February is almost over, and spring is in the air here in the Livermore valley. The gorgeous weather is whispering to us to come outside and drink in the sunshine and the beauty. We think the best way to answer that call is with a delicious picnic. Even if you don't live near an open meadow or park, this season might just call for an adventure to your backyard! With current health regulations, we're all growing more accustomed to dining al fresco, so we think it's high time to kick back on a checkered blanket and enjoy a glass of wine. Just in case the winter months have you out of practice, we've put together a list of ideas to help create a perfect picnic.
A high-quality blanket or tablecloth is a must-have! Whether you choose classic checkers or your favorite pattern, make sure you've got the right one for the job. We recommend blankets with a water-repellent base that pack up nicely. If your picnic location has tables, a lightweight tablecloth is perfect for picnicking in style!
Depending on your ideal picnic meal, the sky's the limit when it comes to the different picnic baskets available. We like a classic wooden-and-wicker basket with a hinged top, but we appreciate modern insulated baskets as well. The most important feature is the ability to hold all of its precious cargo!
With any dining experience, music offers a perfect touch of enhancement. No matter the mood you're going for, there's an album for that, from classical to classic rock. Whether you're feeling romantic, relaxed, or nostalgic, a good speaker will provide an ambience you'll love.
We like to reduce waste in every way we can, and reusable dishes are better for the environment than disposable. If you want to limit the weight in your basket, we recommend lightweight & chic wooden plates, cutting boards, and flatware.
If you'd like to enjoy a bottle while you're out (and really, who doesn't), don't forget to bring the needed extras. We recommend at least some sturdy patio glassware and a trusty corkscrew. You can even invest in a wine and cheese caddy if you’d like to elevate the experience even further!
No one wants a spoiled potato salad, so make sure you have all you need to keep you perishable items safe and chilly! We recommend reusable ice packs that limit food waste and increase sustainability.
It's always the best policy to leave your picnic spot better than you found it, whether it's a park or your yard. A rubbish bag, sanitary wipes, and a few tea towels can go a long way!
What’s a meal without dessert? Incomplete! For picnicking, we recommend fun cookies, like pecan sandies or strawberry lemonade cookies. If you want to try something new, look for a spin on classic French Travel Cakes, which are perfect for an everyday adventure!
With weather this beautiful, we're looking forward to opening some of our warm-weather favorites. Our Grapeful Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc are must-haves when the sun is out, as long as we've got an insulated wine cooler!
We hope we've inspired you to get out and enjoy the sunshine when you can!
If you bring Ruby Hill wines along with you, don't forget to tag us on social media, @rubyhillwines.
February 20th is National Cherry Pie day, and we're hoping it will be cheerful and cherry-full! Nestled between President's Day and George Washington's birthday, it's a perfect time to bake up a slice of classic American cuisine. According to tradition, this holiday is inspired by the legend of young George Washington cutting down his father's prized cherry tree. Folklore aside, we're excited to dive in to a generous slice of homemade pie to celebrate. We've selected a recipe with a bit of a twist on the classic, incorporating an almond crisp topping. The result is toasty and delicious.
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup rolled oats
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds cherries, pitted
½ lemon, juiced
⅓ cup white sugar, or more to taste
¼ cup cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Roll out pie crust and lay into a 9-inch pie pan.
- Combine almonds, brown sugar, oats, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Work butter into the almond mixture with your fingers, breaking up any large pieces, until incorporated completely. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
- Combine cherries, lemon juice, white sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until well coated and no dry lumps remain, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Pour cherries and any accumulated juices into the prepared pie pan. Press down into the pan. Crumble oat mixture over the top. Place the pan on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cherries are bubbling and the crust and crumble topping are browned, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Original recipe from All Recipes
Here's a few tips to make your celebration of this ruby-red pie the best it can be:
- Look for tart cherries, like Morello, Bing, or Montmorency
- Use a store-bought pie crust (the cherries are the star of the show anyway!)
- Top your pie with Vanilla Bean ice cream
- Do some tasting to figue out your favorite wine pairing. We recommend our Cielo Viola for its jammy, fruit-forward qualities and notes of sweet cherries. If you want to skip the pie and go straight for the wine, we'll never tell!
We'd love to see how your recipes turn out. Feel free to share if you've got a favroite wine to pair with your pie! If you celebrate this delicious holiday, make sure to tag us on social media @rubyhillwines and let us know!
