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Rubino Estates Winery
April 12, 2024 | Rubino Estates Winery

Your Guide to Wine Futures

With Futures Night coming up in just two weeks, we are taking some time to explore the interesting and important aspects of wine futures barrel tastings, how they work, and how they differ from other barrel tasting.  

What are Wine Futures?

Wine futures are wines that have been blended into their final form but have not yet been bottled. This is distinct from other barrel tastings, wherein you try a single varietal from a single barrel. Single barrels like those become the components of a larger lot, which our winemaker will balance with additions from other barrels and even other varietals prior to bottling. This is the stage for Futures tasting. Though they are nearly ready to be bottled, there is still an element of youth to wine futures. In Bordeaux, wine futures are referred to as “en primeur” which translates to “in youth.” Wines sold en primeur may be bottled months or years after tasting from the barrel. Once bottled, the wines will be available to those who purchased. 

How do you get the wine out of the barrel?

Oxidation caused by extended contact with air is the enemy of wine, so it is important to keep barrels sealed off. Barrels are made up of oaken slats, called staves, one of which has a hole for access. These holes are stopped up with a rubber plug called a “bung” to protect the wine inside from the air. To sample the futures inside the barrels, we use a device called a “wine thief,” a tubular pipette designed to perfectly “steal” tastes of wine from the barrel. 

What is different about a wine future and how is the wine going to change?

One of the reasons for extended barrel aging is to allow oak character to balance the fruit and to give the natural tannins time to integrate. Tasting wine futures allows you to appreciate the character of the fruit itself, which lays the foundation for the eventual wine’s overall profile. Tasting futures is a great way to put your palate to the test and gain intimate insight into the process of your favorite wines. If you like it in the barrel, imagine it in the bottle! Futures allow you to preview and buy what you’ll really love.  

Why buy a future wine?

If you want to secure access to limited edition wines that sell out fast, this is your chance! Some vintages are gone before you know it, and buying futures assures the chance to have these wines won’t pass you by. Even more,  when you purchase a future, you are purchasing far below retail value. Think of it as an investment! Futures also offer the unique chance to buy something now that will mature and come to fruition later, making it perfect for milestone celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and retirement.  

Who can buy wine futures

In classic Bordeaux futures tastings, these exclusive pre-sales are open to a select few importers, journalists, retailers, and critics. Here at the Rubino Estates, we are opening our barrels for one night only to our beloved Club Members! We want to share our futures with wine lovers who know that the best things in life are worth waiting for. Our Futures Night will be hosted Saturday, April 27th, and will feature some of the best wine futures from all over our Estate, including wines from Ruby Hill Winery. The event will be held in our tasting room.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale now! Click here. 

If you're not currently a member but would like to join us for Futures Night, now is the time to sign up! Click here for more information on the wine club. 



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