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Experience Wine Country



Updated: 2018-02-23T23:15:23Z

 



Best Picture Food & Wine Pairings for the 2018 Oscars

2018-02-23T23:15:23Z

No one said cinema snacks need to be dull, so forget the run-of-the-mill and find inspiration from 2018’s Academy Awards Best Picture nominees. .blog-movie { display: table; } @media only screen and (max-width: 520px){ .blog-movie { display: block; } } .blog-poster { display: table-cell; width: 200px; margin: 0; vertical-align: top; } @media only screen and (max-width: 520px){ .blog-poster { display: block; width: 200px; margin-bottom: 20px; } } .blog-poster img { width: 200px; margin: 0 !important; } .blog-poster h6 { margin: 5px 0 0 0 !important; } .blog-poster h6::before { display: none; } .blog-movie p { display: table-cell; padding-left: 20px; vertical-align: top; } @media only screen and (max-width: 520px){ .blog-movie p { display: block; padding-left: 0; } } The 90th annual Academy Awards are just around the corner, and what March 4th brings – beyond a packed house of glammed up celebrities at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater – are nine diverse and celebrated films with a guarantee one will take home the coveted award of this year’s Best Picture. And with many of these nominees up for multiple awards, there will be plenty of reasons to celebrate. If you plan on tuning in on the big day or are looking for a different kind of movie night at home, we came up with film by film pairing ideas to elevate your viewing experience. No one said cinema snacks need to be dull, so forget the run-of-the-mill and lets find inspiration in 2018’s Best Picture nominees. Call Me By Your Name Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics While an Italian villa might be hard to find for your Oscar party backdrop (although, the 13th-century home that hosted Call Me By Your Name is currently available for purchase), find your own young love for a wine pairing with some real spark. Build a mini-charcuterie of fatty prosciutto and almonds to complement Italian prosecco. You may not be summering in 1980s Europe, but this combo has chemistry. If you want to take the relationship further, wrap the salty meat around melon for something really special. Darkest Hour Courtesy of Focus Features There’s no need to go full-blown Churchill, like Gary Oldham in Darkest Hour, especially if you’re taking in the Oscar-nominated flick at home. But there are a few things that can do up any occasion, and we’re thinking champagne and truffle oil. Not only was Champagne Winston Churchill’s libation of choice – it’s said he consumed over 42,000 bottles in his lifetime – but truffle oil is an excellent topping for movie’s traditional snack, popcorn. The rich and salty combo is a royal complement to a coup or two of your favorite champers. Dunkirk Courtesy of Warner Bros. We’re going to be honest with this one. Get your hands on any and all alcohol for this film. Based on the historical and dramatic true story from World War II, from start to finish, the intensity of this film does not stop. And just like those tears that will be flowing, you’re going to need anything to take the edge off. Set yourself up with a delicious spread of French cheeses and dig in for battle. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Get Out Courtesy of Universal Pictures Jordan Peele’s masterpiece is spiked with moments of confusion, disgust, and fear and even a sprinkle of the comedy that you’d expect from the typically wacky comedian. And when it comes to wine and a movie, we’d go with something red for this film. Maybe even something blood red, like sangiovese. The wine is dry and can be quite the chameleon in flavor. Just like the unknowns of meeting your significant other’s family, you never quite know what you’re going to get. Pair it with a steak and definitely make it r[...]



