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Jul26, 2017

Croquet Garden Party

July 26th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Croquet_blogThwack! Croquet, that suburban yard game of sticks-and-wickets, is enjoying an adult resurgence, and not a moment too soon: nothing says summer like a freshly mown lawn, which is croquet's best playing field. It is believed that croquet originated in 14th century France, where peasants whacked balls through bent willow branches. In 1852 the game arrived in England via Ireland, where "crooky" had been played since the 1830's. However, it was a 19th century French doctor who gave the game of croquet its name, taken from the French word for "crooked stick." Wimbledon began hosting croquet championships in 1870, but after seven years replaced those with tournaments of the newly popular game of lawn tennis. Before becoming a backyard childhood staple, croquet was a decidedly adult game, much beloved by America's East Coast literati: indeed, croquet's official all-white attire lends it a Gatsby-esque flair. Croquet's level playing field allowed men and women to compete together equally, one of the first sports to do so. However, Boston banned the sport in 1890, to ensure that couples didn't slip off into the bushes together in search of missing croquet balls.

Host your own grown-up croquet garden party with a table tented by crisp white linens and set with blue-and-white patterned china. Verdant summer salads chilled in trays of ice will keep their crunch while players swing their mallets between frosty glasses of pinot grigio, or rosé. One to try? Our shipment's Château du Clos Sainte-Anne Rosé 2015, Bordeaux AOC, France. The basic rules of backyard croquet are genial and relaxed, just like a memorable summer afternoon—enjoy a game today!

Jul14, 2017

Patio Pairings: 4 Exotic, European Whites for Summer Dining

July 14th, 2017|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell  

Patio Pairings_blogVermentino: Vermentino is a white wine grown primarily on the Mediterranean, especially in Sardinia — a rugged, old-world island off the coast of southern Italy, where it is produced in a light, unoaked style. Dubbed “the most underrated wine in Europe,” Vermentino can often be found at a stunning value. If you can get your hands on a Sardinian Vermentino this summer, pair it like they do in southern Italy: with spicy shellfish, young pecorino cheese, or prosciutto-wrapped melon.

Grüner Vetliner: Grüner is a famed white wine grown mostly in central and eastern Europe. Similar to Riesling and Austrian in origin, this light, fruity wine has a compelling touch of spice and honey. Order Grüner to pair with grilled vegetables, herby salads, and fresh cheeses like goat cheese or burrata.

Albariño: With a floral bouquet and a palate lush with citrus and stone fruit, Albariño is a delicious, refreshing, aromatic white wine perfect for the patio. Hailing from Spain, it’s an ideal pairing for summer seafood dishes. Enjoy Albariño with steamed mussels, citrusy grilled shrimp, or halibut.

Vinho Verde: This eccentric Portuguese offering is growing in popularity stateside! Translated as Green Wine, Vinho Verde is young, crisp, and citrusy with a bit of spritz to it. Unexpected bonus: at 9-10%, the very low alcohol content makes it perfect for afternoon sipping! Pair it with street tacos, a light seafood salad, or fruit.

Jul7, 2017

Portugal's Tejo Wine Region

July 7th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Portugal's Tejo Wine Region_blogPortugal has been quietly producing a wide range of vibrant and affordable wines for several years now, most hailing from the central, landlocked wine region of Tejo. Formerly (until 2009) known as Ribatejo, the region's new name honors the Tejo river—the longest on the Iberian peninsula—which defines the local terroir and provides natural irrigation to vines planted near its banks. Not far from the capital city of Lisbon, the Tejo region dates its winemaking from the year 1170, before the Portuguese kingdom itself was founded. It features over thirty thousand acres of native cork forests, which account for almost half of the world's cork production. A strong community aspect is still apparent at regional wineries featuring lagares, which are large, shallow concrete or stone tanks where the grape harvest is crushed by foot! The Tejo river is responsible for the region's diverse and fertile soils, as well as tempering its Mediterranean-style climate. The region supports rice, fruit crops and olive trees in addition to its stellar grape varietals.

Regional historic highlights include the medieval city of Santarém, which overlooks the Tejo river and boasts the largest number of Gothic churches in any Portuguese city, and the Convento de Cristo, original fortress of the Knights Templar, located in the mountain foothill city of Tomar. The Tejo region is also where the famed "dancing" Lusitano horse breed originated, and many wineries still stable Lusitanos and provide dressage areas for them on their grounds. Has this region's sunny climate and colorful history made you curious—and thirsty for a plummy, floral-spiced red? Try a glass of our shipment's Lobo e Falcão 2015 Vinho Regional Tejo IGT, Portugal while you look for your passport, and consider a Portuguese winery tour as your next vacation!

Jun27, 2017

Wine Region: Delle Venezie

June 27th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Delle Venezie_blogItaly is traditionally known for stellar reds, but this exceptional country also boasts a claim to fame for outstanding white wines: Delle Venezie, located in the large, north-east zone of Italy that is demarcated Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), forms the mammoth core of Italy's Pinot Grigio production. Flat river valleys, coastal plains, and Alpine foothills distinguish this region's cool climate, which produces delicate, fresh wines that are beloved throughout the world. This large wine zone encompasses the Tre Venezie area, once part of the Venetian Empire, whose three regions are today known as Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneti, and Trentino-Alto, whose ancient towns and cities are steeped in history. The city of Venice alone is a destination for many romantic reasons, and forms a hub of tourism for not only its food and wine, but film festivals and museums.

The nearby Alps and Adriatic Sea provide a cooling influence on the region's mountain-ringed vineyards that Northern Italian locals call aria condizionata (air conditioned), which creates the ideal atmosphere for grapes that lock in fresh fruit flavors. Perfumed with peach, our wine clubs Alessandro Gallici Pinot Grigio 2015 is an invigorating white suitable to sip alone, or as an ideal accompaniment to light-sauced chicken and seafood dishes. Raise a glass to Italy's diverse wine offerings with this superb chilled white!

Jun20, 2017

June Hosts National Gardening Week!

June 20th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

National Gardening Week_blogNational Gardening Week spans the first full week of June, and celebrates the many bucolic pleasures of this popular American hobby. The tending and enjoyment of one's garden (perhaps for the first time this year!) may be the week's primary focus, but the education of curious newbies is also encouraged: the National Garden Club promotes organized gardening events and activities during this holiday week.

Still unsure how to best celebrate? Welcoming family and friends into your personal garden this summer is a wonderful way to show off the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labor, while providing the perfect opportunity for basic gardening questions to be asked and answered. Munchies for your guests? Salads featuring seasonal goodies like heirloom tomatoes, beets, and grilled asparagus spears are surefire hits. To keep thirst at bay, a crisp white wine chilled almost-to-ice is the ideal accompaniment for a stroll around the garden or leisurely chat on the back porch: try pairing your slice of the outdoors with the peachy, tropical notes of our shipment's Sendero des Santos, Albariño 2013, Rías Baixas DO, Spain.

This year, National Gardening week might be the start of a summer spent mostly—and most happily—outside. Cheers!

May26, 2017

TCM Start of the Month: Clark Gable

May 26th, 2017|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Clark Gable_blog“You know, nights when you and the moon and the water all become one? You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That’s the only place to live... where the stars are so close over your head you feel you could reach up and stir them around.
Clark Gable as Peter Warne, It Happened One Night (1934)


This May, we are celebrating Clark Gable as TCM star of the month! Often referred to as the King of Hollywood, America’s favorite mid-century romantic lead will be stealing the show at TCM all month long. Most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, Gable is known for his dark good looks, nonchalant smile, and that mischievous twinkle in his eye, which crushed our hearts and catapulted him to the top of the A-List following his Academy Award-winning performance in It Happened One Night (1934), Capra’s winsome Depression era screwball. In the film, screening on TCM this month, Gable is cast opposite the fiery Claudette Colbert in a he-meets-she-road-trip-romp-from-hell that ends, of course, in unexpected true love.

The set up and ensuing pandemonium, so full of friction between two unlikely lovers (friction that is rumored to have been as real off screen as on!) was so successful, it has since become a Hollywood cliche. But for all the images that ossified into the tropes we now recognize (quarrels between a down-and-out journalist and a bratty socialite, pretending to be a married couple, a sexy leg stopping traffic), Capra was breaking ground when wrote the play book for the modern rom-com, and Gable certainly set the standard for Hollywood heartthrob, a bar modern actors are still trying to reach. This month, we hope you join us as we kick back and celebrate Clark Gable (and Capra!) with a glass of something dark, red, and sassy. And while we watch, they’ll remind us we’re a part of something as big and marvelous, too.



May24, 2017

Happy International Chardonnay Day!

May 24th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Chardonnay Day_blogInternational Chardonnay Day traditionally falls on the Thursday before Memorial Day (May 25th, this year), but there's nothing "traditional" about this stalwart summer staple when it comes to flavor: crisp and fruity unoaked versions are beginning to win over the pinot grigio crowd, while the familiar buttery-cream oaked ambrosia is still in high demand.

Where has this greener, fruit-forward, and unoaked version of chardonnay been hiding? In the Chablis region of France, it seems. Chablis wines are traditionally made sans oak, utilizing stainless steel barrels instead. Without the butter-cream flavor input of oak, Chablis chardonnays retain only their pure varietal tastes, which tend to present as green apple and lemon. This Chablis style of no-oak chardonnays has gained in popularity world-wide, helped by the fact that it's cheaper to produce (no new oak barrels to buy regularly). That said, buttery chardonnays are here to stay. Their unique tasting notes of vanilla and dill, as well as their rich mouth feel, make oaked chardonnays equally ideal to sip alone or enhance the flavors of summer seafood and white meat dishes. Ready to celebrate this fine day of chardonnay with a glass featuring ripe peach and lemon flavors? Try our shipment's Chemins de Casel Chardonnay 2015, Pays d'Oc IGP, France. And, Happy Memorial Day!!!

May15, 2017

Mother's Day Montepulciano!

May 15th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

MothersDayMother's Day doesn't actually require starched shirts, roses, and mimosas: it's just somehow ended up skewing formal, when it's really a celebration of the casual, everyday joys of togetherness that mark the best times of our lives. Since a lot of those times likely involved gathering round the television, this year consider sharing a laid back afternoon of great family movies and fine red wine with Mom. Our shipment's Monteguelfo 2011, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Italy, has a smooth, full-bodied flavor that boasts depths of dark fruit and is perfect for sipping between antipasto snacks. Continue Mom's living-room tour of Italy and its surrounding beach nations with these time-tested faves:

Roman Holiday (1953): Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck conquer Rome (and everyone's hearts!) with just a pixie cut and a scooter. This guaranteed crowd-pleaser glows with stellar cinematography and the solemnly romantic notion of honoring duty above self—just like Mom!

Mamma Mia! (2008): Keep the olives, add some feta! This kaleidoscope of sun, water, and song stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth, who tug at some serious heartstrings between all of the eye- and ear-candy. Fill your glass and your plate before sitting down to watch this one!

Steel Magnolias (1989): "If you don't have anything nice to say, sit next to me!" This classic charmer has it all: mountains of delectable-looking Southern food, a sassy beautician, and chronic illness. You will laugh and cry and ask for seconds, then Mom will tell you it's time for bed, just like the old days.

May5, 2017

International Sauvignon Blanc Day

May 5th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Intl Suav Blanc Day_blogThe first week of May has no shortage of established celebration days: May Day is May the 1st, Star Wars Day is May the 4th (Be With You), but the first Friday of May–which this year falls on May the 5th—is International Sauvignon Blanc Day, a fine official opportunity indeed to both savor and honor this crisp, herbaceous varietal. Originally thought to hail from France's Loire Valley, the Sauvignon Blanc ("Wild White") grape is now grown all over the world, most notably in the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island. In fact, this region starts ramping up for International Sauvignon Blanc Day in April, with sixteen days of celebration before the first Friday of May!

Anchored by a savory, mown-lawn aspect, the fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc (typically kiwi and lime, but can also lean toward peach and nectarine) depend upon the region and ripeness of the grapes, as evidenced by the distinct passion fruit aroma of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. The grassy notes of this wine pair especially well with salads, the green flavors of peas and asparagus, and Fridays. Celebrate this May the 5th with an offering from our shipment, The Essentials Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough, New Zealand. 

May1, 2017

TCM Date Night! Movie, Wine & Dinner

May 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Tonight we are featuring the perfect TCM Wine Club Date Night! Join us today, May 1st at 11:15pm ET. 

Tasting Notes-poster tn-Chemins_de_Casel

The Movie: The Earrings of Madame De
The Wine: Chemins de Casel Chardonnay 201
The Recipe: Braised Chicken Thighs with Herbed Cream Sauce

The Earrings of Madame De: 

When a woman sells her earrings to pay a gambling debt, it leads to a string of betrayals. Drama,Romance | Black and White | 100 mins.

Chemin de Casel Chardonnay Tasting Notes:

This satisfying red blend is perfect for a highly entertaining Western like Rio Bravo, which not only features the iconic John Wayne, but singers Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson as well. Enjoy a glass of this spicy and earthy wine with Howard Hawks' vivid Technicolor Western. Read more >

Braised Chicken_blogBraised Chicken Thighs with Herbed Cream Sauce:

Chef Sarah Sparks developed a delicious braised chicken recipe featuring our Chardonnay. This is a delicious dish and the perfect pairing for date night with your loved one. Recipe here >


If you are taking part in this TCM Wine Club Date Night, please take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

May1, 2017

Braised Chicken Thighs with Herbed Cream Sauce

May 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Recipe by Chef Sarah Sparks

Braised Chicken Thighs with Herbed Cream Sauce and Chemins de Casel Chardonnay 

Braised Chicken_blog2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion, medium julienne
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup Chemins de Casel Chardonnay
2 cups chicken stock
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack positioned in the center. Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 4 qt dutch oven or saute pan over medium high heat. Place chicken skin side down and cook for 8-10 minutes until crispy. Turn thighs over and brown an additional 4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

2. Add onion to pan and saute about 4 minutes until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add wine to deglaze pan and cook about 2 minutes then stir in dijon mustard. Add chicken stock rosemary and thyme. Bring to a simmer.

3. Transfer chicken back to saute pan, make sure skin side remains above the braising liquid. Move pan to oven and cook, uncovered until internal temperature of the chicken is 165F, about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how large the thighs are.

4. Transfer chicken to platter and reduce the braising liquid over medium high heat until about 1/2 cup remains. Discard sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Add heavy cream and reduce sauce further over medium low heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour sauce over chicken, garnish with chopped fresh thyme and coarsely ground pepper.


More about Chef Sarah Sparks: 

Sarah SparksI was born to a couple of expats living in Hong Kong, we moved to the Philippines for a short while before settling in Houston where I grew up.  I went to the University of Texas in Austin and graduated in 2010.  I got my start in the culinary world cooking in food trucks, got a little taste of fine dining working at Qui, and now work for Barr Mansion, an all organic, zero waste events venue in Austin.  I'm passionate about the environment and sustainable foods, as well as traveling and having drinks with good friends.


Apr19, 2017

New Genre Alert: Income Tax Movies!

April 19th, 2017|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Income Tax Movies_Blog

Tax Time is here, and so is the itch to procrastinate: what's a law-abiding movie buff to do?? This situation does indeed have a loophole: the Income Tax Movie! As early as the 1930's, a surprising number of films feature the IRS in a leading role. Watch one (with that wine you were going to drink today anyway), and it's almost like doing your taxes...

The Shawshank Redemption (1994): Frank Darabont's directorial debut proves that knowing your way around the tax code will always come in handy, even behind bars: watch inmate Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)'s life begin to improve just as quick as you can say "spousal gift tax exclusion." Pair this flick with the rich blackberry notes of Altos de la Guardia Tempranillo 2015 Rioja DOCa, Spain.

The Mating Game (1959): The Larkins are a charming rural family of income tax evaders, investigated by tax man Charley Charlton (Tony Randall). Will eldest daughter Mariette (Debbie Reynolds) and Pa's moonshine be enough to distract the IRS man from his case? Pour a glass of Bee's Knees Viognier 2015 Stellenbosch WO, South Africa and sip along with the Larkins!

Say Anything (1989): Cameron Crowe's romantic slice-of-life reminds us that while boom boxes may be powerless against the IRS, they're pretty great at melting cynical hearts. Try watching this classic with the ripe mineral citrus of Tangent 'Block Selection' Grenache Blanc 2015 Edna Valley, California.


Mar30, 2017

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb: A Cozy March Recipe for the Last Days of Winter

March 30th, 2017|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

In like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb_blogThis March, TCM is celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a series of films set in Ireland. As the last of the year’s wild weather batters the country, get cozy at home with an Irish-inspired TCM film like The Quiet Man (1952) or The Informer (1935) and a glass of bold red wine from your TCM shipment! Want to make a night of it? Try our decadent wine-paired recipe for our hearty Irish lamb stew.


3 pounds of lamb chops

4 large onions

2 whole cloves of garlic

1 pound root vegetables such as carrots or parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 pounds of new potatoes, peeled and cut in half

4 cups of beef broth

A generous drizzle of olive oil

A cup of red wine


Cut lamb from bone and slice into chunks. Seasons with salt and pepper. In an enameled cast iron dutch oven, drizzle olive oil and brown the meat. Add carrots or parsnips and sliced onions, and sizzle until golden and fragrant. Add whole smashed garlic cloves, and cook until golden. Add the red wine to the pot and simmer until reduced. Add the beef broth, potatoes, and fresh thyme. Simmer for at least two hours, or until lamb is tender and broth has thickened. Season to taste and serve with chopped fresh parsley and hot buttered soda bread and a bold red wine!


Mar17, 2017

Raising Our Glass to Robert Osborne: 1932 - 2017

March 17th, 2017|1 Comment

by Sarah Shotwell

Robert Osborne_blogIt has been a week and a half since we said goodbye to TCM Icon Robert Osborne. Since March 6th, it has been truly heartwarming to watch the world process this tragic and deeply felt loss, as writers, actors, producers, and fans have come forward to share their memories of this remarkable man.

Robert was originally from Washington, where he studied journalism. When he was a young man, he worked with Lucille Ball at Desilu Studios, and that experience helped kickstart his career as a movie writer. During his life, Robert worked in numerous capacities within the industry as a reporter, commentator, host, writer, and even actor. Robert reviewed Broadway plays and films professionally for years before finally settling down at TCM, where he hosted four movies a night, seven days a week. It has been because of his platform at TCM that Robert became a household fixture and voice of the movies for many American families over the decades. Truly, Mr. Osborne was acclaimed and respected as a film critic and writer. As many people have said over the last several days, the man knew his movies like none other. But even more than that, it seems that the world agrees that as much as he loved the movies and was a well of keen insight, it was his person that will be missed most of all. He was admired for his knowledge, but is beloved for his character and kindness. Writer after writer has said it in the last several days, and they couldn’t me more on the mark. Today, at the TCM Wine Club, we raise a glass to you, Robert. Thank you for all the memories, and for all the passion you shared with us over the years.

Mar10, 2017

Regional Spotlight: Rías Baixas, Spain

March 10th, 2017|1 Comment

by Sarah Shotwell

Rias Baixas_Region SpotlightRias Baixas (Lower Inlets) is home to the impressive Sendero Des Santos Albariño featured in our current TCM Wine Club shipment. On the southwestern coast of Galicia, Rias Baixas is a damp, cool winegrowing region just to the north of Portugal. Here, the coastline is made up of four different Rias: small, funnel-shaped coastal inlets that send ocean water inland, where it mingles with fresh river water.

The thick-skinned Albariño grape thrives in Galicia’s cooler climate. In fact, Albariño, a beautiful, fresh, aromatic varietal with incredible food-pairing potential, originated here back in the 12th Century, when German monks brought the original clones from Northern Europe. For this reason, it is believed to be a close relative of Riesling, and contains many of the aromatic, floral, and acidic qualities of its teutonic cousin. Rias Baixas is also home to a thriving fishing community, and in towns like Cambados, visitors will be thrilled to find Albariño paired with exotic local mariscos (seafood) such as pulpo (octopus), percebes (goose barnacles), and nécora (velvet crab). Here at home, as the days get warmer and longer, white wine season is fast approaching. We look forward to pairing this with the first spring catch!

Have you tried the Sendero Des Santos Albariño? We would love to hear your food pairing recommendations on Facebook!  

Mar2, 2017

Bolo Nero ‘Edizione Limitata’ 2012

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Movie & Wine Pairing


Bolo Nero ‘Edizione Limitata’ 2012
Castel del Monte DOC, Italy

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
SUNDAY, MARCH 19 @ 02:15 PM
SUNDAY, APRIL 23 @ 10:00 PM

The vibrant, savory palate and smoky aromas of this wine are perfect for a noirinfused drama like Sweet Smell of Success, with its daring and memorable performances from its lead actors. Among them, Tony Curtis’ image as a matinee idol was quickly shattered by his role as a scheming newspaper assistant, and it deserves to be paired with a red wine of flavorful depth and intrigue.






