As an aside, I can’t tell you how often I have a draft of this newsletter crafted then receive a newsletter from one of the many wine outlets I follow about the same exact thing. Am I on the Truman Show? Or, are our wine shopping, entertaining and drinking questions more universal than I thought? It’s likely the latter but I’m not ruling out the former. Typically, I tuck my draft away to use for another time or scrap it altogether but this time, I’m sticking with it.
As you can imagine, I am often tasked with bringing the wine to social gatherings, birthday dinners, girls’ night, etc. I’m always faced with the same dilemma – should I bring a few bottles of different wine or a few bottles of the same wine? There is no right or wrong answer here, but I usually end up bringing a variety of wine and here are a few reasons why:
And of course, sometimes it’s easier to just bring three bottles of the same white and/or red, which, there’s no shame in that! If we are going to a restaurant, I try to keep it simple so we don’t have to keep track (am I on the first white or the second?) and we’re still on speaking terms with the server when we finish the meal.
Valentine's Day Wine
Love is in the air...But that’s not good enough for us, we want it in our glass, too! Here are a few of my favorite LOVE picks, complete with fun facts, pairing ideas and best of all, the price point allows you to get one of each! And yes, these wines are widely available, even in Utah.
First up – Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. These certified-organic grapes are grown on the Woolshed vineyard of the Loveblock Farm in the Marlborough Valley, known for their big, bold sauv blanc but this is a little different. A small portion of the wine goes through natural and malolactic fermentation, resulting in a softer wine with great texture. You’ll likely taste a bit of pineapple, stone fruit & a little minerality on the finish. Pairs well with oysters, seafood, chicken and hugs. $19.99
Next we have Foxglove Chardonnay – Winemakers Bob and Jim Varner are best known for their namesake Varner wines but Foxglove has become one of the great values of the region with all three of the Foxglove labels making the NY Times Best Wines Under $20 list at one time or another (and repeatedly). Grapes are harvested from several sites along the Central Coast where the warm climate and ocean influence result in vibrant, fresh wines. This isn’t your typical oak-y ‘California Chard’, the use of oak is minimal and it does not undergo malolactic fermentation, leaving you with a clean, food-friendly flavor profile. Food and Wine suggests this recipe, I think it pairs well with The Stranger on Netflix. $16.16
Now on to the red – Broc Love Red Blend – Out of the North Coast of California, Broc Cellars produces natural wine made with native yeasts and bacteria without adding nutrients, enzymes, tannins or other popular fermentation agents. The Love Blend is 77% Carignan, 15% Valdiguie (Valdi-huh?) and 8% Syrah. K&L Wines described it like this: ‘Light and fruit forward, this is definitely a crowd pleaser and a great party wine. Serve with a slight chill and have a blast.’ Sounds good to me! If rosé brings you joy, Broc has great one of those, too. $14.99
Last but definitely not least - Longoria Lovely Rita Pinot Noir, which hails from the Santa Rita Hills. The winemaker, Rick Longoria, notes that 2017 was a mild weather year, allowing the grapes enough time on the vine to reach optimal ripeness, creating a wine with aromas of plums, figs, cherries and hints of tobacco. Pairs well with a wide variety of foods but Rick suggests salmon, pork or Mediterranean dishes. I may pair this with Cork Dork, the book I’m devoted to reading this weekend. $27.99