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M. Schulz
Reserve Sauvignon Blanc and Citrus-Infused White Chocolate
The name of the game with Sauvignon Blanc is light, bright, and fruity. With a refreshing nose of stone fruit, guava, and passionfruit, our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc does not disappoint. The soft sweetness of white chocolate accented with lightly tart citrus is a perfect compliment, emphasizing the balanced acidity and classic expression of Sauvignon Blanc characteristics.
Intesa and Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles
Intesa belongs to our collection of Wine Club exclusive wines. It is a blend of Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon, which come together harmoniously with warm notes and rich fruit flavors laced throughout. When enjoyed alongside hazelnut truffles, this blend compliments the toasted nuttiness of the hazelnut while balancing the sweetness of the milk chocolate.
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Chocolate Covered Cherries
Cherries of many kinds are suited for delectable wine pairings, but none quite as much as cherries coated in luscious semisweet chocolate. Our velvety Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has natural hints of cocoa and black fruit, creating the perfect bridge of flavor when enjoyed with fine chocolate covered cherries.
Jewel Zinfandel and Caramel Filled Chocolate
There is nothing quite like the toasty sweetness of deluxe caramel. Once paired with our Jewel Zinfandel, however, there's no going back to enjoying that caramel delight on its own. The jammy berries, peppery nuance, and fresh acidity elevate the experience. Our Jewel Zinfandel has both sweetness and spice, making its duet with caramel chocolate nothing short of luxurious.
Grapeful Rosé and Raspberry Dark Chocolate
The crisp acidity of Grapeful Rosé is enjoyable any day, in addition to being the perfect beverage for Valentine's day. The notes of stone fruit in our Grapeful Rosé are delightfully enhanced by sweet raspberry infused chocolate. We've selected intense dark chocolate for this pairing because Rosé shines superbly against the rich bitterness of dark chocolate.
Reserve Chardonnay and White Chocolate Strawberries
If there were any lingering doubts, this duo will prove that wine and chocolate pairings aren't only for red wines and darker chocolate. Allow the delicate honeycomb and orange blossom notes of the wine to mingle with the natural sweetness bursting from a ripe strawberry bathed in luscious white chocolate. We promise this delight will taste like it is made to partner perfectly with our beautifully aromatic and buttery Reserve Chardonnay.
Solera in Perpetuum and Salted Dark Chocolate
When it comes time to order dessert, we're most likely to choose the classic combination of excellent dark chocolate and a superior Port-style wine. We suggest premium dark chocolate, enhanced with a few flakes of fleur de sel. When paired with the unparalleled quality of our sweet Solera Dessert Wine, it will taste just like falling in love.
It's almost Valentine's Day! No matter your relationship status, this holiday is a perfect time to spread some love. Whether you're giving to coworkers, friends, or a special someone, we think the best gift to give (and receive) is a beautiful bottle of wine! Since we're all about personal touch, we've come up with a few special ways to gift wrap any wine bottle. Most of our wrapping paper and gift bags are covered in reindeer and candy canes anyway!
We love roses at Valentine's day, but we love rosé even more! To wrap our Grapeful Rosé, we created a paper sculpture out of some colorful tie dye stationery. You can use plain white paper, decorated stationery, or even paper with a custom written message. This elegant sculpture is simple, affordable, and classy. To download a printable template for this sculpture, click here.
This lovely, rustic gift (with a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon hiding inside) was created from a reused paper grocery bag and a small bundle of strawflower blooms. To use the grocery bag, simply cut out the bottom, roll up the bottle, and cut off the excess as needed. Feel free to design the paper however you like! For the floral element, blooms like strawflowers are resillient and ideal for wrapping, but any fresh flowers would work. Tie the flowers around the neck of the bottle with some tulle and you've got the perfect personal touch!
It's still winter, but this bottle of Cielo Viola won't tremble in the cold! If you've done some closet cleaning lately and have any long sleeved garments making their way to the donate pile, try upcycling. The bell-sleeve of this knit sweater gives a hint of coziness and style!
Lastly, choose a bottle that just begs to be shown off! Instead of wrapping up this Peacock Patch Zinfandel, we let its natural beauty do the work. This pearlesque peacock is eye-catching all on its own. For a little pizzaz, we've wrapped the neck of the bottle in a coordinated satin ribbon and accented with pale statice flowers.
No matter how beautiful the wrapping, the most exciting part of gifting wine is opening it up, especially if it means sharing with someone you love. We hope you have a wonderful Valentine's day!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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