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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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!
It's National Red Wine Day and as we head into fall, a glass of red wine sounds mighty fine. While we love all wines, at this time of year, the reds win us over. They are great matches for the heartier meals we enjoy during harvest season.
Here are a few of our favorite red wines for National Red Wine Day.
Our Favorite Red Wines for National Red Wine Day
The aromas are dense with varied fruit, such as cherries, dried cranberries, dates, raspberries, figs, and plums. On the palate, the tannins are very smooth. A little bit of vanilla from the oak peaks through along with a hint of black pepper. This wine has a mild body with fruit flavors lingering on the finish. Pairs nicely with bold-flavored foods like BBQ, pizza, and stews.
A jammy and fruit-forward wine, the nose reveals plums, sweet cherries, milk chocolate, and raspberry. The flavors on the palate mirror the aromas, offering a mouthful of vibrant fruit. The mouthfeel is mid-weight and smooth with well-integrated tannins and a long finish. The flavor adds to the fruit character with notes of milk chocolate. Pait with Roasted beet salad, rosemary, and pepper-crusted pork tenderloin or chocolate mousse with raspberries.
The nose is bright, full of cherry and strawberry aromas with mild hints of oak and vanilla flavors. This wine has a very robust mouthfeel and a smooth texture with a lingering finish focused on vanilla notes. Pairs beautifully with tomato-based dishes, and lighter to medium fare cuisine.
Tag us on social @rubyhillwines and celebrate National Red Wine Day with us!
Across the state of California, we're experiencing an unprecedented heatwave and we're doing our part to conserve energy as we can. Thankfully, it was already grilling season so we were prepared to be doing even more outdoor cooking. Granted, the smoke in the air is a little challenging, but a protein like chicken legs or pork tenderloin cooks easily and quickly.
For the remainder of August, we're offering a curated 6-pack featuring 2 bottles each of some of our winemaker's favorite red wines. We love this combination of wines that showcase the variety of styles of red wines we are able to craft from our estate vineyards. This weekend, we're trying a new bbq sauce recipe. Though the original recipe from Food and Wine Magazine calls for Pinot Noir, we think the Grapeful Red from the Winemaker's Selection case special would be a great substitute. Tag us on social media @rubyhillwines and let us know what you think!
Red Wine BBQ Chicken
- tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup Ruby Hill 2017 Grapeful Red
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- 12 mixed chicken drumsticks and thighs
- In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the ketchup, wine, sugar, chipotle and mustard. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to medium-high or, if using the oven, preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and put a baking rack on it. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and put on the rack. Cook, until the skin is lightly browned. Brush the chicken with some of the sauce and roast for 40 minutes longer, turning and basting every 10 minutes, until nicely glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest piece registers 165°. Transfer to a platter and serve.
*Your sauce can be saved in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Ready to grab the Winemaker's Selection? You can shop for pickup or delivery. We are open for curbside pickup 7 days a week from 11:00 am - 5:30 pm.
We're excited to announce our new club member referral program!
We believe that wine is meant to be shared with those you love, so we created a unique offering for you to share more of what you love about being a club member at Ruby Hill Winery.
Starting August 10, 2020, you have the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Grape Rewards Loyalty Points for each new friend that joins the club. There are no limits on how many people you can refer - just make sure that your friend mentions your name to the wine ambassador when they sign up. Both you and your friend will receive 500 Bonus Grape Rewards Loyalty Points, which will be deposited into your account within 7 days.
*Offer is valid for current club members and we kindly ask that new club members be in good standing and receive at least one club shipment; otherwise, bonus points may be deducted from your account.
If you are not yet a club member, you can learn more about our club options here. Those interested in joining the club can join at the tasting room 7 days a week from 11:00am-5:30pm or may call the winery directly at 925-931-9463.
It's August, and we are counting down to harvest!
We started to see signs of veraison in the vineyard almost two weeks ago, but as you can see, the black grape clusters are developing more and more color, the green grapes start to take on a translucent quality. What, exactly, is veraison? The official definition of veraison is the "change of color of the grape berries," however, when we talk about veraison, we are also talking about the onset of ripeness in the berries as well.
