Hoppy Easter! Eggcelent Candy + Wine Pairings

Although we all grow older and don't necessarily get Easter baskets or hunt for eggs, one of the cherished traditions of the Easter holiday is the candy.  We've paired seven quintessential Easter candies with seven wines to sweeten your holiday weekend.

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The sweetness of the bubbly champagne stands up to the sweet marshmallow treats. We love Champagne Delamotte Brut. Easter is a celebration, after all, so you can never go wrong with champagne. 

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What is more Easter than a chocolate bunny? And what is more of a dessert wine than port? Try a dark chocolate bunny with Warre's Otima 10-year-old Tawny Port

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Keep this pairing in mind year round, after all, a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg is just a regular Reese's Cup in festive form. Try it with a Cabernet Sauvignon like Boekenhoutskloof. Robust, the savory notes of the Cabernet Sauvignon pick up the salty notes of the peanut butter quite well.

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This sweet treat might be the quintessential Easter candy. From the shape to the tradition, when you see one of these eggs you know Easter is here. Uber sweet, Cadbury Creme Eggs pair well with a Gradis'ciutta Chardonnay. The oaky-ness of the wine compliments the creaminess of the egg filling. 

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A part from the fact we just really love sparkling wines, turns out they pair well with a variety of savory and sweet treats. A sparkling wine like Alma Negra Nature Brut doesn't compete with the sweet and tart flavors of the candy. 

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Jellybeans are tricky to pair wine with, with so many different flavors in just one handful. So lean into the sweetness and choose and equally sweet Moscato. We love an easy drinking Moscato like Bulletin Place.

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Similar to sparkling wines, when in doubt, choose Rosé. The slightly sweet but acidic Miraval goes hand-in-hand with the crunch of the malted milk and sweetness of the chocolate. 

Mull (Wine) It Over

While the majority of the US is enjoying an early Spring with all of us practically running to the nearest al fresco dining area with our new 2017 vintages of Rosé, it is still *technically* winter for a little over two weeks. 

And since it is still winter, National Mulled Wine Day is Saturday! 

Thanks to author Charles Dickens, who referenced mulled wine in his novel "A Christmas Carol," mulled wine is most closely associated with the Christmas holiday. We challenge you to challenge that perception and drink mulled wine more often. 

We think there's only one requirement. Cold (or even just cool) temperatures. 

If you're having trouble channeling the desire to drink a delicious, warm, spiced beverage, then channel the cold currently felt by some of our favorite producers, including 

(Left to Right) Marqués de Cáceres in Rioja, Spain | Miraval in Provence, France |Umani Ronchi in Marche & Abruzzo, Italy | Gradis'ciutta in Collio, Italy. 


Mulled wine's history goes back much further than Victoria England and Charles Dickens. 

The spiced libation has been the beverage of choice during the winter months for thousands (yes, that's right, thousands) of years. 

If "cold weather" isn't reason enough for you , and you need a few more reasons (although we aren't quite sure why you would) to drink mulled wine, we've combed through the pages of history to find a few more for you. 

Waste Not, Want Not
The Ancient Greeks drank mulled wine to prevent waste. If part of harvest didn't quite make it in the vats, if there was extra left from a dinner party, the Greeks added spices to the leftover wine, heated it, and voila- the ancient version of lemons to lemonade. 

Health & Wellness
Health was at the forefront of many minds during the Middle Ages. How could it not be with terrifying ailments and diseases (remember learning about the Black Death in history classes?) seemingly around every corner? The spices added to wine were believed to have health benefits. While we won't vouch for that idea, we will say that we do vouch for the psychological benefits of having a warm drink on a cold day. 

Christmas Every Day
Did you know tastebuds only provide about 20% of our "flavor experience"? The other 80% comes from smell. Smell is a pretty powerful sense (to say the least). Smell is also able to bypass the thalamus in the brain and connect directly to the limbic regions, the emotional parts, of the brain (learn more in this article). So think about the different spices used in mulled wine...cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves...and what holiday do you think of? Christmas. Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year, time spent with friends and family, excitement and anticipation. Drink mulled wine and you can feel like Christmas any day of the year. 