7 Dry Creek Valley Wineries For Zinfandel Lovers

2018-02-12T21:24:37Z

Don’t miss our top Dry Creek Valley wineries for zinfandel lovers! From Old Vine zin to new age styles, these wineries offer something for every palate.Sonoma County may have it all when it comes to scenery – a beautiful coastline, lush forests, mountains, and rural farmlands – but when we think of California Wine Country, we can’t help but picture miles of hillside vineyards and winding roads. That’s just what you’ll get when you visit the north end of Sonoma County, especially within the rural wine region of Dry Creek Valley. Here, surrounding the must-visit city of Healdsburg, you’ll find plenty of family-owned wineries offering intimate tasting experiences and award-winning wine. If you love zinfandel, there’s no better place to be! The Dry Creek Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983, though the area has a grape growing history dating back almost 150 years; the region’s first vineyard was planted in the 1870s! And, although it’s one of the most compact regions in Sonoma at only 16 miles long and two miles wide, it’s packed with over 9,000 acres of vineyards and 70 wineries – many of which produce some of Sonoma County’s best wines. Over 30 grapes are planted here, but this region’s heart lies with zinfandel. Blocks of old vine zinfandel produce distinctive wines that garner lots of recognition, and with good reason. From elegant and concentrated to robust and structured, we can’t get enough of the impressive zinfandels of Dry Creek Valley, and these wineries are a few of our favorites for tasting California’s Heritage grape! Dry Creek Vineyard Courtesy of Dry Creek Vineyards The family-owned Dry Creek Vineyard has been a fixture in the valley for over 45 years and recognized as the first new winery established after prohibition in 1972. Though they produce a wide variety of tasty wines, including chenin blanc and cabernet sauvignon, the winery is most known for its signature zinfandels – eight to be exact! They also produce a Zinfandel Rosé and Late Harvest Zinfandel. Modeled after a French chateau, the tasting room is charming and welcoming, but if you want to make a day of it, be sure to reserve a spot in advance for the outdoor bocce court. 3770 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-1000 Seghesio Family Vineyards Courtesy of Facebook: Seghesio Family Vineyards Located just a few blocks from downtown Healdsburg, Seghesio is a fifth generation family-owned and operated winery deeply rooted in Sonoma County. Founder Edoardo Seghesio planted his first zinfandel vines in neighboring Alexander Valley in 1895. Today, you can taste their selection of structured yet balanced zinfandels in their Dry Creek Valley tasting room, which is open daily. Enjoy one of three unique tasting experiences, such as a sit down cheese and charcuterie pairing or the Chef’s Table experience, offering a four-course meal paired with an exclusive selection of library wines. 700 Grove Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-3579 Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves Courtesy of Bella Vineyards We love the casual, laid-back vibe at Bella Vineyards, where Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, and lawn games beckon for a more relaxed pace. Tastings at this small, family-owned winery take place in their wine cave, where you’ll sample a selection of hand-crafted, organically farmed zinfandel wines – many produced from their own 100-year-old vineyards. While no reservations are needed for a regular tasting, we’d suggest making an appointment for their ‘Mixing It Up’ Blending Tour, which includes a 90-minute tour and barrel tasting, as well as a personal blending experience to make your own signature wine. 9711 W Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 473-9171 Lambert Bridge Winery Courtesy of Lambert Bridge Winery Nestled amongst redwood trees and roll[...]



