NAKED WINERY BLOG
Article originally posted on Redfin Life & Style Blog, featuring Naked Winery
From Philadelphia to Sacramento, wine lovers span across the United States consuming 4 billion bottles of wine in just one year! But many of you may question whether you’re storing your beloved bottles correctly. Even if your home isn’t equipped with a wine cellar, you can still store wine in ideal conditions to preserve and maximize aging potential. We’ve asked the experts to share their secrets to storing wine that can help prevent spoilage so you can still uncork and unwind, no cellar necessary.
Avoid Heat and Sunlight
The best place to store wine in your home is in a cool, dark place where the temperature doesn’t change much over the course of the year. Ideally, this would be a basement, but could also be a closet, the closer to the floor the better. -Bettina Sichel, Laurel Glen Vineyard
Basements are a great place to store and age the wine. For those without a basement, an interior closet or under a first-floor bed are the next best options. Since heat rises, store your wine as close to the floor as possible to prevent rapid temperature fluctuation. – Dave Rice, Chehalem Winery
Get Creative When Stashing Your Wine
Homeowners are concerned with keeping their wine at the right temperature, but they forget the other two culprits to wearing it down. Direct light, noise, and movement. These are all big contributors to wreaking havoc on your precious bottles. It is always more important to keep your wine at the same consistent temperature in a dark, cool, and quiet space. –Tertulia Cellars
It’s important to store your wine somewhere without excess light or heat fluctuations while keeping it laying on its side. This could include a dedicated wine cellar, a pantry, or even under your bed! For the longest time, I stored my wine laying flat in plastic storage boxes under my bed, keeping them cool and out of the sunlight. –Paige Comrie, Wine with Paige
People love storing wine in their kitchen or above their refrigerator for quick and easy access—but those are often the warmest areas in your house. Store wine in a cool, dark closet at the center of your home, away from windows and appliances. Another great option is a temperature-controlled wine storage facility like the Wine Collector’s Room in downtown Santa Barbara, which has lockers wine lovers can rent each month for their personal cellar. –Carr Vineyards & Winery
Avoid Extreme Temperature Adjustments
It is not as important to keep wine at 55 degrees constantly, but that you avoid wine swings between 40 and 80 degrees. This means keep it out of the light, away from heat vents, and away from doorways. –Etfille Wines
Consistent temperature is more important than the actual temperature. With constant changing temperatures the wine expands and contracts in the bottle which will accelerate the aging. -Scott Harvey, Scott Harvey Wines
Find the Right Humidity
Store your wines with your furs. Just like furs, wines need a dark place that has moderate humidity – 50%. You want to prevent the cork from drying out. Avoid direct sunlight and a damp basement. –Vino 301
Saving the Bottle For a Special Occasion
Decide when you want to drink your wine. If it’s something special that you want to age for a few years, put it in a box, seal it, and write the date on it. You won’t be as tempted to open it early and you won’t forget to drink it at the optimum time. –Burnt Bridge Cellars
When Your Hosting
If your home occasionally gets hot or cold and you keep wine for more than a few weeks you should consider a small wine refrigerator. These have become very affordable in recent years and are nice to have visible in whatever room you entertain guests. –David Glancy, San Francisco Wine School
For storing an open bottle of wine, use your Sodastream to blow the air out of the bottle before sticking the cork back in. Don’t try to pressurize the wine bottle! Just put the Sodastream injector about 1” into the open wine bottle. –Eleven Winery
When making an ice bucket to keep a bottle chilled, make sure to add about 1/3 of water. This will chill the bottle much quicker than just the ice. -Last Wine Down
Consider the Color When Storing
If you are into orange or rose wines and aren’t sure how they should be stored our best recommendation is to think about how long they had skin contact for. The less skin contact (thus likely lighter color), the cooler the temperature you should store your wines. –Through the Grapevine
Keep it sideways
Wine storage at home is simple, even if you don’t have a basement or a wine fridge. Store wine in the horizontal position, away from any direct source of heat, away from direct sunlight, and away from any source of vibration. –Talk-A-Vino
Storing your wine in a horizontal position keeps the cork moist by having constant contact with the wine. If your cork dries out, it increases the risk of “corked” wine. –Three Sisters Winery & Earlco Vineyards
Lexi Klinkenberg | Redfin Marketing Outreach Coordinator
What’s Galentine’s Day you ask?! Oh, it’s only the best day of the year! But for reals. It started as a fictional celebration of Leslie Knope and her lady-friends on NBC’s Parks and Recreation in the mid-2000s. However, in the last 10 years, it has exploded in popularity as a way to celebrate that most common and yet most unremarked-upon of things: female friendship.
