Wine for your weekend: Family get together edition!

This weekend, my family is convening in one location for the first time since Christmas to celebrate my mom’s birthday. Though on the one hand Christmas wasn’t that long ago, on the other, my sister and brother-in-law have since added a foster baby to their family, and my brother is bringing his girl friend home for the first time, so the dynamic has shifted quite a bit. When I asked my mom what I could bring to help out with the weekend, she told me I was in charge of the wine! Perfect. đŸ™‚ Nothing oils the gears of the machine of the family like a few bottles of wine!


Of course, when you review wine on a weekly basis, picking wines for the family get together is more than just running to the liquor store and grabbing something out of the clearance cart! That’s right, whether they know it or not (and they know it now if they read the blog before they left the house this morning) they now get to play my wine games this weekend. I can only hope they find them half as amusing as I do!

klinker-brick-zinfandel-lodi-old-vineROUND 1 

We’re all coming in at slightly different times Friday night, but will all converge in time for a pizza party at the house. Zinfandel is my favorite pizza/wine pairing, so for Friday I’ve picked three bottles of zin previously featured as wines for your weekend: Klinkerbrick, Cline Old Vine, and Artezin. These wines range between $10-$20 a bottle. Artezin is probably the best value for quality of wine you get at the price you pay. Klinkerbrick at the top end and Cline at the low end feel about right. All three are winners.

7-moons-red-blendROUND 2 

Saturday dinner at the house is grilled pork tenderloin, and I’ve got a no fail go-to for pork: 7 Moons red blend! To have some fun with it, for Saturday I have two bottles, the original, and the 7 Moon red blend dark side. According to the tasting notes, the original is good to pair with “take-out Chinese” and dark side is good with “Thai take-out.” One is meant to be smooth and oaky with notes of plum and brown sugar. The other is plush and fruit forward on the palette complimented with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and cola. I won’t say which is which just yet, but I’m curious to see which people prefer!

Image result for middle sister moscatoTHE WHITES

My sister prefers whiter, sweeter, wines, so her very special edition to the weekend is: Middle Sister Sweet and Sassy Moscato. Appropriate as she is the middle sister and both sweet and sassy. This is just a really straight forward and refreshing moscato. Not complicated. Not going to make you think hard about it while you drink it! Also making the trip should we decide to lighten the mood, Bread and Butter chardonnay, as well as PINO Cellars of rose (consequently, also suggested for Thai take-out). Bread and Butter is my chardonnay staple, and you better believe it puts the butter in “buttery Chardonnay.”

Image result for gnarly head authentic redTHE WILD CARDS

Outside of the specific meal and individual picks for people, there are a few wild cards along for the ride as well…you know, just in case we need to day drink, or run low at dinner! My wild card picks are far from wild, instead offering really reliable, crowd pleasing, options with just a little bit of a twist to keep it interesting. My favorite summer wine of all time: 4 Daughters American Pinot Noir is a fun option to serve slightly chilled to enjoy the slight sparkle. Menage a Trois Silk is a soft red blend that pairs well with just about anything and lives up to it’s name as silky with low acid and bite. It finishes fruity and smooth. Should we need to play some more wine games, I’ve also got two bottles of Gnarly Head Authentic Red. The authentic red is a blend led by old vine Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah with a splash of Malbec. Why two bottles? Because one is the 2016 vintage and the other is 2017. Comparing is caring!

If you’re keeping count, that’s 12 bottles of wine. A full case. Do I think we’ll need all 12 bottles??? It’s not ever really about needing the wine. But for sure we will be ready for whatever food, weather, or conversation throws our way. There will be a glass of wine for that!



Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

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