celebrate and be thankful for everyone around you? Why are you saving that bottle of 2009 Red Mountain Red anyway? My guess is your answer is the same as mine “to drink on a special occasion.” This Thanksgiving try bringing one or two of your fancy bottles of wine and use them as a tool to bring your family and friends together to enjoy the good things in life. I bet you it will spark up some stories you've never heard about your father in laws time living in France or the first time your mom snuck wine out of her parent’s liquor cabinet.
Most importantly, enjoy one another and enjoy that special bottle you’ve been saving for an occasion just like this.
My husband just sent me a picture from the grocery store that already had a bunch of Christmas decorations on display. He was truly sad that “the grocery store skipped Thanksgiving!” and also confused as to why someone would want a planter in the shape of Santa’s boot. I can’t blame him on both accounts.
In all honesty, I don’t mind getting a little ahead on Christmas and gifts and whatnot (I’ll be honest…I just sent out a gentle gift pack blast to our email list…but waited until after Halloween!). It’s always been a personal goal to have my shopping done before Thanksgiving, with an extra case of wine on hand for last minute gifts. That way, I can just enjoy the weeks that follow.
However, I am not okay with skipping Thanksgiving all together. It is truly one of my favorite holidays. Good food, beautiful décor, and my best friends and family all in one place. I keep hearing people talk about serving cheap wine at Thanksgiving so one’s obnoxious uncle doesn’t get into it. However, I don’t worry about that in my house, and would like to drink good wine that pairs well with great food on this day of feasting.
This year, my picks for Thanksgiving are 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Optu White (quite possibly my favorite vintage of Optu White), along with 2012 Red Mountain Merlot and 2012 Champoux Vineyard Magna Red Wine. The Optu White is to serve with appetizers – a simple cheese board and a gorgeous crudité platter.
Both of the reds are perfect for Thanksgiving. They have bright acidity (good because they’ll help cut through all of those rich foods on the table), soft tannins (good because they won’t overwhelm any of the dishes), and are down right elegant wines to drink. We’ll serve these wines with the dinner itself to match all of those rich and earthy toned foods common to the Thanksgiving table. If you have people that want to drink white wine with dinner, I guarantee that Optu White is rich enough to stand up to the dinner and is going to be an awesome pairing with the turkey.
While we’re at it, I think I’ll throw in a bottle of the Late Harvest Semillon. This is a special occasion…a great time to open a special bottle! This wine is one of my favorites for any fruit based desserts, but is going to be great with that pumpkin pie as well.
Cheers! No matter what your own agenda is during these final weeks of 2015, I hope you find the time to celebrate one holiday at a time with the ones you love.
When I grow up (or don't have a 2 year old to tear the house apart), I am going to create beautiful scenes like this for Thanksgiving.
If you haven’t heard of our new Friday Tastings then be sure to keep reading! We started this event in September as a way to bring out our members (and non members!) now that everyone is getting back into their normal routines. It’s an intimate Friday evening filled with an in-depth tasting, cheese, and charcuterie. Oh, and the lovely Kathleen of course. Each month we have a special feature with room for only 10 guests; these have been booking up fast so make sure to put it on your calendar. It’s a great way to enjoy your evening before dinner reservations at The Purple Café. If you are interested please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. If you're a fan of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards...you don't want to miss out on tastings in October.
In the spirit of summer and America, I decided to create a crowd favorite…burgers. When it comes to summer it would not be complete without BBQs, burgers and the Boushey Red Wine. This is my take on the classic hamburger with a delicious upgrade.
The Turkey Burger
First, mixed a pound of ground turkey or the ground meat of your choosing, one egg, bread crumbs, balsamic vinegar, some fresh herbs (I used rosemary), red pepper flakes a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Then, make them into patties and grill them on the BBQ until cooked. I also topped mine with a slice of Beecher’s Flagship.
Then, in a small bowl mix olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, lemon juice and fresh herbs. I gave this a quick stir and tossed it over a nice spring mix of lettuce.
The Final Product
I am a firm believer in using what you have on hand while cooking but for this particular meal I would suggest gathering all ingredients, the flavors came together so nicely. Top a ciabatta bun with a little mayo, mustard and ketchup. Then, place the patty down on the bun and finish with slices of avocado, fresh tomatoes, onions, and finish with a mound of the dressed up lettuce.
This is a great addition for a night in or serve it amongst friends while pairing it with the
2011 Boushey Vineyard Red Wine.
Now that the warm weather is upon us, it is time for lots of outdoor dining and sipping on our favorite summer beverages. As someone who loves to entertain and host family and friends for dinner I find that this, Summertime Pasta Salad is a crowd pleaser. It is perfect for a light dinner or as a side dish for a weekend picnic and it is quick and easy to throw together.
This recipe takes an ordinary pasta salad to the next level, by using orecchiette noodles, spinach, shaved asparagus and burrata it’s a nice twist on a classic. I will say that the shaved asparagus was a great addition and as a fun tip, shave the apsargus in a downward motion away from the tassle. Next, I sautéed the spinach and asparagus in olive oil and seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper.
Then, I added charred cherry tomatoes by using my broiler. I simply mixed them in a pan with olive oil and let them broil for about 5-7 minutes Once everything was complete I mixed it all together with another drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest.
Serve yourselves a giant spoonful and pour a glass of the newly released 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Semillon and enjoy the joys of summertime.