Grower of the Month // G.D. VAJRA

Photo: via The Real Review

G.D. Vajra is a family-run wine grower nestled in Vergne, the highest village in the Barolo region of Piedmont, Italy. The Vajra family tends 40 hectares of high-elevation vineyards, where breezy conditions produce complex and beautifully aromatic wines that are still distinctly Piedmontese in nature.

Aldo Vajra knew winemaking was for him from a very young age. In 1968, Aldo took over his grandfather's estate, putting his dreams of grapes and vines into action and bottling his first vintage in 1978. Since then, he has secured his place in the ranks of top tier Barolo winemakers, earned the region's first organic certification, and raised a humble and wine-loving family with his wife Milena.

The Vajra family believes in simply guiding (rather than forcing) the grapes into their full and truest expression in the wine bottle, and their respect for the land and sustainable farming practices are crucial features of this philosphy. Aldo personally derives great joy from dreaming up a...

Grower of the Month Double Feature // LIOCO + MELVILLE

Photo: via Melville

*This post is part of our Grower of the Month series, in which we spotlight a winery (or two) that we love!*

This month's Grower of the Month is a double feature! Enjoy this peek into two California wineries that embody the spirit of minimalist winemaking.

LIOCO

California's LIOCO winery is run by husband-and-wife duo Matt and Sara Licklider (pictured above), but it began as a dream between two wine professionals. In the early 2000s, Matt and wine director Kevin O'Connor set out to craft wines that favored nuance and sense of place over the more forceful and exaggerated winemaking techniques dominating the market at the time.

Their small operation is now run by Matt, his wife, Sara, and a teeny tiny team of winemakers and tasting room staff. Together, they purchase fruit grown primarily from Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties and then simply "get out of the way." That's it! The LIOCO mission is to let exceptional fruit take the lead, with just a little nudge here and there...

Taste or Treat: Wine Pairings for Your Halloween Party

Photo: Nika Benedictova via Unsplash

Do you ever miss trick-or-treating? I do! What other excuse do I have to house a bowl of fun-size Snickers?

Luckily, adulthood allows for some other delicious things. Like wine! And homemade snacks that give Snickers a run for its money. Throw your own adult-friendly Halloween party this Fall with these festive food and wine pairing ideas.

CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER
DRINK: El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez Sherry
This spiced sherry is light on its feet and a perfect foil for nutty and milk chocolatey treats.

APPLE, PUMPKIN, BUTTER, CINNAMON
DRINK: Jim Barry 'Wintervale' Riesling
This Riesling is both rich in honeycomb flavor and lifted with citrus and florals that compliment all things pumpkin spice and baked apple.

DARK CHOCOLATE, RED VINES
DRINK: Rob Murray Vnyds 'Force of Nature' Zinfandel
Dark red and black fruit make this Zinfandel a friend to dark chocolate treats and classic licorice.

MARSHMALLOW, NOUGAT, SALTED CARAMEL
DRINK: Elderton 'E Series' Chardonnay 
A creamy, peachy Chardonnay...

FRIDAY FAVES // Cozy Squash Recipes, Reads, and Wines for Fall

Photo: Dimitri Jablokov via Unsplash

Happy Fall, y'all! Please enjoy some of our favorite internet finds this week, plus wine pairings to drink with them.

FRIDAY FAVES - 9.23.22

 

- Okay, this Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese is absolutely going on my to-make list. It's going to ROCK alongside a creamy but bright and minerally Chardonnay (see below).
> DRINK THIS: De Wetshof Estate 'Bon Vallon' Chardonnay

- Temps are dropping, friends! Get cozy with our somm-selected wines for Fall.

- Fred Franzia has passed away at age 79. Wine Enthusiast does a deep dive on the man's impact on bargain wines.
> DRINK THIS: Left Coast Cellars White Pinot Noir

- Need a great book recommendation for the winter months ahead? I love this Cup of Jo post calling for readers' top three books!
> DRINK THIS: Paolo Scavino Nebbiolo

- A great little guide for how to change your skincare routine for Fall and Winter.
> DRINK THIS: J. Bouchon 'Paîs Viejo'

- We've got our eyes on Minnesota's Fall Colors Finder! Where are you planning on peeping the leaves...

Love Mushrooms? Here's Your Wine!

Photo: Kalineri Designs via Unsplash

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: MUSHROOM season is upon us! And there are plenty of reasons to get excited about it! As the fall colors come in and the temps cool down, we’re finding ourselves getting crafty in the kitchen, with a glass of wine in hand (of course). 

Speaking of vino, one of the many reasons we love the wine + mushroom combo is the health aspect. At Sip Better, we truly are sipping better with wines low in calories, sugar and made with organic and biodynamic processes. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, mushrooms are also natural immunity system boosters. We love all things that TASTE good, but to also FEEL good is really the cherry on top.

From stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer or side dish to pair with the main course, creamy mushroom soup for those chillier nights, or a classic pasta and mushroom dish, the list is never ending. So now that your wheels are spinning on how to...

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