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“Vineyards Can Be Murder” Photo Contest

Announcing the August 2021 Vineyards Can Be Murder Photo Contest on Facebook.

Read below for details on how to enter.

Vineyards Can Be Murder Photo Contest

Remember, you must use both hashtags – #vineyardscanbemurder and #katsnow along with a photo of yourself (and friends!) at a vineyard.

Spread the love and go ahead and tag the vineyard or check in as well.

Stay tuned for information on an upcoming book launch event. Bring your books to get signed and books will be available for purchase. Details coming soon!


Vineyards Can Be Murder has just released on Amazon.

Find out what Kat and friends have been up to…

Kat Snow and friends are back in another exciting wine tasting mystery!

Kat’s new job at Milano Vineyards is fun, exciting, and messy – it’s also filled with murder, mayhem…and lots of wine.

When the enigmatic vineyard manager at Milano Vineyards is discovered dead in his carriage house, Kat is hot on the trail of clues, searching for a motive and the elusive killer before he – or she – strikes again. She also needs to probe her relationship with both Marco and Chance, plan a wine tasting, and decide when to harvest the grapes. All in a day’s work – or is Pierre’s murder related to a deeper mystery? Will Kat solve the case before any more people are murdered?

Join Kat, Syd, and Ricky as they follow the trail of evidence that leads to a smashing conclusion…and more wine.

Watch the exciting book trailer:


Get your copy today in either eBook or paperback format and stay tuned for exciting contest information!


Uncork the 26 Best Wine Clubs and Have Wine Delivered Right to Your Door

Have you ever had a really stressful day at work and wanted nothing more but to go home, uncork a bottle of wine, listen to some of your favorite music, and relax. Then you realize that you finished your last bottle of wine last weekend and if you want to unwind with a glass of wine then you will have to first drive across town to the wine store. Then you have to browse for a bottle, maybe ask for some recommendations. Then you have to drive home, all the way across town. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to worry about all that driving around and shopping for wine? 

Wouldn’t it be great if an expert could choose the perfect wine for you – based on your likes and dislikes – and have it delivered right to your door?

If you like the idea of having good wine delivered, tasting new wines, and exploring wines from different regions around the world, this guide will help you discover the 26 best wine clubs and help you find out how you can have wine delivered right to your door. Get ready to relax and enjoy!

what is a wine club

What is a Wine Club?

Wine clubs may be a new concept to you, but the concept was born in a liquor store in Palos Verdes Estates, California in 1972. Many wine drinkers, especially those that have just discovered wine, try an assortment of wine varieties until they find a few styles that they enjoy. 

When you join a wine club, you usually submit answers to a simple quiz about your tastes and preferences. The club then builds a flavor and taste profile to suit your palette. Most of the wines you receive through the wine club will be tailored for you and your tastes. Some wine clubs allow you to rate your wines after each shipment to better refine future selections for you.

Wine subscriptions are monthly, quarterly, or annually and vary as to the quantity and variety of wine you receive. Wine subscriptions generally allow you to customize your deliveries, buy a one-time package, skip a month, or cancel your membership at any time without penalties. Wine clubs usually sell wine at discounted prices with no membership fees.

In addition to wine subscriptions and wine clubs, most wineries have their own specific wine clubs where they deliver their wines monthly, quarterly, or annually. Before you sign up for a subscription, be sure to read the details about the plan. Good wine clubs offer a satisfaction guarantee and cancellation options. You also want to consider whether they will let you skip a month or postpone a scheduled delivery.

If you like to try new wines or have limited time available to research and shop for wine, then a wine club is a great choice for you. The right wine club can save you time and money and offer a delicious variety of wines conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

how much do wine clubs cost

 How Much Do Wine Clubs Cost?

You may think that joining a wine club would be ridiculously cost-prohibitive. In fact, wine clubs can be very affordable as well as time-saving when you factor in the time it would normally take you to drive to the wine store and choose wine. 

