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Ruby Hill Winery
May 13, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Wine Tasting Basics: 5 Words you Should Know

Part of our mission at Ruby Hill Winery is for wine to be approachable and enjoyed by all. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the delight of a glass of wine without the pressure of pretense—enjoying wine isn’t just for wine snobs! To enhance your experience, we’ve listed a few simple words below and what they mean when tasting wine. 


The vintage of a wine is simply the year of its creation, which will appear on the bottle. For example, we are currently pouring the “2020 vintage” of our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, which means the grapes that went into this wine were grown and harvested in 2020. For wines that take a long time to age in barrels before they are bottled (generally red wines), quite a bit of time can elapse between harvest and when the wines are released. The 2019 vintage of our Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon was just bottled earlier this year and has not yet been released. The year that appears on a bottle of wine indicates its vintage. Wines that are a blend of multiple vintages, such as our Solera Dessert Wine or our Armonia Lot #11, are labeled as “Non-Vintage."
In context: “I think the 2018 vintage of our Reserve Cab is especially good.”


Referring to a wine’s “nose” is a fancy way of referring to its smell or “aroma.” In a tasting room, you’ll likely hear the aroma of various wines described in terms of all kinds of fruits or flowers. Smells matter in wine tasting! The nose will reveal a great deal about how a wine will taste and give you an idea of what to expect once you take a sip. If a wine ages well, its aroma becomes more layered and complex as time goes on, developing from an aroma into what the wine world refers to as a “bouquet.” To get a good sense of the nose of a wine (aroma or bouquet) give your glass a nice swill before taking a sniff to release more of the scent molecules into the air. 
In context: “The Petite Sirah has a very pronounced nose with notes of blackberry and cocoa.” 


After you’ve just swirled your glass to get a sense of the nose, hold your glass up to the light and look just above the surface of the wine. Likely, you will see lines of wine easing down the sides of the glass. These lines are called “legs” and can tell you a bit about the alcohol or sugar content of your wine. Generally, sweeter or higher alcohol wines will have more pronounced legs but the length or appearance of these legs is not an indicator of quality. 
In context: “You can see the subtle legs of the Sangiovese if you give it a swirl.”


The body of a wine is how full, rich, or heavy it feels in your mouth. A thinner feel in the mouth would be referred to as “light-bodied” or simply “light” while more robust, dense wines are medium- or full-bodied. The texture that you sense in the wine’s body, be it smooth, rough, or velvety, is fittingly referred to as the mouthfeel. The differences between the body of various wines is not terribly different from other beverages—think of the different sensations between sipping skim milk vs. whole milk.
In context: “The Grapeful Rosé is much more full-bodied than the average Rosé wine


The structure of a wine is a combination of several features: alcohol level, acidity, sugar, tannins, and fruit. A wine that has a deliciously harmonious balance between these elements is referred to as “structured.” A wine that has a pleasant aroma, a smooth sip and mouthfeel, and flavors that linger after swallowing (called the “finish”) would be considered structured. Structure in wine has a great deal to do with tannins, which are compounds from the skins and seed of grapes that give wine its color, its ability to age, and a great deal of its texture. If a wine makes you pucker or makes your tongue feel dry, it is likely a more tannic wine. 
In context: “The structure of the Jewel Zinfandel is exactly the balance I’m looking for in a red wine.”

If you are looking for a chance to use your wine vocabulary, come taste what the Livermore Valley has to offer at Ruby Hill Winery! We're open 7 days a week and reservations are required on weekends only. 

Time Posted: May 13, 2022 at 6:48 AM Permalink to Wine Tasting Basics: 5 Words you Should Know Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
May 6, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Elevate Your Mimosas for Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and we’re here to help you make it special. Classic Mimosas (or should we say Mom-osas) are a special treat for any day, but we think this is the perfect chance to elevate this simple libation! Below, we’ve suggested garnishes and add-ins of all kinds to make these Mimosas a signature staple. Enjoy every kind of spin on these drinks, from sweet and fruity to tart and zesty.

Step Beyond Orange Juice
Mix up some unforgettable combos for your base!

  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Pear Puree
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Watermelon Puree
  • Cranberry Juice

Make it a Magnificent Mixer
It’s not just a party for Sparkling Wine! Try a touch of these:

  • Tequila
  • Peach Liqueur
  • Vodka
  • Grapefruit Sparkling Water (Non-Alcoholic option)
  • Small Scoop of Sherbet

Infuse Your Sip with Whole Fruit
Mix and match these fruity delights!