The 9 Best Wine Country Hotels To Visit in 2018

2018-02-07T01:23:16Z

Live the good life in Wine Country with a visit to any of these top Napa Valley and Sonoma hotels. With a new year just around the corner, our new year’s resolutions are all about finding ways to enjoy the good things in life, which to us means more visits to Wine Country. Whether we’re relaxing by a pool, getting pampered at a luxury spa, or fulfilling our foodie dreams, a visit to any of these Napa Valley and Sonoma hotels makes it easy to enjoy all that Wine Country has to offer — sometimes without ever leaving the property. The best part? As a WineCountry.com reader, you’ll get special deals and exclusive Wine Country Perks only available when booking through us, NapaValley.com, or Sonoma.com, because spending more time in Wine Country is a new year’s resolution we want you to keep! How to Book Booking is easy and can be completed online or via phone by using the promotional code provided on the WineCountry.com, NapaValley.com, or Sonoma.com listing page. A Taste of the Luxe Life Expect the royal treatment at any of these Napa Valley and Sonoma hotels, which are dripping in luxury and sure to impress. Courtesy of MacArthur Place MacArthur Place 29 E MacArthur St, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-2929 Located a few blocks from Sonoma Plaza, MacArthur Place is a luxurious 64-room inn and spa that seamlessly blends history with modern luxury. The two-story Victorian house, built in the 1850s, is set amongst seven acres of beautifully manicured gardens dotted with sculptures, rose bushes, and serene sitting areas reminiscent of the English countryside. Plush robes, an inviting spa, and luxurious in-room bath products make MacArthur Place a worthy destination in Sonoma County. To top it off, expect 2-for-1 wine tastings, $20 off per person at the spa, and late check-out when you book through us. Courtesy of Facebook: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn 100 Boyes Blvd, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-9000 The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the ultimate elegant oasis, blending the beauty of wine country with luxurious accommodations in the heart of Sonoma. The impressive spa includes natural mineral pools, baths, and peaceful treatment areas, and a Championship golf course and Michelin-starred restaurant add to the inn’s first-class experience. We’ll help sweeten the deal with 25% off the best available rate, a bottle of wine at check-in, and complimentary wine tasting passes. Courtesy of Silverado Resort Silverado Resort 1600 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 257-0200 As one of Napa Valley’s most popular luxury resorts, The Silverado Resort and Spa offers the perfect mix of leisurely activities, fine dining, and comforting amenities. There’s not one but two PGA championship golf courses, the largest tennis complex in North America, and a full-service spa to unwind after a day of fun. Don’t be surprised if you’re so busy enjoying the amenities at The Silverado that you forget you’re surrounded by some of Napa’s most popular wineries. Book now to enjoy 25% off best available room rates, a $50 resort credit, and late check-out. You can thank us later. Pool Envy From natural mineral hot springs to Instagram-worthy pools, these hotels offer a chance to dive in to a perfect vacation in Wine Country. Courtesy of Facebook: Solage, an Auberge Resort Solage, an Auberge Resort 755 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 266-7534 With its modern farmhouse architecture and stylishly chic vibe, the Solage is a worthy upscale destination near the town of Calistoga. While you may enjoy cruising into town on the complimentary bikes and eating farm-to-table fare at the acclaimed Solbar restaurant, don’t be surprised if you find yourself sinking into a lounge chair by the pool all. day. long. The chic main poo[...]



Say Cheers! 5 Unique Toasting Traditions from Around the World

2017-12-11T18:59:29Z

For some cultures, toasting isn’t as simple as a clink of the glass and a “Cheers!” See how other countries take their toasts to the next level.There are many conflicting tales about how we reached the modern day act of toasting our loved ones with a clink of the glass and a hearty “Cheers!” Some believe a form of toasting has been around since ancient times when sacrificial libations were offered to the gods, while others say it began by touching glasses together so that each drink would spill into the other, easing fears of poisoning. One of the most popular stories evolved from the 17th century when it was customary to flavor drinks, like wine, with toast, hence the arrival to the term “toasting.” Whichever stories are true, the custom of toasting is now a mostly universal tradition. It’s exclaimed in a myriad of languages — Cheers! Prost! Salud! L’chaim! — and done throughout celebrations of all kinds, from New Year’s Eve to weddings to a night out at the pub with friends. For the most part, toasting across the world is a similar practice involving a drink, a clink of glasses, and a proclamation, but some cultures have added their own twists to the tradition. Here are five customs that take the toast to another level. Toasting with Paper Wishes in Your Glass There are many superstitions people adhere to in order to make their wishes come true, like silently wishing every time the clock turns 11:11 (admit it, you’ve done it). At the turn of a new year, wishes are especially aplenty, and in Spain and Mexico for instance, they may eat 12 grapes representing 12 wishes during the final countdown to midnight. But, in Ukraine and Russia they wash down their wishes with their New Year’s champagne toast, literally. On New Year’s Eve, they’re known to write down their wishes for the coming year on a piece of paper. At the stroke of midnight, they will burn the paper, drop the ashes in a glass of bubbly, and take a big gulp of their hopes and dreams that will supposedly come true in the next 365 days. A Toasting Curse Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know that it’s discouraged to toast with water in your glass, and here in Wine Country, we don’t love the idea either. Clinking glasses with water is looked down upon across many cultures. It’s believed that the act brings bad luck or even death upon the recipient, and in some cases, death upon yourself. The U.S. military actually forbids it with Naval folklore claiming that a toast with water will lead to death by drowning. In Spain, toasting with water, or any non-alcoholic drink for that matter, can result in a different kind of misfortune: seven years of bad sex. In a no-win game of Would You Rather, we think it’s best you keep your toast alcoholic. But, don’t rest easy just yet. Spain’s toasting curse is actually quite popular across Europe. In France and Germany, all it takes is breaking eye contact during a toast to ruin bedroom activities for seven long years, and the same horrific curse can fall upon you in the Czech Republic, but it’s not nearly as simple to avoid. Toasting there is a rigorous process where you need to individually toast to the health of each person at the table (by saying “na zdravy!”) before taking your first sip. You must always look the person you’re toasting in the eye, and while maintaining eye contact, you need to ensure that two things don’t happen. One, don’t spill from your drink, which can be tough when you’re not allowed an initial sip, and two, do not under any circumstances allow your arm to cross over with someone else’s while toasting. That’s what will supposedly trigger the curse on your sex life. Lastly, you must touch your glass to the table before finally taking a drink. While we’re not totally sure of the consequence of the final step, we would rather not test the waters to find out. Toasting Until Your Arm Falls [...]



