Daylight Savings Time can be wonderful for the extra hour of sleep. But adjusting to that first week when the sun goes down can be difficult to mentally and physically. It’s tempting to hunker down and ditch all habits of self care in favor of a literally darker life.
In actuality, this first week can be an excellent time to treat yourself well by nestling in with an earlier glass of wine and a different cooking style. Here are a few tips from the ARGAUX team on how to embrace this transitional time!
What wines do you both associate with the winter months? What is a white wine that is appropriate for colder weather?
A: We enjoy a fair amount of red throughout the winter months as most people do! Beaujolais is a classic pairing for anything Thanksgiving. It’s typically lighter in style so we don’t mind pulling the cork around happy hour as the sun goes down. It’s a great red option for during the week and extremely affordable. There’s nothing wrong with drinking it slightly chilled either.
Barolo is on my mind lately too! Don’t even get me started on a Barolo we introduced to our list a week or two ago. It’s my favorite at the moment: 2012 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne. Not the cheapest, but memorable and a great option for the holidays. If I had to choose one word to describe it I’d have to say “velvet.” The mouthfeel on this wine is unlike anything I’ve tasted in awhile. Notes of cherries, roses and spice meld together on the palate. It’s a gorgeous wine. Approachable enough to drink by itself but I love the idea of this wine alongside a cheese & charcuterie board with Triple Cream, Pecorino, Burrata and on and on. That’s what I look for in the winter months when it comes to red. Something I can sip on before, during, and after dinner!
In regards to white wine…Chenin Blanc, Vermentino and dry Rieslings are great for foods being prepared this time of year. If I know I am drinking red with dinner I like opening up with something simple like rosé as an aperitif!
M: I agree with Arden, Beaujolais is always a go-to for me when the holidays come around. It is so food friendly and pairs well with lighter meat dishes. If I am looking for something a little heavier to go with, say, steak and caramelized onion sandwiches, I enjoy Tempranillo. As for whites, my mind instantly goes to Meursault. A chardonnay with a little bit of weight to it would pair with some creamier winter pasta dishes.
What are some of your favorite “comfort food” recipes that are still healthy?
A: I immediately think of the soups we have featured on the blog (like minestrone, apple butternut, red lentil curry, and tortilla)! Soup is great because you can read a recipe, add some more of this, eliminate that, and it tastes even better the next day. Check out Margaux’s take on a Galician Soup I had while in Spain. Healthy and hearty in a bowl.
M: Sweet Potato, Black Bean Enchiladas! They are easy to make, filling and a great hearty option if you want to skip meat one night.
A lot of people of “bribe” themselves with a glass of wine at the end of the day. What single glass wines will keep well in the bottle over four days and can be used as something to look forward too once the sun goes down? Any tips for preserving a bottle once it is opened?
A: Ohhh! Love this question. I find that some reds will keep pretty well over 2-3 days. 4 days might be pushing it. In my experience I actually enjoy Tempranillo more the next day. Anything that has some structure to it should keep relatively well. If you have a Coravin, no worries! If not, the vacuum seal stoppers work well. We’ve found that the Argaux stoppers included in gifts and wine club work great! They act as a cork but do a better job than the original cork at keeping the bottle sealed.
What is your favorite cold weather activity? What is your favorite cold weather activity that involves wine?
A: I grew up in Wisconsin so my idea of cold weather might be a bit different than a Californian’s idea of cold weather! Regardless, I like getting out and moving. Bundling up and going for a walk. I’ve never been skiing but it’s on my bucket list for 2018! I’ll keep you posted.
Favorite cold weather activity that involves wine is of course fire pit outside, blankets, a couple bottles of Barolo and Red Burgundy.
M: Definitely snowboarding! Nothing is better than a glass of red after a long day on the mountain. Aprés Ski!
How do you both mentally prepare for the beginning of the holidays and the end of the year? What are you looking forward to to close out 2017?
A: The holidays are so fun for us! We get to hear all about what our clients are making for Thanksgiving and help with annual dinner parties, cocktail parties. To mentally prepare we curate a list of our go-to wines for the holiday season and make sure our clients know we are ready to help with any and all of their wine needs. Our Gift Program is a huge contributor to our success as the year winds down. It’s also one of the coolest things we offer so I love sharing it with existing and/or potential customers. We take the level of personalization and customer service Wine Club members see and apply it to the experience of purchasing and receiving gifts.
We’re looking forward to speaking with our wine club members as the year closes out. Our Wine Club launched a year ago January and has grown each month. It’s exciting for us to hear about the customer experience from the client. We’re looking forward to sitting down with clients, now friends and listening to their feedback. Changes are coming in 2018 and these changes will be a direct reflection of these conversations.
M: OND (Oct, Nov, Dec) is GO TIME. We have a lot going on with wine sales, our gift program and events. It is a crazy, fun time but we stay organized so that we can fulfill all of our clients wine needs. We are your Pocket Somm after all! Our clients depend on us and if we can take a bit of stress from the holiday off their shoulders we are happy to do that!
Cheers From Your Pocket Somms! – ARGAUX