We are joining other Californian wineries in celebrating Women in Wine Day! This initiative, celebrated annually on March 25th, has a mission “to support women in wine, while also providing a sense of empowerment and resources for those seeking to enter the business.” In the Rubino Estates Tasting room, we are proud to have female managerial staff. In this post, we want to highlight the incredible head managers of our Tasting Room: Amy, Patti, Lisa, and Susan.
Amy has been a part of the Rubino Estates staff since opening day nearly ten years ago. She’s happy to pour you a glass of Landmark Barbera, her favorite, and show you the beauty of this area of the Livermore Valley. One of her favorite parts of being part of the team is the relationships that have been built up overtime with our longtime members and customers. She says that when people come to our tasting room, she hopes they’ll be refreshed by our Estate’s stellar natural beauty and the hospitality of a family-owned and operated winery.
Patti’s time in our family began more than a decade, when she worked in the tasting room of our sister winery, Ruby Hill. Like Amy, she joined the Rubino Estates Tasting Room team on day one. Her favorite Rubino Estates wine is the gorgeous Riserva Petite Sirah, though she also enjoys Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs—especially from the Santa Lucia Highlands. She treasures the relationships here at the tasting room, both with Wine Club members and with members of the staff. As she puts it, “Working at Rubino is not a job, it’s a pleasure!”
Lisa has been here at Rubino for 4 years, and brings a smile with her every day. Her favorite Rubino Estates wine was the elusive 2018 Riserva Malbec, a limited edition wine that sold out quickly. She says her favorite part of working here isn’t the wines, though--it’s the people. She loves that there are always new people to meet and new things to learn while working in the Tasting Room. One piece of wine advice she likes to share is to not leave wine bottles open too long. If you aren’t finishing it, make sure you seal it and enjoy it tomorrow!
Susan joined the Rubino Estates staff one year ago, and is the newest member of the Tasting Room’s managerial team. She already feels like an old friend to many of us! She says she can’t choose a favorite wine--it’s whatever is in her glass! Working at Rubino Estates lets her enjoy wines in her favorite styles from her favorite regions, like the Super Tuscans from central Italy. She says that working in the Rubino Estates tasting room means serving good wines to good people. What more could you ask for?
These incredible women help make Rubino Estates the place to be. This #womeninwineday make it your goal to thank your favorite hard working women!
Can you predict the future? Perhaps you would like to taste it!
In the wine world, you might just have a chance to do both.
What are Wine Futures?
Quite simply, wine futures are wines that have been made but have not yet been bottled. Wines that are blends of several varietals, like our Club-exclusive wines, will already be combined and aging together. The oak barrel or cask that they are stored in has not given its final touches, so there is an element of youth to these wines In fact, 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. Every barrel is equipped with a single slat, called a stave, which has a hole for access. Generally, 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.
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, these wines are sold at their lowest prices ever. When you purchase a future, you are purchasing far below retail value. It’s 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 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 23rd, and will feature some of the best wine futures from all over our Estate. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are on sale now!
Not a wine club member but you’d like to participate in Futures Night? You can join today!
Did you know that March 28th is Black Forest Cake Day? This sounds like the kind of day we’d like to celebrate! Traditionally, Black Forest cake features chocolate, cherries, whipped cream, and a special cherry brandy known as Kirschwasser. To make this cake properly requires the freshest, highest-quality ingredients you can source, as well as a fair amount of time to make it all from scratch. This week, we’re putting in some practice while stripping down the classic recipe to make cupcakes. Of course, we can’t resist putting a little Rubino Estates spin on the recipe with a few splashes of red wine! We recommend Primitivo, with its seductive bouquet of beautiful fruit flavors.
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 cups cherries, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Kirsch, or other cherry liquor
Stabilized Pink Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons flavorless powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cherries begin to break down and the filling starts to simmer and thicken, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and Kirsch. Allow to cool completely before filling the cupcakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until combined.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the milk, wine, and the remaining flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner, until about halfway full.
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Stabilized Whipped Cream
- Add the wine to a bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer the gelatin mixture to the microwave and microwave for 5-10 seconds, until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir the mixture, then set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form, then turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly pour in the gelatin mixture and mix on low until well combined. Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
- Note: if the gelatin mixture thickens up too much before you add it to the whipped cream, just pop it back in the microwave for 3-5 seconds. It should be a pour-able consistency.
- Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, use a cupcake corer or knife to remove the center of each cupcake and discard.
- Spoon or pipe the cooled cherry filling into each cupcake.
- Transfer the stabilized whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe swirls on each cupcake, or spread on with a knife, stacking the cream as high as you like.
- Top with a drizzle of red wine syrup and a light dusting of cocoa powder.
Credit: We have adapted this recipe from Kyleigh Sage’s food blog, Barley and Sage.
Wine and cheese are the ultimate couple, complimenting each other so beautifully it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Though both are delicious in their own right, food science has found supporting evidence for this couple! The acidity and tannins in wine are moderated and complemented by the fat and creaminess of cheese, and vice versa. Cheeses that are infused with other flavors, like black pepper or rosemary, can help build flavor bridges on the palate and unlock mirrored flavors in the profile of the wine. Cheese has also been found to be helpful in identifying the fruit flavors in wines, both red and white!
To get some guidance on the infinitude of options when it comes to cheese and wine pairings, we spoke to Rubino Estates Wine ambassadors about their favorite wine and cheese pairings. Below, we’ve assembled a few of their recommendations for anyone looking to make their Tasting Room visit an especially luxurious experience!
Our Sartori Heritage Cheddar is light and nutty, mild enough to enhance a delicious golden sip of our Riserva Chardonnay. Enjoy an artisan cheese alongside handcrafted, Estate grown wine.
For our Landmark Chardonnay lovers, we recommend soft cheeses, such as a brie or goat cheese. Look for our Chevre options and discover your favorite!
Our Espresso BellaVitano is suited for our bold reds, we love it especially with our Landmark 1885 Founder’s Blend. Wake up your palate and enchant your senses!
Our Yancey’s Fancy cheeses are delectable with our medium-bodied wines. We recommend enjoying any of our Yancey’s Fancy alongside Centanni Rosso, our Club-Exclusive blend
The most important rule of cheese and wine pairing: Eat and Sip on what you love. There is no cheese police here--your pairings should make you happy, so we invite you to explore! The cheeses mentioned in this blog can be found featured in the Rubino Estates Deli. Our selection rotates, so there’s always a chance to try something new!