The leaves are beginning to change, there’s a touch of chill in the air, the days are shorter, and the nights are cozier. It may be Autumn, but we’re still pouring our favorite Rosé! We recently introduced the newest vintage of our Salute Rosé. This 2022 edition is floral and fruity, yet luscious and ideal for enjoying with food. As we transition into all of our favorite harvest-time recipes, we are enjoying the amazing flexibility of this wine, pairing with a diverse array of delicious dishes. This week, we assembled some pairing inspiration for fall food and Rosé wine. Yum!
If it’s autumn, then it’s soup season. We absolutely love this butternut squash soup that incorporates warming ginger and cardamom, resulting in a soup that’s exciting and fresh yet comforting. Don’t skimp on the thyme and sage for the full welcoming impact of fall herbs.
A hearty combination of some of fall’s best flavors, yet still ideal for enjoying alongside a glass of Salute Rosé, this recipe is perfect for a chilly evening. Slow-cooked pork, cozy cider, and crispy potatoes…it doesn’t get much better than that!
For our pescetarian friends (or anyone looking to get in their omega-3s) this recipe is a perfect autumnal take on seafood. Enjoy this moist, tender, flavorful, and filling dish! We recommend serving this with sheet pan roasted broccoli and potatoes.
Like most of our Italian-style wines, our Salute Rosé is right at home alongside classic Italian flavors. This pasta dish is incredibly flavorful and comes together quickly. Half & half and parmesan bring creaminess and lots of baby spinach boosts the nutrition of this perfect comfort food.
Like our Rosé, this pasta dish is both light and hearty. Enjoy a silky and delicious sauce made with the luscious flavors of pumpkin, mascarpone, and parmesan. It’s a recipe that’s easy, classy, and perfect for the season. Yes please!
Classic Thanksgiving dishes also hold their place among the most beloved autumn cuisine. This herb-roasted turkey uses an easy yet irresistible blend of garlic, basil, and sage, making this a perfectly approachable recipe for a holiday staple and a delicious pairing with Rosé.
For those without a sweet tooth, this is the sweet potato casserole you've been waiting for. Tasty mashed sweet potatoes, loaded with herbs, gruyere, and caramelized onions, and topped with pecans and crunchy bacon. It doesn’t get better than that!
We hope you will enjoy your favorite wines all year ‘round, regardless of what the weather is up to! Do you have any favorite fall pairings? Let us know @rubinoestates on social media!
Now halfway through September, the vineyard is showing all the picturesque signs of harvest season. Join us on an early morning walk in the estate vineyard with this photo gallery.
Our quintessential Italian varietals, Sangiovese and Barbera, grow side by side. These neighbors have a lot of character!
With the cold and rainy weather that extended through springtime this year, the vines have taken their time to reach maturity. We have a small handful of berries that haven’t reached their beautiful mature colors yet!
The weather conditions this year also had the effect of producing a bumper crop! Even our baby vines are heavy with fruit.
We have gone through each row of the vineyard to select for quality, cutting excess fruit so that the clusters that remain can mature to their fullest potential.
The Sauvignon Blanc, shown here glowing in the morning sun, will be ready the earliest of all the fruit in the vineyard. Fumé Blanc lovers, get ready for something delicious!
Our vineyard care includes removing the leaves that cover the fruit on the east-facing side of the vines, while leaving the leaf coverage on the west-facing side. This way, the fruit is exposed to the lovely golden sunshine in the morning, but shielded from the harsher afternoon rays.
We keep a relentless focus on the quality of our fruit and the sustainability of our vineyard practices. This is the path toward making the best wines and looking out for what matters!
Our vines are thriving and healthy, promising a marvelous 2023 vintage. This Cabernet vine glows with potential.
For our Sangiovese lovers, the clusters that create this classic are growing more picturesque and promising each day.
Our Chardonnay vines are likewise beautiful, with golden maturity and exciting flavor development. Like the Sauvignon Blanc, the Chardonnay will be harvested sooner than the rest of our fruit.
The morning dew kisses the vineyard on a cool morning like this one. The clusters sparkle with anticipation.
Autumn is coming, and harvest time is here.
We hope you’ll take a moment to look out into the beautiful estate vineyards next time you visit us! For those who want a behind-the scenes look, consider the Duck Tour! This adventure takes you through our vineyards and pulls back the curtain on our winemaking process and philosophy. Inquire at email@example.com to book your Duck Tour experience today, or click here to learn more.