DIY Festive Florals For Your Wine Country-Inspired Holidays

2017-12-11T19:28:13Z

No need for poinsettias and garland this year, because we’ve partnered with the pros to craft a DIY seasonal arrangement fit for celebration. We’ve called in the professionals this holiday season to help upgrade your DIY at-home greenery for any get together. No need for poinsettias and garland this year, because we’ve partnered with Marisa Tsikounas of Revel Floral and Brittany Westerman of Reed + James Events to craft a beautiful arrangement and table top fit for celebration — any time of year. Soft-toned blooms mingle with fragrant greens to create a holiday-neutral floral masterpiece that looks elegant and is far less challenging to create than expected. Curating within stock at your local grocery store or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, your city’s flower market, build a beautiful centerpiece that is Instagram-worthy and fit for conversation. As an added bonus, we’ve crafted a simple greenery gift to add to countless wine bottles or your present’s perfect wrapping. Larissa Cleveland AN ARRANGEMENT FOR THE TABLE Prep Time: One Hour Supplies Larissa Cleveland Vase 6” deep and 6” wide Frog or chicken wire Tape Clippers or scissors Wooden skewers Gloves Flowers Eugenia Privet Garden Rose Rosemary Pieris japonica Ranunculus Rose Kumquat Thyme Figs Step 1 Larissa Cleveland Add a flower frog or a bundle of chicken wire at the bottom of your vase to create a base for the stems. This isn’t a necessity, but it allows a structural foundation for your arrangement. Use the tape to create a grid at the opening of the vase in a criss-cross pattern with 1” of spacing between each strip. The grid also assists in keeping stems in place until the base begins to fill out. Add water. Step 2 Start with the eugenia and mimic the shape of the table to create the bottom layer of your setting. You could also try eucalyptus, elm, or olive branches. Step 3 Mirror the same placement with the privet and tuck in to fill in open spaces in the base. Grape vines or pepperberries are also good choices. Pro Tip: Always begin arrangements with the flowers that have the hardest stems. Step 4 Larissa Cleveland Cut the garden roses at an angle,longer than you think you’ll need, and strip the stems of all additional greens. Follow the lines of the foliage base and tuck bigger blooms into the greenery,grouping flowers for more impact. Trim the stems as needed. You can use peonies as another floral option. Step 5 Bundle fragrant rosemary into 2 or 3 sprigs and add into openings. Feel free to substitute the rosemary with thyme or oregano. Step 6 Larissa Cleveland Fill in holes with pieris japonica. Freesia can also work with this step. Step 7 Group the ranunculus in varying lengths to add dimension. Start on the sides and then go up and down, following the shape of the arrangement. Tulips are another beautiful choice. Step 8 Grab your roses and start placement on the sides. Tuck roses with cut or shorter stems into the center. Pro Tip: Purchase your flowers a day or two in advance and place in a water until you’re ready to begin. The extra time will allow the blooms to open. Step 9 Larissa Cleveland Lift flowers and tuck kumquats underneath, draping and following the shape as you go. For extra length, use a skewer and a bit of tape to create a longer stem and more stability. Step 10 Use tape to bunch thyme into bundles and place where it best fits. Pro Tip: At this point, do not be afraid to move greenery and florals around as needed. [...]



