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!

#WineWednesday Spotlight on @VIK_Wine Available at Fogo De Chão @fogorestaurants #VIKWine #Fogodechao #wine

Disclaimer: Thank you to Fogo de Chão for the invite to your exclusive VIK Wine Dinner media event. Recap by blog contributor, Taylor Mcghee @cutecouplewithababy

Most people would say Bordeaux wine is with out a doubt the best red wine blend but VIK Winery is dispelling that myth. On August 16, 2018, Fogo de Chão invited SobeSavvy.com along with other media guests as they celebrated its partnership with VIK Winery. We enjoyed finely cooked meats while experiencing world class wines from the vineyards of Chile.

We started off at the salad bar which is phenomenal, with an array of cheeses and meats. The salad bar also featured a number of sides like rice and beans, salad, fruit and do not I repeat do not forget to try the caramelized bacon!

The first wine offered was the Milla Cala now being served at Fogo de Chão nationwide priced at $13 (3 oz. glass); $25 (6 oz. glass); $93 (bottle) was very dry with a medium body and a fruity after taste. It went great with the Filet Mignon.

The final wine was the best in my opinion because it was so smooth and also a bit fruity. It was sweeter than the others which is something I like in red wines. The VIK priced at $22 (3 oz. glass); $42 (6 oz. glass); $164 (bottle) I believe to be VIK’s signature wine was absolutely divine. You can tell the patience and dedication they put in to making this blend. The VIK representative also mentioned they make the VIK with grapes from only one part of the vineyard and the other wines we had from another part. Which was interesting to me to think that grapes grown from three different areas could taste so different.

Fogo is offering two of the three VIK varietals sampled at the event in all of their Fogo restaurants nationwide – Milla Cala (Red Blend, Millahue Valley, Chile, 2013) and VIK (Red Blend, First Growth from Chile, 2013). Pricing varies by market, but those listed above are for the Miami region

All in all the experience is one you must try for yourself the combination of the amazing Brazilian meats by Fogo de Chão and the exotic taste of the Chilean wine by Vik is a pairing you don’t want to miss out on!

SobeSavvy Tip: Now thru August 30, enjoy FOGO RESTAURANT MONTH for $39 Dinner/person. Join FOGO Eclub👉HERE to receive this special offer and more!

Do you enjoy Chilean wines? Have you ever dined at FOGO DE CHÃO? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading! Cheers 🍷

FOGO DE CHÃO
836 1st St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

*Find a location near you: http://fogodechao.com/locations