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Record Family Wines

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Tricia Swartz
 
December 19, 2011 | Tricia Swartz

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Wine Lover on your List

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?

Time Posted: Dec 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM
Tricia Swartz
 
December 15, 2011 | Tricia Swartz

The "Science" Behind our Blend

It’s that time of year again… Time to finalize the blend for Randy’s Red. Last year, I posted a couple pictures on Facebook to capture the process, but this year, we are really going to get into the “science” behind it on the blog! With all of us (Randy, Anne, Tricia, and Mindy) planning to be home for the holidays, it will be the perfect opportunity to taste and experiment with different blends. So how do we do it?

First, we have been tasting the 2010 wines from the barrel to see how they have been evolving on their own. The last time we tasted with our winemaker, Eric, we were all impressed and excited at how they were developing. In fact, we have decided to add one more wine to the line-up for the 2010 vintage. We are so pleased with how the 2010 Syrah is tasting on its own, we are planning to bottle a very limited amount next Spring.

Anne and winemaker Eric working on a blend for Randy's Red.

For the 2009 Randy’s Red, we decided on a blend of 66% Grenache and 33% Syrah. How did we come to this decision? We pulled barrel samples of each of the wines, and got to work with a measuring cup, lots of glasses, and a notepad.

Barrel samples of 2009 wines.

We started out tasting each wine on its own. From there,  we blended, tasted, took notes, and repeated. The Grenache provided the majority of the fruit characteristics, but was a little “hot” or high in alcohol. The Syrah didn’t show quite as much fruit as the Grenache, but provided much needed structure and tannins to ensure a balanced blend. We didn’t want the alcohol of the Grenache to overwhelm the blend, so it was a matter of finding the right combo that allowed both wines to shine yet complement each other at the same time. We tried several different blends and eventually settled on the final of 66% Grenache and 33% Syrah.

Blend, taste, take notes, repeat.

I’ll be sure to post with an update of the 2010 blending trials. We are really excited because of the quality of the 2010 wines and hope to come up with a blend that rivals the 2009 Randy’s Red!

What varietals do you enjoy when blended together? Do you have a favorite blend from Paso Robles?