Archer Roose Cabernet Sauvignon 3L Box($33.99)
From the producer:
"We’ve always had an appreciation for the boundary pushers, the feather rufflers and the unconventional explorers. In fact, Archer Roose is named after two such characters: Edith Wharton’s distinguished Newland Archer and the boisterous Theodore Roosevelt. This contrast of sophistication and exploration makes our wine just as well-suited for fine dining as it is for unrefined adventuring. We hope it brings the characters in your life together as you delight in uncorkable conversations. So as you embark on your journey, keep your eyes on the stars and your wine in a box.
Our versatile Cabernet Sauvignon hails from the gravelly soil of the Chilean Maipo Valley. This dark ruby elixir is a medium bodied, approachable crowd-pleaser. It has a fruitful nose and tastes of chocolate and bravery. It’s dry, dangerously drinkable and the perfect companion for your favorite dish.
Rated a "Best Buy" by Wine Enthusiast, this wine has a rating of 86 points."
Archer Roose is a great new company that uses sustainably produced wine, stands behind fair and ethical labor practices, and supports rural entrepreneurs through Root Capital. Their wines are pretty tasty, too! The Cab is full-bodied and smooth with just a hint of spice. The packaging keeps the wine fresh for about three weeks, but I challenge you to make it last that long!
Chase Orange Marmalade Flavored Vodka 750ml ($31.50)
From the producer:
"Chase Vodka with a twist: our smooth and creamy spirit is marinated with marmalade and ribbons of peel from Seville oranges, then distilled again with orange peel from Valencia.
A blend with rough-cut marmalade and a final delicate filter leaves a beautifully bittersweet finish. ABV – 40%.
Nose: Orange and lemon marmalade on rye toast.
Palate: Subtle, fruity and tangy. Medium to full bodied.
Finish: Orange zest, naturally bittersweet."
I don't usually like flavored spirits, but this one blew me away. First, it reminds me of my grandma, who loved orange marmalade. Second, it's made from potatoes, so it's gluten-free. Finally, the taste! It's just sweet enough to be interesting, and not so orangey that it overwhelms the palate. You could drink this neat, chilled, on ice, in a cocktail, in sangria, or in mulled wine.
Collesole Montefalco Sagrantino Passito 375 ml ($19.99)
From the producer:
This wine is obtained from a 100% Montefalco Sagrantino vineyard of almost fifteen years. Every grape is chosen and selected to achieve an excellent product called “il Poetico.” The profit of the vineyard for each hectare does not exceed 45weights. The grape harvest is accurately accomplished by employing manual grape gathering. Only the first and second bunch that result intact and ripe are chosen.
The bunches are lying on leaves inside a well ventilated cases, being careful not to overlap the bunches. Later they are lying down on mats for the natural drying in a ventilated rooms. Every day they are checked about their drying – level for almost 40 days and then there is another manual selection of the bunches and of every grape during the manual destemming.
After destemmed and a soft pressed we obtain 12lt of must for each weight of grapes. The Wine-making is made on stainless steel tanks with 10 days of maceration. The maturation goes on for 24 months in stainless steel tanks and then on oak barriques for 12 months. The refinement needs 6 month.
Taste: perfumes of maraschinos, blackberry and citrus with a vigorous, balanced and sweet taste; it should be served with sweets and strong cheeses.
The passage above is the English version from the Italian producer's page, so there are some curious translation choices, but you get the gist.
This is a a dessert wine from Umbria, made with a grape called Sagrantino, in a style called "passito." The grapes lay on straw mats to dry in order to concentrate the sugar, and then they are pressed. The result is a wine that's sweet, but with a dry and slightly savory finish. It is full-bodied, but not syrupy, and it makes a wonderful digestif.
The winters in Scotland are mostly gloomy, damp, and gray, but for several weeks in December Edinburgh hosts a European Christmas market. The booths offer crafts, food, and my favorite, mulled wine. You rent a mug and drink the steamy, spicy goodness as you wander through the market, the lights of which burn brightly in the dark, December nights.
In remembrance of my time there, I will be serving up some mulled wine to warm you from the inside as you take a break from strolling through the chilly night.