Friendships, love, wine…all these things can grow so much more beautiful with time, or so they say. Of course, we love to dive into all kinds of wine knowledge and trivia, so it’s time to get curious about aging wine! What’s going on in that bottle? What can you expect to change over time? Read on.
At its core, winemaking is both an elegant art and a precise science. The short answer to what is going in the bottle as the wine ages is simple: Chemistry! Though many wines are delightful and ready to serve the day you purchase them, some of them will unfold into mature, developed complexity due to subtle changes to the composition of the wine. This is especially true for red wines as many Rosé and white wines are designed to be enjoyed when the flavors are fresh, crisp and flirty. In aged red wines and some Chardonnays, however, flavors, aromas, and even colors slowly shift from the bombastic fruit notes of youth to more earthy, savory, layered notes. A few examples of the aromas that may come with mature wines include cozy woodsmoke, tart cherry, dried rose petals, shy violets, mixed dry herbs, cigar box, and tobacco leaf.
A bottle of wine is never frozen in time: little chemical changes are always going on. The tannins and acid naturally found in wine grapes are the superstars of wine aging, since they act as a safe built-in preservative that also helps the wine develop over time. In well-made wines, tannins will integrate, moving from prominent and grippy to balanced and velvety. Over time, the molecular structure of tannins causes them to join together, eventually forming tiny solids. No longer a part of the liquid, these tannins will fall, following gravity, as sediment. (Hint: if you are ever worried about sediment in older bottles, set the bottle right side up 24 hours before serving and the solids will naturally fall to the bottom.)
A wine you love now may mature into the best wine you’ve ever had. Every wine has a different timeline, however. For serious wine lovers, we recommend buying a few bottles or a case of an age-worthy wine, and opening a bottle every year or two to have a front row seat for the story of that wine as it unfolds year after year. If the past is any indication, those years will fly by!
For our beloved members who have a palate for well-aged wine, we invite you to Retro Night on September 17! At this after-hours event, we break open our wine library, full of past vintages of delicious wines waiting to be explored, waiting for a moment like this! Enjoy exclusive access to these cellared wines, picked by our winemaker just for you.
National Chianti Day takes place on the first Friday of September each year, and this day is one we are delighted to celebrate! For anyone who needs some background information on this classic wine and why it’s worth exploring, read on.
First of all, the name “Chianti” does refer to a varietal, like “Cabernet Sauvignon” or “Syrah” does. Instead, Chianti refers first to the region that it comes from. The Chianti region is nestled into Tuscany in central Italy and boasts over 34,000 acres of vines in its main zone. To compare, the Livermore Valley wine region has only 4,000 acres of vines!
Though Chianti refers first to the region, there are also regulations surrounding what varietals can bear the label “Chianti.” Though rules have fluctuated, Chianti wines must be at least 80% Sangiovese, the signature varietal of the region. Until 1996, however, Chianti was required to have other varietals blended in, but now 100% Sangiovese iterations are permitted—and delicious. Blending wines included French varietals like Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah, as well as Italy’s prolific white wine Trebbiano.
Chianti is insistently its own wine, unique and set apart from other red wines, because of the Sangiovese grape. These grapes have very thin skins (which are what give color to red wines), which results in a beautiful, bright ruby red hue. Sangiovese offers juicy fruit flavors, especially red and black cherry and wild strawberry. Depending on the winemaking style, you can also find fun accent notes like fresh herbs, spice, smoke, and even espresso. Oak aging imparts earthy and savory notes to this wine as well.
One feature of Sangiovese that you will also find in Chianti is that these wines are easy to drink young, but well-crafted ones improve over 5-10 years. These wines are truly an absolute delight to drink, especially with food. After all, Italian wine should be enjoyed with good food! Due to naturally high levels of tannin and acid in Sangiovese, Chianti is especially suited to pairings of all kinds, but shines alongside luxurious charcuterie, duck, lamb, pork, and even poultry and creamy pasta dishes. The quintessential Italian pairing for Chianti for an ambitious chef is Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This beef dish is tender and succulent, and a perfect companion to Chianti wine.
If you are a fan of Chianti or simply curious about this wine, then we have good news! True to our moniker as a “Cal-Ital” winery, we offer wines inspired by Italian classics, grown right here in California’s Livermore Valley. Try our Landmark Sangiovese or our Riserva Sangiovese to dive into this world of delicious wines and pairings galore! For anyone looking to advance even more, try our Club-exclusive blends that prominently feature Sangiovese: Amuleto & Centanni Rosso.
