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Trinitas Cellars Blog
Welcome to the Trinitas Cellars Blog! We hope you join us for frequent updates on our vineyards, production, tasting room and wine education.
I love baking for Trinitas accounts in San Diego and look forward to the holidays when I can venture out of my normal chocolate chip cookie routine and get more festive for the holiday season. This morning I was in a bit of a rush but wanted to make sure to bring my accounts a little holiday cheer before Thanksgiving. I decided to make Acorn cookies which are easy and delicious and are a great idea to bring to a holiday party, especially because they pair so well with Trinitas wine!
- Miniature Nutter Butter Cookies
- Hersheys Chocolate Kisses
- Chocolate Chips
- Directions: First microwave the Hershey's kisses for thirty seconds and then place the kisses on top of the miniature nutter butters. Wait for the Hershey kisses to melt onto the nutter butter and then microwave the chocolate chips for thirty seconds and place them on the other side of the nutter butter. Once the chocolate chips and Hershey kisses have melted onto the nutter butter then you are ready to enjoy the acorn cookies!
The acorn cookies pair well with Trinitas Petite Sirah and Mendocino Zinfandel. The Petite Sirah flavors of holiday spice and cinnamon taste delicious with the Hershey kiss, especially if it is dark chocolate. The flavors of lush Mendocino fruit and chocolate reduction sauce in the Zinfandel compliments the salty peanut butter in the nutter butter.
From all of us at Trinitas, we hope that you have a happy and healthy holiday season and get the chance to bring acorn cookies to a holiday party!
Our winemaker, Kevin Mills, spends countless hours perfecting the wine that we all enjoy to drink. Last week, I caught up with Kevin's wife, Brandy, to get her perspective on the life of a winemaker and what it's like to be married to one!
Q: What is your favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: Drinking the wine, and learning about the winemaking process. There are so many steps!
Q: What is your least favorite part of having a husband who is a winemaker?
A: The harvest beard!
Q: We’ve seen Kevin’s “harvest beard” that he grows from the first day of harvest to the last day of harvest. When did this tradition originate and how do you feel about it?
A: I’m not sure when it began but he has grown one for the past 9 harvests that I have known him. I made him shave it early one year for a wedding (for Jen Heim, our Director of National Sales) and he swears it affected the wine! I do not believe in the superstition, but he does, so the beard must grow.
Q: What is your involvement in the wine industry?
A: I am the Auctions Manager for the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV). The NVV is the nonprofit trade association that promotes and protects the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region.
Q: What’s your favorite wine that your husband has made?
A: Everything! But I have a soft spot for Pinot.
Q: Any requests for a wine that Kevin should make but hasn’t yet?
A: No, just continue to make high quality wine and save a few bottles of each for me.
Let's hope he saves more than a few bottles for you, Brandy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and especially for sharing your husband with us! Cheers!
We would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank a fun wine tasting group (with quite a few loyal Trinitas Wine Society members) called "GrapeFull Reds". Last month, Trinitas Cellars' owner, Tim Busch, hosted the GrapeFull Reds at his home in Laguna Hills, California. This was an extra special evening as GrapeFull Reds is a group that gets together to blind taste and score wines once a month. The group met in Tim's wine cellar and included some of Trinitas's wines (red only of course!) in the mix for the October tasting; including the 2009 Mendocino Old Vine Zinfandel, 2010 Mysterium, 2010 Pinot Noir, 2010 Petite Sirah, 2009 Meritage and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2010 Petite Sirah was the favorite among the group and received an average ranking of 91 points among the 15 group members present. Here are some pictures from the event and below is a brief history of the group and how they got started!
A brief history of the GrapeFull Reds Wine Society
By Steve Severy, co-founder of GrapeFull Reds
(Yes GrapeFull is one word with two capital letters)
The GrapeFill Reds Wine Society was officially born, in Coto de Caza, CA. over 15 years ago on my next door neighbor, Bill Arman’s deck. For several years before this day, friends would arrive at my home or Bill’s with a bottle of wine closeted in a paper bag. These gathering were almost never scheduled, but somehow the word would just get out. Now what better thing to do on a weekend afternoon than get together, taste, drink and share wine. Most would arrive with a bottle of wine, tightly wrapped in a paper bag, that they were very familiar with, but were amazed that once they were blind tasting 4-9 different wines, they could not identify the wine they brought with them.
