New Year's Wine Resolutions for 2015

Drink Better – It’s all about WHINE Down Time

Unlike most of the normal New Year’s resolutions that we routinely fail to stick to—lose weight, work out or save money, this year you can actually keep some of your resolutions by making them wine-related.  In other words, relax and enjoy some wine after work and tune out the ‘whining’!

Better Wine Storage

Stock up!  Most folks are getting rid of things during the first part of the new year. We suggest you add something to your inventory. Get a wine rack or even better, a wine refrigerator or cellar.  You’ll always know what you have on hand and available and your wine collection won’t waste away.

Drink More Broadly

Uncork or twist off the possibilities!  Broaden your horizons and try something different.  There are some really good wines coming from more parts of the world than ever before.  Have an open mind and dare to try something new and different. You never know what you might find, maybe even a new favorite!

What are your wine-drinking resolutions for 2015?  We’d like to sip and see them!


Wine and Cheese Pairings

When it comes to entertaining, nothing pleases a diverse crowd more than wine and cheese, but pairing cheese and wine flawlessly can sometimes be an overwhelming element of party planning. So if you’ve ever found yourself fretting over how to create a perfect cheese and wine combination, we can help.

Cabernet Sauvignon -

Cheeses to Consider: Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort

Chardonnay -

Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone

Champagne -

Cheese to Consider: Beaufort, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Chevre, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan

Chianti -

Cheese to Consider: Look for regional cheeses to complement an Italian Chianti, perhaps Fontina, Mozarella, Parmesan or Provolone

Dessert Wine -

Cheese to Consider: Crème Fraiche, Marscopone, or shake it up with a salty/sweet combo. and consider a crumble or two of blue cheese.

Merlot -

Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Parmesan

Pinot Gris -

Cheese to Consider: aged Cheddar, Asiago, Edam, goat cheese, Gouda, Mozzarella, Muenster, and even Ricotta for a unique combo.

Pinot Noir -

Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss

Port -

Cheese to Consider: Blue, Gorgonzola

Riesling -

Cheese to Consider: Brie, Blue, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack

Sauvignon Blanc -

Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, Neufchatel, Parmesan

Shiraz/Syrah -

Cheese to Consider: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan

Zinfandel -

Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Blue, Feta, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Muenster


Celebrate the Holidays Deliciously With 12 Wines of Christmas From Cupcake Vineyards

A Perfect Cupcake Wine for Any Holiday Festivity

With the holidays approaching, Cupcake Vineyards offers 12 wines of Christmas that can accompany just about any festive occasion. Whether searching for the right hostess gift or relaxing after a grueling day of gift shopping, Cupcake Vineyards has delectable wines that will keep you celebrating deliciously throughout the season.

"Cupcake Vineyards wines are rich, full and elegant, a true indulgence without an exorbitant price tag to match," said winemaker Adam Richardson. "Christmastime is filled with reasons for gifting, celebrating and simply enjoying a special time of year. With a varietal for every taste and occasion, we keep our fans celebrating deliciously throughout the season."

Without further ado, the 12 Wines of Christmas from Cupcake Vineyards:

On the first day... 
For many, surviving a day of big crowds and holiday shopping calls for a toast. Break out Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco; it's light and refreshing, and its fine effervescence gives way to creamy flavors of ripe lemon, refined citrus and toasted brioche. Pair it with gorgonzola crostini and melon wrapped in prosciutto for a flavorful holiday kick-off.

On the second day...
 Keep the shopping momentum going online, where you can shop deliciously from home. Sip a glass of Cupcake Vineyards Angel Food, a proprietary white blend centered on premium chardonnay grapes. Luscious and aromatic, Angel Food offers flavors of baked Granny Smith apple and hints of toasty vanilla.

On the third day...
 Whether watching the lighting of the national holiday tree in Washington, D.C., or heading to a local tree lighting ceremony, pair this vibrant evening with our equally vibrant Pinot Grigio. Fragrances of pineapple, pears and sweet lemons give way to a full body with a creamy mid-palate that integrates tropical and citrus fruits.

On the fourth day...
 Secret Santa gifts often tend toward dubious tastes. Skip the kitsch, and instead, share deliciously with a bottle of our Sauvignon Blanc. Hints of grapefruit, gooseberry and citrus simply give away the fact that this Secret Santa has impeccable taste. Slip in a note with recommendations, such as serving the wine chilled with oysters on the half shell or with a rich lobster risotto, to make the gift truly memorable.

On the fifth day...
 If you're inviting friends or family to a tree decorating party, prepare some simple appetizers to pair with Cupcake Vineyards' crowd-pleasing Chardonnay. With decadent layers of butter, cream, citrus and vanilla that meld into balanced oak and subtle spice, the wine is delicious with a simple selection of cheeses and fresh-baked French bread as well as seared Ahi tuna on waffle crackers.