Turns out, people aren’t really that in love with Valentine’s Day anymore. More and more it is being viewed as just another Hallmark holiday. One that only serves to make single people feel bad for no reason and puts undue pressure on people in relationships. So maybe you are single this year. So what! Chances are, even if you don’t have a significant other, you probably do have a best friend, and if so she is definitely worth celebrating.
Galentine’s Day has become a holiday that really connects with women in the current #metoo era we find ourselves in. And this made for TV holiday is absolutely trending IRL. In 2007 about 63% of Americans planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Compare that to 2018 when that number dropped to just 51%. This decline in popularity has been attributed to younger consumers associating Valentine’s with their parents. In other words, it’s lame. Whereas Galentine’s Day is projected to grow by 20% in the next three years. Now that’s some serious girl power! #yasqueen
So, mark your calendars ladies! Naked Winery will be hosting a Galentine’s Day pop-up shopping event in our Hood River tasting room on Saturday, February 8th. Just ladies celebrating ladies, Naked style! Stop in anytime between 4 and 7 PM to sip n’ shop for your besties with breasties. Keep it less commercial and browse gifts from local vendors including Whimsy Chocolates, Lucky Locks, Croze Creations, Sally & Sage, Columbia Gorge Confections, Hackle and Hide, Queen of Hearts Hemp Foods, and Morganic Handmade who will all be on-site with beautiful, delicious, and sparkly presents specifically for the gals in your life.
When: Saturday, Feb-8 | 4-7 pm
Where: Naked Winery Hood River Tasting Room | 606 Oak Street
However you celebrate the real loves of your life, enjoy a holiday that’s less hallmark and more unconditional love… and wine. Don’t forget the wine.
Naked Winery Team
Ever wonder what we’ve been humming around here at Naked HQ? We're gearing up for our 90's Throwback Party at the Seaside, OR Tasting Room on Feb-22 (more info HERE), so we're sharing our curated playlist. These jams are awesome and may invoke dancing ⚠️ you've been warned. Although we do ask that you refrain from the Macarena and the Tootsie Roll.
To loosely and not at all accurately quote a classic '90s jam, "Ain't no party like a '90s party, 'cause a '90s party don't stop." Am I right, or am I right? If you're planning to attend a 90’s themed party we advise that you consider sporting some like baggy jeans, flannel shirts and complementing combat boots. Yep, we’re feeling it.
Did we strike up some nostalgic feelings? Want more from our team? Follow Naked Winery on Spotify and stay tuned to the Naked Blog for more pour 'n play themes.
Naked Winery Team
There are only 140 people in the US who have earned the title Master Sommelier, and I’m not one of them. Chances are, neither are you. In fact, most of the human population isn’t. But that doesn’t stop any of us from drinking and loving wine. Turns out you don’t have to be an expert to know what you like, you just have to own a handful of taste buds and sometimes a wine opener (but who doesn’t love a screw top).
The point is, mainstream wine culture can be intimidating. There’s all kinds of foreign words being thrown around and names you’ve never heard of, and different sized glasses and bottles and styles and colors. Honestly, the sheer magnitude of information we don’t know about wine and winemaking can be overwhelming at best and discouraging at worst. The good news is, for the most part, none of that really matters, truly.