The cost of wine clubs varies considerably based on several factors:

  • Frequency of delivery – monthly, quarterly, or annually
  • Delivery fees
  • Quantity of bottles delivered
  • Quality of bottles chosen
  • Inclusion of food options

Costs can run from a single bottle shipment of $29 to nearly $350 per shipment. You should thoroughly research each wine club and ensure there are no hidden costs or catches. Wine clubs are also a great way to experiment with new wine varieties, however, you want to make sure you receive wines that you know you will enjoy. 

Discover the Best Wine Clubs and Best Wine Subscriptions

Wine subscriptions accommodate all types of wine lovers. Some wine clubs recommend curated suggestions based on your specific preferences gleaned through quizzes, algorithms, and feedback from previous shipments. Wine clubs help members try a variety of wines and discover wines by region, ratings, and grape variety.

One of the advantages of some wine club memberships is access to small-production wineries that cannot afford expensive shipping licenses and marketing programs. Many amazing wines are being produced globally that you are not likely to find at your local wine store. Another advantage of wine clubs is the vast array of wines that wine clubs can access. Your local wine shop does not have the storage space available to stock all the wines produced in the world or even five percent of the wines produced domestically. 

There are a lot of wine subscription services and wine clubs, many of which will fit your needs and provide enjoyable wine. The best wine clubs usually offer discounted prices on bottle prices as they tend to order in bulk and eliminate the distributor. The best recommendation is to select a wine club that fits your preferred style of wine. Most wineries also have their own wine subscription service, so if you love the wines at one specific winery, consider joining their club. 

Following is an A-to-Z Guide of the 19 Best Wine Clubs and Wine Subscription Services, obtained by research and comparing “Best of” lists from experts such as Urban Taste Bud, Consumer Advocate, Wine Club Services, Wine Club Reviews, My Subscription Addiction, and Forbes. Prices provided for wine clubs and subscriptions are exclusive of shipping and should be verified as prices are subject to change. Always read the fine print as shipping prices vary by club. Start enjoying wine chosen for you – and brought directly to your door – and relax!

bright cellars

1. Bright Cellars Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Created by two MIT grads who had a passion for wine, the focus of this club is on finding unique wines from small vineyards from all over the world. Bright Cellars uses an algorithm to score each wine by comparing 18 attributes and matches the attributes to your preferences. If you receive a bottle you don’t love, you can select a free replacement bottle in your next delivery. Your preferences are determined when you take a quiz that creates your unique taste profile. 

Costs: You will be matched with four new wines that are shipped to you for $80 per month. You may skip a month or cancel at any time.

cellars wine club

2. Cellars Wine Club 

Benefits: Founded in 1999 on the belief that wine is meant to be shared, Cellars finds excellent wines that are new discoveries, timeless classics, and overlooked gems. They believe in the concept of doing good and 15% of your purchase price is donated to a nonprofit organization. Cellars has 9 different wine clubs that serve the palates of beginners and connoisseurs. You can choose the number of shipments, the frequency of shipments, and your wine preference. All the plans, except for the Single Bottle and Red Trio Clubs, include two bottles of wine.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premium Wines come from all over the world and the cost is $45.
  • 90 Plus Point Wines all rank 90 points or above on wine rating scales and the cost is $79.
  • Sweet Wines are mostly white, but there are also some rosé, red, and sparkling wines. The cost is $49.
  • International Wines allows you to explore wines from around the world from the comfort of your home. The cost is $49.
  • West Coast Wines lets you explore wines from Napa Valley up to Washington’s Red Mountain. This club highlights boutique wineries and the cost is $49.
  • Sparkling Club introduces members to the diversity of flavors in sparkling wine. The cost is $59.
  • Natural Club features wines made with minimal intervention. They may be organic, utilize biodynamic farming, ferment with indigenous yeast, or possess low or no sulfites, higher acidity, or unusual or historical techniques. The wines are fun and the selection will run red, white, rose, and even orange (rosé made with white grapes). You will also receive cellaring suggestions and the cost is $65.
  • Red Trio Club explores reds from translucent magenta to deep Burgundy. These exceptional wines come from boutique vineyards and the cost is $59.
  • Single Bottle Club is a great introduction if you are searching for a special occasion treat or a nice gift. The cost is $29.

empathy wine

3. Empathy Wines  

Benefits: Empathy believes that great wine starts in the vineyard and they have partnered with farmers in California to source high-quality grapes. You will receive three wine shipments per year – Rosé ships in the spring, White Wine ships in early summer, and Red Wine ships in the fall.

