8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to stock up on your favorite wines for gifts, holiday gatherings and cozy nights in. I keep a variety of wines at home for any occasion and I love sharing and discovering new wines. Here are 8 Wines For Gifting And Gatherings During The Holiday Season!

WINTER WHITES

Enjoying white wines in the summertime are a no-brainer but did you know there are some rich, full-bodied white wines that are bold, warming, and pair beautifully with winter dishes? There is truly a wine out there for any occasion and time of year! Here are some of the best white wines to drink in cold weather and toast to the winter season recommended from Vineyard Brands:

Four recommended white wines from the Vineyard Brands portfolio to enjoy this winter! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

From left to right:

1. Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2018 (SRP $13.99)

Made by the legendary Famille Perrin, producers of Château de Beaucastel, this Côtes du Rhône is made from traditional varietals including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. The Perrin family are masters in blending, and these particular Rhône varietals offer richer tastes. Round and supple in the mouth with minerality, this wine pairs beautifully with spicy dishes.

2. Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino 2018 (SRP $16.99)

Not only does the Pecorino grape grow well in cooler setting, it also is a varietal that is perfect for drinking in cooler settings. Produced by Umani Ronchi in the Abruzzo region of eastern Italy, this wine has high aroma concentration, good alcohol content, and wonderful acidity. It’s food friendly while maintaining fullness on the palate.

3. Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Blanc 2017 (SRP $28.99)

A family-run Domaine in the heart of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or, Domaine Matrot vineyards are farmed and harvested organically. This 100% Chardonnay is fruity and round, but still with the rich taste for which Chardonnay is known. With fruit sourced near Meursault, this unoaked wine is not only an excellent value but a great representation of Burgundian Chardonnay.

4. Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc 2017 (SRP $45.00)

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Tablas Blanc is a blend of five estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. With core richness provided by Roussanne, anise flavors and a lush mouthfeel from the Grenache Blanc, and a saline minerality from the Picpoul Blanc, this blend has spicy notes and rich texture that make it ideal for cooler temperatures. Certified organic and biodynamic, this wine is a beautiful example of the heights Côtes du Rhône varietals can reach in the United States.

Here’s a tip per Vineyard Brands: When choosing a white wine to drink in cold temperatures look for a wine that is weightier on the palate to stand up against hearty dishes.

VIBRANT REDS

No matter how crazy your holiday shopping gets, here is one thing to have on your shopping gift list: a bottle of Montecucco from Tuscany! It is the ideal gift to surprise everyone, from the most curious wine geek to the longtime Italy aficionado or simply the wine lover searching for the best wine buys. Crafted with extreme care and dedication by small family-owned wineries, these hidden gems represent an undiscovered treasure, a perfect gift and holiday meal companion, thanks to their high quality and affordable price.

5. Parmoleto Montecucco Rosso DOC (SRP $20)

Montecucco, a small region nestled in the Maremma area, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano appellations, is the new star of Tuscan wine. Considered one of the best rising expressions of Sangiovese, Montecucco Rosso DOC is a blend of three grapes: 70% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting Notes about Montecucco’s wines: Their vibrant acidity, medium to full-bodied profile with hints of dark fruits, tobacco, vanilla, elegant tannins and a flavorful long finish, make them great pairings with grilled meats like veal and pork, game, black and white truffles, mushroom soup, pasta with meat sauce or Ragu’ and Pecorino cheese.

SOMETHING SWEET

In the not so far past Moscato was an obscure niche wine that was not well known. Those days are over. This grape has seen it’s popularity soar over the past 20 years. Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark, offers a beautiful Moscato that is very accessible for all.

6. Member’s Mark Moscato D’Asti (RP $9.98)

The grapes from the Member’s Mark Moscato d’Asti are hand-harvested and grown in a combination of limestone and sandstone soils from the cool, hilly Asti region. Moscato d’Asti is fresh, fragrant, and frizzante with vibrant flavors and aromas of ripe stone fruit, tangerines and honey. The wine is concentrated and flavorful, but not overly rich or heavy; sweet, yet balanced.

Did you knowThe Moscato d’Asti appellation is located within the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont. In 1993, it earned Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status, Italy’s highest wine classification—reserved for the country’s most classic, expressive wines.

BUBBLY CELEBRATIONS

As the year comes to an end, there is one thing that comes to mind when celebrating: Sparkling Wine. It’s so lovely sipping on bubbly anytime but especially this time of year!