This week, the viticulture team is moving through the vineyards and dropping fruit. What does it mean to "drop fruit?" It is a vineyard practice where some of the fruit is cut away from the vine so that it can focus its energy on ripening grapes and maintain optimum concentration of flavor in the grapes. Let our winemaker, Jesse Plautz, take you on a little tour of the vineyard for an explanation of the process and why it is so important.
Let us hope that mother nature continues to offer us favorable weather as we press on toward harvest!
Today we celebrate the glorious avocado! As the official fruit (yes, it's a fruit!) of California, the avocado is the star of many California-inspired dishes and used for dressings, dips, salads, and even fries. We love it for its creamy texture, versatility, and fresh flavors. Today, we're sharing a recipe for a simple dip to enjoy over the weekend, a Chunky Avocado-Papaya Salsa.
We're pairing it with our Grapeful White, a crisp and refreshing summertime wine. Our 2017 Grapeful White is a blend of Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc. Trebbiano is an Italian wine grape known for its fresh peach and citrus flavors and elevated acidity. Our Sauvignon Blanc is also high in acid with aromas that lean toward ripe and tropical fruits. Together, they make a refreshingly crisp white wine with hints of exotic fruit and overtones of lime blossoms. Sounds like a great wine for an avocado salsa!
For the month of July, enjoy the 2017 Ruby Hill Grapeful White for just $17 a bottle. You can shop today for curbside pick-up or have it delivered straight to your home.
Chunky Avocado-Papaya Salsa
- 2 medium-size ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted and cut in small dice
- 1 small ripe papaya, halved, seeded, peeled and cut in small dice (about 2 cups dice)
- 1 tart apple, unpeeled, or Asian pear, peeled if desired, cored and cut in small dice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 fresh red or green serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced or minced, or more to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- ½ small red onion, diced small, soaked for 5 minutes in water to cover, drained and rinsed (optional)
- Salt to taste
Combine diced avocados and papaya in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss together. Season to taste with salt. Serve as a salad or a salsa.
See! We told you it was easy. We hope you enjoy your weekend. Tag us on Instagram @rubyhillwines the next time you open a bottle of your favorite Ruby Hill wine!
If you're reading this, then the chances are that you like wine. It's one of life's luxuries that brings our friends and loved ones together, excites the senses, and elevates the ordinary day. We all have our favorite wines for everyday drinking, but sometimes there are a few bottles we reserve for those special occasions. Have you thought about taking it one step further by becoming a wine collector?
The idea of moving from wine enthusiast to wine collector might sound intimidating, but we want to offer some suggestions on how you can start to build a collection of wine at home for you to enjoy in the future. What makes wine collection exciting is that there is the potential of your wines to gain in value, it's also a fun way to collect memories and give gifts. We have friends gift new parents with a nice bottle of wine from their children's birth year for them to open when they turn 21 or get married. You can be the hostess with the most-ess when you offer a vertical tasting at your holiday dinner. The opportunities to enjoy your collection are endless.
Here are a few tips on how to start building a collection of your own.
Decide how much you can dedicate to building your collection. You can start building with just a few hundred or a few thousand. Deciding on your budget ahead of time will help you determine your approach to collecting.
Pick a system for storing your wine safely. To maintain the integrity of your wine, it's essential to keep it as stable as possible, particularly when it comes to temperature. When wine gets too hot or experiences too many changes in temperature, it degrades the wine and shortens its life. If you are unable to create a cellar in your home, start with a wine cooler with temperature controls for both white wine and red wine.
If you plan on collecting expensive wine, you'll want to make sure you have an accurate record of your wines for insurance purposes. It's also helpful to use a tracking system that has vintage notes and a vintage chart, so you know the ideal time to drink or hold your wine.
The best wine to collect is the wine you enjoy. Your collection should reflect your tastes! Look to the wines you enjoy drinking now, and ask your favorite wineries if they have library wines for sale.
Now you're on your way to becoming a collector! Did you know that we have a club option specifically for library wines? When you become a Ruby Hill Wine Club Member, you have the opportunity to add the Library Club. The Library Club offers you two additional allotments per year of wines specially curated by the winemaker. You'll also enjoy the added benefit of a complimentary Portfolio Tasting experience for up to 4 guests! Learn how you can become a member today!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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