“For a fresh start…”
The first wine to kickoff the WineUp New Year, January 1st , 2019 was Marcel Lapierre Beaujolais Cuvée 2014. This fruit driven, juicy-textured wine is not easy to come by, but if you can get your hands on it, it’s one of the most elegant and unassuming French reds you can ever taste. The grape is 100% Gamay, and it is denser and more concentrated than other Beaujolais. Approachable enough to drink alone, or pair it with a roasted turkey and a fresh start.
“Get out of the jam”
If you love Zins for their stewed fruit and baking spice characteristics, then you have to try the 2015 Rockwall Zinfandel. This wine was approached for the first time at the first public WineUp event in November, and it was voted the crowd favorite red wine, beating out an Argentine Malbec and a California Cabernet blend. If you find yourself in a red wine rut, try this wine to diversify your red taste preferences…although we can’t promise you won’t find yourself in a new rut; the Rockwall Zin kind.
“Fake it till you make it”
The best gift you can bring as a dinner guest or as a small token of appreciation is a bottle of Champagne. But what if you’re living in the poor house and not the Chateau? Fake Champagne, aka Sparkling Brut Rosé goes over just fine (and sometimes, more favored) with tart strawberry notes, flakey pastry aromas, and jubilant effervescence. The “most snapped” bottle of the December Sip and Shop at Birdies, was the Comte de Verdier Brut Rosé, and it retails for under $15!
“Too legit to quit”
If you like chewy-tannin, full-bodied reds with lingering finishes that don’t quit, you need to try the 2014 RD Winery Syrah from Napa. Rhone varietals like Syrah tend to be rich, lush, and heavy in black and blue fruits, cocoa, and leather. This one takes on blackberry jam and cocoa aromas and is full-bodied. Pair this with braised meats or rib-eye to melt the drying tannic structure a bit, or drink alone if you’re not a tannin-quitter.
“Say goodbye to what you think you know”
Many people shy away from Riesling for fear that sweeter wines are viewed as less sophisticated, but that is simply not the case for two reasons. ONE: sweet wines are not more or less sophisticated than drier styles –- they are just different, and TWO: not all Rieslings are sweet. Blind-tasted at the December WineUp event, the 2016 St. Holda Riesling produced in Pfalz had everyone stumped. When asked if this was dry or sweet, the consensus was dry, and it wowed the crowd when the bottle was unveiled, as no one could have guessed it was a Riesling.
“The ultimate goal-hounder needs a porch-pounder”
If you often find yourself wanting a pleasant Sunday afternoon wine that is lower alcohol, refreshing, and pairs well with light work, catching up with a friend, or solo self-reflection time, then look for white wines from cool climates like Alto-Adige. This 2017 Weissburgunder Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige is the perfect light white that won’t thwart your Sunday errand-running, but still delivers a “Sunday Funday” experience.
“Don’t sack it, hack it”
If you want to join the bold red wine fan club but find that your palate isn’t discerning enough to justify the cost of California Cabernet, drink more Spanish reds! The 2012 Barbazul Tierra de Cádiz Red Wine is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and sub $15 a bottle. When tasting this wine, it drinks more like a $70 + bottle, meaning the complexity, finish, and ripeness of fruit characteristics are all at play. Spain simply has their wines dialed in, and this bottle is no different – boasting a cherry cola finish and face gripping tannins, this is the ultimate red wine hack!
“Diversify and conquer”
Diversifying your preferences isn’t easy with confusing wine labels and similar sounding grape varietals, but sometimes you just have to shake up the predictable by adding a new wine into the repertoire. Cue the Muscadet! Not a grape, but a region in France (the grape is known as Melon de Bourgogne), this is not Muscatel or Moscato. The wine is dry, aromatic, and when “Sur Lie” is denoted on the label it signifies a creamer texture (think Chardonnay but without the oak influence), and more expensive production. Muscadet is a go-to wine for pairing with oysters and conquering a new experience!
“When in Rome…”
The quintessential Italian meal deserves an Italian wine. When pairing food with wine, there are two mnemonics that stand out as hard a fast pairing hacks to abide by: “sweet with heat” and “things that grow together, GO together”. Favorite Italian restaurant in San Francisco: E Tutto Qua, favorite Italian wine to order there: Il Fauno Toscana 2015 (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot blend). Glassware and temperature make a big difference with this wine; ask to have Il Fauno served with a Bordeaux glass, and chilled for ten minutes, this way the alcohol won’t leap out of the glass and dominate the lush, fruity bouquet.
“Those who can’t plan, CAN!”
Experiencing decision fatigue? Had a long day? In need of a cold, delicious, rosé to the dome? Consider purchasing a case of Alloy Everyday Rosé. Each can is 12 oz, (two glasses of wine) and a case can be purchased for $54. Juicy, dry, medium-bodied, with aromas of rose petal and strawberry candy. Bring it to a park, sneak it to a movie theatre (you didn’t hear that from us), or stockpile it as your go-to wine for barbeques and camping trips. For those who don’t want to overthink their wine selection, and need a reliable standby that stores well and pleases a crowd, try the Everyday Rosé from Alloy!