7. Member’s Mark Champagne (RP $19.98)

Most people use the term “Champagne” as a generic word for any sparkling wine. Some may be surprised to know that it is actually illegal to label any product Champagne unless it comes from the French region called Champagne and it must produced under the rules of that appellation. This king of grapes does not have to always break the bank either. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark label has a Brut that is both delicious and reasonably priced. Notes of apple and pear are found in this wonderful wine. Champagne has a unique neutral taste that goes with, well almost any dish whether cheese or chicken. December 31 is National Champagne Day so make sure to raise your glass this New Year’s Eve or any eve with a flute of Member’s Mark Champagne!

8. Member’s Mark Prosecco (RP $7.98)

Often thought of as Champagne’s first cousin, Prosecco has a life all of it’s own! The grapes are from a particular region in Italy called Veneto. Prosecco is meant to be consumed young and once it is bottled, no aging necessary. Member’s Mark ASOLO-PROSECCO D.O.C. hails from the Aslo Appellation of Italy within Veneto. With low residual sugar this Prosecco is vibrant and refreshing to the palate. Having spent time in Italy, I can attest that Prosecco is the main sparkling wine of choice that native Italians enjoyed quite often and now we can too!

Quick Refresher: Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark brand has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices..many under $10! Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few.

Now that you have learned about these great 8 wines, which one or more are you most interested in gifting or taking to a gathering this holiday? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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Tips for Hosting a Happy Halloween Wine Tasting ft. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo

This past weekend, I combined my love of wine and a good time by hosting a “Hallowine” happy hour at my home. I had a Hallowine Party before and it was such a success I decided to do it again! What exactly is “Hallowine”, you ask ? It’s a halloween themed party where wine tasting is the main event. This year I partnered with Sam’s Club Member’s Mark Wines and Casillero del Diablo.

THE INVITE–

I customized an invite via Canva and created a FaceBook invitation. Wine loving guys and gals were invited to come over to enjoy. My Halloween decor was kept fun, frightening and frugal. For example I found plastic spiders that I used for glass charms at the Dollar Tree. This way people can keep track of their wine glass all evening by their colored spider!

I also picked up some fun “Witch Don’t Kill My Vibe” napkins from Walmart. I came across a dozen plastic “Witches Brew” tumblers for $2.99 from Ross that I used to serve my guests a welcome drink. I firmly believe that a welcome drink when entering a party sets up a festive mood! This year we had Sangria from Wegmans for just $6 a bottle. Put it in a pitcher with some fruit and VOILA..Witches Brew is served!

THE WINES —

Member’s Mark Chardonnay {SRP $7.98}
Member’s Mark Pinot Noir {SRP $8.98}

Did you know…Sam’s Club private label Member’s Mark has a full fleet of highly-rated, delicious, award-winning wines at low prices… We’re talking under $10! I was very excited to be able to preview these two Sonoma Valley wines prior to their public availability at Sam’s Club starting in mid-November. I started the tasting of these wines from white to red. Everyone liked the Chardonnay but if you love Pinot Noir, this one is pretty good for just $9! Here is some additional info:

I created a cheese and charcuterie board using a variety of soft and hard cheeses, from goat cheese to brie, to cheddar and gouda, that paired well with both wines!

Member’s Mark Zinfindel {SRP $7.98}

Did you know…Member’s Mark wine is currently available in 37 states, and the wines are sourced all across the globe – everywhere from California to Spain to Germany, to name a few. There are 11 other existing wines in the line, including Champagne, Rosé, Moscato, Prosecco, Bordeaux and more. This Zinfandel wine is an intense, full-flavored Zin made in Lodi from some of the oldest vines in California. A glass gives off blackberry and black cherry aromas and jammy fruit flavors with a hint of peppercorn. Pair with your favorite meat for summer grilling. Pizza and pasta also work well with this wine. With the holidays upon us, bring this one anywhere for the perfect hostess gift!

SobeSavvy Tip: Have your guests download Vivino app before arrival to keep track of their fave wines from the evening! Already use Vivino? Let’s be friends..find our wine reviews under “SobeSavvy” on the Vivino app! Salud!🍷

Casillero del Diablo Carmenere & Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir {SRP $12.00}

I first learned about Casillero del Diablo when the winery invited me to a special event with Head sommelier, Massimo Leonori, was there to discuss the new wines from the 2018 vintage, deemed an Extraordinary Vintage. Unfortunately I was not able to attend but thankfully able to try this brand known as the official wine of Halloween!

