Texas hills unfurl before Wimberley Valley Winery, gently guiding guests to the winery’s stock of wines. Since 1983, the winery’s resident winemaker has created a range of classic varietal wines in addition to offering wines from around the world. While the winemakers weave their magic in the cellar, the remainder of the winery’s staff entertains customers in the elegant tasting room. Here, an expansive stone fireplace steals the attention from sunny yellow walls, and granite counters hide bottle after bottle of wines waiting to be sampled. While tasters sink into cushy leather couches, the staff explains the flavor profiles of wine types and divulge tips for pairing wine with the right food or crazy straws.
Enophile John Davis founded Wine Insiders 25 years ago, using his octopus-like industry connections to assemble a panel of wine experts who would seek out the best and most affordable wines. On average, his league of critics approves 5 out of every 100 bottles sampled, ensuring that only the most delicious wines get recommended to his customers. The team even offers a satisfaction guarantee: if customers aren't 100% delighted by the vinos they've selected, Wine Insiders will refund the full cost of the order, no questions asked?not even "So, you doing anything fun this weekend?" Despite its staff's legendary pickiness, Wine Insiders stocks a variety of red and white wines, including pinot noirs, pinot grigios, rieslings, and cabernet sauvignons, each joined by an informative description.
The brewing and winemaking experts at Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies lavish equipment and encouragement upon aspiring beverage crafters nationwide. Beer and wine equipment kits provide every necessity in one handy package, unlike puzzle-piece-of-the-month clubs, and ingredient kits yield liquid harvests in a range of styles and varietals. Whatever the favored flavor, Midwest's premium ingredients and handy how-to books help to make consistent batches each time, aiding brewers in avoiding the embarrassment of turning out a spicy pinot grigio or a bacon-flavored lager.
For 40 years the brewing connoisseurs at Beer & Wine Hobby have aimed to impart culinary know-how to pupils via home beverage-crafting tools and introductory courses at their warehouse store. Aspiring brewers learn via a bevy of beer-making gear, including brewing kettles, fermentation supplies, and funnels, and winemaking equipment assists do-it-yourselfers with corks, bottles, and tubing. Beer & Wine Hobby's classes bolster brewing knowledge, providing students with thorough instruction on intricate brewing processes as well as the lyrical chants necessary to concoct complex libations. The store also carries berry presses for making small batches of fruit wine and a smattering of food kits, including cheese-making supplies.
High atop a hill in the Temecula valley, surrounded by clear blue skies and lush rows of Rhone grapes, sits Miramonte Winery, where the winemakers soulfully craft their red wines, off dry ros?s, and inspired whites. A big, open veranda wraps around the building to provide an airy venue for wine tastings, and Mojo, the winery dog, curiously greets visitors before going off to lay in the sun.
The deep flavors and aromas in Miramonte's wines come not only from the way the Rhone grapes grow in the valley, but also from the expertise of winemaker Reinhard Schlassa and passion of owner Cane Vanderhoof. A UC Davis alum, Schlassa has made wines with icons of the industry on three continents, and he continues to perfect his craft at Miramonte Winery.
Intoxicated Chocolates founders Jeffery Rogers and Candace Mills created their business concept over evening drinks. The duo regularly attended social functions around town, and Candace, a dessert connoisseur, would pair their libations with a sweet dish that truly complimented the flavor. Before long, the two merged the two ideas, and began creating chocolates infused with a bevy of adult beverages. Their chocolatey creations bear such flavors as bourbon, scotch, amaretto, brandy, cognac, and a variety of beers. Chocolates come in small 6-count sizes, ideal for sharing during cozy weekday nights at home, and 24-count sizes, perfect for party hosts who forgot they don't own drink glasses.