Happy Hallo-WINE! Wine Costumes and Candy Pairings

skeleton Halloween

We’re so glad people have come to the conclusion that wine can pair with anything and make it more enjoyable – we couldn’t agree more! The good news is you don’t have to go blindly into the cauldron of pairing Halloween candy with wine – we’ve found the perfect info-graphic for you!

Below is a chart from VinePair that details exactly what type of wine, beer, or other alcohol you should pair with your Halloween candy (or your kid’s leftovers!) Cheers!


Forgot to pick up a costume?

Don’t worry, there’s still time! Here are a few last-minute wine-themed costume ideas you could pull off:

wine-goddessBacchus – Roman god of wine

Drape a white sheet over yourself Toga-style, and add grape and vine embellishments as you please! Try a crown of grape leaves. Don’t forget your prop – a delicious bottle of wine!

A box of Franzia

Find a large box and cut out the bottom, then cut arm holes in the sides and a place for your head to peek out the top. Print out some Franzia labels and tape them to the box. Bonus points for adding a pour spout!

wine-snobWine snob

This is an easy one for the gentlemen. Wear a white button down shirt with a nice blazer. Add a neck scarf (ask your wife or girlfriend for help). Slick back your hair. And, carry a big glass of wine (the bigger the better!)

bubblyYour favorite bottle of wine

Go as your favorite bottle of vino! Just print off a photo of the wine’s label and tape it to the front/back of your shirt. Wear all white (if it’s a white wine), pink (for rosés), red or purple (for red wines). Bonus points for incorporating corks! Try adding a cork garland, or make a cork hat!

Stock up on Haunting Halloween wines!


Stop by your local WineStyles store to find the right wines for your Halloween activities – whether that’s handing out candy while watching classic horror movies, hosting a costume party, or trying out some of those wine and candy pairings once the kids have hit the sack! Find your local WineStyles store here.

Eat, drink, and be scary! Happy Halloween!



Great wine tips for the holidays, from our friend Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine…thanks Doug! Cheers!

BY DOUG FROST Special to The Kansas City Star, October 12, 2016 Sitting in my usual dim sum restaurant, I noticed Christmas decorations overhead. I was so horrified I almost stopped chewing on my chicken feet. Is it really that time? Not quite, but the media are pivoting to the holidays, and entertainment guides have…

via Flavor Bridge to Nowhere — Doug Frost

Charcuterie and Wine 101


charcuterie and wine 101 winestyles

What’s that funny word: charcuterie?

Charcuterie (French, pronounced: shahr-koo-tuhree) is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes. (Source: Wikipedia

The history of charcuterie, in the sense of salting, smoking, and cooking to preserve, may date almost to the origins of Homo sapiens. It has been carried on in many forms through virtually every culture, and it has been one of the foundations of human survival in that it allowed societies to maintain a food surplus and therefore helped turn early peoples from nomads into clusters of homebodies. Sausage recipes date to before the golden age of ancient Greece. Even before that, the Egyptians were fattening geese for their livers-and possibly making the first pate de foie gras. (Source: Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn).

Charcuterie board

DIY Charcuterie Board

Step 1: Pick your Platter

Choose one, two, or a few! There are endless options of cheese and charcuterie boards. Have fun picking one that suits your style. Hint: check out the selection at your local WineStyles store.

Step 2: Select your Meats

When choosing charcuterie, opt for a diverse selection of tastes (smoked, tangy) and textures (hard, soft, grainy) so there will be plenty of variety.

Step 3: Add your Garnishes

Make it colorful! Add some pickles, small dishes with brightly-colored jams, olives, mustard, nuts, the options are endless!

Step 4: Slice the Bread

This main food group completes the picture. Best to stick with simple baguettes. Toast with olive oil for a gourmet touch.

Step 5: Serve with Wine!

When in doubt, stick to bubbles. Bubbly pairs great with charcuterie because the acidity will cut through the fattiness of the meats. Try a semi-sweet option to please everyone’s palates.