  • Raspberries
  • Citrus Wedges
  • Blueberries
  • Mango Cubes
  • Tart Cherries
  • Pomegranate Arils 
  • Kiwi Rounds

Jazz Your Glass With an Herbaceous Garnish
The flavor spins you didn’t know you needed

  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Rose Petals
  • Rosemary 
  • Thyme
  • Basil

Make a sample flight of your favorite combinations, or set up a Mimosa buffet for a family Mother’s Day brunch! After all, nothing says “I love you” quite like thoughtful food and drinks.

To honor this holiday, we’re offering a sale on our Sparkling Wine, perfect for mimosas!


Time Posted: May 6, 2022 at 5:36 AM Permalink to Elevate Your Mimosas for Mother's Day Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
April 29, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

If Our Wines Were Flowers

One of our favorite things about spring here on the Estate is watching the flowers bloom and flourish. These colorful ornaments call our attention to the changing seasons and the wonder of nature. This week, we’ve reimagined a dozen of our wines as flowers!

Sparkling Wine - Daffodil

No flower can bring a smile to your face quite as fast as a daffodil. These cheerful beauties remind us of the bright effervescence of our Sparkling Wine!  

Sauvignon Blanc - Sunflower

These yellow beauties have a love for the sun.  Our Sauvignon Blanc fruit is exposed to the sunlight early in the growing process to develop the amazing flavors you know and love. 

Jewel Chardonnay - Lily

Elegant and pure, our Jewel Collection Chardonnay proudly unfurls with gorgeous fragrance. Yellow lilies symbolize rejuvenation and joy, just like a sip of golden wine on a sunny day. 

Grapeful Rosé - Peony

Bringing us the most precious tones of pink, both our Grapeful Rose and peony flowers steal the show in every bouquet. Both are delicate, dynamic, and always welcome on our table! 

Sangiovese - Gerbera Daisy

We treasure the virtue found in simplicity. Our Sangiovese is approachable, unpretentious, and still a thing of beauty, making it just like the lovely gerbera daisy.

Peacock Patch Zinfandel - Orchid

Orchids are unique and ostentatious, flaunting delicate strength and incomparable aroma. Our Peacock Patch Zin follows suit, with a boldly colorful character worth flaunting!

Intesa - Tulips

Our Club Wine Intesa earned its name from a word meaning harmony or agreement. Tulips symbolize deep and unconditional love, which you’ll taste in the intertwined nature of this blend. 

Armonia - Ranunculus

The ranunculus flower boasts layer after layer of soft petals, coming together into an integrated whole. The Club-Exclusive Armonia does the same, bringing together multiple vintages of wine into multilayered complexity. 

Cielo Viola - Carnation

Carnations can represent fascination and distinction, making them the perfect floral counterpart for our Cielo Viola. This wine is an enchanting blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah that always has you reaching for another sip. 

Cabernet Sauvignon - Rose

If wines were turned into flowers, Cabernet Sauvignon would be a breathtaking rose. Whether splashed with color or enrobed in a deep, dark red, these classics capture each other's character.  

Petite Sirah - Iris

The inky boldness of Petite Sirah matches the uncommon beauty of the Iris. The dark, bold irises are said to represent valor, wisdom, and royalty, perfect for a Petite Sirah fit for a king. 

Petit Verdot - Lilac 

Lilac flowers bloom for only a short time each year, but their plants are reliably robust, easily living more than a century. Our Jewel Collection Petit Verdot is rich in color, tannin, and body, yet each sip hosts a delicate aroma with features of lilac.

If you were a flower, what kind would you be and why? Join the conversation on our socials @rubyhillwines

If you want to have a "bouquet" of your own, then check out our Case Sales, available for a limited time!

Time Posted: Apr 29, 2022 at 6:44 AM Permalink to If Our Wines Were Flowers Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
April 22, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Sustainability at Ruby Hill

Happy Earth Day, wine lovers! Ruby Hill Winery is proud to grow our grapes in a California Certified Sustainable Vineyard. We take the purity of our fruit and the stewardship of the land seriously and continue to be devoted to careful use of resources. We are committed to adopting all required practices included in the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing, tracking water use and other performance, continuously improving, and verifying our sustainable status on an annual basis. 

We look beyond merely monitoring water use and air pollution, though these are vital. We are also focused on caring for the creatures that call our Estate home. We keep the soil free of harmful pollutants and provide homes in the form of owl boxes in the vineyard for our flighted friends. To align with our values of sustainability, we meet rigorous standards to maintain certification from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. We take a look at stewarding the whole ecosystem: from water to worms and roots to roosts. When you gaze out at our spacious and picturesque vineyards while sipping your favorite estate-grown wine, you can relax in the knowledge that this vineyard is committed to a better future.

