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Poppin’ Bottles: Best Bubbly for Your Budget

With New Years Eve right around the corner, we bring you our picks for budget-friendly sparkling wines to top-off 2013 and uncork 2014 with a celebration!

All of these wines can be found in local DC wine shops and are affordable in the $20 price range.

We featured these 4 wines on Fox 5 News this morning. You can watch our segment here.

1. Zonin Prosecco DOC NV - $6.99 (Trader Joe’s)

image via winesearcher

Prosecco is Italy’s answer to refreshing, well-made sparkling wine at a reasonable price. This Prosecco found at Trader Joe’s for only $6.99 is made from 100% Prosecco grapes. This wine has a straw color and small bubbles, with an aroma is of lemon and green apples and a touch of spring flowers.

Zonin Prosecco is perfect for a midnight toast on New Years Eve with good friends. We also recommend getting an extra bottle to enjoy with OJ for a Mimosa the next morning.

 

2. Moscato d’Asti “Sori” Fiori - $17.99 (Chat’s Liquors - Capitol Hill)

image via winesearcher

Sweet wine lovers rejoice! Moscato d’Asti is your go-to bubbly to celebrate NYE. This fresh, fragrant, and frizzante wine is not overly sweet, yet flavorful with rich notes of ripe stone fruit, tangerines and honey.

This Moscato d’Asti is made from 100% White Muscat grapes and can be found at Chat’s Liquors in Capitol Hill, DC for $17.99. Stop by Chat’s and tell our friend Bernie that Vinolovers sent you to receive a 10% discount on this wine!

3. Dibon Brut Reserve Cava NV - $9.99 (Chat’s Liquors - Capitol Hill)

image via winesearcher

For those people who loves the rich flavors of Champagne and are looking for great bottle in the sub $20 range, look out for Cavas. Cava is Spanish sparkling wine, and it’s made the same way that Champagne is produced, but with different grapes. Light gold with plenty of bubbles, this Brut Cava has aromas of apples and pears with floral notes. Crisp and light-bodied, the wine offers flavors of mild minerality and acidity.

Don’t forget to tell our friend Bernie at Chat’s that Vinolovers sent you and he’ll give you an extra 10% discount on this wine!

 

4. Champagne Francois Dilgent Rose, NV - $29.99 (Chat’s Liquors - Capitol Hill)

image via winesearcher

Champagne is the ultimate expression of luxury and celebration in wine. Only wines produced in the Champagne region of France can bear the name “Champagne” which makes this varietal all the more special. While most Champagnes carry a hefty price tag, we found this affordable and unique Champagne at Chat’s for$29.99, and with the 10% discount, it’s even more affordable for your New Years Eve celebration.

This Champagne is slightly more robust style since it is made with 100% Pinot Noir, giving it a slightly rose hue. It’s a great wine to pair with light appetizers so if you’re hosting or attending a small gathering for New Years Eve, this Champagne will add a flair of elegance to your celebration.

For personalized wine recommendations for your New Years Eve celebration tweet at us @Vinolovers 

4 Wines for Any Budget: As Featured On Fox 5 DC News

Posted By: Grace

Whether you are entertaining this holiday season or just looking for some new go-to wines for 2014, something we can all agree on is that there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a wine that overshadows its price point.

Here is our list of 4 wines for any budget, as featured on Fox 5 News DC during DC Wine Week in October:

1) Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Brut - Trader Joe’s $9.99

photo via trader joe’s

Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that pops with crisp acidity and is ideal as an aperitif for your next dinner party.  We found this bubbly at Trader Joe’s for $9.99. It’s a Brut (dry) sparkling wine and is very fruit forward so both dry and sweet wine-drinkers will enjoy it.

2) Epicuro Nero d’Avola - Trader Joe’s $5.99

image via corkbin

Nero d’Avola is an Italian red wine from Sicily. They are known for their jammy qualities and soft tannins. This Nero exudes those qualities perfectly and is very affordable at only $5.99 at Trader Joe’s. It is one of our favorite wines to pair with pizza so If you’re having an Italian feast around the holidays this year make sure to have a few bottles of this Nero d’Avola on hand. It’s always the first to go.

3) Boxwood Trellis 2011 - Vinolovers.com Connoisseur Subscription

image via vinolovers

For a wine from our own backyard, our choice is Boxwood Trellis, a bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot from Boxwood Winery located in Middleburg, Virginia. This wine has a fantastic finish and will be a crowd favorite among your friends and family who love a tasty red.

Find a bottle of this at vinolovers.com in our Connoisseur subscription. Although it’s a bit pricier than our Trader Joe’s picks, this wine is well worth the ~$25 price point for your holiday celebration.