2017 WineCountry Holiday Gift Guide

2017-11-28T03:58:32Z

We’ve rounded up some fantastic gift options for you to show off your thoughtfulness and taste. Gifts with a bit of Wine Country flavor.It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year. The days — and we mean days — of Thanksgiving leftovers are finally over and your inbox is overflowing with sweet deals and steals to get into the shopping spirit. But, as you make your list (and check it twice,) where do you start with finding the perfect presents for your loved ones? While we may find a bottle of wine works well for most occasions, we understand that the extra level of thoughtfulness is key when gift giving during the holiday season. With this in mind, we’ve rounded up a collection of fantastic options, with a sprinkle of Wine Country flavor, that are as easy as “add to cart.” The Foodie is thrilled to know about the latest restaurant launch and is on top of every food trend. They’re always open to hosting you for a meal to test out their latest in-kitchen endeavors. The Complete Thomas Keller: The French Laundry Cookbook & Bouchon Amazon, $71.30 Joule Rose Gold Sous Vide Sur la Table, $218.96 Salt of The Month Club Jacobsen Salt, $180 Gourmet Napa Food & Wine Tour Wine Country Experiences, $195 Always with their nose in a book or attending a reading at their local bookstore, The Reader loves rainy days curled up cozily with a classic or two. Book of The Month Club Book of The Month Club, Starting at $44.99 Tote Strand Books, $24.95 Lumio Book Lamp MoMa Store, $198 Steel Bookends Hanna Beatrice Quinn, $52 Good taste comes naturally to The Creative. No matter the medium, they typically know what’s on trend and are always looking for some added artistic inspiration. S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Amazon, $42 Sketch Book Shinola, $28 Photography Adventure Wine Country Experiences, $250 1000 Colors Puzzle Colossal Shop, $49 The Wine Lover knows a thing or two about our favorite beverage, and whether they’re still learning or an expert, combine their passion with one of these items for a flawless pairing. Sagaform Wine Carafe Amazon, $24.99 Cork Dork Book Amazon, $13.31 Chocolate Candies Aha Life, $40 French Kitchen Marble Wine Cooler Crate and Barrel, $24.95 Taking the road less traveled is The Adventurer’s motto, and even when they’re off the beaten path, you can trust they’re always prepared for what comes their way. Pendleton Glacier National Park Full Blanket Amazon, $239 Three Potato Four Explore Motel Key Tag Amazon, $8 Original Insulated Pac Boots Hunter, $225 Sonoma Backroads Winery Tour Wine Country Experiences, $225 Hygge may be the word on everyone’s lips as we roll into cooler, cozy-inducing months, and The Homebody has the term perfected. Nesting at home is their idea of a great night, and comfort is always paramount. Luxe Core Sheet Set Brooklinen, $149 Ambre Candle Diptyque Paris, $34 [...]



