August Sweet Club: Iowa

Sweet Wine ClubStella Rosa BlueberryStella Rosa®️ Wines
Blueberry
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Stella Rosa Blueberry is their winery’s newest flavor, and is a proprietary blend of several red grape varietals. The wine is combined with flavors of natural blueberry distillates & purées, making it undeniably irresistible. Its sweet and succulent blueberry taste will elevate your mood and your wine-tasting expectations.

Region: Piedmont, Italy
Analysis: 5% alcohol / volume

Food Pairing Recommendations: This flavor pairs well with fresh fruits, BBQ chicken, charcuterie, cheesecake, and cinnamon roll coffee cake.

Blueberry Frosé

Photo credit: Stella Rosa Wines

BLUEBERRY FROSÉ
Cool off this summer with a refreshing frosé! Check out this fun way to switch up Stella Rosa Blueberry Wine.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bottle Stella Rosa Blueberry
2 1/3 cups frozen blueberries, divided
¼ cup lemon juice
2 oz. vodka
fresh blueberries (for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.Pour wine into ice cube trays and freeze for 6 to 8 hours until almost frozen solid Note: wine will not freeze completely
2. In a blender, pulse together wine ice cubes, vodka, 2 cups frozen blueberries, and lemon juice.
3. Divide frosé among 4 glasses. Garnish with a handful of fresh blueberries and enjoy!
© Recipe courtesy of Stella Rosa Wines

Stella Rosa WatermelonStella Rosa®️ Wines
Watermelon
Piedmont, Italy

NECTAR WINE STYLE

Stella Rosa Watermelon is a new, and exclusive, addition to the winery’s semi-sparkling collection. Featuring a proprietary blend of several white grape varietals, including White Moscato (an indigenous grape variety from Piedmont, Italy), and a touch of Barbera for color. Its crisp, refreshing taste showcases the natural flavors of watermelon, created using a distillation process of Italian fruits grown in southern Italy. The semi-dry character is a perfect compliment to Brunch and light appetizers.

Region: Piedmont, Italy
Analysis: 5.5% alcohol /volume

Food Pairing Recommendations: This flavor pairs wonderfully with light salads, such as Greek or Caesar, as well as salty appetizers like Edamame or Jalapeño poppers. For dessert, you can pair it with coconut cream pie!

Stella Rosa Watermelon

Photo credit: Stella Rosa Wines

SPICY STELLA ROSA RITA

A little sweet, a little spicy! Try this fun cocktail at home with this month’s Stella Rosa Watermelon Wine.

INGREDIENTS

For Drink:
5 oz. Stella Rosa Watermelon, chilled
1½ oz. Jose Cuervo Tequila Blanco
¾ oz. lime juice
2 oz. watermelon juice
1 jalapeño, sliced
For Rim:
1 tbsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. chili powder
Lime wedges

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place jalapeño slices in a jar with tequila and let sit for 15 minutes for the spice to infuse the tequila.
2. Remove the jalapeño slices & set aside.
3. Mix salt and chili powder together on a separate plate. Smear the rim of the glass with a lime wedge then dip it into the salt-chili powder mixture to coat the rim.
4. Add a handful of ice to the glass.
5. In a cocktail shaker, add the juices & infused tequila; shake vigorously.
6. Strain the mixture into the glass.
7. Top off with Stella Rosa Watermelon, garnish with a Watermelon slice, and enjoy!
© Recipe courtesy of Stella Rosa Wines

Stella RosaWINEMAKING:
The grapes are harvested, pressed, centrifuged, and then held as a cold juice at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The juice is fermented at various intervals throughout the year, which allows the wine to remain fresh and delicate throughout the entire fermenting process. The Stella Rosa family uses this technique to capture the fresh flavors of natural blueberry distillates & purées for their Blueberry wine, and an off-dry Rosé, busting with fresh flavors for their Watermelon wine. Both Stella Rosa Blueberry and Watermelon contain natural carbonation. The juice is fermented in Charmat-style, pressurized tanks, and as the alcohol is created, so is the carbonation. Once the desired sweetness is achieved, the wine is centrifuged and bottled. The alcohol level stays at approximately 5% and contains 6-10% residual sugar. Its natural acidity and low pH strike the perfect balance with the wine’s natural sweetness. 

