Can you predict the future? Perhaps you would like to taste it! In the wine world, you might just have a chance to do both.
What are Wine Futures?
Quite simply, wine futures are wines that have been made but have not yet been bottled. Wines that are blends of several varietals, like our Club-exclusive wines, will already be combined and aging together. The oak barrel or cask that they are stored in has not given its final touches, so there is an element of youth to these wines In fact, in Bordeaux, wine futures are referred to as “en primeur” which translates to “in youth.” Wines sold en primeur may be bottled months or years after tasting from the barrel. Once bottled, the wines will be available to those who purchased.
How do you get the wine out of the barrel?
Oxidation caused by extended contact with air is the enemy of wine, so it is important to keep barrels sealed off. Every barrel is equipped with a single slat, called a stave, which has a hole for access. Generally, these holes are stopped up with a rubber plug called a “bung” to protect the wine inside from the air. To sample the futures inside the barrels, we use a device called a “wine thief,” a tubular pipette designed to perfectly “steal” tastes of wine.
What is different about a wine future and how is the wine going to change?
One of the reasons for extended barrel aging is to allow oak character to balance the fruit and to give the natural tannins time to integrate. Tasting wine futures allows you to appreciate the character of the fruit itself, which lays the foundation for the eventual wine’s overall profile. Tasting futures is a great way to put your palate to the test and gain intimate insight into the process of your favorite wines. If you like it in the barrel, imagine it in the bottle! Futures allow you to preview and buy what you’ll really love.
Why buy a future wine?
If you want to secure access to limited edition wines that sell out fast, this is your chance! Some vintages are gone before you know it, and buying futures assures the chance to have these wines won’t pass you by. Even more, these wines are sold at their lowest prices ever. When you purchase a future, you are purchasing far below retail value. It’s an investment! Futures also offer the unique chance to buy something now that will mature and come to fruition later, making it perfect for milestone celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and retirement.
Who can buy wine futures?
In classic Bordeaux futures tastings, these exclusive pre-sales are open to a select few importers, journalists, retailers, and critics. Here at the Ruby Hill Winery Estate, we are opening our barrels for one night only to our beloved Club Members! We want to share our futures with wine lovers who know that the best things in life are worth waiting for. Our Futures Night will be hosted Saturday, April 23rd, and will feature some of the best wine futures from all over our Estate. The event will be held in the tasting room of our sister winery, Rubino Estates. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale now.
In honor of International Women’s Week, we are spotlighting a few exceptional women-owned businesses with a wide variety of products. From candles and curtains to cleaners and cutlery, these businesses have easy online shopping for all sorts of needs and wants. You can shop women-owned from the comfort of home!
Home Decor: Kubo
With each design, Kubo infuses modern decor with traditional techniques to create visually stunning pieces. Tabletop pieces like coasters and table runners are topped only by gorgeous rattan baskets and patterned pillows, all handmade by Filipino artisans.
Gifting: Luxe & Bloom
If you want to give a gift with charm, thoughtfulness, and meticulous attention to detail, then the women behind Luxe and Bloom have perfect options for you. Shop their curated boxes or build your own! Whether you are giving a gift to a coworker, friend, family, member, or yourself, there’s something beautiful for all occasions.
Ambience: Spoken Flames
Minimalist designs meet personal enrichment with each of these hand-poured candles. Beyond their intoxicating scents, these candles are made from clean ingredients in small batches and carry messages of strength and encouragement.
Cozy Furnishings: Studio Variously
Influenced by the work of artists and artisans, the scarves, rugs, pillows, bedspreads, and throws designed by Variously are like no other. Their commitments to sustainability, minimalism, and functionality innervates every operation, including personal relationships with each artisan.
Specializing in cutlery and kitchen tools, Duebest focuses on cutting down on waste, especially single-use plastics. Lightweight, durable, handmade wooden cutlery and knit produce bags take the place of plastic with ease and class.
Beauty: Honey Scrubbed
Originating in Long Beach, California, this small women-owned business promotes little acts of love for your skin through their moisturizing body and face scrubs. Perfect for men and women, these scrubs are a dose of luxury you can enjoy on the daily.