Celebrate with these Sparkling Wines for the Holidays

2018-01-17T15:32:59Z

We’re sharing our top picks for celebrating incadescently from Thanksgiving to New Years. Plus, we’ve put together a quick sparkling wine guide to sharpen your bubbly IQ. While we’re fans of sparkling wine any time of year, there’s no question that the holiday season is the time to break out the bubbly. From spirited cocktail parties to elaborate dinners with family and friends, the holiday season is all about special occasions, and we love to celebrate with bubbles in hand. And who can blame us? There’s just something festive about sparkling wine, not to mention that it’s a great choice for pairing with all your favorite holiday foods. To help you head into the holiday season like a pro, we’re sharing our top sparkling wine picks, organized by holiday for easy reference. Need a refresher before your jump in? We’ve included a brief guide to Boost Your Sparkling Wine IQ at the end of this article. SPARKLING WINE FOR THE HOLIDAYS THANKSGIVING Thanksgiving tends to be a problematic holiday for finding the perfect wine pairing, and for good reason. Between the turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce, there’s a lot going on flavor-wise. Luckily, when it comes to bubbles, you can’t go wrong. Lambrusco is a fun choice, while Brut rosé is another versatile option to balance the flavors of the meal. Wines to try: J Vineyards Brut Rosé ($40-45) This popular sparkling wine from Healdsburg, Sonoma is made of mostly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with just a touch of Pinot Meunier. Showcasing luscious notes of strawberries, cream and toasted hazelnuts, its lively yet decadent texture will surely leave a lasting impression. Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco ($20-30) Fresh with bright red fruit aromas, this intensely-colored and lightly fizzy wine is rounded out by flavors of black cherry and a dry, lingering finish. CHRISTMAS Traditionally, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey and Christmas is for ham. But throw bold flavors like gingerbread into the mix and what’s a food and wine lover to do? We like to reach for Champagne or Franciacorta, which pair well with creamy dishes like scalloped potatoes as well as salty foods like ham. Another great wine choice is Cava, with its notes of ginger and baking spices. Wines to try: Majolini ‘1981 Brut’ Franciacorta ($25-35) Named for the year the Maiolini family’s sons relaunched the winery, this Italian wine showcases notes of yeast and vanilla with a dry and persistent mouthfeel. Made of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, this Champagne alternative displays lovely personality and energy. Champagne Gratiot-Pilliere Brut Tradition ($40-45) Aged on the lees for 30 months, this rather affordable bottle is made up of all three traditional grapes, but predominantly Pinot Meunier—some of which comes from vines over 50 years old! Notes of white flowers and pear dominate the nose, leading to a crisp and mineral-driven finish. HANUKKAH With eight nights of festivities, of course Hanukkah comes with lots and lots of food. Traditional items include fried foods like potato latkes and doughnuts, and a bottle of American sparkling wine is the perfect choice to cut through some of that salt and fat. Wines to try: Mumm Cuvee Napa Brut Prestige ($20-25) This Napa Valley wine is loaded with vibrant apple and citrus flavors, complemented by complex notes of spice, vanilla and toasty oak. Balanced by fine acidity and nice structure, it’s a versatile bottle that delivers for the price. The Hilt Sparkling Wine ($55) This California sparkling wine, made in the Méthode Traditionelle, is a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grown in the cool coastal site of Santa Barbara County’s famed Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Lively [...]



20 Boozy Beverages for The Holiday Season

2018-01-17T15:32:19Z

While Wine Country may be partial to a certain grape-centric beverage, ‘tis the season to be merry and bright, and we have 20 delicious reasons to mix up your cocktail (and wine) game care of Pinterest. Meditating over a bottle of bubbly from our friends at J Vineyards, inspiration struck: sparkling punch for the holidays! But we didn’t stop there. Here are 20 delicious reasons to mix up your cocktail (and wine) game. Plus, we made our very own pinterest board with even more scrumptious concoctions. 1. Sparkling Rosé Punch with Cranberry and Persimmon A Cozy Kitchen Don’t fret — there will be no flashbacks to junior high dances with this punch. Blending a spritely rosé with spicy, fresh ginger, sweet elderflower liqueur, and the seasonal fruit flavors of persimmon and cranberry, this sweet punch adds sparkle to any holiday get together from A Cozy Kitchen. 2. Winter Sangria Bakeaholic Mama While sangria typically comes out for picnics and warm-weather days, we’re not complaining about this winter-worthy version from Bakeaholic Mama. A garnish of fresh rosemary adds holiday spirit to fresh apples, clementines, pomegranate, and cranberries soaked in sweet red wine. 3. Cidertini Mantitlement Shake up your typical martini and add a fall twist with Mantitlement’s Cidertini. Chilled cider gets a spiked upgrade by adding caramel-flavored vodka, apple liqueur, and enough cinnamon to warm up any chilly night. 4. Smoke Signals For those wanting to take their cocktail-making skills to a whole another level, Epicurious shares their recipe for a Smoke Signal. Add on a few hours to craft this show-stopping cocktail as you’ll be leveraging the flavor of wood chips to craft smoked ice chunks. And, if that wasn’t enough, a homemade pecan syrup is also on the list of tasks. While this libation may be more than just shaken or stirred, sherry, whiskey, and the artisanal add ons will have your tastebuds flying high. 5. Candy Cane Cocktail Boulder Locavore Candy cane infused vodka is the star of this holiday musical for your mouth, and while you will need to infuse the vodka yourself, it is as easy as pie (and makes great holiday gifts too!) A little bit naughty and definitely nice, Creme de Cacao and Bitters are the costars to this future seasonal favorite from Boulder Locavore. 6. Bacon, Bourbon, and Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Serious Eats Talk about a trio made in heaven, the Bacon, Bourbon, and Hazelnut Hot Cocoa from Serious Eats is bound to add a bit of sparkle to the eyes of any bacon, bourbon, hazelnut/chocolate fans And, this recipe is not messing around. Full slices of hearty bacon mingle with milk and bittersweet chocolates, biting bourbon, and Frangelico. Sweet and meaty, we won’t judge if this cocktail ends up as part of your holiday brunch plans. 7. Pumpkin Spice White Russian Move over PSL, because you have some major pumpkin-spice competition. A small step can add big flavor to this cold-weather favorite. A sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice is all Nutmeg Nanny suggests to upgrade the dessert-like White Russian cocktail. 8. The Roast and Toast Cocktail GastroNom Mix and mingle your morning Joe with the big flavors of bourbon, Amaro, and orange juice. Add a blow-torched marshmallow accoutrement and you have the Roast and Toast Cocktail from GastroNom. 9. Cranberry and Cinnamon Whiskey Sour Baker by Nature Baker by Nature mixed up a little somethin’ special with a traditional Whiskey Sour. Cranberries, the obvious choice for any winter bevvy, are cooked down with sugar and water to create a delightfully decadent simple syrup. Add citrus, alcohol, and shake vigorously to burn off some holida[...]