Wine and Beer Boot Camp Class “Charcuterie and Wine 101”

Charcuterie and Wine class

In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of pairing charcuterie and wine – a gourmet tasting and learning experience! Attend this class so the next time you order a charcuterie board, you’ll know exactly how to enhance that experience with the perfect wine pairing. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:


3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people

6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading,


Hall Winery Spotlight Tasting Event

hall_walt-tastingOctober Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

HALL Wines represents critically acclaimed artisan Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from two Napa Valley  winery locations in both St. Helena and Rutherford. Owned by Craig & Kathryn Hall, its vineyard collection features five Certified Organic estates producing classic Bordeaux varietals. HALL’s highly rated wines include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, selected as Wine Spectator’s #18 of the ‘Top 100’ in 2010. Collectively, over 140 HALL Wines have been rated 90 points and above.

WALT Wines are dedicated to Kathryn Hall’s parents, Bob and Delores Walt, who were dedicated wine growers and their love of the vineyards inspired Kathryn to carry on the tradition.   Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy!®

hall-napa-valley-cabernet-sauvignon-bottle-imageABOUT HALL WINERY

Kathryn Walt Hall is the proprietor of HALL Wines and WALT Wines, and has been involved in the California wine industry since her family first purchased a vineyard in the 1970’s. She has had a distinguished career as a successful businesswoman, attorney, community activist, and as the United States Ambassador to Austria.

HALL Wines are passionate about environmental responsibility and sustainable stewardship of their land.  Their vineyards have been certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Farming organically involves committing to two principles:  ecological production and maintaining organic integrity.     Hall values the land and also value its creation, which is why they continue the tradition of hand picking all of the grapes throughout their estate vineyards.  Once the grapes are brought to the winemaking facility, the grapes are processed with innovative techniques to ensure the highest standard and quality of wine.

Since launching HALL Wines, we have been dedicated to the preservation of the environment and bringing innovation to Napa Valley.  HALL Wines is always looking for new ways to provide support and dedication to the sustainable-living movement. We continue to reinforce our commitment to the health of the land, as well as that of the greater Napa Valley ecosystem”, notes Ambassador Kathryn Hall, HALL Wines owner and vintner.

walt-la-brisa-chard-pinotWALT Wines, owned by Vintners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall,  is dedicated to the production of premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites, spanning nearly 1000 miles and including Sta. Rita Hills, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, Napa Valley and the Willamette Valley.  With their philosophy of precision, non-interventionist winemaking, it allows the wines to naturally and honestly express the character of the site where the wines are grown.

The team at Walt Wines believes in hand sorting every berry; pressing Chardonnay as whole clusters; allowing native yeast fermentation; encouraging a long malolactic fermentation with weekly batonnage and topping off; barrel aging on lees to create more texture, richness, and complexity; and never fining or filtering.  Holding true to these methods means there is no room for error or shortcuts, but the reward is a complex, expressive, complete wine.

Winery Spotlight Tasting
Napa Valley, California


  • Hall Sauvignon Blanc
  • Walt La Brisa Chardonnay
  • Walt Blue Jay Pinot Noir
  • Walt Clos Pepe Pinot Noir
  • Hall Merlot
  • Hall Cabernet Sauvignon

 Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat at your local WineStyles Tasting Station.

German Beer Video Round-Up!

Oktoberfest is already in full swing in Germany!  Grab a glass and RSVP for our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class “Exploring German Beer”!  Spruce up on your beer knowledge and check out these informative and fun videos about German beer. Prost! (Cheers!)


EXPLORING GERMAN BEER: In this Wine and Beer Boot Camp class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of German beer, its origins, how it’s made, and how best to enjoy it. The best part of learning is the tasting! Join us for a delicious and educational German beer tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:

3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt
Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Video 1 German Beer – Centuries of Tradition

This video talks in-depth about the German brewing economy. It details how much beer is sold in Germany each year, and the number of breweries the country has. (Statistics as of 2013). You’ll hear from a Professor of Biotechnology from Berlin’s Technical University, as well as a student in the field, and how they feel about the ongoing use of the German Beer Purity Law, “das Reinheitsgebot”. Enjoy the views of Oktoberfest tents and crowds towards the end. It really is a big celebration!

Video 2 – Top 10 German Beer Styles

This video gives a great overview of the 10 most common German beer styles. The host, from Beerland Diaries, also peppers in some great German beer-drinking cultural norms, such as the two-man beer race called “Bierkasten Rennen”, and how to properly toast with a Weizen.