Accessories: Saucey & Wubs
In a shop named after her grandchildren’s nicknames, Jenny, the founder and designer behind Saucey & Wubs, creates stunning handmade gemstone jewelry. A portion of each sale goes to support local animal rescues.
Cleaning: Three Main
The household cleaners and soaps created by Three Main are earth conscious and effective on messes, what more could you ask for? These non-toxic products are carbon neutral and cruelty free, with refillable bottles to make waste a thing of the past.
Baby: Honey Babe
Made with buttery-soft, organic fabrics, Honey Babe’s mission is to compliment soft beauty with neutral tones and natural materials. Sizes ranging from 0-24 months, with adorable, minimalist designs exclusively crafted with quality materials.
This leisurewear brand creates the most comfortable and timeless items for 24/7 wear. With high standards for local, ethical, and earthy-friendly production, 337brand supports American businesses and donates to plant a tree for every order received.
What does Sangiovese taste like? What makes it special? Is it rare? Here, we are diving into the history and legacy of this inimitable red to honor the Wine of the Month, our 2018 Sangiovese. Long before we grafted Sangiovese into our Estate Vineyard, this old-world workhorse of a wine has been enjoyed globally for its medium tannins, delightful acidity, and fullness of bright, luscious red fruit.
A Fruit of Many Talents
On its own, Sangiovese is very bright with reliable acid, which lends itself well to blending. Sangiovese is especially malleable, varying widely depending on fermentation style, oak use, and many other details of winemaking. From simple table wine to astonishingly elegant luxury wines, Sangiovese can do it all.
A Divine Heritage
The name “Sangiovese” comes from the Latin phrase “Sangius Jovis” which means “the blood of Jupiter.” This reference to Roman Mythology further solidifies the heritage of Sangiovese as Italian, through-and-through. As the most widely planted red wine grape in Italy, it is the main component of classic Italian Chiantis and newer “Super Tuscan” blends.
A European Medley
The first written mention of Sangiovese is dated 1590, by Italian agronomist Giovan Vettorio Soderini. In this writing, he notes that careless winemaking could cause Sangiovese to turn to vinegar. Naturally high acidity explains this phenomenon. To balance the acidity and lightness of Sangiovese, some winemakers began to blend in classic French red varietals, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus, the “Super Tuscan” was born.
The Quintessential Cal-Ital
Sangiovese is a rare, precious find in California, with fewer than 1,500 acres planted. 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 Bordeaux Classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir and explore the delicious world of Italian reds.
Food’s Best Friend
One of the most important elements of a food-friendly wine is its acidity. With the balanced elements of fruit, acid, and tannin, Sangiovese is 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.
Early to bud and slow to ripen, Sangiovese grapes are tender and delicate while still resistant to drought. On our Estate, we introduced a varietal Sangiovese in 2007, and a Sangiovese Rosé in 2019, the Grapeful Rosé (currently sold out). Traditionaly, varietal Sangioveses are enjoyed young, but ours can also be cellared and enjoyed in days to come.
Here in the Livermore Valley, spring is well on its way, but that hasn’t stopped a few cold snaps from taking us by surprise! Some evenings, we think it’s better to get cozy at home and prepare a hearty, comforting meal. If you have some time on your hands to make something special, then we recommend this recipe for Osso Buco in Red Wine sauce, written by food blogger The Crepes of Wrath. Of course, we’ll take just about any excuse to open up a bottle while we’re cooking, but this recipe has our mouths watering already! For this recipe, with its deep savory notes and rich, nourishing bone marrow, we recommend cooking and pairing with our Club-Member Exclusive Riverbed Red. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Sirah, all grown here on our Estate. Let’s get cooking!
OSSO BUCO IN A RED WINE SAUCE
From The Crepes of Wrath
- 4 cuts of veal shanks (beef shanks will also work)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons duck fat (or butter)
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 carrots, finely minced
- 12 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste (tomato paste will also work)
- ⅛ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 cup red wine - We recommend our 2018 Riverbed Red
- 2½ cups beef stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or any other fresh herbs, rosemary works well)
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Dry the meat with paper towels, then tie each shank with butcher’s twine once around, if you have it (note: if you don't have twine, they will probably fall apart a bit, but will still be delicious). Rub the meat with salt and pepper, then a light coat of dijon mustard. Dredge each piece of meat in flour, and set aside.