If we've managed to convince you that mulled wine is in fact the perfect beverage for you to enjoy this weekend, head over to this post where we've compiled some of our favorite mulled wine recipes using wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio.

Cheers!

 Photo: Esquire

Photo: Esquire

Open that Bottle!

Open That Bottle Night is February 24th! 

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While maybe not as well-known of a holiday as "National Margarita Day" (which was also this week, February 22. If you didn't celebrate, belated celebrations are always acceptable!), Open That Bottle Night will soon become one of your favorite nights of the year. 

Dorothy J. Gaiter, author of The Wall Street Journal's wine column, "Tastings," from 1998 to 2010  created  the annual "Open That Bottle Night" celebration of wine and friendship. 

In her words, "John and I invented Open That Bottle Night to provide an impetus for people to enjoy a wine they had been keeping for a special occasion that never arrived. Weddings, births, anniversaries, all manner of special milestones had come but those corks remained intact. We knew this happened because readers told us about bottles like that and we have many ourselves.
While we urge people to open them as often as possible, and we try to do that because no one is promised tomorrow, there are still some bottles that we just haven’t brought ourselves to open. Some are rather young, but special to us, still. The point is to open these gems with someone you care about and celebrate the memories that are in that bottle. Make them the occasion. Recognizing that sometimes it takes a village to do something difficult, we set a date, the last Saturday in February, for this global celebration of friendship, love and wine. This year, it’s Feb. 24th.

The hard part is choosing the wine. If it’s old and may have sediment, you’ll want to stand it up a couple days before Saturday the 24th so the sediment will settle in the bottom of the bottle. Have a back-up wine handy in case your first choice is irretrievably bad (and even then, don’t rush to throw it out. You’d be surprised how some old wines can pull themselves together by the next day).

It's not all about old and collectables. Some people use OTBN as a reason to finally buy a wine they’ve been curious about for some time.

Talk about the wine, why it’s special to you, and savor a little of it without food. Give it a minute alone, give it its due. And last, enjoy the wine for what it is, not what it might someday be or might once have been."


If you're either looking to buy a special bottle to celebrate or wondering which bottle from you existing collection you should open, we have some suggestions. 

Celebrations large and small (and really, why not just celebrate existence?) deserve champagne, and the 1997 Champagne Salon is really starting to drink at its peak.  


You can't go wrong with a Burgundy. The 2006 vintage of red Burgundy is drinking really nicely and 2013 vintage for white Burgundy will surprise you with their finesse.

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Much like Burgundy, Barolo has a reputation for excellence. The 2004 Barolos are beginning to open up very nicely. 


With spring around the corner, it's time to open and drink 2016 rosés. They are better young (I'm sure many of us would say the same of ourselves!) and the 2017s are starting to hit the shores.  

Holiday Gift Guide

While we might be a bit biased, there’s no better holiday gift than a bottle of wine. It’s a gift that quite literally is the spirit of the holidays. It’s a gift that can be many things- it can encourage community, but it can also be the antidote to a long day. It’s a gift that can last for years or for hours. Whoever is on your list, whatever the occasion, a bottle of wine is the perfect choice to treat someone this holiday season.

The Vineyard Brands Family has perfected wine gift giving over the years and we’ve compiled this list of ideas and suggestions.

 

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For the "Hostess with the mostest": a bottle of Miraval Provence
The Holiday season brings with it parties and dinners and gatherings of all kinds. A bottle of Miraval Rosé is the perfect gift for any host or hostess.

The unique bottle shape and label make a beautiful presentation and it pairs so well with a variety of dishes and appetizers. The beautiful pink color is a much needed tonic for the grey days and dark nights of winter.
Suggested by Val Markus, Sales Rep

The beautiful packaging feels expensive and special and the wine inside is even better. While any size is a nice gesture, to really get the party started a manum or three liter is so fun to share.
Suggested by Kate Pluhar Catenza, Boston Metro Sales Manager

 

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For the Southerner:  Thibault Liger Belair Moulin a Vent Les Rouchaux
As any Southerner knows, trying to predict the weather during the holiday season is impossible. One year you may be in shorts and a tshirt, the next you may be in scarves and gloves. Most often though, dreams of a white Christmas are dashed and temperatures are still relatively warm.