About Casillero del Diablo:
Born from a 140-year-old Chilean legend, Casillero del Diablo has emerged as a global powerhouse. The legend began in the late 1880s with Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, one of Chile’s most revered winemakers. Many thieves coveted his precious wines, so Don Melchor spread a rumor the Devil himself guarded his cellar. Although never confirmed nor disproved, the tale protected his prize and spawned a legend spanning generations. The cellar where those bottles rested nearly 140 years ago still stands today in Chile’s Maipo Valley, home of Casillero del Diablo’s illustrious portfolio under the Concha y Toro banner. Casillero del Diablo, twice named the #2 most powerful wine brand in the world, leads the Chilean 750ml segment in dollar sales and volume sales in the United States.1 2 Since 2009, Casillero del Diablo wines have garnered 170 Gold and Silver medals at international competitions and 19 Best Buy/Best Value designations; the wines have earned 50 scores of 90 or above in the past five years. The rugged topography of Chile’s winemaking regions reflects the country’s thirst for exploration; Casillero del Diablo is at the forefront of the world’s attention on this South American gem, sparking a uniquely Chilean sense of adventure in every glass.

The 2017-2018 season in Chile had unbeatable climatic conditions that resulted in an “Extraordinary Vintage” for Casillero del Diablo. The winemaker was able to create incredible flavors using the perfectly ripened fruit from the harvest. The varietals include a Cabernet Sauvignon,Carmenere, and Pinot Noir. Here are some tasting notes regarding the Carmenere and Pinot Noir:

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! For additional information about Casillero del Diablo and the Extraordinary Vintage, follow on @CasillerowineUS on Instagram or go to the website at http://www.casillerodeldiablo.com/en

Do you plan to enjoy some HalloWINE this Halloween? What are you doing to celebrate?

Cheers🍷and Happy Halloween 2019!

SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROSÉ PISCINE WINE | #rosepiscine #wine #roséallday

Hello May! Time to celebrate Moms, Grads, and patio season with rosé all day! I recently tried a new wine that is meant to be served on the rocks called Rosé Piscine. I personally had never tried wine [not including Sangria] over ice before. As everyone knows as the ice melts the wine would become watered down but that’s just not the case with this wine that has already sold over two million bottles in France and Brazil, and now it’s available in the U.S! It has been created specifically to be served with ice. From its sleek, uplifting bottle appearance, to the one-of-a-kind over ice concept Rosé Piscine is not your average bottle of wine, here’s Seven Things To Know About Rosé Piscine Wine

  1. The wine has been selling in France and Brazil and just recently has been released in the United States. It’s available at select stores around the country, and can be ordered online.
  2. It’s uniquely a wine that has been created to be served over ice. Rosé Piscine is made by Pascal Nacenta in southwest France.
  3. The French rosé is 100 percent destemmed, fermented for 20 days with cold stabilization at 60 degrees and then filtered.
  4. The Rosé Piscine tasting notes include being pale salmon in color, with a light to medium body. On the bouquet, it offers hints of Meyer lemon, skin of peach, vanilla, kiwi and McIntosh apple. Mineral quality to the bouquet. On the palate, it offers rounded, well-balanced tannins and acidity, with a long finish.
  5. Rosé Piscine is made with an indigenous varietal of southwest France: Négrette, which is a small, very dark and tough-skinned grape known for its powerful aromatic qualities. The fruit is sourced in Côtes du Frontonnais, which is located just southwest of Gaillac and just north of the city of Toulouse, on the western bank of the Tarn river. Rosé Piscine is one of very few French rosés made with the Négrette grape, mainly due to the limited geographic availability of this unique varietal.
  6. Wine Enthusiast named Rosé Piscine’s region in France the Wine Region of the Year 2017.
  7. Rosé Piscine was originally created by Jacques Tranier, the president of Vinovalie, a group of producers in the French Southwest. In 2003, he was on a vacation in Saint Tropez when he saw many women drinking rosé wine over ice in large wine glasses. He ordered one to give it a try, only to be disappointed in the diluted taste of the wine. This set him on a mission to create a rosé wine that could maintain its integrity while being served on ice.

My mom recently visited and we enjoyed some of this wonderful rosé out on my patio! We loved how easy it was to drink… not too dry, not too sweet..just right! With mother’s day just around the corner, this wine would be the perfect pour to toast to your mom. Make Mom feel like a Queen for the day, and celebrate with Rosé Piscine!

To find a store near you or to order online, visit the site at: www.rosepiscine.com or follow on Instagram @rosepiscine. CHEERS!