The only question you need to ask yourself when you take a sip is “Do I like this?”. If the answer is no, toss it. Seriously, life’s too short to drink something you don’t like. If the answer is yes, great, drink that glass and maybe grab the bottle to see what it is so you can have it again. It really is that simple. There are a few other basic concepts that are really easy to grasp that will make finding the wine you like just a little more straightforward… these are some of them.
What is Wine?
1. an alcoholic drink made from fermented grape juice.
Why are some wines red and others are white or pink?
Red wine is a wine made from dark-colored grapes. But did you know that the juice from most purple grapes is greenish-white? So the red color is actually coming from the skin of the grape and not the juice inside. Crazy right?! Actually, most of the red-wine production process involves getting color and flavor from the skin of the grape into the wine. This is accomplished by crushing the grapes (with a machine, not feet) and letting the juice and skins hang out in big bins for a few weeks while they ferment. After that, the now red colored alcoholic juice is separated from the skins and transferred to barrels or tanks to age into a grown-up wine that gets put into a bottle.
White Wine is a wine that is fermented without the skins of the grapes. After the grapes are crushed they are immediately removed from the skins and put into tanks to ferment. Because turns out, some white wine grapes (like Pinot Gris) are actually red! Totally bonkers right?! So, after the juice gets nice and boozy, it is either transferred to barrels or left in the tank to age into something a little more interesting before being bottled.
Sweet Wine is a wine that has leftover grape sugars in it after it is finished fermenting. This sweetness in wine is called residual sugar. The way we describe the sugar levels in wine is Dry, Off-Dry, and Sweet. Dry means that a wine has no sugar in it and is not sweet at all. Off-Dry means that the wine has a little bit of sugar and is a little bit sweet. Sweet means that the wine has a lot of sugar and is, well, pretty sweet.
Rosé is a type of wine that incorporates some of the color from the grape skins, but not enough to qualify it as red wine. It’s created by crushing the grapes and allowing the skins to remain in the juice for two to twenty hours. The longer that the skins are left in contact with the juice, the darker the color of the final wine. There are a few other methods for making this kind of wine, but this is the most common.
What about all those other words?
Fermentation is the process in which yeast is added to the grape juice and it goes to work eating the sugar in the juice and produces alcohol in the process. No yeast, no wine.
Varietals are the different types of grapes, so all their different names. i.e. Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are different grape varietals.
Vintage is the year the grapes were grown. So the year you see on the label is when the grapes that make up the wine in the bottle were picked and made into wine. If you don’t see a year, it is because the wine in Non-Vintage, which just means it’s a blend of different wines from multiple years.
Tannins are present mostly in red wines. It’s the sensation you get when you drink a really bold red wine and it feels like all of the spit had been sucked out of your mouth. That’s tannin.
Acidity is what gives the wine its tart and sour taste. Acidity is important because it helps to slow wine from going bad.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to drink what you like, with the people you love, in the places you want to share.
Naked Winery Team
For many people, the New Year is an opportunity for growth (think relationships) and loss (think waistline). Sometimes, this means cutting back on Taco Tuesday’s and Wine Wednesday (that’s a thing, right?). Having gone on many diets ourselves, we know how hard, and let’s face it, boring and tasteless, dieting can be. But we recently read that a person’s healthiest weight is the one they reach when they live a lifestyle they can actually enjoy. Luckily, a flute of champagne pops in at just 80 calories, meaning you can have your cake (um, wine) and drink it too.
If one of your goals this New Year is to lose weight, spend more time with friends, and practice better self-care, let us present the perfect resolution solution: brunch. In our opinion, brunch is the perfect meal and the perfect opportunity for a mid-morning glass of champagne. Soft buttery pastries, fresh fruits, and cheese marry perfectly with salty bacon, pan-roasted veggies, and fresh or smoked salmon. Combined with one (or all three) of Naked’s bubbly, and we think brunch might just be a resolution we’ll actually see-through. To help you achieve ultimate success, here are a few tips:
Plan your brunch accordingly. Most brunch items can be prepared the night before, leaving you a stress-free morning to complete your other resolution of working out more. Breakfast casseroles are versatile and can easily fit any dietary needs. Plus, Frisky Sparkling Wine, pairs perfectly with savory egg and cheese dishes (hello quiche). This Brut sparkling wine cuts thru those buttery dishes, and only packs 1.2 carbs for all your keto following friends.
