Tag Archives: what to drink

Wine Find: Ceja Vineyard’s Vino de Casa

If you’re looking for a great bottle to have on hand for when the need for a red arises, my current favorite is this red blend from Ceja Vineyards. It’s majority Pinot Noir (a style Ceja excels at) blended with Syrah and Merlot.

Vino de Casa Red Blend

Aroma:  bright cherries, dark fruit, spice, ripe plum and cocoa.
Palate:  crisp acidity and a caramel and supple finish.
Flavors: red and dark fruit infused with blueberry.
Favorite Pairings: all sorts of Mexican dishes and even pizza.

President of Ceja Vineyards, Amelia Moran Ceja, calls it “a breakfast, lunch, and dinner wine.” Basically, it is the perfect “everyday” wine that will pair with lots! Smooth and simple.

Also, if I’ve learned anything from selling wine, it’s that a narrative you can share with your friends while pouring them a glass is more important to most than the typical “specs” we attribute to bottles. And Ceja Vineyards has one I like! Amelia was the first Mexican-American woman ever to be elected president of a winery. She credits a strong matriarchal tradition and an independent spirit for her success, but most of all her experience with food has shaped her life choices and put her at the forefront of the wine-world in Napa. (There are even videos of her recipes on the Ceja Vineyards YouTube page!)

I love this piece of advice she shares on the vineyard’s website, “My grandmother told me, ‘Whatever you do, if you love it and learn everything you can about it, you will be successful—and not dependent on a man.’” That dedication to pursuing one’s passion is in every glass!

You can check out other bottles on offer from Ceja Vineyards HERE. Cheers!

P.S. A fun bike accessory for wine lovers and my favorite Thanksgiving wines.


Wines to Enjoy This Thanksgiving

Are you drawing a blank about what wine to pair with your upcoming Thanksgiving feast?  As I’ve mentioned before, I work a few nights a week at a local wine store, and I love passing along the nuggets of knowledge I pick up along the way. Let’s chat!

Light bodied reds pair exceptionally well with turkey and heartier vegetable sides. So a Pinot Noir is a lovely addition to any Thanksgiving table. Look for bottles from California with flavors of cherry or strawberry and hints of spice or woodsy notes.

If you’re looking for something a little heavier, but don’t want to overwhelm all those classic Thanksgiving flavors, grab a Malbec. There are tons of great bottles in that perfect under-$15 sweet spot. Pick one up from the Mendoza region and enjoy!

Of course, not everyone is a red drinker, so it’s nice to have alternative options. Chardonnay is a classic for Thanksgiving. A hearty, fruit forward flavor profile is best. Keep your eye out for flavors and aromas to complement the ingredients on your table. Apple, Vanilla, and Nutty profiles create a beautiful bridge between beverage and meal.

If you’re looking to create a fun and festive ambiance, you’ll want to include a Sparkling White. Not only do sparkling wines signify celebration, but the nutty-fruity flavor profile of most bottles works great with Thanksgiving foods. Go for something with a softer style, like a Prosecco or a bottle labeled “demi sec” or “dry”.

Looking for something a little more unexpected? Try a Pinot Gris. This Alsatian style wine has a rich and spicy character but maintains a beautiful sweetness in finish. The flavors and mouth feel are a bit more complex than other options, making each glass a fun experience for guests.

Finally, Beaujolais Nouveau is released every year on the third Thursday of November (today!) and is a fun wine to include at Thanksgiving. The wine plays into the idea of a harvest celebration as its release signifies the first wine of the year. It’s an easy-to-drink wine with low tannins and a classic grape flavor.

Do you serve wine with your Thanksgiving feast? Which of these bottles sounds like the winner for your table this year? Let me know!! xoxo