photo by Beatrice Mazzarello
You're probably like most wine lovers out there with rows of empty wine bottles lined up on the counter from all of your virtual tastings and happy hours at home. Personally, our recycling can is full of glass, and we thought, "why not rescue some of these and see what we can do with them?" After all, it's important to us that we use sustainable methods in the vineyards; therefore, how else can we practice sustainability at home? Well, re-using and repurposing everyday items around the house is one way. This week, we thought we'd share a few links to some fun wine bottle crafts you can do in a weekend. Out of wine? No worries, we've got you covered. Tag us @rubyhillwines while you craft. We can't wait to see what you create!
Summertime is here and we love spending time outdoors. But bugs? Not so much. Try turning some of your bottles into citronella candles.
Add a little sparkle to your yard or tabletops! Twinkle lights can add so much ambiance during those twilight hours.
What a genius idea for those weekends away? This requires no skill or tools. Simply fill the bottle with water and insert into the pots on your patio or garden for this self-watering trick.
Summer is one of our favorite seasons in California. The farmer's markets are back and the fruit is coming in fresh and ripe. Though many people will think of summer as the season for white and rosé wine, there are also many ways to pair red wine in these warmer months. Light-bodied red wines and red wines that contain a good amount of acidity pair well with some of the summers foods you love best, from fresh salads to grilled meats. Our 2017 Ruby Hill Vintner's Sangiovese is a perfect example of a red wine that you can drink year-round due to its versatility. This 2017 Sangiovese from the Livermore Valley was gently fermented and aged in neutral oak for 18 months prior to bottling. After hand-picking, the fruit was gently vinified to produce a lighter, varietally characteristic
Sangiovese that is reminiscent of an old-world Chianti.
Below is a recipe for a lovely summer pasta dish featuring roasted tomatoes and garlic. This easy meal has hardly any hands-on time; your fresh summer tomatoes and a few heads of garlic go into the oven and are added to the pasta. All you need is a glass of Sangiovese and you are all set. We hope you enjoy!
- 4 large red tomatoes, halved
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 heads garlic, skin on and tops cut off
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained
- olive oil
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
- coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes, cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are browned and wrinkled about 30 minutes.
- Roast the garlic heads at the same time! Place garlic, cut side up on a large piece of parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap parchment and tie with kitchen twine. Place in a small round pan and roast with the tomatoes, about 30 minutes or until completely browned and softened.
- Boil the pasta while the tomatoes and garlic roast.
- Assembling the pasta is simple. Toss cooked pasta with tomatoes, soft garlic pressed from the head, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Top with fresh basil and cheese. Enjoy!
We miss seeing all of you in the tasting room and are hoping that we will be able to welcome you back soon. In the meantime, we are sharing another Ruby Hill-inspired word puzzle for you to enjoy as you continue to shelter in place. This one was created by one of our assistant managers, Jeanne Schulz. Jeanne is a newer member of our staff, but a long-time lover of Ruby Hill Wines. Next time you are able to come in and visit, be sure to say "hi" to her!
Right-click on the image below to download and print your puzzle, and then grab a glass of your favorite Ruby Hill wine to sip while you search!
"I have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, but I'm not sure what to eat with it. What do you suggest?"
"I am craving seafood, can I drink my Reserve Cabernet with shrimp?"
One of the ways we learn about proper pairings is through eating at restaurants and asking for the expertise of the sommelier. Or, when we visit wineries, we lean on the knowledge of our tasting room ambassadors to offer us guidance for the wines we select and imagining what waits at home for us to prepare for dinner that evening. With restaurants and tasting rooms closed, many of us are ordering takeout from our local eating establishments or diving into the kitchen to make gourmet-style meals at home. If you are still second-guessing which wines in the rack will pair with what you are eating, we have some tips that will help you perfect your wine-pairing skills as you continue to shelter in place.
Tips to Perfect your Wine Pairings at Home
Think Regionally - "What grows together, grows together." Simply put, when thinking about the wine on your table, look to the foods that are native to that region. Sangiovese is a red grape variety that hails from the Tuscany region of Italy. Common foods from that region include tomato-based pasta and soup dishes, salamis, grilled beef, and parmesan risotto.
Compare - Pair your wines with your food based on their similarities in texture and taste. For example, the acid and lightweight of a goat cheese marries well with a crisp and light Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé. When baking a chocolate cake, match the sweetness of the cake with a dessert wine like our Solera.
Contrast - Contrasting pairings can be a little tricky but can also be very exciting. Again, the idea is to achieve a combination of food and wine that highlights the flavors of both. An example of a contrasting pairing you are probably familiar with is a nice ribeye paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes this such a great pairing is the way the tannins in the red wine help cut through the fattiness of the steak. Spicy dishes benefit from a touch of sweetness to soften the heat.
Have Fun - Wine should be fun! Think of food and wine pairings as a grand experiment and an adventure for the palate. The more you practice, the better you will become. Ultimately, the best wine to enjoy with your meal, is the wine you enjoy drinking.
We hope these tips help you to enjoy food and wine even more! Cheers!
Today is International Sauvignon Blanc Day and we're thrilled to share our love for this grape variety!
Did you know that Sauvignon Blanc is French for "wild white?" We believe the grape received this name due to its wild nature in the field; it is a very vigorous species that must be carefully monitored in order to achieve the proper fruit flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is originally from southwest France but is now grown across the world, mainly in Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and California. The first cuttings of Sauvignon Blanc in California were brought by Livermore Valley's very own Charles Wetmore of Cresta Blanca Winery in the 1880s. You'll find a variety of expressions of the grape in the valley but we're incredibly proud of our Ruby Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc which received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast!
Here's a lovely salad recipe for you to enjoy with a glass of our Sauvignon Blanch as you celebrate International Sauvignon Blanc Day!
Arugula Salad with Peaches, Goat Cheese & Basil via New York Times Cooking
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 to 5 ounces baby arugula
2 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 10 ounces)
½ cup julienned fresh basil leaves
2 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup), plus more to taste
- In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- In a small liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Pour just enough dressing over the greens to moisten, and toss to coat. Add the peaches, basil, goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts and toss to coat. Add more goat cheese and dressing if desired. Toss gently and serve immediately.
We hope you enjoy!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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