May 4 is Sauvignon Blanc Day 2018. How much do you know about the versatile, refreshing varietal?Read More
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As 2017 comes to a close, we’re reflecting on all the people, events, and especially wines, that made it such a momentous year.
At Vineyard Brands, we feel so fortunate to work with so many talented and and passionate winemakers. These people make wine because it is more than a job- it is their calling. The quality of their wines reflect that.
Red, White, Old World, New World, wines from across our portfolio earned accolades and made Top 100 lists from leading publications.
Two Vineyard Brands wines earned spots on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017.
#19 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2012:
“Black cherry, currant and floral notes are expressive and alluring, balanced by loamy earth, tobacco and mineral elements that add a savory quality. Firm, well-integrated tannins give support to the polished texture, while orange peel acidity fuels the fresh finish. Drink now through 2027.” 93 points
#26 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas Blanc 2015:
“This vibrant and mouthwatering white shows green apple, Meyer lemon and dried pineapple flavors that are fresh and juicy. Lemon verbena and lime sherbet notes reverberate on the long, detailed finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. Drink now.” 93 points
Famille Perrin’s Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015 was recognized as one of James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of 2017.
"All 13 grapes. This has a dark fruited, blueberry and blue plum nose with wide swinging tannins. Some white peppery elements, violets, brooding dark spices, blue fruits and dark plums. Builds from the ground up. Dark stones. Impressive, powerful. wine. Drink from 2025." 97 points
Wine Enthusiast named wine from both Champagne Salon (with a perfect score of 100!) and Massolino to their Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2017.
#11 Champagne Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil 2006:
"This new release from a great vintage for Chardonnay in Champagne in s perfect blanc de blancs, showing a wealth of intensity from the crisp, chalky, mineral tones to the perfumed apple notes. The aromas hint as developing tastiness that adds depth and complexity. The wine is still young and it will age for years. Drink from 2020." 100 points
#25 Massolino Barolo Parafada 2013:
"...The full-bodied palate shows great energy and intensity, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, ripe cranberry, white pepper and clove framed in youthfully assertive, refined tannins and bright acidity..." 97 points
Wine Enthusiast also named Les Frères Couillaud Château de la Ragotière Sélection Vieilles Vignes Sur Lie (Muscade Sèvre et Maine) as #72 on their Top 100 of 2017.
"Old vines, up to 60 years old, are the basis of this concentrated, ripe and intense wine. it is impressive and tightly wound, with layers of rich citrus fruit and a chalky texture. This is still a little young, so drink from 2018."
Decanter's list of the most exciting wines of 2017 included two wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio, one from Warre's and one from Louis Michel & Fils.
#14 Warre's Bottle Aged Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004:
"Vivids damsons and blackcurrants with liniment and spice, giving a luxuriously sweet, soft mouthful. The rich chocolate notes are kept in check by ripe enveloping tannins, beautifully integrated wood and fresh acidity."
#44 Louis Michel & Fils Chablis Premier Cru Montée de Tonnerre 2015:
"A delicate herbal and lemony style with crisp apple and a mineral mint character to the fore. Vibrant and vivid yet maintains a lean, restrained nature. Lots of persistence, so more complexity will come."
Some of our winemakers themselves were recognized for their tremendous work.
Berene Sauls & Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd won Top Female Entrepreneur in the Agro-processing category as well as the Ministral Award hosted by the Department of Agriculture Western Cape.
Finally, we were honored to be a nominee for Importer of the Year for the prestigious Wine Enthusiast 2017 Wine Star Awards.
...oh and the French national team celebrated earning their spot at the FIFA World Cup with a bottle of Champagne Delamotte.
2017 has been a year to remember. Thanks to all of you for making our wines a part of your life. We'll leave you with two toasts to the New Year and see you in 2018!
"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, but never in want."
"Here's a toast to the future, a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant, the past a bright dream; may our friend remain faithful and dear."
Read on for food and wine pairings perfect for the Holiday season. We'll cover the eating and drinking, it's just up to you to be merry!
