Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Time for Thanksgiving Wines

November 17th, 2011 No comments
A Wild Turkey

“Wild Turkey” photographed by MONGO

If you’re planning to host a fancy Thanksgiving, why not pull all the stops?  Instead of serving one wine with the meal, liven things up by serving several in graded succession.  For example, start with an apéritif either on its own, or with some light appetizers.  Muscat is an excellent choice, and helps prepare the palate for courses yet to come.  If your main course consists of turkey, consider serving a light white to accompany the subtle flavors of this bird.  Dry whites are especially nice, but for guests with sweeter tastes consider pairing the bird with a sweet Riesling.  To keep family and friends happy, offer them these wine options, or (better yet) let them sample each.  As a third choice, a nice bottle of Pinot Noir will always be a winner.  For dessert, pair your pie with a tasty glass of port.  For pies on the more tart side, consider a tawny port.  For sweeter pies, ruby port is a nice match.  This Thanksgiving, serving a variety of wines throughout your meal will help to make your Thanksgiving feast a classy wine adventure to remember!  In fact, this holiday may even be the perfect occasion to use your new Riedel Riesling Grand Cru wine glasses, or to pass around a set of lovely Vintage Port glasses… Just food for thought!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Golfers & Wine Lovers (and what dad isn’t one of those?)

June 17th, 2011 No comments

Dads deserve appreciation all the time, but it’s especially important to make Father’s Day the one day that your dad will remember forever—or, at least, until next June. And today, you’re in luck: if your dad is into sports or wine, you can sit back and let Vintage Cellars take the work out of shopping for the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Sporty Dads

mulholland leather golf bag

If your Dad spends most of his weekends on the golf course, check out our line of Mulholland Leather Bags and Golf Equipment. Help Dad relax and have fun with the Endurance Sunday Bag, an all-leather bag designed for the practice range, short-yardage courses, and casual games of weekend golf with buddies and brothers. Or, if he wouldn’t part with his current bag, a Golf Ball and Tee Holder might be a good bet. This beautiful piece holds three balls and four tees, and the leather loop and buckle allow Dad to easily attach it to his favorite golf bag.

If your father isn’t into golf, the All Leather Shoe Bag or Endurance Shoe Bag can be used to carry shoes for all sports: cleats for football or baseball, running sneakers, bowling shoes, or even wrestling and volleyball shoes. And, of course, both bags work well for golf shoes, too.



Wine-Loving Dads

Rogar Opener

If your father isn’t the most athletic of men, Vintage Cellars has you covered. Help Dad create a relaxing environment with our Rogar Estate Wine Opener with Antique Bronze Finish, Hardwood Handle, & Table Stand. This magnificent showpiece adds style to any wine room, kitchen, living room, or den. If Dad liked to keep things simple, our Rogar Estate Pewter Wine Opener would make a perfect addition to his wine accessory drawer. For other ideas, our complete collection of Rogar Accessories is worth a look.
Riedel O glass
If fancy wine openers aren’t Dad’s thing, try our Riedel “O” stemless glassware. The Complete Stemless Wine Glass Collection is a set of 12, each specially designed to enhance the flavors of a separate wine varietal. If Dad doesn’t need a large set, you can get him the set of 2 “O” wine glasses that is suited for his favorite wine, such as these”O” Cabernet/Merlot Stemless Wine Glasses.

If your dad’s perfect Father’s Day gift isn’t featured here, you can always contact us with questions as you browse the rest of our online catalog.

Happy Father’s Day from Vintage Cellars!

Pass Over the Manischewitz

April 20th, 2011 No comments

Manischewitz kosher wineDuring this year’s Passover, some of you will probably have a glass of Manischewitz, a peculiarly sweet kosher wine often associated with Passover.  There are, however, kosher alternatives to Manischewitz many people are unaware of (Unless you’ve read our previous post on kosher wine!).  The idea that all kosher wines are eminently sweet is simply untrue.  When kosher wines (like Manischewitz) were first made in America, the incoming Jewish population had little time–and few resources–to produce wine quickly for religious holidays, as well as the regular Kiddush ritual.  Since Jewish immigrants also tended to settle in areas that were not conducive to growing grapes, early kosher winemakers in America had but a handful of varietals at their disposal.  Because of limited time, tools, and grapes, the resulting wine was often less-than ideal, so it was sweetened until palatable (It often came to this, or drinking a raisin wine!).  From there, all it took was one generation in America to associate kosher wines with sweetness.  During passover, Manischewitz is still sweetened with cane sugar.