If you’re ever looking for a stylish white wine that’s delicious year round, look no further than Fumé Blanc. This wine has all of the bright flavor of Sauvignon Blanc, yet with a more unctuous mouthfeel and playful vanilla accents. This refined wine offers a delicious pairing, especially alongside lighter meats like chicken and fish. For this recipe, we’re layering deliciously: wine with the food and wine in the food! Not only does our Fumé Blanc infuse this sauce with delicious flavor, it pairs perfectly!
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 5 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper fresh ground
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 pound preferred pasta
- ½ cup parsley for garnishing
- ½ cup parmesan fresh grated
- Prepare the pasta: bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Prepare noodles al dente and reserve pasta water.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper and sauté until golden, about one minute.
- Add salt, pepper, wine and butter to the pan.
- Stir for 2 minutes, remove from heat and toss with pasta, chicken, scallops or shrimp, adding reserved pasta water as needed to coat the noodles and protein.
- Garnish with parsley and fresh grated parmesan.
This recipe is a great weeknight staple and quite simply delicious. We hope you'll elevate it with your favorite white wines, especially a reliable choice like Fumé Blanc. Easy to enjoy and especially lovely on warm days, this wine is the crowd pleaser everyone should keep around!
Our Riserva Collection Fumé Blanc is on sale now as our Wine of the Month! If that's not enough, take a look at our Mixed Case sales, which offer curated collections of Red or White Wines at a huge discount.
This week marked our third quarterly wine release for 2022! Rubino Estates members enjoy delicious wines grown right here in our Livermore Valley vineyard. This release included 3 exciting new vintages that we are thrilled to share with our members and guests: 2 new Barbera wines, and a new vintage of our top-secret blend. Read on to learn more!
All-new 2018 Night Owl Barbera:
This beautiful Barbera honors the owls that live on our property, providing natural ambience in the vineyards as well as pest control. This new vintage is rich in both fruit and oak notes, including bing & black cherry, fruit leather, vanilla, chocolate, and hazelnut.
93 points Wine Enthusiast
All-new 2018 Landmark Collection Barbera:
A different take on our estate-grown Barbera, our Landmark collection represents the very best of the best, using exceptional careful growing practices, the finest oak barrels, and limited production. This vintage is especially dynamic, with notes of cherry, red berry, and pomegranate, warm spice and vanilla.
92 points Wine Enthusiast
All-new 2019 Proprietary Red:
Our “Prop Red” is a top-secret blend created by our winemaker. This intriguing wine remains spectacular vintage after vintage, featuring stellar complexity and brightness. The 2019 marries notes of mulberry, raspberry, plum, anise, and vanilla into each sumptuous sip.
90 points Wine Enthusiast
Which wine are you most intrigued by? Try these today at our tasting room!
Discover the wines worth remembering at a night you won't forget. We are delighted to announce an event exclusively for members of Rubino Estates and Ruby Hill Wineries: Retro Night!
Memories, love, and good wine only get better with time. That’s why we have a Library Collection! Many of our beloved wines from both Ruby Hill and Rubino Estates from years gone by have been saved in our cellar for special occasions. Now, it’s time to have a party! Below, we've listed a few of the wines that will make an appearance and what makes them special!
From the Rubino Estates Library :
2015 Nebbiolo ~ Riserva Collection
Limited Production, Italian Classic, Light yet Flavorful
2014 Amuleto ~ Famiglia Collection
Member Exclusive, Good Luck Blend, Bright Red Fruit
2015 Pinot Noir ~ Landmark Collection
Vibrant, Festive, Elegantly Romantic
2017 Proprietary Red ~ Landmark Collection
Stellar, Mysterious, Rounded and Silky
From the Ruby Hill Library:
Armonia Lot #10 ~ Gem Collection
Aged Beautifully, Berries and Dreamy Layered Flavors
2017 Cielo Viola ~ Gem Collection
Ruby Hill Family Favorite, Elegant Complexity
2015 Petite Sirah ~ Jewel Collection
Bold and Rich, Bordeaux Beauty, Distinguished
2013 Petite Sirah ~ Jewel Collection
Profound, Unctuous, Smoothly Creamy
These wines have been quietly waiting for their moment to shine. At Retro Night, it's your chance to enjoy these patient beauties in all their elegance and charm! Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 17th from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM and get ready to enjoy timeless classics from both Ruby Hill and Rubino Estates wineries. Retro Night will feature special pricing on these exclusive Library wines, as well as a build-your-own Library wine 6 pack or case special, a Magnum Mania sale, and more. Many of these wines are limited production, so tickets are limited to two tickets per wine club membership and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
From our cellar to yours, Cheers!
