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Duckhorn Portfolio Wine Blog

Posts written by Neil Bernardi, Vice President of Winemaking  and many special guest bloggers. This collection of insights on winemaking, farming, entertaining and more is a great way to learn about the excitement of winery life and tips for enjoying the wines we produce.

The Marketing Team
 
February 14, 2022 | The Marketing Team

Date Night with The Duckhorn Portfolio

Date Night and Duckhorn Portfolio

Are you still looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Get inspired with date night ideas and wine to perfectly complement the experience. Here are our top picks.

Rooftop Romance

Capture the feeling that you're on top of the world with a rooftop rendezvous. Whether you're eyeing cascading views or the city skyline, this date is all about elevation. Effortlessly, transition sunset drinks to a romantic starlit dinner with this bottle. We recommend:

  • 2019 Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay
    Reach new heights with this elegant, age-worthy white with lovely underlying power. Lush and lively layers of white peach, vanilla bean and lemon zest balanced by bright acidity and a supple mouthfeel. Grown high on the limestone-rich soils of Mt. Harlan– at around 2,200 feet, it’s among the highest and coolest vineyard sites in California.

Karaoke Night

Love it or leave it, there’s no room for shyness or inhibition on Karaoke Night. Bring the boldness to match your inner Mariah (Carey). There are two choices– we recommend:

Play Tourist in Your Own Town

Take this moment to explore tried and true landmarks in a new way – from the perspective of a tourist. What is the one thing your hometown is known for? Do that. Pair it with this, we recommend:

Game Night

Throw a healthy dose of competitive spirit into your date night itinerary with game night. Board games, word games, cards, charades or trivia – all call for a playful, fun yet deeply romantic bottle. We recommend:

Do a Virtual Wine Tasting

Take a moment – close your eyes and envision the rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, exceptional landscapes and unfiltered light of Napa Valley. Transport yourself to the wine capital of California for a fun, engaging virtual wine tasting date.

Make Dinner Together + Dessert

Unless you have it down to a science, cooking together could be unpredictable. Stick to a classic, reliable bottle because if all else fails, you will still have an exquisite bottle to drink. We recommend:

  • 2018 Duckhorn Vineyards Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
    Classic notes of dusty Rutherford minerality and beautiful balanced French oak frame both red and dark berry flavors, with notes of graphite, cracked pepper, caramel and black tea adding depth to a long-fruit-filled finish. Lovely layers of blackberry cassis and tobacco combine with the dusty minerality that comes to define this legendary wine.
  • 2017 Calera Central Coast Viognier Doux
    This sumptuous dessert wine offers a heady bouquet of orange marmalade, apricot jam and ginger. On the palate, it’s lush and exotic with succulent layers of peach, ripe pear and honeysuckle framed by impeccably balanced sugar and acidity that carry this wine to a bright, lively finish.

Movie Night

Consider it the bread and butter of dates: often repeatable but never boring. Choose a classic flick or one you’ve held off for the right occasion. Only conundrum is that the references are limitless, so let’s narrow your pairing selection down by genre. We recommend:

Rom-Com:

Horror:

  • 2019 Decoy California Merlot
    Tempting aromas of ripe cherry and black raspberry with sweet, dusty tannins and supple texture create a lush, expansive Merlot – would be frightening not to try this one!

Outdoor Adventure

You both love the outdoors and venturing new places so hiking is your go-to day date. Be sure to pack light and leave room for this wine pairing that will be the most complex thing you encounter along the way. We recommend:

  • 2018 Canvasback Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Longwinds Vineyard
    Explore the effusive nose of Kirsch, cherry compote, orange marmalade and cinnamon gliding across rich, velvety tannins. On the palate, flavors of wild strawberry and ripe red fruit dominate, gliding across rich, velvety tannins. Though plush and concentrated, the finish offers lovely grip and energy. This wine represents our first bottling of Longwinds Estate Vineyard on Red Mountain – so inherently brings that adventurous spirit!