A-Listers Who Also Make the Wine List (Part 1)

2018-01-17T15:31:49Z

More and more celebs are joining the biz with their very own wineries and labels. Check out our first installment of wine list A-listers below to learn who’s who in the world of celebrity wine. Each November, Hollywood comes to Wine Country for the annual Napa Valley Film Festival. With 100+ film screenings over 5 days, there is some serious star power on display. Past guests include Matthew McConaughey, Kurt Russell, Katie Holmes, Dev Patel, Viggo Mortensen, we can go on… But that’s not the only way stars are making their names in Wine Country. More and more celebs are joining the biz with their very own wineries and labels. Check out our first installment of wine list A-listers below to learn who’s who in the world of celebrity wine. Francis Ford Coppola seamless="seamless" style="width: 100%; border: none; display: block; max-width: 595px; height: 460px;" src="https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/embed/a2f4db51-075e-407f-95e3-f98ea7933aa1?autoplay=false"> Francis Ford Coppola Winery Sonoma County, California One of the most well known names in film, Francis Ford Coppola, delved into the world of wine over 35 years ago when he and his family were living in San Francisco. They first restored the Niebaum-Coppola Estate in Napa — 30 years in the making — and now the family has turned their focus to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery near Geyserville, California. In their words, “a wine wonderland.” It boasts a wide selection of estate grown varietals as well as a bocce court, swimming pools and sweeping lawns. Movie buffs take note: they host a collection of movie memorabilia and even have a few of Coppola’s own Oscars. Tastings like the Bottling Ballet Mecanique give you a chance to learn the personal significance behind some of their most prestigious wines. And here’s an offer you can’t refuse: make sure to grab a photo in front of Vito Corleone’s desk from The Godfather while you’re there. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie seamless="seamless" style="width: 100%; border: none; display: block; max-width: 595px; height: 460px;" src="https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/embed/a70ad484-2581-43c3-bd41-49a3cae731ec?autoplay=false"> Château Miraval Provence, France While the Jolie-Pitt family might be a thing of the past, the winery they purchased together in 2011 for $60 million is still going strong. Château Miraval in France produces a lovely variety of white and rosé wines as well as sustainably farmed olive oil. And they have three new wines coming soon: a Provence red, a Mourvèdre, and a Cabernet Franc. And why wouldn’t they? Their first 6,000 bottles of Rosé sold out in all of five hours. The large estate has been standing for hundred of years, with notable visits from Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1252 as well as the Prince of Naples years later. It’s notable history and beautiful grounds have been designated as a Noble House of France, which seems appropriate for the former King and Queen of American cinema. Drew Barrymore seamless="seamless" style="width: 100%; border: none; display: block; max-width: 595px; height: 460px;" src="https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/embed/fc85fde7-1851-4949-b586-6a3c0f35c9f2?autoplay=false"> Barrymore by Carmel Road Monterey, California The ultimate child star, rising to fame when she was seven in the 1980’s smash hit, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has been a staple among Hollywood royalty for pretty much her entire life. Being in the spotlight hasn’t always been easy, this self-proclaimed flower child has gracefully found a life which is equally full on screen and off. While acting, directing, and becoming a NY Times bestselling author, she also became enamored by Pinot Grigio while spending time in Italy. Looking to create her own wine, [...]



