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Holiday Wine GiftsPosted on December 2, 2022 in Lifestyle
2022 Wilson Creek Holiday Wine Gift Guide
The holiday season is upon us, and that means it’s time to start thinking about what gifts to give our loved ones. If you have a wine lover in your life, then you’re in luck! This holiday season, skip the usual suspects and give a gift they are sure to love—wine!
To make it easy, we’ve put together a list of our top picks that make great gifts. Whether your budget is large or small, we’ve got you covered. So pour yourself a glass of eggnog, sit back, relax, and keep reading to find the perfect wine gift to give this holiday season.
Giving a bottle of wine as a gift is always well-received. Whether you’re looking for a gift to give to a host of a holiday party, a gift exchange, or a wine loving family or friend, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine. Here are some of our favorite wines to gift during the holiday season:
Almond Sparkling Wine
What would the holidays be without some bubbly? If you’re looking for a festive sparkling wine to give as a gift (or keep for yourself!), look no further than our Almond Sparkling Wine. This white sparkling wine (formerly known as Almond Champagne) is naturally fermented with just the right amount of essence of natural almond that is sure to leave your guests dazzled at its taste.
Make your Almond Sparkling Wine gift even more festive with one of our holiday celebration labels or make it custom by creating a personalized label of your own.
Plethora Red Wine
No holiday is complete without a good bottle (or two) of red wine. If you’re looking to really surprise your guests with a red wine that is unique and enjoyable to drink then our Plethora red wine blend is a must. Made of nine different grape varieties, this wine is perfect for all types of red wine drinkers. Aromas of oak, dark berries, and spice make it the perfect wine to enjoy during the holiday season. Make your holiday gift giving a breeze by grabbing a bottle or case today!
Of course we can’t forget the white wine drinkers in your life, afterall we love a good white as well. One of our favorite white wines to gift during the holiday season is our 2021 Riesling. Rieslings are generally pretty versatile, easy to drink, and pair with most foods. They also age well, so if you have a friend who loves to collect wine, this would be a great gift for them.
Our 2021 Riesling is full of aromas of fresh golden delicious apples, ripe pineapple, and honeysuckle that makes it the perfect wine to enjoy not only during the holidays but all year round.
Decadencia Chocolate Old Vine Zinfandel
Chocolate and wine are truly a match made in Heaven. If you’ve never experienced our delicious Decadencia Chocolate Old Vine Zinfandel then you’re in for a real treat. And if you have, then you know this wine is perfect for the holiday season when indulging in rich, yummy desserts. Our chocolate zin is smooth, elegant, and rich with fruit-forward flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and spice making it the perfect companion to a holiday gathering. Surprise your friends and loved ones this holiday season with this heavenly treat they are sure to enjoy!
What better way to show your loved ones you care than by giving them a gift that keeps on giving with a wine club membership. With a wine club membership, your friends and family can enjoy their favorite wines shipped directly to their door all year long. Choose from a 6 month or 12 month gift membership that delivers two bottles of wine bi-monthly to your favorite family member or friend. Plus, all memberships come with member perks! Join either a red, white, mixed, or reserve club.
Last but certainly not least, give the gift of choice with a Wilson Creek gift card! Perfect for the person who has everything or is difficult to shop for. They also make great stocking stuffers, gifts for coworkers, and gift exchange gifts. Redeemable on property at the gift shop, restaurants or for wine tasting and tours and also online (call to redeem).
For arrival before Christmas:
West Coast: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 16th
Midwest: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 14th
East Coast: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 14th
For arrival before New Years:
West Coast: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 26th
Midwest: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 21st
East Coast: All orders shipping UPS ground should be placed no later than December 21st
*Shipping times are not guaranteed.
CTA: Find the perfect holiday gift this season at Wilson Creek Winery!
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Zinfandel vs Cabernet – Better Together?Posted on November 3, 2022 in Uncategorized
“Variant Series” is a term to describe wines introduced to showcase the variations of the classical style. Wilson Creek is excited to announce our new Variant Series, which includes an uncommon mix of our now famous White Cabernet and Cabernet Zinfandel red blend. Both are conceived of and vinted to create a unique interpretation of the Nobel Varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. Find out the difference between Zinfandel vs Cabernet, including how they get their distinct flavor, and why they are better together in our new Variant Series Cabernet Zinfandel blend.
