Valentine’s Day Wines Under $25 (for Self-Seduction)

Valentine’s Day Wines Under $25 (for Self-Seduction)

Valentine’s Day is here, and whether you will be with your loved one or plan to seduce yourself, you’ve got to have appropriate juice on hand. Your local wine store is sure to have these moderately-priced picks.
valentine's day wines
A visit to Williams-Sonoma’s San Francisco headquarters the other week involved the perfect exercise in finding moderately priced yet maximally alluring V-Day-ready bottles. In preparation for a presentation I was giving to WS staff, Williams Sonoma’s Director of Culinary Amanda Haas asked me to join her at local supermarket and select seven Valentines Day-worthy wines – all under $25 – in under 20 minutes. We were all pleased with how these Valentine’s Day wines turned out, and here they are for you:

Roederer Estate Brut NV ($19-$22) – A perennial overachiever, owned by the same parent company that makes Cristal.

St. Supéry Oak-Free Chardonnay 2015 ($20-$25) – A stunner with oysters, which are of course known to be a potent aphrodisiac. Medium bodied and lemony bright.

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir 2014 ($20-$25) –  I call Pinot the Juicy Berry Kiss and this version is no exception, with its strawberry-and-flowers perfume, medium body, and crisp acidity.

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend 2015 ($11-$15) – A sexy duality: smells sweet, tastes dry. A secret love of wine pros. Viognier puts you in the mood for romance.

Minuty M Rosé Cotes de Provence 2015 ($10-$15) – Gorgeous raspberry fruit with a lemony lift. And its bottle is curved like Sophia Lauren.

Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 ($20-$25) – If a smooth, plummy Spanish red weren’t sexy enough, the gold fishnet adorning the bottle creates glamour and intrigue.

Prieuré d’ Arche Sauternes 2008 ($15-$20) – For drizzling on your pancakes, then on your lover.

For more on affordable wine alternatives and the best wines to bring to a date or party, check out my latest book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire.  Leave an Amazon review in the month of February (and notify alf@markoldman.com) and we will send you some Oldman schwag!

Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen is the Perfect Place to Teach Champagne Sabering

For a Facebook Live event with Williams-Sonoma last week, Mark Oldman teaches Amanda Haas, Williams-Sonoma’s Director of Culinary, how to saber a bottle of champagne like a total pro. Located at the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen in Northern California, the beautiful space offered the perfect setting for a little saber-training session.  You’ve got to see the video to believe it – Amanda is a natural!

Missed the Live video? You can still get your wine questions answered by leaving a comment!

Williams-Sonoma sabering wine mark oldman

An Homage to (and the Perfect Wine Pairing for) Joe’s Stone Crab

As a late birthday present this week, I received a box of stone crabs from Joe’s, the legendary Miami restaurant which has its own fleet of boats to source the world’s best sweet, meaty crustaceans.

What wine was grand enough for this epic and luxurious crab feast?  I splurged on a similarly decadent 2002 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, a white Burgundy of creamy texture and intense concentration, with notes of apples and peaches and a stony tang.

One need not resort to a wine of this dizzying specialness to flatter the butter-and-saline magic of stone crabs.  Equally compelling would have been a high-quality California Chardonnay, an Albariño from Spain, or richer-style Champagne or sparkling wine.

The meal: Joe’s stone crab claws, clarified butter, Joe’s mustard sauce, creamed spinach, hash browns, and key lime pie.

wine pairing stone crabs

Hungry for your own? You can order in from Joe’s here on their website.

For more on wine pairing, check out my latest book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire!

Christmas Eve Wine Pairings That Everyone Will Love

Whether Christmas Eve to you means Santa-tracking and traditional holiday puddings or the latest Woody Allen flick and some quality lo mein, there is no holiday season complete without the perfect wine pairing.

christmas wine

If you’re having a Thanksgiving-caliber feast, you might be searching for wines to complement the crispy skin of a roast turkey or chicken, in which case you’d be pleased by brawny, fruit-forward Zinfandel.

For those indulging in honey-baked ham, pair it with a crisp and dry (or slightly off-dry) Chenin Blanc. If you’re planning on enjoying some potato latkes with homemade apple sauce, American sparkling wine will promote joy with its fruit-forward, effervescent personality. Hearty and peppery brisket has a deep friendship with Bordeaux – a sultry combo for a winter evening.

My friends who traditionally skip the Christmas festivities in favor of cinematic bliss always manage to smuggle a bottle of Gewürztraminer into the theatre with their General Tso’s chicken or Hunan shrimp, as its lychee-and-ginger character has an affinity to spicy Asian foods.

As for the dessert course, a house of gingerbread must eventually crumble, and when it does – assumedly at your own hands  –  pair the spicy treat with succulent, delicate Moscato d’Asti.

Minty and ubiquitous candy-canes are great for savoring along with Prosecco, which complements the peppermint rush with a fresh, citrusy, sometimes slightly sweet sparkle. Dense, flaky rugelach, with its cinnamon flair and dried-fruitiness, is perfect with ice wine’s unabashed sweetness and zingy acidity.

For more about excellent wine and food pairings and suggestions, check out my latest book, How to Drink Like A Billionaire. Drink richly!

How to Get A Free Wine Book

My new book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire, makes for an ideal holiday gift – but don’t just take my word for it. In the last week alone it has been featured in Vanity Fair, Chicago Tribune, Tulsa World, Star Tribune, the Epoch Times, and the New York Times!

In case you haven’t heard, I have made it even more tempting to give as a gift. In the next FOUR DAYS, if you buy two (2) or more copies of my book on Amazon, I will send you a FREE copy of my previous book, the award-winning Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine (a $25 value). I will also send you an autographed sticker, personally inscribed by me, which you can include on each book.

TO RECAP: UNTIL THE END OF DECEMBER 18thBUY 2 or MORE BOOKS, GET A FREE BOOK (EACH SIGNED BY MARK*) 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your signed books plus a free book, just in time for the holidays:

1) From now until December 18th, purchase two (2) or more copies of How to Drink Like a Billionaire on Amazon (and I’d be most grateful if you wrote a review!).

2) Email the Amazon receipt to alf@markoldman.com with your mailing address.

3) We will mail you the signed book labels and a FREE, signed copy of Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine–just in time for the holidays!

*: Mark’s signature will be written on separate adhesive labels (i.e., “bookplates”) sent with your free book, and can be applied to each book.

Get thee to Amazon! This offer is only available until DECEMBER 18th!

For more on why How to Drink Like a Billionaire is the perfect holiday gift, click here!

The buzz on How to Drink Like a Billionaire

“The ultimate guide to drinking like a billionaire on a normal budget.”
Maxim
 
“Advice on drinking wine with confidence and covers topics such as undiscovered wine regions and surprising wine and food combinations.”
New York Times
 
“This high-class guide is an adventure into the world of wine.”
Vanity Fair, in “The Books You Should Be Reading Now”
 
“A guide to wine and Champagne to find the most delicious bottles for the best price.”
Forbes