4) Opera Lambrusco di Modena Secco - i Ricchi Restaurant $19.99

image via thewinecountry

Lambrusco is an sweet effervescent red wine and is making a comeback on the wine scene today. For those wine-drinkers who enjoy a little more fruit and sweetness in their glass, this wine is an exciting and interesting alternative to the typical sparkling wines they encounter.

In the local area, enjoy a bottle of this Opera Lambrusco di Modena Secco with a meal at i Ricchi Restaurant in DC for ~$20.

We’ll be back on Fox 5 News this coming Monday morning at 8:45am EST with our picks for sparkling wines to celebrate the New Year. Tune in then!

Vinolovers Holiday Guide: 5 Last-Minute Wine Gift Ideas


If you are anything like us, with only 5 days left until Christmas, you’re still scrambling to find a gift for someone on your list. You may be thinking that the only option left is to give a bottle of wine from your local wine shop.

We’ve put together a list of 5 last-minute wine gifts to guarantee that you are the employee, family member or best friend who is remembered for rocking it this holiday season.


1. Vinolovers E-Gift Card



image via Vinolovers

Of course we have to plug our own wine gift because it is, afterall, the ultimate wine experience. Vinolovers gives wine-drinkers exclusive access to boutique wines from around the globe, and our experience is the total package as it is educational, convenient and tailored for your loved-ones.

Schedule an E-Gift Card to be delivered via email on the date you choose, and let us take care of bringing the tasting room experience to your vino-loving friends and family this holiday season.

*Gift cards available from $50


2. DIY Mulled Wine Kit

image via bbcgoodfood

For you DIYers out there, this is a great way to give the gift of wine that is original and thoughtful without breaking the bank. Fill a square of cheesecloth with cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, fresh nutmeg and ground ginger and secure with ribbon or twine. Include a bottle of full-bodied red wine (we recommend a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon) and an orange pegged with cloves.

Use rustic packaging to complete the gift and remember to tie a label to the wine bottle with the following instructions: ‘Add the cheesecloth pouch into a pan with the wine, orange, cinnamon sticks and 1¼ cups water. Simmer for 5 mins, then serve.’

*You may also substitute a portion of the water with ¼ cup brandy.



3. Wine Aroma Smelling Kit

image via uncommongoods

This is a great gift for an enthusiastic wine novice. This kit from uncommongoods.com includes the six most common aromas in red and white wines and will help your vino-loving friend dive nose first into the world of wine, pun intended. To complete this gift experience include 1 bottle of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine with this gift.

*Choose expedited shipping to ensure this will arrive in time for Christmas..


4. Introduction to Wine Classes

image via vt.edu

For the wine enthusiast in your life who is eager to learn more and/or is considering a career surrounding the vine, scheduling an introduction to wine class is a thoughtful gift that doesn’t require a lot of advance planning or last-minute gift wrapping. If you too are a wine-lover, this is a great way to spend some fun quality time together.

Most metropolitan areas have a local wine academy which offers several wine classes throughout the year. For the wine novice an Introduction to Wine course will expand their knowledge and appreciation for the grape. If your loved-one has mentioned exploring a career in the wine industry, register them for a more advanced regional course such as Wines of France.

*If you are local in DC, we recommend checking out the classes offered through Washington Wine Academy



5. Rabbit Wine Opener Kit


image via amazon

This Rabbit wine opener is the pièce de résistance of wine openers. The Rabbit brand is high quality and consistently has great reviews. This opener makes a great gift for any wine-lover, especially those who you’ve witnessed having difficulty using a waiter’s friend (we’ve all been there). The Rabbit 6-piece Wine Tool Kit provides all the necessary tools to pop open a bottle of wine.

*If you are an Amazon Prime account holder this kit is eligible for free 2-day shipping or if you want to pick one up today, stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohls and Crate & Barrel carry the Rabbit brand.


For more wine related gifts follow us on Pinterest!

 

GIVEAWAY: 4 Tickets to Wine Tasting in DC Region

We have partnered with Washington Wine Academy and DC Wine Week to give you the chance to win tickets to a Virginia Wine Tasting event this Saturday, December 7, from 6-10pm!

Two lucky winners will receive 2 tickets each to this new pop-up event from Washington Wine Academy and Crystal City BID. Experience the best wines Virginia has to offer! Sample various varietals for 10 of the top wineries in the state!