If you enjoy wine tasting or fine dining, you have probably heard the term “palate cleanser.” In this blog, we are exploring exactly what these cleansers are, what it means for wine tasting, and what the best options are.
What is a palate cleanser?
“Palate” is a word used often in the wine world to essentially refer to the mouth, particularly the tongue. A palate cleanser is any food or drink that can hit the “reset” button on your palate, removing the remnants of the wine you just enjoyed and priming your palate for the wine to come. This also serves to refresh your palate, which can grow fatigued over time as you enjoy a wine tasting. White wine has lovely acidity and red wine has enjoyable tannin, but these characteristics can numb the palate over time.
Why do people use palate cleansers for wine tasting?
The palate fatigue mentioned above is a big concern for wine critics and sommeliers who have to keep their sense sharp as they taste many wines in shorter periods of time. For casual wine fans, refreshing the palate throughout a wine tasting is a good idea too! To a wine, the palate is a canvas across which it spreads all of its characteristics, from flavor to texture. You want to give each wine a chance to shine on its own clean canvas, not smeared across a different work of art that clouds its unique nuances and complexities. Palate cleansers help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience!
What are the best palate cleansers for wine tasting?
There are both food and beverage options for palate cleansers, and many of them are both fun and functional. After all, who doesn’t want a snack with their wine tasting? Many palate cleansing foods wouldn’t be out of place on a charcuterie board. Consider the following:
- Tasty bread, anything from a baguette to a croissant, which absorbs the flavor of the previous wine
- A mild cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella which is just fatty enough to break down tannin (and it’s delicious)
- A crisp apple or pear, which brings tart yet sweet starch
- Celery, which sweeps out leftover texture and tannin from previous wines without leaving an aftertaste.
- Green olives, particularly Graber olives, which offer a distinct flavor that will help the palate reset between wines.
- Mild crackers, not overly seasoned, which function much like bread.
If you are looking for a beverage that effectively cleanses the palate, you want to go effervescent! Take a look at these options:
- Sparkling water, which you can enhance with some sliced lemon or cucumber
- Beer. Yes, really! It’s effervescent and offers some bitterness; make sure to select something on the lighter side.
- Champagne or Sparkling Wine. The flavors from before wash away with fun bubbles, and the palate is freshened and bright. Plus, it’s just plain wonderful.
As a general tip, we recommend selecting palate cleansers that lean more toward the bland side so there’s no competing flavors leftover on the palate. A good palate cleanser will leave you feeling light, clean, and fresh. If you want to elevate your sensory stewardship, consider keeping some whole coffee beans nearby. These serve as the equivalent of a “palate cleanser” for the nose, offering a reset so you can enjoy and distinguish aromas from wine to wine.
Wine tasting may not be an endurance sport, but with some practice you can keep your taste buds sensitive so that you can always enjoy the tasty subtleties and fun nuances of wine. Cheers!
Nothing inspires us quite like a bounty of summer produce. Healthy tomato plants, heavy with a generous harvest, are ripe for picking, so join us as we make fresh sauce, Famiglia style! This sauce brings together a diversity of fresh tomatoes, classic aromatics, vibrant herbs, and—of course—a splash of red wine. Because we don’t want our sauce to be lonely, we are also including a recipe for red wine infused baked meatballs. Serve over your favorite pasta, top with parmesan, and you have a staple meal that never goes out of style. These recipes were generously provided by Mark, one of the Rubino Estates Tasting Room Ambassadors!
Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce
- 10 pounds assorted vine ripened tomatoes
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 8 Tbs olive oil
- 6 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 Tbs black pepper
- 2 Tbs Italian seasoning
- 1 cup red wine - Salute Red
- 4 Tbs fresh basil, coarsely chopped
- Quarter the large tomatoes and halve the small tomatoes and place in a large stock pot. Cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes.
- Ladle the cooked tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds while collecting the juice in a large bowl.
- In the large pot, saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more. Add the tomato juice, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, and Italian seasoning.
- Simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the basil.
Chef notes: Like a well-balanced blended red wine, I like to use different tomato varieties to make the marinara. In this application from the garden I used 1lbs small red cherry and grape, 2lb yellow and red pear, 3lbs heirloom, and 4lbs San Marzano. This is a family-size recipe, so don’t forget to share or freeze your leftovers!
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 ¾ cups seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup red wine - Salute Red
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Place the ground beef and pork in a large mixing bowl, breaking up the meat with your fingers. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, and black pepper and mix lightly until everything is distributed. Add the eggs and wine and combine thoroughly.
- Using a 1 ¾ inch ice cream scoop, measure out 2 ounce portions and lightly form balls and place on the sheet pan about one inch apart.
- Bake the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly brown and cooked through. Cut one meatball to check that it is done.
- Serve with fresh tomato marinara over your favorite pasta!
Recipes courtesy of Mark P.
We here at Rubino Estates believe that the best wine to put in a dish is a wine that pairs well with a dish. Salute Red is ideal for featuring both in your recipes and alongside them.
We hope you enjoy this taste of tradition!
Do you trust a bottle you can’t see? If you have ever bought a wine based only on its label, you know that it’s easy to judge a book by its cover. While we love our beautiful labels, blind tasting offers a new perspective and offers the potential to help you learn more about what you love about a wine. As a plus, it’s just plain fun! Using the tips and ideas provided here, we hope you’ll gather your favorite wine lovers and make it a party.
What is “blind” tasting?
A blind wine tasting is when you try a wine without first knowing what it is. We like to cover the whole bottle with our handy numbered wine bags so it’s easy to keep track of which bottle is which, and it makes for a dramatic reveal when it’s time to unveil the bottles. If you host a blind tasting, choose a few bottles that have something in common, and see if you and your guests can tell them apart.
What should the variable be?
The variable you choose for your blind tasting depends on how dramatic you want the differences to be. You could do a “vertical” tasting, where all the wines are the same varietal and producer, but different vintages, i.e. a 2016 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2017 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2018…and so on. You can also set up a “horizontal” tasting selection, which features wines from a single vintage and producer but different varietals: a 2019 Rubino Estates Barbera, a 2019 Rubino Estates Sangiovese, a 2019 Rubino Estates red blend…and so on. You can also do a flight that covers a region, like a set of Livermore Valley Petite Sirahs from different wineries in the region. You can also do a blind tasting based on price range, with categories like a $10-20 bottle, $21-30 bottle, $31-40, and beyond.
Why do a blind tasting?
Blind wine tasting doesn’t have to be complicated, it just offers you a way to learn about wine and have some fun with friends. Take it as an opportunity to try wines objectively, enjoying them without the influence of knowing the price, region, winery, or other variables that play into our perception of wines. You might learn more about what you really like, or confirm what you already know! It’s okay to relax, enjoy yourself, and don't take it too seriously.
Other tips and tricks
Remind your guests that wine is about more than just the taste. Swirling the wine, examining the color, and enjoying the aroma all provide hints to a wine’s identity. Rinse your glass or get a new one between wines so you can start fresh with each new one. You may also want some tasty snacks like cured meats and cheeses to balance the palate. If you’re the competitive type, we encourage you to make a game of your blind tasting! Whoever’s guesses are the closest to the correct answers gets to take home a prize bottle! Alternatively, you can have a sheet of possible answers, and whoever makes the most correct matches is crowned the winner.
We hope you enjoy a new way to enjoy tasting good wines with good friends. Salute!
This week, we are celebrating two new scores from Wine Enthusiast! Our 2020 Proprietary Red and 2020 Founder’s Blend both received a competitive 92 point score, reflecting the quality and value of these phenomenal blends from our Landmark Collection. Every single wine produced here at Rubino Estates involves a relentless pursuit of quality, so what sets Landmark wines apart from our other collections? To answer this, we will share about the philosophy behind the Landmark series.
In every wine, there is a truly infinite number of factors that influence the outcome of the wine. We consider everything from the genetic makeup of the vine to the soil it grows in, the yeast that ferments the juice, the oak it is aged in, and so much more. For Landmark Collection wines, we spare no expense at each step in the process. We use the finest grape vines. We drop fruit, cutting off clusters before they are mature so the clusters remaining are nourished by the vine, rich in quality and flavor. These grapes are harvested by hand, sorted by hand, and lightly crushed. Slow and careful is the name of our game when creating wines of this caliber. These are aged in fine oak with specialized yeast strains for premium results. Only the best fruit from the best soil becomes Landmark wines, meaning each vintage has a limited production.
Within our Landmark collection, you’ll find two blends: the 1885 Founder’s Blend and the Proprietary Red. Blends like these result in something truly unique that you can only get right here at Rubino Estates. With a blend, our winemaker is not constrained to a single varietal and is free to craft the best wine all around, hitting the mark in terms of aroma, body, flavor, tannin, and more. Working only with fruit that is grown on our property also allows us to keep an eye on the fruit and wine quality at every step of the process.