If your goal is a healthier lifestyle, try switching out your breakfast favorites with lower carb options. We love Lox, but bagels pack a mighty caloric punch. Switch out the bread for fresh baby arugula, and top with smoked salmon, avocado, thinly sliced pear, and red onion. Pair with our Puma semi-sparkling rose, and this dish will leave you hungry for more.
The real showstopper here is a fresh fruit salad topped with a mimosa dressing. This salad works best with peeled and sliced mangoes and kiwi, chopped pineapple, and a blend of berries. Finely chop some fresh mint and fold throughout. In a separate container, mix one cup orange juice, one cup of Pounce Sparkling Wine, two tablespoons of honey, and a tablespoon of orange liquor (if you prefer). Pour over the fruit and serve immediately. This dish can be prepared the night before but make sure to keep your fruit and alcohol separate until serving time. (Unless you’d like to make sangria. Your guests won’t complain either way.)
Just because you’re dishing up some delicious eats and sparkling wines, doesn’t mean your home has to be sparkling clean for guests. This is lazy weekend brunch, remember? Pick up the obvious clutter (you’ll feel good doing it since tidying was also on your list of resolutions) and give your bathrooms a quick clean. Voila. Your guests will feel right at home, meaning they’ll be more time to talk about the last season of GOT, and less time searching for coasters.
If kids are attending, create a more sophisticated table for them. They might still be eating their morning cereal, but milk served in a clear carafe, and ramekins filled with fresh fruit, will go a long way to make a mid-morning meal feel extra special.
If you’re stressed about making your own pastries, don’t. After you click submit on our three-pack bubbly bundle, order local muffins, croissants, and tartlets for delivery the night before your brunch. No one will care that you didn’t spend the previous evening in heels and pearls, handmaking the Danishes when they’re sipping on a flute of one of Naked Winery’s perfectly chilled champagnes. The goal of brunch isn’t to stay up half the night worrying about tablescaping and whether your Palmiers taste more like fruit-leathers. Brunch is supposed to be about delicious food and drink and the opportunity to continue cultivating close relationships. And we think that’s something to celebrate all year long.
Naked Winery Team | Briana Loveall
When we were kids, the best part of a New Year’s Eve party was (duh) staying up way past our bedtime, and, the glass of Martinelli’s we downed at midnight (or nine pm if your parents were lucky enough to live on the West Coast and make you celebrate the East Coast New Year). We snacked on things called hors d’oeuvre’s, which usually included butter crackers, meat, cheese, and if you were at your grandparents’ house, little sausages on sticks. There were movies and something about a falling ball. And then, the countdown, the confetti, a weird tradition of adults kissing each other (yuck), and the sparkling cider.
As fresh young adults with a vertical license, we hit up the clubs, staggering from one bar to another, our laughter forming like thought bubbles in the cold night air. We congregated, eventually, in some park for fireworks or confetti or kissing (which no longer seemed gross). We lived for the pulse of the crowd as the countdown drew closer. The noise of a thousand (or one million, if you were lucky enough to be in Times Square) a reminder that we were small and yet infinite, untouched by time (or so we thought).
And now, a little older and wiser (read, more tired), we’re trading out our glitz and glam with leggings and oversized sweaters, for a more relaxed night in. Our New Year resolution may be to stay up until the new year, but just because we’re not going out, doesn’t mean we can’t go out with a bang. We’re popping bottles…on our couch, and (ironically) coming back full circle to our childhood, resplendent with snacks, fun, and a more sophisticated sort of bubbly.