The wines of Castel del Monte are hot right now – perhaps none hotter than Bolo Nero. Crafted at Francesco Liantonio’s acclaimed Torrevento winery in the sunny hills of Murgia, it was awarded the prestigious Tre Bicchieri rating in the 2015 Gambero Rosso guide (alongside $150 Sassicaia, $200 Biondi Santi Brunello and $250 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, just to name a few). A classic blend of deep, dark Nero di Troia and spicy Aglianico, Bolo Nero also has 88 points from Wine Enthusiast, whose editors wrote this delicious-sounding note: “Aromas of smoke, underbrush, espresso and grilled herb lead the nose … the palate offers dried black cherry, anisette, coffee and toast.”
Castel del Monte translates as ‘castle on the hill,’ named for the magnificent castle that anchors the appellation. Altitude is this sunny region’s key advantage. As Francesco explains: “In summer we have temperature changes between day and night of 15-30°F. This gives freshness to the wine.”

Torrevento’s vineyards are spread across Murgia, a rugged and stony sub-region of Puglia (inset). Since World War II, the Liantonio family have produced wines using time-honored traditional methods. They have built a big reputation by specializing in Puglia’s indigenous grapes (like Nero di Troia), winning maximum ratings from Italy’s leading critics, year-in and year-out.

Bolo Nero is a top choice for your next Italian-themed dinner party. Start things off with an antipasti plate, then move to a main course of richly sauced pastas, like lamb ragù over fettuccine or beef Bolognese and spaghetti. You could also [...]

Mar2, 2017

Bees Knees Shiraz Viognier 2015

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Movie & Wine Pairing


Bees Knees Shiraz Viognier 2015
Stellenbosch WO, South Africa

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 @ 11:30 PM (ET)

Producer Val Lewton’s films from the 1940s don’t fit easily into one category, but they are all of consistent high quality and enduring appeal – much like this South African Shiraz-Viognier blend. Pour a glass and enjoy the macabre and highly enjoyable story of a nurse who discovers the disturbing cause of her patient’s mental paralysis on a remote Caribbean island, the perfect blend of film genres.






Travel to the heart of South Africa’s gorgeous Stellenbosch region, and at the end of your trek (a 21-hour flight from the U.S.), you’ll find the Gabb family’s aptly named estate, Journey’s End. “With quality remarkably high and consistent I was particularly struck by Journey’s End … Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen clearly does a fine job,” writes Jancis Robinson, MW. Their new release marries Shiraz (South Africa’s flagship red) with a splash of aromatic Viognier (5%), all grown during the stellar 2015 vintage. With ripe red fruit and lovely floral notes, it’s truly the bees knees!
Founded in 1996, Journey’s End is the type of small, quality-driven operation that’s putting South Africa on the fine wine map – with the acclaim from top shows like the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards to prove it. Winemaker Leon Esterhuizen, whose experience includes harvests at Napa Valley’s Chappelle Estate and Spain’s Bodegas Castaño, has been working his magic in the cellar since 2005.

Often called South Africa’s answer to Napa Valley, “Stellenbosch consistently produces the greatest number of the Cape’s finest wines” (Tim Atkin, MW). The region has been home to winemaking since the 17th century, and today, its quality-focused, boutique estates are among the most awarded in the country. Fun fact: the local university is the only in South Africa to offer a degree in viticulture.

In Shiraz’s spiritual home, France’s Rhône Valley (where locals call it Syrah), they would serve this smooth, oak-aged red with game meats. We recommend braised venison or a hearty [...]

Feb2, 2017

Collezione di Paolo Riserva 2013

February 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Movie & Wine Pairing


All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Currently There Is No Schedule.


Douglas Sirk’s melodrama for the ages is one of the most stunningly photographed movies in Hollywood history. Watch it while drinking this velvety and richly flavorful Chianti, full of concentrated fruit aromas and earthy spice. Its abundance of personality matches memorable turns by Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson, who costar in a controversial 1950s romance.






Here’s Chianti master Paolo Masi’s private collection Riserva. This Sangiovese-dominant red is only made in exceptional years, and only from his oldest vines (the lower yields make for intense flavors). It impressed top critic James Suckling, who rated it 91 points and raved: “shows lots of richness and intensely ripe fruit … Full body, round and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish.” Aged 14 months in fine French barriques (for extra complexity), with twoplus years in bottle, it’s the perfect red for your next Italian feast.
Since graduating top of his class at Florence’s wine university, “Paolo Masi has made an excellent impression with the estate wines of his family property,” says The Wine Advocate . Respected Italian wine guide Gambero Rosso also sings his praises, writing that his wines show “irreproachably clean, fresh fruit and abundant personality.” Paolo, pictured below with his lovely wife, Anna Rita, works his magic at the family estate in Rufina (more in the next section).

Fattoria di Basciano, Paolo and Anna Rita’s family estate, is located in the heart of Chianti’s premium Rufina area. It stands on a hill overlooking the Argomenna valley on one side and the right bank of the Siene river on the other (it’s as gorgeous as it sounds!). The area’s dry, breezy microclimate and heat-trapping stony soil (known locally as galestro ) are ideal for growing Sangiovese.

Food-friendliness is Sangiovese’s calling card. If there’s time before your meal, decant Paolo’s Riserva to release the full potential of aroma and flavor. Then, serve with hearty Italian dishes like osso buco , pasta with a rich tomato ragù (a big Masi family favorite) or [...]

Dec30, 2016

Ring In The New Year With A Movie Musical Sing Along!

December 30th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

new-years-eve-sing-along_blogNew Year's Eve should be the easiest calendar holiday to celebrate: at the stroke of midnight, pop open some sparkling wine and kiss whoever's next to you. However, this basic ritual suffers from both brevity and awkward time placement, leaving celebrants with hours to fill before The Big Moment. Want to skip hanging out at an overpriced bar, or distant house party this year? Then polish your pipes along with those party shoes and ring in the New Year with a Movie Musical Sing Along!

Some urban movie theaters offer New Year's Eve sing along screenings that end shortly before midnight, giving attendees enough time to dash outside for the local fireworks display. But this tradition can absolutely be enjoyed at home: here are a few suggested movies (all of which pair superbly with a sparkling rosé, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc like Domaine de la Colline 2014 from Touraine AOC, France to watch this New Year's Eve...

Moulin Rouge (2001): Decadent and a touch tragic, this might not seem the best choice to usher in a hopeful New Year, until you remember the amount of music it contains. There are twenty songs to sing along with, spanning enough decades and musical genres to ensure that everyone at your soiree will find something to love.

Pitch Perfect (2015): A cappella, anyone?? This sweet-and-spicy flick about a college female a cappella group competition is available in a sing along edition featuring onscreen lyrics to make bursting into song even easier.

Grease (1978): The granddaddy of movie theater sing alongs! This classic, hits-filled romp provides an instant costume theme for a New Year's Eve party, plus the dvd's "Rockin' Rydell Edition" has onscreen lyrics for all the songs.

Dec22, 2016

Wine and Movie Pairing: Strangers on a Train (1951) with Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc

December 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

strangers-on-a-train_blogThis Christmas, take a break from your wonderful conveyor belt of holiday films, and indulge in a classy double murder, paired (appropriately) with two contrasting wines.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train is a pulse-jogging thriller narrating the story of two men who cross paths while traveling. Mid-Century heartthrob Farley Granger plays the unlucky protagonist, Guy Haines, a tennis star with a saucy, infuriating ex-wife bent on making his life miserable. But the show is stolen by the charming Bruno (Robert Walker), the magnetic antagonist who nails down the iconic, Hitchcockian trope of the “loveable psychopath” like he was born to do it. Bruno is a wealthier, classier, and funnier Norman Bates (Psycho), with an equally strange relationship with his mother. Strangers on a Train, while lesser known than pop favorites like Vertigo, Rear Window, and The Birds, holds its own among Hitchcock’s best films, and is a regular favorite of film instructors. Full of visual motifs (lobsters! tennis rackets! coke-bottle glasses!), psychological tension, sinister camera angles, and eye-popping lighting, Strangers on a Train still holds the breathless attention of modern audiences, without revealing a single drop of blood.

This crowd-pleasing film deserves a pair of two wines to share among friends. In the spirit of black-and-white character doubles, we think a spicy, earthy Pinot Noir and a light, crisp Pinot Blanc do the job delightfully. Opposites best attract when they share a common denominator. Two Pinots. Two murders. Criss-cross.

Strangers on a Train will play on TCM on December 22, 6:00 PM (ET) and Sunday, January 1 at 7:30 AM (ET)

Dec20, 2016

National Sangria Day Is December 20th!

December 20th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

national-sangria-day_blogMaking the 20th of December National Sangria Day might not seem like the most intuitive choice, but in some respects we can't believe it didn't come sooner: this week of December is rife with holiday parties featuring huge crystal punchbowls, and Sangria makes for a great holiday punch, perfect as a make-ahead since marination is a big part of the final product's success. Introduced to the USA at New York City's 1964 World's Fair, Sangria's basic components are wine, fruit, orange juice, sugar, liquor and ice. These ingredients are always up for interpretation, but Winter provides an excellent opportunity to creatively bring Harvest and Yuletide flavors to a traditionally warm-weather drink.

The wine part of the basic Sangria equation, even in Winter, should still be a quality bold, dry Spanish red like Garnacha, Tempranillo or Rioja, but also consider trying the bubbly surprise of a white Sangria made with Cava or Prosecco, its effervescence pointing to the coming New Year celebrations. As for the type of fruit used in Winter Sangria, think seasonal: sliced Blood Oranges or pears, diced Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples, fresh cranberries or even figs. For the liquid citrus component, in place of orange juice pour apple cider, cranberry, or pomegranate juice. Using a sweetener with your recipe? Swap agave syrup or brown sugar for plain white, and don't be afraid of adding a cinnamon stick for kick if the spirit moves you. The traditional liquor additions for Sangria are brandy or rum, both of which are great December flavors, but cognac is also a nice choice this time of year. Even Sangria's humble ingredient of ice can be wintrified: frozen cubes of apple, cranberry or pomegranate juice will keep your Sangria both cold and undiluted.

Remember that Sangria, whether prepared in Summer or Winter, is an always-forgiving and constantly-evolving drink that encourages and rewards innovation. Celebrate National Sangria Day this holiday season with a Winter concoction all your own!

Dec15, 2016

New Winter Tradition: Yuletide Yosemite

December 15th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

yuletide-yosemite_blogIf December has come to mean just staying home (or travelling to someone else's home) for the holidays, consider switching things from ho-hum to full-on Winter Wonderland with a visit to Yosemite National Park when it's covered with snow, not tourists. Family summer road trips have become such a collective rite of passage that it's easy to forget our national parks are indeed open year-round: Yosemite's winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and snow shoeing, as well as the more unexpected delight of ice skating at Half-Dome Village's outdoor rink (you can rent skates and store your shoes in a warming hut while you're on the ice)!

But the real reason to give this national park a Yuletide try occurs indoors: The Bracebridge Dinner At Yosemite. Inspired by Washington Irving's sketchbook, "A Christmas at Bracebridge Hall," this Christmas pageant extraordinaire was created in 1927 and is still performed each year in the grand Dining Room of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Over the years the pageant has been shaped by a committed cast of core members, at one time including photographer and part-time Valley resident Ansel Adams (whose script for the Bracebridge Dinner remains largely the same since its debut in 1929), and continues to evolve with the addition of choral music, new characters and costumes. There is also the food: the bounty of a seven-course 18th century feast, replete with modern stand-ins for the likes of Peacock Pie, Baron of Beef, and Plum Pudding and Wassail. And, wine stewards abound for help with the dinner's wine selections.

Perhaps even at home, this December will offer the chance to experience traditions in a non-traditional setting—hopefully paired with a great glass of wine!

Dec12, 2016

Regional Spotlight: California’s Central Coast

December 12th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

regional-spotlight_central-coast_blogIn this season’s introductory case, we’ve included Ridgeridger Cellars Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast! The Central Coast is a large AVA (American Viticultural Area) spanning from Santa Barbara County all the way up through Santa Cruz (just south and west of the San Francisco Bay Area). The region encompasses many smaller AVAs with varied climates and soil types, including Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, and Carmel Valley. This strikingly beautiful region has launched some internationally recognizable, award-winning wines in recent years, and is giving Napa and Sonoma a run for their money. It has also been home to many classic movie sets, including The Ten Commandments, Scar Face, The Spirit of St. Louis, and Of Mice and Men.

Some of the most notable wines from the Central Coast have been Bordeaux and Rhône-inspired blends out of Paso Robles, Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, and Chardonnay from the Arroyo Seco region. The Central Coast, which has been called “The Heart of Spanish California,” is a blossoming region tucked between the major cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and includes the most famed stretch of Highway 1. Along this very long wine trail, visitors get an eyeful of the Pacific Ocean and blue skies with endless options for passionately grown farm-to-table fare along the way. Best of all, the region is known first and foremost for being happy, friendly, and hospitable, which proves our long held theory that wine, no matter the price, always pairs best with kindness.

Dec5, 2016

Merry National Repeal Day!

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

merry-national-repeal-day_blogIt's hard to believe now, but for thirteen dark years early in the 20th century, alcohol was outlawed in the United States when Congress passed the 18th Amendment on January 16th, 1919, in an effort to curb many of the social ills that were thought to stem from drunkenness. Unfortunately, the banning of alcohol did little to decrease the blights of either crime or poverty, and in fact led to a rise in organized crime. The time-honored craft and customs of alcohol production were also left to wither, replaced by "bathtub gin" and moonshine.

Prohibition did have a few residual silver linings that endure even today, however. Before the ban on alcohol, public drinking mainly took place in saloons, which often barred women. Mixed-gender drinking (at least among the middle- and upper-classes) came about when alcohol was confined to speakeasies, hotel rooms and dinner parties. This new social dynamic also helped usher out traditional, formal courtship and introduced the concept of "dating," where men and women of different backgrounds and classes could meet at a speakeasy. Prohibition also had a hand in the creation of the mixed drink (something had to help mask the raw taste of moonshine), NASCAR (someone had to drive that moonshine from the still to the speakeasy), and "alco-tourism," where Americans visited Canada and Cuba to have their drink.

The 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition, was ratified on December 5th , 1933. This Constitutionally-sanctioned "holiday" offers the fine opportunity to raise a glass while viewing a film set in that era. We suggest pairing the deep, expressive red of Argentina's Alma Andina Malbec Reserve 2014 with Brian de Palma's gangster epic, The Untouchables (1987). Or, keep your tribute on the lighter side by viewing Billy Wilder's  Some Like It Hot (1959) with the vivacious bounce of Australia's Long Live The King Pinot Grigio 2015.

Dec1, 2016

Wine Region: Italy's Basilicata

December 1st, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

wine-region-italys-basilicata_blogItaly's Basilicata region is remote and virtually landlocked, but its volcanic soil--courtesy of extinct Mount Vulture--has provided it with one iconic wine (Aglianico del Vulture) and three DOCs. Settled by the Greeks in the 6th century B.C., it is believed they brought the Aglianico grape to the region and promptly began making wine. Following a historic period of strife, the region's economic prospects began to improve after World War II. In 1971, Anglianico del Vulture was given a DOC designation, and two other of the area's wines have been added to the DOC roster since. While red wines dominate the region's production, several white varieties have recently distinguished themselves. This month, we present Basilium Terre de Portali Greco Fiano 2014, a crisp, fruit-laced white that pairs perfectly with cheese and melon.

The Basilicata region may be austere, sparsely populated, and hard to reach, but the cities of Matera and Maratea make the area an off-the-beaten-path tourist destination. Matera features districts of cave-dwellings, which housed the very poor until they were deserted in the 1950's. Many of these caves have been renovated into hotels. Maratea is a picturesque hill village offering views of the Gulf of Policastro and several historic churches. Greek ruins abound for exploration, while Il Redentore (a 22-meter-tall statue of Christ the Redeemer) overlooks the city. Well worth the effort, the Basilicata region rewards the adventurous traveler with a one-of-a-kind experience of Italy, much like the Aglianico grape provides a world-class variety of wines.

Nov24, 2016

Wine Dining: Thanksgiving Movie Pairings

November 24th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

thanksgiving_2_blogThanksgiving  provides a yearly opportunity to gauge the healing progress of childhood slights (mmmm....not quite there yet), note the recession rate of relatives' hairlines, and openly enjoy a holiday movie marathon paired with wine. While at this time of year it often feels like some things never change, a decade-by decade breakdown of Thanksgiving-themed films proves otherwise:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987):  Operating on several levels at once (slapstick, character study, road-and-buddy-movie-from-hell), this classic holiday comedy provides familiar, relatable travel nightmares and personality stereotypes but adds the surprise of unexpected poignancy. Prepare for sudden bursts of laughter by watching this film with a wine meant to be sipped appreciatively, like this month's Alma Andina Malbec Reserve 2014 from Mendoza, Argentina.

Home For The Holidays (1995): Masterfully directed by Jodie Foster, this film features Robert Downey Jr and Holly Hunter as siblings whose adult problems are gradually subsumed by the decades-old familial roles each fall into at Thanksgiving time, along with their parents and extended family. The film is sweet, uncomfortable and true, with a thin veneer of joy—just like most holiday visits home. Keep the mood buoyant with the crisp zestiness of our Saracosa 2014 Vermentino di Toscana IGT, hailing from Italy.

What's Cooking? (2003): It's easy (and perhaps cathartic) to mine humor from the often rampant familial conflict at Thanksgiving, but sometimes it's refreshing to focus on why we make the effort to get together in the first place. Director Gurinder Chadha weaves together the separate stories of four families (African-American, Vietnamese, Latino, and Jewish) celebrating Thanksgiving with both turkey and their own traditional dishes, while trying to bridge the growing cultural and generation gaps between family members. A film espousing peaceful family relations deserves to be viewed while drinking a smooth, palate-pleasing Spanish red like our choice this month, Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008 Rioja DOCa.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving films? Let us know in the comments!

Nov22, 2016

Fall-iday Feast: Potlucking in Style

November 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

fall-iday-feast_blogFor many, Thanksgiving will start early with office potlucks and “Friendsgiving” gatherings. If you are potlucking with friends, coworkers, or family this season, push yourself beyond the standard jello salad and marshmallow yams, and try something one of these modern, easy, group-friendly dishes. These ideas, along with our delicious TCM wine pairings, will help you step up your potluck game in no time!


Appetizer: Cheesy Pearl Onion Spread

Simmer a pound of peeled pearl onions in water until tender. Add onions to a ceramic baking dish greased with butter. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add two tablespoons of flour, stirring until combined and golden brown. Add a half cup of dry white wine, a cup of heavy cream, a good pinch of sea salt, and some fresh cracked pepper. Simmer and whisk well for 5 minutes. Pour over the onions, and sprinkle with a hefty handful of grated Gruyere cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and crispy. Served warm with sliced baguette.

TCM Wine Pairing: Ridgerider Cellars Chardonnay 2014, Central Coast, California


Soup: Curried Pumpkin Soup

Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large pot and sauté one cup of chopped onion and a few smashed garlic cloves until soft and fragrant. Add two cans of pumpkin puree, a can of coconut milk, a can of chicken broth, and three cans of water. Season with salt, pepper, curry powder, grated fresh ginger, and cardamom. Simmer for thirty minutes before taking soup off the heat to blend with an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve hot.

TCM Wine Pairing: La Roccaccia 2015 from Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, Italy


Side: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

Cut up bacon and fry in a pan until crisp. Toss trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts with bacon pieces, a sprinkle of olive oil, and chopped bottled chestnuts. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle with goat cheese and balsamic glaze for a little extra decadence!

TCM Wine Pairing: Picco Attila Merlot Refosco 2014 from Delle Venezie IGP, Italy


Do you have any favorite fall food pairings for our current shipment? Share your discoveries on our Facebook page!

Nov17, 2016

Featured Pairing: West Side Story and Stones & Bones Red Blend

November 17th, 2016|1 Comment

by Sarah Shotwell

natalie-wood_blogThis November, Natalie Wood is our Star of the Month at TCM! This doe-eyed beauty, known for her endearing, innocent charm, was cast idyllically in West Side Story as Maria, a love-struck Puerto Rican teen living in New York who falls for an Italian boy from the wrong side of the tracks. West Side Story, a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is a heartbreaking but life affirming music romp through 1960s Manhattan. With a screening on November 18th and December 29th on TCM, we’re pairing the picture with our Stones & Bones red from Lisboa, Portugal. Grab a lip-smacking glass of this fruit forward, Latin-inspired blend, and snap along as the Sharks and Jets, rival New York gangs, fight one another with choreographed switch blade slashes and high kicks (all while nailing some perfect pirouettes in the process!)

Food Pairing: A food pairing for West Side Story and Stones & Bones needs a dish that’s savory, spicy, and comforting. We’re feeling something appropriately Italian or Puerto Rican, like baked ziti with hot Italian sausage, or Perníl (Puerto Rican Roasted Pork Shoulder) with black beans and fried plantains.

Nov14, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: Rio Bravo (1959)

November 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Tuesday, November 15th at 2:00 PM (ET)


The Movie: Rio Bravo (1959)
The Wine: Les Hauts de Cairanne 2013

A sheriff enlists a drunk, a kid and an old man to help him fight off a ruthless cattle baron. Cast: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson. Western | 141 mins.

Tasting Notes:

Varietal/Region: Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC, France

This satisfying red blend is perfect for a highly entertaining Western like Rio Bravo, which not only features the iconic John Wayne, but singers Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson as well. Enjoy a glass of this spicy and earthy wine with Howard Hawks' vivid Technicolor Western. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Tuesday, November 22 at 3:00 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Oct25, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: Wait Until Dark (1967)

October 25th, 2016|1 Comment

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Tuesday, October 25th at 8:00 PM (ET)


The Movie: Wait Until Dark (1967)
The Wine: Alma Andina Malbec Reserve 2014

A blind woman fights against drug smugglers who've invaded her home. Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna. 107 mins.