Plans and Costs:

  • 3 bottles per season at a cost of $81.
  • 6 bottles per season at a cost of $150.
  • Club Empathy: 12 bottles per season at a cost of $240.

4. Firstleaf Wine Club 

Benefits: Firstleaf eliminates the middleman and works directly with wine producers, saving you up to 60% off the retail price of wine. Answer a few questions when you sign up and the Firstleaf experts will send you an introductory order of 6 wine bottles. You rate the wines and they use your feedback to improve your wine selections for every future box. Every Firstleaf subscription is unique to the subscriber’s taste profile. 

Costs: The cost is approximately $13 per bottle; each shipment is $79.98 plus $9.95 for shipping.

5. Laithwaite’s Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Laithwaite’s offers two quarterly wine clubs with expert tasting notes and serving advice.

Costs and Plans:

  • The 4 Seasons Wine Club offers 10 of their best-value bottles per quarter customized to your tastes. The cost is $149.99.
  • Laithwiate’s Reserve Club provides the same benefits as The 4 Seasons Club but offers fifteen better quality wines which are often produced in extremely limited quantities. Within this club, there are four options, each at a price of $219.00.
    • Italian Treasures
    • Luxurious Mix 
    • Sumptuous Reds 
    • Fine Bordeaux

martha stewart wine club


6. Martha Stewart Wine Club 

Benefits: If you are a fan of Martha Stewart, then you will enjoy the two wine clubs with wines that were hand-picked by the lifestyle expert and include her personal serving and pairing suggestions.

Plans and Costs:

  • Martha Stewart Six provides six bottles every six weeks. The cost is $49.
  • Martha Stewart Twelve ships twelve bottles every eight weeks. The cost is $89.

7. Ninety+ Cellars 

Benefits: Ninety+ searches worldwide for delicious wines from highly rated wineries. They have three different options that include a hand-picked selection of new and seasonal wines.

Plans and Costs:

  • Ninety+ Three provides three bottles of mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $50.
  • Ninety+ Six ships six red wines or six mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $95.
  • Ninety+ Twelve offers twelve reds or twelve mixed wine varieties every quarter. The cost is $180.

plonk wine club

8. Plonk Wine Club 

Benefits: Plonk curates a monthly adventurous wine journey around the world to present you with a custom-designed shipment of boutique wines. The wines are organic and grown using biodynamic methods – no pesticides or commercial additives of any kind. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • A four-bottle subscription is $110. 
  • A twelve-bottle subscription is $285.

9. Tasting Room Wine Club, by Lot 18  

Benefits: This wine club provides mini bottles of wine to taste. You choose which ones you like then order the full-size bottles that suit your taste preference in shipments of three, six, or twelve bottles. 

Costs: The cost of a bottle of wine varies from $13 to $15 per bottle.

the california wine club

10. The California Wine Club  

Benefits: The California Wine Club promotes artisan and small-batch wineries. They have five monthly wine clubs. These small wineries produce extraordinary wine but are generally only distributed in their local area.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premier Series Wine Club features small-batch wineries from Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Mendocino, and Santa Barbara. Monthly shipments of two bottles start at $40.45.
  • Signature Series Wine Club includes two bottles of limited production, highly rated wines that were held in reserve and rated 90+. The wine club selections are mainly red, with an occasional white. Monthly shipments start at $134.
  • International Series Wine Club imports handcrafted wines from Argentina, France, Germany, and more. Each two-bottle wine delivery starts at $71.
  • Aged Cabernet Series Wine Club explores aged cabernets with rich textures and complex flavors. Each two-bottle shipment has been aged for 8-12 years and originates in Napa Valley. The cost starts at $231.
  • Pacific Northwest Series Wine Club provides new discoveries from Washington or Oregon. Each two-bottle delivery starts at $77.