The key to any successful party is snacks. And wine, but isn’t that a given? As the modern adult you are, you can toss those round butter crackers out (unless they’re your favorite because honestly who doesn’t like a butter cracker?) and upgrade them to a hearty cracker with a snap. Something that will stand up to the fig jam and goat cheese you’re going to put on top. Serve it alongside Cougar Semi Sparkling bubbly; a semi-dry, semi-sparkling wine that is reminiscent of prosecco. If, by some miracle, you have any left-over in the morning, whip yourself up a mimosa for a little hair of the cougar….um, dog.
While the kids munch on Canadian bacon pizza, order (or make it yourself if you’re feeling extra fierce) a margherita pizza and sip away at Frisky Sparkling Wine, Naked’s brut sparkling wine. This combination is the perfect marriage of everything you love about pizza (the crunch of a thin crust and the way pizza carried you through college) and a dry sparkling wine. You’ve traded out soda for something oh so much better; a fizz and bubble that tastes like early autumn. You’ve reached the pinnacle of adulthood with this combo, and that’s reason enough to celebrate.
Or, for something a little more reminiscent of your younger years, make a grilled cheese. Elevate this classic with crab, a variety cheese blend, and artisan bread slathered in mayonnaise instead of butter for a perfect, toasted sandwich. Serve it with kettle chips, pesto popcorn (seriously), and a chilled glass of Pounce Sparkling Wine, our newest sparkling wine.
While you snack, pick a movie to watch with your kids like Happy New Year Charlie Brown, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, or (if your kids are too cool for those) High School Musical, because we’re all in this together.
Once the kiddies are snugly tucked away, bring out the movie classics like When Harry Met Sally, 200 Cigarettes, or, Trading Places. While Eddie Murphy uses his street smarts for success, end the culinary night with a dark chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and berries. Paired with Puma, our Semi-Sparkling Rosé, this feisty feline will titillate your taste buds with lingering notes of strawberry and orange.
Staying in to party doesn’t have to be boring. So, this New Year, stock up on your favorite Naked Winery bubbly. Grab your snacks, your sweats, your well-intentioned resolutions, and sip away on our sparkling wines while ringing in the new year.
Naked Winery Team | Briana Loveall
You’re shopping for a wine connoisseur but really don’t know if you should buy them another set of Naked Winery wine glasses for the 5th time around. Look no further! We've got the unique wine gift ideas that are perfect for anyone who enjoys sitting back with a nice glass of vino. Let’s check out some of our favorites.
Holiday Cheer Gift Set
Christmas is the prime time to drink and be merry. Say 'cheers' to Christmas with a quality bottle of wine that is perfectly paired with holiday stocking stuffers. Our Holiday Cheer Gift Basket comes with one 750 ml bottle of Sleigh the Day White Wine or Fugly Sweater Cabernet Sauvignon, a Yuletide Holiday Bottle Stopper, 2 stemless wine glasses, Fa La La Magnetic Poetry Tin, a Truetap Double-Hinged Corkscrew, a Santa Hat Wine Bottle Topper and "Love Beyond Measure" Heart-Shaped Measuring Spoons. It’s all put together in a beautiful packaged black gift box along with a personalized gift message from you. The recipient of this gift is sure to love it, and will hopefully be willing to share...it is Christmas after all.
You’re Awesome Wine Gift Set
Perhaps you’re looking for a unique wine gift idea for no reason other than to tell someone they’re awesome. If that’s the case – pardon the pun, then our You’re Awesome Gift Set is the perfect gift idea.
This gift basket includes the perfect self-care, pampering and vino experience. It comes with one 750 ml bottle of Naked Winery wine - Diva Sangiovese, Foreplay Chardonnay Frisky Sparkling Wine, Vixen Syrah or Sure Thing Symphony, plus a 3-piece Pure Luxe Apothecary Collection which includes a soothing face mist, mood mist and body butter. It also has 50 Affirmation Cards from Affirmators! and an I’m Loveable Mini Inner-Truth Journal. And of course, it’s all packaged together in a sleek gift box, making it easy for you and appealing for them.
