Turn Your Old Barrel Into an Outdoor Fire Pit!
Fall is finally here, which means crisp, cool mornings and nights - also known as sweater weather. While we love the heat of summer and harvest season, we love this change in the season when the leaves in the vineyard start to change color, and everything slows down a little. It's also the perfect season for gathering around the fire pit with a glass of red wine.
We came upon this DIY project for a fire pit made out of a wine barrel and thought it was a pretty cool way to upcycle some of the used barrels we have at the winery. If you're looking for another way to add more wine country decor to your outdoor space, this is it! This tutorial is courtesy of Instructables. If you're in need of a barrel, we have some available for sale at our sister winery, Rubino Estates. Head on over during regular business hours to check them out!
DIY Wine Barrel Fire Pit
- Sheet sander/Belt Sander
- Sandpaper 60/80 Grit & 120/150 Grit
- Wood Stain
- Fire Pit 29'' Home Depot Fire Pit
- Wine Barrel cut in half
- Prepare the barrel for staining by sanding the exterior. Start with the roughest grit and then move on to the finer grit until the exterior is completely smooth.
- Stain the barrel to your liking.
- Sand down the metal bands using 80 grit to remove any drips of stain.
- Insert fire pit bowl and grate into wine barrel.
And there you have it! Though we'd add one more final instruction: Light fire and enjoy a nice glass of Ruby Hill wine! It's the last week for our wine of the month, the 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Petite Sirah; it's the perfect fireside sipping! Tag us on social @rubyhillwines the next time you're cozying up around the fire pit.
National Cheeseburger Day with Ruby Hill Wines
It's National Cheeseburger Day, and honestly, we're pretty happy about it. The temperatures have cooled down a bit this week, so we're spending as much time outside as possible. And we've never met a burger that we didn't like.
There's still a little bit of mystery about who was the first person to put cheese on a burger patty, but they became popular in the 1930s. Now, you find hundreds of variations on the cheeseburger that are full of unexpected flavors. Below are a few recipes from Food & Wine magazine and Ruby Hill wines that we think will pair perfectly with some of these bold recipes.
Tag us on social and let us know your favorite pairings!
Blue Ribbon BBQ Chicken Cheeseburger & Ruby Hill Peacock Patch Zinfandel
If you're looking for a lighter style of burger that still packs a flavorful punch, try this one made with ground chicken. Our Zinfandel complements the sweet and smokey flavors of the barbeque sauce.
Stilton Sirloin Burgers with Onion Jam & Ruby Hill Reserve Petite Sirah
For the blue cheese lovers out there, these burgers topped with stilton are a must-try. The unique flavor of the blue cheese with pickled red onion and sweet, caramelized onions are a perfect match for the robust flavors of our Petite Sirah.
Caprese Burgers & Ruby Hill Sangiovese
Caprese salad, but on a burger? Top your burger with an herby pesto and melted mozzarella for a carnivorous take on a classic salad. Go with an Italian variety, like Sangiovese!
Add your favorite Ruby Hill wines to your order for the weekend and then check out the rest of the burger recipes on Food and Wine. We can't wait to hear what you try!
Harvest 2020 in Photos
The 2020 harvest is underway. The year has certainly presented its challenges, but one thing is for sure, Mother Nature doesn't quit. The great thing about her persistence is that in the end, we will still end up with, well, the fruits of our labor. Below you'll see some images from our pick and processing of the last bit of Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese. We hope you enjoy this visual diary of our week.
Next up will be more of the reds. Let's hope the weather cooperates so that we can continue through harvest safely and bring in all the delicious fruit that will become the 2020 vintage of Ruby Hill wines!
Perfect Pot Roast for September's Wine of the Month: Best in Show 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Petite Sirah
The 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah is a blend of 91% Petite Sirah, 4% Zinfandel, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Merlot. Cocoa, baking spices, vanilla, and vibrant dark fruit bursts through on the nose. On the palate, subtle hints of tea leaf and tamarind reveal themselves at the beginning, and the finish is long and satisfying with a focus on cocoa, cream, and vanilla.
The wine was a blend of some early pick and some late pick Petite, to balance acidity, alcohol and ripe flavors in the final wine. We then aged the wine aged in a mix of 60% New French (38%), American Oak (54%), and Hungarian Oak (8%) for 22 months before bottling. The result is an intense and rich, yet quite approachable Petite Sirah.
Our 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah was not only Best in Show but took home Double Gold, Best in Class, and Best Red at this year's Livermore Valley Uncorked!
We think it's the perfect wine to use for making one of our favorite fall dishes, The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pot Roast. Let us know what you think!
Perfect Pot Roast
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 3- to 5-pound chuck roast
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whole onions, peeled and halved
- 6 to 8 whole carrots, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup red wine, optional
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
- Throw the carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.
- If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
- With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.
- Add in the onions and the carrots, along with the fresh herbs.
- Put the lid on, then roast for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast. For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. The roast is ready when it's fall-apart tender.
Want to try a taste? You can order the 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah in our online shop, or swing by the tasting room and enjoy it as part of our flight!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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