It’s about time for some warm-weather wine and summer friendly pairings! This week, we are putting our Fumé Blanc in the spotlight with pairing opportunities galore. This food-friendly wine brings lively tropical aromas with each sip, along with bright enticing flavor and a finish of ripe pear and white nectarine. This varietal is unique to this part of the world, so you don’t want to miss it!
Fumé Blanc is a California-born wine, and fittingly golden in both hue and flavor. Winemaking legend Robert Mondavi pioneered this wine, bringing new esteem to Sauvignon Blanc in California. Fumé Blanc owes part of its name to the Pouilly-Fumé region of France, known for its Sauvignon Blanc. The treatment of Fumé Blanc sets it apart from Sauvignon Blanc. Usually, Fumé Blanc has been aged in oak, unlike Sauvignon Blanc. Our winemaker uses neutral oak for a gentle influence, bringing body and some beautiful vanilla accents to our Fumé Blanc. The 2020 Rubino Estates Fumé Blanc spent 18 months in barrel before bottling. Scroll down to see a quick pairing guide and be inspired!
Truffled Goat Cheese
Dried Turkish Apricot
Tangerine & Grape Skewers
Roasted Pork Loin
Sole Filet with Lemon
Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
White Chocolate Dipped Orange Peels
Citrus infused Madeleines
New Orleans Beignets
Southern Peach Pie
Happy August to the Rubino Estates Famiglia! It’s time to beat the heat with this crisp and vivacious white wine. Cheers!
Today is Friday, July 29, which means it’s National Lasagna day. In the name of hearty cheesy comfort food, we couldn’t be more excited. Of course, a Naples original classic like lasagna is a perfect fit alongside the hallmark of our Estate: Cal-ital wines. Below, we’ve listed 6 different styles of lasagna that you can choose from to celebrate this day.
Classic Bolognese Lasagna with Landmark Barbera
Nothing is quite as delicious as a classic! Tomatoes, beef, mozzarella, herbs, and the whole gang create a dish that comforts like no other. This recipe calls for a good chunk of time, but it’s a labor of love for a symphony of flavor.
Recipe by Olive & Mango
Caprese Lasagna with Night Owl Barbera
Barbera is the best friend of all things tomato, so we love it alongside this caprese salad inspired lasagna. Find the freshest mozzarella, ripe summer cherry tomatoes, and top with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic. Bellissimo!
Recipe by Yammie’s Noshery
Grilled Veggie Lasagna with Primitivo
This lasagna is packed with flavor, courtesy of chargrilled vegetables and rich pesto. Next time the grill is fired up, pop a few veggies on and prep for a lasagna party in your kitchen the next day!
Recipe by Cathie Lonnie for Taste AU
Spinach Artichoke Lasagna with Landmark Sangiovese
This white lasagna is a fun, creamy twist on a classic. Enjoy the flavors of artichoke, spinach, and chicken baked in a surprisingly simple cream sauce and served warm. It’s hard to go wrong!
Recipe by Simple Joy
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Landmark Chardonnay
For vegetable-loving chefs and our vegetarian friends, this recipe skips the meat without skimping on flavor. Cozy golden squash and nutritious spinach mingle in this three-cheese delight!
Recipe by Julia’s Album
Zucchini Lasagna with Amuleto
This low-carb alternate version of lasagna keeps the flavor in focus with all the cheesy goodness you know and love. We like this one for keeping things light in the summertime!
Recipe by Gimme Delicious
Which lasagna is your favorite? Do you have a family favorite? Let us know @rubinoestates!
Have you ever had a wine that was made just for you? With the Rubino Estates Wine Club, you have a chance to explore delicious one-of-a-kind wines handcrafted with our members in mind. Our Famiglia collection features 4 red wine blends exclusive to our wine club. We dive into the stories behind these wines and their names below!
Our Ferrario blend is named in honor of Ernest Ferrario, the proprietor of the Estate Vineyard from 1921-1975. Ferrario was an Italian immigrant and brought a flair and persistence to the estate. During Prohibition, from 1920-1933, the winery continued to operate under Ferrario’s leadership for the purpose of producing sacramental wines. By the mid-twentieth century, the Ferrario family was well-known for their quality wines, especially their Zinfandel. This blend honors Ferrario’s by marrying Barbera--an Italian varietal, and Zinfandel--Ferrario’s specialty.
Our Tuscano is named in honor of all things Tuscan! This region is famous for magnificent wines, unbeatable food, and breathtaking views. We like to enjoy all these things right here in the Livermore valley! Our Tuscano Blend takes a page out of the book of “Super Tuscans,” wines that bolster traditional Italian varietals with influence from the Bordeaux legion of France. Barbera and Sangiovese accompany Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot for a very well-rounded wine.