Adventure-Ready Mixed Wine Pack
What would an Oregon winery be without some wine bundles that embrace the great outdoors? Our Adventure-Ready Mixed Wine Pack is the perfect gift idea for wine lovers who like to enjoy the beautiful sights and surroundings of Oregon – or anywhere in the world, for that matter. It comes with four 750 ml bottles of Outdoor Vino wine – Wanderlust White, Rambling Red, Pinot Gris or Cabernet Sauvignon. We encourage you to "Take It Outside" and explore with these adventure-ready wines; conveniently bottled in BPA-free plastic with easy screw caps.
Wine Connoisseur Gear
Want to create your own wine gift set or pick and choose different wine connoisseur gear to gift? We have that too! From our comfy Oregon hoodies to coffee mugs; Naked Winery shirts; warm & cozy beanies, champagne savers and more, personalize the gift with our unique wine gifts of gear and merchandise.
Naked Winery Club Membership
Gift the ultimate wine experience with a membership to our Naked Winery club. There are different Club Naked membership options to choose from that sends the wine right to your loved one (ahem, or yourself). Being a member of our wine club allows you to pick the wine, choose the amount, gift the package with a personalized note and let us do all the heavy lifting and delivery for you!
Naked Winery in Oregon is the perfect place for the most unique wine gift ideas. Visit our online store or come check out one of our 3 wine tasting room locations scattered across Oregon for the ultimate shopping experience.
Naked Winery Team
Halloween has come and gone, leaving in its wake the beginning of the holiday season. As we look ahead to gatherings and celebrations dominated by football, family and Norman Rockwell-esque scenes around the dining room table, we wondered how we could make this year a little less jingle and a little more meaningful.
How about a good ol’ fashioned card game? Something so old school and ageless that you can’t actually play with a phone in your hand! Okay, maybe you can, but that’s not really the point. The point IS to put down the screens and have real face to face, low tech, high fun, quality time with friends and family. So Shuffle the deck, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get ready to connect!
Club Naked wine club shipping members will get a deck of cards along with their quarterly wines in their holiday shipments specifically for this purpose. This quarter includes our Club Naked exclusive Malbec, aptly named Better Together. Not a member? You can find more info about our not-so-average Club Naked wine club here.
In the spirit of the season, we've asked our employees to come up with some of their favorite 52 card games for you to try out. As always, they came through with some fun and unique suggestions that go way beyond Black Jack and Solitaire. Check out their recommendations below!
Maija (Club Naked Manager & Wisconsin Native)
The Midwest has a lot to offer, and indoor card games during the incredible cold and snowy 9 months of winter is definitely one of my personal favorites. Nothing like gathering in front of a wood stove with loved ones while some of that 30 below wind chill business happens outside. I love a little bit of strategy and teamwork when it comes to games, and Euchre certainly has that and more. Though a bit complicated to learn at first, this game is well worth getting through the first few rounds, and good luck stopping once you start! The best perk of all is that it goes well with a tasty adult beverage (or three)! You'll find the full instructions for how to play here.
Jesse (Tasting Room Manager - Bend Old Mill District)
First of all, it is important to ensure that you have an even number of people (since this game involves pairs playing together.) This game includes a lot of intrigue and attention to detail as you work with a partner to create secret signals and communicate with each other without the other team figuring it out. So every wink, nose scratch or phrase could have a deeper meaning. It's the kind of card game James Bond would play with the family when he comes home for the holidays. Follow the link here for full instructions on how to play Kemps at your next get together.
Lindsey (Tasting Room Manager - Hood River)
Pusoy Dos (or Phillipino Poker)
This game goes quick and pretty easy to learn and master. This popular card game originates from the Philippines and can be played by 2, 3 or 4 people. The object of the game is to be the first to discard your hand by playing them to the table. If you can't be first to play all the cards, then the aim is to have as few cards as possible. Cards can be played separately or in certain combinations using poker hand rankings. Click here for full details on how to play this fast-paced take on classic poker.