The Science of Wine Flavor
Wine is interesting stuff from a biochemical and hence taste perspective. It takes flavors and compounds that we are genetically programmed to crave, like sweetness and ripe fruit flavors, and blends it with components that we are genetically programmed to avoid, like acid tannins and alcohols. (Ok, maybe not so much alcohol.)
Many popular wines are blended to only take advantage of those flavors that are easy to love (think White Zinfandel or fruit-driven cheap wine). Many extremely good, and more complexly nuanced, wines are a challenge until the palate has been trained to embrace the push and pull between sweet fruit and tannins acids and alcohols.
This is the genesis of the Variant Series. We are aiming for wines that are initially pleasing to the senses, but have subtle complex nuances of depth and character. The mature Zinfandel brings a fruit-driven approach and the Cabernet ends in tannins that are soft. This leads to a wine that can be paired with just a sunset or will not get lost with a burger. If you’re going to a party where you don’t know the pallets or preferences of the guests, CabZin is the perfect option – ideal for nontraditional wine drinkers, while still able to hold up to the scrutiny of wine aficionados.
California Cabernet Sauvignon
Blends have the unique capacity to combine the strengths of two different varietals, resulting in a more well-rounded and balanced wine. The classic example of this for Cabernet Sauvignon are the French Bordeaux wines. The Left Bank of the Gironde estuary is Cabernet Sauvignon dominant with lesser amounts of Merlot. The Right Bank of the Gironde estuary is Merlot dominant wines with a lesser amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. The California version of these Bordeaux inspired wines are called Meritage (rhymes with heritage).
In the rest of the world, Cabernet Sauvignon often has difficulty coming to full ripeness. But, in the California sunshine and heat, it develops fully ripe non-vegetal wines that have an initial flavor of ripe black cherries and current, spiciness and cedar.
Zinfandel, which originated in what is now modern-day Croatia, was popular throughout northern Italy before it landed in California in the mid-1800s. Thriving in a warm California climate, it then developed a unique California terroir and expression of deep rich fruit-forward notes, including blackberry, strawberry and a mild spiciness most commonly expressed as cinnamon.
The Best of Both Worlds
Our CabZin is a classic blending theory. Although Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel blends are relatively uncommon, this blend shows the best of two classic grapes that have found a unique expression in the ideal climates of Southern California.
We are very careful to use techniques that soften the tannins. This means you’ll taste the tannins, but without that signature, strong and bitter astringent profile often associated with tannins.
Once you start drinking the CabZin, you will acclimate your palate to stronger tannins and venture into wines like Sarah, Cinsault, and eventually wind up on the doorstep of Double Dog.
Zinfandel has large bold clusters that just scream out “look at me!” Juxtaposed to this is Cabernet Sauvignon’s, smaller clusters are reluctant to ripen, a little bit fussy but complex and nuanced. The marriage of these two is a marriage like the life of the party with an introverted intellectual. The expression of two dissimilar but harmonious varietals like Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon is proof positive that opposites attract.
Harvest is just winding down. Yields are a little low, but the quality is exceptional. Block One is the old vine Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard next to the tasting room. We invite you to come grab a cab, be it white or zin, and enjoy all this time of year has to offer in the vineyard where it was born! The vines always enjoy some company and although modest, love a compliment.
Experience Fine California Wine
The Rainbow Gap: Temecula Valley BreathesPosted on October 6, 2022 in Uncategorized
View of the Rainbow Gap from Wilson Creek. The gap is the one on the left.
The Rainbow Gap: Temecula Valley Breathes
Yes, good wine regions breathe. And, so do vines. Great wine regions flourish through wind flow. And the best part? It’s all through nature’s impeccable design.
The Importance of Mountain Gaps For Grape Growing
Mountains are typically needed to create a barrier from the ocean influence. No barrier to the ocean influence results in a lot of air flow and high winds – weather that’s too harsh for grapes.
However, if there is too much of a mountain barrier, there is not enough flow from the coast, as the air currents are blocked off.
So, a mountain gap is critical – it acts like an opening and operates like a windpipe, drawing air in and out between the ocean and the valley.