Unlike more traditional Thanksgiving, really anything can go menu-wise at Christmas.
We selected a few of our favorite wines (that we love to both give and receive, so if you're still looking for that perfect gift and our Gift Guide didn't quite do the trick....) and paired them with some delicious dishes.
If you're having friends over for a holiday gathering, if you're just spending time at home with your feet up to relax, or if you need a snack to tide you over between big meals, you can't go wrong with wine and cheese. Try Domaine Delaporte Sancerre Silex with some Crottin de Chavignol.
And once you've had your fill of ham and turkey and gingerbread and peppermint, the Sancerre Silex is a perfect wine for Thai or Chinese takeout.
Of course at Christmas time you'll be eating hearty meats. With more traditional holiday fare like tenderloin, prime rib, and rack of lamb pour a glass of Massolino Barolo Vigna Rionda. The flavors are intense, complex, refined, and unique and the color is a beautiful garnet that is sure to provoke oohs and ahhhs from all who drink it. This is the holy grail of Barolo top vineyards. For special times with close family and friends, you need a special wine and this is it.
If you're celebrating Hannukah and are looking for something to sip with your latkes, try Champagne Delamotte. The bubbles cleanse your palate and the acid cuts through the oil. Not to mention Hannukah is truly a celebration- a festival (of lights)- so you need a wine that brings the festivity.
If you're tired of making decisions (what gifts to buy, what time to arrive at Grandma's house, what to wear to the party...), we have a wine that will be the easiest (and one of the best!) decisions you'll make all holiday season. One wine that can start almost any meal off well is Gradis'ciutta Friulano. It's a beautiful white perfect for beginning any dining experience.
Finally, while not a food and wine pairing, mulled wine is sure to make you merry!
Two of our favorites to use are Stark Condé 3 Pines and Padrillos Malbec.
Bon Appétit Magazine and Ina Garten both have delicious recipes. Pick one, whip up a batch, and warm up on a cold night!
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.
Domaine de Courcel: A 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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Sauvignon Blanc is the world’s 8th most planted wine grape.
- No surprise, the grape hails from France. There the wine often takes its name from the region, not the varietal. Sancerre—not Sauvignon Blanc. So when you’re drinking a Sancerre, know it is from the same grape as a Sauvignon Blanc.
- Originally the grape was used in other blends, usually to make sweeter desert wines. In the 20th century Sancerre found popularity in Parisian bars and bistros and the success spread around the globe.
- New Zealand is now one of the most well-known and well-loved producers of Sauvignon Blanc. 90% of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are from Marlborough, the wine region on the northernmost end of the island.
- If you read our blog on Malbec World Day, you’ll remember a nasty little bug called phylloxera that destroyed most of the French Malbec vines. The Sauvignon Blanc vines in New Zealand are all planted phylloxera-resistant rootstock. So take heart, your favorite Sauv Blanc most likely won’t suffer the fate of French Malbecs of old.
- France and New Zealand aren’t the only two countries providing the world with the easy-drinking wine. Italy, Chile, and South Africa are also major producers. (L to R: MAN, South Africa; Reyneke, South Africa; Gradis'ciutta, Italy; Cono Sur Chile)
- French Sancerre (also known as Pouilly Fumé and occasionally Sauvignon Blanc) are typically full of mineral and citrus flavors. ⬇️
- South African Sauvignon Blancs have balanced flavors with a light-medium body and acidity, in between mineral and herbaceous. ⬇️
- Chilean Sauvignon Blancs are marked by their citrus and green flavors and juicy high acidity. ⬇️
- New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have intense tropical green flavors, a nice mix of fruity and herbaceous. ⬇️
- Italian Sauvignon Blancs, also “Old World” like French Sancerres, have a medium body with stone fruit, floral fragrances. ⬇️
- Whatever your preference, you can find just the Sauvignon Blanc for your taste. This is a wine easily enjoyed with or without food.