The name of this wine finds its roots in the expression “Cent’anni,” an Italian word used to toast to 100 years of health and prosperity. “Rosso,” meaning red, commemorates the gorgeous ruby hue of this blend. One of the most challenging balances in all of our blends, a rich harmony of specially selected Sangiovese and Zinfandel composes the Centanni Rosso. Here’s to many years of good wine!
“Amuleto'' is the Italian word for amulet. Amulets themselves are surrounded by folklore--good luck charms that provide some kind of protection against harm. These charms could be ornaments, trinkets, or small pieces of jewelry with personal value. Our Amuleto is a blend of our two most popular Italian varietals, the good luck charms of the Estate: Sangiovese and Barbera. After all, it’s easy to feel lucky when you’re holding a glass of your favorite wine.
Members, do you have a favorite club wine? We'd love to hear from you @rubinoestates!
What can you expect from a crisp, cool glass of rosé? Only good things, especially on a sweltering July day! Full fruit flavors and unique profiles make this an exciting genre of wine.
The basics of Rosé wine:
Any red wine grape can be made into a rosé. Here at Rubino Estates we use the most popular method, known as “maceration.” In this process, the grapes are crushed right after harvesting, then the juice remains in contact with the color-rich skins. This contact can be as short as 2 hours or as long as 20. Because of this, different rosé wines will have different shades of pink depending on their source varietal.
The other types of rosé creation, bled or blended, are much less common. When a rosé is bled, it involves siphoning a small percentage of juice away from a red wine early in its production to craft a rosé. Blending involves mixing white wine with a small amount of red, often not more than 5%. To some, this method does not create a true rosé, so it may also be referred to as a blush wine.
The flavors of Rosé wine:
Because rosé can come from any red varietal, the profiles and flavors can differ wildly. Overall however, there are a few aroma and flavor families you can know to look for. Key notes will likely include some kind of red fruit, such as strawberry, raspberry, or cherry. Tart red fruits like cranberries and pomegranates may also make an appearance. Other fruits, like honeydew melon, lychee, stone fruit like white peaches, or citrus also feature in rosé. For advanced noses and palates, Look for crisp hints of green, especially on the finish of some rosés, reminiscent of rhubarb, cucumber, or even celery. Floral notes of rose petal (fittingly), hibiscus, and citrus blossoms may frame these flavors as well.
Rosé wines at Rubino Estates:
Our 2020 Salute Rosé is Italian flair in a bottle! With a bright, coppery-pink tone, this dry rosé crafted from Sangiovese is especially delicious in the summer and for sharing with friends. This wine is a excellent companion for charcuterie lovers because salty cured meats and both soft and hard cheeses make this wine shine! Enjoy strawberry, pink gooseberry, and early raspberries followed by delicate rhubarb and floral notes.
We have a 2018 Rosé crafted from Nebbiolo grapes, a rare, exquisite Italian varietal for true connoisseurs. This Rosé has a more deep purple-pink tone and boasts fresh flavors of strawberry, cranberry, gold raspberry, and pomegranate. We like this wine with tapas and even alongside spicy foods. With a medium body and amazing tartness, this dry wine is food friendly, versatile, and deserves a spot in the wine fridge!
How to serve Rosé wine:
This is the easy part! Just make sure your rosé has shilled in the fridge for at least an hour (aim for 50-60°F) and then open the bottle, pour, and enjoy.
Every morning on the Estate, a quiet miracle spreads itself over the acres of vines that grow here: sunrise. Light, warmth, and birdsong grace each row, and we can’t help but try to capture these moments. The innocence of dawn shows natural beauty here, somehow both simple and breathtaking. We invite you to look at these photos to see what we see at first sunlight on a day like this.
Our fruit is very young, boasting a youthful green all over the vineyard. Once mature, the clusters on this vine will become red wine grapes, with dark skins bursting with sweet juice.
The clusters themselves are in a growing stage. This large Sangiovese cluster has a long way to go before harvest, but is wasting no time chasing its full potential.
As the sun continues to rise, light twinkles all over the vineyard. The Livermore Valley sunshine shows itself in all of our wines as one of the most essential features of both growth and maturation for our vines.
When white wine grapes have finished growing and begin the ripening process, they will become more transparent and their skins will take on a more yellow hue. Right now, they remain a vibrant opaque green—but not for long.
Some vines, like the Sauvignon Blanc pictured above that makes our delicious Fumé Blanc, are exposed to the sun by the removal of more leaves than other varietals so the sun can create the beautiful golden aromas we know and love.
Not all of the clusters that grow in the vineyard now will be harvested in the fall. In order to concentrate flavor in our grapes, we will “drop fruit” which involves removing excess clusters from vines so the remaining grapes can be appropriately nourished by the vine.