Video 3 – Beer Geek – Germany Part 1: The Reinheitsgebot

This third video is very approachable, from an avid beer-drinker and self-proclaimed “beer geek”, Oli Haydon. Oli will walk you through the Berliner Weisse beer style, as well as the German Beer Purity Law and what it means in Europe today. If you want to continue learning about German beers, follow Oli’s YouTube channel here as he continues with his series on German Beer.

Video 4 – Ein Prosit – Oktoberfest Song Karaoke

Now for a German beer drinking song! Oktoberfest isn’t complete without crowds of people sloshing around huge beer steins loudly singing together traditional German beer-drinking songs. This one is often heard in large Oktoberfest tents in Munich, and all over Germany. It’s titled, “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” which roughly translates to “A Toast to Good Cheer”.

“Ein Prosit”, means “A Toast”, but “Gemütlichkeit” is one of those untranslatable words from German to English. It isn’t just one thing. It’s cheer, and warmth, and belonging, and acceptance all rolled into one – rather fun to pronounce – word.

Of all the German beer drinking songs, you’re sure to hear this one should you visit Germany for Oktoberfest. It helps keep the party going, because each time it’s played, guests are invited to stand up, toast each other, and chug!

Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit – German lyrics:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit

A Toast to Good Cheer – English lyrics:

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Oktoberfest! Prost!




Ehlers Estate Winery Spotlight Tasting Event


September Winery Spotlight
Tasting Event
>> RSVP at your local WineStyles <<

Join us for a Winery Spotlight tasting event, featuring Ehlers Winery of St. Helena, California.

The story of Ehlers Estate is one of passion, patience, and hard work. It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and create the winery that continues to bear his name. A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley.  French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq continue to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottling they knew and loved.


ehler_wineryThe story of Ehlers Estate is one of passion, patience, and hard work, intertwined like the tendrils of robust vines that have been part of the landscape here since the mid-1800s.

It was the lure of winemaking that tempted Bernard Ehlers to buy a small, dying vineyard in the late 1800s and embark on a quest to create the winery that continues to bear his name.  He replanted his newly-acquired 10-acre vineyard, established the olive grove that still thrives today and in 1886 completed construction of the stone barn that is now our beautiful winery building and tasting room. His original Bale Mill Winery continued to operate long after his death, run by his wife until the 1920s and then by successive new owners who took advantage of its prime location and unique terroir.

A century later, another husband and wife team discovered the lure of this idyllic spot in the heart of the Napa Valley.  French entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jean and Sylviane Leducq saw the potential for this region to produce wines with the power, balance and structure of the finest Bordeaux bottlings they knew and loved.  Over several decades they patiently built a contiguous wine estate – common for French chateaux but increasingly rare in California.

kevin-morrisey-winemakerWith the help of renowned enologist, Jacques Boissenot, they gradually acquired individual local vineyards as they came up for sale and replanted with the most suitable clones and rootstock. By the turn of the century they had created the 42-acre estate we farm today, with Bernard Ehlers’ original stone barn and vineyard at its heart and the Ehlers name once again poised to grace wine labels. The 21st Century began with the release of the very first vintage from the Leducq’s new Ehlers Estate.

Developing the winery had become a passion project for Jean and Sylviane, one they shared long after the sale of their other successful businesses in Europe. Their legacy remains in safe hands today under the leadership of our current winemaker, Kevin Morrisey, who was favored by Sylviane because he shares the same passion for creating sophisticated wines with an old-world charm that capture the character and heritage of our land.

Ehlers Estate continues a proud tradition of farming with experienced vineyard and cellar teams that share a non-interventionist winemaking philosophy firmly rooted in the belief that terroir defines a wine, but passion, patience and hard work are needed to ensure that it is fully expressed in the bottle.
By using organic vineyard practices, Ehlers Estate leaves a minimal footprint on the land and provides maximum flavor in the grapes. Taking advantage of the robust Estate ecosystem and carefully-chosen rootstocks, the vineyard crew coaxes the vines to fully express the numerous soil types and microclimates found on the estate. Once the grapes are harvested, the cellar crew knows when to be hands-on and when to let nature takes its course as the wines ferment, develop and age.