The majority of European kosher wines, on the other hand, are not sweetened.  They also tend to incorporate more grape varietals.  It’s possible to pick up a decent bottle of kosher Cabernet, Bordeaux, Merlot, and even Pino Grigio!   Though kosher wine has tended to be slightly lighter in body and color than non-kosher wine, with today’s advances in winemaking technology this “lightness” is quickly disappearing.  Examine a glass of Fernandez de Arcaya Galdiano Alate Navarra 2006, for example, to see a delightful Tempranillo with excellent color!  Though tradition may dictate a glass or two of sweetened Manischewitz this Passover, the larger world of kosher wine is certainly worth exploring.  May you and your family  be delightfully surprised by today’s abundance of quality, kosher wines!

Categories: Purchasing Wine Tags: ,

Great Wines for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2011 No comments

postcardValentine’s Day is today! Still in need of a perfect gift?  This year, think about forgoing the teddy bear and heart-shaped jewelry.  Instead, get her a romantic gift you can enjoy together: wine.  Here are some great choices for romance on the 14th.

Great with chocolate-covered strawberries: This valentine’s day classic is perfection with another classic: Champagne.  Pop a bottle of bubbly, line up those gorgeous strawberries on a pretty platter, and get ready to enjoy them together.  If you don’t want to spend the cash on authentic French champagne, you don’t have to!  Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, and Cava, a Spanish bubbly, are great options without the label-induced price spike.  Cheers!

Great with steak: Nothing says “I love you” like a meal prepared with your own two hands.  Never mind that it’s February, get out there and grill!  Steak is rich and indulgent, a great choice for Valentine’s Day.  Try this Steak with Rosemary Red Wine Sauce for something a little extra special.  Use your favorite rich, dry red for the sauce and to drink with the meal.  Need a suggestion?  Try this 2007 Ravenswood Zin–perfection with a juicy grilled steak.

Great with chocolate: Chocolate is a classic gift for a reason.  But this year, try something a little different: a chocolate and wine pairing made specially for the one you love.  Whether her favorite is white, milk, or decadent dark, there’s a perfect wine to bring out all the flavors she loves so much.  Our guide on chocolate pairing makes it easy.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

A New Year’s Eve Cocktail

December 30th, 2010 No comments

Champagne Bubbles
Hosting a party this New Year’s Eve?  Look no further for the perfect cocktail.  This elegant drink looks great in the glass and tastes great too.

Sparkling Pear New Year’s Cocktail

Set out 8 champagne flutes.

Divide 1/2 cup of pear nectar (sold in cans in most grocery stores) among them.

Carefully top off each glass with your favorite champagne (remember to pour gently to preserve the bubbles.)

Take 8 rosemary sprigs.  Strip the leaves from the bottom inch of each, and spear a few fresh cranberries on the end.  Use the cranberry-rosemary sprigs to garnish each glass.

Happy New Year!

Categories: Wine Recipes Tags: ,

Holiday Sangria

December 28th, 2010 1 comment
cherry flavor

Cherries form the flavor foundation of this great wintertime cocktail.

Here’s another Christmas wine cocktail sure to please your palate–and your guests’.  This is a great one for parties, and the festive red color makes is perfect for the holiday season.  Bottoms up!

Holiday Sangria

Mix 2 parts each cherry syrup and gin in a shaker.

Pour over ice into a tall glass.

Add a large splash of soda.

Float one part red wine over the top by pouring it over the back of a wide spoon.

Add a few raspberries or maraschino cherries.


A Christmas Brunch Cocktail

December 23rd, 2010 No comments
Bubbles from a rose champagne

Champagne is the foundation of this delicious cocktail.

You may be too old for Santa Claus, but Christmas has a hidden benefit for adults: it provides the perfect excuse to drink in the morning!  This Christmas morning champagne cocktail is perfect for enjoying with a leisurely brunch…preferably while still in your PJs.

As with all cocktails made with champagne, quality doesn’t matter all that much (but go for the dry stuff if you’re serving a crowd, it pleases more palates).  So save that good bottle to savor by itself!  Also, remember to pour the mixers first and add the champagne last, otherwise you’ll lose precious bubbles.

The Poinsettia

Fill your champagne glasses a quarter full with triple sec

Add a splash of cranberry juice.

Fill the rest of the way with champagne.