The Rainbow Gap in Temecula
The mountain gap between Temecula and the ocean is called the “Rainbow Gap”. In Temecula Valley, we are nestled between two mountain ranges. West of Temecula, between San Onofre Beach and Camp Pendleton, there’s the Rainbow Gap. The mountains east of Temecula, Mt. San Jacinto, separate Temecula Valley from the heat of Palm Springs.
How Does The Rainbow Gap Work?
In the morning hours, the wind in Temecula is relatively still, sometimes flowing slightly west. Then around 10 or 11 a.m., Palm Springs heats up, and the rising hot air creates a vacuum that pulls in the cool ocean air from over 30 miles away. That vacuum pulls the ocean air through the Rainbow Gap and it settles into our valley. Then, in the evening, when the air in the east mountains cools down, the air gets heavier and gently flows downhill/westward back into the valley, cooling Temecula Valley at night.
How The Rainbow Gap Creates Ideal Wine Growing Conditions
The valley inhales the ocean air in the late morning through the Rainbow Gap, then at night, the air gently flows back down into the valley. This coolness at night allows the grapes to recoup and rest a bit from their hard work of photosynthesis during the day.
Some of the most famous wine regions have a similar “breathing” process, including Napa Valley, Paso Robles, Bordeaux and even The Rhone Valley in France.
This breathing creates a necessary diurnal shift that grapes need. Grapes like hot days and cool nights with low humidity. The shift from the hottest time to the coolest time is called the diurnal shift. All good wine regions have a big diurnal shift. Temecula Valley can often shift 40-50%, which could mean 98 degrees to 50 degrees on the same day!
While the valley breathes, the vines and soil get love, too. Vines inhale CO2 all night long and exhale oxygen all day long. The soil does the opposite—it inhales oxygen all day and exhales CO2 all night. They enjoy a symbiotic relationship by feeding each other. For the vines, the CO2 is heavier and falls to the ground and the soil ‘inhales’ it.”
With ideal growing conditions, you can say that Temecula Valley is made for quality wine grapes and great tasting wine.
So, when you visit Temecula Valley again and feel the breeze that flows from the ocean to the west, you can be thankful for the Rainbow Gap. And, next time you go wine tasting, ask about how the area breathes and the diurnal shift to find out exactly how nature’s perfect design brings great wine to your taste buds.
Post by: Mick Wilson
Mick Wilson is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers as well as a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. He also teaches various subjects at the Wilson Creek Wine Academy.
Sparkling Wine Summer HighlightPosted on August 17, 2022 in Uncategorized
We all know people consume more sparkling wine during the hot season. Sparkling wine is a refreshing warm weather sipper, add a little Lemon and you have the perfect summer splash.
Summer, meet Wilson Creek Sparkling Limoncello.
Modeled after the popular Italian liqueur, this sparkling limoncello wine is a fresh, crisp, effervescent bubbly with intense lemon flavor and aromas. The fresh acidity is a perfect balance between sour and sweet with a distinct, clean, and light flavor. These characteristics make it a perfect summertime drink: crisp, thirst-quenching, refreshing, and sensational. We recommend serving ice cold which makes it even more refreshing and palate cleansing.
Pair with your favorite summertime foods.
Refreshing and simple on its own our Limoncello sparkling wine is also a perfect complement to many foods. Limoncello’s crisp citrus flavor with a touch of sweetness pairs perfectly with seafood, salads, light fresh dishes with a delicate taste or teriyaki sauce dishes, raspberry vinaigrette salads and BBQ chicken. A perfect sunny day treat, the scent and tart juiciness provide a burst of bright refreshment even when the temperatures drop.
If you’re looking to take your backyard BBQ or summer pool party to the next level with a cocktail everyone is sure to love, our limoncello wine makes the perfect companion. Although very refreshing on its own, it’s also great served over ice with mint and lemon slices or blended with raspberry puree. If you’re feeling adventurous try a sparkling limoncello sunrise, simply add orange juice and a little grenadine for the full sunrise effect.
Looking for more ways to celebrate the arrival of summer evenings? Try one of our many favorite Sparkling Wine Recipes.
Enjoy with your favorite summertime activities!