Today, the winery strives to be responsible stewards of the land and continue the legacy of Bernard and Anne Ehlers, and Jean and Sylviane Leducq, who saw the potential that you can taste in every bottle of Ehlers Estate wine.

Winery Spotlight Tasting
St. Helena, California


  • Ehlers Estate Sauvignon Blanc
  • Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc
  • Ehlers Estate Merlot
  • Ehlers Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Ehlers Estate 1886 Cabernet Sauvignon

 Limited Seating Available – Reserve your seat ASAP!

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP!

Wine, a Labor of Love

As Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching, let’s take a deeper look into the world of winemaking.

Wine makers must answer an array of questions to produce a distinct and delicious vintage, making the process both an art and a science.

There’s a lot that goes on between growing the grapes and bottling the wine. Let’s take a peek into the labor intensive world of winemaking through five most common steps:

Rows of grape vines in a vineyard with mountains in the background.Step 1: Harvest the grapes

Harvesting is more than just picking grapes. Wine makers must decide how much human interaction the grapes will have. In other words, will they be hand-picked or picked by machinery.

Additionally, not all grapes are picked during the daylight. In warmer climates, it’s common for grapes to be harvested at night. This is so workers who are hand picking grapes can beat the heat, and wine makers can be sure to capture the grapes while they’re at stable sugar levels.

Once picked, grapes must be sorted by hand for quality. Remember, it’s entirely possible to make bad wine from good grapes. Leaves and rotted or raisen-like grapes are removed from the bunches.

Step 2: Crush the grapes

The grapes are now ready to be completely de-stemmed and crushed. Grape clusters are put through mechanical de-stemmers which do exactly what they say: de-stem.Grape stomping

Crushing the grapes was traditionally done by men and women stomping grapes with their feet. Nowadays, there is more modern machinery for this task. The resulting freshly pressed grape juice is called ‘must’.

White wines are crushed much more quickly than the reds, and then immediately pressed to separate the juice from the skins. This is to minimize the amount of time the seeds and skins are in contact with the juice. For red wines, the seeds and skins are left during fermentation to add flavor, color, and tannins to the wine.

Step 3: Ferment the juice

Wild yeast can ferment the juice, however, most wine makers prefer to intervene to have more control over the fermentation process, and ensure desired results in the wine.

During fermentation, sugar is converted into alcohol. This can take anywhere from a week, to a month, or longer.

When fermenting red wines, carbon dioxide is released, which causes grape skins to float to the top of the fermentation tank. To keep the skins in contact with the wine for added flavor and tannins, and prevent growing bacteria, the red wine is repeatedly ‘capped’ or turned over multiple times daily.

Once fermented, red wines are pressed, removing the skins and seeds from the wine before aging.

Step 4: Age the wineWine barrels in cellar

Wine makers have important choices to make at this stage. Different aging procedures will impart different intensities of flavor in the wine.

The wine can be bottled right away and left to age, in oak or stainless steel barrels. The source of barrels (American or French oak) or whether the barrels are new, used or toasted (charred), all have an impact on flavoring the wine.

Typically, aging in oak will produce a smoother, more mellow wine. Stainless steel tanks are commonly used to age crisp white wines.

Wines can be aged anywhere from 6 months to several years before bottling.

Step 5: Bottle the wine

Another step in the process that can be done either by hand, or entirely by machine. To seal the wine, a choice of natural or synthetic cork, or screw caps. Finally, labels are added, and the wine is boxed and ready for sale.

WineStyles customers toasting in WineStyles store.(Step 6: Enjoy the wine!)

You’ve made it to our favorite step in the process!

As you can see, wine makers have many duties managing their grapes from vine to bottle. A day in the life of a wine maker can range from performing quality control, blending decisions, hosting tastings, marketing, selling, and everything in between.

So what’s the secret ingredient that makes a bottle of wine taste just so good?

A whole lotta love.

And, maybe a little blood, sweat, and tears.😉

As you enjoy your wine this Labor Day Weekend, remember to raise a glass to the wine making artists and their teams who made it possible.


Stop by your local WineStyles store to stock up for the long weekend! Cheers!

View store locator here.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Thanks for reading,


Choosing Wine by the Label and DIYs!

