Celebrating any milestone always goes better with a good wine. Here are some interesting wines, experiences and gifts to enhance your sipping enjoyment.
WINES FOR THE CURIOUS AND EPICUREAN
For something less familiar, orange wines offer a distinctively colored wine with a taste that’s all their own. The international collection of wines curated by Orange Glou are skin-contact white wines made from white grapes fermented with the grape skins, producing orange natural wines. Options include three and six bottles monthly or a one-time option for the orange curious.
A dessert wine is a lovely finish to any meal. Tolenas Winery’s newest is a 100% Zinfandel port, lighter and fruitier than usual due to the 2020 heat spell but still taking advantage of the cool California coastal breezes. A female star in the industry, winemaker Lisa Howard is committed to producing wines without chemicals or additives.
If your goal is to be the first in line for unusual experiences and a trip to France won’t happen any time soon, you might want to consider investing in the first edition Bordeaux Collection Privée from Francois-Louis Vuitton, the great, great grandson of Louis Vuitton. Newly introduced to the United States this winter, the collection reflects the terroir of Bordeaux and the elegance of the Parisian lifestyle with Private Cuvée wines from top châteaux such as Léoville-Poyferré (Saint-Julien), Lascombes (Margaux), Faugères (Saint-Émilion), Beauregard (Pomerol), and Lafaurie-Peraguey (Sauternes). Each comes gorgeously boxed.
Created with Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, Dough Wines is the first collaborative wine brand from the James Beard Foundation. Dough Wines supports the culinary arts and beverage professions, currently focusing on assisting the Foundation with restaurant recovery, equality in the kitchen and food sustainability. The appellation wines are bundled into three-pack sets: Red Blend Pack, Chardonnay Pack, Pinot Noir Pack, Napa Valley Pack and Best of Napa Valley Pack.
Wines of Sicily is a consortium that works with more than 400 different producers in Sicily who preserve the art of winemaking with sustainable practices. You’ll want to try Nero d’Avola, a versatile wine with an aroma of red floral notes accompanied by flavors of sweet spices and cocoa. Do as the Sicilians do and chill Frappato to bring out its depth and spice and red cherry notes. For white wine fans, Grillo is a food-friendly blend with citrus blossom and fruity aromas. Lucido (also called Catarrato) pairs well with seafood and veggies with its hints of yellow and green and white flowers and citrus aromas.
An unusual, stylish wine, Ao Yun (“roaming above the clouds”) is a full-bodied Cabernet blend from the first wine estate in China’s Yunnan province on the foothills of the Himalayas. The 2016 vintage combines Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc with notes of sandalwood, Dhofar incense, and crushed strawberries. Ao Yun has partnered with renowned crystal maker Riedel to design an exclusive wine glass for the optimal tasting experience for this Cab blend.
DISTINCTIVE TASTING EXPERIENCES
Macari Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island takes glamping to a new level of luxury with individual bungalows for a personal wine tasting. Customize your experience with a selection of wines including their popular Cabernet Franc, Dos Aguas red blend, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé. Add to that a Mediterranean snack spread, your own playlist streamed through a Bluetooth retro radio, comfy throw-covered chairs and sofas and your gang will enjoy a wine experience like no other. The beautiful vineyard is celebrated for its biodynamic approach to winemaking and is run by three generations of the Macari family.
The Far Niente family of wines from Napa Valley includes some of the finest vineyards in the country. You can experience all with a variety of three-wine samplers and a pre-arranged virtual wine tasting subscription. The Far Niente range includes Cabernet Sauvignon from Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente and Bella Union; or Chardonnay from Nickel & Nickel and Far Niente. The happy hour experience includes explanations by wine educators, Far Niente family winemakers and wine experts, plus instruction by chefs on how to create perfect wine and meal pairings.
WINE EXPERIENCE ADD-ONS
Add a fun touch to stay-at-home entertaining with Quilt Wines’ Puzzle Pack. Along with a selection of wine, you’ll get a limited-edition 500-piece Napa Valley Quilt Wines puzzle. The wine collection gives you a range of white and red wines including rosé, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and the popular Red Blend.
You can be your own winemaker with the new blending kit from RGNY, an innovative winery located on Long Island’s North Fork. The kit comes with curated videos, featuring lead winemaker, Lilia Pérez to help guide you through the almost-scientific exercise of blending RGNYs Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The kit also includes a beaker, four carafes of wine for blending and tasting, glasses and tasting note cards.
For safe drinking, unbreakable wine glasses are the smart choice if you’re planning to dine outdoors. TaZa’s chic plastic versions mimic the feel of traditional glasses and come in stemmed and stemless to please all preferences.
If you still prefer glass, Empire State of Wine has you covered for no-spill drinking. The shop’s Signature NO-SPILL Stemless Wine and Cocktail Glasses feature Lady Liberty herself with each glass a different color so you can remember whose wine is whose. Even if you manage to tip them over, they still won’t spill as they balance to the side.
A must for serious wine drinkers, the ArT Wine Preserver will keep an opened bottle of wine fresh for up to 30 days. Using pure argon gas, this smart device displaces oxygen while maintaining taste. And lastly, Repour’s wine stoppers utilize oxygen absorption in an easy-to-use wine stopper for lasting wine freshness for up to two months. Although, in all honesty, I don’t know many people who keep an open bottle that long!
Enjoy – drink up!