We are preparing to bottle our 2012 wines and this time, we will have a new wine to reveal! We will be creating a special blend of the original three varieties that were planted to the vineyard when we purchased it in 2007: Merlot, Syrah, and Grenache. The result is a fun, fruity, blend that will pair perfectly with simple, everyday dishes like pasta and BBQ.
Last weekend, the Record Family came together for our annual Thanksgiving celebration. After enjoying an amazing spread of delicious dishes, we pulled out some barrel samples of the 2012 wines and created the blend. Everyone had a chance to give us feedback and even contribute to the conversation about what to name this special blend.
[2012 barrel samples of the original varieties planted at Paso de Record.]
2012 barrel samples of the original varieties planted at Paso de Record.
[Putting together the blend!]
Putting together the blend!
We are so thankful for each member of this wonderful family and enjoyed sharing this process with them! We can’t wait to bottle the wine and reveal the details of this special blend next year!
[IMG_5500] [IMG_5498] [IMG_5497] [IMG_5502] [IMG_5504]
It’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays. Instead of waiting until the last minute and paying for expedited shipping so I don’t have to brave the mall crowds, I decided I am going to start earlier than ever this year! Here are some of my favorite discoveries for the wine lover on your list:
1) Michael Aram Rock Wine Coaster
This gorgeous granite coaster would look amazing on any table dressed up for a special occasion! When not in use, it is a great piece to leave out on the bar. Get this for the person who has everything.
2) Menu Barware Wine Thermometer
For the techie on your list, make sure they are always serving wine at the ideal temperature. Need a gift for the office gift exchange? At $30, it fits most acceptable price ranges!
3) Pottery Barn Classic Glass Punch Bowl
I love to whip up a batch of sangria (recipe coming soon!) for a special occasion or a warm summer afternoon spent lounging on the patio. Serve it in style with this classic punch bowl. Looking to add a personal touch? Monogramming available!
4) SPARQ Wine Pearls
When you get home from a long day and can’t wait to chill your bottle of wine? No problem, don’t add ice cubes, add wine pearls! These (personalized) stainless steel pearls keep your wine, or other beverage of choice, cool so you don’t have to wait any longer to enjoy!
5) Bicycle Wine Rack
I love the selection of handmade items you can find on Etsy, and this is no exception. Perfect for the urban wino, use the bicycle wine rack to tote a bottle to a friend’s house or the park for a picnic.
6) Wine Club Gift Membership
[Record Family Wines Estate Founder's Club]
Record Family Wines Estate Founder’s Club
It’s the gift that gives all year-long! Many wineries offer gift membership options for their wine club. At Record Family Wines, we have many different options that will help you create the perfect membership for someone special on your list. Check out the options and sign someone up today!
What kind of gifts are you shopping for this holiday season?
Tomorrow is Halloween, so it is officially time to start thinking about one of my favorite holidays – Thanksgiving! I love this holiday for so many reasons: the traditions, spending time with family, the food… And in the Record Family, we take our food seriously!
Several years ago, the “kids” decided to give the “parents” a break and take over preparing food for our annual Thanksgiving feast. Just another way we are transitioning traditions through the generations of our family! It is always fun to try new dishes along with savoring traditional sides. It seems that we all have our favorites to make (mine are mashed potatoes!) but we can’t ignore the importance of the main dish – the turkey! Here are a few of my favorite recipes that we have used the last few years, none will disappoint!
1) Clinton Kelly’s Lemon Sage Turkey
I found this recipe a couple of years ago and decided it would be the one I used when preparing my first Thanksgiving turkey! The recipe does not call for a brine, but after extensive conversations with Mindy, I decided to do one anyway. The flavors of this turkey are incredible! The citrus and sage combination was delicious. Just don’t skimp on the compound butter!
2) The Pioneer Woman Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
If you are looking for a simple turkey that delivers a ton of classic flavors, this is the recipe for you! The Pioneer Woman recommends using a brine so be sure you are prepared to start the night before. Beyond that, this turkey does not take much work, which will give you plenty of time to focus on those delicious side dishes! The turkey is a gorgeous shade of brown and juicy when roasted to perfection!
3) Roast Turkey with Black Truffle Butter
While I can’t vouch for this recipe yet, I can’t wait to try it! I love anything with truffle flavor so I can only imagine what this would add to my Thanksgiving plate! The recipe looks a little more complicated in that you need to make a garlic confit, but if you are up for a challenge I suggest this recipe for a potentially big flavor payoff!