Tasting Notes:

Varietal/Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Audrey Hepburn is one of the great screen icons, known primarily for her lighter romantic roles. But in this thriller, her character is befitting of a dark, intense red like this rich Malbec. Savor its complexities while Audrey’s vulnerable character outwits a group of con-men led by Alan Arkin. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, November 6th at 6:00 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Oct17, 2016

TCM Classic Cruise Sweepstakes - Enter Here

October 17th, 2016|6 Comments

Our TCM Classic Cruise Sweepstakes has officially launched and it's smooth sailing.
There are multiple ways to enter.  Use this form below, or simply snap a photo and tag it with #TCMWINECLUBSWEEPS  on your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account.
You can also sign up on our Facebook page.




Oct11, 2016

Monster Movie Wines

October 11th, 2016|2 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

monster-movie-wines_blogThis spooky month of October is the perfect time to celebrate Monster Movies, a genre that has been a part of film history since 1896's Le Manoir du Diable by visionary director Georges Méliès, which packs pretty much every modern horror trope into three minutes. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and Nosferatu (1922) are perhaps more familiar early examples, but horror films really took off with the advent of sound in the 1930's. During that time, 1931's hammy, stage-derived Dracula became the vampire template for the next few decades, while esteemed director James Whale imbued the films of Frankenstein (1931) and his Bride (1935) with both pathos and camp. Monster movies of the 1940's were overrun by werewolves (starting with 1941's The Wolf Man, starring Lon Chaney, Jr), while those of the 1950's were split between genetic mutations (Them! 1954) and extra-terrestrial visitors (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956). The 1960's brought us the modern incarnation of zombies via George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), a more athletic and bloodthirsty take on the undead than their original rendering in 1932's White Zombie.

Even with all of these cinematic thrills and chills to choose from, the question remains: which wine to drink, while peeking at the screen through your fingers?? We suggest the Saracosa 2014 (Rosso di Toscana IGP, Italy), a Super Tuscan blend that surprises and delights with the punch of spicy berry notes. Worried you'll drop your glass during a good scream and stain the carpet?? Try this Blanco 2014 from Altos de la Guardia (Rioja DOCa, Spain) and enjoy its cheekily complex flavors while keeping clean-up to a minimum. Happy Scary Movie Watching!!!

Sep27, 2016

Movie Musicals Were Made For Wine!

September 27th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

movie-musicals-were-made-for-wine_blogMovie musicals have been around for quite a while: since 1930 if you count The Jazz Singer (an early talkie with some songs), or 1929 if you’re in The Broadway Melody camp (the first “genuine” musical, folding singing and dancing into the plot). Musicals peaked in popularity and extravagance during the 1930s, with the stylish innovation of directors Ernst Lubitsch—who shot films without sound (dubbing it in later) in order to free up his camera movements—and Rouben Mamoulian (an early adopter of slow motion and split screen), as well as the dazzling geometric choreography of Busby Berkeley.

Musicals took full advantage of film’s new sound technology, using song and dance to both enhance and advance a story; a degree of artifice is inherent in the genre, an aspect that either delights or upsets viewers. A ready (and appropriate) solution to this aesthetic divide? Wine! Berkeley’s musical numbers instantly bring to mind corks flying from bottles of champagne, but a less expected pairing for a classic, color-soaked movie musical would be an equally vibrant Tempranillo (like Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008) or fizzy Pinot Grigio (such as The Essentials Pinot Grigio 2015). Take these flavorful wines out for a spin on the dance floor from the comfort of your own couch, and toast almost 90 years of movie musicals!

Sep20, 2016

Region: McLaren Vale, Australia

September 20th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

mclaren-vale_blogMcLaren Vale—the birthplace of South Australia’s wine industry—is located 45 minutes south of Adelaide, yet has a distinctly Mediterranean feel. An artsy enclave of wineries, boutique breweries, and innovative culinary gems, McLaren Vale’s breezy beach lifestyle is focused on local producers and sustainability. The region’s warm, dry climate and wide range of soil types have allowed it to produce not only famed Shiraz wines, but also world-class Grenache and Cabernet. Named for surveyor John McLaren, the region has produced wine since its establishment in 1838, making it home to some of the oldest grape vines in the world. McLaren Vale wineries produced drier, heavy wines until the 1950’s, when wineries began bottling smaller batches of more select wines, and started offering cellar tastings. Also during this time an influx of Italian immigrants introduced olive and olive oil production to the area, an early harbinger of the region’s current bounty of almonds and rich local dairy products.

The close ties between fresh regional produce and stellar wines can be found via the excellent food pairings offered by virtually all local restaurants. McLaren Vale built Australia’s first and largest reclaimed water network; 100% of the region’s irrigation stems from a sustainable source other than river water and significantly reduces pressure from the natural groundwater. But even with all of this ecological innovation, McLaren Vale remains a relaxed outpost of taste and low-key refinement. Take a hearty sip of a spicy McLaren Vale Shiraz while trying to figure out what time it is Down Under; we think it’s a safe bet that right now the surf is up and the corkscrews are down!

Sep16, 2016

International Grenache Day

September 16th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

international-grenache-day_blogWondering why the 2010 Grenache Symposium dubbed the third Friday of September International Grenache Day?? Um…maybe because Grenache is awesome, due to its uncredited, mouthfeel-improving influence on blends throughout the wine world. The most widely planted red grape on earth, Grenache could also be considered the most eco-friendly, courtesy of the long, sturdy roots that reach deep into subterranean water tables and make it less dependent on rainwater than other varietals. A true Mediterranean grape, Grenache happily grows in places with sun and olives, like Southern France, Spain, Northern Africa, and California. Exhibiting soft, velvety tannins that meld well with a wide variety of foods, Grenache is an ideal table wine for just about any meal; to make it even more all-purpose, it is available in red, white, rosé, and sweet styles.

Serving Note: A frequent flub with Grenache is pouring it too warm. For red and sweet styles, shoot for a cool serve between 55 - 65 degrees F. For white and rosé, serve stoutly chilled, but no lower than 45 degrees F. Grenache’s flavor profile is a welcoming blend of fruit notes (cherry, strawberry, plum) with warmth and spice. Highly drinkable with rounded tannins and good acidity, this wine for all seasons has wide appeal in blends or on its own. Celebrate Grenache this September 16th by ordering it in a restaurant, or serving it with home-cooked fare to a thirsty group of friends, and consider enjoying this versatile wine more than once a year!

Sep9, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Player (1992)

September 9th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Saturday, September 10th at 12:15 AM (ET)

p-Altos de la Guardia

The Movie: The Player (1992)
The Wine: Altos de la Guardia Blanco 2014

A frustrated screenwriter menaces a studio executive who eventually kills the writer and gets away with murder. 92 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Rioja DOCa, Spain

This impressive 2014, a vibrant blend of Viura and Malvasia from master winemaker Jean-Marc Sauboua, was released to 90-Point acclaim from Guía Peñín, Spain’s leading wine guide, and received a Commendation at the 2015 International Wine Challenge. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, September 12th at 9:00 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Sep9, 2016

Autumn Appetizer: Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Pecans and Goat Cheese

September 9th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

autumn-appetizer_blogFresh fig season is finally here, but it won’t last long! Across the states, beautiful, sweet brown and green figs will be available through the next month, and we plan to take advantage of the short season by putting them into as many recipes as possible! Next movie night, treat your guests to a rare, seasonal appetizer. These decadent morsels can be made by the boatload in under an hour. So get to work and pour the Pinot!

Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Pecans and Goat Cheese

  • 1 lb of fresh mission figs
  • 8 ounces of chêvre or soft goat cheese
  • pecans
  • prosciutto

Take one pound of fresh mission figs and cut the top third off of each, removing the stems. Then, using the back of the spoon, remove a bit of the flesh from each fig, leaving a concave gap in each. In a separate bowl, mix 8 ounces of chêvre or other soft goat cheese with a handful of finely chopped pecans and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Stir until smooth and combined. Using a spoon, stuff each fig with the cheese mixture, and wrap with a strip of prosciutto.

Place face up on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and cook under a hot broiler for 4-5 minutes, or until prosciutto is crispy and cheese is bubbling. Enjoy with a spicy, aromatic Pinot Noir.

Sep2, 2016

California Wine Month

September 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

California Wine Month_blogHere in California wine country, we are in the thick of harvest! Fruit is coming in by the hopper-full, harvest interns are crushing, filtering, and doing punchdowns and pump-overs, and winemakers are working their fingers to the bone to see our 2016 vintage come to fruition after a much-needed wet year here on our drought-ridden coast! If you’ve never been to California to wine-taste, this September may just be the very best time to visit. Not only is the weather flawless this time of year, but you will you be able to catch special harvest tours and get a peek behind the scenes of California’s most exciting, romantic industry at the height of activity. There are also a host of live concerts, outdoor movie nights, winemaker dinners, and tasting festivals.

From the North Coast, to Edna Valley, all the way down to the wineries of San Diego, we have special events going on in September, with local restaurants showing their solidarity with our local wineries by offering special flights, discounts on California wines, and unique pairing menus. If you’re in California or planning to visit this fall, be sure to check out the complete list of events at  discovercaliforniawines.com. From all of us in the Golden State, happy California Wine Month, and a safe harvest to all our incredible, hardworking wine producers!

Aug30, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Lady Eve

August 30th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Thursday, September 1st at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Lady EveHonig ‘Family Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014

The Movie: The Lady Eve (1941)
The Wine: Honig ‘Family Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A shy millionaire, homeward bound after two years collecting snakes in the Brazilian jungle, encounters a gold-digger aboard an ocean liner. Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn. D: Preston Sturges. BW-94m

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Napa Valley, California

Barbara Stanwyck’s witty and cynical characters in Baby Face (1933) and Double Indemnity (1944) pair beautifully with the pleasing acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc. Alluring tropical aromas and notes of ripe stone match Stanwyck’s strong heroines who use their wiles to take on the world. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, September 7th at 2:00 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Aug28, 2016

Star & Wine Pairing: Jean Arthur

August 28th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Jean Arthur_blogSpunky, patriotic, fun, and mysterious, Jean Arthur is TCM’s star of the day today! In Mr. Smith goes to Washington, she is the wry, wise sidekick who is more than your typical 1940s secretary: in the film, she becomes Smith’s (Jimmy Stewart’s) mentor, guiding him through the hairy-scary waters of D.C. corruption, challenging him to be better, and pushing him to be the hero she knows he is. She’s beautiful, but her good humor, brains, and funny bone are what have won over the American people again and again, and the reason Capra held her up as his leading lady of choice.

Despite how she appears on screen, however, Ms. Arthur was famously shy and humble, and relied on the confidence of her favorite director to help draw out her true charisma. To pair with Jean Arthur, we look for a wine that is more than meets the eye! A bold GSM might be just the ticket: Grenache for shy softness, Syrah for spice and sass, and Mourvèdre for rich structure and depth. Elegant, but approachable and fun, Rhône blends, like Jean Arthur, can melt the hearts of even the most stodgy crowd!

Aug25, 2016

Celebrate Pinot Noir!

August 25th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Celebrate Pinot Noir_BlogPinot Noir is a delight every day of the year, but August 18th has officially been designated National Pinot Noir Day here in the United States. Presumably meant to be a day of reflection on how this great grape and wine has enriched our lives, we also assume it is meant to include the imbibing of a glass or two of its inky gloriousness, perhaps in a rousing game of Pinot Noir Or Dare (which is really just drinking wine while committing minor larceny). But…what if you’re not the biggest fan of red??

Well, you are in luck because Chardonnay is actually related to Pinot Noir, the result of a natural crossing of the humble medieval grape Gouais Blanc (near extinct, now) and Pinot Noir. This explains their frequent proximity in the vineyard, so if anyone at the Pinot Party throws shade on your Chard, raise a glass and give ’em a history lesson. More good news is that there is indeed a White Pinot Noir. A touch obscure, this wine is made like a white (i.e. in the absence of skins), but with red wine grapes. The color ranges from almost-clear to a deep, bright yellow; the taste presents with strong baked apple and pear, touched with hints of honey and ginger. Paired best with cream-based soups and sauces (and especially with mushrooms!), White Pinot Noir can be appreciated on its own for its zest and complexity. Celebrate all the Pinots with a glass of your choice: Traditional, White, or Chardonnay!

Aug23, 2016

Star & Wine Pairing: Brigitte Bardot

August 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Bridgette Bardot_BlogThis month, TCM is celebrating the end of a beautiful summer season with our #summerunderthestars series. Every day, we’re celebrating a different classic film star, and over here at the TCM Wine Club, we couldn’t resist highlighting a few of our favorites! Today’s star of the day is Brigitte Bardot, French actress, singer, and model, who like France’s cheese, wine, and art house films, is a national treasure the rest of the world is certainly grateful for. But Bardot is more than just a talented actress and fashion icon: by the early 1970s, she’d become a National Goddess! Legend has it that modern sculptures of Lady Marianne, France’s longtime symbol of liberty and the Republic, were inspired by Bardot’s famous full-mouthed, smokey-eyed look.

Of course, the men of France were always up for a long pour of Brigitte Bardot, and the women of France adored her, too! We picture them flipping through Vogue Paris with an afternoon glass of wine in hand. For this Star & Wine Pairing, we think a symbol of the people deserves a wine of the people! It’s summer, so we’re pairing Ms. Bardot with a perfectly chilled rosé of Pinot Noir or Grenache (a favorite summer go-to in Bardot’s native Paris.) We raise our glass to France, to summer, and to the stunning Ms. Bardot! Catch her on TCM this week.

Aug16, 2016

Celebrate Rio 2016 With Brazilian Wine!

August 16th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Celebrate Rio_blogThe Summer Olympics are finally here!!! THESE are the good games, where you can actually see the athletes’ faces and bodies in all of their exquisitely-toned glory, not the disappointing Winter games, where all of the participants look like Deadpool. In honor of the many years of training these athletes have endured to arrive in Rio, we recommend stepping up your drinking game to Olympic levels by requiring your viewing guests to wear swimsuits (oh, come on: it’s August), and taking a sip whenever an Olympic commentator shouts “That’s gotta hurt!” or there’s a grimace from a coach, or a compatriot falls behind the rest of the pack. Two seconds shy in a swim meet? Two sips! Four seconds behind in a relay race? Four sips! The incentive for those guests whose favored Olympians have prevailed to Gold? A glass (or bottle) of rare Brazilian wine such as Tennat, Ancellotta, or Touriga Nacional.  

Tannat is the grape that put Uruguay on the map, but it also grows well in Brazil. Its intense color and black fruit aromas are often used to enhance blends with other varieties, but it is powerful on its own. Ancellotta establishes an Italian influence to various blends, while alone it provides the aroma of black fruits like plum and blackberry. Touriga Nacional represents a Portuguese influence that exhibits a good flexibility with blends, while also showing a strong aroma and flavor on its own. Sip Brazilian during these 2016 Summer games if you can, and toast each Olympic athlete’s success!

Aug12, 2016

Wine & Movie Weekend Marathon

August 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Tune in for our weekend movie & wine pairings! The marathon for the TCM Wine Club kicks off on Saturday, August 13th at 2:00 PM (ET)



First Movie: Saturday, August 13th at 2:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Four Feathers(1939)
The Wine: Saracosa 2014

A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle. Color (Technicolor), 130 mins.

Tasting Notes: The film’s boldness complements the innovative spirit of Super Tuscan blends like this tantalizing Saracosa. Enjoy a glass with this visual stunner, the definitive film version of the 1902 novel by A.E.W. Mason.



Second Movie: Saturday, August 13th at 10:15 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Fallen Idol(1948)
The Wine: Pagos de Tahola Reserva 2008

A neglected child thinks the servant he idolizes has committed murder. Black and White, 95 mins.

Tasting Notes: Because Tempranillo is a grape that ripens early, it should be paired with a young talent. Nine-year-old Bobby Henrey is the main character in director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene’s classic British mystery.



Third Movie: Sunday, August 14th at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Band Wagon (1953)
The Wine: Sendero das Meigas Godello 2011

A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop. Color (Technicolor) 112 mins.

Tasting Notes: Because this Godello is named for 'people with amazing abilities,' who better to pair it with than Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse? These incredible entertainers represent two of the greatest eras of American musical film.




If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Aug9, 2016

Clinking Buddies: Raise A Glass To National Friendship Day!

August 9th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Friendship Day_blogFriendship forms the quiet architecture of our lives, yet is often pushed far below family and romantic partners in the hierarchy of social importance. Unfair? Hallmark sure thought so, back in 1919 when it founded National Friendship Day. The market for this holiday dried up by 1940, but friendships continued to exist without cards until Winnie the Pooh literally saved the day in 1998, when he was named the World’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations, followed by the UN’s 2011 official recognition of July 30th as International Friendship Day (but most countries—the United States included—celebrate on the first Sunday of August).

The National Friendship Day declaration invites us to “observe this day in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the culture and other appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.” While true friendship is indeed unquantifiable, a good rule of thumb is: Friends + Sunday = BRUNCH, which is also just another word for MIMOSAS. For your brunch aperitif, try pairing a deep, berry-forward sparkling red with grapefruit juice, adorned with chilled pear slices. Or marry a dry, extra-brut with freshly-squeezed, sweet orange juice and a tall cocktail toothpick stacked with drained pineapple chunks. Whichever glass you raise this August, make sure to lock eyes with the close friends around you in honor of their important role in your life—Prost!

Aug5, 2016

Wine & Movie Weekend Marathon

August 5th, 2016|1 Comment

Tune in for our weekend movie & wine pairings! The marathon for the TCM Wine Club kicks off on Saturday, August 6th at 12:45 AM (ET)



First Movie: Sunday, August 7th at 12:45 AM (ET)

The Movie: From Here to Eternity(1953)
The Wine: Tierra del Corazon Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

In this musical version of The Philadelphia Story, tabloid reporters invade a society wedding. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly. Dir: Charles Walters.

Tasting NotesFor a film setting to match Chile's perfect wine-growing climate, look no further than the island of Oahu, the filming location for Columbia's star-studded adaptation of From Here to Eternity. This Cabernet's complex layers of black fruit and dark chocolate provide a riveting complement to the film's drama and romantic entanglements, all the way to its dynamic finish.



Second Movie: Sunday, August 7th at 6:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: Libeled Lady(1936)
The Wine: Château du Clos Sainte-Anne Blanc 2014

When an heiress sues a newspaper, the editor hires a reporter to compromise her. Black and White, 98 mins.

Tasting Notes: Like this white Bordeaux blend, everything is just right with MGM’s classic comedy Libeled Lady. Pour a glass and enjoy four of the greatest stars of the 1930s – Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, William Powell and Myrna Loy – for a hilarious film of love and libel that has likewise garnered acclaim (including a Best Picture nomination). Match a top vintage with a top film from Hollywood’s golden age.



Third Movie: Sunday, August 7th at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: Red Dust (1932) & Mogambo (1953)
The Wine: The Black Pig Shiraz 2014

Red Dust: A plantation overseer in Indochina is torn between a married woman and a lady of the evening.
Mogambo: In this remake of Red Dust, an African hunter is torn between a lusty showgirl and a married woman.

Tasting NotesClark Gable is the big personality in these two classic films set in exotic lands. He stars twice as a man torn between two women: one an alluring temptress (played first by Jean Harlow and later by Ava Gardner) and another from high society (Mary Astor and Grace Kelly). Whether set in [...]

Aug1, 2016

International Albariño Day—Err, Week—Is Here!

August 1st, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Albariño Day_blogThe scorching arrival of August brings many things to light, most notably a thirst for cool, crisp summer wines that can be sipped without guilt well before five on a sunny afternoon. Enter Spain’s Albariño wine—a light-bodied white that presents with a relentless citrus flavor shadowed by a slight mineral aftertaste. International Albariño Day is officially August 1st, but the Albariño Wine Festival in Cambados, Spain, lasts the full first week of August. The festival started in the 1950’s when a group of friends challenged a local landowner to judge the best Albariño. A private affair at first, the competition grew to a festival that included the public (with car parades and public tastings), intellectuals, writers, musicians, folklore artists and sports figures. Now, the first Sunday of August features the Capítulo Serenísimo parade, ending at the courtyard of the Pazo de Fefiñáns where a solemn ceremony bestows awards to men and women from various spheres of society, sports, and the arts, and converts them into ambassadors of the Albariño Wine Festival. After this, the winning wines are named, giving them international prestige.

Traditionally grown in the Galician wine region of Rias Biaxas, Albariño is now being grown in North America, which merits an international celebration of this wine. Delicious on its own, Albariño pairs exceptionally well with unadorned (read: simply seasoned and grilled) seafood, particularly octopus, and roasted vegetables. Chill a bottle and raise a glass of Albariño this week to salute a superlative Spanish summer wine!