With the temperamental weather in the South, a nice, lighter red is a crowd pleaser. Plus, the Thibault Liger Belair Moulin a Vent Les Rouchaux is a nice discovery wine for friends not familiar or in the wine business.
Suggested by Jennafer Tuffner, NC & SC Market Manager

 

 

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For the Northerner: The Chocolate Block
Unlike their Southern counterparts, Northerners are always prepared for a chilly winter (and often a white Christmas).

Chocolate Block is an excellent red wine. The nice, hefty palette makes it great for winter and those delicious  meats. It’s definitely a teeth stainer (be prepared!), but it you can’t beat the quality for the price.
Suggested by Melissa Wilkinson, Regional Sales Manager | Sandy Stewart, Accounting & Inventory

 

 

 

 

 

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For the lake and beach bum: Bulletin Place Moscato
This light and refereshing Australian wine is not too sweet for a Moscato. It’s just the wine to drink on a nightly pontoon boat ride or an evening by the bay.
Suggested by Pat Sparks, Accounting | Katia Braithwaite, Special Projects Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

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For the casual wine buff: Coudoulet de Beaucastel Rouge
If you know a wine buff, either a buyer in the industry or a friend who reads Wine Spectator more often than People, this is the gift for them. This is a perfect wine that your recipient can drink now or put in their cellar for years to come.  While many people know the history of Château de Beaucastel, not as many are familiar with this part of the Perrin estate.
Suggested by Anne Keller Klumpp, Midwest Sales Manager

 

 

 

 

 

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For the foodie: Domaine Pichot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette
If you have a friend who loves to try a variety of cuisines or loves to cook, a bottle of Domaine Pichot Vouvray Le Peu de la Moriette will hit just the spot. It perfectly dances the line between dry and off-dry. It’s a crowd favorite and pairs beautifully with many ethnic cuisines and vegetarian fare. If there’s a “fool-proof” wine gift, this is it.
Suggested by Perry Riddle, Marketing Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For the Brunch King/Queen: Alma Negra Brut
For the friend who knows weekends plans should be built around one very important meal, who knows breakfast or brunch is best with a mimosa, who has experimented with every juice and every ratio to find just the right champagne based breakfast beverage, Alma Negra Brut Sparkling is ideal. This Argentinian wine is delicious as a mimosa but also fine to sip and savor on its own.
Suggested by Ron Bishop, System Network Service Administrator

 

 

 

 

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For the loyal friend: Famille Perrin Château de Beaucastel
This wine is globally recognized an acknowledged for its pedigree and quality. For the friend who has been there for you through thick and thin, this wine is a true gesture of appreciation.

Vineyard Brands vice president Sheilah McGovern gives all her distrubtor managers and top sales reps a bottle of the just arrived Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape.

As Tommy Oldre said, “Château de Beaucastel and the Perrin family represent the core of Vineyard Brands. On a personal note, the last 15 years of my professional life have been closely tied with the Haas and Perrin families and the companies they have founded and grown.”
Suggested by Sheilah McGovern, Vice President  | Tommy Oldre, Sales Manager

 

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For the red wine lover: Marques de Caceres Crianza
Many people know of or have heard of Rioja, so wines from the region are nice comfort zone wines. This Marques de Caceres is a fantastic value. It’s a great dry red that’s perfect with food or just to drink on its own. Plus, it’s readily available and they (or you!) won’t have trouble finding more.
Suggested by Patrick Bennett, NJ & PA Manager

 

 

 

 

 

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For the dinner party fanatic: Warre's Otima Team Year Old Tawny Port
In a beautiful package, this is a truly delicious Tawny port, and has a great rating to boot (93 from Wine Advocate!). It's an excellent wine to bring to a dinner party because everybody loves port, and if you don't, you just haven't had the right one! 
Suggested by Patrick Harney, Sales Manager | Kate Pluhar Catenza, Boston Metro Sales Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And for anyone on your list: Champagne Delamotte
An overwhelming favorite wine to gift is Champagne Delamotte. It epitomizes the essence of the holidays and is the perfect wine for celebrating. It’s a celebration in a bottle!

