Party Worthy Wines

Apr 11, 2024

It’s my birthday month, and like a proper Aries I have been drafting out plans for the perfect birthday party for months now. Not only is April my birthday month, but after six weeks studying with the Oenophile Institute, I finally took my long anticipated WSET 2 exam on the 3rd. The past couple of weeks have been filled with so many incredible wines, including a celebratory bottle of 2015 Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco that I paired with J.R. Crickets lemon pepper dry wings on the night of my exam. 

For my birthday party, I made a VHS tape shaped piñata stuffed with VHS tapes and pop culture toys, had a wine and cheese potluck, and ended the jovial evening with a screening of the Japanese film Wild Zero - the DVD version, which was of course rented from our local rental store, Videodrome, includes a drinking game. Amongst a handful of absolute bangers brought by friends, the following wines were my personal picks and should definitely make an appearance in your next bottle share! 

Scar of the Sea Topotero Vineyard Methode Ancestrale Rosé of Pinot Noir $36.99

I recently went to a bottle share and dinner party for Mikey Giugni (Scar of the Sea) and his Wife Gina Giugni (Lady of the Sunshine). Mikey and Gina are two beautiful souls that make transcendental, almost spiritual wines. After having this particular wine last year, I naturally poured my first glass of the night from the handsome magnum glaring back at me from the table of many more alluring choices. It was also the first glass of the night at my birthday party-a toast to the festivities to come. The 2023 vintage is bright and vibrant with a rich, frothy mouthfeel and aromas of strawberry shortcake, California sunshine, and citrus peels. 

RIPA Vino Rosado Cosecha $35.99 

Where do we go after a glass of rosé bubbles, you ask? Well how about an aged rosé from the husband of Maria Jose López de Heredia of the famed Spanish winery Bodegas López de Heredia? This wine is graceful, yet complex, displaying notes of soft cherry blossom, freeze-dried strawberry ice cream, almond, and bay laurel. The ballet pink hue dances on your tongue like a Spanish prima ballerina, and the age lingers like a long sustained soprano. “My idea was to make a rosé with subtlety and sophistication on the nose and a firm structure and length in the mouth - more vinous than fruity." -Jose Luis 

Carboniste Rouge Brut $29.99 

Carboniste is trying to revolutionize sparkling wine in California by politely saying, “Champagne is France, Carboniste is California''. This wine came about as a lark, by combining merlot with Carboniste’s sparkling albariño at the producer’s Thanksgiving dinner table - it was a hit! Merlot delivers underlying sweet red plummy fruit while albariño keeps the wine energetic and light. It also paired quite well with the menagerie of cheeses available for consumption. Side note: I’ve never seen so much cheese in my life! 

Echeverria ‘No es Pitko’ Cabernet Franc $18.99 

This Chilean Cab Franc is one of the coolest wines I’ve recently tasted. With notes of seaweed, black currant, plum sauce, and charred bell peppers, the flavors keep coming like that bubblegum scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Luckily no one turned into a blueberry and we could keep the evolving flavor experience going into the wee hours of the night.

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