Jul29, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: High Society

July 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, July 31st at 2:00 PM (ET)


The Movie: High Society (1956)
The Wine: Ca’ Vescovo Pinot Grigio 2014

In this musical version of The Philadelphia Story, tabloid reporters invade a society wedding. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly. Dir: Charles Walters.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Venezie DOC, Italy

What better to pair this classic, refreshing Pinot Grigio with than High Society (1956)? The film’s love triangle of a divorced socialite (Grace Kelly), her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) and a tabloid reporter (Frank Sinatra) who converge on her Newport wedding matches up perfectly with this wine’s hint of nuttiness. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Saturday, August 6th at 12:45 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Jul26, 2016

Think Rosé Is Passé? Try Vino Azul, Spain’s New Blue Wine

July 26th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Blue Wine_blogThere is a certain existential dread attached to the notion of perfection: how useless indeed would one’s multitude of snide opinions and unrealistic suggestions be, if they dangled over the yawning mouth of nirvana?? Well, never fear: a group of six entrepreneurial Spaniards looked at the perfection of the entire history of wine—specifically its shameful offering of only “red” or “white” as colors—and created Gik, a wine that is blue. Hailing from Spain’s Basque region, this chilled sweet wine owes its neon blue hue to the organic pigments of anthocyanin (from grape skin) and indigo (from the Isatis tictoria plant), and owes its flavor to a variety of red and white grapes grown in Spain. Blue wine is not just a color, or a taste; it’s a movement, wherein the rules of traditional winemaking are eschewed in favor of a radically democratized ethos of the “anti-technical.” Marketed to Millennials, vino azul has hit American shores with a vengeance this summer, so why not try a glass? Like blue jeans, blue wine goes with everything…

Jul22, 2016

Because Bubbles: Fizz Out With Sparkling Reds This Summer

July 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

sparkling reds_BlogsThere is very little in this world that carbonation can’t improve (see: water, apple juice), but it has somehow taken a fair bit of time for sparkling red wines to hit their stride in this country. Yes, Lambrusco got an ill-deserved reputation in the 70’s and 80’s for some imported iterations being cheap and sweet, but it is actually a complex wine of staggering variety and depth. Hailing from Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Lambrusco sparkling red wine comes in sweet, dry, light, and bold varieties. For summer drinking, the two lightest styles are Lambrusco di Sorbara and Lambrusco Rosato (rosé), featuring a raspberry soda tang with very little tannin. The Official Sweet Scale of Italian Sparkling Wine is: Secco (dry), Semisecco (off-dry), Amabile or Dolce (sweet). A wise choice spanning all varieties of Lambrusco is Amabile, which consistently offers a good balance of tart and sweet, but each variety is worth a try.

Sparkling Shiraz is not just a dream, it’s a reality: quite popular in Australia (where it’s produced), this wine is exactly as described—a sparkling version of the hearty, high-alcohol red we’ve come to know and love next to our burgers, steaks, and remote controls. Finding a good bottle this side of the equator can be tough, and it seems that price indicates quality: expect to start drinking well at $30/bottle.

Brachetto D’Acqui is high in sweetness, low in alcohol, and perfect as a pairing for chocolate. From Piedmont, Italy, this sparkling wine’s spring berry and floral notes are the result of the Brachetto grape skins only being in contact with the juice for two days.

Languish in these last days of July, and drink sparkling red wine!

Jul19, 2016

La Rioja: A Winemaking and Culinary Crossroads

July 19th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

La Rioja- A Winemaking _BlogRioja is ready to rock! A featured star of this month’s shipment, Rioja wines hail from a Spanish region that is situated on the Camino de Santiago route, and has received the coveted DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) classification. The exclusive use of Temperanillo grapes for Rioja wines leaves classification up to its oak-aging, with the broad assumption that higher quality equals more time spent in oak casks. Rioja (“vin joven” or young wine) wines retain a fresh fruitiness with very little tannin. Crianza class wines are aged a minimum of one year in oak casks, and are considered a high-quality daily wine, like a good Cabernet Sauvignon, or a Merlot with bite. Reserva level wines are serious, and have been aged for a minimum of three years. They dance between dominant flavors of fruit and oak, exhibiting both complexity and drinkability. Gran Reserva wines have spent at least two years in oak casks and three years in the bottle. They have the strongest tannin structure and exhibit the most aging potential; they can cellar up to 30 years, and are definitely Special Occasion Wines.

The Rioja region reflects its position as a traveler’s crossroads in its cuisine, which features simple, top-quality local produce such as peppers, artichokes, chard, fava beans, and pork combined with the Muslim-influence of lamb and the firm presence of fish such as bonito, cod, and mackerel. Riojan chorizo is also a staple, as well as sweet black pudding for dessert. Rioja is a center of flavor to be reckoned with, starting with its wine and ending with its food!

Jul15, 2016

Celebrate National Strawberry Rhubarb Wine Day!

July 15th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Strawberry Rhubarb wine day_blogWhat is the very best way to spend the third Saturday of each July? By celebrating National Strawberry Rhubarb Wine Day with a crisp, cold glass of the same, of course! This date was designated by the registrar of the National Day Calendar as the Official Best Time to celebrate and savor the fruity smoothness of chilled strawberry rhubarb wine during the warm zenith of summer. The astute will note that the notoriously tart rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but a 1947 New York court decision pronounced rhubarb a fruit for “the purposes of regulations and duties,” since it was indeed used as a fruit in the United States. Rhubarb is often paired with strawberry to balance its sharpness and create the uniquely sweet-tart berry flavor that launched a billion forkfuls of holiday pie. This flavor combination works just as well for a chilled summer wine by giving bite and sass to each demi-sweet glass.

Incidentally…the third Saturday of July is also Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day, created by author and motivational speaker Martha J. Ross-Rodgers. The intention? To let go of the past and live for the present. The means? Writing down your “could haves” and “should haves,” then throwing them away. Is there a better way to face the future this summer than with a clean slate and raised glass of Strawberry Rhubarb Wine?? Well, maybe by adding a slice of that strawberry-rhubarb pie mentioned earlier…

Jul12, 2016

Rosé, White, and Bleu: Pink Sparklers To Celebrate Bastille Day!

July 12th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Bastille Day_blogHappy French National Holiday!!!! The July 14th date that we in the United States call Bastille Day is actually more a joyous commemoration of the new French Republic that also honors the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. The French host the largest military parade in Europe for this day, which takes place along the Champs Elysées in Paris. There are also Fireman’s Balls--featuring dancing French firemen!—and fireworks above the tri-colored Eiffel Tower. Here at home there are large, organized July 14th celebrations in New Orleans and New York City, so why let just those cities have all the fun??! Host your own Francophile celebration of independence with a selection of sparkling rosé wines that are perfect for summer.

Rosé’s have had minimal controlled contact with red grape skins, and depending on the type of grape they are made with, they exhibit varying degrees of fruit, or even meat, flavors. French grape offerings like Provence and Mourvèdre rosés are fruit-forward with floral notes, and are delightful when chilled and paired with just about any dish, from spicy grilled lamb to briny olive tapenades and juicy charred burgers. Even when not technically sparkling, rosé wines feature a crisp effervescence that make them an ideal beverage to sip while watching the sun set on a long summer night, then waiting for the fireworks to begin. Vive la France!

Jul5, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Lady Eve (1941)

July 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Friday, July 8th at 6:45 AM (ET)

The Lady EveHonig ‘Family Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014

The Movie: The Lady Eve (1941)
The Wine: Honig ‘Family Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A shy millionaire, homeward bound after two years collecting snakes in the Brazilian jungle, encounters a gold-digger aboard an ocean liner. Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn. D: Preston Sturges. BW-94m

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Napa Valley, California

Barbara Stanwyck’s witty and cynical characters in Baby Face (1933) and Double Indemnity (1944) pair beautifully with the pleasing acidity of this Sauvignon Blanc. Alluring tropical aromas and notes of ripe stone match Stanwyck’s strong heroines who use their wiles to take on the world. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, July 20th at 4:45 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Jul5, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: The Women (1939)

July 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Thursday, July 7th at 3:45 PM (ET)

The Women

The Movie: The Women (1939)
The Wine: La Trombetta 2014

Catty New York socialites gossip about a friend and her husband's girlfriend. Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell. D: George Cukor. BW-133m.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: DOCG, Italy

Featuring several of Hollywood’s finest actresses, The Women (1939) is just the kind of witty and elegant movie this crisp, elegant white deserves. Ride the divorce train to Reno with Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell and Norma Shearer and share some juicy gossip while sipping this delightfully fruity Gavi. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Thursday, July 7th at 3:45 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Jul5, 2016

Summer Recipe: Pink Lemonade Sangria

July 5th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Pink Lemonade Sangria_blogSangria is the ultimate hot-weather patio staple, and this tart, pink version is perfect for a summer picnic, bridal shower, or barbecue! Like any cocktail elixer, Sangria is only as good as what you put in it. With dry Rosé, Cointreau, Armegnac, and Meyer lemons, this recipe is light, refreshing, classy, and infinitely drinkable.


1/2 cup Cointreau
2/3 cup Armegnac
1 bottle dry Rosé (Pinot, Syrah, or Garnacha)
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/4 Cup fine sugar
Sparkling water
Sliced Meyer lemons
Ripe peach slices

Hold the sparkling water off to the side, and mix all other liquid ingredients in a pitcher with the sugar until sugar is dissolved. Float the fruit pieces in the pitcher. When you are ready to serve the sangria, add ice to glasses. Pour the Sangria over the ice, and add a few splashes of sparkling water. Enjoy with grilled fare, appetizers, or brunch!

Jul1, 2016

“Star of the Month” Pairing: Olivia de Havilland & Dry Muscat

July 1st, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

F For Fake_The ArtistMost know Olivia de Havilland for her role as the super-sweet Melanie in Gone with the Wind (1939). Now, this golden-age leading lady is TCM’s Star of the Month ! You can watch her in TCM screenings on Fridays all through July, and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed! De Havilland’s enduring talent has left its mark on our memory in so many delightful roles, including acclaimed performances in The Heiress, To Each His Own, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. We can’t wait to revisit these and more!

This month, we’ll pair her films with a bottle of Dry Muscat. Unique, elegant, and lightly sweet (but never cloying), Dry Muscat is a delicious summer wine that pairs beautifully with the performances of this intelligent, talented, and timeless doe-eyed beauty. To read more about Olivia de Havilland and her contributions to some of the great films of the 20th century, visit TCM.com, and check out her movies on Fridays this July!

Jun24, 2016

Don’t Fear the Pink: June is Rosé Month!

June 24th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

June is Rosé Month_blogRosé is making a splash this June in tasting rooms all over the west coast! And it’s no surprise: with so many different styles, shades, and food pairing options, Rosé is as versatile as that favorite little black (sun) dress. However, Rosé hasn’t always had such a stellar reputation stateside. Back in the 80s, cheap, cloyingly sweet or watery types (hello, white zin!) ruined American public perception of pink wine. But in the last few years, Rosé (the good kind, long celebrated in Europe as the compulsory accompaniment to summertime living) has made a screaming comeback, showing up on wine lists across the continent. We’re so relieved!

If you or a friend needs to get over your fear of pink wine, you may wish to start with a dry bottle of a high quality Saignée made from Grenache or Syrah, or a Vin Gris made with Pinot Noir. Lush, complex and light to medium-bodied, these wines offer a flavorful alternative to summer whites and are a must-have for any hot weather barbecue.

Do you have a favorite style of Rosé or a food pairing you love? Share with us on Facebook!

Jun22, 2016

Three Wines For The Poolside

June 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Three Wines for The Poolside_blogSummer is here, and across the country, wine lovers are looking for the perfect wine to sip by the pool. But on a warm day, having a big glass of beefy west coast cab or zin (with alcohol content spiking into the high 15s) is a recipe for exhaustion. Keep cool this summer with these lower-alcohol European varietals! 

Vinho Verde is a Portuguese varietal that saw a surge in popularity a few summers back. One of the lightest and spritziest of white wines available stateside, Vinho Verde is refreshing and delicious, with alcohols ranging from only 8-10%. It’s also a bargain, so if your yard is a gathering place for friends and neighbors, you can share the love without breaking the bank.

White Riesling is a light, highly acidic German wine served across a range of sweetnesses and alcohol levels. For poolside sipping, aim for a dry or off-dry bottle, and look for alcohols around the 11-12 percent range.

Pinot Grigio is a lighter styling of the French Pinot Gris and has been popular in North America since the early 90s. Look for an Italian bottle — alcohols range from 10-12%. With lush flavors and bright acid, Pinot Grigio is refreshing, palate cleansing, and satisfying.

Europeans have long known that bigger isn’t always better, and lighter, more delicate wines are perfect for afternoon quaffing. So pour yourself a second glass. Go ahead; we’re not looking.

Jun17, 2016

Grillaxing: A Father’s Day BBQ

June 17th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Fathers Day Grillaxing_BlogIt’s no accident that the calendar placement of Father’s Day is right smack in the middle of high BBQ season: with tongs wielded as scepters and a sensible brimmed cap—err, crown—keeping the sun off his schnozz, Dads across the land rule summertime backyard cookouts with both benevolence and hickory-based secret sauces. In order to truly celebrate Dad on his day, don’t remove him from his natural habitat: instead, upgrade his BBQ accessories (it’s about time for a new Kiss The Cook apron, don’t you think?) and his ice chest choices with some seriously special wine selections worthy of the man who has always been there for you.

A bold, bright red—like Zinfandel, or a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah—is an excellent pairing with grilled meat, especially smoke-seasoned pork and beef. Even if Dad normally prefers beer, a Special Occasion glass of hearty red sipped alongside his signature slow-cooked ribs or bacon-wrapped filet mignon might just convince him that the right wine can complete the job of a good marinade by bringing out further nuances of flavor in cooked meat. White wine is also a great BBQ crowd-pleaser: an ice-cold Pinot Grigio or bubbly Vinho Verde provides the festive feel of a wine spritzer on its own, and a spice-cooling aspect on the tongue with food. As for toasts, a glass of red or white wine held high is always a classy choice, and a reserve vintage goes far in giving heft to any occasion.

It’s not easy being a dad, or the World’s Best Grill-Master: raise a glass in celebration of the man who has been The Best of Everything to you!

Jun15, 2016

Kernel Knowledge: Get Home Popcorn Topping Ideas, Here!

June 15th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Popcorn_blogAt the Cineplex, a movie viewed without popcorn is much like an upright nap taken in a dark room full of strangers: dull, uncomfortable, and a bit unwise. Resist replicating this at your next home movie night—take advantage of being within walking distance of your very own kitchen and wow guests with some seriously seasoned popped corn. The basic recipe is oil-plus-salt, but gourmet means inventive, not highbrow (at least in this case), so keep things easy by sticking with one of the following categories:

Oscar-Caliber: Features one star flavor supported by a curated list of quality ingredients. Melted butter with fresh chopped herbs; truffle oil heated with cracked pepper parmesan; malt vinegar shaken with kosher salt and sprayed over fresh hot popcorn. Want authentic Caesar flavor? Start mincing anchovy fillets, toasting bread crumbs and grating lemons to cover your corn. Whatever sounds like a good marinade for roasted chicken will make a fantastic topping in this category.

Indie-Darling: Quirky pairings that sound like lost bets, such as bacon drippings and jalapeno peppers; Dijon mustard and mini-pretzels; rice vinegar, soy sauce, and wasabi peas; Fritos, shredded cheddar and cayenne pepper. If you can dream it, shake it into your popcorn. 

Summer Blockbuster: Here’s where you can use those packets of Ranch dressing, Ramen seasoning, and French Onion soup; also feel free to employ crushed spicy pork rinds, BBQ sauce blended with melted butter, and chopped chives (if you’re feeling particularly healthy).

Whichever category you choose, surefire wine pairings include Prosecco, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir. Then, grab a bag of corn and enjoy the show!

Jun3, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: On An Island With You

June 3rd, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, June 5th at 6:00 AM (ET)

The Movie: On An Island With You (1948)
The Wine: Sunday Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A movie star falls for a handsome naval officer during location shooting in Hawaii. Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban. D: Richard Thorpe. C-107m.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Pair this blast of tropical fruit with Hollywood’s refreshing girl-next-door Esther Williams in On an Island with You (1948). Savor notes of passion fruit while romance ignites onscreen between Williams and costar Peter Lawford, stranded together on a beautiful but remote tropical island. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, June 20th at 9:00 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Jun3, 2016

Campfire Vino: I Would Love S’more Wine!

June 3rd, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

campfire vino_blogMost folks would agree that camping in the Great Outdoors is a wonderful way to commune with nature while also testing the strength of one’s resolve and hamstrings. An oft-overlooked bonus is the opportunity to convert any die-hard, beer-drinking members of your campsite to the pleasures of sipping wine al fresco. Your best friend in this scenario (besides your bota bag) is logic: even non-campers know that the lighter your backpack, the better your mood. What’s more, those heavy, clanking bottles and cans of beer offer far too little alcohol per ounce for the effort of lugging them into (and out of) the wilderness. Wine’s superior knack for repackaging gives it the better-for-camping edge here, with extra credit points for its higher alcohol content.

There are a variety of lightweight wine containers (ranging from traditional flasks to synthetic bota bags) available at camping supply outlets, as well as the old school option of simply removing the inner bag from that “box” of wine in the fridge, and stuffing that in your backpack—it also makes a handy pillow! Red wine is indeed the more hardy choice in terms of retaining its taste through temperature shifts and improvised drinking vessels (paper, plastic, metal), but white wine shouldn’t be discounted entirely: a sealed bag of white can chill quite nicely in a rushing coldwater stream, provided the nozzle is kept above the surface (or at least protected against contact with potentially bacteria-rich water). Bring some tried-and-true favorites, as well as a few experimental brands: nothing brings out the finer notes of any wine like relaxing next to a campfire under a canopy of stars.

May27, 2016

A Memorial Movie Night

May 27th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Memorial Day Movie Night_BlogMemorial Day, our nation’s tribute to those who gave their lives serving in the armed forces, is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends for a day of reflection and fun. The U.S. federal holiday is famously positioned on one of the best days of the year: on the brink of summer, everyone is feeling optimistic, and in most parts of the country, the weather is nearly guaranteed to be perfect.

This year, if you have a warm, dry evening on your hands, put a spin on the classic Memorial Day barbecue and break out grandma’s dusty old projector to take a jaunt into your family’s own cinematic history. Simply tack up a sheet to the side of the house, set up some lawn chairs, crack open the wine, grill up some dogs, and take a moment to remember. Retro home movies under the stars is a celebratory, heartfelt, and romantic way to reignite a respect for the past and those we wish to remember. Plus, your kids will love the chance to balk at the mullet you proudly sported in the 80s.

Ideal Barbecue Pairings: Pinot Noir with grilled franks / Syrah with bacon burgers

May24, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: I Married A Witch

May 24th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Tuesday, May 24th at 11:30 PM (ET)

I Married a Witch-poster

The Movie: I Married A Witch (1942)
The Wine: Lobo e Falcão 2014

A 300-year-old witch wreaks havoc when she falls in love with a young politician. Dir: René Clair Cast: Fredric March , Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley. BW-77 mins,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Vinho Regional Tejo, Portugal

Director René Clair is famous for his French films of the 1930s, but his later American pictures — like the fantastical I Married a Witch (1942) — remain undiscovered by audiences. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, June 5th at 6:00 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

May17, 2016

Cool & Crunchy Wine Slushies!

May 17th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Wine Slushies_BlogSprinklers, Sparklers, and Slushies: It’s never too early to prepare a hot weather cooling strategy—Summer’s almost here!!! For those sizzling days when it feels like your wine just can’t ever get cold enough to cool you down, here are a few Wine Slushie ideas to try out:

Sangria lends itself well to frozen form: combine ice with a dry, fruity red—like Granacha (Spanish-grown Grenache), or Bonarda from Argentina—a splash of orange juice, ripe chilled watermelon chunks, agave syrup (if desired) and a touch of tonic water. Blend, pour, garnish with a fresh orange slice, and sip!

Sparkling Frozen Lemonade contains its components in its name: blend ice with a sweeter sparkling wine like Prosecco and lemonade, then enjoy all of that crisp lemony goodness through a wide straw!

Mint-Basil Slush features fresh mint and basil leaves, a fruit-forward red like Pinot Noir, ice cubes and a couple twists of fresh ground black pepper: blend and garnish with a sprig of mint before sipping with a smile!

Pinot Peachio keeps white wine drinkers happy by blending a crisp Pinot Grigio with ice and frozen peach slices, keeping a couple of those peachy spears reserved for garnish.

 Straight-Shooter Slush keeps it simple with a 2-to-1 ratio blend of frozen red wine cubes and frozen water cubes, garnished with a few frozen red grapes. Stick a straw in it and call it good!

What other icy wine combinations sound good to you?? Share your ideas in the comments section!

May9, 2016

Mother’s Day Mambo

May 9th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Mother's Day Mambo_blogExcuse me, but exactly when did breakfast food become the official sponsor of all Mother’s Day celebrations??! From woefully undercooked pancakes presented to sleepy moms by their single-digit-age moppets to those traditional, over-priced Sunday Brunch reservations, Mother’s Day tributes as a whole are sadly bereft of both imagination and, well…alcohol. Brunch technically affords the opportunity for mimosas, but good luck flagging your server down for a refill on a busy prix fixe afternoon.

A better option is treating Mom to a home mimosa tasting (you can provide the obligatory pancake breakfast if you wish, perhaps by utilizing that great benefit of adulthood, catering). Offer Mom and her guests several types of sparkling wine (Extra-Brut, Brut, and Extra-Dry for a range of sweetness; Prosecco, Cava, and Sekt for a range of countries), as well as a variety of more exotic juices such as guava and blood-orange (just imagine Prosecco’s sweetness matched with tart pineapple!). A good mimosa ratio-of-thumb is one part juice (poured first in the glass, to avoid excessive foaming) to three parts bubbly, but of course adjust as Mom desires—after all, it’s her day.