We are all suited for summer sipping, either with food, on your patio, at the beach, by the pool or on the boat. Summer brings beach parties, festivals, outdoor events, or simply relaxing and enjoying an evening sunset. So, pop a cork to celebrate friendship, love, or a simple break from routine. Buy some, chill it, drink it! It will make any party more sparkling.
When you are ready to enjoy your sparkling wine, the best way to chill your bottle is to fill an ice bucket with ice and one-third water and allow your bottle to cool for 15-20 minutes. When pouring, only fill your glass about one-third of the way full. If you over-pour, it will warm up too quickly.
Listen to what fans are saying: Sparkling Limoncello wine reviews:
A bit of Italy, this limoncello sparkling wine is crisp, refreshing with a little zest of lemon. This is a great addition to a French 75 cocktail, the best of all worlds in a glass. It’s easy and caters to everyone who wants to sip on a food, refreshing cocktail. Brings joy after the first sip!
A brisk, fresh lemon aroma and a touch of tang, this is a classic refreshing flavor. An unexpected surprise with light bubbles and color. Perfect for many occasions, BBQ’s and parties. Limoncello sparkling wine is perfect chilled, over ice and dressed with fresh slices of fruit. So delightful.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Wine Club Subscription – Why Wilson Creek is the Best!Posted on May 23, 2022 in Wine Club
Looking to join a wine club but don’t know where to start? With so many options and so many wineries, you may be overwhelmed trying to pick the right wine subscription. There is a lot to consider when deciding which wine club is going to fit your taste and budget. We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks we have learned along the way to help you maximize your enjoyment and budget for wine.
EXPERIENCE OR BIG BOX
With a quick Google search, you will find a dizzying array of wine clubs to join. There are “bulk” wine clubs that provide a wide variety of lower end wines for simple enjoyment. There is no connection with a winery, no physical location to visit and learn more about how the wine is made, and no connection directly with the Winemaker or Owner. If you are craving more of an experience and connection with wine, look to a particular winery that you enjoy. The first thing to look for is where the wine is made. Wilson Creek produces only wines that are hand-crafted on property. Visit several wineries, see what you connect with. Many Wilson Creek wine club members tell us they feel “at home.”
There are nearly 50 wineries sprawled throughout Temecula Valley alone, not to mention the many wine regions in CA and across the nation so, first and foremost, you need to consider location. If you want to be able to take advantage of everything a winery has to offer when visiting, narrow down your search to ones that are in a desirable location for visiting as often as you desire.
Temecula Valley is fortunate to be within a short driving distance from Southern California. Wilson Creek provides a family atmosphere where patrons frequently comment on how comfortable they feel when visiting. They get attached to the servers and become friends they want to visit over and over. We also have several members that live out of state and make Temecula their once a year vacation!
CURATED OR PERSONALIZED
New to the wine world or want to explore some wines you are not familiar with? Let a professional pick your wine for you. Most wineries have several club choices to narrow down selections. Like white wine club, red wine club, mixed club, and bubbly clubs. These are the simplest clubs most people want, a variety of wines that show up at your door on a regular basis.
Wilson Creek offers several Bi-Monthly Clubs: Our experts choose the wine for you based on your club selection. Members can choose from the following: Mixed Club offers one bottle of red and one bottle of white, the Reds club delivers two bottles of red wine, and if you prefer the higher-end reserve wines, the Reserve Club is perfect with two bottles of Family Reserve red wine.
Last but not least is our White Cab Club which provides two bottles of the favorite White Cabernet Sauvignon and one rotating bottle of sparkling in each release. Unlock the flavors of hand-selected wines chosen for you six times a year plus an extra bonus July shipment exclusively for members only. This club works well for those who like to discover wine and the packages are pre-selected for you. If you like to be the first to try newly released wines, you want to select this option. Oftentimes, some small-batch wines are allocated for these clubs and frequently sell out quickly. These clubs ship every other month.
For those that know what they like and want to personalize their selection, the Semi-Annual Winemaker’s club allows more flexibility. This club ships more wine but fewer times a year. The day you join, you will select your 12 bottles and then every six months thereafter, you will receive an email notifying you that it is time to select your next case. It’s true that waiting around for deliveries can be a drag. This club is great for those out-of-state wine enthusiasts that want to save a bit on shipping and have a bit more convenience.