Celebrate nature this Earth day! To learn more about the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, visit https://www.sustainablewinegrowing.org/.

Time Posted: Apr 22, 2022 at 5:03 AM Permalink to Sustainability at Ruby Hill Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
April 15, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Naming Big Wine Bottles

When wines are larger than life, they get big names to match. Whether you want to cellar a special favorite for another day, bring a touch of grandiosity to an upscale party, or give an opulent gift, big bottles are a great solution. Below, we’ve put together a list of every wine bottle, from miniaturized to oversized and the special names given to each one! We think you’ll be surprised. 


Sometimes called a Piccolo, a Split bottle holds 190 milliliters, the equivalent of a quarter of a bottle. We think splits are great as small party favors!


This size is exactly what you think! It holds 375 milliliters, equal to half a standard size bottle of wine. Probably not enough, if you ask us!

Standard Bottle

The tried-and-true wine bottle, perfect for a casual night in or a lovely dinner with a friend or two. Pour 750 milliliters of your favorite vino from this bottle!


Magnums are where things start to get especially good. A magnum holds 1.5 liters of wine, the same as 2 standard bottles. These wines are especially impressive and age better than standard bottles. 

Double Magnum or Jeroboam

This size, holding 3 liters of wine, is equal in volume to 4 bottles of wine and has two names. When the bottle has a smooth “Burgundy Style” neck, it is called a Jeroboam, whereas the standard “Bordeaux Style” neck is referred to as a Double Magnum in this format. 

Jeroboam or Rehoboam 

Another format with multiple names, 4.5 liter bottles (equivalent to 6 standard bottles) are named after ancient kings. A Bordeaux style bottle of this volume is known as a Jeroboam, while the Burgundy style bottle is known as a Rehoboam. 

Methuselah or Imperial

Similar to the previous wines, this format, which holds 6 liters (8 bottles), is called by 2 name, depending on the bottle style. An Imperial bottle is the standard Bordeaux shape, while the Methuselah is the Burgundy shape and most commonly used for sparkling wines. 


This bottle holds the equivalent of an entire case of wine, a whopping 9 liters. A single Salmanazar format bottle could easily serve 60 glasses of wine in addition to looking exceptionally kingly. 


Yes, they do get bigger! The Balthazar format boasts 12 liters of wine, equal to 16 standard bottles. That’s what we call prestige.


The Nebuchadnezzar format bottle is equal to 15 liters, which is the same volume as 20 bottles of wine. When full, a single bottle can weigh more than 80 pounds. 


With an astonishing 18 liters of wine, the equivalent of 24 standard bottles (2 cases) the Melchior is almost too big to believe. 


The large format wine bottle known as the Solomon, proudly contains 20 liters of wine, equal to the kingly sum of nearly 27 standard bottles.

Featured in the banner photo, from largest to smallest: Imperial, Double Magnum, two Magnums, and one standard bottle. All sizes available for purchase in the Ruby Hill Tasting room!

Time Posted: Apr 15, 2022 at 6:18 AM Permalink to Naming Big Wine Bottles Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
April 8, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Poetry of Vines in Springtime


Spring is in the air, bringing changes and sun

As the ever-faithful passage of time

Lets us reminisce as the growth has begun

Every wine was once a budding vine




As pink-tipped edges slowly unfurl

And dormancy to life gives way

Buds from vines, gnarled and curled 

The Cabernet are on display




Chardonnay grows with zealous passion

Shoots, leaves, and early flowers

Green is the spring’s budding fashion

Enrobing this land of ours




Patiently dreaming of their prime

Saving glory for warmer days

Barbera vines await their chosen time 

Late to bloom and slow to age




Row after row of Sauvignon Blanc

With wild reputation

A prolific and productive block

Of golden anticipation




Young Petite Sirah buds with promise

A season of beauty undefiled

Springtime blooms bright with purpose

As the earth shows its smile



We are beyond thrilled to welcome springtime to the estate vineyards. A new season of life and growth is well underway!


Time Posted: Apr 8, 2022 at 5:22 AM Permalink to Poetry of Vines in Springtime Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
April 1, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Sneak Peek: 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

It is always a special treat to open up a new vintage here in the Ruby Hill Tasting Room. We are excited to welcome our 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, making its debut soon! This exclusive sneak peek includes notes straight from our Winemaker’s desk. 