It’s a present that can be opened to celebrate the holiday or, even better, saved for New Year’s Eve. Champagne is always an appropriate gift and as a bonus, pairs well with nearly any food. You just can’t beat bubbles at a party, and Delamotte stands out from the pedestrian bubbles in the crowd.

Suggested by Chris Thomas, Sales Rep | Amber Cochran, Financial Analyst | Perry Riddle, Marketing Director | Jennafer Tuffner, NC & SC Market Manager | Patrick Bennett, NJ & PA Manager

 

Harvest | Vendanges | Vendemmia |Traubenernte

Early fall is the busiest and most important time of the year for wineries in the Northern Hemisphere- Harvest season. Long hours and intensive labor consume each and every member of the winemaking team. 

There is so much that goes into a bottle of wine that the consumer never sees. Take a peek behind the curtain and explore harvest season at a few Vineyard Brands wineries around the world. 


FRANCE

Domaine de CourcelA 400 year old family owned winery, located in the village of Pommard on the Côte d'Or, about four kilometers south-east of Beaune. 

Domaine Weinbach: Located at the foot of the majestic Schlossberg hill in Alsace, this family owned winery is run by Catherine Faller and her son, Théo. 

Les Alexandrins:  Located in the Northern Rhône Valley, Domaine & Maison Les Alexandrins is a collaboration among Nicolas Jaboulet, Guillaume Sorrel, and Alexandre Paso. 

Clos Triguedina: Found in southwestern France, Clos Triguedina is currently led by Jean Luc Baldes. 

Thibault Liger-Belair: Located in Nuits-St.-Georges, in the Côte de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, the domaine has been in the Liger-Belair family for 250 years.


ITALY

Massolino: Located in northern Italy in the Piedmont region, the Massolino estate was founded in 1896. 

Gradis'ciutta:  Driven by Robert Princic, Gradis'ciutta is located in northern Italy and before carrying the name Gradis’ciutta, this place was known as Monsvini, which in Latin means “Mount of Wine.”


GERMANY

August Kesseler: Situated in the Assmannshausen in the Rheingau region, the wine estate of August Kesseler consists of vineyard sites in Lorch (for Riesling and Silvaner wines), on the slopes of the hills around Rüdesheim and in the area called “Assmanshäuser Höllenberg.”


UNITED STATES

Tablas Creek Vineyard: West of Paso Robles, on California's Central Coast, Tablas Creek is named after the small creek running through the property and the the 120-acre site sits twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean. You can find more detailed harvest updates on their blog.

Port Cocktails

Port is a fortified wine, produced in the mountainous eastern reaches of the Douro Valley of Portugal. Arguably the most famous fortified wine with a rich history, Port is experiencing something of a resurgence.

Curious about port? Maybe a little hesitant to try it? Try a port cocktail! We’ve rounded up a few recipes that are perfect for port first timers and those well-versed in the wine.

With all of these recipes, we highly recommend Warre's Ports. Founded in 1670, Warre & Co. is the oldest and one of the most highly esteemed port shipping firms in the world.


PORT OF CALL
The Clover Club in New York City makes a delicious cocktail combining the bright, acidic notes of cranberry and lemon with the rich, warm flavors of port and cinnamon. Perfect for the upcoming season, this cocktail has all the holiday flavors you know and love with a unique twist.
Ingredients:
1 oz gin
1 oz Ruby Port
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz cinnamon syrup (can be made by simmering some simple syrup with cinnamon sticks or bark)
1 spoonful of cranberry preserves
Instructions:
Shake and strain into a glass over crushed ice and garnish with a blackberry, a raspberry, and a mint sprig.

