Wine and Food

Baer Winery Thanksgiving Pairings

There’s nothing better than sharing food and laughs with those who mean the most to you, making Thanksgiving a time of year that we all look forward to. This year might look a bit different than usual, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy wine and food with your loved ones. The Baer family has curated an easy holiday pack with all the wines you’ll need for your Thanksgiving meal, whether it be small, solo, or socially distanced. If you’re taking things virtual, order a pack for yourself and packs for those you love, and we can help you ship to the rest of your party. So sit back, relax, and enjoy these Baer Winery Thanksgiving pairings!

2018 Shard paired with Pommes Puree

The first wine included is our 2018 Shard. Crisp and clean, this unoaked Chardonnay doesn’t have any of the heavy flavors that may clash with rich holiday foods. The balanced acidity and light pear and citrus notes are ideal for sipping while you’re cooking, or for guests to enjoy with savory appetizers like cheese and charcuterie. Carry it on through dinner as a fresh accompaniment to plump turkey, gravy, and herby stuffing. If you’re cooking for a smaller crowd this year, splurge on something super luscious like Pommes Puree instead of the usual mashed potatoes. It’s not quite equal parts butter and potato, but it’s close. We think this recipe is a perfect complement to the Shard!

2016 Star Merlot paired with Romaine and Pear Salad

Our Thanksgiving gathering is usually small, so in past years we would typically take advantage of one of Seattle’s great restaurants serving a traditional menu and wine pairing. Our 2016 Star Merlot with its bright red currant and pie cherries, baking spice, and a hint of bay leaf works with the full meal deal. Including an obligatory salad on the plate? Try something simple like Romaine tossed with chopped pear, colorful and tart pomegranate arils, dressed with a light vinaigrette, and topped with parmesan shavings.

2016 Arctos paired with Mushroom Wellington

This year we’ll instead be picking up gourmet to-go and sharing a virtual dinner over Zoom, so the menu will be smaller. For those who prefer a slightly fuller-bodied red with their turkey, or even a second or alternative meat option like prime rib or ham, we’ve included our 2016 Arctos Cabernet Sauvignon. Silky, lush, and dense, this would also go along well with a vegetarian entrée like this Mushroom Wellington

As for pie, we know of many excellent pie and wine pairings, but we’d be remiss to pass on a boozy coffee pairing. After all, there’s no better place for coffee than Seattle, Washington!

Cheers to you and yours, and we hope that however you are celebrating, Thanksgiving will bring some comfort and joy to this season. If you’re planning on setting your table with Baer wines this year, let us know by tagging us in your posts on Instagram!

The 2016 Malbec has Arrived…

You’ve been toughing it out these past six months in quarantine or perhaps out on the front lines, settling into a routine, and for many of you, homeschooling is just around the corner. Whew. We’re here for you and will try to at least provide some moral support. That’s why we are so happy to announce the release of our very popular and very limited Baer Malbec. The 2016 Baer Malbec is an interesting wine that seasoned enophiles and novices alike enjoy. Let’s talk about Malbec as a varietal, as well as how it came to be one of our most sought-after wines.

A little history of Malbec…

Malbec is a thick-skinned grape that hails from France. It became a blending grape as one of five of Bordeaux’s top wine grapes. However, despite its thick skin, Malbec has a poor resistance to weather and pests. Therefore, Malbec never made it as a top variety in The Republic. Many people think of Argentina when they think of Malbec. That’s because Malbec found a new home in which to thrive back in the early 1800s in Mendoza, Argentina when the mayor ordered a French botanist to plant it. Because of Argentina’s climate and elevation, over 75% of today’s Malbec is planted in Argentina and the remainder spans across six other countries as it continues to grow more and more popular, especially here in Washington state.

The Baer Malbec Story…

The Baer Malbec was first crafted in 2013 when doing duty as a blend component for our flagship wine, Ursa. The fruit was intended to remain just as part of Baer’s blends. However, Nich Hanson, the Cellarmaster at the time, noticed that every time he opened the Malbec barrels for their topping up, he was hit with intense aromas of blackberry pie and cracked peppercorns. He knew the 2013 Malbec was a special wine that should stand on its own. He then proposed that it be bottled separately. The Baer team agreed and the Baer Malbec was born.