If you simply just love the wine, Wilson Creek also offers Online Clubs. These clubs are a great option for those who live afar and are not able to take advantage of the events, and complimentary wine tasting. The flat rate shipping of $10 on a case really helps you keep your wine refrigerator stocked throughout the year too!
Whatever club you choose, it is important to know that Wilson Creek’s history runs deep. Our winery has been around since 2000 with many of the Cabernet vines planted back in the 1970s. Our Vineyard Manager, Greg Pennyroyal focuses on a Biologically Based Soil Fertility Program building a reservoir of nutrients for the vines. What does this mean? Temecula Valley is classified as a Mediterranean climate with hot summer days and cool nights with most of the rainfall in the winter months, this has proven to yield high-quality wines. Our wines have won several wine awards and many of them are rated in the 90s by Wine Enthusiast!
Share your love of wine! Wine clubs are a great way to start exploring new wines, especially if you’re a beginner. For this reason, gifting a wine club membership to someone is about as thoughtful of a gift as it gets.
SELECTION OF ADDITIONAL BENEFITS
Believe it or not, there is more to a wine club than wine! The additional benefits can be priceless! Look out for additional discounts, special events, exclusive wine club areas, educational opportunities, customer service, and amenities on property. Probably one of the most popular reasons why our members choose to become a wine club member is for the perks.
First and foremost, if you are going to be spending any time at the winery, you must enjoy where you are visiting right? Customer service should be top priority! Is there a special VIP wine club area just for members? At Wilson Creek, we have a mission to enhance lives. From the moment you step onto our property you are treated special. We will personalize your wine tasting to what you like and may even expand your pallet by guiding you through new wines.
On the weekends when the property is most busy, our members are offered an opportunity to enjoy the Members-only Upper Room where they can take their guests and enjoy a glass of wine or complimentary wine tasting while soaking in the views of the property from the second level. We pride ourselves on connecting with many wine club members through many personal interactions whether on the phone, chat line, or in person.
Consider the additional discounts a membership offers. Every wine club has different benefits. One of the biggest perks of being a wine club member is the ability to come wine tasting. Many wineries limit the number of times you can come or how many you can bring with you. Wilson Creek members receive complimentary wine tasting for themselves and up to three additional guests. The complimentary tastings reset daily, which means if you wish to visit every day, then you may wine taste with us every day.
Members at Wilson Creek also receive multiple discounts and exclusive offerings- on wine, tours, merchandise, events, and even in the restaurant. We offer special online incentives such as periodical shipping rate discounts and exclusive offers for online shopping purchases which are not available to the public.
When you become a part of a wine club you are not only gaining access to wine but also exclusive popular events. If you like to attend gatherings make sure you find a winery that offers different events to your liking. They can range from small intimate dinners to large parties. A variety is always the best option.
At Wilson Creek, you can find many opportunities to fit your style. Dine with the Winemaker and hear the stories behind the winemaking process and join the Vineyard Manager for a pruning class. Put on your boots and join us at our annual Harvest Party or go all out and win the costume contest at our Halloween party! Come sit in the courtyard on a beautiful Friday night and enjoy the live entertainment while sipping on a glass of wine or grab a ticket to a concert with big-name country music artists.
Meet and mingle with fellow wine club members at exclusive events that are always a big hit. The annual family barbecue is a super fun place to pick up some new friends the wine academy classes with great learning opportunities always fill up quickly. Another fun way to connect with us is through our virtual tastings. Join us for live tastings with a variety of experts from the comfort of your own home.
SAVOR YOUR WINE JOURNEY
One of the most delightful aspects of wine is that it’s impossible to ever know it all. You can learn and grow in wine for your entire adult life or if you simply want to enjoy the flavors of a glass of wine over great conversation, you can do that too! Just remember, when joining a wine club not only are you joining a subscription to receive wine, but you’re also joining a community of liked minded individuals who share a passion for wine, events, and wine education.
If you are already a part of the Wilson Creek wine club, we thank you for contributing to each experience by allowing us to provide a warm and friendly environment while sharing our passion of wine and knowledge to all. If you are thinking of joining a wine club, we understand there are several options and choices to consider. Soak this in, the best option is the one that allows you to savor the wine and moment that makes you smile when you take a sip, realizing you want to share your experience with others while toasting to your favorite wine.
Go on, Celebrate!