If Mom prefers her wine bubble-free, offer to be the designated driver and whisk her (and her Mom-friends) away for an afternoon winery tour! A walk among grapevines with family and friends will make for a memorable Mother’s Day. Be sure to pay special attention to her favorite sample pours, and discreetly purchase a bottle or two to leave her with when you drop her safely home.

However you celebrate the day this year (yes, even if it’s with brunch), remember to raise a glass in thanks to the woman who made you who you are!!

May5, 2016

Cinco De Malbec: Wines to Celebrate Mexico’s May the Fifth

May 5th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Cinco De Mayo_Cactus_BlogPut down that ketchup and pick up some salsa: it’s Cinco de Mayo!!! This anniversary of the Mexican army’s underdog win against France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla has become an all-encompassing celebration of Mexican culture here in the US, featuring a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Tequila and cerveza notwithstanding, our Neighbor to the South boasts a long history of vino-centric innovation, starting in 1597 with the oldest known winery in North/Central America, located in Coahuila, Mexico. Currently, Mexican wines from the Baja Peninsula—featuring untraditional blending—are getting raves.

Wine drinkers can absolutely get in on the Cinco de Mayo fun, starting with their Mexican food dinners and appetizers: the rule of thumb is to pair spicy food with wine that is low in alcohol. Chiles intensify the taste and effect of alcohol, so lower-alcohol reds like Pinot Noir and chianti are good when paired with a dish like carne asada. When in doubt, that old rule of red meat/red wine and white meat/white wine applies well with Mexican food: Cabernet Franc and Malbec are good for reds, while Cava and Vinho Verde are fantastic choices for whites. Taking note of the colors in one’s dish is also wise: a preponderance of green herbs screams out for a white wine with higher acidity and pronounced herbaceous flavors, like a Sauvignon Blanc; Spanish whites from Rioja are also good.

Cinco de Mayo gives everyone a reason to celebrate Mexican culture with a glass of their choosing—consider pairing a great wine with your meal before ordering those tequila shooters this year!

Apr28, 2016

Regional Spotlight: Transylvania

April 28th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Translvania_Wine Region_BlogIn our current TCM Wine Club Members-Only shipment, one of the more unexpected offerings is a bottle of La Catina Viognier Tamaioasa Romaneasca, a white blend from the hilly region of Romania. Transylvania, made famous in the west by Count Dracula (a local resident), is a picturesque region known for its millennia-old winemaking history. Though the wine industry suffered greatly under the farming collectivization that happened during Romania’s communist period, vineyards and wineries have made a screaming comeback in recent years, with the simultaneous revival of historic winemaking practices and the infusion of new farming technologies and enthusiastic international investment. In this way, Transylvania is poised to emerge as a 21st Century contender in the international market while retaining much of its old-world values and charm!

In Transylvania, the primary varieties grown include lush, flavorful native white varieties like Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, and Tămâioasă Românească (blended here with the Rhône all-star Viognier), and imports such as Riesling, Pink Traminer, and Sauvignon Blanc.

For more information on Transylvania or the other exciting global regions featured by the TCM wine club, check out our tasting notes, and taste along with our artfully curated movie pairings!

Apr26, 2016

Spring A-Straightening: The Best Wines To Clean By

April 26th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Spring Cleaning & Wine_BlogAhhh—SPRING!!! It’s that time of year when a good glass of wine (or two) is needed before hunting down those Winter dust bunnies with tranquilizer darts (or mops). Spring cleaning is a ritual made EVER the more palatable by a smart choice of wine—however else are you going to determine if your wineglasses are spot-free than by filling them with Gruner Veltliner (a white wine grape variety from Austria and the Czech Republic with a big hit of white pepper in its aroma, just to keep the cleaning party going), or a crisp Spanish Albarino??

Your Spring cleaning soundtrack? That old vinyl LP (if you still have it) of The Specials, whose Ska-stylings still pair well with physical exertions such as vacuuming and mopping, and a chilled, fizzy white wine such as the Portuguese Vinho Verde.

Vacuuming and dusting is thirsty work, and the popped cork of a bottle of Prosecco turns any Spring moment into a life celebration as the sun’s setting rays shine through windows polished by Windex. A suggestion for everyone’s Spring Cleaning Weekend? Keep the wine you sip clear, sharp, and chilled while wiping away the overlooked grime of the past year in order to make room for a bright, shining future.

Apr22, 2016

Green Wine: Decoding Sustainability Labels

April 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Green Wine_BlogEarth Day is the perfect time to celebrate what our winegrowers and winemakers are doing to improve farming practices and care for the earth. But how do we cut through the noise and decide which wines to purchase? All three of the following certifications have something unique to offer the planet and to wine consumers. All require a third party audit and an annual certification. Here the ways they differ:


USDA Organic is a national-level certification that asserts wines were grown with only organic-approved chemicals, with attention given to water quality, soil conservation, biodiversity, and habitat.


Biodynamic wines, spiking in popularity in recent years, are grown with spiritual-scientific practices based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. These practices, which include natural composting, avoidance of all manufactured chemicals, and adherence to a strict harvesting and pruning calendar, are meant to improve vineyard health, nourish vine and soil immunity and nurture each farm’s unique ecosystem.

SIP (Sustainability in Practice)

SIP, a designation run by a California-based eco-nonprofit, The Vineyard Team, meets similar standards to that of USDA Organic. It also includes an emphasis on air quality, energy and water conservation, social responsibility, and sound business practices, such as fair pay for vineyard workers.

This Earth Day, try a sustainable wine, and let’s raise a glass to the many winegrowers who are making strides to improve the care of our planet!

Apr19, 2016

Movie Munchies: Wine and Snack Pairings

April 19th, 2016|1 Comment

by Sarah Shotwell

Movie Munchies_BlogNo movie night is complete without a selection of sweet and savory snacks on hand and a long pour of your favorite wine. Today, more and more movie theaters are even offering fine wines on premise to pair with their popcorn! But what are the best pairings for movie munching? We’ve put these film house-inspired classics to the test, pairing them with some of our favorite varietals, and we were quite pleased with the results!

Buttery Popcorn with Cabernet Sauvignon

Crunchy, salty popcorn is best complimented by a wine with bold fruit and firm tannins that can cut through the butter, cleansing the palate and prepping it for the next mouthful.

Caramel Chocolates and Sparkling

Pair these little nuggets with a splash of something lightly sweet and bubbly, like Lambrusco or Demi-sec Champagne.

Black Licorice and Zin

This spicy candy, whatever shape it takes, pairs best with something bold and plummy with lots of dark fruit, like a California Zin.

Sour Candy with Gewürztraminer

Wince-inducing sour gummies are a favorite for movie night. Soothing the sour is the perfect job for a semi-sweet Gewürz with a touch of residual sugar and a palate of lush tropical fruit.

Do you have any wine and movie snack pairings that you love? Share them with our readers and TCM Wine Club members on Facebook!

Apr15, 2016

DIY Cork Bookmarks

April 15th, 2016|1 Comment

by Paullette Gaudet

DIY Cork Bookmark_blogWine corks often seem far too beautiful—or potentially re-useable—to simply discard, yet even the most sentiment-heavy of these all-natural bottle stoppers are rarely kept long enough for inspiration to fully strike. One thoughtful way to repurpose these memento vinos is as cork bookmarks:

  • Insert a screw eye into one end of a wine cork (you can also attach a small spring clip or tiny key chain ring to the screw eye, or just leave as-is).
  • Thread the screw eye (or spring clip) with sturdy, sumptuously-sheened thread, then string an inch or so’s worth of different colored and sized jewelry beads and metallic tokens.
  • Create a substantial thread knot under the last bead or token, using this to anchor the addition of two more strands of thread to the primary string by simply twisting the three strands together (and using a little glue, as needed).
  • Allow 12-13 inches for this plain segment of the bookmark, then end with an inch or so of beads and tokens to tie it off, leaving a little fringe.
  • The bookmark’s total length should be 13-15 inches, depending on how decorative you wish your cork top and beaded bottom to be.

A homemade bookmark from a beloved bottle’s cork is indeed a thoughtful gift, but it will definitely present as far more generous when paired with an equally thoughtful book: a solid choice for the devoted wine-lover is The Diary of Samuel Pepys, wherein man-about-town Pepys recounts his adventures with work, women and wine circa 1660’s London—Cambridge University recently celebrated the 350th anniversary of Pepys’s April 10, 1663 mention of Chateau Haut-Brion in his Diary, one of the first mentions of that wine in literature (bested only by a 1660 reference in a cellar book of King Charles II).


Apr13, 2016

Peanut Noir: Pairing Wine and Nuts

April 13th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Peanut Noir_BlogOkay: so peanuts aren’t *really* nuts, but you don’t exactly need Don Draper to tell you that “Beer Legumes” isn’t the best advertising slogan on earth. You are also correct in suspecting that beer isn’t the only alcoholic beverage that goes well with peanuts—when looking for quick, classy munchies to serve with wine, nuts provide a welcome, healthy and unexpected opportunity for inventive flavor pairings.

The workhorses here are sparkling wines (Champagne, Cava, Prosecco) and Cabernet Sauvignon: both pair superbly with sweet or spicy nuts. Sparkling wines in particular are fantastic with salty foods, so they naturally make perfect companions for saltier nuts—and any type of almond. Cabernet Sauvignon and other deep, rich red wines are ideal matches for the meaty, aromatic intensity of roasted nuts. Pecans pair well with Pinot Noir and other lighter reds, while Rosé plays well with walnuts. White wines tend to favor the lighter nuts: zesty whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Sancerre bring out the best in cashews and pistachios, while Chardonnay’s rich, fruity taste is perfection when paired with hazelnuts.

Quick Tip: When in doubt with hard-to-pair foods like salad or asparagus, a handful of chopped nuts tossed onto them makes all the difference by providing a flavor anchor for a suitable wine pairing.


Apr6, 2016

Varietal Vignette: Riesling

April 6th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Varietal Vignette - Reisling_BlogRiesling, sweet, dry, and off-dry, is loved around the world for its aromatic profile and bracing acidity, but what is the story behind the grape, and why is it making a sudden comeback in the United States? Take a look at these fun facts about America’s fastest rising wine star.

Darling of the Rhine

Riesling, a white wine with perfumed aromas and gorgeous, lush flavors, originated in the Rhine region of Germany starting around the 15th century. There, it still the most widely grown varietal, and has since spread in popularity to places like Austria, France, and the United States. In the 80s and 90s, sweet Riesling got a bad rap in America when it was being made as poor-quality bulk wine, but since then, Riesling from California, Washington, Oregon and the Finger Lakes is making a comeback with serious wine enthusiasts. Among the reasons cited for this is the white’s diverse expression, unique pairing ability, and crowd-pleasing flavor profile.

Fun Fact: The International Riesling Federation (IRF) has developed a scale published on the back of many Riesling bottles marking the level of sweetness of each bottle!

Reisling Description

Descriptors: Riesling runs a range of aromas and flavors, but common descriptors include pineapple, Meyer lemon, jasmine blossom, apricot, and minerals. Many Rieslings three or more years of age will develop the famed “Petrol” note - a highly sought characteristic in European Rieslings.

Have any favorite Riesling food pairings? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

Apr1, 2016

Spring Picnics & English Novelists

April 1st, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Spring Picnic_TCM_blogAhhh…what is it about spring picnics and English novelists?? From Jane Austen to E. M. Forster, and even Lewis Carroll with his mad hats, they seem not to have met a bucolic springtime pasture that couldn’t be improved by a brushed wool blanket and porcelain teapot. The genteel incongruity of formal dinnerware under bright blue skies does have a certain appeal, and if one considers everything to be portable (soup tureens, whist tables, silver ice buckets), then one’s picnic menu options quickly expand far beyond vacuum-sealed trail mix and flimsy tubs of hummus. Wish to mimic such a picnic? Assemble the following in the sturdiest picnic basket you can borrow (Spring only comes once a year, but credit card interest lasts forever):

Your heaviest silverware and most fragile patterned china

These treasured items deserve both exposure and closure. If a dish breaks? At least it went out holding ripe red currants up to the sun, not rattled loose in the dishwasher. Thank it for its beauty and be sure to carry all broken shards back out of the park.

Your snowiest linens

Oh, the decadence of cloth napkins on one’s lap and against one’s lips! Civilization is indeed defined by food-stained washable fibers.

Your finest leftovers

Enjoy the re-purposed remnants of that delicious mid-week dinner you’d rather not heat up again! Roasted chicken sandwiches, white-sauced pasta, and leafy green salads fit the chilled bill here, and provide enough flavor and sustenance for an active outdoor afternoon.

Your brightest wines

Silver ice buckets can chill sparkling wines (like a semi-dry Prosecco) for a crystal-flute toast just after the picnic blanket has been laid down, and ruby-colored Pinot-Syrah blends are a delightful choice for picnic meals all around. The outdoors invite a sense of lightness, which means that even red wines should display a degree of transparency.


Mar31, 2016

TCM Classic Film Festival Sweepstakes Instructions

March 31st, 2016|1 Comment


Sweepstakes Instructions-01

Visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tcmwines

1.  Like our page

2.  Click the Sweepstakes tab OR Sign Up botton and enter your details on our entry form
Option Two
For those who do not have a Facebook page you can also enter by US Mail.  We must receive it no later later than April 14, 2016.

1.  Send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope with your contact information

2.  Address it to: TCM Wine Club Classic Film Festival Flyaway Weekend for Two c/o TCM Wine Club, 250 West 57th Street, Suite 1101 New York, NY 10107

3.  Official rules still apply
Mar30, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: The Artist

March 30th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Wednesday, March 30th at 9:30 PM (ET)

The Artist-posterpw-Gomez CruzadoBlanco 2013


The Movie: The Artist (2011)
The Wine: Gómez Cruzado Blanco 2013

A silent screen swashbuckler faces career problems with the coming of sound.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Rioja DOCa, Spain

A love letter to early Hollywood, The Artist (2011) won filmgoers' hearts with its playful pastiche of silent film. Like this Spanish white, it is a terrific example of a modern crowd-pleaser made in a traditional style.  Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Thursday, April 21 at 12:15 AM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar28, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: F For Fake

March 28th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Monday, March 28th at 9:45 PM (ET)

F-for-Fakepw-Quinta do Espirito Santo 2013


The Movie: F For Fake (1973)
The Wine: Quinta do Espirito Santo 2013

Orson Welles directs and performs his opening, the film begun with French documentarian Francois Reichenbach for the BBC, and the briefest introduction of his elusive subjects Elmyr de Hory and Clifford Irving, in F For Fake, 1973.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Lisboa Vinho Regional, Portugal

F for Fake (1972), is an under-seen gem. Pair it with this bold red blend from a similarly underrated region of Portugal. Welles may try his best to trick you, but you won’t be misled by this wine’s big fruit flavors.  Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, March 30 at 9:30 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar25, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: Easter Parade

March 25th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, March 27th at 8:00 PM (ET)

Easter Parade-posterpw-Montecampo 2014


The Movie: Easter Parade (1948)
The Wine: Montecampo 2014

When his partner leaves him, a vaudeville star trains an untried performer to take her place, finding love in the process. Color (Technicolor), 102-103 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Gambellara DOC, Italy

Pair this expressive wine with expressive lead performances by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Featuring a classic soundtrack of Irving Berlin songs, including the iconic title tune, Easter Parade (1948) is a showcase of indelible movie moments.  Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, March 28 at 9:45 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar25, 2016

Spring Sunday: A Wine-Paired Brunch Menu

March 25th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Spring Sunday_BlogSpring holidays mean family, friends, and the first meals of the year served al fresco! Planning a wine-paired seasonal menu is as easy as taking a stroll down the aisles of your local farmers market. Still not sure what to serve? We’ve come up with a sample menu for the perfect Sunday brunch.

Braised Leg of Lamb

This melt-in-your-mouth interpretation of spring’s favorite main course is best paired with a robust Pinot Noir.

Roasted New Potatoes with Mint

Match this delicate dish with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Spring Onion Tart

A full-bodied Pinot Gris will stand on its own alongside a buttery, savory pastry.

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

To balance the sweet and tart of this seasonal treat, pair with a semi-sweet Riesling.

Asparagus Goat Cheese Quiche

Quiche is always best with a little Champagne! We recommend a Blanc de Blanc.

 Baby Lettuces Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Tender greens pair well with a light, refreshing Grüner Veltliner.

Bon appétit!

Mar24, 2016

Keeping It Cool: Wine Refrigerators for Any Budget

March 24th, 2016|2 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Wine Refrigerators for any budget_blogsizeFor those who are patient enough to wait for the perfect age time on that special bottle of GSM or Cab, having a safe, temperature-controlled place to store wine can mean the difference between a transcendental tasting experience and a deflating disappointment. Nothing is worse than opening up a wine lovingly stored for years, only to discover that it has gone flat, suffered oxidation, or turned to vinegar.

You’ll never have that problem again if you invest in a slick wine fridge, now designed to fit within any lifestyle or budget. There are built-in, portable, or countertop options holding anywhere from six to hundreds of bottles. And good wine storage isn’t only for the disciplined: for spontaneous types, what could be better than having perfectly chilled wine ready to go at a moment’s notice?

Do you have a wine refrigerator that you love? Have you found that it makes a difference?

Let us know! Twitter - Facebook - Instagram

Mar23, 2016

Spring Recipe: Orecchiette e Piselli

March 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Orecchiette_blogsizeSpring Recipe: Orecchiette e Piselli

This simple, classic northern Italian dish includes all our favorite spring ingredients and pairs perfectly with a light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner.





  • 1 lb. orecchiette (or-eck-yet-ay)
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole
  • 3 small shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 cups hand-shelled peas
  • 3 oz. prosciutto
  • bunch of young mint leaves
  • Pecorino Romano to taste, grated
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • water
  1. Boil water in a large pot with a sprinkle of salt. Once boiling, add pasta.
  1. In a skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil, whole garlic cloves, prosciutto and shallots. Cook until the prosciutto is crisp and the shallots and garlic are soft. Add peas with 1/2 cup water. Simmer until peas are cooked through and water has disappeared. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set pan aside.
  1. Cook pasta until al dente (cooked but lightly firm). Conserving a 1/4 cup of water, drain pasta in a colander.
  1. Add conserved pasta water and orecchiette to the pea mixture. Then, toss with grated pecorino and fresh mint leaves. Enjoy immediately.
Mar22, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: The Apartment

March 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Tuesday, March 22nd at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Apartment (1960)
The Wine: Flynn Vineyards Pinot Gris 2014

An aspiring executive lets his bosses use his apartment for assignations, only to fall for the big chief's mistress. Dir: Billy Wilder Cast: Jack Lemmon , Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray. BW-125 mins, CC.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Pinot Gris, Oregon

Jack Lemmon’s one-bedroom flat in The Apartment (1960) is at the center of a number of secrets. Affairs, that is. The winking charm of Billy Wilder’s award-winning classic is a great pairing for this lovely and crisp white, whose light flavors match the playful romance between Lemmon and costar Shirley MacLaine. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, March 27th at 8:00 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar18, 2016

Mixing It Up With Mendoza Malbecs

March 18th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

The Stooge_SocialMediaSet“Cabernet AGAIN, Mom??”

If this is the silent chorus of your urban-family-slash-frequent-dinner-party-guests, consider peering a bit farther past those usual, tried-and-true Merlots and Pinots; in fact, peer all the way down past the equator to the famed Mendoza wine country of Argentina, with its mighty fine Malbecs.

Originally from France, Malbec grapes found a sure foothold on the slopes of the Argentine Andes in the mid-nineteenth century and flourished; the high elevation, dry climate, and wide temperature ranges kept the grapes from succumbing to their historic sensitivity to rot and frost. Argentine Malbecs are aggressively fruit-forward with jammy plum flavors, while their French counterparts are more tart and tannic. Both display an inky dark purple color, with a magenta-tinged rim in the glass.

Malbec is a prime blending candidate, and meshes particularly well with high tannin wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Shiraz are also great blending partners for Malbecs, resulting in bright, smooth, and highly drinkable blends. On its own or in a blend, Malbec retains a pleasing, velvety, and strong fruit flavor.

Malbec can act as a substitute for Cabernet Sauvignon, but it has a shorter finish on the tongue that makes it a better pairing for intensely flavored foods such as blue cheese, or spices like cumin.

Does Malbec pair with…?

Chicken: Malbec is an ideal match for dark meat poultry, especially chicken leg and duck.

Pork/Beef: Malbec works magic with both of these lean meats.

BBQ: NOW we’re talking! Malbecs were MADE to pair with the smoky, tangy, and earthy flavors of BBQ sauce.

With crowd-pleasing, fruit-forward flavor that plays well with most foods, Malbecs may just be the exotic star of your next dinner party!

Mar16, 2016

TCM Classic Film Festival Sweepstakes

March 16th, 2016|11 Comments


The TCM Wine Club presents the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival Sweepstakes. One grand-prize winner and their guest will become VIPs at the 2016 Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, April 28th to May 1st.