On the sixth day...
 Take in a traditional holiday performance of the Nutcracker, and enjoy Cupcake Vineyards Riesling an aperitif before a light late-night, post-ballet supper. Our Riesling starts with a nose hinting of ripe honeydew and lemon chiffon, then fills the palate with creamy lemons, bright citrus fruits and a touch of sweetness.

On the seventh day...
 Don plush velvet for the office holiday bash, and give likewise to the event host with Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet. This blended red features over-the-top aromas of chocolate, deep rich blackberries and red fruits that follow through the palate to a creamy mocha finish with just a hint of coconut. Our rich, decadent Red Velvet is just the thing to top off a year of hard work.

On the eighth day... 
Heading to a Christmas wine and cocktail party with friends? Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect hostess gift and a perfect winter wine with dark fruit flavors of blackberry, dark cherry and cassis, as well as tastes of cocoa and toasty oak. Bring along some baked brie drizzled with honey to add to the appetizer selection and complement this full-bodied wine with a long, smooth and silky finish.

On the ninth day...
 Continue the magical mood from a night touring community Christmas light displays with a glass of Cupcake Vineyards Pinot Noir. An aroma of cherries gives way to a touch of red currants and a hint of spice, perfect after cold winter's evening out. Pair it with smoked sausage or mushroom risotto for a hearty, warming meal.

On the tenth day...
 Christmas Eve is full of anticipation, and if dining with loved ones on the occasion, bring along Cupcake Vineyards Malbec to share. This wine has a heady, yet dry nose with aromas of blueberries and leather. Intense flavors of chocolate, mocha and plums are matched by a soft velvety texture, a hint of spice and a note of toasted oak. Versatile with food, it works well with hearty dishes, such as steak, a mushroom and bacon salad or chili.

On the eleventh day...
 Gather around the holiday table for a decadent Christmas dinner complemented by Cupcake Vineyards Merlot. Our full-bodied yet smooth Merlot displays supple tannins with flavors of red cherries that evolve into decadent levels of cocoa and espresso. From the meal's starring roast served with a port-fig reduction sauce to a decadent chocolate dessert, this Merlot will make merry throughout the meal.

On the twelfth day...
 Known as the second biggest shopping day of the year, Dec. 26 comes with the knowledge that another holiday has been celebrated deliciously. Make one last trip to the mall, then break out our bubbly Moscato D'Asti for a final toast to the Christmas season (and consider saving a bottle or two for New Year's Eve festivities). A vibrant, expressive sparkling wine, our Moscato D'Asti has floral notes with flavors of peach, tropical fruit and lychee. Enjoy with a delicious seasonal dessert, like vanilla bean poached pears.

About Cupcake Vineyards

Cupcake Vineyards, located in Livermore, Calif., introduced a fruit-forward, indulgent and eminently approachable portfolio of wines in 2008. The inaugural release of Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon has since grown to include an array of varietals from Central California as well as from other world-renowned wine-producing regions, including Marlborough, New Zealand; Mendoza, Argentina; Prosecco, Trentino and Asti, Italy; Barossa Valley, Australia; and Mosel Valley, Germany. Winemaker Adam Richardson and his team never rush the winemaking process, taking time to create the complex, rich and creamy wines that enable everyone to "Live Deliciously."


4 Great Thanksgiving Wines

Pinot Noir is far and away the most popular red wine to grace Thanksgiving tables across the country, and these four are excellent choices. Pinot Noir wine goes well with everything from turkey and gravy to cranberries and pumpkin pie. You cannot go wrong with one of these distinguished Pinot Noir wines on your Thanksgiving table. 

Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving

There is nothing novel or trailblazing about recommending Pinot Noir with turkey. They have been happy partners for a very long time. There are a number of factors about Pinot Noir that render it such a good turkey and Thanksgiving partner. These include:

Pinot Noir wines are generally light to medium bodied in weight. 

This can be a very important factor to consider. Powerful full-bodied wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon (especially if young and New World) can easily overpower a turkey-centered meal. Additionally, because the Thanksgiving meal usually lasts several hours, it is best to avoid big, powerful wines, which can make you and your guests tired and sleepy more quickly.

Pinot Noir exudes vibrant red and black fruit. 

Pinot wines are characterized by their delightfully vibrant palette of juicy red and black cherry and berry fruit. This liveliness and juiciness will enliven and enhance the succulence of any turkey or stuffing (even if they seem a bit dry when cooked).

Pinot Noir has an elegant flavor profile. 

Gentle aromas and flavors of red and black fruit, layered with subtle savory and earthy notes, spice and often a distinct floral or gamey note make it a very versatile wine to pair with the many different turkey preparations, the stuffing as well as a spectrum of different side dishes.

Pinot Noir has bright acidity and gentle tannins. 

These two aspects of Pinot Noir are important. The bright acidity brings out the juiciness in the turkey as well as the flavor in the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mushroom dishes, etc. The gentle tannins marry well with all the green vegetables such Brussels sprouts, leafy greens such as kale, chard or spinach, as well as the proverbial dish of green beans.

4 Great Thanksgiving Wines