Temecula Valley: Tasting La Dolce Vita in Southern California

2017-09-28T04:06:32Z

We had wine expert Alyssa Rapp do some (tough) research for you, tasting 60 Temecula wines and rounding up her six favorites to try on your next visit. There’s nothing sweeter than exploring wine in the undulating hills of Tuscany, dotted with family-owned wineries and soaring Cyprus trees. But what if you could have a taste of Tuscany’s la dolce vita — in Southern California? With its own vineyard-covered, undulating hills at the foot of the Santa Ana, Temecula Valley echoes the sweet lifestyle and gorgeous scenery of Tuscany. And if you spend time at its family-owned wineries, tasty local restaurants, and decadent resorts, you’ll understand why it’s a rising star among America’s wine regions. More than 2.7 million folks already visit Temecula year to year. They come to explore its award-winning wines, flourishing foodie scene, and boundless activities, all while enjoying perfect weather and a laid back, sunny vibe that is distinct to Southern California. Only 60 minutes from San Diego and 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Temecula is an easy day trip from the nearby cities and an ideal hub for Southern California travelers. 6 Incredible Wines to Try in Temecula Marked by a Mediterranean climate with long, sunny days, tempered by ocean breezes (that flow in through a gap in the coastal mountain range) and crisp, cool nights, Temecula Valley is perfectly situated for growing high-quality grapes and producing premium wines. We had Alyssa do some (tough) research for you, rounding up her six favorite wines to try on your next visit. Alyssa’s Picks After tasting around sixty local wines total, the rising quality coming out of the region was undeniable. And while I was intrigued by many of the wines tasted, here are my top picks: SPARKLING South Coast Winery South Coast Winery Winemaker’s Signature Selection Sparkling Pinot Grigio NV South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is situated on 38 lush acres of rolling vineyards drenched in California sunshine. Their sparkling Pinot Grigio offers notes of pear and Golden Delicious apples, crisp acidity, and is a playful, easy-drinking alternative to Prosecco. Since almost everyone loves a thirst-quenching Pinot Grigio, I love that South Coast Winery finishes theirs as a “brut.” I anticipate more sparkling wines from Temecula Valley in the years to come. 34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591, Tel (951) 587-9463 WHITE Doffo Winery Doffo Winery 2016 Viognier With Italian winemaking ancestry, it’s not surprising that owner Marcelo Doffo and his son Damian are making wines in the Temecula Valley. I’ve long been a fan of the floral and aromatic overtones of Viognier from almost anywhere in the world. And Doffo’s is no exception. If you’re lucky, you can taste it with the father-son duo while they talk not only about wine, but their love of vintage motorcycle racing. How equally Italian… 36083 Summitville Street, Temecula, CA 92592, Tel (951) 676-6989 Lorenzi Estate Lorenzi Estate 2015 Varietal Collection Chardonnay Dijon Clone 76 Don Lorenzi clonal’s study of Chardonnay delivers classic notes of Meyer lemon, vanilla, oak, butter and apple pie. Making only several hundred cases per vintage, you best buy before each vintage stocks out. 36095 Monte De Oro Road, Temecula, CA 92592, Tel (951) 506-1300 RED Fazeli Cellars Fazeli Cellars 2012 Phel Phel BJ Fazeli had a lifelong dream to build a winery to reflect his Persian heritage. He achieved that dream in 2006 with Fazeli Cellars. An ultra-contemporary winery, popular wedding destination, and meeting location, Fazeli Cellars is reminiscent of Napa’s[...]