As you walk into a wine store, the varietals and wine label descriptions can be a little bit overwhelming.

What on earth is a “Blaufränkisch” and why is every French wine called “chateau this” or “chateau that” you whisper to yourself.

You’re perusing the red wines thinking, “OK, pinot noir, I know that one” and suddenly you see it – the coolest wine bottle label on the shelf. You pick it up and look it over with great intrigue.

Cool wine labels

Find unique and fun wine labels at your local WineStyles store!

Ah yes, this one has all the right components – striking colors, an illustration that reminds you of that one art class you took in college, and how you keep meaning to visit more art galleries (some of them have free wine tasting!). You think how your friends will comment on the label when you invite them for dinner or snap it on Instagram.

Then, suddenly, the store associate comes your way and asks, “finding everything ok?” You scramble to remember anything about the wine you’re holding that doesn’t have to do with its appearance and spit out, “yeah, pinot’s the best!”

Do you feel like a wine fraud? Let us be the first to tell you, it’s OK to love that bottle just because you like the label.

There’s no shame in wine shopping based on aesthetics! Appreciating wine is like appreciating fine art, and if you happen to appreciate the art on the label, then we say all the better!


Let’s take a look at what you can do with that beautiful label after you’ve tasted the grapes inside. There are so many ways to re-purpose wine bottles.

Below are a few of our favorite wine bottle crafts for preserving those quirky or funny wine labels. So go on, pick a wine based on your favorite label design. The point of wine drinking is to enjoy the whole experience!

And after you’ve been inspired with crafty tutorials, check out our upcoming class on How to Read a Wine Label! That way you can choose great wines by the grapes inside, and by the cool labels.🙂

Want to enjoy that wine label and all the beautiful birds it attracts? Make a DIY wine bottle bird feeder! Find instructions on The Garden-Roof Coop blog:

wine bottle bird feeder winestyles

Photo: The Garden-Roof Coop blog

Make an easy centerpiece from empty wine bottles simply by adding candles! For a bigger centerpiece, use a few bottles grouped together. Enjoy supper as you watch the wax drip down the bottles representing time passing and an evening enjoyed with friends and loved ones:

Centerpiece wine bottles with candles winestyles

Wine bottle centerpiece with candles

Remove the label from the bottle to save in your wine journal, or to re-purpose later. This tutorial by blue i style will help you peel it off with ease:

remove wine labels winestyles

Photo: blue i style blog

Light up your outdoor gatherings by using small solar lights (the kind meant for sticking in the ground) inside old wine bottles! This project was found by happy coincidence from blogger Our Crafty Mom. A fun and simple way to add a little wine charm to your backyard summer BBQs:

solar light wine bottles winestyles

Photo: Our Crafty Mom


Check out WineStyles on Pinterest for more wine craft ideas!

Learn how to read wine labels in our upcoming Wine & Beer Boot Camp Class this August!   We won’t judge if you still want to choose your wines based on the fun and pretty labels, but just in case you’d like to impress your friends and know what all those markings on wine labels mean, we’ve constructed the perfect 101 class for you!


HOW TO READ A WINE LABEL: In this class, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of reading a variety of wine labels from different countries and regions, and of course the best part of learning is the tasting!  Join us for a delicious and educational wine tasting. As part of our Boot Camp series in 2016, the more you LEARN the more you EARN in delicious wine tastings! Join us for multiple classes and you’ll be rewarded:
3 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 2 people
6 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting for 4 people
8 STAMPS = Free Wine Tasting Party, up to 20 people
11 STAMPS = Boot Camp Survivor T-shirt

Please RSVP at your local WineStyles location. Seating space is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

*Please note: Classes and Boot Camp rewards may vary at different WineStyles locations. See your local WineStyles Tasting Station for details. Find your local WineStyles store here.

Thanks for reading, cheers!



Seafood Capellini with Saffron

seafoodClean, citrus notes of lemon and lime zest compliment the fish. The lightness of the pasta and herbs are matched by the lightness of the wine, making for an all-in-all refreshing meal.

• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound shelled and deveined jumbo shrimp (8 shrimp)
• 1 pound monkfish or other firm white fish such as halibut, trimmed and cut into 8 pieces
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
• 1 serrano chile with seeds, minced
• 1 teaspoon hot paprika
• 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
• one 8-ounce bottle clam juice (1 cup)
• pinch of saffron threads
• 6 ounces capellini pasta, broken into 3-inch lengths
• lemon wedges, for serving

• In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderately high heat. Season the shrimp and monkfish with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook for 6 minutes, turning once, until barely opaque throughout. Transfer to a plate.
•  In the same skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over moderate heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the serrano chile and the paprika.
•  Add the chicken stock, clam juice and saffron, season with salt and bring to a boil. Add the capellini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente and has absorbed most of the sauce, about 5 minutes.
•  Return the shrimp and monkfish to the skillet along with any accumulated juices and toss well. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.  Makes 4 servings.  Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine magazine.

macabeocrispMonasterio de las Viñas
Cariñena, Spain

Between the 12th and 18th centuries, the Corona de Aragón (Crown of Aragon) spanned territories from the east of Spain to the south of Greece, quintessential areas steeped in wine-producing prestige and culture, among which Cariñena played a prominent role. All this tradition and know-how is present today in a brand of premium quality wines, in zones at more than 1600 feet altitude and with vineyards over 40 years old, combining indigenous varieties with international ones, in homage to one of the greatest kingdoms in history.  Grapes for this wine were harvested from vines with an average age of 20-years old grown at an elevation of 1900 feet.  Traditional winemaking and aging in stainless steel gives this wine a crisp style.

This wine is a brilliant, pale yellow in color.  A nose of lemon and melon is reflected on the palate, with the addition of zesty lime.  Light bodied and easy drinking, this wine can be enjoyed on its own or with food. Pairs well with seafood capellini and saffron.” – winemaker, Marcelo Morales

winemakerWinemaker: Marcelo Morales
Appellation: Cariñena, Spain
Varietal Blend:  100% Macabeo
13% alcohol/volume
Critical Acclaim:
Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

July Wine Club pairing recipe

Rich, juicy notes of strawberries are complimented by more savory notes of violets and licorice, which meld with the flavors from the pork and anise in the recipe. The smooth, medium/full body of Monasterio de las Viñas Rerserva Red from Cariñena Spain matches the mouthfeel of the meat.

pork-chops-shallotsPork Chops with Shallots

• Four 8-ounce bone-in pork rib chops
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 4 large shallots, sliced (1 ¼ cups)
• ½ teaspoon anise seeds
• ¼ cup dry red wine
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 2 teaspoons tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

In a skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Add the butter, reduce the heat to moderately high and cook, turning once, until the chops are browned on both sides, 8 minutes. Transfer the chops to a baking sheet and bake in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted at the thickest point registers 145°F, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the shallots and anise to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and reduce over moderately high heat to ½ cup, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chops to plates and top with the sauce. Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine.

Bold_stickerMonaterio_Reserva_wineMonasterio de las Viñas
Reserva Red
Cariñena, Spain

In the 11th century, Cistercian monks built a monastery in the Sierra de Aguarón.  Today, this region is known for its superior quality wines. Monasterio de las Viñas celebrates the history of the land by using traditional varietals sourced entirely from Aguarón. Cariñena is one of the oldest protected growing regions in Europe, receiving D.O. status in 1932.  Vines grow in reddish-brown limestone over loose rock. A continental climate and a cold, northerly wind known as cierzo contribute to the characteristic intensity of the grapes.   Harvested from vines an average age of 30-years-old grown at an elevation of 1900-2600 feet, the grapes were aged for 12-16 months in French and American oak barrels and aged in bottle for 2 years. Pairs well with pork chops and shallots.


Winemaker Marcelo Morales

“This wine is bright ruby-red with a garnet color change at the rim.  Aroma of strawberries, violets and licorice become ripe on the palate.  Additional notes of vanilla and wood create more complexity” – Marcelo Morales, winemaker

Winemaker: Marcelo Morales
Appellation: Cariñena, Spain
Varietal Blend:  50% Grenache, 25% Tempranillo, 25% Cariñena
13.5% alcohol / volume
Critical Acclaim:
International Wine & Spirits Competition 2015, Bronze. Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine