This week, we welcomed a new arrival to the tasting room: the 2016 vintage of our Landmark Barbera. When it comes to our Landmark collection, we've never met a bottle we didn't like. We're excited to share yet another superb vintage of this Barbera with our patrons and members. It is rich and velvety, boasting red fruit notes and a luxuriously long finish—sure to delight. Enjoy a taste from a wine flight here at the tasting room, or just open up a bottle! This wine is also sure to age well if you'd like to save it for a rainy day.
To acclaim the arrival of this new vintage, we're roasting up a savory pork shoulder in a Mediterranean style. The complimentary flavor profiles make for a delicious meal and a lovely evening. As a little bonus, our recipe calls for a dry white wine, which means plenty leftover to sip while we cook!
Greek-Style Slow-Roasted Pork
- 30 oz Pork Shoulder
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 12 Oregano Sprigs
- 12 Thyme Sprigs
- 2 cups Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup Dry White Wine, such as Trebbiano
- 1 oz Shallots
- 3 oz Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2 oz Baby Carrots
- 2 Lemons
- 1 cup Black Olives
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the roast by trimming off excess skin. Place the meat in a large roasting pan.
- Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, then cut small slits over the surface of the pork using a small, sharp knife.
- Place oregano and thyme sprigs, slices of garlic in each slit, tucking them in carefully.
- Combine stock and wine. Drizzle the mixture around the pork and cover the roasting pan with foil.
- Bring to a boil and roast in the oven for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove the foil and spoon the juices from the pan over the pork. Arrange the onions, potatoes, carrots, slices of lemon and olives around the roast.
- Roast for another 30 mins.
- Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
- Serve with gravy and a bottle of 2016 Landmark Collection Barbera.
If we've inspired you, we'd love to know. Make sure to tag us on social media @rubinoestates with your favorite meals to pair!
Here at Rubino Estates Winery, we like to appreciate wine every way we can, right down to the glass we drink it from. Basic wine glass anatomy includes four parts: a base (sometimes called the foot), a stem, a bowl, and a rim. Wine glasses stand out among cups, drinking glasses, and mugs, with a peculiar design that allows the wine inside to be appreciated for its aroma, taste, and visual beauty. The question is: with such a wide range of wine glass designs, are there ideal pairings of wines with specific glasses?
The critical task of a wine glass is to direct the characteristics of the wine to key regions of the nose and tongue. This allows for optimal enjoyment. The shape of wine glasses vary in order to accentuate defining characteristics of the wine. Because every wine varietal has different characteristics, glasses of different shapes can bring out subtle differences and enhance the experience of trying new varietals and blends. In most cases, the differences are minimal, but still an interesting exploration for a curious palate. Don't just take our word for it; findings published in Scientific American confirmed that the geometry of wine glasses had an effect on the experience and taste of wine.
Bigger, Bolder Reds - For wines with bold flavor and structure like our Riserva Petite Sirah, look for a glass with a wide bowl and rim. The wide bowl allows the complex aroma to open up. For optimal enjoyment, look for wine glasses made from spun crystal, which have a very thin rim, which allows for a smoother flow of wine across the tongue.
Lighter Reds - These wines hold up to a range of sizes and shapes. Enjoy lighter bodied reds like our Landmark Collection Sangiovese or our Night Owl Barbera from any classic wine glass with a medium-width bowl and moderate opening. If you prefer a more casual option, stemless glasses are better suited for reds since the wine is more likely to be warmed by the hand.
Dessert Wines - When it comes to serving sweet, port-style wines, opt for small glasses. The high alcohol content and delectable sweetness of wines like our Infinitum Dessert Wine make for a delicious sip. Glasses designed specifically for sweet wine have a smaller opening and direct wines to the back of the mouth to allow the sweetness to register without overwhelming the palate.
Rosés - These wines, especially younger Rosés like our 2019 Salute Rosé, can be enjoyed from a glass with a flared rim. This uncommon shape brings the wine to the tip of the tongue where the subtle notes of sweetness can be best detected. This sweetness is also best experienced when the wine is freshly chilled, as the notes become more muddled as the wine warms up.
Bigger, Mature Whites - Generally, the best glasses for white wines are smaller than those for red wines. The smaller size better preserves the delicate floral notes and the cooler temperature of the wine. Though smaller than a standard red wine glass, mature whites like our Riserva Chardonnay can shine with a larger opening which allows sweetness and acidity to come through on the palate.
Light, Crisp Whites - Lighter white wines, such as Fume Blanc, are perfect when enjoyed from a glass with a taller, thinner bowl, as compared to fuller-bodied white wines. A smaller mouth to the glass will limit oxidation to preserve the light nuances and complexities of the wine.
Sparkling Wine - For sparkling wines like Brut or Champagne, you can't go wrong with a classic flute. The long, tall shape of the bowl allows the bubbles to rise in picturesque columns and last longer. However, if you're savoring a more complex sparkling wine, a wider bowl will allow for more aroma to be released.
No matter which glass you choose, we have some more tips to enhance your enjoyment. Filling a glass to about 1/3 full allows a space for the aroma of the wine to collect in the glass, as well as allowing swirling without spilling. Additionally, we think that simple and classic is the way to go. Most wine bottles are a dark green glass, but wine glasses are clear—this is to appreciate the color of the wine! Some of the most beautiful glasses have no decoration at all. After all, it's what's on the inside that counts.
If you'd like to pull out your glassware of choice and taste for a difference yourself, you may be interested in our curated Case Sales, which each offer a range of wines at a steep discount. Salute!
As February winds down, we're waiting for spring with eager expectation of blossoming vines and beautiful spring days. In the meantime, we're focusing on self-care and finding time for leisure. Many of us agree that the pinnacle of relaxation is a perfect bath. We've put together some tips and tools for the best bath you can have. If you're a little on the fence, we suggest trying out some of the following enhancements!
These might seem like a no-brainer, but they are the first step of leveling up your relaxation game. With a wide range of options from detoxing or muscle relaxing spa salts to fragrant, glittery bath bombs, there's an option for everyone. For the best customization, you can even make your own!
There's nothing wrong with adding a little whimsy to your bath! For optimal bubble growth, try pouring slowly into rapidly running water. Watch as the bubbly blanket coats the surface of the water, looking perfectly inviting.
With just a few drops, you'll be feeling amazing. Essential oils like spearmint, lavender, rose, and bergamot are known for their relaxing properties, and create a fabulously perfumed aura above the water. Bath oils also work to have your skin feeling better than ever.
Create the perfect atmosphere for relaxation with some flickering ambience. Lightly scented candles are perfect for smaller spaces and can make a classy decoration when not in use. For bathtime, feel free to go all out and light as many candles as you please.
If you don't have one of these already, it's a good buy, because you have to put your wine somewhere. Yes, of course, the perfect bath involves a glass of wine. In fact, if you're not bringing anything else along, you can go straight for a wine glass holder.
It may sound strange, but milk baths have a long history of being praised for their skin-enhancing power. The lactic acid in milk is a gentle exfoliant, and the skin is enriched by the natural vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins in the milk. For individuals with sensitive skin or who prefer a vegan alternative, coconut milk baths are an excellent substitute!
Whether you opt for a curated playlist or put one together yourself, mixtape-style, take a moment to immerse yourself in your favorite tunes. Let the music add to the ambience and put a smile on your face as you listen.
With this last ingredient, the comfort doesn't end once the water is drained. Let the robe be the cherry on top of your experience and you can feel refreshed and fabulous all evening. Our philosophy goes: the more plush, the better.
We reccomend selecting a lighter-bodied wine to savor with your hot bath. White wine lovers can unwind with our Fume Blanc, and our Landmark Pinot Noir or Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon are perfect if you prefer something red.
We hope we've encouraged you to incorporate one or more of these ingredients as you look to enhance your self-care rituals. It's release weekend here at Rubino Estates Winery, so it's the perfect time to treat yourself to a new bottle and luxuriate awhile. If you'd like to stock up for your new nighttime relaxation routine, please take advantage of our curated case specials! We're offering a case of Reds and a case of Whites. You can choose your favorite, or just get both!
What do you need for the perfect bath? Let us know on social media, @rubinoestates
Valentine's Day is almost here, and we're in love with good wine and good times. This weekend, we're looking forward to savoring our favorite wines alongside some iconic romantic comedies. Whether you love Valentine's day or not, these films are a great excuse to grab a glass, some popcorn, and a box of chocolates (and maybe tissues too) and settle in for a lovely Valen-wines weekend!