Classic Slapjack - An oldie but a goodie!
You have definitely played this game before. However, it may have been a few decades ago, so we’ve included a link to the full instructions to this classic card game here. The goal is to get as many cards as possible by being the first to slap the pile of discarded cards as soon as someone lays down a jack. This game can be played with almost anyone at any age (4 years or older) so it’s perfect for the whole family to get in on the action! This easy-peasy game is exactly what you'll want to play after a few glasses of wine and a little too much pie.
However you decide to spend your holidays, we hope they are merry, bright, and full of the wine you like, with the people you love, in the places you want to share! Happy Holidays from Naked Winery!
Naked Winery Team
It’s that time of year again: the frosty mornings have returned (or maybe even the first few snowflakes), Costco has stocked their glittering reindeer yard décor, you’ve started eyeing your favorite holiday playlist (wondering how soon is too soon), and . . . it’s time to start shopping for holiday gifts.
Whether holiday shopping fills you with excitement or anxiety (or a little bit of both), Naked Winery’s wine gift guide will light the way like a certain reindeer’s nose. We know wine can help with shopping (Amazon’s one-click order button + your second glass of Cabernet is a dangerous—joyful! efficient!—combination), but a bottle of your favorite Naked wine can also be your shopping solution.
With our Naked humor and quality, even the hardest to shop for person on your list will feel like they’ve received a personal hug. From the ugly-sweater-wearing, football-binging, cheese-dip-eating coworker to your fur-coat-and-pearls grandmother who has reserved seating at the symphony, Naked wine has got you covered for gifting. No matter how your peeps celebrate the holidays, these wines will have them feeling merry and bright.
🎁 Oh! Cabernet Sauvignon
Rule #1: Cabernet is a classic. This full-bodied red wine tastes expensive enough for the mother-in-law who loves you, but secretly (or not-so-secretly) thinks her kid could have done better. It will also please the father-in-law who only listens to classic music because anything that’s any good has already been created. The tannins in this Cab are as grippy as their ‘70s-style wallpaper. Unlike the wallpaper, this means it will only get better with age, like George Clooney. Gift to anyone who uses the phrase “they just don’t make things the way they used to.” Pairs with subtle judgment.
🎁 Take Me Away Rosè
This dry and fruity rosè is so free-spirited and flowy, your bestie from college will feel like she’s back at Coachella. It’s the flower crown of Naked wines, perfect for anyone you know who lives by the rule of YOLO. Sipped in winter, it’s a reminder of those sunny, pool-side days when you could drink at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday because you still had a magical thing called summer break. Gift to anyone who uses the phrase “rosè all day” like they invented it. Pairs with kale, goat cheese, and that new trendy food your bestie preaches that you’re still pretending you’ve heard of.
🎁 Outdoor Vino (6 Varietals)
Free-range fine wine. Choose from six Outdoor Vino wines for your younger sibling who discovered hiking in college and now owns more gear than REI. The reusable, BPA-free plastic bottle will fit right in with their minimalist pack (and they won’t need a corkscrew when they’re at 6,000 ft.). With a label as Instagram-worthy as their #nofilter views, this wine says “I’m outdoorsy AF, but I like a nice glass of wine with my epic mountaintop vistas.” Pairs with dehydrated meals and an unbreakable spirit.
🎁 Pounce Sparkling Wine
To some, nothing says holidays like a bit of bubbly. This effervescent wine is festive and sassy. Gift to the party host who’s as merry as Martha May Whovier from The Grinch, but still asks you to take your shoes off at the door. They’ve got multiple cheeses in perfect cubes, and their fireplace mantle looks straight out of a Pier 1 holiday catalog. Pounce bubbly will make sure no one gets their tinsel in a tangle. It’s extra dry (like your host’s smile when they hand you a coaster) and you won’t have to sweat it when you’re sipping on their perfectly white couch the way you would with a glass of red. Pairs with just-polished glassware.