 Recipe & Photo:  GQ Magazine

Recipe & Photo: GQ Magazine


MANHATTAN
Port can also be used in some of your favorite, best-known cocktails, like a Manhattan. Use tawny port instead of sweet vermouth and orange bitters rather than Angostura and you have a fantastic seasonal cocktail- no pumpkin spice in sight.
Ingredients:
2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce port
2 dashes orange bitters
Instructions: 
Stir all ingredients with cracked ice until cold.  Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

 Image: Port Cocktails, Recipe:  Cocktail Enthusiast

Image: Port Cocktails, Recipe: Cocktail Enthusiast


WHITE PORT & TONIC
Gin and tonics are a perennial favorite, but if you're looking for a new classic, try a white port and tonic. Popular in Portugal, white port adds a different flavor that pairs nicely with either a lemon or lime twist. 
Ingredients: 
1 ½ ounces white port
3 ounces tonic water
Wedge of lime or lemon
Instructions:
Fill a tumbler with ice. Add white port and top with tonic. Stir briefly. Depending on your taste, squeeze a wedge of either lime or lemon over the drink and drop into the glass

 Photo & Recipe:  New York Times Cooking

Photo & Recipe: New York Times Cooking


THE ROBERT FROST COCKTAIL
Created for one of the Obamas' White House holiday parties, this aromatic cocktail also uses white port.
Ingredients:
3/4 ounce bourbon
3/4 ounce dry amontillado sherry
3/4 ounce white port
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
Instructions:
1.    Combine ingredients and shake with ice.
2.   Strain into chilled cocktail glass.
3.   Garnish with thinly sliced orange and lemon wheels.

 Photo: OhSoBeautifulPaper Recipe:  Punch Drink

Photo: OhSoBeautifulPaper Recipe: Punch Drink


Do you have any favorite port cocktails? Have you tried any of the above? Let us know!

Wine Down

Fresh off the Emmys we've been thinking more about what wines our favorite TV characters drink. 

More and more it seems wine is synonymous with strong female characters on TV shows. While Sex and the City made the cosmo famous, the 21st century has ushered in a new generation of wine drinkers. 

We know we aren’t the only ones who see a glass of wine on TV (or during a Netflix binge) and feel inspired to drink like the character. We’ve rounded up a few wine lovers from our favorite shows and wines inspired by their taste and personality.

 Image: Buzzfeed

Image: Buzzfeed

Alicia Florrick
In the Good Wife Alicia faces on challenge after another, but through it all she keeps a steady hand while pouring a glass of red wine. A lawyer with a life as complex as the cases she faced, Alicia would enjoy a bottle of Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir- not overly fruity with hints of savory primal character.


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Claire Underwood
First lady turned Vice President Claire Underwood is cunning and plays by her own rules. No doubt she would appreciate MAAL winemaker Alfredo Merlo’s desire to produce “unique, elegant, and intense Malbec wines.” Claire would be right at home drinking a glass of bestial or rebellion.


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 Skylar White
Few characters that grace our TV screens have been through more than Breaking Bad’s Walter White’s long-suffering wife Skylar White. While much changes over the course of the show, one things doesn’t- Skylar’s love for white wine. Pour yourself a glass of Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo or Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc and cheers to the fact YOUR significant other isn’t cooking up meth.


 Image: DailyMail

Image: DailyMail

Cersei Lannister
Plotting, scheming, and downright dangerous, Cersei casually enjoys a glass of wine while blowing up part of a city. So if you too have similarly large plans (though hopefully less destructive) and are looking for the right wine to pair with said plans, pour of glass of Gradis’ciutta Merlot- the intense bouquet, dry taste, and slightly bitter taste will have you thinking of Cersei to the last drop.


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Blair Waldorf
Queen B of the Upper East Side knows the best way to celebrate any success- whether personal or professional- is with a glass of bubbly. Treat yourself like our fabulously wealthy heroine and toast your latest success with a glass of the incomparable Champagne Salon or Champagne Delamotte

#WineforGood: MAN Family Vitners

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”- Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day is celebrated internationally every year on July 18. The day celebrates Madiba’s (Nelson Mandela’s clan name) life and legacy by promoting acts of service and positive community change. Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years, so Mandela Day asks for individuals to start with 67 minutes.

South African winery MAN Family Vitners, located in Stellenbosch, knows the importance of giving back to the community.

Like the saying goes, “charity starts at home,” so last year, MAN decided to devote their #67 minutes to one specific charity in the immediate community.  Just down the road from MAN offices in Jonkershoek is Akkerland pre-school.

