Hello! So first, a bit of business. If you follow these posts from my Facebook links, I created a new Facebook page for this blog. After this post, all of them will appear at Facebook Home Is Where The Haggis Is instead of my personal Facebook page. If you want to keep following along, then just click the ‘Like’ button. Thanks in advance for your support readers!
So, everyone asks if you’ve started your Christmas shopping, but my questions is: Have you stocked your wine supply? Shopping in general can be stressful, but perusing your local wine store can be a welcome reprieve. I picked up a few wines the other day, but still need to shop for some fun sparkling wines and plan to share those with you too at some point. Three of the wines pictured above I have never tried, but they came highly recommended from a friend and humble oenophile. Reviews to follow shortly.
Here are few tips to get you ready for entertaining. Even if you plan a quiet night in however, these hints may still apply.
- When shopping for wine, choose a range of price points and varietals. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations either. If you have a menu in mind, the wine salesperson may be able to steer you in a better direction. Stick with some of your tried and true favorites, but don’t be afraid to try something that a friend recommended (if she or he has the same taste in wine as you).
- My number one to-do at any party or gathering is to serve your best/favorite wine first. Don’t start off with the cheap stuff people. Give your guests the crème de la crème while they can still taste the difference.
- Another party foul is to keep saving your wine for that bigger and better celebration. I am not saying that you need to open a bottle of Dom for a party of 30 of your closest friends who would probably never notice the difference, but make sure you don’t keep putting off that special moment just for the sake of being prudent and practical. One article I read on this subject put it best when the writer was preparing to have people in town for his wedding. He told his fiance to grab some of the really nice bottles from the cellar and she protested, “Wait, we are saving those for a special occasion!” His response, “Our wedding isn’t a special occasion?” It’s funny how you can table those thoughts and keep waiting for the bigger, better reason to drink your best wine. If you are surrounded by a few close friends and/or family who appreciate wine, then go for it! And remember, wine has a shelf life which leads into my next tip…
- If wine has been open for more than 2-3 days (4 max), it has begun to go bad and you may as well toss it out. Please don’t ever serve wine that tastes like vinegar to friends. Plus, what is the holdup on finishing that bottle? Sharing is caring. Call in the reserves the minute you open that bad boy. Hint: I can make myself available. Anything for a friend! 😉
- Stock up on not only red and white wine, but think bubbly for the holiday season. There’s so much you can do with Champagne, sparkling Rose and Prosecco. Drop in a cranberry and watch it dance in your glass, add a splash of cranberry or orange juice. Voila! Instant festive vibe.
- Invest in a stainless steel tub to pour ice in and store cold drinks. It makes it much easier for guests to grab from there rather than you traipsing over to the fridge or out in the garage for another chilled wine or brewsky. If you think you won’t use the tub that often, repurpose it by rolling and storing towels to keep your linen closet organized and bring it back out for those special occasions.
Wine Arsenal – pictured from left: Kirkland Chardonnay ($7.99 Costco), Kung Fu Girl Riesling ($9.99 Binny’s), Root 1 Cabernet ($8.99 Binny’s), Cannon Ball Cabernet ($13.99 Binny’s), Conundrum red blend ($19.99 Binny’s), Quilceda Creek Cabernet 2009 ($119, Library Wine from Quilceda Vineyards), Del Dotto Syrah 2012 ($85, Del Dotto Vineyards), Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Magnum 1995 (price available on request from Dunn Vineyards, Library Wine)
Special thanks goes out to to my brother-in-law and his wife who provided the Dunn Vineyard and Quilceda Creek wines to open when they visit. You both have excellent taste in wine and are welcome to visit anytime. 🙂
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Oh, and if you try any great wines over the holiday, please share the names with me.