I tried my first wine from Don Sebastiani & Sons (Don & Sons), The Crusher collection this weekend, and loved the Red Blend on the first sip, and all-the-more in my new, beautiful, thin and well-balanced wine glass that was incredibly inexpensive. I have a secret to share with you, for finding gorgeous wine glasses, reasonably priced (actually ‘cheap’) so that you can have different styles and shapes on hand to WOW your friends and to make your wine the most enjoyable it can be. I concede that good wine is fine out of any sparkling clean container, but for many of us, the glass is part of the overall experience.
The glass in the photo above and below is sold by Crystalite Bohemia from the Czech Republic. I bought six of them for a total of $14.99 as seen on the price sticker on the box below. The glass is named “Barbara,” which is a collection from Crystalite, and a misspelling of Barbera. It’s a 17 ounce red wine glass and my apologies for my poor photography. The glass is stunning.
So, Home Goods stores are my secret. Until very recently, I have not had a Home Goods in my state of Oklahoma, but I do shop at my local TJ Maxx stores, where I can sometimes find the same items, just in much smaller quantities and a far lesser selection. Home Goods and TJ Maxx are both owned by TJX Companies.
Home Goods becomes a destination point when hubby and I travel, and we always must drive, rather than fly, when going to Hilton Head or Palm Desert, because the Home Goods stores there are fabulous, and the back of our Nissan Pathfinder comes home packed tight. A couple of months ago, a Home Goods opened just outside Oklahoma City in Norman but the Springdale, Arkansas store is closer by about 20 miles. Both locations are over 100 miles from my home.
The glass below is another beauty I bought at Home Goods in South Carolina a few years ago. I think a box of 6 cost between about $20. Both of the glasses shown here sing sweetly when you ping them with your fingernail.
I checked Amazon to see if Crystalite Bohemia glasses were for sale there. No wine glasses but numerous highball glasses etched with a Harley-Davidson, a Spitfire, a Lancaster Bomber, “motorbikes,” a Volkswagen bus, a footballer, rugby, a Landrover and others are available (curiously, no golfer). The glass looks beautiful, but here’s the catch: for $22 to $25 you get one glass, only one glass, and some vendors offer a gift box. Assuming the quality matches that of my wine glasses, even at $25 each, a Harley rider, a sport fisherman or a pilot might fall in love with these exquisite-looking tumblers. I do not sell them and I’m not an Amazon affiliate. Just go to Amazon and search for “Crystalite Bohemia”.
Saving the best for last, The Crusher Red Blend (see first photo): The 2012 vintage is 56 percent Tempranillo, 30 percent Petite Sirah and 14 percent Pinot Noir. According to the winery, the vintage for the Clarksburg yield was excellent, and I can taste it in the bottle:
All the varietals enjoyed extended hang time, developing great color, concentrated flavors, and finely balanced structure and acidity. 2012 will prove to be an exciting year for wines from The Crusher.
Named in tribute to the agricultural roots of Clarksburg, “Sugar Beet Ranch” is a Tempranillo driven red-wine blend that opens with a fruity bouquet of cherry cola, ripe berries, and bacon coupled with toasty notes of cedar and sassafras. On the palate a favorful array of boysenberries, raspberries and blueberry pie take center stage complemented by hints of vanilla and root beer on the finish. This medium-bodied wine is wonderfully balanced with bright well-integrated acidity. The velvety tannins and jammy mouthfeel make this wine exceptionally food friendly. Try pairing with grilled eggplant and mozzarella, seafood paella or a simple Margherita pizza.
The wine does have velvety tannins and a jammy mouthfeel, often found in well-made red blends, and that’s why I’m a sucker for them when the vintner is reputable. I can’t pass them by. The Crusher Red will be a staple for me this summer. Luscious and easy to drink. I can’t find my receipt, but think it was about $13.
The very early days of my career in the wine business had its fruitful beginning with my “next-to-the-littlest” brother, sitting in the home of August and Sylvia Sebastiani in Sonoma, California. The rambling stone home on the hill was generously opened to us as we discussed bringing the original Sebastiani wines to Oklahoma for the first time. We had breakfast on the square the next morning where August often started his day, or maybe took respite after being in the vineyards in the early morning hours. It is an unforgettable and very fond memory.
There has never been a time I have been in the beautiful little town of Sonoma that I haven’t wanted to stay longer, and longer. August and Sylvia were the parents of Don Sebastiani, the producer of The Crusher collection, and grandparent to Don’s sons, Donny and August, who make up the Don & Sons label and Don Sebastiani & Sons.
If you would like to receive Maggie’s Wine posts direct to your inbox, no ads, no spam, EVER, enter your email address in the box below.