Here at Ruby Hill, we like to stand up for underappreciated varietals. Today, we are shining the spotlight on the beauty of Sangiovese, a bright red varietal of Italian origin. Often called by the nickname “Sangio” around here, this grape grows prolifically in its home region of Tuscany, and is the most planted varietal in Italy. In the US, it’s a precious find, with fewer than 1,500 acres planted here in California. We introduced a Sangiovese back in 2007 and have proudly cultivated and shared it ever since.
The relative obscurity of Sangiovese is no fault of its own; the deep purple grapes produce a gorgeous red color and cherry flavors, with incredible flavor variation determined by the growing environment. These gorgeous wines with amazing flavor are well-respected worldwide, especially in their starring roles in Chianti Classico and Super Tuscans and the adaptability for pairing.. In general, however, Bordeaux-style wines have more name recognition in the United States. In the 1980s, a subtle but impactful Cal-Ital movement took hold of the wine scene, wherein California’s wine lovers began to reach beyond French classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir and explore the delicious world of Italian reds, Sangiovese included.
Our Sangiovese, which we are celebrating as March’s Wine of the Month, boasts juicy flavors and aromas you can relish. With balanced elements of fruit, acid, and tannin, it’s a pairing superstar, especially with pizza and pasta, but also with meatloaf, roast chicken, and other medium fare. Our Sangiovese is rustic, robust, and gorgeous, perfect at pizza night and elegant dinners alike. For our wine aficionados enjoying Ruby Hill Sangiovese, expect notes of strawberry, sweet cherry, and dried cranberry on the nose and the palate, joined by ripe raspberry. Through the end and the finish, look for a touch of dark fruit, including blackberries, and a fun whisper of vanilla from oak aging. Don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the color—a vibrant ruby hue that no other varietal wine can match.
It is time for a game night? While we wait on the spring weather to chase away the rain and clouds, we’re appreciating our favorite indoor activities. This week, we are having some fun with creating “pairings” of wine and games. These classic games are good for playing with family and friends, and sharing a bottle of wine together makes the moments sweeter! Here are the wines to open on game night:
Wine & Game Pairing 1: Sparkling Wine & Blackjack
Sometimes, you just need something that isn’t complicated. These offer good, straightforward fun in the form of a classic.
Wine & Game Pairing 2: Sangiovese & Gin Rummy
Pair this distinct red with a classic card game for two! We like these because they are approachable and adaptable, easily enjoyed by amateurs and aficionados alike.
Wine & Game Pairing 3: Cuvée Dray & Clue
We like this combo for when we’re feeling inquisitive and want to “sniff out” the perpetrator in a classic mystery game! Clue-ve Dray, anyone?
Wine & Game Pairing 4: Grapeful Red & Uno
Both of these are here for you when you want to have some easy colorful fun. Whether you play a wild card or get hit with a draw 4, it’s simple and entertaining.
Wine & Game Pairing 5: Chardonnay & Monopoly
What’s a classic that can be strangely polarizing? These both are! Best thing is, however, they’re both worth taking some time to appreciate and savor.
Wine & Game Pairing 6: Peacock Patch Zinfandel and Rook
For this pairing, we are leaning into our bird appreciation. This trick-taking game encourages you to have fun getting into the heads of your fellow players.
Wine & Game Pairing 7: Reserve Petite Sirah & Cards Against Humanity
These two are perfect for moments you want to lean into your dark side a bit! This combo is rich with flavor, laughter, and opportunities for your next inside joke.
Wine & Game Pairing 8: Jewel Petit Verdot & Trivial Pursuit
Both of these cater to the group that has an appreciation for the power of subtleties and knowledge. Bonus points for enjoying your wine with a cheese cut into wedges!
Wine & Game Pairing 9: Intesa & Quiddler
If you want a fun word game that doesn't force you to pull out a dictionary, Quiddler is a nice intellectual and niche option, pairing well with our Cab-Barbera blend Intesa.
Wine & Game Pairing 10: Riverbed Red & Settlers of Catan
For when you want something that is deliciously complex and not always for the faint of heart, go for this rich combination.
Wine & Game Pairing 11: Jewel Petite Sirah & Risk
When you are ready to take some time, savor, and strategize, then you need a wine that’s up to that challenge. This pairing is an alliance that won’t let you down!
Wine & Game Pairing 12: Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon & Checkers
Sometimes, you want something that’s just plain classic, and this combination can do that. Get kinged while enjoying the king of wines!
We hope you’ll make some memories, savor some triumphant wins, delicious wines, and delightful company.
Today is National Mulled Wine day, and with the weather we’ve been having, it’s a welcome holiday! There is something perfect and soothing about a mug of perfection in your hand that warms you from the inside out. We love Mulled Wine not just for its coziness, but also for its versatility. Depending on what ingredients are available and what flavors you enjoy, you can customize to your heart’s content! Below, we’ve included a recipe we enjoy and hope you will too.
Ruby Hill Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle Ruby Hill Sangiovese
- 1 1/2 cup Apple Cider (cold pressed or cloudy is ideal)
- 1/2 cup Cranberry Juice
- 1/4 cup Honey or Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Oranges, sliced into rounds
- 1 Large Apple, sliced into half moons
- 3 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Star Anise Pods
- 1 tsp Whole Cloves
- 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well. For convenience, consider placing the whole spices in a cheesecloth pouch or something similar so you won’t need to fish them out later.
- Allow the mulled wine to steep for at least 15 minutes or as long as desired.
- Serve warm!
If you would prefer to make your mulled wine in a crock pot, combine all ingredients and leave the pot on low for 2-3 hours. Serve warm.
Make this mulled wine your own or mix and match to find your favorite flavor. Try creative additions like pomegranate, cherries, or cranberries, sliced fresh ginger, fresh rosemary, allspice berries (about 4), cardamom pods (about 5) or spike things up with 1/2 cup of orange liqueur or apple brandy. This recipe is yours!
We hope you are keeping warm and cozy!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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