When choosing wine to pair with our Thanksgiving meal, I love the versatility of our 2012 Grenache Rosé and look forward to seeing how our newest release, the 2011 Randy’s Red stands up to some of the bolder Thanksgiving flavors.
Do you have a go-to turkey recipe? What wine do you plan to open this year?
With the holidays quickly approaching, it seems there are endless parties to attend and guests to host. A nice bottle of wine can be a great addition to a potluck or a great gift for your boss. But, do you ever feel overwhelmed when needing to buy wine? So many choices: where to go, who to ask for advice, how much to spend, what to ultimately buy, etc.
Don’t be intimidated by the vast selection. Everyone has different taste, and there is no “perfect” wine for any occasion. Hopefully with a few basic tips, you will enjoy the process and look forward to discovering new wines in the future!
Where to go:
You can find great wine in many places, even at the grocery store. If picking up wine with your weekly groceries is most convenient for you, buy wine there! If you are looking for a wider selection, a brand with small production, or guidance on selecting wine for food pairings, I suggest you drop into a store that specializes in wine. BevMo is great, and with many locations, are often easily accessible, but I would really encourage you to seek out a local wine shop. Typically, the employees are passionate about the product and can provide you with several options across a wide price range to find the perfect fit!
[If only selecting a wine were this easy!]
If only selecting a wine was this easy!
How much to spend:
5 cent sales are tempting… but I find that these are usually full of wines that a particular store is trying to get rid of. Does that California Chardonnay look good? Take a closer look. If you have never heard of the producer before (so you aren’t sure if they make age worthy wines), and it is from 2005 – pass. Trust me. Spend a little more and get a nice, Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast region from a recent vintage (2011, 2012). It will be money well spent!
With that being said, don’t feel like you have to overspend for a big name to insure you get a palatable wine either! There are so many wonderful red wines coming out of Paso Robles right now that you can get for less than $50, that there is no reason to spend double for a well-known Napa brand. You may impress your guests by serving a respected brand that has been around for decades, and there is nothing wrong with that (I wouldn’t turn it down!) But imagine their surprise when you blow them away with a delicious wine from a boutique winery that you just discovered!
Deciphering a label:
When considering wine for purchase, I like to get an idea of where the grapes are sourced from. This can usually give you an indication of the quality of the wine, no matter how cute the label. As in my previous example, I look for a more specific region (Sonoma Coast v. California). It is not always evident by the front (or back!) of a label who is behind the production of wine. What may seem like a boutique winery may in fact be produced by one of the largest wineries in the world. It may taste great, but if you are looking to support a smaller winery, take a closer look.
If a broad region is listed (California, Central Coast, North Coast) the grapes can come from a much larger area. When you see a more specific region (Rutherford, Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles) the grapes must come from that defined area. A general rule of thumb is that the more specific a region, the smaller production (and in many cases, higher quality) the wine will be. This is not ALWAYS the case, but one I consider when I am feeling overwhelmed with my choices!
For example, I am going to look for a Sauvignon Blanc coming from Marlborough or Napa before I purchase one just listing New Zealand or California on the label. I am going to choose a Pinot Noir from Edna Valley instead of Central Coast. And don’t be fooled by the brands that use regions in their name…
[Don't fall for cute critter labels!]
Don’t fall for cute critter labels!
Once you decide on a wine, it can be exciting to open it with family and friends to see if you chose well! While there may be other things that you consider when purchasing wine, these basic tips are just meant to ease the anxiety shoppers may associate with the task. There are so many wonderful wines out there, if you use these tips, I’m confident you will find a delicious wine that will impress your most discerning guests!
Now it’s your turn! What do you look for when shopping for wine?
Still need some gift ideas? Not finding the perfect gift? Here are some creative DIY ideas!
Illuminated Wine Bottle
One of our wonderful wine club members made us this great illuminated wine bottle! Use an empty bottle of your favorite wine to remember it forever. It looks wonderful displayed inside and outside, from the mantle to an end table.
[IMG_2652] Find a tutorial for a similar wine bottle here.
For the entertainer on your list, make one of these sleek yet functional chalkboard platters. Perfect for displaying cheese and other snacks when entertaining!
Tutorial found here.
Glittery Wine Glasses
Ever want to add a little sparkle to your drink? With a little craft paint, transform any glass into an eye-catching, fun, conversation piece.
[IMG_2884] Get the tutorial directions here.
We hope you have a very happy holiday season!
Last year, I posted some good ideas for the wine lovers on your holiday shopping list. Here are a few more in case you need some fresh ideas!