In addition to airfare and hotel accommodations, the winner will receive two coveted Spotlight passes which grant red carpet access to our Opening Night Gala, priority seating at film events, entry to Club TCM, and access to “meet and greets” with Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz and other special guests.

to enter - Visit https://www.facebook.com/TCMWines

TCM Film Festival Sweepstakes from TCM Wine Club

Mar16, 2016

Wine Cork Recycling

March 16th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Wine Cork Recylcing_blogsizeCorkscrew Karma: After all of the corks are popped on a good night of wine-drinking, hit PAUSE before tossing them into the trashcan—instead, consider donating them to one of the eco-conscious, nation-wide wine cork recycling companies that have, um…popped up recently.

How it works: Donated corks are gathered at designated collection sites and then transported to participating locations where they are ground up to be used for other products (not, however, new wine corks). The goal of wine recycling organizations is to increase demand for the renewable, sustainable resource of cork (Mediterranean cork forests are not, in fact, endangered) while educating consumers about non-biodegradable screw caps and plastic wine stoppers.

Where to donate: Whole Foods Market features wine cork donation boxes nationwide in the US, Canada, and the UK; www.corkforest.org and www.recork.org can provide more information on other US donation locations.

So drink up, and help sustain the Mediterranean cork forests while you’re at it!

Mar15, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing: The Stooge

March 15th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Tuesday, March 15th at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Stooge-posterpw-Vignobles Canet 2014

The Movie: The Stooge (1953)
The Wine: Vignobles Canet 2014

Dean is an unsuccessful broadway performer until his handlers convince him to become an act using a stooge - a guy already positioned in the audience and picked by Dean to be the butt of his jokes -... Black and White, 100 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Picpoul de Pinet AOC, France

Like the unusual Picpoul grape – mild-mannered with a zingy side — Dean Martin’s suave crooner and Jerry Lewis’s manic comic in The Stooge (1952) may seem like opposites, but they make an unbeatable combination.  Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, March 22 at 8:00 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar15, 2016

Overlooked Grape Alert: Pinotage

March 15th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Pinotage_Blog size

Pinotage may sound like a Pinot Noir drinking game involving dice, but it’s actually a little-known red wine native to South Africa. Developed in 1925 when scientist Abraham Perold crossed Pinot Noir and Cinsault (also called Hermitage) grapes, Pinotage more closely resembles Shiraz in both flavor and color than its distant relation, Pinot Noir.

Pinotage grapes are very dark (often described as “inky”) and high-tannin. These traits, combined with their trademark high crop yields, made the grape notoriously difficult for winemakers to properly manage, and gave Pinotage wines a reputation for unpredictable quality. In recent years, the concerted efforts of many producers to reduce crop yields and refine winemaking techniques have resulted in a more predictable, global-market-friendly flavor. Pinotage also lends itself well to blends, particularly with Shiraz, and for dinner it pairs exceptionally well with the bold taste of BBQ.

Have you tried Pinotage? Let us know what your favorite food pairings have been on Twitter,  Instagram, or Facebook!

Mar11, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: A Little Romance

March 11th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Saturday, March 12 at 12:15 AM (ET)

A Little Romance-posterpw-Visionario 2013

The Movie: A Little Romance (1979)
The Wine: Visionario 2013

Teenagers elope with the help of an aging pickpocket. Dir: George Roy Hill Cast: Laurence Olivier , Diane Lane , Broderick Crawford. C-110 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Rosso Veronese IGT, Italy

An adolescent Diane Lane stars alongside good-natured pickpocket Laurence Olivier in this beautifully wrought charmer that befits a bright wine of intense cherry and blackberry notes – a wistful film for a perfectly blended wine. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Tuesday, March 15 at 8:00 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar11, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: Wuthering Heights

March 11th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Friday, March 11th at 9:30 PM (ET)

Wuthering Heights-posterpw-La Catina 2014

The Movie: Wuthering Heights (1939)
The Wine:  La Catina 2014

A married noblewoman fights her lifelong attraction to a charismatic gypsy.
Dir: William Wyler Cast: Merle Oberon , Laurence Olivier, David Niven.
BW-104 mins, CC,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Transylvania, Romania

For a richly drawn complement to this lush Romanian wine, watch Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon share a turbulent romance in William Wyler’s beloved adaptation of Wuthering Heights (1939). Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Saturday, March 12th at 12:15 AM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar9, 2016

Tasting Room Etiquette: To Tip or Not to Tip?

March 9th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

To Tip or Not to Tip_blog sizeTo Tip or Not to Tip? The topic of gratuity is one that can spark much debate and confusion. Here in the states, we tip everywhere and for everything. We tip the cab driver, the server, the hair stylist, the barista, the bartender, and the masseuse. In wine tasting rooms, however, where hosts might offer multiple pours, an advanced wine education lesson, a tour, and/or up to an hour of personalized conversation to a customer, often without the promise of even a tiny sale, tips remain inconsistent. Tasting room attendants don’t really know if they should expect tips, and customers don’t really know if they should give them. With that in mind, and with almost a decade of tasting room hosting experience under my belt, I thought I would offer some basic suggestions.

To start, if you received outstanding, memorable service, do tip your host. Five to ten dollars per party is a solid amount. On the other hand, if you received really poor service, please don’t tip. The wine industry prides itself on passion. Reinforcing bad or neglectful service just hurts everyone involved. Lastly, if your friends would like to tip, please don’t tell them not to. This is something we’ve seen a lot in the tasting room: even after receiving exceptional service, a customer will tell his or her eager, generous party not to tip because “it’s not what you do at a winery.” This is not true. It’s also demoralizing to a host who has done a great job. Ultimately, whether or not to tip (and how much) is really up to the customer. Just know that in the tasting room, just like any other service establishment, tipping is a way you can communicate gratitude to someone who has gone above and beyond in their efforts to show you a great time. And don’t forget: a good tip means even more when it isn’t required!


Mar7, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Agony and the Ecstasy

March 7th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Monday, March 7th at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Agony and the Ecstasy-poster

The Movie: The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
The Wine: Montevasco di Vicchiomaggio 2013

Michelangelo fights censorship and an autocratic pope to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Color (DeLuxe), 140 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Toscana IGT, Italy

This classic red from Tuscany calls for a classic blend of film elements. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) is a story and palette as visually alluring as the ripe cherry aromas of the Sangiovese grape. Pour a glass and enjoy the story behind one of the art world’s greatest masterpieces. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Friday, March 11th at 1:45 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar4, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: Gentleman Prefer Blondes

March 4th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, March 6th at 6:00 PM (ET)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-posterpw-The Essentials Chardonnay 2014

The Movie: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
The Wine: The Essentials Chardonnay 2014

Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei performing the famous number, by Jule Styne and Leo Robin, in the ocean liner lounge, costume by Travilla, set design by Lyle Wheeler, choreography by Jack Cole. Color (Technicolor), 91 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Lodi, California

Smooth and mouthwatering, this sunny Chardonnay is as appealing as Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell’s single showgirls in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, March 7th at 8:00 PM (ET).

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Mar3, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Black Narcissus (1947)

March 3rd, 2016|2 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Thursday, March 3rd at 9:30 PM (ET)

Black Narcissus-poster

The Movie: Black Narcissus (1947)
The Wine: Finca del Marquesado Reserva 2006

A young British nun is ordered to establish a convent in the remote Himalayan mountains. Color (Technicolor)

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Pinot Gris, Oregon

Black Narcissus (1947) is one of the most sumptuously designed and photographed productions in film history, with emotions to match. A glass of this velvety smooth Tempranillo blend will prove as seductive as the mystical Himalayan settings that entrance the film’s heroines. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, March 6th at 6:00 PM (ET)Sunday, March 6th at 6:00 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb29, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: Only Angels Have Wings

February 29th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Monday, February 29th at 8:00 PM (ET)
Only Angels Have Wings-poster

The Movie: Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Wine: The Waxed Bat Reserve 2013

A team of flyers risks their lives to deliver the mail in a mountainous South American country. Dir: Howard Hawks Cast: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess. BW-121 mins, CC,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Pinot Gris, Oregon

In Only Angels Have Wings (1939), even the film’s gruff and skeptical hero would agree that this dark, elegant blend of Cabernet and Malbec makes a fine companion to one of Howard Hawk’s best dramas. Both are smoky, rich and intense, and evocative of their South American settings. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Thursday, March 3rd at 9:30 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb26, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing: The Apartment

February 26th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, February 28th at 1:30 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Apartment (1960)
The Wine: Flynn Vineyards Pinot Gris 2014

An aspiring executive lets his bosses use his apartment for assignations, only to fall for the big chief's mistress. Dir: Billy Wilder Cast: Jack Lemmon , Shirley MacLaine , Fred MacMurray. BW-125 mins, CC,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Pinot Gris, Oregon

Jack Lemmon’s one-bedroom flat in The Apartment (1960) is at the center of a number of secrets. Affairs, that is. The winking charm of Billy Wilder’s award-winning classic is a great pairing for this lovely and crisp white, whose light flavors match the playful romance between Lemmon and costar Shirley MacLaine. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, February 29th at 8:00 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb25, 2016

Wine Myth: Screw Caps Mean Poor Quality

February 25th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

TCM_CapvsCork_blogOver a decade ago, New Zealand producers pioneered the use of screw caps on their fantastic white wines. But when screw-capped bottles started showing up on the tasting lists and menus of quality establishments here in America, the whole idea seemed suspect to some wine drinkers. Wine has long been about tradition, and old school etiquette, ritual, and social expectations seem to linger a bit longer here than in other industries. Uncorking a bottle of wine has been a oenological custom since the late 17th Century, when the rise of global exports demanded more stable packaging. (Before then, wine was apparently stopped up with oil-soaked rags.) When screw caps showed up, rendering the corkscrew obsolete, skeptics were puzzled by this break from form. Others were concerned about quality.

Despite consumers’ initial hesitation to embrace this new mentality, screw caps are here, and they aren’t going anywhere soon! The reasons for this are as driven by winemaker preference as they are by consumer convenience. Some winemakers cite quality control, cost, reduced spoilage, air-tight seals, and taint prevention among the top reasons they prefer screw caps to natural cork. Now, even high-end red wines are trying on this packaging phenomenon. Change may be hard, but evolution is necessary in an art form like winemaking, which goes back 10,000 years. Throughout history, wine has been closed and stored in hundreds of creative and culturally distinct ways. No matter of how we close up the wine or store it, be it with rags or corks, in glass, cardboard boxes, clay jars, iron flagons, or deer hide wineskins, the packaging is meant only to be a vessel for the treasure contained inside.

Feb24, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing - A Little Romance

February 24th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Wednesday, February 24th at 8:00 PM (ET)

A Little Romance-posterpw-Visionario 2013

The Movie: A Little Romance (1979)
The Wine: Visionario 2013

Teenagers elope with the help of an aging pickpocket. Dir: George Roy Hill Cast: Laurence Olivier , Diane Lane , Broderick Crawford. C-110 mins.

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Rosso Veronese IGT, Italy

An adolescent Diane Lane stars alongside good-natured pickpocket Laurence Olivier in this beautifully wrought charmer that befits a bright wine of intense cherry and blackberry notes – a wistful film for a perfectly blended wine. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, February 28th at 1:30 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb23, 2016

Sweet Wine Of Mine: A Dessert Wine Primer

February 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

TCM_SweetWineOfMine_blogAhhh…youth. Age may dull the memory and sharpen the palate, but there likely shines a time in the sweet, adolescent mists of your past when the word “wine” was just a precursor to the word “cooler.” You’ve of course grown since then, matured and ripened; for one thing, it’s much easier to drink indoors as an adult—no more twist-off caps left behind in public park grass! Your taste buds have also been refined to the point where a sip of your old beloved Mixed Berry cooler might make you...well, wince. Understandably so: that stuff was sweet. But sometimes…in those sweet, adult mists of your mind, you might miss the ease of empirically sugared alcohol.

There is a very adult loophole to the suppressed desire for teenaged sucre: dessert wines. There are sweet sparkling wines that fit this bill, yes—Dolce/Dulce and Moelleux—but for serious sugar-smacking reminiscence there are Gewurztraminers and Rieslings, nuanced German whites made from extra sweet wine grapes, and Moscato, made from ancient Muscat grapes. Sweetness here is induced by halting the fermentation of these grapes before yeast turns the entirety of natural grape sugar into alcohol; killing yeast = the creation of sweet. Not sweet enough for you? Try a Late Harvest Spatlese (more time on the vine results in grapes with more residual sugar), or wines from the more exotic ‘Noble Rot’ (the prized Botrytis Cinerea spore that imparts flavors of ginger and honey) tradition, like the French Sauternes and German Auslese.

Ice Wine (Eiswein) is the ultimate dessert wine — most often made from Riesling or Vidal grapes, this wine is pricey due to the rare conditions required for its existence: a vineyard must freeze, and all harvesting and pressing of grapes must occur while those grapes are still frozen. Ice wine has a thick, syrupy texture and concentrated sweetness best enjoyed in small doses after a rich, spicy meal.

What is your favorite sweet wine?  Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

Feb19, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing - Doctor Zhivago

February 19th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, February 21st at 2:30 PM (ET)


Doctor Zhivago-posterpw-Christian MoueixPrivate Reserve 2010

The Movie: Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The Wine: Christian Moueix ‘Private Reserve’ 2010

Illicit lovers fight to stay together during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution.
Dir: David Lean Cast: Geraldine Chaplin , Julie Christie , Tom Courtenay. C-200 mins,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Bordeaux AOC, France

What better film to pair with this classic Bordeaux ‘Private Reserve’ than Doctor Zhivago (1965)? The award-winning epic is the perfect foil for such a complex release from expert winemaker Christian Moueix and Bordeaux’s 98-Point 2010 vintage (Wine Spectator). Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, February 24th at 8:00 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb18, 2016

Celebrating National Drink Wine Day

February 18th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell

Today is National Drink Wine Day, and it’s a perfect excuse to stop and admire the many ways wine enriches our lives and improves our health. Many of the benefits of wine can be found in non-alcoholic wines and grape juices, too, so now matter what lifestyles we lead, we can all reap the ample rewards of the amazing grape.

Wine may help us live longer.

The ingredient in red wine that hints toward a longer lifespan is a plant compound called resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant. While its benefits have been debated for several decades, a 2013 study by Harvard Medical seems to confirm that these life-extending benefits are the real deal!

Wine may give us healthier hearts.

While it has long been believed that a diet high in saturated fat leads to heart disease, in the 1980s it was discovered that the French (who traditionally have had diets high in rich fats) were showing lower levels of heart disease than most of the world. The French inclusion of 1-2 glasses of red wine each day has been named as the likely reason for this.

Wine lowers our stress levels and makes us happy.

People have been unwinding and socializing with wine for more than 5,000 years, and now research is starting to back up what human beings have known for a long time: that those who consume wine in safe quantities show lower stress levels and a higher enjoyment of life. Ancient wisdom? We’ll drink to that!

*While the standard recommendation is 1-2 small glasses of wine per day, safe consumption differs from person to person. Drinking too much negates the health benefits, so please talk to your physician about what is right for you.


Has wine enriched your life? Share your story with us! Twitter & Facebook

Feb17, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing - I Married a Witch

February 17th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Wednesday, February 17th at 12:30 PM (ET)

I Married a Witch-poster

The Movie: I Married A Witch (1942)
The Wine: Lobo e Falcão 2014

A 300-year-old witch wreaks havoc when she falls in love with a young politician. Dir: René Clair Cast: Fredric March , Veronica Lake, Robert Benchley. BW-77 mins,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Vinho Regional Tejo, Portugal

Director René Clair is famous for his French films of the 1930s, but his later American pictures — like the fantastical I Married a Witch (1942) — remain undiscovered by audiences. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, February 21st at 2:30 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb17, 2016

Red, White, & You: Choose The Wine You Really Want Without Worrying About Stained Teeth

February 17th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

RedWineStain1_blog“Red wine, or white?” is usually the easiest choice of the night at any given party, unless you favor reds and are attending a more formal event where the risk of meeting a future employer/client/in-law with purple-stained teeth forces you to abstain from your usual poison. If you’re tired of choking down Chablis at high-stakes events when you’d much rather sip Sangiovese, a new solution is nigh: tooth gloss!

These portable tubes of clear dental gloss provide both shine and stain protection on-the-run, and many boast teeth-whitening properties, to boot. White wine drinkers can also join in on the fun: tooth gloss comes in tubes, pens and power swabs, and is a quick way to freshen breath between Chardonnay refills or erase enamel stains from, say, that second slice of cherry pie. Arm yourself to the teeth and smile without fear!

Let us know what your favorite tooth gloss is on Facebook or Twitter!

Feb12, 2016

Wine & Movie Pairing - Wuthering Heights

February 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Sunday, February 14th at 2:15 AM (ET)

Wuthering Heights-posterpw-La Catina 2014

The Movie: Wuthering Heights (1939)
The Wine:  La Catina 2014

A married noblewoman fights her lifelong attraction to a charismatic gypsy.
Dir: William Wyler Cast: Merle Oberon , Laurence Olivier, David Niven.
BW-104 mins, CC,

Tasting Notes:

VARIETAL/Region: Transylvania, Romania

For a richly drawn complement to this lush Romanian wine, watch Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon share a turbulent romance in William Wyler’s beloved adaptation of Wuthering Heights (1939). Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog, or take a photo and post it to Facebook, or Twitter and tag us for a chance to be featured.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, February 17th at 12:30 PM (ET) 

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb11, 2016

Mmmeant to Be: A Valentine’s Day Guide to Wine & Chocolate Pairing

February 11th, 2016|0 Comments

by Sarah Shotwell


Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Whether you have a saucy blind date or are planning on drowning your sorrows while watching You’ve Got Mail on repeat, one thing is certain: wine and chocolate are both likely to play starring roles in your evening. While the pairing options are truly infinite, one rule stands: most sommeliers agree that it’s best to avoid dry wines this time. Below is a guide to my favorite wine/chocolate mashups:


Lavender White Chocolate with Orange Muscat

Normally I would refuse to acknowledge cacao-free white chocolate as even remotely related to my favorite food, real chocolate. But when spicy, elegant lavender is added to this cloying, creamy imposter, the effect is quite remarkable. To accentuate floral notes while cutting the cream with a hint of acidity, pair lavender white chocolate with a light Orange Muscat.

Caramel Milk Chocolates with Cream Sherry

Buttery, melty caramel and sweet, soft, milk chocolate pair perfectly with a round, warm, smooth Cream Sherry.

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate with Zinfandel

For this combustible pairing, skip the dry, bitter reds and opt for something big and jammy, like hot climate or late harvest Zinfandel.

Hazelnut Chocolate with Late Harvest Riesling

Late Harvest Riesling, with its bright acidity and complex notes of stone fruit and petrol, makes a unique and distinctive pairing for nearly any dessert. Hazelnuts, with their toasted, smoky flavor, complement this wine beautifully. 

High-Cacao Dark Chocolate and Ruby Port

 A simple rule of thumb with this classic pairing is the more bitter the cocoa, the sweeter the port. Try a bright ruby made with a fruity Syrah or soft Merlot.


Have any wine and chocolate pairing ideas? Share them with us on the TCM Wine Club Facebook or Twitter!

Feb9, 2016

Mardi Gras — Bacchus!

February 9th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

MardiGras_BlogSizeMardi Gras literally means Fat Tuesday, but is actually the blanket term for a weeks-long Carnival celebration that traditionally begins on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day). Carnival season is a slow build-up of pleasurable excess ending at the ascetic deadline of Ash Wednesday, when Catholics must give up their chosen vices for the forty days of Lent. Weekly parades named after a pantheon of Greek and Roman gods mark the Carnival season, and Friday night family parties feature King Cakes, braided rings of dough decorated with purple, green and yellow sugar that contain a plastic baby toy inside; whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby has to buy the cake for next week’s party.

The most elaborate Carnival parades occur the weekend before Mardi Gras Day, and that Sunday night’s Bacchus parade is the splashiest of them all—featuring the longest, most spectacularly-lit floats and the most extravagant “throws” (beads/toys). A celebrity “Bacchus” is chosen each year to represent the God of Wine, and those revelers weary of downing Hurricane cocktails at weekend’s end can raise a glass of wine to their chosen deity. Pinot Noir and Shiraz are ideal low-tannin reds to hoist for Mardi Gras: bright and drinkable, they pair well with the spicy Cajun and Creole dishes that usually accompany this weekend. Sauvignon Blanc is a great white wine option to balance the kick of spicy dishes, and Sparkling Wine is a festive and complementary choice for that second (or third!) slice of King Cake. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Feb4, 2016

Movie & Wine Pairing - The Love Parade

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Friday, February 5th at 8:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: The Love Parade (1929)
The Wine: Castello di Spessa Friulano 2012


The Love Parade-posterpw-Castello di Spessa Friulano 2012

A count finds his marriage to a queen less than satisfying.
Dir: Ernst Lubitsch Cast: Maurice Chevalier , Jeanette MacDonald , Lupino Lane .
BW-109 mins,

Tasting Notes:

Varietal/Region: Friuli Isonzo DOC, Italy

Friulano is the grape behind some of Italy's most
expensive whites. Pair this versatile wine with a versatile filmmaker... Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Sunday, February 14th at 2:15 AM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Feb4, 2016

Super Bowl Wines

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

by Paullette Gaudet

Superbowl_235x235The Super Bowl is second only to Thanksgiving in the category of Favorite Non-Denominational Food-Based Holidays in these here United States, and besides—who doesn’t need an excuse for a binge-eat with friends come early chilly February?? Wine drinkers have long been the vegans at the BBQ when it comes to Super Bowl parties, which usually feature beer as the sole alcoholic beverage—after all, don’t brewskis pair best with extreme comfort foods like Double-Digit Dip, Five-Knuckle Hot Wings, and Chernobyl Chili? Turns out that wine is surprisingly flexible on this particular playing field: Sparkling Wine is a well-known complement to crispy, spicy and fatty foods, and light, bright reds go well with the rich flavors of meat dishes.

