wine wednesday: a sulfite-free red for winter nights



BOTTLE: Stellar Winery's Live-A-Little Really Ravishing Red

Origin: South Africa

What is it: 100% Shiraz grapes

Year: N/A

Where to find it: Whole Foods, Mom's Organic Market, Total Wine & More, Boutique Wine Shops (call ahead) 

Price Range: $9 

Thoughts: A lovely red that pairs perfectly with homemade pizza or a piping hot bowl 'ol curry. Fruity, but not too dry, and a little spicy. It's organic, sulfite-free and has less sugar than most wines. It's a perfect weeknight wine, which is why Maxim and I have found ourselves reaching for on our trips to Mom's Organic Market. 

Become a sommelier: Though wine has been made in the area that is now South Africa since the 1600s, it saw a major setback in the 20th century. Insects and pests ravaged vineyards, and for a large part of the century, the grapes were distilled into cheap brandy. But today, South Africa is one of the world's top ten sources of wine.

Enjoy your Wine Wednesday! 

And ICYMI: I'm learning what goes on behind-the-wine each week with the help of Wine: A Tasting Course. Buy the book and learn right along with me! 

wine wednesday {prohibition red}

I bought this on a whim on Sunday night in prep for cooking some vegan mac + cheese {yes, I'm guilty of choosing wine by how good their label looks}. I've always been weary of red blends because you never know if they're going to taste good or bad. BUT, the label of prohibition red caught me eye and now here we are. 

So happy wine wednesday! May your wine glass never empty. 


Origin: California 

What is it: Red blend (13.5% ABV)

Year: 2014

Where to find it: Whole Foods or use their store locator.  

Price Range: $6-10

Thoughts: This red is super juicy — like biting into a gusher juicy. It's super smooth and has lovely notes of berry + hints of spices. It's literally perfect for a chill evening when you're in pj's and eating leftovers + cuddling on the couch. Or with this mac + cheese recipe. Juuuuust saying, it was kind of the perfect combo to start off 2017. But if you like red wine, but hate how dry they can be, you'll love this wine. Plus, they also sell it by the box. Because that Franzia life exists off university grounds too. 

Become a sommelier: Screw caps are on the rise! Though corks have been use for centuries, many vintners (aka a wine maker or merchant) are opting out because about 5% of all wines that use natural corks can taint the smell + flavor. Yes, 5% doesn't seem like much. But the tainted wines will have an odor + taste similar to fungus, which is totally no bueno because one bad taste and consumers might be off that vineyard forever. The good news? If this happens to you, you've more than likely experienced a bottle that has a bad cork. If you're at a restaurant, simply ask them to replace the bottle. And if you're at home, contact the vineyard or company, and they should replace it for free. So here's to the screw caps! 

And ICYMI: Last year, I began learning about what goes on behind-the-wine each week with the help of Wine: A Tasting Course. But over the holidays I was gifted a new book, Secrets of the sommeliers, which now is guiding my "become a sommelier" section each week.