...A delicious wine that only improves with time to breathe. The nose is very complex with a medley of red and blue fruits layered upon enticing darker base tones. Fruit notes include blackberry and raspberry, joined by floral violet notes, a hint of dried herbs, and cozy chocolate hazelnut aromas. The mouthfeel is very big with just enough acidity to keep the dynamic balanced, and although there are a lot of tannins they are velvety and approachable.  The finish of the wine is long and emphasizes the darker fruits and oak character…
~ Winemaker Jesse Plautz

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Red Wine Raspberries
from Whole and Heavenly Oven

Dark chocolate mousse and a luscious red wine raspberry sauce are a match made in heaven in this stunner dessert. Perfect for a romantic dessert or whenever that chocolate craving hits!

  • Dark Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1 (4 oz) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
  • Red Wine Raspberries:
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar and shaved chocolate for serving
  1. To begin, in a double-boiler over medium-high heat, melt chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in agave and vanilla. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  3. Very gently fold whipped egg whites and whipped cream into melted chocolate mixture until just combined. Press plastic wrap directly to surface and chill mousse two hours or until set.
  4. For the Red Wine Raspberries, combine red wine, raspberries, agave, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes until raspberries are broken down into a thick sauce. Remove from heat and cool.
  5. Serve chocolate mousse in individual serving bowls with raspberry sauce on top and powdered sugar and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

Sounds delicious to us! The rich tannin of Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect match for the creamy, bittersweet profile of a Dark Chocolate mousse, so that’s what we’re pining to try! This recipe includes a topping of raspberry sauce, which of course can be crafted with our impending arrival, 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Drunken strawberries, rich chocolate mousse, and a glass of red wine? That’s an evening to remember!

PS: Fans of our 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, now is your chance! It’s not too late. Get the last bottles of this critically acclaimed and gorgeous vintage before they are tucked away into our Library Collection!

Time Posted: Apr 1, 2022 at 3:36 AM Permalink to Sneak Peek: 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
March 25, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

Red Pasta Sauce Three Ways

If you’re like us, sometimes you just want a big, hearty, delicious helping of pasta. Of course, we love to pair our favorite foods with our favorite wines, so we might recommend a nice glass of Sangiovese to go with that scrumptious red sauce. Pasta, sauce, and Sangiovese are all Italian classics, and they just might need to make it to your table tonight. Take a look at these three favorite recipes for red sauces and figure out which is right for your schedule, skill, and tastes! 

When you have all the time to get it right:

Try this recipe for the best slow cooked Italian American Tomato Sauce, because you can’t rush perfection. This creative recipe from Serious Eats borrows from tradition while using innovative techniques to make sure every flavor is on point. As your house fills with the mouthwatering aromatics of this sauce, you might never go back to your old recipe. This sauce takes about 6 hours, but only 20 minutes of active time. If you work from home, it might be a perfect project for you!

When you crave a classic:

This recipe for Weeknight Red Wine Pasta Sauce from Whole and Heavenly Oven is scrumptious and approachable for anyone who’s got some pantry staples and wants sauce from scratch in less than 2 hours. As a bonus, this recipe calls for 1 cup of red wine, leaving you two-thirds of a bottle to enjoy with dinner (or while the sauce is simmering). Enjoy this surprisingly easy recipe and savor the rich flavors of red wine, aromatics, and herbs. This recipe can be made in larger batches and canned or frozen, so pasta night can happen as often as you like!

When you’re rushed but won’t compromise on flavor

We recommend this stellar 20-minute recipe from Dishing Out Health. A flavorful spin on traditional tomato sauce, this recipe for “Red Pesto” uses pureed sun dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, fresh basil, and other ingredients to pack a fresh, scrumptious punch. With the magic of starchy pasta water, your noodles will be evenly bedecked with this perfectly textured sauce. Next time you want something simple yet novel, try this out! 

It’s the last weekend of March--don’t let our Wine of the Month pass you by! Our 2018 Sangiovese is on sale for just a few more days.


Time Posted: Mar 25, 2022 at 5:02 AM Permalink to Red Pasta Sauce Three Ways Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
March 18, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

What to Know about Wine Futures

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.

If you're not currently a member but would like to join us for Futures Night, now is the time to sign up!

Time Posted: Mar 18, 2022 at 4:59 AM Permalink to What to Know about Wine Futures Permalink
Ruby Hill Winery
March 11, 2022 | Ruby Hill Winery

10 Women-Owned Businesses to Shop Online

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.


Kitchen: Duebest 

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.


Apparel: 337brand 

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.


Time Posted: Mar 11, 2022 at 6:35 AM Permalink to 10 Women-Owned Businesses to Shop Online Permalink

Enjoy complimentary ground shipping when you order 6 or more bottles.

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