On one sunny afternoon Bill announced that we were not going to leave the deck until we came up with a name for the group. Fortunately I have a large wine cellar next door and we were not in danger of running out of wine before finding a name. As the day wore on our name the GrapeFull Reds (GFR) was born and then we fancied up the name by adding Wine Society to balance the tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Grateful Dead” music group.
For some 15 years we have been meeting on the third Thursday of each month except December when we meet earlier in the month. We blind taste three flights of three wines (9 total) that have been decanted. After each flight we score the wines and then go around the table to reveal our comments / scores. This is the true educational part of the evening. Then the three wines are revealed as to grape, winery and price. At the end of the tasting the total scores are averaged. There are two winners every time. The wine with the highest average score and the “best value” of the night, comparing price to score. Sometimes one wine takes both honors. When that happens there is usually a rush out to purchase a lot of that wine. (That is exactly what happened at our recent Trinitas tasting at Tim’s house.) And yes we only taste red wines.
Each member gets a chance to host a tasting. That member has a budget of $300 to purchase the wine for the tasting and chooses the wines. That member also has a $100 food budget for the evening. There is usually an attendance of 10-12 members. Our members purchase a lot of wine, so often a winery or wine distributor supplies some or all of our wines for the tasting.
Once we start tasting we try to keep the conversation restricted to food and wine as much as possible. We are a men only group. We have nothing against the ladies but insert a lady or two into a men’s group and all the guys start showing off a little. Again our main goal is to increase our knowledge of wines and by not having the ladies there it helps us concentrate a little better. So once or twice a year we like to take our significant others out to a fine dinner to say thank you for letting us out to taste wine once a month.
Bill Arman and Steve Severy are the co-founders of the group. Our goal is to find the good wines, buy them at the best prices we can, then share them and have fun doing it. And sort-of by accident we learn a lot about defining what a really good wine is and what makes it so. Refining our palates.
Thank you GrapeFull Red for a fun evening and for being loyal fans and customers! We look forward to tasting again with you all again soon! Cheers!
Halloween. Ghosts and goblins, witches and costumes, candy and …. wine? Yes, wine! Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. Whether you are looking to give a new twist to your frightful adult bash or want to liven up your tasting group meeting, try wine and Halloween candy pairings. The options are endless but we’ve included a a short list of what we are pairing with our current wines.
Pairings with Trinitas Cellars Wines
2011 Apprentice Chardonnay with milk chocolate with orange
2010 Proprietor’s Reserve or 2011 Carneros Chardonnay with Butterfinger or buttered popcorn
2012 Rose’ary with Skittles (the red ones) or strawberry poprocks
2010 Mysterium with KitKat Bars
2010 Pinot Noir with a Milky Way (beware of this one as you may become addicted!)
2009 Old Vine Mendocino Zinfandel or 2008 RatZinger with Red Vines
2007 Cabernet Sauvigon with Dark Chocolate with Chili (it may sound weird, but the chili in the chocolate is enhanced by the tannis and makes the Cabernet taste sweeter).
2010 Petite Sirah with Dark chocolate with black currant (talk about opulent).
2010 Moscato with traditional Candy Corn
I picked the 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel Mendocino for the soft sweet characteristics within our Zinfandel collection. The powerful Bing cherry, raspberry and sweet plum entice my palate with these delightful fruit forward sensations.
I am no wine expert, but I have come to know what I enjoy to drink and what I do not! One of my favorite current releases at Trinitas is the 2010 Mysterium, which is a red blend of 6 different varieties. While pouring at various wine events and in the tasting room, I have come to learn that there is a large misunderstanding around the word “blend” with wine consumers today. I often find that there is a negative connotation with the word “blend”, as if the wine is not as good if it has been blended. Would the winemaker blend the wine if it were not going to result in a better wine? While there are many amazing and coveted single vineyard, single varietal wines, there are also some lesser-known, under-appreciated blends and I am here to share my love for them!
According to dictionary.com, one definition of blending is “to mix (various sorts or grades) in order to obtain a particular kind or quality”. When we think about blending wine, this definition is extremely relevant, as the main purpose for blending is to obtain a particular flavor or improve the quality of the wine. The winemaker is entrusted with the difficult task of determining which blend will enhance the quality of the wine and bring all of the best flavors, aromas and palates together. Too much of a certain variety and you might overpower the wine with that variety, but in the right ratio, the various varieties can truly complement each other to create a quality blend!