#WineWednesday Feature|5 Things to Know About Vilarnau Cava #Vilarnau #VilarnauCava #GonzalezByass @Vilarnau_UK

Vilarnau Cava Brut and Vilarnau Cava Rose

This past Sunday, I hosted a bloggers/influencer event called the #ScentandSipEvent (stay tuned for full recap) in honor of National Women’s Month in March. The event was to not only celebrate women who have made herstory before us but to toast to ourselves and the history we are making! I thought what is a celebration without a proper toast with bubbles?! Thanks to some PR friends, my guests were able to sample a wonderful Spanish Cava producer — Vilarnau. For this #WineWednesday Feature, here are 5 Things To Know About VILARNAU CAVA:

1.Environmentally Friendly

I was happy to learn that Vilarnau uses no herbicides and utilizes a nearby lake and rain water to irrigate their vineyards. All this makes for a great tasting,organic wine.

2. Made in Barcelona, Spain

They are located outside of Barcelona Spain so on your next visit, you can book a tour of the entire vineyard complex. The use of indigenous Spanish grapes gives it a wonderful taste and a distinct,bright, crisp finish. In 1982, Vilarnau was purchased by thr Gonzalez Byass family of wines.

The bottles are very photogenic — very Gaudi-esque

3. Very Fresh and Fruity

The Brut is complex, made from 3 separate wines and has the primary aromas of grapes. The rosé is intense with red berries and subtle violets. The rosé uses two types of grapes: Gamacha and Pinot Noir and pairs well with dishes like paella, pizza or pasta. Enjoy both as an aperitif or anytime!

Vilarnau Cava Rose | Photo Credit @nikimcneil @sobesavvy #ScentandSipEvent

4. Suitable For Vegans

Vegans are very limited to drinking wine due to the fact that part of most winemaking processing includes gelatin or animal by product. Vilarnau wine uses none of these so Vegans can now raise their glass with assurance!

5. Aged in bottle for over 15 months

Vilarnau Cava has a second fermentation in the bottle(same method as Champagne) where it is in contact with yeast for at least 15 mos. This gives it’s bubble their slow and long lasting effervescence.

Maxine Lee of @drinkgoodwithMax presents the perfect pour of Vilarnau Cava Brut | photo credit Samuel Holt Photography @samuelholt

Everyone enjoyed the brightness of the flavors and of course the fantastic bubbly. The beauty of the bottles added to the celebration. As Vilarnau would say.. “life is full of little moments worth celebrating, so #makeitsparkle” with these spanish sparkling wines from Vilarnau!

Have you ever tried Vilarnau Cava Brut or Vilarnau Cava Rosé before? Let me know in the comments below! CHEERS 🥂

Hosting a #Hallowine Party on #Halloween ? Try wines @MercerEstates @santacristina46 + more🍷

Happy Halloween everyone! This past weekend, I thought it would be fun to combine my love for wine and good times by hosting a HalloWINE tasting party! Costumes were optional but having an open mind to trying new wines was a must. Thank you to the wineries who provided free samples to facilitate and share my review with you. 

THE INVITE–

I sent a simple text with the above graphic to my wine loving girlfriends to come out and enjoy. I picked up some fun Halloween decor from Dollar Tree and Walmart, like these “Don’t Be A Basic Witch” cocktail napkins for just .99 cents !

THE WINES —

  • Barrymore by Caramel Road Pinot Grigio 2015 (SRP: $13.99)
  • Barrymore by Caramel Road Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 (SRP: $17.99)

Carmel Road winery partnered up with Drew Barrymore {Yes, THAT Drew Barrymore} to produce some delightful light and crisp wines known as Barrymore Wines. We tried their Rosé and Pinot Grigio. On their website, Drew speaks of growing up in California with some of her fondest memories were around the table.
The Pinot Grigio (with flavors of lemon drop, Asian pear, honeydew melon alongside the “wet stone” minerality) was fantastic with a mixed greens salad and vinagrette dressing. The Rosé (with flavors of fresh red fruits, notes of peach and apricot with floral and light citrus aromas) went perfect with spicy shrimp cocktail. It was perfectly balanced; not sweet and not dry. This wine was an instant hit with everyone there. Final thoughts: Barrymore Wines by Carmel Road are a match made in vineyard heaven!