2016 Malbec…

Our 2016 Malbec was just released and is an extremely limited-production wine that we’re so proud to share with you all.  James Suckling awarded this wine 92 points and Owen Bargreen gave it 93, so you know it lives up to the hype. Blended with a bit of Syrah, the 2016 Malbec is concentrated and expressive. With aromas and flavors of blackberry, blueberry, mocha, and black licorice, it’s ripe and generous in the mouth with a long and lifted finish. Pair with anything from dark poultry and lean meats to dishes with spicy and earthy flavors. Consulting Winemaker, Erica Orr said, “It’s fun to make small lots like the Malbec in contrast to the larger volume Baer blends. The Malbec character is more upfront, bold, and expressive when compared to the flagship Ursa or a more serious Cabernet Sauvignon like the Arctos.”

If you’re ready to taste the 2016 Malbec for yourself, we’re currently offering a three-pack for just $99 and overnight shipping for the price of regular ground shipping (but only until September 8th). Just add the three-pack to your cart, choose regular ground shipping, and enter code OVERNIGHT at checkout. Enjoy!

3 Tips for Properly Storing Your Wine

Wine is more than just delicious to sip on with dinner or enjoy on the patio with your loved ones – it’s also an investment. You purchase certain wines to drink immediately, some to drink later, and some that you plan to hold on to for years to come. In order to store wine for a longer period, it’s essential to create an environment where your wines can grow old and thrive. Follow these 3 tips for properly storing your wine and you’ll never have to worry about the condition of your favorite bottles!

Stay Cool

It’s hot outside now and if you don’t have air conditioning or a temperature-controlled wine cellar, it can get hot inside too. Heat is wine’s number one enemy and you’ll want to avoid it if you want to age your wines to their peak drinking years. Any temperature above 70 degrees will age a wine much more quickly than is desirable; therefore, you should ideally store your wines between 45 and 65 degrees. We suggest keeping whites and reds at a perfect 55 degrees, whenever possible.

Expanding your collection during the Summer months can take more planning.  Wineries are leery of any extended transit time for wine shipments in warmer weather (or colder weather in Winter). We want to protect your investment and make sure our wines arrive at your doorstep safely, on time, and in good condition. So, we’ve just started offering overnight shipping for the price of regular ground shipping so that you can sip and savor, or cellar, your favorite Baer wines throughout the Summer! That means if you place an order with us any weekday before noon Pacific Time, we’ll have it to you the next day. All you have to do is fill your cart, select ground shipping, and then enter code OVERNIGHT at checkout.

Stay Consistent

If heat is wine’s first enemy, extreme and/or frequent changes in temperature are its second. Large swings in temperature have the ability to not only cook the wine but also expand and contract the liquid inside the bottle potentially causing the cork to be pushed out and leakage to ensue. To avoid this pitfall, pick a space in your home where the temperature is consistent. Humidity matters only in extreme cases. A humidifier in very dry weather conditions and a dehumidifier in very humid conditions should do the trick to keep your wine storage space safe (between 50 and 80 percent). Consistency is key, but don’t be too worried about small temperature changes.

Stay Sideways and Still

Store bottles on their side so that wine is always in contact with the cork. This technique, referred to as ‘laying down’ your wine, should keep the cork from drying out. A dry cork will shrink and can expose the wine to unwanted oxygen or other elements. Laying wine down also allows room for more wine storage (a bonus!), as well as less room for a misstep like accidentally bumping into a shelf and knocking bottles over.

It’s also important to choose a storage space where there are no significant vibrations to disturb the wine. Ideal spots to set up your wine storage area would include a cool basement, closet, or pantry.  It doesn’t need to be fancy.  If you don’t have such a place in your home and are concerned about keeping your wines at an ideal, consistent temperature, a wine fridge is a great investment, and depending on the size of your collection can also be an affordable option.

We hope this is helpful with what matters most when storing your favorite wines. If you’re anything like us, you’ve been pulling more from the cellar over the past few months and may be looking to build-up your quarantine supply. Take advantage of our Summer offer of overnight shipping for the price of ground shipping and get your Baer wines the next day. This way they’re not exposed to extreme, inconsistent temperatures in transit and you can be sipping on delicious Washington wines in no time!

Baer Wines for Special Occasions

Wine is more than a drink – it’s a story and a way of celebrating. No matter the occasion, there’s a perfect wine to pair it with. From small to big celebrations, Baer wines are crafted to make someone feel special or insert a spark of meaning into our daily lives.