This holiday cocktail is a festive color, and tastes as good as it looks!  Serve with pancakes or coffee cake and enjoy Christmas morning the right way.

Looking for the Perfect Christmastime Wine?

December 18th, 2010 No comments

The famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.Christmas dinners are all over the map.  Some families celebrate with ham, some with prime rib.  Some have a round two of Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey and stuffing.  If you’re Italian, you might enjoy a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes.  If you’re German, you might have a roast goose.  The point is, it’s nearly impossible to recommend the perfect Christmas dinner wine, because no two families will sit down to the same meal.  So here’s what to do:

Read our Guide to Food and Wine Pairing, and check out the many wonderful wines we’ve reviewed.  Whether you’re eating fish, beef, or Tofurkey this year, you’re sure to find something that matches perfectly.  And if in doubt, remember, Champagne goes with everything!

Wine Baskets Make Great Wine Gifts

December 15th, 2010 2 comments

Wine baskets are wonderful gifts that everyone loves.  As a result, they can cost hundreds of dollars at fancy food stores.  But why spend the cash when you can easily make them yourself?  They’re simple to create, and they make great, personal gifts that your friends and family will really appreciate.  You can fill your wine gift baskets with almost anything, so get creative: the possibilities are endless!

To start, you need some kind of attractive basket or box.  Visit your local craft store for wicker baskets or large tin pails.  Wooden wine cases also make great receptacles. For a unique container that’s a gift in itself, use a leather brigade bucket by Mulholland Leather.

Then pick a wine theme and get to filling!  Here are some ideas:

A chocolate-themed gift basket. Visit a chocolate store and pick out a variety: white, milk, and dark chocolates all pair well with wines.  If you know the person’s favorites, play to them.  You can even try some unusual chocolates: they may include goat cheese, herbs, or even chilies.  Next, pair some wines with the chocolates you’ve chosen.  For a dark chocolate lover, strong, rich reds like Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are perfect.  For the milk chocolate lover, try something smooth like a Pinot Noir or something sweet like a Muscat.  White chocolate pairs well with sweet wines like Muscatos or even something darker and tannic for contrast, like a Merlot.  For our full wine and chocolate pairing guide, click here.

A summer-themed gift basket: Line a basket with a checkered picnic cloth, then fill with beautiful summer fruits, like strawberries and peaches.  Add some goats-milk cheese (it’s at its peak in the summer) and some crackers or a baguette.  Finish with summer wines like Rosé or Pinot Grigio.

A gift basket for the new wine lover: If you know someone in your life who’s just starting to appreciate the pleasures of wine, help them out!  Fill a basket with a few bottles of your favorites.  Try to think outside the box and introduce the person to some types of wine he or she might not have heard of.

A wine and cheese basket: This one’s a crowd-pleaser.  Pairing wine and cheese can be intimidating, so see our easy wine & cheese pairing guide for help.  In general, stick to white wines and pick a variety of cheeses (like brie, gruyere, and cheddar).  Include a few different types of crackers, a bunch of grapes, and you’re ready to go.

A wine game gift basket: Give everything they need to have their own wine-tasting party.  Include several types of wine, or a a few bottles of the same type at different price point.  Place bags over the bottles or cover the labels, and add paper for note-taking.  Maybe they’ll even invite you over to play!

Interested in our recommendations for wine lover gift ideas?

Wine Gift: Riedel Wine Glasses

December 4th, 2010 No comments

Riedel has been making the world’s premiere wine glasses for more than 250 years.  For the serious wine collector, they’re almost a necessity.  For the more casual wine enthusiast, they’re a beautiful, classic way to enjoy great wines.  Riedel glasses make great holiday gifts for anyone who has a special place in his heart for wine.

Riedel makes a wide variety of glass styles.  One great choice is the Riedel Sommelier line.  Their graceful shapes and long, delicate stems make them an elegant choice for the holiday season. Even better, these lovely glasses are on sale–check Facebook, Twitter or the latest VC newsletter for coupon codes for Riedel Sommelier, Howard Miller and WineKeeper products.

Glasses from the Sommelier line are perfect for the serious wine lover.  For someone who’sriedel o a little more casual about wine, a perfect choice is the “O” Stemless line.  These family-style glasses are great for casual gatherings, dinner parties with friends, and just sitting around and enjoying a glass.

Don’t forget if neither of these lines are what you’re looking for for the wine lover in your life, Riedel makes many more choices.