- Choose a large pan, preferably oven safe with a lid. Add your duck fat (or butter) over medium-high heat. Place your veal in the pan and sear on all sides for about 4 minutes, until well browned. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, add another tablespoon of duck fat or butter. Add in the shallots and carrots and stir for 5 minutes over medium heat, until softened, then add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add in the curry or tomato paste, then the wine and stock and scrape up any browned bits. (Optional step: pour a glass of wine for yourself!)
- Place the meat back in the pan, along with the sprigs of thyme. Place a lid on the pan and place in a 325 degree F oven for 2 to 2½ hours, until tender. Serve alongside some crusty bread and be sure to scrape out all of the bone marrow!
For our vegetarian friends, try out this recipe for Wild Mushroom Osso Buco full of savory and luxurious flavors, just like the version above. No matter which recipe you choose, feel cozy, comforted and nourished, and enjoy it all alongside a glass of exquisitely balanced Riverbed Red. Cheers!
Making this recipe? Let us know @rubyhillwines!
“This deep and plush wine boasts sultry oak spices like cinnamon, vanilla and wood smoke that layer through very ripe and delicious black-fruit flavors. Its moderate tannins lend good counterpoint to all the mellow richness of the flavors.”
The quote to the left, taken from a review by Wine Enthusiast’s Jim Gordon, speaks of the subtleties and allure of our beloved Cuvée Dray, a red wine blend that earned its place in our tasting room and left a mark on our hearts. Though crafted from finely vinified estate-grown fruit and reminiscent of a Bordeaux beauty, this critically acclaimed blend is more than just another wine.
Cuvée Dray, named for our beloved winery dog, Draymond, has been a labor of love from its earliest conception. During the lockdowns of 2020, when we needed a way to look toward brighter days, a lot of us turned towards our pets for companionship. In them, we could find a break from the negativity happening around us. With some extra time on our hands and renewed love for our furry friends, an idea was born: a wine crafted that for every bottle sold, we would donate $10 to our friends at Valley Humane Society.
Our Winemaker Jesse painstakingly crafted several blends with names inspired by our four-legged friend, and the blend and name "Cuvée Dray" were the winners. Soon, a label was designed, based on a picture of Draymond as a puppy in the vineyard.
The next chapter, you may already know. After being released in both the Ruby Hill and Rubino Estates tasting rooms in August, the gorgeous wine and adorable bottle captured the palates and hearts of many. When this project started, our goal was to raise $20,000 for Valley Humane Society and their work to improve the lives of animals and the people who love them. We are proud to announce that through the sales of our 2019 vintage of Cuvée Dray, which sold out just weeks ago, we have raised and donated a grand total of $21,730 to the Valley Humane Society. We could not have done it without you!
The good news for all the wine-lovers and dog-lovers out there: the Cuvée Dray will be coming back. The magic in the barrels will be bottled later this year, and we look forward to welcoming another vintage of Cuvée Dray back to the tasting room sometime this summer.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you might be planning to get flowers or a box of chocolates for a special someone. As for us, we think that wine makes a great gift and can make for some lovely bonding time, especially if you share it over a romantic meal or decadent dessert. When you're buying flowers, it might be fun to think about the symbolism of each color as you do so. This extra touch may be just what wins over your significant other. Below, we dive into the meanings of these colors!
This hue is ubiquitous with love and the Valentine's Day holiday, fittingly representing qualities and emotions of courage, desire, respect, constancy, passion, and of course, romance.
This pale, innocent color is another classic of Valentine's day, and is thought to represent love itself, gentleness, sentiment, and grace.
This shade may be third place in the Olympics, but it might be first place in your lover's heart as a symbol of optimism, cheerfulness, truth, and excitement.
This hue is representative of a wide range of meaning. In addition to glamor, pale silver may also communicate certain reverence, innocence, and clarity.