Need to chill down a bottle of white wine quickly? Don’t want to ruin the label in an ice bucket? Want to keep the bottle out on the table instead of putting it back in the fridge to stay cool? The Corkcicle is the perfect solution! The best part is all the options there are for the top of the Corkcicle. They come in many colors, designs, you can even customize them! You can purchase through their website for about $25.
Stemless Wine Glasses
In our house, we are big fans of stemless wine glasses for everyday use. They are also great for entertaining, but I tend to use glasses with stems because they seem fancier to me. Anyone else? For our wedding we registered for Schott Zwiesel wine glasses from Pottery Barn. I love these glasses! Some of our friends even had a set monogrammed for us – great idea! You can get a set of six Schott Zwiesel stemless wine glasses from Pottery Barn for $45 (additional to have them monogrammed).
Contemporary Wine Rack
This unique leather and iron wine rack from Crate & Barrel is perfect for a person in need of a functional yet sleek wine storage system. I love that it is not the typical storage rack with individual slots. The leather will change over time giving this wine rack an individual feel. I’m sure this would look good on a counter (space permitting!) or in the corner of a room. Order online from Crate & Barrel for $119.95 + a flat rate $4.95 for shipping.
The Ultimate Wine Preserver
Need something spectacular for the wine lover who already has everything? Want to impress guests? Have a hard time finishing a bottle of wine in one sitting? This Skybar One Wine Preservation & Serving System is the perfect solution for enjoying a bottle of wine for up to 10 days. Regularly priced $600, Williams-Sonoma is offering it for only $399.95!
And finally… A couple of options from Record Family Wines!
Two bottle Gift Pack
For just $58, send the wine enthusiasts on your list one bottle of 2010 Merlot, one bottle of 2010 Randy’s Red, and a neoprene wine tote. Great for hostess gifts, corporate gifts, or anyone on your list who enjoys a great bottle of wine! Place an order before Friday, December 14th for guaranteed delivery by Friday, December 21st.
Wine Club Gift Membership
It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year-long! We now offer two options for wine club members. Each includes two shipments per year, of either 3 bottles or 6 bottles. In addition to receiving two wine club shipments, members will also receive a 20% discount on wine and merchandise and two complimentary (Estate Founders Club) or discounted (Estate Friends Club) tickets to our annual release party! Sign up someone special through the website and we will send them notification of enrollment.
With Christmas just days away, here are five fabulous gift ideas for the wine lover on your list. Links will take you to major retailer websites to make your shopping even easier. Ready, set, shop!
1) A decanter is an ideal gift that serves two functions: decanting wine and a beautiful display piece. High quality decanters are available anywhere from $70 to over $400 depending on how much you want to spend. You can’t go wrong with a simple design, but if you want to splurge, I recommend the Riedel Crystal 72-Ounce Paloma Wine Decanter.
2) To save space in your refrigerator and still keep your wine at the optimum temperature, a wine refrigerator is a necessity for any serious wine drinker! Prices range depending on how big you want to go, but for an excellent “starter” wine refrigerator, I recommend this Frigidaire Wine Cooler. This 18-bottle wine refrigerator has a sleek, tall design that should fit easily in any small space!
3) While not everyone may have a use for this, those that are not able to consume an entire bottle of wine in one sitting will enjoy this thoughtful gift! Don’t let leftover wine go to waste, simply use this Vacuum Wine Preserver to save excess wine to enjoy the following day. For the small price tag, it will be well worth it to invest in this device to make sure not a drop of your delicious wine is compromised.
4) Short on space? Here are two solutions – one for storing wine bottles, another for storing wine glasses! This 5-Bottle Wall Mount-Stacking Wine Rack is perfect for putting those beautiful bottles on display. Just make sure to mount it on a wall that doesn’t get direct sunlight. To keep wine glasses out of your precious cabinet space, install this Mounted Stemrack and keep your wine glasses organized and easily accessible!
5) Cheese is a wonderful pairing with wine and I have yet to meet a wine lover that is not also a cheese lover! Put together a gift of accessories that can be used together or on their own, whether entertaining, or enjoying an evening snack. This Cheese Dome is perfect for outdoor entertaining. Make sure your guests know what they are eating with these reusable Cheese Markers. Finish this gift off with a set of two Cheese Knives and hope to be invited over soon to enjoy some wine and cheese!
Have a wonderful holiday season filled with good food, wine, and loved ones!
Do you have a favorite wine related gift idea?