To enter for a chance to win, use the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Event Details: 


State of Wine: a Tasting of Virginia Wines

Date: Saturday, December 7th

Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Address: Studio Jade Crystal City Shops at 2100 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202 

Additional tickets are available here: http://washingtonwineacademy.org/event/state-wine-pop-event-dec-7th/

A few of the wineries included are:

Barboursville Winery, Linden Vineyards, RdV Vineyards, Trump Winery and more

FAQs About Vinolovers Launch

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Q: When will I be able to purchase wine?

A: Our site will go live on November 30. You’ll be able to order your personalized subscriptions and gift cards at that time.

Q: When will the first subscription ship?

A: The first subscription will ship on December 15 and will arrive prior to the Christmas holiday.

Q: What will be included in my first Vinolovers subscription?

A: If you’re one of the first 500 Vinolovers, your subscription will include 4 wines. 3 wines of your choice and 1 bottle that was specially curated by the Vinolovers team for our launch. After the first 500 orders are made, the Vinolovers subscriptions will only include 3 wines.

Q: I want to give a Vinolovers subscription as a gift for the holidays. How do I make that purchase?

A: Vinolovers gift ordering will be available for the holidays. Choose a Vinolovers gift card with an monetary amount of your choice and send it to your recipient virtually via email or through the mail as a gift card.

Q: When must I purchase a subscription in order for it to arrive for the holidays?

A: To receive your order before the Christmas holiday please make your Vinolovers purchases before December 15.

Q: Where can you ship?

A: We only ship in the domestic US and due to state laws and regulations, we can ship to 43 states. The 7 states we are not able to ship to are: AK, DE, HI, LA, MA, PA, and UT.

If you have more questions about our launch please email us at info(at)vinolovers(dot)com. Someone from Team Vinolovers will respond within 24 hours.

How to Pair Fine Wine With… Bacon. (Yeah, You Read That Right)

Posted by: Carl Pierre

In life, there are a few immutable truths: we are, in fact, mortal creatures, true love really can conquer all, and there’s no such thing as too much bacon. Nope, I’m not even kidding about that last part. Those sizzling, glorious strips of salty goodness are considered to be amongst life’s greatest pleasures, so it only makes sense that you would pair it with an equally amazing vice: fine wine.


There’s no greater culinary combination in the world than a food dish that uses an inordinate amount of bacon and a glass of incredible vino that goes well with it. That’s why we’ve decided to create our own brunch guide that combines various bacon recipes we love with their corresponding wine pairings (you can click on the dish to get the recipe). Hopefully this guide will help both wine aficionados and bacon devotees have the best of both worlds as they brunch their weekend away.

Fried Green Tomato BLT and a Sparkling Rose image

Poppin bottles is always fun, so why not do it with a delicious combination of bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and a sparkling Rose. The sparkling and fruitiness of the wine is a nice way to cut through the saltiness of the bacon, and it complements both the tomatoes of the BLT and the crunchiness of the bread in the sandwich.

image via menuinprogress

Quiche Lorraine and a Dry Riesling image

To get the most out of your quiche, we recommend a dry Riesling, preferably something from Germany. Germans have an uncanny knack for pairing their wines with sausages, so it only makes sense that a Riesling from this country would go incredibly well with some delicious bacon.

image via finedininglovers

French Toast and Egg Sandwich with Bacon, and Prosecco image

The sweetness of the french toast in the sandwich goes well with the fruitiness of a nice Prosecco, and the sparkling component to the wine is a great counter complement to the saltiness of the bacon.

image via allrecipes

Bacon Potato Hash and Dolcetto-D’alba image

For those unfamiliar with this wine, it’s an effervescent italian red wine that has a little bit of weight to it that will go well with the potatoes in this dish. Dolcetto D’alba is medium-bodied with low acidity, meaning it won’t make you feel terrible after devouring a heaping plate of bacon and potatoes. The wine has raspberry flavor hints that will pair well with the spiciness of the sriracha I can only assume you would be dousing your bacon potato hash in.

image via simplyscratch

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed With Goat Cheese and Viognier image

The apricot notes and fruitiness of a viognier (for those who don’t know, this wine tends to have lots of tropical flavors) are a nice complement to the fruity flavor of the dates. Viogniers also have a nice ripe acidity that can cut through the tartness of the goat cheese, making it the perfect pairing for this dish.

image via sheknows

Vinolovers Wine Spotlight: Portium Cava Brut NV

Posted by: Grace

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And as you begin to start thinking about your Thanksgiving Day Menus, it’s equally as important to plan your wine selections for the special feast. Choose a wine that pairs well with a diverse array of holiday foods and one that celebrates the special occasion with the POP!