Our Proprietary Red is a top-secret blend and absolutely beloved by many of our staff and longtime members. The newly-released 2020 vintage features aromas of rich prune with accents of pink peppercorn followed by juicy raspberry and bing cherry on the nose. Savory elements with a touch of cocoa, blackberry, and ripe currant chime in on the palate, while red fruit and vanilla trail beautifully into the finish. This vintage boasts an enticing bright garnet hue and medium mouthfeel, built with tenacious tannin and elegant gravitas.
The Founder’s Blend commemorates the year 1885, when our estate vineyard was first planted and our place in California’s winemaking history and heritage was secured. Our 2020 vintage is a silky-smooth blend of 40% Barbera, 40% Petit Verdot, and 20% Syrah. Savor an opulent and alluring aroma of red fruit with prominent cherry character and a touch of violet. On the palate, comely flavors mirror the nose, accented by elegant oak notes of vanilla and toast. The body has enticing weight and seamless tannin integration, with acid balance that is ideal alongside your favorite dish.
For premium wines that never disappoint, choose the Landmark Collection!
If you want to taste these luxurious and phenomenal wines, consider our Portfolio Experience. This premium private tasting guides you through the crème de la crème of Rubino Estates and our sister winery, Ruby Hill, in a hidden area of the Rubino Estates Tasting room. This experience is bookable on Tock, or you can call us for more details at 925-484-1699.
As summer casts its warmth on our lovely vineyard, we welcome you to take a moment to see the beauty of this season on our vines. Each morning, the fresh leaves are illuminated with sunlight. Growth so far this year has been rapid and productive.
Not long ago, our vines went through their blossoming stage, like the Cabernet Sauvignon cluster pictured above. Our springtime conditions were ideal for flowering.
During the blossoming stage, we had gorgeous sunny days that weren’t hot or windy leading to vibrant growth.
This year started with an abundance of water, fueling fantastic greenery as well as laying a foundation of groundwater in the soil. This saturation will come in handy with any heat waves to come.
As the berries begin to grow, the fruit set stage is initiated. The shape of the clusters emerges, giving us a hint of the harvest to come.
Our winemaker Jesse has commented that we are seeing a phenomenal fruit set, one of the best in years. Our vines are happy and healthy!
At this stage, the grapes are small and green. Clusters like this young Sangiovese will not turn their characteristic shade of magenta until the next stage, veraison.
Soon, the long branching vines will have some pruning and be organized into neat rows. Until then, the vines are free to branch across each row, creating a miniature jungle in our productive vineyard blocks.
Beneath the verdant canopy, you can catch a peek of the wild abundance of young fruit.
This cluster of Barbera expresses the beauty of this stage and foreshadows the beauty of the season to come as the vineyard matures over the next few months.
These tall vines are still in their growing stage, expanding upward and outward.
Well-laden vines foreshadow a likely high-yield vintage when we harvest later this year.
The vineyard continues to show promise and beauty. Welcome, summer.
If you wish to soak in the sights firsthand, come visit Rubino Etsates for wine tasting or go into the vineyard on a Duck tour!
This Sunday is Father's Day! As always, we’re looking forward to spending a little bit of time with our dads and celebrating all the supportive father figures in our lives.
Below, we are sharing a simple and absolutely delicious recipe for a flat iron steak with a luscious Cabernet sauce. Our critically acclaimed Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon is more than the ideal pairing for steak, it’s also the perfect wine to elevate your dish. When you cook with wine you love, it opens doors to depth of flavor you can’t get anywhere else. With this recipe, you can give Dad a break from manning the grill and make a meal that you’ll want to savor together again and again.
We are using our 2018 Rubino Estates Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t take much of an excuse to open a bottle of this Bordeaux-inspired classic! Awarded both Editor’s choice and 94 points from Wine Enthusiast, this vintage boasts a seductive aroma and flavor profile, enticing the senses with rich black fruits and subtle notes of spice. Dense flavors of blackberry, cocoa, black cherry, and toasted oak are wrapped up in a warm blanket of fine-grained tannins. A very smooth suede-like texture delights the palate with this full-bodied yet balanced wine. It's the perfect wine for a well-seasoned steak like this one. Pour yourself a glass while you cook!
Flat Iron Steak with Cabernet Sauce
- 1 (1 1/2-pound) flat iron steak
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (we recommend 2018 Rubino Estates Riserva Cabernet)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Take the steak out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to cook it so that it can come to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.
