Tag Archives: cabernet

Wines to have on hand for unexpected gifts and guests

When it comes to a quick gift, a bottle of wine is an easy – yet thoughtful and much appreciated– way to go. By the time Thanksgiving hits, I like to have a few bottles on hand for when and unexpected guest stops by (“Stay and have a glass of wine with us!”) or when you  need a quick gift (oh everyone is giving the school principal a gift as well!), you’ll want some wine to serve or give. .

Here are a few wines to have on hand:

Guests: Carletto Prosecco is floral and fruity and fresh, it’s super palate pleasing and great with appetizers or a cheese plate.
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs  is slightly more upscale, it’s more rich and creamy in texture and craves something a bit salty. Excellent for a toast or with some heavy snacks.

Gifts:  La Marca Prosecco is such a pretty label… and it’s pretty. I hear people tell me how much they love this wine and it is absolutely consistently delicious.
Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee is more pricey, but for a true Champagne, it’s a steal. Not to mention a holiday-appropriate label.

Guests: A to Z Pinot Gris  is easy to pull out for guests as it’s delicious with food or without.
Gifts: For those who don’t like Chardonnay, the Silverado Miller Ranch Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent wine to gift to a white-wine lover. And for those who enjoy richer Chardonnay, the Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay  is a beautifully balanced wine and a go-to for gifts.

Guests: Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir  is one of my favorites from Oregon. It is a delicious and affordable Pinot to impress guests, whether you pair it with dinner or sip on its own.
Gifts: Cabernet is a go-to and the Justin Cabernet Sauvignon is one I’d readily gift to any red-wine lover.

And a wine you could use for gifts or guests? The Catena Malbec. It wins every time.

Celebrating Cabernet Day!

Today is Cabernet Day, the day you are supposed to enjoy and celebrate with a glass of – you guessed it! – Cabernet!

Primarily a Twitter event, using the hashtag #cabernetday, this is the second year for the event, which spans the globe, starting in Australia and ending in California (or maybe Hawaii…). It’s pretty informal – all you have to do is drink some Cabernet and tweet about it using the hashtag. Doesn’t matter where it comes from, how old it is or who produces it – just drink some Cab!

It’s a fun opportunity to maybe open something you’ve been saving or wanted to try for a while. So drink up and share! And let us know if you have any great finds or good deals -we’re always looking to find something new.



We’re still drinking Cabernet

For the year 2010, we’ve tracked the top varietals on Wine.com – aka, what are people buying? Unfortunately, this can be hard to distinguish from what people are drinking, as many bottles purchased (particularly during the holidays) are for gifting rather than personal consumption.

The top ranking variety this year (as it was last year) is Cabernet Sauvignon. It grew 38% in volume and led the charge in number of bottles sold. This is not a huge surprise – Cabernet Sauvignon tops many people’s lists. It is one of the most planted and well-known varieties, and is made in a number of styles. It is also a popular gift.

For white wines, Chardonnay tops the list! It’s the other pea in the pod with Cabernet so that should come as no surprise, either.

The numbers we liked more were those in growth – what varieties grew the most this year. Always fun to look at. For reds in 2010, it was Gamay, the fresh & fruity variety of Beaujolais. Growth for Gamay was 200%! We chalk some of this up to the fantastic 2009 vintage in Beaujolias as well as a few great deals on top producers. Next in growth was Bordeaux blends (136%), always a favorite, followed by Sangiovese (93%).

What about whites? One of my favorite varieties, Riesling, came in first at 47%, which is exciting as Riesling can be a much mis-understood grape. Viognier, another fun varietal, came in second at 44%.

So while it seems that people are sticking to Cabernet and Chardonnay in many ways, we’re excited to see the diversity of what’s growing in popularity and what people are sipping. Cheers to trying something new.