11. The Fat Cork Club 

Benefits: Fat Cork is a wine club that explores diverse champagnes. The wines come exclusively from the Champagne region of France and showcase a variety of terroirs and grower styles. Most of the champagnes come from vines that are aged between 20 and 60 years. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • Classic Club provides three bottles per quarter at a cost of $199.
  • Fancy Club provides four bottles per quarter at a cost of $249.
  • Extra Fancy Club provides six bottles per quarter at a cost of $349.

12. Uncorked Ventures 

Benefits: Uncorked offers three wine clubs that feature wine from small-production wineries.

Plans and Costs:

  • Reserve Selections is a high-quality wine club with memorable, small-production wines. The cost of three bottles is $225.
  • Special Selections offers interesting and exemplary red wines, some of which are extremely limited-production. The cost of two, sometimes three, bottles is $115.
  • Explorations Wine Club provides an exploration of wine around California, Oregon, and Washington State at an affordable price point. The cost of two bottles is $55.

13. Vine Oh! 

Benefits: Receive a monthly selection of wines from California, either whites, reds, or a mix of varieties. You will also receive a special surprise treat four times a year.

Plans and Costs: 

  • A four-bottle shipment costs $59.99 
  • A six-bottle shipment costs $89.99. 

14. Vinebox 

Benefits: Vinebox has taken a different approach to wine clubs. They select nine of the season’s best wines and ship it to you by the glass. You taste the wines and discover new regions and wine styles. You receive bottle credits from your subscription which you can use to purchase full-size bottles of your favorite wines. Vinebox offers a price reduction as an incentive to prepay for your annual membership of four quarterly shipments.

Plans and Costs:

  • Annual: $288 – $72 per quarterly box and $30 bottle credits
  • Quarterly: $316 – $79 per quarterly box and $15 bottle credits
  • One Time Trial: $87 per box

vinesse wine club

15. Vinesse Wine Club 

Benefits: Vinesse provides hand-selected, high-quality wines that are approved by a tasting panel of wine experts. You receive limited-production wines that are not often found in retail stores. 

Costs: The cost of six bottles is $96 per shipment.

16. Vinley Wine Club 

Benefits: Vinley provides two or three bottles of boutique wines from regions around the world or two bottles of their favorite sparkler and pretty-in-pink rosé. Each bottle is curated to provide fancier, adventurous, and affordable wines. The wines are often organic and biodynamic.

Plans and Costs:

  • Adventurer’s Club offers two or three bottles of quality, affordable wine. 
    • Two bottles cost $59. 
    • Three bottles cost $79.
  • Bubbles & Rosé Wine Club provides two bottles of sparkling or rosé wines. The two-bottle cost is $59.

winc wine club

17. Winc Wine Clubs 

Benefits: Winc sources grapes from exceptional vineyards and focuses on quality over quantity. They bottle unique wines from classic blends to obscure single vineyards. They provide four bottles monthly based on your taste profile and refine future shipments based on your ratings. 

Costs: The cost starts at $51.96.

18. Wine Awesomeness Wine Club 

Benefits: Wine Awesomeness approaches wine as an adventure and a learning experience. 

Plans and Costs:

  • A monthly three-bottle club is $49.
  • A monthly six-bottle club is $79.

19. WSJ Wine Club 

Benefits: WSJ allows you to expand your horizons and increase your knowledge of wine. They offer two wine clubs that provide a case of wine each quarter.

Costs and Plans:

  • Discovery Club introduces subscribers to their Top 12 wines. The cost of a case is $159.
  • Premium Club offers extra-special, tiny-production wine releases, most of which are 90+ points. The cost of a case is $259.99.

wine and food club


Savor the Tastes of the Top 3 Best Wine and Food Clubs

You have invited some friends over for dinner next Friday night and cannot decide what to serve. Worse, how can you plan which wine to buy if you’re not certain what food you will be serving?

Or, perhaps you enjoy good food but you don’t have a large repertoire of family recipes or the knowledge about pairing wines to compliment the food you serve. 

Maybe you just don’t have the time to menu plan and pair wines accordingly. Don’t forget the time it takes to drive to the store, shop for the food and wine, and then figure out how to cook and serve it while still enjoying your guests.