For that anniversary steak dinner you’ve been planning…

It seems there’s always an anniversary to celebrate. Whether you’re the type of person who has an anniversary for every event in your life or the type who chooses to only pay attention to the big ones, our 2015 Ursa is the perfect pair for whatever you choose to eat in celebration. This velvety soft blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec will pair wonderfully with everything from a steak dinner to a decadent dessert. You won’t regret including this Baer Winery classic in your anniversary celebration.

For a special touch…

If you want to make a life event extra special, or are in search of a thoughtful gift, we also have an assortment of library wines available. So, whether you’re looking for a special bottle to celebrate a wedding, an anniversary, or a birthday, there’s a Baer wine in stock that will not only be delicious but also the perfect touch to make your special occasion even more special. It’s always fun to taste aged wines to see how they’ve held up and compare them against newer releases, you might find your palate prefers older vintages and that will become a special occasion itself! 

For the first day of summer…

We don’t know about you, but we’re looking forward to leaving the chilly, damp Seattle winter behind us and welcoming the first day of summer. What better occasion to crack open a bottle of our Shard than the summer solstice? This 2018 Chardonnay shows off the quality and purity of Washington fruit. We don’t obscure the personality of the Chardonnay with oak barrels or malolactic fermentation as it’s aged in 100% stainless steel– resulting in the perfect balance of fruity and freshness making it an outstanding pair for a hot summer’s day. 

Baer wines are made for special occasions, no matter how big or small. We love to see images of a Baer bottle being enjoyed, so don’t forget to document and tag us on Instagram when you open your next bottle of Baer wine.

Three Un-Baer-ably Cozy Fall Wine Pairings

November may be the coziest month of them all. The leaves are still falling from the trees, the weather is starting to chill just enough to break out the bonfire pit, and Thanksgiving is on the horizon. November is also a fantastic month to elevate your cooking game. Rich, warm dishes are always welcome at the end of a hard day’s work. We decided to get a head start on next week’s meal prep, so without further adieu, please enjoy these three Baer wines paired with fall dishes. Bon Appetit!

2018 Shard Paired with Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

This pairing combines crispness with richness that puts a satisfying stamp on the end of a weekday. The 2018 Shard Chardonnay is 100% unoaked as we want to respect the clean purity of the fruit and not obscure the Chardonnay’s personality with malolactic fermentation or oak barrels. The result shows great intensity with hints of apple, kiwi, and nutmeg throughout the palate and finishes with a bright minerality. These notes pair perfectly with the salty and juicy qualities of the pork tenderloin. Whether you stuff your tenderloin with mushrooms, garlic, onions, and parsley, or mozzarella cheese, spinach, and tomatoes, you’ll feel nothing but pure joy finishing your meal with a sip of Shard.

2015 Ursa Paired with Cast Iron Pizza

Next on the docket is a doughy yet crispy and, of course, cheesy cast iron pizza paired with the 2015 Ursa. Classic meets classic with this combination. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious. What’s more drool-worthy than a Washington Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec blend and pizza? Nothing! Decant our 2015 Ursa and enjoy plush, velvety tannins along with flavors of ripe black fruit that finishes with a savory quality and refreshing lift that was made to be sipped with food. You can purchase pizza dough from the store, or make your own. Then layer fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, and anything else your heart desires in a cast iron. Throw it in the oven and enjoy a couple of sips of Ursa while the pizza is baking. Voilà – another un-Baer-ably cozy pairing that will satisfy the day’s cravings.

2015 Callisto Paired with a Gouda and Fig Cheese Board

Last, but never least, is a pairing that is not partial to any time of the day, but to a feeling. Pair the 2015 Callisto with a gouda and fig cheese board for an appetizer, Sunday lunch, or even dessert. Our Callisto is made with 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot, and 1% Merlot. This blend has been a long-standing fan-favorite. Aged in French oak for 22 months, it boasts a silky mouthfeel with flavors of cassis and black cherry finishing with an outstanding richness and minerality that makes a great match for the sweeter side of gouda and figs. Present this pairing as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack, or to your friends at the next happy hour you host. Either way, you’ll have everyone asking for more.

We hope we’ve helped with a bit of the stress that comes with fall cooking. Enjoy the cozy weather, rich dishes, and elegant Baer wines. Remember, it can never be a bad meal if it’s paired with a Baer Winery wine.