The true trick to successful Super Bowl wine integration is to remember why beer has worn this holiday’s crown for so long: it’s Cold, Low-Alcohol, Bitter, and Dry. White chilled wines are not often a go-to during the winter months, but fruity, just-this-side-of-dry blends check off the boxes of Cold, Low-Alcohol, Dry, and—if not Bitter—they are definitely not sweet. Look for blends containing Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay, or Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc, and Marsanne. Reds that are low in both alcohol and tannins work best for a long day of day-drinking and eating, and several—like Zweigelt, Beaujolais, Grenache—also chill well. Low-alcohol Zinfandels (less than 14%) are a bit harder to find, but are a good red option as well. Matching beer’s core attributes with those of suitable wines is an easy blanket food pairing that will keep both beer and wine lovers cheering for the same team: football feasting fun!

Jan14, 2016

Wine Label Ornament Ideas

January 14th, 2016|0 Comments

By Paullette Gaudet
recycledwinecorkchristmastreeAh, wine labels! Those carefully soaked-off souvenirs from beloved bottles of wine were intended to be cherished forever—perhaps pressed between the pages of a leather-bound favorite novel?—but most often ended up yellowed, curled and forgotten in the back of a kitchen drawer. Help breathe new life into this time-honored expression of sentiment and wine appreciation by creating Christmas ornaments from these labels! It’s easy: cut cardboard into whimsically-scrolled, metallic spray-painted frames and glue these over ironed-out wine labels, then use ribbon or ornament hooks to hang from tree branches.

You can double the wine theme by making a frame from used corks: with an Exacto knife or box cutter, slice each cork length-wise, about two-thirds of the way in. Glue the corks together end-to-end to form the sides of a frame, then slide the label into the cork slits. Pressed for time/squeamish with the Exacto? Affix the wine label onto a cardboard mat, leaving a one-inch border. Use a chef’s knife to cut the corks length-wise all the way in half, then glue each cork-half around the border, forming a decorative frame.

Dec23, 2015

Recipe: "Classic for the Classics" Roast Salmon with Lemon Burre Blanc

December 23rd, 2015|1 Comment

Featured Food, Wine & Movie Pairing

Ca’ Vescovo Pinot Grigio 2014 from Venezie, Italy with High Society (1956) - 12/23/15 @ 11pm ETCa-Vescovo-Pinot-Grigio-2014-&-High-Society-(1956)

Today's Recipe: Chef Plum prepares his "Classic for the Classics" Roast Salmon with Lemon Burre Blanc

WINE & MOVIE PAIRING: What better to pair this classic, refreshing Pinot Grigio with than High Society? The film’s love triangle of a divorced socialite (Grace Kelly), her ex-husband (Bing Crosby) and a tabloid reporter (Frank Sinatra) who converge on her Newport wedding matches up perfectly with this wine’s hint of nuttiness. This gorgeous Technicolor remake of The Philadelphia Story – with music by Cole Porter – makes the perfect pairing for a wine of vibrant fruit notes and a tangy finish.

Join Chef Plum for some fun in the kitchen.

Get your ingredients together, open the Ca’ Vescovo Pinot Grigi, and get ready for this musical version of The Philadelphia Story staring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly.

High Society from TCM Wine Club


Roast Salmon with Lemon Burre Blanc
“ Classic for the Classics, Class personified”

Salmon filet (6oz or so)
2oz butter
½ cup Pinot grigio
oilve oil
zest of one lemon
1tsp chopped dill

1. Season salmon with salt and pepper and pre heat oven to 375 degrees

2. In a saute pan heat up a tbls or so of olive oil

3. In a small sauce pan add the wine and reduce(evaporate by boiling) by half (this will happen quickly once a boil begins)

4. Once the saute pan is nice and hot, (small whisps of smoke coming off) gently place the salmon in the pan away from you skin side up! Place the pan back on the med-high heat.

5. The salmon is ready to flip once it easily comes of the pan, if it is sticking just give it a little longer.

6. Once the fish is flipped the skin side should now be down place the pan into the hot oven for roughly 6-8 minutes

7. In the pan with reduced wine add the lemon zest and melt the butter into the wine while gently whisking

8. Remove the hot pan from the oven and place the fish on a plate with your favorite vegetable and serve with spoonful of the lemon butter wine sauce finish with the chopped dill!





Dec23, 2015

Meet Chef Plum

December 23rd, 2015|2 Comments

Chef Plum spices it up with original recipes for TCM Wine Club

TCM Wine Club has teamed up with culinary veteran, Chef Plum to showcase great nights in with a movie and wine!

Chef Plum has created original recipes, which compliment the highlighted wine and movie. Watch him for fun, easy to recreate recipes - that you will enjoy making at home for yourself, family and friends. Dishes that take ‘dinner and a movie’ to the next level.

Meet Chef Plum from TCM Wine Club

meet-chef-plumBorn in Richmond Virginia, Chef Plum is a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America. Chef Plum has been featured on Food Network, local TV, radio and Jamie Oliver’s FOODTube. He prefers to keep his food honest and simple, believing that everyone can get passionate about cooking from scratch.

@chef_plum on Twitter
@chef_plum on Instagram

Dec21, 2015

Recipe: Chef Plum pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest

December 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Featured Food, Wine & Movie Pairing for Tuesday Dec. 22 at 5:15PM (ET)

Tobias Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay 2013 from North Coast, California & Alfred Hitchcock’s classic North by Northwest.

Today's Recipe: Chef Plum pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest. Plum's “Mistaken Identity” Roast Chicken with Onion Jam - pairs perfectly with Tobias Winemaker’s Selection Chardonnay 2013 from the North Coast, California. Join Chef Plum for some fun in the kitchen as he blends Food, Wine & Movies.

Chef Plum pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock's classic North by Northwest. from TCM Wine Club on Vimeo.

So get your ingredients together, open the Tobias Chardonnay, and get ready for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic North by Northwest (1959) 12/22/15 @ 5:15pm ET on TCM


“Mistaken identity” Roast chicken Breasts with Onion Jam

2 chicken breast bone in
1 tbls chopped rosemary
olive oil
3 large red onions chopped rough
1 tbls AP flour
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1cup chicken stock
1 tbls chopped garlic
1 tbls lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 400 Place baking dish in the oven to pre heat as well

2. Mix the chopped garlic and rosemary with a little oilve oil a good pinch of salt and pepper and half the lemon zest Coat the breasts with this mixture thoroughly

3. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and pour about a tbls of olive oil into the pan. Slide in the onions to the hot pan, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, bake in the oven for 25-30 min or until the breasts are cooked through.

5. Once chicken is cooked remove from the pan and allow to rest

6. In the baking dish with the onions sprinkle in the flour and mix, add the vinegar and stock mix and pour into a pan and bring to a boil until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon

7. Serve chicken with green veggies and a good spoonful of the onion jam


WINE & MOVIE PAIRING: Just like this eminently pleasing North Coast Chardonnay, Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest has it all. Cary Grant’s wrong man story is the perfect blend of action, comedy and romance, capped by a thrilling finale on Mt. Rushmore. It’s best accompanied by this enticing wine that has something for everyone – white peach, vanilla, spice and a long nutty finish.

About Chef Plum: Born in Richmond Virginia, Chef Plum is [...]

Dec11, 2015

What is a Varietal You Ask?

December 11th, 2015|2 Comments

Join us on location at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in Sonoma County, California. You’ll hear TCM host Ben Mankiewicz and Master of Wine Justin Howard-Sneyd answer the question - Just what is a Varietal.

Whats a Varietal from TCM Wine Club

HINT- Here's the answer:
Well, a varietal is the term given to the type of grape variety you've used to make that particular wine. So, right behind us here we have a vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon. That is a grape varietal, and wines made that are called Cabernet Sauvignon are made from that varietal, and there are literally thousands of different varietals around the world, it's 2,000 in Italy alone. So it's quite complicated but there are probably a handful of varietals that really are wines that you'd encounter all around the world and are well-known names of the wine world.

Dec9, 2015

A Winter’s Dinner: Bacon, Kale, and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

December 9th, 2015|1 Comment

By Sarah Shotwell
Cold winter nights call for comfort food in front of the fire and a glass of red wine. This recipe puts a modern, hearty spin on a cloudy weather classic. A slice of shepherd’s pie is the perfect meal to eat out of a single bowl. Balance it on your knee while curled up on the sofa!


Dec7, 2015

Movie & Wine Pairing - Lust for Life

December 7th, 2015|3 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Wednesday, Dec 9 at 3:45 PM (ET)

The Movie: Lust for Life (1956)
The Wine: Grande Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2014


Tasting Notes:

The rugged landscape of the southern France lends itself to this wine’s concentrated notes of wild herbs and citrus just as it did to painter Vincent Van Gogh’s richly concentrated colors. Watch Kirk Douglas’ layered performance as Van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956) and enjoy... Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Monday, December 14th @ 10:15 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Dec1, 2015

Secret Santa: The Gift Of A Re-Organized Wine Journal

December 1st, 2015|0 Comments

By Paullette Gaudet
When Time isn’t busy healing-all-wounds or making-hearts-grow-fonder, it can often be found moonlighting in the proving-uncomfortable-truths department. One of those tricky things you only learn with age is that a person really CAN have everything, which is fantastic for them but distressing to the well-intentioned gift-giver.

But never fear! Another gift-giving cliché also eventually proven true with time: It is, indeed, the thought that counts. This year, offer your well-appointed friends the gift of organizing an item they already own!


Nov27, 2015

Bring on the Bubbly! Five Appetizer Pairing Ideas for Sparkling Wine

November 27th, 2015|0 Comments

By Sarah Shotwell
It’s that time of year again. The holidays are coming, and little feels more festive than a good sparkling wine! While it’s true that fizzy wine pairs with anything and everything, with such a wide variety available, it can be daunting to know where to start. For your next winter gathering, here are some hearty appetizer ideas to complement your favorite bottle of bubbly.


Nov26, 2015

Movie & Wine Pairing - Lost Horizon

November 26th, 2015|0 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Friday, Nov 27 at 11:45 PM (ET)

The Movie: Lost Horizon (1937)
The Wine: The Gooseberry Bush Colombard/Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Lost-Horizon The-Gooseberry-Bush-Colombard-Sauvignon-Blanc-20141

Tasting Notes: Shangri-La may be the stuff of dreams, but its joys can be experienced in both this wine—produced in an idyllic setting between mountain ranges—and in Frank Capra’s adaptation of Lost Horizon (1937). Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, December 9th @ 3:45 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Nov22, 2015

Movie & Wine Pairing - On an Island with You

November 22nd, 2015|6 Comments

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Wednesday, Nov 25 at 4:15 PM (ET)

The Movie: On an Island with You (1948)
The Wine: Sunday Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014 


Tasting Notes: Pair this blast of tropical fruit with Hollywood’s refreshing girl-next-door Esther Williams in On an Island with You (1948). Savor notes of passion fruit while romance ignites onscreen between Williams and costar Peter Lawford, stranded together on a beautiful but remote tropical island. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Friday, November 27th @ 11:45 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Nov20, 2015

Thanksgiving Costume Confidential

November 20th, 2015|1 Comment

By Paullette Gaudet
Hollywood-DinnerNothing gives a girl better costume ideas than arriving at a Halloween costume party—unfortunately, at that point it’s a bit too late to start shopping. Don’t shelve all of that newfound sartorial inspiration for a whole year, though—use it in less than a month by throwing a Costume Thanksgiving Dinner!

As a holiday, Thanksgiving is immutable in many ways: date, menu, historical origin. The one variable in our control is our raiment—dress on Turkey Day traditionally tends to the contemporary, but is that really written on a Turkey Treaty somewhere?? Thanksgiving is ripe for a re-imagining, and we’ve laid it all out for you here!

Bollywood Thanksgiving: Bright colors, loose clothing, and bare feet make this a Thanksgiving celebration nirvana! Use silk runners and pillows to romanticize your dining table and guest seats, play a thrumming Bollywood soundtrack, and be sure to add cumin and a spicy Malbec for extra zest!

Henry VIII Thanksgiving: This requires a bit of planning—and perhaps a wild boar to roast—but if your relatives are game, wealthy and/or bored enough, it just might work! Costumes: rented. Period food: catered. Claret: might have to come from your own wine cellar, if you’re hosting and all. Have the kids play “Greensleeves” on their recorders in the background, and shake your head when asked if mead is on the menu. Huzzah!!!

“Friends” Thanksgiving: This may very well describe your entire last decade of Thanksgiving dinners, but it requires guests to wear 90’s-era casual clothes (optional ‘Rachel’ wigs for ladies/jars of shiny hair pomade for gents should be made available at the front door) and eat off turquoise Fiestaware plates. The wine should be solidly Chardonnay, with a soundtrack mix of The Mighty Lemon Drops, Julianna Hatfield, and Hootie and the Blowfish. Could Thanksgiving be any cooler?!

Nov19, 2015

Movie & Wine Pairing - The Big Country

November 19th, 2015|0 Comments

Another scheduled movie & wine pairing for this weekend will take place Saturday, Nov 21 at 5:00PM (ET)

The Movie: The Big Country (1958)
The Wine: Alambrado Malbec 2014



Tasting Notes: Head out west with the infinitely appealing Gregory Peck in The Big Country (1958) while sipping on this subtly spicy, smooth-finishing Malbec. While filming locations like California’s arid Red Rock Canyon State Park may be a world away from the Andean foothills of Mendoza, they provide an equally stunning backdrop for this epic Western tale of rival ranching families. Read More >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Wednesday, November 25th @ 4:15 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Nov19, 2015

The Casual Connoisseur: Name That Blend!

November 19th, 2015|0 Comments

By Paullette Gaudet
Blind-WineDinner-and-a-movie, lime-juice-and-tequila, tube-socks-and-Tevas:
Yes, iconic pairings are classics for a reason, but do you ever wonder if there’s any way to put a whole new spin on a solid partnership like the wine-and-cheese gathering—well, other than calling it cheese-and-wine?

Keep all the classic components of a wine-and-cheese party (that’d be wine and cheese), while simply adding the (free!) elements of Surprise and Competition in the form of a Blind Taste Contest—et voilá! Le “spin” accompli!


Nov17, 2015

Movie & Wine Pairing - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

November 17th, 2015|1 Comment

Our next scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place Friday, Nov 20 at  8:00PM (ET)

The Movie: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
The Wine: Chateau La Commanderie de Queyret 2012



Tasting Notes: Charles Laughton’s dark and mysterious Quasimodo becomes an unlikely hero in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), just as violet and plum flavors emerge from this Bordeaux red’s dark tones. Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Saturday, November 21st @ 5:00 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!


Nov12, 2015

Nana Esther's Killer Beef Jerky

November 12th, 2015|0 Comments

by Lena Pearl Hall
For every birthday and some holidays, Nana Esther whipped up this killer Beef Jerky recipe that had the whole family turn to a life of crime. They would steal from each other, lie who did or did not take more than the other, perjure one another and generally lower their collective IQ's. This recipe usually lasts several weeks, but for those jerky crazed folks in the family, it rarely lasted a few days.  Hoarding and sneaking is encouraged.

You will need a dehydrator or know how to use your oven as a dehydrator. If you have a dehydrator, turn it all the way up. If indeed you will use your oven, put it on 120º to 150º and prop ¾’s of a wine cork between the door and the body of the oven. Voila', a dehydrator.


Nov12, 2015

What’s the purpose of the swirling?

November 12th, 2015|0 Comments

What’s the purpose of the swirling you may ask?  Join Master of Wine Justin Howard-Sneyd & host Ben Mankiewicz at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery to learn about the art of the swirl.

Swirl and Smell

Ben: You’ve done a couple of things right off the bat right there.  You swirled it. What’s the purpose of the swirling?

Justin: Well a lot of the flavor of the wine is captured in the, in the aroma, and with a glass like this, it nicely sort of channels and funnels that aroma above the wine. Actually when you swirl it, what you are doing is releasing a little more of that aroma. You’re letting the air mix with the wine and the aroma kind of swirls off, so when you then put your nose to smell it, the aroma is enhanced and extended because you’ve, you’ve done that swirling.

Explore the world of films and wines with the TCM Wine Club

Nov12, 2015

Après-Ski or Icebreaker: Chardonnay and Gruyère Fondue

November 12th, 2015|0 Comments

By Sarah Shotwell
FondueFor over two decades, my family and I have enjoyed fondue together as one of our winter traditions. We tried it once as an experiment, and the concept stuck. It’s not hard to see why: fondue is fun. Traditionally an alpine après-ski experience, it was co-opted by Americans in the 1970s as the ultimate winter party fare. Whatever your take on fondue, whether it includes delicate vegetables and European fromage or yellow cheddar and Lit’l Smokies, a pot of melted cheese pairs well with wine and promises to please a crowd.

It’s also one of the few times etiquette requires that we play with our food! There are plenty of articles and books describing the perfect fondue technique (twirl the long prong to gather up those cheese-strings, keep a separate fork on hand for eating to avoid contamination of the pot). But rules, of course, are meant to be broken. Only one fondue law remains unchallenged by all known sources: if you drop your cheese-vehicle (be it apple, sausage, or bread) into the pot, the person next to you gets a kiss. With this in mind, it may be worth strategizing on that seating arrangement! While you can spice up any fondue recipe with herbs, shallots, sharp or blue cheeses, or liqueurs, we prefer this straight-forward, traditional recipe that allows the subtle flavors of the Gruyère and Emmental to shine.


Chardonnay and Gruyère Fondue


Ingredients and Supplies

One garlic clove, sliced

1/2 pound Emmental, grated

1/2 pound Gruyère, grated

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 1/2 cups of your favorite Chardonnay

Fresh cracked pepper

Dash of sea salt



Sliced green apples

Blanched vegetables (Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower)

Cubed Baguette

Smoked Sausage or Bratwurst



Fondue pot

Butane burner/canister or several tea lights

Skewers or fondue forks

Mix the grated cheeses together in a bowl and toss with cornstarch to lightly coat. (This will prevent cheese from separating from the wine). Take the garlic and rub it on the insides of the fondue pot. When the pot has been sufficiently coated, discard the garlic. Over medium heat on the stove, simmer Chardonnay gently, gradually stirring in handfuls of cheese, allowing it to slowly melt. Use a whisk to mix. Add cracked pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt. When combined, remove fondue pot from stove and place on a stand over a butane canister or several tea lights. (Note: texture should be creamy and thick, not stringy or runny.) Use skewers [...]

Nov2, 2015

Our first Movie & Wine Pairing Tonight - Adventures of Don Juan

November 2nd, 2015|0 Comments

Our first scheduled movie & wine pairing for the TCM Wine Club will take place tonight, Monday Nov 2 at  6:00 PM (ET)

The Movie: Adventures of Don Juan (1949)
The Wine: Palacio del Conde Gran Reserva 2007

Tasting Notes: Be seduced by this spicy Tempranillo while swashbuckling Errol Flynn falls for Viveca Lindfors’ Spanish Queen in Adventures of Don Juan (1948). The film’s legendary hero originated in the south of Spain and makes the perfect suitor for this charming and toasty Valencia red.
Read more >

If you are taking part in this movie & wine pairing tonight, please leave us a comment on our Blog or Facebook.


NEXT Movie & Wine Pairing takes place on Friday Nov 20 @8:00 PM (ET)

Not a member yet?  Join the Club Today!

Oct27, 2015

TCM Wine Club

October 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Welcome to the Wine Club - www.tcmwineclub.com

Oct27, 2015

TCM Wine Club Launches Today - Read the Press Release

October 27th, 2015|3 Comments

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Launches TCM Wine Club To Help Consumers Discover Wine Through The Lens Of The Movies
TCM, Direct Wines and Wines That Rock Partner to Deliver Originally Produced and Expertly Selected Exclusive Wines from World Renowned Vineyards

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Launches TCM Wine Club To Help Consumers Discover Wine Through The Lens Of The Movies (PRNewsFoto/Turner Classic Movies)

ATLANTA, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced the TCM Wine Club, a new venture which curates originally produced wines inspired by classic films as well as expertly selected varietals from renowned vineyards around the globe – all with the convenience of home delivery. TCM has partnered with Direct Wines, specialists in direct-to-consumer wine partnerships, as well as Wines That Rock, the pop culture wine company behind classic Rock 'n' Roll-influenced wines and more, to create an exclusive club for film buffs and wine enthusiasts alike.

As part of the inaugural offer, new members will receive fifteen special bottles including the first-ever release of Cafe Zoetrope, a custom-crafted red from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Members will also enjoy True Grit Limited Edition Zinfandel along with The Essentials Cabernet Sauvignon – the first in a series of single-varietal wines, specifically curated for TCM Wine Club members, to showcase the world's great grapes.

Each quarter thereafter, club members will receive twelve bottles encouraging a journey of discovery around the world, which include movie-themed wines handpicked by TCM Wine Club experts. All cases will be accompanied by detailed background notes on each wine and suggested movie pairings.

