Solid Rock Custom Homes presents the best wine for entertaining

Your custom home is a great place for entertaining. Everything built to your taste and style, your friends and family will be in awe at every gathering. But, your beautiful home won’t be all that they notice. With this guide, you can offer them some of the finest wines across the country, these wines will perfectly complement your meal or will serve as a special treat for your guests on any occasion.

Do you have a dinner party or ladies night coming up? Or, maybe you’re just a wine connoisseur looking for the best of the best to add to that stylish and functional wine cellar.

Whatever your reason, red wine is always a good choice for fall.

It has been a mixed year for winemaking. In drought-stricken California, torrential winter rains did little damage while reducing the need for irrigation and strengthening the crop. In France, frost hit Bordeaux, Champagne, and Burgundy, reducing or eliminating entire vineyards. Yet, around the world, excellent red wines can still be found. Here are some of the best. These wines are sure to complement your beautiful custom home, charming each and every guest.


15. CMS Columbia Valley Red (Washington State, Red Blend)


This blend of 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 44 percent Merlot, and 6 percent Syrah from the Hedges Family Estate goes nicely with dinner. A dark, fruit-forward wine, it has aromas of blackberry, cherry, and plum. It is well-balanced with good body, noticeable acidity, and lingering tannins. Deposits of tartaric acid crystals reflect the Hedges Family philosophy of less intervention and less filtration.


14. Snoqualmie Whistle Stop Red Cabernet Merlot (Washington State, Merlot)


An outstanding wine for a backyard barbecue, this merlot goes well with grilled beef and the Colonel’s fried chicken. This merlot carries aromas of redcurrant and raspberry with an herbal background. The flavor is intense, the acidity is moderate, and the palate is smooth. An oak finish gives it the perfect finish.


13. Apothic Red (California, Red Blend)


A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, Apothic Red is a spicy wine with dark berry, cherry, and mocha flavors. With a solid structure and a velvety feel, it is full-bodied for red wine lovers and soft enough for those who prefer white. A near-perfect everyday table wine, it pairs well with pork and pasta.


12. Stella Rosa Black (Italy, Red Blend)


With full flavors of dark berries and cherry, this sultry, mysterious semi-sweet red blend makes bedroom eyes. It pairs beautifully with strong, sharp cheeses, smooth dark chocolate, and strawberries. The manufacturer recommends pairing with black walnut ice cream with this full-bodied wine.


11. Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State, Cabernet Sauvignon)


Complexity, structure and silky tannins define this wine from Washington State. Oaky, spicy and not too fruity, it carries aromas of boysenberry. It uses a detectable 11 percent syrah grape, but remains balanced and has a velvety mouthfeel. It pairs with duck, vea, and bleu cheese.


10. Grateful Dead Steal Your Face (California, Red Blend)


This is more than a novelty wine. Peppered bacon, smooth vanilla, and caramel blend with a cherry burst in this small-production blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Grenache. Rich and intense, it pairs beautifully with lamb, medium-rare steak, and barbeque ribs. As the Grateful Dead experimented with music, so too do their winemakers – and the result is entirely enjoyable.


9. Walker’s Bluff Ozzy Osbourne Solar Red (Illinois, Red Blend)


An Ozzy Osbourne commemorative wine from Illinois?  It’s no Suicide Solution – rather, it will have you Flying High Again. Zinfandel and Syrah grapes combine to make this medium-bodied dry wine. With fruity notes of plum, fig, cherry, and cranberry jam, this wine has a strong, oaky base and finishes with the spicy kick of black pepper.


8. 2014 Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Forty Licks Merlot (California, Merlot)


Carrying on the musical themes of 2017 is the Rolling Stones’ Forty Licks Merlot. The wine is as classic and consistent as the band itself. With the masculine flavors of dark cherry, tobacco, leather, and a vanilla-cinnamon finish, it pairs well with deeply-seasoned chicken, red meat, and chili at the next cook off. This is a perfect wine for a fall concert, baseball playoffs, football season, and cooler temperatures. This is not simply a Stones label; it is also an outstanding Merlot. 


7. NV Biltmore Cabernet Sauvignon (North America, Cabernet Sauvignon)


From North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate, this Cabernet is sourced from vineyards in North Carolina, California, and Washington State. It is 80 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, blended with a combination of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Grenache. A perfect pairing with squash, smoked cheese or chocolate cake, this wine features a smooth, medium body with soft tannins. It is round and fruity with a mild oak finish.


6. Game of Thrones 2015 Red Blend (Central California, Red Blend)


Winter is coming, so have enough of this red blend on hand. This blend of Syrah, Tempranillo, and Petite Sirah carries aromas of black cherry, blackberry, cocoa, and vanilla with undertones of leather and spice. A rich, juicy mouthfeel and round tannins make this value wine not only a novelty, but a wonderful, servable conversation piece.


5. NV Childress Vineyards American Muscadine Sweet Red Wine


A sweet red muscadine wine seems a mistake on any serious wine list, but Childress Vineyards American Muscadine deserves its day. Reminiscent of strawberry jam and sweet spice, this sweet red is a perfect finish to a busy weekday afternoon, and for sitting on a terrace with friends.


4. NV House Wine Pinot Noir (America, Pinot Noir)


Don’t let the 3.0 L box fool you – NV House Wine Pinot Noir defines everything that a Pinot Noir should be. A bouquet of raspberries and earth spices combine with a palate of deep chocolate. Soft tannins lead to a refined finish. Equivalent to about four bottles that stay fresh for six weeks with no tainting from the cork, it’s an outstanding value.


3. Tudor Wines Balo Vineyard Pinot Noir (California, Pinot Noir)


A truly fine wine, Tudor Wines Balo Vineyard Pinot Noir is perfect for enjoying today or for aging another 20 years. With enormous fruit and structure, this bright-red wine has smoky red currant aromas and a anise background. It seems to grow sweet and floral as it airs. The finish lingers with the smokiness familiar at the nose. It’s an excellent wine to be served with the Christmas goose.


2. Oregon & Washington “Red Hot Trio” Wines Bundle Mixed Pack by Naked Winery (Pacific Northwest Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir)


It’s a hedge to include a three-wine set in a top-15 list, but this seductive collection from Naked Winery is good enough be ordered at once. The Pinot Noir is light-bodied enough to eat with fish. The Merlot is full-bodied, well-suited to an Italian dinner. The Cabernet pairs well with heavy red-meat fare like pot roast, burgers, and steak. Of the three, the Pinot Noir stands out. Blue raspberry and caramel notes fill the palate. It has the mouthfeel of a wine more characteristic of France than the Williamette Valley.


1. 2015 Carnivor California Cabernet Sauvignon (California, Cabernet Sauvignon)


The first thing tasters notice about Carnivor Cabernet Sauvignon is its brooding, inky color and complex layering of fruit and flavor. Aromas of oak and cherry give way to coffee, caramel, and blackberry on the palate. This wine has a lingering, soft, silky mouthfeel reminiscent of Merlot, but with a Petite Sirah backbone. It’s perfect for those who prefer fruit-forward Cabernets with moderate natural acidity and bold flavor. 


Whether your palate prefers sweet or dry, complex or straightforward, fruity or spicy wines, one of these 15 will strike your palate and charm visiting guests. Have them on hand for every occasion.

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    - Kate Young

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