Plan Your Next Vacation

Dreaming of your next getaway together– sounds like the perfect date! Put pencil to paper and build your ideal itinerary. Luxurious views, food, wine and relaxation – hint, hint: Napa Valley has it all. Drink well and plan accordingly. We recommend

  • 2020 Migration Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir
    A dazzling cool-climate rosé, this wine invites a first sip with its lovely aromas of fresh picked wild strawberries, summer melon and Meyer lemon. The red berry and melon layers are echoed on the bright, silky palate where they mingle with juicy stone fruit flavors that linger on the long, lush finish

Go to an Art Museum

Ready your senses with a feast for your eyes. Abstract, contemporary, realism – stroll the halls of a modern museum and admire the visionary works of art. Like our winemakers, each piece tells a story to activate emotions and a sensory experience. For this, we recommend:

  • 2019 Parduxx Napa Valley Red Wine Rector Creek Vineyard – Block 5
    A limited-production wine that offers its own inspired variations on the contemporary and innovative style of our Paraduxx red blends. A beautiful blend of Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel showcase aromas of black cherry, cranberry, cinnamon, clove, and herbs de Provence that leads to an energetic, lush and dynamic finish.
Time Posted: Feb 14, 2022 at 8:00 AM Permalink to Date Night with The Duckhorn Portfolio Permalink
The Marketing Team
 
November 18, 2021 | The Marketing Team

How To: Set a Table Like a Pro

Whether your Holidays calls for a casual family dinner or a more formal feast, we’re sharing a few instructions and, of course, wine pairings, to ensure your joy-filled holiday gathering goes off without a hitch.

Getting Started

You’ll need a few essentials. Your table setting will include plates, cutlery: knife, forks and spoons, glassware, and napkins. Some extra items to consider are linens, place cards, and centerpieces.

How to set a table

How to Set the Basic Table

We’re going to start with a basic table setting and will use a popular acronym to easily remember where everything goes: FORKS.

Follow along from left to right:
F: Fork (main and salad fork, too)
O: Plate (“O” looks like your plate, right? If needed, stacking a salad plate directly on a dinner plate is appropriate)
R: We’ve made it to the right side of the plate
K: Knife goes here (edges in!)
S: Spoon, lastly (include a soup spoon, if needed)

How to set a formal table

Extras: More to Know

Here’s another perspective: place your plate in the center of the placemat. Your fork(s) will go on the left side; then your knife to the right of the plate and your spoon(s) to the right of your knife.

You can place your napkin directly on top of the plate and drinkware above the plate on the right side of your place setting. We recommend wine glasses are tiered above the main water glass.

Additional plating for salad and bread plate will go to the left of the main plate with the bread plate above and salad plate aligned, as it would be comfortably used.

For dessert, place an additional spoon and fork above the plate. The spoon handle should be facing right, while the fork handle should present to the left. Name card will go above or in front of the complete setting.

Have some fun with it! Dress up your table setting with festive but thoughtful placemats, thematic napkin rings, and centerpieces like floral arrangements and candles.

Which Wine Will Go Best with the Meal?

Rather than trying to match wines to specific dishes include wines that complement a range of food. The name of the game is versatility. Lighter, fruity reds pair well with turkey, while compelling, acidic whites can hold up next to rich side dishes. Across the board, the wine-country-cultivated, new American classics from The Duckhorn Portfolio make sense this Thanksgiving season.

Wine Recommendations:

2018 Goldeneye Anderson Value Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard
With its ripe strawberry and red plum aromas and its fetching hints of mint and wildflowers, this is a fresh and radiant expression of Pinot Noir that pairs well with any dish.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2019 Migration Russian River Valley Chardonnay Running Creek Vineyard
Displaying the graceful energy that has become a trademark of Running Creek Vineyard, this lovely Chardonnay unfurls in supple layers of Fuji apple, Meyer lemon and delicate white flower notes.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2019 Canvasback Columbia Valley Riesling
The flavors of this white wine are bright and complex, with juicy citrus flavors and notes of candied ginger, fennel and mango all underscored by a beam of racy acidity that draws the wine to a crisp, dry finish.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

Decoy Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine
This enticing sparkling wine has a delicate sweetness that is perfectly balanced by bright acidity, which adds poise and energy to the lush, pure fruit flavors.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

2018 Calera Mt. Harlan Viognier
The first sip of this wine is supple and viscous, and as it unfurls a current of bright acid emerges, framing the flavors and driving the wine to a tantalizing peaches and cream finish.
Buy on DuckhornWineShop.com

We hope you enjoy entertaining as much as your guests will enjoy their experience this holiday season. Cheers!

Time Posted: Nov 18, 2021 at 5:10 PM Permalink to How To: Set a Table Like a Pro Permalink
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