ABOUT STELLA ROSA:
It all started in 1917, when the Riboli family founded Los Angeles’ historic San Antonio Winery. Back then, Los Angeles was the prime location for wine growing in all of California. For some time, the wine industry reigned as one of Southern California’s most economically significant and popular industries of that time. After surviving Prohibition and about a century later, the Riboli family has continued its artisan winemaking tradition through four generations. From within the tasting rooms of San Antonio Winery, customers repeatedly requested a sweeter, light, refreshing wine. The Riboli family took this unique opportunity to create a new semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine style, which today, they are a leader of. And so, Stella Rosa was born.

our-story-mapMADE AND IMPORTED FROM ITALY:
To create the Stella Rosa wines, their family chose the region of Asti, a province in Piedmont, Italy, as the source for its aromatic grapes. The area of Asti has particular significance to the Riboli family, as it is the birthplace of their family matriarch, Maddalena Riboli. Their first Stella Rosa wine was Moscato D’Asti, which has become a flagship of this line. Soon after, Stella Rosa Rosso was created – the brand’s first semi-sweet, semi-sparkling red wine blend, and first wine of its kind to be brought to America from Asti. The rapid phenomenal successes of these two wines began the lineage of Stella Rosa, which now boasts over 20 distinctive flavors.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a blue cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

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Sweet Club

July Sweet Club: Iowa

Sweet Wine ClubChambers Rutherglen MuscadelleChambers Rosewood Vineyards
Muscadelle
Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia

Produced from the Muscadelle grape, and previously called Tokay, this blend is comprised of varietals aged between six and ten years old. Amber to gold in color, it shows fresh honeycomb, orange peel and cold leaf-tea on the nose. The palate offers sweet toffee, citrus fruits and honey with a hint of spirit and aged oak spice on the back palate. Muscadelle carries itself with a feline grace as opposed to the powerhouse Muscat persona.

Appellation: Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Muscadelle
Analysis: 18.3% alc/vol | TA: 4.35 g/L | pH: 3.6
Critical Acclaim: 92 pts Halliday Wine Companion, 91 pts Vinous, 91 pts Wine Spectator, 90 pts/Editors‘ Choice Wine Enthusiast

Chambers Rutherglen MuscatChambers Rosewood Vineyards
Muscat
Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia

Produced from Muscat a Petit Grains, or Brown Muscat as it is more commonly known, this blend is comprised of varietals aged between six and ten years old. Amber gold in color with copper hues, the nose offers fresh raisins, sultanas, lifted spirit and cinnamon oak spices. The palate is rich and silky, its sweet dried fruits balanced by aged oak tannins and bright acidity, providing a clean, rather than cloying, finish.

Appellation: Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
Varietal: Muscat a Petit Grains
Analysis: 17.7% alc/vol | TA: 4.15 g/L | pH: 3.6
Critical Acclaim: 94 pts Halliday Wine Companion, 92 pts Wine Enthusiast, 91 pts Vinous, 90 pts Wine Spectator

 
Chambers Rosewood Winery

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Since establishment in 1858 in Victoria’s famed Rutherglen region in Australia, winemaking duties at Chambers Rosewood have been handed down from father to son through six generations. Recognized the world over for their complexity, intensity and balance, these Muscats and Muscadelles are a national relic; wines expertly crafted from unctuous material that has matured in the family cellars for more than a century.

Stephen Chambers

Stephen Chambers

WINEMAKING:
In the warm fall climate the grapes ripen and shrivel on the vines producing natural sugar levels in the range of 30-36 degrees Brix. The raisined grapes are then picked, crushed, and this intensely sweet grape juice is fortified with neutral grape spirit. A wood aging program then follows loosely resembling a solar system, lasting, in some cases, for over 100 years.

“This 120-acre estate, now helmed by Stephen Chambers, is one of the most consistent producers of top-class fortified sweet wines in the world.”
Josh Raynolds, Vinous (2016)

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

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Sweet Club

 

 

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.

7-18-16newwine

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,

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