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Wine Down and Chill has a Big Heart

Cheers to our 50th wine down and chill column! Are you loving our new wine down and chill format? You’re busy, you want to learn about wine then get down to drinking it, right? Got it. Here are affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with today’s wine down and chill theme.

You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.

Theme: Happy Heart Day!

I know that I promised a manly-man’s column this week. Alas, it’s not happening. Next week, for sure, I pinky-promise!

Love it or hate it, single or paired off, today is the day that either gives you heebie-geebies or the day that you gush over and can’t wait for your extra-long rectangular box of long-stemmed roses to arrive. If you need tips to survive the day, click here. But, if you want to embrace today’s wine down and chill theme, we have some suggestions. Love comes in all forms and all shapes from romantic love to furbaby love to passion for doing something you believe in. Embrace it all!

Listen: I <3 Music

I love music in all forms, genres and from just about every artist. To wine down and chill you need to set the mood. As I was crafting this article this morning, I’m not quite sure why (perhaps because I was looking for throwback RomComs for today’s movie suggestion) but a bunch of 1970-1980s girl-power tunes were coming to mind. Now I’ve got “Heart of Glass” by my favorite ‘70s badass, Blondie; “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benetar; and “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler stuck in my head. Here are the Top 100 songs with “heart” in the title as ranked by Billboard.

Learn: something new about Cabernet Sauvignon

Leading up to the release of today’s wine down and chill suggestion was the arduous planting of the vineyard which began in 2006, planting 20 acres at a time, until it was fully planted (~150 acres) in 2014. There are dozens of “clones” of Cabernet Sauvignon: this doesn’t mean frankenfruit by any means.

Each vine is described as a clone with a clear origin that includes details about when and where it was first clipped, each time that it’s been transplanted, grafted, and so on. Much of Paso Robles (my fave) features Clone 8 which was originally snipped in Bordeaux, France in 1893 from the globally acclaimed vineyards of Chateau Margaux. Each clone has a distinct flavor profile: Clone 8 is berry forward with dark fruits, slight spice and herbal notes. Mmmmmm.  

Clone 2

Today’s wine down and chill selection is made up exclusively of Clone 2, which shares its origins with Clone 8. However, Clone 2 grapes have even darker skins than Clone 8. Nestled in the upper northwest, Red Mountain is on the Eastern edge of Yakima Valley in Washington. The added two hours per day of sunshine and cooler nights versus the same grapes grown in Napa Valley imparts interesting characteristics to the Cabs grown here.

Silty loam and sandy soils flavor the wines but also lead to a shorter growing season for Clone 2. Additional challenges (as well as benefits) are the smaller berry size, smaller and looser clusters of grapes which impacts production. With only 138 cases of 2019 Heart of the Hill produced, and a Double Gold Victory at last year’s Sunset International Wine Competition, not to mention a few high 80s and low 90s scores from the oenophiles, you’ll want to grab this one while you can! You’ll need a big budget to go with your big heart though – be prepared.

Wine: Heart of the Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Each week, as I plan the wine down and chill theme with appropriate suggestions, I pause every time that I gravitate towards a Cabernet Sauvignon because you all know that it’s my favorite varietal. But, it’s not about me, right? So, I stretch my palette and find new options. Usually. But not this week.