Whether you’re stocking, storing, or savoring Biltmore wines, this is our most important tip: enjoy the process!
“Lots of people think that stocking a wine cellar or storing wines is a stuffy, old-fashioned business, but that’s an outdated idea,” said Shruthi Dhoopati, Assistant Winemaker. “We want you to enjoy every part of the experience–especially savoring Biltmore wines!”
1. Evaluate your storage options
When deciding which wines to stock this winter, first evaluate your available storage space. Worry not if you don’t have the luxury of a wine cellar (few of us do), but instead ensure that your space is dark, away from movement or vibrations, not too hot or cold (55F˚ is ideal), and has a humidity level between 50% and 80%. A cool spot in a closet or cabinet away from exterior walls and removed from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your home will allow your wine to rest comfortably until it is called into service.
2. Consider your lifestyle
Reflect upon your favorite ways to indulge when stocking your wines. Are you a homebody who will be drinking a weeknight wine to relax after work? Or a social butterfly who regularly attends cocktail and dinner parties? Map out your month and decide what will work best for your needs, and your budget. As well, include in your decision-making process what foods you are more likely to cook at home (see our winter wine recommendations list below for ideas!).
3. Try different wines
For a fun and economical way to taste and choose, host a wine party with a variety of sweet and spicy hors d’oeuvres and invite your guests to bring a “new to them” bottle within a designated price limit. While you’re out and about, watch for sales to try something different with less risk. Or, for an even more targeted experience, make a tasting reservation at Biltmore Winery and discuss your options with our experienced wine hosts while you sample a selection of award-winning favorites*.
4. Plan ahead
Review the special occasions that lie on your winter horizon. Will you be celebrating a milestone birthday, enjoying a romantic Valentine’s Day meal, or attending an intimate gathering with friends? Invest in choice bottles to have on hand, whether for a hostess gift or your own meaningful moment. And, be sure to set aside a bottle or two for fetes in years to come, which is also a perfect opportunity to experiment with the effects aging will have on different varietals.
Biltmore’s winter wine recommendations
For a great winter wine foundation, Shruthi suggests trying these winning Biltmore wines:
Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay: For more temperate nights when grilling outdoors is an option, try the subtle oak flavors of Biltmore Estate® Chardonnay with salmon, chicken, and foil-wrapped veggies, or warm up indoors with creamy pasta or clam chowder.
Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec: A wild game dish like venison or bison burgers will be the perfect winter complement to a Biltmore Estate® Limited Release Malbec, or try spicy, vibrant flavors such as those found in chimichurri sauce or Spanish tapas.
Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon: Steak, short ribs, and winter vegetables such as squash and portabella mushrooms are perfect with the smooth, vanilla-scented flavor of Biltmore Estate® Cabernet Sauvignon.
Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: Elegant and easy to drink, Vanderbilt Reserve® Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is right at home whether accompanying roasted pork and poultry or hearty pasta dishes with a tomato-based sauce.
Savor Biltmore wines now
The world of wine is fascinating, and the more you learn, the more addictive it can become. This winter, relish the journey of discovery, and make it a fun process. Shruthi advises, “Enjoy every part of the experience–especially savoring your wines!”
And to keep your stock replenished at a great value, join the Vanderbilt Wine Club® to receive a curated shipment every three months. You’ll thank yourself the rest of the year!
*Whether you are a Biltmore Annual Passholder or daytime guest, make required Tasting Room reservations in person at the Winery on the day of your visit, or ask our staff for more information on wines that interest you.