We recommend including a Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine from the region of Catalonia, on your Thanksgiving menu this year. Catalonia, located in the north-east Iberian Peninsula of Spain, is an ideal location for wine making because of its diverse climate. The first Cava was produced in Catalonia and it’s still the best known region for producing this favorite sparkling wine. Cava is typically comprised of 3 grapes - macabeu, parallada and xarel-lo.

This week we feature Portium Cava Brut NV from Vinolovers’ portfolio. Portium Cava Brut comes from the subregion of Penedes, Spain and includes 30% chardonnay in its blend. The Chardonnay gives this wine a brighter and richer flavor, as compared to other Cava wines. Bright citrus and apple notes give this effervescent wine its pop while the distinct nutty aroma and flavors from the chardonnay round out and balance this wine.

Look for this wine in our Journeyman subscription when Vinolovers’ site goes live at the end of this month. It will be the perfect addition for your holiday meals this year!

7 Wines Every Good Host Should Have for Thanksgiving

Posted By: Carl Pierre

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Photo cred: Chicago Now

With the holidays finally upon us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, people across the country are stocking up on all the supplies and libations necessary to keep their guests satiated as well as properly sauced. In terms of purchasing the right wine for this occasion, the massive selection and options you have to choose from can be a bit daunting. This process is even made more difficult for those hosts out there that are trying to properly pair their food to the appropriate vino.


Luckily for you, we’ve decided to reduce your Thanksgiving headaches with one less worry by creating a list of seven wines that any good host should have for the big day. Feel free to use this guide to temper your Turkey Day efforts, and may the odds be ever in your favor.


1. Champagne - An obvious pick but you’ll be surprised how often people forget the bubbly at the table for their Thanksgiving celebrations. Not only does this effervescent white go with a lot of dishes, it won’t weigh your stomach down as you scarf down your third plate of marshmallow yams.


2. Pinot Noir - This is a wine with a lot of earthy aromas and tastes that pair incredibly well with any dishes using mushrooms or gravy. If you want to really blow your guests away, get a french-style Pinot Noir which are pretty earthy in its flavor profile, and will go well with the foods on the table that have the same taste.


3. Zinfandel - These are similar to the Pinot, but Zinfandels have a little bit of a more pepper and spice to it that give it even more earthiness. Pairs well with a turkey doused in gravy (which is honestly the only way you should be consuming turkey).  


4. Ports - This deliciously fortified wine pairs well with any sweet desserts, hence the phrase Ports and Pies (if you’ve never heard of that term before, it’s probably because we just made it up). If you wanted a particularly delectable pairing, try a sherry port with a fresh pumpkin pie.


5. Shiraz - The good thing about this wine is that it has the right weight to pair with the mountains of turkey you’ll likely eat, and has a peppery note which complements the variety of spices and breading used to prepare the turkey. The good thing about Shiraz is that it goes well with both white and dark meat, so everybody is happy.


6. Riesling - Even though these wines tend to be notoriously overpowering with their sweeter notes, there are actually plenty of non-sweet rieslings out there with more floral notes like apricots, honey, etc. that can pair well with the sweeter Thanksgiving dishes like cranberries and sweet potatoes. The sweet vs. non-sweet nature make for a delicious combination of flavors.


7. Rose - A dry rose (even better if it’s a Brut sparkling rose) will give you deliciousness without the sweetness, giving you the best of both worlds with the a sparkling and red dimension. It’s an easy way to satisfy two taste buds, as well as the ability to pair with a variety of Thanksgiving dishes.

 

Give the Gift of Vinolovers

A Vinolovers subscription is the perfect holiday gift this year. Be the first to give this unique wine experience to the seasoned wine-drinker in your life or novice explorer of wine. A Vinolovers subscription gives wine-drinkers exclusive access to boutique wines from around the globe based on their personal taste preferences and delivers wine subscriptions every month to their doorsteps in beautiful red boxes.

The Vinolovers experience is the total package gift as it’s educational,
convenient and tailored for wine lovers. Our team of curators makes
personalized wine recommendations giving your loved one the tasting-room experience right from the comfort of their own home. Choose a 1 month subscription or multiple month subscription for the gift that keeps on
giving.

There are two ways to give this holiday season.

  1. Vinolovers Gift Card: giving a Vinolovers gift card will provide the ultimate wine experience for your loved ones, friends or co-workers. This option gives the recipient of the gift card a personalized experience with access to individual recommendations based on their taste preferences.
  2. Curated Selection: every month Vinolovers team of curators selects wines from our portfolio to be featured and packaged together. December’s curated selection will feature wines that complement the season and holiday meals. Choose this option to send a shiny red Vinolovers box to the doorstep of your loved ones this holiday.

More information regarding the gifting options will become available when vinolovers.com goes live at the end of November!