Among red blends, Mysterium is my favorite Trinitas blend, as I find it pairs well with almost anything, including itself! I also find that it is a fun wine to introduce to friends and family just because of the unique blend and smooth, fruity flavors. Each year, Mysterium, the Latin word for “mystery”, is truly a mystery to all, until the final blending is done about a month before bottling. Each grape variety is fermented and aged separately and based on the complexity and flavors, Kevin, our winemaker, will try several different blends of these varieties before deciding on the final magical “recipe”. This blending gives the ability to create a consistent Mysterium wine year after year even with a different blend because of the ability to choose those particular varieties in a certain year that are giving the desired flavors and characteristics and leave out others.
What I find most fascinating about blending is that each variety can bring something different to the blend, and sometimes even the slightest addition of one particular variety will make the difference for that wine. Sometimes we add a wine to a blend for the beautiful floral aromas, or fruity palate or even for the rich color. At the end of the day, I trust the expertise of the winemaker and look forward to the next mysterious vintage of Trinitas Mysterium!
With great excitement, I share the news that today we have begun harvesting our Estate Vineyard.
This is a very exciting event for everyone because this particular vineyard covers the 7 acres that are above our Estate Cave that many of you have visited!
In this vineyard, we grow all five Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Merlot. Today we began picking the Malbec and the Merlot and tomorrow we will pick the remaining grapes.
We use these grapes to make our Estate Meritage blend. We could not grow, harvest and make this wine without help! Thank you to everyone who helped care for and pick these grapes!
And don't worry, our assistant winemaker, Steve, is up in the vineyard supervising!
I spent the day yesterday with our winemaker, Kevin, at the winery. I am excited to report that 2013 will be a year full of fun when it comes to our Sauvignon Blanc wines. This harvest we have a trinity (pun intended) of Sauvignon Blanc. Kevin took me around to taste the three types of Sauvignon Blanc that we currently have in our winery: Sauv Blanc in stainless steel tank, Sauv Blanc in Russian oak barrel and late harvest Sauv Blanc grapes that are just in from the vineyard.
First, we tried some of the Sauvignon Blanc from grapes that were brought in almost 4 weeks ago, which have already been pressed and fermenting in a stainless steel tank for a few weeks. We keep the Sauvignon Blanc chilled during fermentation so that we get a slower fermentation. This slower fermentation helps maintain the esters in the wine, which contribute to the aromas in the wine and the fruit flavors on the palate.
After we tried the Sauvignon Blanc that was in the stainless steel tanks, we moved over to our oak barrels to contrast the flavors. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc that is in barrel right now was brought in at the same time, but due to the oak, it starts to develop different flavors. The oak provides a broader mouth feel and mid-palate and really lengthens the finish on the wine.
Last, but not least, we tried the late harvest Sauvignon Blanc grapes that we just brought in this week. Unlike the Sauvignon Blanc grapes that we brought in previously, we have not yet pressed these grapes, so we got to taste them right off the vine. Right away, you can see that some of the grapes have already started to raisin since we harvested them about a month after the majority of our Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The higher sugar content and unique flavor of these grapes at harvest makes them ideal for creating a different kind of Sauvignon Blanc experience. I am excited to see this late harvest Sauvignon Blanc wine develop and looking forward to a new offering for all of you from our 2013 harvest.
I hope you are all as excited about the 2013 harvest as we are at Trinitas! More updates to come!
January 22, 2015
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November 5, 2014
October 15, 2014(1 Comment)
August 27, 2014
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- January 2014 (4)
- Bekah Allen, Tasting Room Manager (2)
- Betsy Busch, Proprietor (16)
- Garrett Busch, Proprietor (14)
- June Busch, Trinitas Wine Dog (3)
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- Lamar Engel, Tasting Room Manager (7)
- Lucy Garibay, Wine Society Coordinator (3)
- Jen Heim (1)
- Kevin Mills, Winemaker (2)
- Brianna Pickens, Wine Society Assistant (5)
- Mark Plasch, Orange County Sales Manager (1)
- Trinitas Tasting Room (8)
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- Kelly Wilkinson, San Diego Sales Manager (1)
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