Say Anything and Night Owl Barbera
We love the full-bodied feel and perfectly acidic fruitiness of this Barbera. Our Night Owl is as unforgettable as John Cusack holding up a boombox playing "In Your Eyes", making it the perfect pairing for this iconic film.
Sleepless In Seattle and Landmark Proprietary Red
Our Landmark Proprietary Red is a special blend, the components of which are known only by our head Winemaker. Enjoy this mysterious and luxurious wine alongside Sleepless in Seattle, as the characters search for the perfect person to complement and complete them. Like the Proprietary Red, love may come as a surprise!
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Riserva Chardonnay
This movie chronicles a comedic series of bets and misunderstandings, perfect for lovers of classic "unexpected romance" stories. For us, the standout of the film is Kat Hudson's unforgettable pale yellow dress. To commemorate the fashion of the film, we've paried it with our golden, buttery smooth Riserva Chardonnay.
13 Going on 30 and Salute Rosé
If you would like a feel-good celebration of all things pink, this pairing is for you. The wild strawberry and watermelon notes of the Rose come to a satisfying, clean finish and will have you feeling "thirty, flirty, and thriving!"
The Notebook and Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon
The brooding nose of dark fruit, flavors of berries, plum, and baking spices, and long finish of our Cabernet make it timelessly enjoyable. Paired with the captivating and persistent romance of the Notebook, you can enjoy a duo of classics.
Love Actually and Infinitum Dessert Wine
Though generally identified as a Christmas film, we think that Love Actually is never out of season. Enjoy the complex and heartwarming interplay of the star-studded ensemble cast alongside our Infinitum Dessert Wine. Our Riserva Infinitum incorporates multiple vintages and varietals and is crafted in a traditional "Solera" process, allowing the wine to blend and age over time. The result is a luxurious dessert wine as enthralling and sweet as Love Actually.
Roses are red, violets are blue, it's time to set a table for two!
Here at Rubino Estates, Valentine's day is a day for loved ones and loved wines. A little touch of romance or fun is the perfect compliment to a glass of wine. If you're looking at a special night in, we recommend playing with the option of beautifying your table with a themed place setting! We've put together some ideas for Valentine's day spreads inspired by Rubino Estates Wines.
Rose of Nebbiolo - This classic Valentine's spread has us feeling the love! Inspired by the deep pink of our Rosé of Nebbiolo, we built a setting around a heart placemat. We've added some airy tulle, satin ribbon, and a white napkin with scallped edges for extra flair. Of course, it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without chocolate, so we added our favorite hazelnut truffles!
Moscato - It may still be winter, but California has many blooms to offer. Our sweet, bubbly Moscato is perfect decadence for Valentine's day. We've filled our setting with decorative flowers for a flirty touch of romance. Looking at these gerbera daisies and stargazer lily has us smiling like looking into the eyes of a special someone.
Landmark Collection Sangiovese - Lean into the luxuries of love with deep Rubino Red. We'll admit that our Landmark Sangiovese makes our hearts go pitter-patter. Simple white china, red roses and petals, and a gold-rimmed glass make the perfect setting around a boquet of a dozen velvety red roses.
Salute Rosé - We're proud to be a Cal-Ital winery, so we've incorporated white, red, and green into this setting while celebrating the pink hues of our Salute Rosé. Nothing says "I love you" quite like flowers and a bottle of wine. Who says the bouquet needs to stay in a vase?
Whether you make a home-cooked meal or support your favorite local take-out eatery, you can set the table with love. We hope we've inspired you to come together with a loved one and enjoy a celebration of togetherness!
If you'd like to visit the tasting room on Valentine's Day, dont forget to make a reservation!
In just over a week, it will be time to enjoy the 55th Super Bowl! This year, it’s come down to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fans on both sides are ready to watch as the Buccaneers make their first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years and the Chiefs play to maintain the title they won in Super Bowl LIV. All of us here at Rubino Estates want to make sure you enjoy the Big Game, even if Super Bowl parties are over Zoom this year. If you want to get a head start on planning your menu, we’ve put together some suggestions for the best wine pairings for your favorite snacks. We all come with a different appetite, so take your pick!
If you’ll be watching for the Buccaneers: Combo Pizza with Night Owl Barbera
Pizza and Barbera go together like Tom Brady and Super Bowl wins. We recommend pizza with roasted peppers, spicy sausage, and sauteed shiitake mushrooms, but you can look for any pizza you like, as long as the toppings play as a team.