A precious metal as well as a beloved color, gold represents celebration, luxury, pride and success. Gold is constant, reliable, and rare—perhaps similar to true love.
Blue is the color of serenity, like a clear cerulean sky. This hue represents peace, openness, trust, and safety.
If any of these meanings speak to your relationship with a special someone, we encourage you to theme your bouquet after that color—or better yet, pick a wine label that matches! The great news is, our Peacock Patch Zinfandel label comes in 7 colors, so you can pick your favorite.
Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at Ruby Hill Winery.
The deceptively simple online word game known as “Wordle” has captured the attention of millions. Each day, a players work to solve a new mystery 5-letter word, with each player endowed with 6 guesses and hints along the way. A new puzzle is released each day, and for many it has become a daily challenge and treat. Following its public debut in November of 2021, Wordle has already risen to global popularity and has even been adapted to over 40 languages. Since we love to play games Ruby Hill style, it’s time to enjoy Wordle with words from the wine world! These words can be great for getting out of a rut, finding a new starting word, or eliminating extraneous vowels or consonants so you can find the solution you long for.
Taste - an easy word to play, and an delicious pastime for wine
World - Do you prefer old-world or new-world style? How about unique combinations of consonants?
Pinot - a French word accepted by Wordle because Pinot is too good to leave out.
Wines - a personal favorite word of ours, for obvious reasons.
Viola - the Cielo Viola is a Club-member favorite, and we can’t resist one of those 3-vowel words.
Patch - the Peacock Patch is one of our most iconic wines, and this word is great for practicing consonant combinations.
Oaken - the best kind of opening word is rich with vowels, and the best kind of wine barrel is an oaken one
Table - table wines are worth drinking, we promise. Life is too short to take too seriously.
Sweet - Dessert wine, anyone? Don’t be thrown off by double letters, they’re legal!
Grape - just another favorite of ours, along with the next one
Fruit - have you ever thought this word looks a little weird?
Yeast - this magic bacteria is responsible for fermentation, making wine possible--and has 3 vowels.
Jewel - our Jewel Collection wines stand out from the crowd, and may help you pin down that pesky W.
Pours - a flight of 4 pours is good company for a relaxing afternoon
Petit - yet another French word adopted by the Wine World and the English language. Thank you, Petit Verdot!
Block - every vineyard block is unique, and you never know when a word like this might come in handy.
Xylem - part of the system that moves nutrients through vines (and yes, this is a valid word in Wordle!)
Corks - are we the only ones thrown off by words with “k” in them?
Aroma - for figuring out where on earth the “a” might belong
Blend - a balanced wine, and a good way to narrow down the consonants you might use
Color - Do you drink red, rosé, or white? Are the squares green, yellow, or gray?
Blush - a beautiful color for wine, and maybe a reaction to missing the word--again
Press - double letters might be an extra challenge, but don’t feel too pressed to be perfect
Yield - a three-vowel word that also makes us think about how many tons of grapes were harvested this year
Silky - a great mouthfeel for a wine, and a good way to figure out consonant combination!
Chill - good instructions for drinking wines and for relaxing with today’s puzzle
Plonk - a fun, funky word for cheap wine that is perfect in your wordle repertoire.
Light - whether it’s a light wine in color of body, we’re sure it pairs well with a Wordle.
Break - bud break is one of the most exciting stages of growth in the vineyard.
Spicy - this word is nice to have around when the letter “c” and vowels are around, and when describing a zany red wine!
Heavy - a nice weight on the palate, and a nice way to use three vowels.
Swirl - get a sense of the aroma and legs of your wine, and the placement of consonants in your word!
Will you incorporate these words into your strategy? We’d love to see how you do! Tag us @rubyhillwines
Before you buy any wine, it's important to know what it tastes like and what it tastes good with! If you're curious about our two special mixed cases, we consulted our winemaker’s notes to give you the essence of what’s in each bottle of the lovingly-crafted, estate grown wines inside each case. For your convenience, we’ve also gathered some of the most mouthwatering recipes for a complete pairing guide.