Let the three best wine and food clubs take the guesswork out of what to serve and what wine to  pair with different menus. You can savor delicious food that is paired perfectly with wine to please your palate – even the palates of your most discerning guests.

1. Blue Apron Wine Plan 

Benefits: When you join the Blue Apron Wine Plan, in conjunction with their meal plan, you receive exclusive access to delicious wine from well-known winemakers. You will receive a monthly delivery of six 500 milliliter wine bottles – which is two-thirds of a standard-sized wine bottle, and the perfect size for two to share. You can choose reds, whites, or a combination of styles. Each shipment includes tasting notes, pairing tips, and a story behind every wine. 

Costs: The wine is $10 per bottle plus tax.

2. HelloFresh Wine Club 

Benefits: HelloFresh members can join the wine club and the cost of the wine is added to the food cost. The Club lets you choose six bottles of wine, red, white, or mixed wine varieties. Your wines are carefully paired with HelloFresh meals – just match the icon next to your bottle with the icon on the recipe. You can add extra flavor to your dinner by using a splash of the paired wine in the recipe. 

Costs: The cost is $89.

3. Wine Down Box 

Benefits: Wine Down is a hand-selected wine club that also delivers cheese and charcuterie pairings as well as handmade crackers and pairing notes. They offer reduced prices for longer subscriptions. Wines are curated from small-batch California vineyards. 

Plans and Costs: 

  • A one-month subscription is $70.
  • A three-month subscription is $68 per month.
  • A six-month subscription is $65 per month.
  • A twelve-month subscription is $63 per month.

Enjoy Monthly Deliveries with the Top 4 Wine of the Month Clubs

Are you bored with drinking the same old style of wines, month after month? Would you like some variety in your wine selection or a chance to taste wines that are not readily available to the average consumer? Would  you like to explore high-quality wines that are curated especially for wine of the month club members? If so, than a wine of the month club membership may be just what you need to add adventure and variety to your life.

Your local wine shop unfortunately just doesn’t have the shelf space to source wine from the gamut of global, ever-changing, diverse wine producers. Access and explore wines you would not otherwise have discovered – and save time by having them delivered right to your door!

A Wine of the Month Club is a great choice for wine drinkers with discerning tastes who enjoy exclusive wines and having their wine delivered. There are a wide variety of options to suit your needs, tastes, and preferences. Join a wine of the month club today and ensure that your wine cellar, wine refrigerator, or wine rack is restocked monthly with high-quality wines.

1. Gold Medal Wine Club  

Benefits: Gold Medal features wines of the highest quality. Each wine comes from one of 150 different family-owned wineries.

Plans and Costs:

  • Gold Wine Club provides wines from California’s best boutique wineries. You will receive two bottles per month and the cost is $39.
  • Platinum Wine Club features two rare collectible wines from California’s top winemakers, including pre-releases and member exclusives. The wines all have 90+ ratings and the cost is $88-108.
  • International Wine Club presents wines from family-owned international estates that cannot be easily found in the United States. Three wines are shipped quarterly and the cost is $65-85.
  • Garagiste Wine Club introduces small-lot winemakers who produce less than 1,500 cases annually. 
    • Two-bottle shipments cost $65-85.
    • Four-bottle shipments cost $122-162.
  • Pinot Noir Wine Club includes limited-production wines from top California wineries with an occasional international selection. The two-bottle cost is $69-89.
  • Diamond Wine Club is limited to 500 members. All wines are rated 93+ from California and around the world. This is a quarterly wine shipment of two bottles and the cost is $175-205.

great clubs wine of the month club

2. Great Clubs’ Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: Great Clubs ships three bottles of rare, international wine per month from small, award-winning wineries. You can choose all red, all white, or mixed shipments. 

Costs: The cost is $44.95.

3. The International Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: Founded to deliver quality, variety, and value through a very strict wine selection process, the International Wine of the Month Club is an environmentally conscious organization with packaging that is 100 percent recyclable. The International Wine of the Month Club features estate-bottled wines, hard-to-find vintages, and rare finds.