- In a small pot over high heat, add the broth and wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Season the steak with the grill seasoning and put it in the skillet. Cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove it from the pan, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes while you finish the sauce.
- Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and add the shallot. Cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the reduced broth and wine mixture and cook until thickened, about for about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and cook until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Slice the steak against the grain into thin slices, arrange them on a serving platter and serve with the sauce on the side or poured over top.
recipe via Food Network
We hope you enjoy celebrating all the father figures who support and champion us!
Not close enough to see Dad this week? Send him a gift like a bottle of Rubino Estates Cab, or opt for our Salute Rose and Sparkling Wine which are perfect for summertime sipping and are both on sale now!
Salute Rosé is our wine of the month for June, and there’s no better time to celebrate this refreshing beauty!
Notes of ripe strawberry, watermelon candy, and vanilla are framed by enticing floral character and a hint of cucumber. With a bright, coppery-pink tone, this dry Rosé crafted from Sangiovese is especially delicious in the summer and for sharing with friends. This week, we are sharing our favorite info and pairings so you can enjoy this wine and other tasty Rosé wines to the fullest this summer!
Rosé is just as sophisticated and refined as red and white wines. Once you find one you like, another world is opened up to you! Enjoy the best of what wine has to offer: the cool crisp freshness of a white wine alongside the aroma, flavor, and gracefulness of a red wine. Our Salute Rosé is made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, a classic red Italian wine varietal. Rosé made from Sangiovese is harder to find in our region, but it results in a fruity Rosé with a sparkling, coppery color, bursting with fresh flavors without being too sweet.
Just as red or white wines differ from one another based on varietal, so do Rosé wines. Color, dominant flavor notes, and ideal food pairings change from one Rosé to another.
In most cases, the color of a Rosé is determined by how long the skins of the grapes are left in contact with the juice after pressing. 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. Here at Rubino Estates we use this method, known as “maceration,” to create the coppery pink hue of the Salute Rosé.
Most Rosé wines have rose petal aromas and pleasant minerality, though every varietal has its own expression. Rosé wines are made to capitalize on the delicate aromas and fresh, fruity flavors of their varietals, best captured by fermenting the wine at a lower temperature and enjoying the wine while it is still fairly young. With our Salute Rosé, look for flavors characteristic to Sangiovese Rosé, namely Strawberry, fresh raspberry, wild cherry, vanilla, watermelon, cranberry, rose petals, herbs, and minerals.
Our Salute Rosé is especially suited for pairing with fresh flavors like an antipasti salad or alongside a charcuterie board, since salty cured meats and both soft and hard cheeses make this wine shine!
May is a special time in the vineyard. The vines and leaves are bursting forth with verdant fervor, soaking in the return of warm, sunny days. The mornings are filled with birdsong as the sunlight creeps over the acres of green tendrils. The air is clear and breathes with the potential innate to every growing season. We invite you to take a virtual walk through the vineyard with us through these photos, all of which have been captured on the estate in the last week.
It is hard to believe that barely over a month ago, these rows were brown barren branches and cane, pruned back and barely out of dormancy. Now, they are nothing short of lush.
The only objective of the vines in this stage is to grow. Some varieties expand wildly, shooting out tendrils of new growth, reaching across the rows and up toward the sky, while others fill out with leaves.
Some of our vines are still getting started on the vegetal growth stage, but we know that good things take time.
In this stage, you can also see little green clusters. In the next stage, flowering, these will burst into tiny little blossoms.
This young Sauvignon Blanc has only scratched the surface of its potential growth.
Some mornings, there is a slight hazy fog that disappears shortly before sunrise. This is one of the factors that makes our climate unique and influences our wines’ terroir.
The very new block of Petite Sirah immediately in front of the Rubino Estates Tasting room is also showing great promise.
The fairly young Cabernet vines, shown basking in the afternoon sun in the photo above, are also expanding, reaching up and out.
This fledgling Zinfandel vine is full of promise, taking its time to reach full maturity.
Sunlight is a welcome and precious resource to our dear vines. From this generous light, they receive the energy to photosynthesize and thrive, becoming fruit-bearing beauties.
We love to see that way the leaves catch the first light of the day, glowing and growing.
A thick and lush vine like this gets us excited for what the future holds. We can’t wait to see how summer looks out here!
We hope you have enjoyed this look into the vibrant and verdant growth stage of our estate vineyard! Take a closer look when you visit the Estate through Experiences like our Duck Tour!