A Trebbiano and Sauvignon Blanc blend with notes of pineapple, lime, and nice minerality. We recommend this toothsome Lemon Garlic Shrimp Salad.
Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, this 2020 wine carries notes of passionfruit, citrus blossom, and pomelo. To make this golden wine shine bright, try it alongside this fresh Sea Bass Ceviche.
Our Sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay with gentle effervescence and notes of apple, lemon, and kiwi. Serve this with warm brie baked with fig jam for an unforgettable appetizer.
This Reserve collection wine is crafted from our Estate’s Vineyard, carrying notes of honeysuckle, lemon cookies, and lychee. Pair this Chardonnay with Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée.
This classic Italian varietal is rich with cherry notes, along with a touch of vanilla and strawberry. Enjoy alongside a rustic homemade Margherita Flatbread Pizza.
Peacock Patch Zinfandel
Made from Zinfandel grapes grown in the Peacock Patch block of our Estate vineyard, this iconic wine is rich with notes of raspberry, plum jam, and baking spices. Enjoy with a plum-glazed pork tenderloin.
This vintage of our Wine Club-Exclusive Patchwork has been selected from the Library Collection for this special case. Enjoy notes of mixed berry jam, blackberry, and a touch of milk chocolate, then serve alongside baked barbecue chicken wings.
Reserve Petite Sirah
Our Petite Sirah is rich and deep, with notes of dark fruit, cocoa, and tea leaf. Enjoy this full-bodied wine alongside this recipe for All-American Eggplant Parmesan.
National Bagel day happens every year on January 15th, but this is a day that we think can be celebrated every day! This week, we’ve rounded up some of the best toppings and combinations for bagels, whether you like salty, savory, or sweet. Of course, our blog wouldn’t be complete without a suggestion for wine pairing. There’s nothing wrong with bagels for dinner or wine at brunch!
The New York:
Cream cheese and smoked salmon. Possible additions to this combination include shaved red onion, microgreens, or capers.
Peanut Butter and Jelly. For this bagel, the sky's the limit for combinations. Try homemade fruit preserves and chunky peanut butter for our personal favorite.
Mascarpone cheese and berries. This light, fresh, and elevated combo is extra delicious with a drizzle of agave syrup and a touch of orange zest for an extra zing!
Fried Egg and Bacon. Fry your egg sunny side-up and sprinkle with Furikake Everything Bagel seasoning for salty-savory deliciousness!
Nutella, Banana, and Raspberries. Slather on your favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread with sliced banana and fresh raspberries with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
All of these mouthwatering bagels are a delicious companion for our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, the Wine of the Month. This all-new 2020 vintage is deliciously aromatic and refreshing, perfect for keeping things light and easy! Buy now and save on each bottle. Sip easy!
Valentine's day is a time to celebrate love of all kinds. Whether you enjoy rich gestures of romance or the comfortable love of a lifelong friendship, we're ready to delight in the love that we have together! To celebrate "love month" we are offering a very special experience for anyone who is curious about our Mello Cielo Vineyard Experience bus tour and wants to appreciate good wine and good times with their favorite person.
We're calling all wine-loving couples to fall in love all over again On our Valentine's Bus Tour! Enjoy an elevated experience, available only this time of the year. All you need to do to make this Valentine's Day one to remember is add a little flourish of adventure! You'll board the "Love Bus" and enjoy a jaunt around our gorgeous Estate, including a stop with incredible views in our Peacock Patch vineyard block—don't forget your camera. You'll also enjoy a seated wine tasting complete with decadent food offerings in our historic water tower.
After the tour, don't forget to bring home your complimentary bottle of Sparkling Wine, a little something from us to help you remember the day and give love the celebration it deserves!
The Love Bus will be pulling into the Ruby Hill station to offer this experience at 11:15 and 2:00pm on February 11th and 12th. If there's a special wino in your life, then come aboard to celebrate Valentine's Day. Dates and availability for this event are limited, so we recommend booking now. Click here to purchase a ticket or see availability. Each ticket admits one couple (2 people).
Time to love the one (and the wine) you're with!
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.
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