By Stef Schwalb
Winter’s getting ready to go, thank goodness, but before it heads out we may have a few more cold days to dodge. The best way to get through it? Check out these hot products for wine and spirits, that you’re bound to want grab a hold of. Our trifecta of taste for this month includes a bottle of red (Matchbook 2010 Syrah), a bottle of white (Arnaldo Caprai Grecante Grechetto 2011), and cool carryalls for either (or both, courtesy of BUILT Wine Totes). Let’s get started!
Our bottle of red hails from Dunnigan Hills AVA, situated in the northwest of Yolo County in California’s Central Valley wine region. Wine producer Crew Wines (http://crewwines.com), founded by industry vets John and Lane Giguiere, lights the fire under this juicy, berry-spiced selection – Matchbook 2010 Syrah – which features a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. It pairs well with barbecued baby back ribs or pastas made with rich meat sauces. It offers a lengthy finish with hints of dark fruit and cocoa flavors. It retails for around $16.00.
Our bottle of white hails from Umbria, a rising region in Italy that’s becoming increasingly popular for its indigenous grape varieties. Wine producers Arnaldo Caprai (http://www.arnaldocaprai.it) are at the forefront of this Italian invasion of innovation, and the Arnaldo Caprai Grecante Grechetto 2011 does not disappoint. Made from 100% Grechetto grapes, this wine is crisp and packs a major punch of minerality. It’s awesome with seafood and poultry, but is also quite drinkable sans cibo. It offers a nice acidity, a tantalizing tart taste, citrus notes, and a lengthy, flavorful finish. It retails for around $19.99.
No matter sleet, snow, rain, or sun – your wine will always be safe and sound with BUILT (http://www.builtny.com) one- and two-bottle wine totes. Created from protective neoprene (yes, the same stuff wetsuit material is made of), these carryalls keep 750ml-1L bottles insulated for up to four hours (depending on external temps, of course). By April 2013 (just in time for Spring), you can find them in a rainbow of cool colors including Big Dot black & White exterior with Magenta interior; Dot No. 9 exterior with Deep Pink interior (new!); Formula 1 exterior with Graphite interior; Mini Dot Navy exterior with Magenta interior; and Positivity exterior with Cherry interior (new!). Celebs such as Matthew McConaughey and Katherine Heigl are fans of these terrific totes, which retail for just around $14.99 for the single and around $17.99 for the double.