Akkerland pre-school, or crèche, cares for two age groups: babies and toddlers up to three years old, and ages 3-6.

July is South Africa’s coldest month, so much of MAN’s work for Mandela Day was centered on ensuring the preschool was prepared for the cold weather. Everyone from the farm workers at MAN to the office staff came together to serve the preschool in a variety of ways—from buying carpets to cover the floors to donating educational toys and books to buying warm blankets and clothing.

While volunteering at the preschool, one of MAN’s employees, Maia Bezuidenhout, noticed two young brothers, Imbo (2 years old) and Sohiso (5 years old). These two brothers, raised by a sickly single mother, were especially unprepared for the cold weather. So Maia went to the mall to buy them a few pairs of warm clothing and shoes. A few months after Mandela Day, Maia ran into Imbo, Sohiso, and their mother. The boys’ mother had not forgotten and was so grateful for the help.

This year MAN visited Akkerland in June to prepare for and see how they could best serve on Mandela Day. There, they learned Imbo and Sohiso’s mother had passed away and they were being raised by an aunt far away. While not every story has a happy ending, and while often an act of service might feel like only a drop in the bucket, the smallest devotion of time and the smallest act of service can truly make a difference and have a ripple effect. 

This Mandela Day, MAN again spent time at Akkerland, fixing cots, preparing the school for winter, and making sure they had supplies, from nappies to blankets. But MAN’s relationship with the preschool doesn’t stop after 67 minutes or even after a day. The team plans to make monthly visits to the preschool to spend time with the children, to take them to lunch, and perhaps to focus on specific families in need (inspired by Imbo and Sohiso).

MAN sees the importance of giving back to the community, keenly aware of the overwhelming needs of the underprivileged and underserved in the community.
MAN believes in promoting change and constant progress.
MAN is #WineforGood.

Drink & Know Things

In the hit HBO show “Game of Thrones,” Tyrion Lannister uttered a line that spawned a thousand memes (and tshirts, Instagram bios, and catchphrases). “I drink and I know things.” Rarely is there an episode where the clever Hand of the Queen doesn’t have a glass of wine in his hand.

This got us thinking. How many other characters are fans of a glass or two of vino? And how can you drink like your favorite character?

 Photo: The Telegraph

Photo: The Telegraph

First up, the one and only Tyrion Lannister.
Game of Thrones films in a variety of exotic locations including Croatia, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Morocco, and Malta just to name a few. This current season Tyrion finds himself in the fictional Dragonstone, filmed on location in Spain. So to drink like Tyrion, grab yourself a glass of Spanish red. Our favorites Spanish producer is Marqués de CáceresYou can't go wrong with any of their wines. Tyrion may prefer red, but Marqués de Cáceres makes a delicious white and rosé in addition to their red offerings. 


 

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Olivia Pope
Like Tyrion, Olivia is a fan of a generous glass of red wine. From her white wardrobe to clean lines and classic style, our white-hat wearing protagonist is a fan of classic and quality. She isn’t drinking two buck chuck. Complex like her character (and the storylines woven by Shonda Rhimes!), Olivia would be one to pour a glass of TriguedinaThe New Black Wine.


 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Hannibal Lector
Unlike our previous characters, Hannibal Lector is not a protagonist in any sense of the word. (And yes, Hannibal is also a TV character!) He is famed for enjoying Chianti. So if you’d like to emulate any part ofHannibal Lector, let it only be his taste in wine. A glass of Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico would hit the spot quite nicely.


 

Now most TV characters drink red because it looks better on camera (no pesky condensation to deal with like a chilled white wine!) But one of our favorite television characters knows that a crisp, cool white is worth the extra filming hassle.

 Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Tami Taylor
When you think football you likely think beer, but our favorite football coach’s wife Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights knows wine is an excellent choice. She wasn’t afraid to make her love of wine known. A bottle like Mohua Sauvignon Blanc or Famille Perrin La Vieille Ferme Blanc would endear you to Mrs. Taylor forever.


So as Tyrion says, drink and know things. Just be sure you're drinking Vineyard Brands. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat, Drink, and be Malbec

Since Monday was Malbec World Day, keep the celebration going and try one of these tasty recipes with your favorite Malbec.  

 

One simple technique for pairing food and wine is to practice regional pairing. Having Italian food? Try an Italian wine. This certainly isn’t the only way to pair food and it’s not foolproof, but it’s a good template. 

Since Malbec has really flourished in Argentina and become the signature varietal for the country, what better recipe to start with than steak—an Argentinian staple. At peak beef consumption in 1956, Argentinians consumed 222 pounds of beef for every man, woman, and child.  Now Argentina hovers around roughly 120 pounds of beef per capita (compare that to US consumption rate of 79.3 lbs per capita and the fact only ten countries in the entire world consume 50+ lbs per capita).

SKIRT STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

 Photo: epicurious.com

Photo: epicurious.com

Continuing in our homage to beef-fanatic Argentina, GRIDDLED GAUCHO STEAK WITH BREAD-AND-BASIL SALAD is another excellent pairing with Malbec. 

 Photo: foodandwine.com

Photo: foodandwine.com

Moving away a little bit from the idea of regional pairing (but sticking with the carnivore theme), try a quintessential American cheeseburger. The lush Malbec will really bring out the flavors of this FAKE SHACK BURGER.

 Photo: smittenkitchen.com

Photo: smittenkitchen.com

While instinctually Malbec and meat go hand-in-hand, don’t be afraid to try a vegetable dish, like this SWEET POTATO, BLACK BEAN, SPINACH QUESADILLA

 Photo: womensday.com

Photo: womensday.com

Finally, one more veggie recipe for those not so Argentinian in their meat consumption habits. This AUBERGINE STEW from Jamie Oliver is a great meat alternative.

 Photo: jamieoliver.com

Photo: jamieoliver.com

Rosé Recipes

Every season is rosé season, but as the weather warms (well...we hope it's warming up wherever you are!) and flowers bloom we find ourselves craving the pink libation a little more than usual. We've collected some of our favorite rosé recipes for you to try. If you want more inspiration, head over to our Pinterest page


Rosé Lemonade with La Vieille Ferme Rosé


Raspberry Rosé Sorbet with Marqués de Cáceres Rosé


Sparkling Rosé Blueberry Floats with Cono Sur Sparkling Rosé


President's Day

Today is President’s Day and U.S. Presidents have a long history of supporting the wine industry at home and abroad. 

One of the most legendary oenophile presidents was Thomas Jefferson. The third president of the United States served as ambassador to France where he developed a taste for French wines. As president he shipped 600 bottles of wine per year from France to the United States.

Jefferson also helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents. During his two terms in office it’s estimated he spent $11,000 (that's $175,000 in today’s dollars) on wine.

Two wines stand out as presidential favorites- Champagne and Madeira.

Madeira is a fortified wine produced on the Portuguese island of- you guessed it- Madeira. Its alcohol content hovers around 18-20%. This allowed it to withstand the trip across the ocean to the New World. In colonial days, nearly 25% of Portugal's madeira was shipped to America. 

George Washington was an avid drinker of Madeira. In fact, it was used to toast his inauguration. Washington’s granddaughter reported the first president drank three glasses of Madeira after dinner every night.

The first father-son presidential duo--John Adams and John Quincy Adams --were also partial to Madeira.  It is even rumored that during a blind taste test John Quincy Adams was able to correctly identify 11 out of 14 different kinds of Madeira.

While madeira lost its popularity over the years (but is making a comeback!), to no surprise, champagne has been a constant fixture in the White House. James Madison, John Tyler, James Polk, Ulysses S. Grant, William Howard Taft, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon all had a well-known taste for the sparkling wine. The White House even boasts a champagne room. That's right, a champagne room.

Wine has been present at the most significant events throughout our country's history. Madeira was the founding fathers' drink of choice to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Louisiana Purchase was toasted with madeira and champagne. 

Raise a glass and have a celebration of your own this President's Day!

Interested in trying some of these president-approved wines? We highly recommend Champagne Salon, Champagne Delamotte, and Miles Madeira.