#SobeSavvySips HalloWINE Tasting 2017

  •  Santa Cristina 2015 Rossa Toscana IGT (SRP: $13.00)

Four cheese ravioli with red sauce was served with Santa Cristina 2015 Rosso Toscana IGT. This Italian wine is a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. Soft and approachable, the Rosso (with flavors of cherries,plums and notes of spice) is the perfect everyday house wine! I can’t wait to try it with fall-inspired dishes like Slow Cooked Pork Loin with Apples and Prunes.

  • Mercer Estates 2015 Chardonnay Horse Heaven Hills Reserve
  • Mercer Estates 2014 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills 

Two wines from the popular Washington State winery, Mercer Wine Estates, also was shared amongst my girlfriends {and my hubby who was our official somellier for the evening !} I thought a deep,dark mysterious red wine such as their RESERVE Syrah and a “Shining” {..get it} white wine like RESERVE Chardonnay would be great with our Halloween theme.

We could not wait to see what mysterious wine our HalloWine Sommelier would present & pour next!

Hubby served up the Chardonnay (with aromas of lemon cream pie, caramel apple and toasted butterscotch) while we had some crackers, cream cheese and speciality jams. This wine had the right amount of oak and butter, which went well with this party snack. Angus meatballs paired well with this Syrah (with aromas of blueberry preserves and complex notes such as tea tree,coffee,sage,rosemary). Wine often changes on the palate when paired with food and this wine is deep and dark. It has many complex layers to enjoy. If you enjoy a red with great body and weight, this is one to enjoy!

  • Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco 
  • Mommy’s Time Out Moscato      (SRP for both $9.99)

It was wonderful learning about and tasting some amazing wines. Sharing it with my husband and a couple of friends made this intimate HalloWINE gathering even more special! However, today on Halloween, after getting my lil one in her costume and going trick or treating, this Mom plans to have a moment to relax by myself with Mommy’s Time Out Wine. I’m gonna grab a few pieces of chocolate from our daughter’s trick or treat stash, and pour me a glass of either Mommy’s Time Out Moscato or Mommy’s Time Out Prosecco. All of their wines are made from grapes grown in Italy and have fresh, fruity, well balanced undertones. 

For more information on any of these wines, please visit:

Mommy’s Time Out http://www.mommystimeoutwine.com

Mercer Estates          http://www.MercerWine.com                  Facebook: MERCERESTATES             Twitter: @MercerEstates

Santa Cristina         http://www.Santacristina.wine

Barrymore by Caramel Road http://www.barrymorewines.com

Remember, these wines are not just good for Halloween but for enjoying anytime! 

Do you plan to enjoy some HalloWINE this Halloween? What are you doing to celebrate? 

Cheers🍷 and Happy Halloween !! 

SobeSavvy.com celebrates #NationalRoséDay with @chateaudesclans @WhisperingAngel #Rosé #wine 

For those of us who like to drink pink, today is the day we celebrate Rosé All Day! Every Second Saturday in June, National Rosé Day is observed and I decided to open up a bottle to enjoy a glass or two on our newly revamped small patio. 

 
But not just any bottle of Rosé. Thanks to our friends at Chateau d’Esclans, SobeSavvy.com received a bottle of their Whispering Angel 2016 to enjoy and give our honest review to share with our readers.

WHO is the winemaker? 

  • Chateau d’Esclans is a prestigious estate and winery who’s portfolio includes four premium rosés with an array of depth and flavor. Under the leadership of Sacha Lichine, these wines are respected and enjoyed as the producer of some of the world’s leading rosé wines.

WHERE does the wine come from?

  • Whispering Angel 2016 comes from Cotes de Provence, Provence, France . Named and inspired by an icon of two cherubs who adorn the walls of a 19th century chapel.

WHEN is it best enjoyed? 

  • Anytime! Often as an aperitif. Perfect for the spring,summer. Pairs well with seafood, sushi and cheese. 

WHAT did I enjoy most about this wine?

  • This delicious rosé wine is incredibly refreshing and easy to drink–perfect with all kinds of foods, especially as the weather warms up and you start dining outside more often. Per the tasting notes, “The wine has fresh red berry characteristics with a floral nose and a smooth, round finish”. It’s not too dry like some rosés and is so smooth which makes it the perfect party starter because it can be enjoyed by all! 

HOW much does it retail?

  • The suggested retail price for Whispering Angel, the #1 French Wine Brand in America, is $22

    Now that you know about this particular Rosé wine, I hope that you go out and buy a bottle or 2 to enjoy with friends to celebrate

National Rosé Day.

For more information, please visit www.esclans.com 

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @thewhisperingangel

Cheers!