If you’ll be watching for the Chiefs: Steak Sliders with Caramelized Onion and Bleu Cheese with Riserva Petite Sirah
The Riserva Petite Sirah scored 94 points and was selected as Editors’ Choice by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Like the Chiefs, this big, bold wine could be considered a reigning champ from the Rubino Estates roster. Enjoy the Riserva Petite Sirah with some savory sliders with caramelized onions and bleu cheese, and you’ve got a pairing to cheer for.
If you’ll be watching for the halftime show: Loaded Potato Skins and Sparkling Wine
For those who would rather see their team in the Superbowl, the halftime show can still stand out. This year looks promising, as the Weeknd is expected to bring talent and swagger to the halftime stage. If you’re looking to bring some energy and pizazz to your living room, pop open a bottle of our Sparkling Wine (on sale now!) and enjoy a glass with some loaded potato skins.
If you’ll be watching for the commercials: Baked Gruyere Mac n’ Cheese and Landmark Collection Chardonnay
If you find the game and show lackluster, perhaps you’ll find some excitement in the high-budget entertainment of the commercials. In between touchdowns and replays, you’ll see products like Pringles, Tide, and Chipotle go head-to-head in this yearly battle of brands. Enhance your commentary on these 30-second spots with a hefty helping of creamy mac and a delicious glass of our Landmark Chardonnay.
If you’ll just be watching to enjoy the snacks: Creamy Spinach Bacon Dip with Centanni Rosso
Even if all else fails, a creamy dip with your favorite crackers will never disappoint, and pairing it with Centanni Rosso from our Famiglia collection wouldn’t hurt a bit! A hidden bonus of the Super Bowl in your own home: the most amazing leftovers!
Super Bowl LV is Sunday, February 7th. Kickoff is set for 3:30pm EST on CBS. If you want to snack but you'd prefer to keep the kitchen clean, check out Beets & Eats Catering, which is offering a mix and match Super Bowl menu so you can pick up a perfect spread! If Rubino Estates wines make it onto your game day menu, let us know on our social media @rubinoestates.
Staying at home has led to a host of new hobbies, and we’ve gotten to know a few more board games! We’re trying to keep our minds sharp with word games like Quiddler, Upwords, and Bananagrams. Since we’ve especially enjoyed having some time to dabble in Scrabble, we thought it might be nice to put together a list of words that might help you win your next word game match-up.
appellation — a specific wine-producing region. The appellation of the wine specifies that the wine came from a specific vineyard or area. In the wine world, appellations are legally defined, though the exact regulations vary from country to country. The world’s smallest appellation is in France, covering just over 2 acres.
barrique — a 225-litre oak barrel, originating in Bordeaux, used originally for transporting, storing, and aging wines. Barriques are generally used to age distinguished reds, but may also be used for whites.
bouquet — similar to “nose” or “aroma” this term applies specifically to the complex interplay of aromas unique to aged wines. This word is a great use for that “q” that’s been sitting around!
brettanomyce — casually referred to as “brett,” this bacteria is a yeast that produces barnyard, mousy, or metallic scents in wine. It is not uncommon for some red wines to have an intentional touch of brettanomyce at very low concentrations as it can lend a spicy, leathery note.
cuvaison — the process by which wine gains color, flavor, and tannins by leaving the juice in contact with the grape skins and pips during fermentation. This is a French term, so you’ll have to ask your Scrabble mates to let it slide. The English equivalent is “maceration.”
forward — this is a term used in wine tasting to pick a wine out from its peers. A forward wine has matured early, and is in peak condition, and has prominent fruit notes. Referring to a wine as “closed” means it is not forward.
magnum — a word you might hear often around Rubino Estates Winery. A magnum is a large bottle of wine which holds 1.5 liters, the equivalent of two normal 750ml bottles. We affectionately call them “mags” and admire the unique properties of wine aged in them. We even offer a special membership for magnum enthusiasts!
malolactic — this scientific term describes a type of secondary fermentation used in some winemaking processes. In malolactic fermentation, the tartness of malic acid in wine is changed into a smoother sensation. Some wine aficionados will identify that “buttery” or “creamy” wines have gone through “malo.”
oenology — this is the technical term for the science of wine and winemaking, but if it doesn’t fit in with the Scrabble board, you can try the alternate spelling “enology.”
tartaric — tartaric acid is a compound that occurs naturally in many fruits, but is the principal acid in grapes. In winemaking, tartaric acid promotes flavor and aging, as well as playing a key role in maintaining the stability of the wine’s composition and color.
plonk — a casual word popular in Great Britain to refer to cheap or inferior wine, often produced in bulk. We’re particular not fans of plonk wine, but we do think it’s a great word, especially if you get that “k” onto a triple letter spot.
punt — the dimple on the bottom of a wine bottle. There is conflict regarding the origins of the punt. Some say it strengthened bottles of carbonated wine, caught sediment and precipitates, allowed easier stacking of the bottles, or is leftover from when wine bottles were made using blowpipe and pontil.
quaffing — a descriptive word for a simple everyday drinking wine. Quaffing wines are not overly sophisticated, but pleasant and drinkable. If your game tiles don’t have all the letters for this word, try the shorter verb “quaff” which means to drink heartily.
typicity — a term that indicates how representative a wine is of its particular varietal. Different grape varietals have characteristic aromas and flavors, so this term could tell you, for example, how much a Sangiovese “tastes like a Sangiovese.”
ullage — empty space left in bottles and barrels as a wine evaporates. Historic wines which have more ullage due to imperfections in the cork’s seal are valued at a lower price.
vinification — From start to finish, the process of making wine. This term covers everything from planting to bottling and cellaring. Vinification is simply another word for winemaking.
xylem — the woody tissue of a vine, inside a layer known as the “vascular cambium” layer. This tissue is responsible for carrying nutrients and water from the roots up to the leaves of the vine. We like the Scrabble point value on this one!
If you’re looking for something to celebrate your inevitable wins of Scrabble battles, take advantage of our Sparkling sale! For a limited time, our Brut is discounted for you. Additional membership and case discounts apply.
January 16th is International Hot and Spicy Food Day, so we're excited to turn up the heat! You can find spicy meals in nearly every cuisine around to world, and we think that's worth celebrating. Since soup is the perfect dinner for chilly days, we're eyeing this recipe for Spicy Grain Soup. Packed with flavor, vegetables, and a bit of heat, this healthy comfort food is a wintertime winner. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking; this recipe is delicious when mellow and with kick.
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 3 ancho or dried mulato chiles
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 6 sprigs and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
- Prep your ingredients. Drain and rinse the black beans thoroughly. Stem and seed the chiles and break into 2-inch pieces. Thinly slice the onion and shiitake caps. Finely dice the carrot, zucchini, and parsnip.
- In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover.
- In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.
- In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
- In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
- Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.
Recipe photo credit: Frances Janisch
Recipe originally from Food and Wine
We hope we've inspired you to savor the burn of your favorite hot and spicy meals. If you make this recipe, we'd love to hear from you! Tag us on social media @rubinoestates with your results. Salute!
If you're looking to balance out your spicy soup with something creamy and lightly sweet, we recommend our Landmark Chardonnay, which just scored 92 points with Wine Enthusiast.
Be realistic. The best way to beat the odds when it comes to keeping your New Year’s resolution is by starting with the right kind of goal. A goal that is too lofty leads to frustration and, in our experience, a rather uninspired February. Instead of resolving to, for example, never have sugar again, try to use your current habits as a starting point. Instead of a personal prohibition, aim for only a certain number of sweet snacks each week as a limit. Beginning with a single step may seem paltry, but it is actually the most effective way to keep your long-term goals in mind.
Be prepared for challenges. Making a good resolution may be a bit of a challenge, but keeping that resolution is much more so! It may help to make a list of the pros and cons you may encounter in keeping with your resolution. If you anticipate the most difficult moments, you are more prepared for them when they come.
Be consistent. When you set goals for the future, do not neglect the past. Though it is true that the last year has been especially trying for many, it has also been a good time to learn more about ourselves. Make sure you do some reflection on the lessons and little successes. We can even learn from the moments that felt like failures. By thinking about these experiences, we understand the things we really love to do and what fills the tank. This also gives you a moment to celebrate the past goals you have already met, which do wonders for feeling encouraged.