🎁 “Sure Thing” Sweet White Wine
For that person in your life you really like, but don’t want to scare away. This wine’s notes of peach and pineapple provide an easy-breezy approach that will still keep serious commitment on the table with its complexity. Perfect for that new-ish person you matched with on a dating app and have been seeing regularly (if not exclusively) since early October. You haven’t defined the relationship yet, and you didn’t wear matching costumes to the Halloween party you attended together. We get where you’re at. So does this wine. It’s a sure thing no matter where your relationship stands. Pairs with optimism.
🎁 Oh! Nebbiolo
Our Nebbiolo is a class act, like your hardworking boss who puts up with a lot more BS than you realized and will appreciate a bottle of sanity. Their work-life balance is wildly off-kilter, but they’ve gotten pretty good at negotiating a phone conference while silently directing their kids like air traffic control. This bold wine will make them slow down and take a minute (just one) between reading emails to sniff the cranberries. It’s as bright and vibrant as their color-coded spreadsheets and multitasks with flavors of dark berry fruit and spice. Make sure you get the rest of the office to chip in and Venmo you their fair share. Pairs with an overpacked work calendar.
🎁 “Fugly Sweater” Cabernet Sauvignon
This is your one-size-fits-all holiday wine. It can go from the Secret Santa office party to the ugly sweater neighborhood bash and maintain as much holiday spirit as Will Ferrell in Elf on a syrup bender. With notes of dried cherries and baking spices, it’s cozy and approachable, unlike that thrift store Christmas sweater you purchased. (Wasn’t laundry detergent supposed to help with the itching?) Bad sweater choices and dance moves aside, this wine will say “I have a sense of humor AND great taste in wine.” Pairs with tacky—we mean festive!—knitted sweaters and socks that say MISTLE TOES.
Download our full 2019 Holiday Wine Gift Guide HERE.
🥂 Cheers, Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin
If you’ve ever gone beyond the can with your holiday cranberry sauce, you know 1) there’s no going back and 2) making cranberry sauce is a lot easier than people think. It’s a joyful simmering of real fall spices and ingredients that will make your house smell better than any Yankee candle. Our next-level secret is adding something else we think makes the holidays perfect: wine!
While a heavy red wine will overpower the tart and delicate taste of cranberry, a lighter wine like our Dominatrix Pinot Noir is the perfect companion for a cranberry sauce. This recipe was originally created by Portland, Oregon, chef Jenn Lewis, but our COO Corina Farrar has made the recipe every year since Jenn’s work was published in the New York Times in 2014. Now, Corina swears by the cranberry-Pinot Noir combo. In fact, she gets mad compliments on it every year, so this season we’re sharing the love by sharing the recipe. And . . . berries + Naked Winery Pinot Noir = some of the best that Oregon has to offer, so who are we to hold back?
Remember, you wouldn’t *really* be cooking with wine if you didn’t have a taste, so pour yourself a glass of Pinot Noir and get to work on this holiday favorite!
🍽️ Cranberry Sauce With Pinot Noir
By Jeff Gordinier
Yield: 2.5 cups
Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
* 10 whole allspice berries
* 10 whole cloves
* 10 whole black peppercorns
* 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
* 1 ½ cups Naked Pinot Noir
* 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
* 1 cup clover or wildflower honey
* 1 cup fresh orange juice
* 6 strips orange zest, about 1-in. by 3-in., removed with a vegetable peeler
* 2 (4-in.) sprigs rosemary
* 1 small cinnamon stick
* 1 vanilla pod
HOW TO MAKE IT
Combine allspice, cloves, and peppercorns in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until finely ground.
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, wine, brown sugar, honey, orange juice, orange zest, rosemary, cinnamon stick, and ground spices.
With the tip of a paring knife, split vanilla pod lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape seeds from the pod. Add seeds and pod to the pot.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring often until cranberries have burst and liquid thickens slightly about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard zest, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon stick, and vanilla pod. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool.
Enjoy with family, friends, food, and a glass of Naked!
Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin