Wine lovers rarely love just wine - they also love the food and accessories that elevate the overall wine sipping experience. They often, however, see these goodies as "splurges" - and put off purchasing such items for themselves. Problem for them - good thing for us. What could be a more perfect gift? Below you will find the Top 5 Gifts for Wine Lovers tried and true - I can assure you I will be bringing a few of these treats to loved ones in my family! Stop by the winery to pick up the perfect gifts for the wine lovers in your family this holiday season.
Psst...pay attention to the theme - this is the ticket to a wine lover's heart!
When I am home alone, my go-to dinner is a bottle of dry red wine and a cheese platter. Properly paired, the cheeses bring out subtle nuances of the wine while not overwhelming the palate. I fill the plate with accoutrements, including dried fruits and nuts. If your loved one is not a fan of red wine, don't worry. There are wine and cheese pairings for all palates. For a bold, dry red, go with a sharp aged cheese like cheddar. Unionville Vineyard’s German style Riesling pairs well with a fresh, young cheese. Does your loved one enjoy a bloomy rind cheese such as a brie - go with our Classic Chardonnay. Complete the plate with a drizzle of honey and spoonful of fruit compote - what a perfect date night for two!
Chocolate, in all of it’s chocolaty goodness, contains a whole palate of flavors that often go unnoticed. Pair this chocolate, made by Robinson's with Unionville's red wine, with Cabernet Sauvignon, and begin to notice notes of sweetness, acidity, and a slight fruitiness - enhancing the boldest flavors in our red wine.
A wine bottle tote is an absolute must for every wine lover. This tote is the perfect size for a bottle of your favorite wine, some cheese, and crackers - making it the go-to picnic accessory.
Over the summer, I was conducting a wine tasting when the two unthinkables happened. First, I forgot a wine opener. Second, a good Samaritan, who was cleaning up the facility, threw away my corks. Without my emergency bottle opener or cork, the evening would have involved an unexpected trip to the store - more time and more money. This duo, the alpha and omega of the wine evening, makes the perfect stocking stuffer for any wine lover. Between impromptu wine picnics and spontaneous cleaning brigades, it is handy to have a few of these stashed away.
Wine lovers are often also great hosts. With a kind open heart, they want to extend the experience of fantastic wine to all of their loved ones. Last week, I was hosting a get together, and at the very last minute decided I wanted to create a "Make your Own" cheese plate station. With mounds of different cheeses, dried fruits, and nuts I needed a way for my guests to drizzle their cheese plate in a condiment of their choice. Then I remembered I had a few festive dispensers. Filled with extra virgin olive oil or honey, these are a beautiful and practical way to dress up an appetizer table.
Stop by the winery to see the other holiday gifts we have this year and pick up a bottle of wine to go with all of the goodies.
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What a difference a year can make. August 2018 through July 2019 was the second rainiest 12 month stretch in the recorded history of New Jersey weather. These records stretch back into the late 19th century, which gives context just to how wet that is. It's not easy growing wine grapes when it rains every other day from August through the end of harvest. As we slogged through a wet May and June, we were making preparations to endure another difficult season. A torrential thunderstorm on July 11th dropped over three inches of rain on most of our vineyards. Todd Wuerker, winemaker at Hawk Haven Vineyard said to me on the phone "it has to stop, it always evens out" and I scoffed at that idea. The weather today doesn't know what happened the day, week, or month before.
Todd was right! An atmospheric switch flipped in mid-July, and high pressure dominated the mid-Atlantic for the rest of the season. There were isolated thunderstorms to dodge through the rest of summer, and Unionville fared particularly well in this stretch. Over the 10 weeks of harvest, less than three inches of rain fell across our vineyards. We went from a historically wet stretch to historically dry, and it came just in the nick of time.
Today, we are picking the first grapes for what is Unionville's 27th harvest. Two years after the first grapes were picked and fermented, they were sold in the newly-opened tasting room- 25 years ago. Although I've been thinking about this moment for about a year, we've started our anniversary celebration and I'm still struggling to put it all in context.
In the past few years I've learned so much that could be shared with you now. I've spent hours at the township building, reading through letters written back and forth between parties involved in the winery's founding in the early 1990's. I've walked the vineyards, pausing with each "King of the Vineyard" as Conor calls them- the craggy, gnarly vines nearly as old as me. I've stared at the black and white photos in the hallway of the 1858 Farmhouse of the family and workers who tended to this property many decades ago.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I know that is cliché to say, but it truly is a great time at Unionville. We’ve got all of our reds pressed and in barrel. Cooler, stainless-steel fermentations are finishing up in tank, I’m finally able to breathe a little easier, and wake up a little later. With the holidays upon us, the wine making team has a lot on the mind, but one thing standing out is the blending, bottling, and release of Vat #23 – the latest rendition of our opulent Port wine.
Port has a storied history at Unionville – the fortified delight has been made at the winery since its first vintage in 1993, Before we delve into that, we have to talk a little about how Port is made and the different styles in which it can be presented. Port, named for its origin country, Portugal, is typically a sweet or medium-dry red wine, fortified with distilled grape spirit, then cellared and bottled at different times and in different ways to present specific stylizations. The two most recognizable presentations of Port wine are Ruby and Tawny Ports. Ruby styles are young wines usually aged for only a couple of years (or less). They’re released early to showcase juicy acidity and fruity characteristics of young wine with fuller mouthfeel and complexity
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