Be specific. In 1961, President JFK declared a short, specific goal: before the end of the decade, the US should send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth. Those who have analyzed this goal have found that the most vital elements were the clarity and the time-bound nature. Resolutions that follow the same model are the most likely to be fulfilled. For example, resolving to try 10 new dinner recipes in the next three months is much more effective than saying you want to cook more. True to the resolution, the Apollo 11 mission to the moon brought and returned 3 men in July of 1969.
Be aware of your motivation. Feeling burnt out and unmotivated is the enemy of resolutions. In order to run a marathon, both metaphorically and literally, you need to run on the right fuel. If your motivation for a certain goal is in spite or self-hate, the resolution will cause a deep lack of inspiration. When motivation comes from a deeper well of personal meaning, the fuel burns longer. Make sure your goals and values are in harmony, and let your values drive your progress!
Be forgiving. If you find yourself breaking your resolution consistently, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. We recommend revising instead of relenting. If your resolution proves to be unrealistic, give yourself time to figure out what the best new version may be. When you find yourself keeping to your promise, take a moment to reward yourself with something that doesn’t contradict your resolution.
Be open about your goal. We need the support of friends more than ever when we are making positive change. Talking about your goal and what you are doing to achieve it will serve you well. Even if you have to talk over a Zoom call, try to connect with your friends. Ask them if they have any goals that you can help them achieve. Your goals may differ greatly, but you can still collaborate with and support one another.
If you have resolutions this year, we want to know! Tag us on social media @Rubinoestates
As you go through this year, no matter how big or small your goal is, we hope you are encouraged to enjoy 2021. Don’t look past your successes--celebrate them! Perhaps put away some of your favorite Rubino Estates wines to celebrate your achievements at the end of this year. Don’t hesitate to let the celebration begin now! It’s the perfect time to set up your cellar for the year.
As 2020 winds down, we have found ourselves prompted to reflect on the wild year we've had. As of now, the vines are bare and the tasting room is empty, but our hearts are full. We are thankful to every member and patron who has supported us this year. Now, as we anticipate 2021, we're looking for cheery ways to say "addio!" To do this, we've collected up some stay-at-home friendly New Year's Eve traditions from cultures around the world, which is perfect for those of us who have missed travelling this year.
In Spain people eat a dozen grapes, one at each stroke of the bell at midnight, symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead. Since the tradition began in the late 1800s, it has become integral to the celebration of the New Year in Spain. Las doce uvas de la suerte, "The twelve grapes of luck" are often eaten around the table with one's family to usher in a year of luck.
In the Southern United States, many people lean into the lore that black-eyed peas bring good luck in the year to come. These legumes are often eaten in the form of a dish called Hoppin' John, which also incorporates rice and pork and is served over greens. Though the origins of this tradition are cloudy, the dish is thought to celebrate emancipation, endurance, and expanding wealth.
In Cuba, a roast suckling pig is the delicacy of choice to celebrate the New Year, since the richness and natural fattiness are said to represent the promise of plenty in the year to come. In other places where pigs represent prosperity, such as Germany, Austria, and Portugal, pork appears in New Year dishes in various forms.
In Japan it is common for people to write nenga or New Year's greetings to loved ones, similar to the western tradition of Christmas cards. As this tradition has modernized, these greetings are often written as postcards, and are called nenga-hagaki. These cards originated as early as the 5th century, and were meant as a substitute for face-to-face new year's greetings, which we think is perfect for this year.
Nordic Countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Norway, meanwhile, prepare some form of creamy spiced rice pudding with a single blanched almond hidden inside. This dish is served over the holidays, and it is said that whoever finds the nut in their dish can expect a year of good fortune. Some families also prepare a small prize for whoever is lucky enough to find the almond!
In Brazil, people traditionally wear white on New Year's eve to represent purity and peace. Our favorite tradition, though, is to drink Sparkling Wine to represent being energized throughout the next year! Since the beverage is made from grapes, Brazilian culture connects this bubbly treat to prosperity and life.
New York City captures the attention of the world on New Year's Eve by dropping of a giant ball in Times Square at the stroke of midnight. This tradition began in 1907 and has continued almost every year. As of 2020, the Ball (which is technically a "geodesic sphere") is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds. This year, the event will be exclusively over live broadcast.
We hope we've given you some fun ideas for celebrating the end of this year. Now is the time to ask: what are you drinking New Year's Eve? We recommend a glass (or two) of your favorite Rubino Estates wine as you welcome the New Year in your own style.