"We are always looking for new and exciting brand extension opportunities and are thrilled to partner with Direct Wines and Wines that Rock to bring our fans additional classic film lifestyle experiences," said Jennifer Dorian, General Manager at TCM. "TCM at its core is a curator of movies, and with the TCM Wine Club we can be an authentic source for wine and movie pairings."

"The TCM Wine Club puts a fresh and fun spin on wine clubs – creating a totally unique experience of exploration.  TCM has a great tradition of curating the best cinema for us all to enjoy. Now the TCM Wine Club will extend that tradition by bringing together a formidable team of wine experts to guide its members [...]

Oct23, 2015

A Sip from History: Reclaiming Antique Glassware

October 23rd, 2015|4 Comments

A Sip from History: Reclaiming Antique Glassware

by Sarah Shotwell
Two-GlassesImpractical Treasures
My first contact with vintage and antique glassware came through my Great Aunt Frieda, a woman of the 1920s and a self-professed Francophile. Her sprawling mid-century house, looming over the edge of the Puget Sound in Seattle, contained a museum’s worth of warm-hued Parisian furniture, pink Turkish rugs, and Neoclassical porcelain lamps -- objects that filled and decorated my childhood imagination. When Aunt Frieda passed on, many of these heirlooms appeared in our home. My favorite piece was a gilded, bowed-glass, claw-footed curio from Paris. I loved the beautiful cabinet, but what sparkled inside was what drew my true affection: the curio was stuffed with Aunt Frieda’s drinkware.

I don’t know where it all came from, or when it was made, but when I was a kid, the tiny crystal coupes and hand-etched cordial glasses were wonderfully satisfying to my eye. I would stand in front of the case, hands pinned behind my back by a mother’s order to look, not touch, imagining all the parties the stemware had seen as I yearned for the holidays, when I would get my own thimble’s share of champagne and sip it ever so precociously from one of the glistening, rose-hued port glasses. While I used the glasses whenever I was allowed, my parents never did -- not for wine, and especially not for champagne. Perhaps it was the tiny size, the shallow brims, the stubborn glaze of dust on them, or the long, spindly, spill-prone stems, but that stemware, long retired of its days of cheering souls through the long, gloomy Seattle winters, stayed in the case-year round while my parents spun Cabernet in globular, 20-ounce Riedel glasses.

Sip from a Glass, Taste of the Past
A few years ago, I inherited Aunt Frieda’s stemware from my mother, and I’ve made the decision to reclaim these precious little works of art, and not just for my living room display. But where to begin? If you are like me, you may have your own curio full of vintage or antique glassware. Perhaps you aren’t sure how to use it; maybe you even question if you should. After all, it’s breakable, oddly shaped, and impractically small. (Most vintage wine glasses won’t accommodate more than three ounces!) Despite that, sipping from family heirlooms is a special way to keep the [...]

Oct21, 2015

Grape Stuffed Game Hens, Pigeons or Chicken

October 21st, 2015|2 Comments

Grape Stuffed Game Hens, Pigeons or Chicken

by Lena Pearl Hall
HenOnce you make this incredibly simple recipe, your friends will toast each other for being so lucky as to be your friend. This is an old country Italian recipe for common game fowl.


Oct21, 2015

300 Year Old Majorcan Chili Con Queso

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Marjorcan Chili Con Queso

by Billy Ray Bradford
CheeseOnce upon a time when I lived in the wild west hills outside of Austin, Tx, a dear friend passed on this recipe for Chili Con Queso. It was passed down in his family for 300 years from the island of Majorca. The first time we all tried this, it was so addictive, we finished it and couldn't eat dinner. Watch out, this is dangerous!


Oct21, 2015

Romano Italian Stuffed Peppers

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Romano Italian Stuffed Peppers

by Billy Ray Bradford
PepperPreheat the oven to 350º.

In a small village north of Rome where the seat of the Etruscan empire reined 3000 years ago, there is a wonderful woman living outside of town with her husband. On their land is 200+ Etruscan catacombs over looking the castle....a most amazing place.  She is renown for her country Italian meals. Here is her stuffed red pepper recipe. Fresh ingrediants wherever possible!


Oct21, 2015


October 21st, 2015|0 Comments


 by Sarah Shotwell
ClaretWhat is Claret?
Traditionally made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and (occasionally) Carménère, “Claret” is a centuries-old British name for the red wine of Bordeaux. In France, this wine is known as simply “Bordeaux.” In America, it’s “Meritage.” All of these words describe the wine inspired by one of the world’s most fascinating historic regions.


Oct21, 2015

A Pair to Remember: 5 Wine and Movie Pairings for Your Next Night In

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

A Pair to Remember: 5 Wine and Movie Pairings for Your Next Night In

by Sarah Shotwell
Film-ReelWhether you’re on your own or lounging with a loved one, dinner-and-a-movie night can only be improved by a long pour of the perfect wine. Check out our suggestions for varietal and movie pairings. Whatever your genre of choice might be, it seems there is a perfect wine for every film.  

Horror with Pinot Gris 

This may seem a counterintuitive match, but wine and food pairings are all about balance and complement. Creamy, fatty sauces are cut with bright acidity; spicy dishes are sliced by a touch of sweetness. When watching horror, balance the gore and keep things light with an easy-drinking glass of Pinot Gris.  

Suggested Dinner Pairing: Caramelized onion and gruyere pizza. With slasher films, skip the red sauce.  


Oct21, 2015

“Merry Kentucky Fried Christmas!” Give Your Holiday Party A Down-Home Twist

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

“Merry Kentucky Fried Christmas!” Give Your Holiday Party A Down-Home Twist From A Surprising Source

by Paullette Gaudet
Turkey-LineHosted one too many an Ugly Christmas Sweater party this year? You’re not alone: It seems that even non-traditional Christmas celebrations have become a bit traditional these days. That old tasty stand-by of a Christmas Day Chinese food dinner for the non-Christian and/or turkey-fatigued might seem less special these days, especially if you just had take-out last week. How to create a standout-themed Christmas soiree? Look a little farther East, to Japan…

“Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky For Christmas!)
Since 1974, Christmas has equaled Kentucky in Japan. This marketing campaign followed on the heels of a group of foreigners who had to substitute fried chicken for their Christmas turkey (gobblers are all but non-existent in Japan). The “Kentucky for Christmas!” campaign became a national catchphrase, and today it’s possible to pre-order “Christmas Chicken” dinner buckets to avoid standing in hours-long, Christmas Eve lines.


Oct21, 2015

Magnum P.I.—Solving The Mystery Of Large Format Bottles

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Magnum P.I.—Solving The Mystery Of Large Format Bottles

by Paullette Gaudet
bottles1Ah, the holidays are upon us once again, bringing with them our yearly role as Holiday Party Guest #1, and including all attendant pleasures and responsibilities. The swirly fun of shopping for new party togs—and rehearsing new anecdotes!—is somewhat tempered by the requirements of party punctuality and, of course, keeping one’s re-gifting list straight. Speaking of which: keep those questionable dinner guest wine bottles—the liquid equivalent of fruitcake—out of circulation this year and stand out from the party-guest-pack by upgrading your gift wines to large format bottles.


Oct21, 2015

Varietal Vignette: Petite Sirah

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Varietal Vignette: Petite Sirah

by Sarah Shotwell 
VineyardPetite Sirah (also known as Durif) is a big, dark, spicy red wine with an alluring past, and it’s making a bold comeback in California.

Mysterious Origins

Petite Sirah has a bit of a winding, head-scratching history. In 1880, it was created by a French botanist who grew a vine from the seed of Peloursin, an archaic French variety, and pollinated it from an unknown source (now believed to be Syrah). This new wine had an inky black color and a bold, juicy, tannic profile. In France, it was called Durif, after its creator.

Though its origins were then unknown to American farmers, the grape came to California in the late 1800s, and stood strong while the local Syrah crop was bing decimated by Phylloxera, a dangerous pest native to North America. But here in the States, the grape’s true time to shine was during Prohibition, when because of its thicker skin and tightly packed clusters, it was one of the few varietals strong enough to be shipped on trains to home winemakers back east. There was a dip in production in the second half of the century, but now, winemakers throughout the Golden State are rediscovering their love for a varietal that continues to surprise and delight wine drinkers, many of whom are encountering it for the first time.


Petite Sirah is most famous for its inky, black color and bold, fruity, tannic expression. Its ripe, blackberry flavors are kept in check by notes of pepper, leather, and herbs. It’s an excellent addition to the winemaker’s blending kit, or, done right, the wine can stand alone as a satisfying accompaniment to hearty winter fare like wild game, lamb stew, and sharp cheeses.


Oct21, 2015

Spotlight: San Luis Obispo

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Spotlight: San Luis Obispo

by Sarah Shotwell
Edna Valley AVA, Arroyo Grande Valley AVA
Varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Gris
Climate: Region 1 - cool, misty marine zone with warm afternoons
Soil types: Limestone, sandstone, shale

Profile: A few years back, San Luis Obispo received worldwide attention when it was named “The Happiest City in America” by a writer from National Geographic. It’s not hard to see why. This sun-soaked village sits in a coastal valley caught between emerald-green peaks and is only ten minutes from the beach. Unaffected by the traffic and population that clogs much of the Golden State, the remote town is shared by a mix of energetic young college students and low-key, quirky, long-time locals. The dining scene is wine-friendly and locally-sourced.

Stretching south and east from town are miles of cool-climate vineyards and wineries boasting delicious and reasonably priced Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Riesling. These wineries are staffed with students and graduates of the state-of-the-art winemaking and viticulture program at Cal Poly, the local university, offering the region immediate access to the state’s most promising up-and-coming talent.

Though famous for its joy-factor, San Luis Obispo is often skipped over by the visiting winos seeking Pinot in northern Santa Barbara County (brought to fame by the 2004 film Sideways) or big red Cabs, Zins, and Rhone-inspired blends in Paso Robles to the north. But “SLO”, as locals call it, is more than worth a stop. The longevity of the region is alone impressive, with a winemaking history reaching back to Spanish arrival in the 1770s.

These days, a vibrant, laid-back, family-driven culture colors the tasting experience. It is not ncommon for owners and winemakers to be hanging out in the tasting rooms, chatting with customers and pulling barrel samples. Everyone is eager to socialize, eager to educate, eager to improve the winemaking craft and growing practices. Local winery workers can attest to this. Longtime SLO-resident and tasting room attendant Hilary Langdon said, “When out-of-towners come into the tasting room, they often tell us that they are surprised by two things: first, that they like every wine on the list, and second, that everyone is so friendly. We’re really proud of that.”

San Luis Obispo may be small, but the region is doing its part to help shift its customers away from a mindset that makes wine seem inaccessible, intimidating, and elitist. Instead, SLO [...]

Oct21, 2015

Debunking Myths: Merlot’s Bad Rap

October 21st, 2015|0 Comments

MerlotDebunking Myths: Merlot’s Bad Rap

by Sarah Shotwell

“If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving.” - Miles Raymond, Sideways

The myth: Merlot is boring and passé.

Source of the myth: Alexander Payne’s film, Sideways (2004)

Back in the 80s, Merlot was one of the early reds to become popular with America’s first major demographic of wine drinkers: the baby boomers. It was friendly, it was French, it tasted great, and it was in a palatable price point. But when Sideways came out, with Paul Giamatti’s Pinot-swilling male lead disparaging Merlot as déclassé, a generation of Merlot fans left the movie theater, wringing their hands over their now-unfashionable palates. A decade later, this varietal prejudice continues to cling to America’s collective conscience. In tasting rooms on the Central Coast of California, where Sideways was set, it is not uncommon to see wine drinkers still turning their noses up at Merlot.

The Truth

Merlot is a wonderful varietal with a rich history and has long been adored by beginning and veteran wine drinkers alike. It is one of the noble grapes of Bordeaux, and is found blended into some of the most thrilling, elegant, and expensive wines on earth. On its own, it expresses in a diverse range of styles, from bold and age-worthy to light and drinkable. While varietals go in and out of fashion, one bit of wisdom remains: real wine connoisseurs know not to judge a wine by its label, because any varietal in the hands of a capable winemaker has the potential to shine brightly!


Try an exciting new Merlot from Paso Robles, California or Walla Walla, Washington. For a traditional experience, splurge on a Bordeaux from Pomerol.


Oct20, 2015

The Casual Connoisseur: Breaking The Ice With Frozen Wine Cubes

October 20th, 2015|0 Comments


TIP: Try a Few Frozen Grapes in your wine to keep it cold

by Paullette Gaudet
You know your fine wine, and so do your friends: just look at the classy array of not-quite-finished bottles littering the table after any one of your get-togethers. But don’t you sometimes miss those days when being a beverage connoisseur just meant filling a single cup with the perfect-sized splash of every soda flavor from the 7-11 soft drink dispenser? Make your next party a lower-key affair by freezing your last soiree’s fancy wine remnants in ice cube trays and trying out one of the following ideas for a low-stress, low-cost hootenanny!

  • Schmangria: What’s better than mixing wine with fruit? Mixing it with more wine! Offer guests a selection of modestly priced (room-temperature) bottles for base pours, and present a smorgasbord of labeled glass bowls, cushioned in crushed ice and filled with frozen wine cubes. Give prizes for the tastiest and most creative combos, and don’t forget to write down the recipes for future reference!
  • Lushees: Remember choosing Slushee flavors by what color they’d turn your tongue? This is a (slightly) more adult version:


Oct20, 2015

Decanter? I Hardly Know Her! Why Decanting Wine Is Worth A Try

October 20th, 2015|0 Comments

wine-decanterThe question of whether or not to decant a bottle of wine isn’t one that comes up often these days. The very sight of a decanter can seem quaintly Old World: a once-useful but now slightly-fussy artifact akin to a Russian samovar. Indeed, the greatest reason for decanting is to separate a wine’s heavy, often bitter sediment from its liquid, a more pressing concern with older reds. This mode of decantation demands a steady, artful hand to horizontally angle the bottle just enough to get the liquid out while leaving the chunky bits in. But, honestly: if you’re drinking the kinds of vintage that require this feat, you can just get your butler to do it.


Oct20, 2015

Thanksgiving Emmy Award Show Seating

October 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Thanksgiving Emmy Award Show Seating

by Paullette Gaudet
turkey1Gobble-gobble-gaah: One might brashly think that living in a negative square-foot loft— on a busy city block with zero street parking, no less—would guarantee immunity from hosting large family events such as Thanksgiving dinner. Alas, did you still draw the short drumstick this year?? Well, the family always did say you watched too much TV growing up, so put that wasted youth to use right now by patterning your Thanksgiving seating after a televised award show.

Let’s face it: the Emmys are basically a roomful of Thanksgiving kids’ tables, so follow that template and don’t look back. Instead of using a long, narrow table, arrange a few small square ones in a staggered circle. This offers the opportunity for super-fun seat assignments—Grandpa and the Ritalin Twins? Auntie Gluten-Free and Cousin Hoarder?—and lets you divide traditional Thanksgiving fixin’s into a feast that truly conquers.

Bonus: there’s a much better chance of matching the heights of four random chairs rather than sixteen. [...]

Oct20, 2015

Old & New: 5 Alternatives to Oak Barrel Aging

October 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Montes; Colchagua Valley; Chile

Montes; Colchagua Valley; Chile

By Sarah Shotwell

When it comes to fermenting and aging wines, barrels have dominated the scene for awhile now. But that wasn’t always the case. These days, some hip, creative winemakers are turning to both new and old materials to up their oenology games.

French Oak Puncheons
The typical 225-liter barrels we see everywhere today are being challenged by larger, 500-liter puncheons and giant upright oak fermenters. Word is that our common, small barrels were designed for ease of use, but they can give off an oak characteristic that is too aggressive and concentrated for more delicate varietals. Winemakers all over the world are trying out larger vessels with varying aging times to find the perfect ratio of oak influence for each wine. Wine fermented and aged in French oak tends to take on toasty caramel and vanilla characteristics. [...]

Oct20, 2015

Surprising Seasonals: Outside-The- (Giftwrapped)-Box Holiday Pairings

October 20th, 2015|0 Comments


Surprising Seasonals: Outside-The- (Giftwrapped)-Box Holiday Pairings
Autumn is here, that quixotic season filled with both new possibilities (think freshly-sharpened No. 2 pencils!) and rigidly-scheduled holiday obligations from Labor Day to the New Year. Traditional celebratory beverage pairings, while enjoyable, have become to seem a little ho-hum: Thanksgiving’s twin pillars of merlot and chardonnay; Christmas’s eggnog; New Year’s Eve’s champagne. Sure, your wine palate may be forced off-duty around this time of year, but these expected holiday offerings have lasted through the ages, so why fight tradition?

There’s no need to fight, just an opportunity to expand: here are three unexpected holiday wine pairings, all steeped in tradition.

Turkey Day with St. Laurent & Ziegelt
Depose merlot as the reigning Thanksgiving table crowdpleaser by instead choosing a brand new red with strong cranberry notes to complement the traditional turkey meal. Pinot noirs from cooler climates (like Oregon, New Zealand, and Burgundy) will feature a cranberry flavor profile, but the Czech Republic’s St. Laurent (in the pinot family) and Austria’s Ziegelt (a cross between St. Laurent and Gamay) offer a guaranteed tart, cranberry punch, plus the fun of watching relatives try to pronounce their names.

Amped-Up Christmas Gluhwein
Feuerzangenbowle (or Fire-Tongs Punch) is just your basic winter recipe for spiced, mulled wine—gone nuclear, that is. A bottle of dry red (like merlot) is simmered with clove-studded slices of orange and lemon, a few cinammon sticks, and a splash of fresh orange juice. After transfer to a fire-proof punch bowl (very important, class; now is a good time to use those No. 2 pencils!), place a cone of sugar (or zuckerhut) on a slotted metal holder over the bowl, soak the cone in 151-proof rum, and set afire. It will take about twenty, cozily romantic minutes of firelight for the cone to melt completely and drip into the punch. Stir and ladle into mugs for intense Christmas enjoyment, but beware: the sweetness and warmth of this drink belies its high alcohol content, so keep track of your sips.

Have A Verde Happy New Year
The Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve (one for each stroke of midnight) holds both superstition and danger: skip the grapes—risk a year of bad luck; gobble the grapes—risk receiving the New Year’s first Heimlich manuever.

Want to try welcoming the New Year with competitive timed fruit consumption, but fear you’ll regret missing your usual [...]

Oct15, 2015

Open Wine like a Pro

October 15th, 2015|0 Comments

Here's a fun and easy tip you can use every time you open a bottle of wine.

Using your corkscrew, slowly work the cork out until you have just the last bit of cork still left in the bottle.



Oct13, 2015

A Brief History of Wine in the Movies

October 13th, 2015|0 Comments

hollywoodhjby Kimberly Lindbergs

The movies have had a long and passionate love affair with wine. From zesty Zinfandels to crisp Chardonnays, an endless variety of wines have been seen on the silver screen, and drunk in abundance. In the silent era, Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle and Charles Chaplin used wine to generate big laughs in comedies such as Fatty’s Wine Party (1914) and The Adventurer (1917). Wine also encouraged wonderful flights of fancy in F. W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh (1924) and William A. Wellman’s Oscar-winning war drama Wings (1927). During this period director Alfred Hitchcock developed an interest in sparkling wines that lasted throughout his career and is apparent in many of his films including The Ring (1927) and Champagne (1927), which tells the story of a young heiress whose fortune rests in bottles of bubbly. Sparkling wines also make notable appearances in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rope (1948) and most famously, Notorious (1946), where keen-eyed viewers can spot the Master of Suspense sipping a glass of champagne in one of his many famous cameos. [...]

Oct8, 2015

Orange is the New White: Unsettle Your Taste Buds This Halloween With A Skin-Contact Amber Wine

October 8th, 2015|0 Comments

BLOG---235-235-2Halloween’s Great Pumpkin seems to bestow its snaggle-toothed, tangerine-tinted grin on just about every beverage imaginable at this time of year, giving us pumpkin ale, pumpkin cider, and—of course—those coveted pumpkin lattes. Wine has traditionally stayed out of the fray, preferring to remain on the sidewalk with a cigarette and surreptitious silver flask while the little pumpkin-costumed ones run off to ring doorbells.

But who says that oh-so-adult wine has to skip all the spooky fun? Enter the niche world of orange wine, a newly popular category stemming from ancient modes of winemaking. These wines do not have a pumpkin flavor, but their distinctive amber color and chewy, tannin-rich mouth feel provide an earthy, almost eerie taste of a time in winemaking history much closer to the origins of All Hallows’ Eve, which perfectly suits this month of October.

Orange wines are white wines that have been macerated with their crushed grape skins and seeds. This method of skin-fermentation is also how red wines are made, and orange wines do share with them a similar body, texture, and wider flavor spectrum.

First made thousands of years ago in the republic of Georgia, winemakers in Italy and Slovenia have recently begun to produce orange wine. Originally, the wines were made in qvevri, traditional Georgian clay vessels that were buried during fermentation.

Orange—more accurately amber, or skin-contact—wines are challenging and complex, holding much appeal for epicureans looking for something new. Why not try a glass this autumn—it might scare you how much you like it!

Sep18, 2015

Welcome to the TCM Wine Club!

September 18th, 2015|1 Comment

Welcome to the TCM Wine Club!

WINE CLUB TIP -  Break out your Principe Strozzi Selvascura 2013 Toscana IGT, Italy Sunday nights in November!