Plans and Costs:

  • Premier Series features two exceptional quality bottles from boutique wineries at a cost of $39.95.
  • The Bold Reds Wine Club features limited production, boutique wines which are medium- to full-bodied. Each wine will have deep fruit flavors and oak tones from barrel aging. You will receive two bottles at a cost of $51.95.
  • The Masters Series delivers one bottle from the Premier Series and one bottle from the Collectors Series to create a club of value and luxury. The monthly cost is $54.95.
  • The Collectors Series offers the limited-production wines produced from the finest vintage grapes. The wines are packed with flavor and character. The monthly cost is $72.95.

original wine of the month club

4. The Original Wine of the Month Club 

Benefits: The club that started a trend was conceived in 1972 and delivers two carefully curated bottles per month. With 9 different customizable plans, you are sure to find one that fits both your budget and your taste.

Plans and Costs:

  • Classic Series offers two and four-bottle shipments. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $24.95 
    • Four bottles per month cost $49.92 
  • Vintner Series offers high-end wines that broaden the spectrum of flavors. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $34.96. 
    • Four bottles per month cost $69.92 
  • Limited Series offers two- and four-bottle limited production, boutique wines tailor-made for special occasions. 
    • Two bottles per month cost $45.96 
    • Four bottles per month cost $91.92 
  • California Wine Series offers a red-only wine club that features the outstanding wines from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara. Two bottles per month cost $29.96.
  • Napa Wine Series delivers unique and expressive Napa Valley wines. 
    • Two bottles every other month is $50. 
    • Three bottles every-other-month is $75. 
  • Bordeaux Series offers two and three bottle shipments from this iconic wine-growing region of France every other month. 
    • Two bottles cost $50.
    • Three bottles cost $75. 
  • Rosé Series delivers two bottles of rosé every-other-month from around the world. The cost of two bottles is $40.
  • Pinot Noir Series offers two of the best pinot noir wines every other month. The cost of two bottles is $80.
  • Cellar Series provides a customizable option to receive six bottles of wine. You will receive a mix of Classic, Vintners, and Limited Series of wines. The cost of six bottles is $105.88.

Are Wine Clubs Worth it?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when joining a wine club. The best wine club to join for me may not be the best wine club to join for you. There are many options to consider when contemplating joining a wine club and the best wine club to join varies by individual. 

A wine club would not be for you if you enjoy visiting your local wine shop and speaking with the staff to discover a new bottle or variety of wine. Or if you are content to drink one wine all the time, you could potentially still benefit from joining a wine club by joining that winery’s wine club and having that delivered directly to you. 

Wine clubs can be a great choice or gift if you:

  • like your wine shipped directly to your door;
  • don’t want to worry about having wine on hand;
  • want to sample wines you may never have chosen before;
  • want access to exclusive wines available only to wine clubs;
  • want someone else to plan a menu, pair the wine, and ship everything to you.

When you find a wine club that meets your budget and wine needs, then it is definitely worth it. 

If you cannot decide on the best wine club for you, try a limited subscription and decide if you like it or not. You can always cancel and try another one.  When you find the right wine club for you, sit back, relax, and enjoy your monthly, quarterly, or annual deliveries.

open bottle wine


Uncorking the Best Wine Club to Join

There are literally hundreds of wine subscription services and wine clubs. This article covered the 26 best wine clubs as rated by dependable, well-respected, online wine experts. Select a bottle of wine from your wine cellar or wine rack, pour yourself a glass of wine, and research the clubs that both interest you and fit your budget. Try one that appeals to you and, if that doesn’t live up to your expectations, cancel that wine subscription and try another. 

The next time you have a stressful day and just want to be home and relax with a glass of wine, smile as you don’t worry about fighting traffic on the way to the wine store and sorting through racks and racks of wine to choose a bottle that you will enjoy. Relax and remember that you now have wine delivered directly to your door. Wine, and maybe food, that you will savor and enjoy in the comfort of your own house with your favorite people. Sit back, uncork that bottle, and be secure in the knowledge that choosing the best wine club for you has helped to de-stress your life.

Life is too short to not sit back, relax, and savor a delicious bottle – or two – of wine.


Let’s Get Acquainted…

 I am a Content Writer and Blogger who promotes portable income opportunities (PIO), living, product, and service options for current and future expatriates to live successful international lifestyles. I write a travel blog which explores diverse destinations, PIO, wine tasting, and animal sanctuaries. As a former – and future – expatriate, I love to produce content which can make an international lifestyle attainable and enjoyable for everyone!

Let’s get to know each other! Post your favorite picture, story, or link relating to travel, portable income opportunities, a winery adventure, or animal sanctuary.

My favorite picture is posted as the featured image. I do not have enough superlatives to describe the beauty of the Alps. If you haven’t been, go. If you have been, you know what I’m talking about.

So, let’s get to know each other and maybe find some new places to go and things to experience. Post a picture and description of your favorite travel destination, winery, or animal sanctuary.

There’s Not Much Better Than Wine & Cheese!

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, two friends and I attended a wine and cheese pairing hosted by Priam Vineyards and Cato Corner Cheese. It was a wonderful afternoon where we sampled five different pairings. The wines ranged from a floral white to a delightful rose ending with a semi-sweet red. The cheeses ranged from a mild alpine-style to a distinctively creamy blue.

A little background. I used to be one of those people who only liked the sweet wines. I especially didn’t like red wines, or so I thought. This was a long time ago, before my first trip to Napa where I had an epiphany and became a bit of a wine snob. My wine doesn’t need to be expensive, but it does need to be flavorful and a good accompaniment to meals or desserts. A running joke with one of my friends is how often wineries describe their reds as having the taste of currants. Now, I don’t really know what a currant tastes like on its own, but I do love the flavor in my wines!

We started the tasting with Salmon River White, a Chardonnay and Riesling blend was light, fruity, and creamy. This was paired with Vivace Bambino, a young, Alpine-style cheese which is reminiscent of Emmental.

The second pairing was the Barrel Select Chardonnay with a nutty, caramel flavor. The cheese accompanying the Chardonnay was the Dutch Farmstead, one of the most popular Cato Corner cheeses. The Dutch Farmstead had a rich, buttery taste which complemented the Chardonnay nicely.

Next, we moved on to the Salmon River Rose with a balanced acidity and strawberry nose and taste. I have grown to really enjoy rose wines now that wine producers in general stopped making them taste like sweetened grape juice. This was paired with the Aged Bloomsday, one of my favorite cheeses and it was an excellent match-up with the Salmon River Rose.

Our fourth match-up of the day was with the Blackledge Red, a ruby St. Croix blend with a lightly fruity taste and a peppery finish. This was paired with Dairyere, another Alpine-style which was very similar to Gruyere, and another of my favorites. This was a delightful pairing which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The final pairing of the day was the Westchester Red, a red-blend of St. Croix, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of currant (see above). This was paired with the Blackledge Blue, a creamy, medium strong cheese with a distinctive taste. If you enjoy bleu cheeses, as I do, you will enjoy this tremendously. There were a few tasters who didn’t like bleu cheese, so they did not enjoy the pairing. I felt that the strength of the Westchester Red paired naturally with the Blackledge Blue.

Priam Vineyards holds a lot of events and tasting pairings and they’re open year-round. They are also available as a venue for weddings and celebrations of any nature. Priam Vineyards currently produces 16 hand-crafted wines which are bottled throughout the year. Located at 11 Shailor Hill Road in Colchester, Connecticut, it is worth the trip for an afternoon of tasting. When the weather is nice, bring a picnic to enjoy with your wine on the patio at the foot of the vineyard hills. Visit their website for a full list of events and pairings coming up.

Cato Corner Farm make raw farmstead cheese by hand from the delicious milk of their 45 Jersey cows. Cato Corner Farm is located at 178 Cato Corner Road in Colchester, Connecticut. They produce 26 varieties of cheese and the cow milk is sourced directly from the happy cows on their farm. Their cheese-tasting room is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. I thoroughly recommend a trip to their tasting room to experience their full-range of cheeses. Fortunately, Cato Corner Farm is very close to Priam Vineyards, so you could visit both places on the same day!



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