Rubicon Estate “Rubicon” Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Rutherford, California), $150: Film director Francis Ford Coppola is acclaimed for his myriad movies, but did you know he makes wine too? His Rubicon Estate uses organically farmed grapes to create highly rated and award-winning wines. The flagship “Rubicon” vintage is elegant and luscious with dark fruit flavors and velvety tannins.
Mumm Napa “Santana Brut” NV (Napa, California), $45: Incredible guitar riffs are not all Carlos Santana is known for. He teamed up with Mumm Napa to create this elegant sparkling wine in which flavors of honeysuckle, vanilla, and hazelnut blend in perfect harmony. A portion of the brut’s sales are donated to Santana’s charity, Milagro Foundation, benefiting underprivileged children.
Chiarello Family Vineyards “Bambino” Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (Napa Valley, California), $44: Chef, author, and farmer are just a few of talented and passionate Michael Chiarello’s titles. His family-owned vineyards are sustainably farmed, and this attention to detail is shown in the wines. The “Bambino” is one of Chiarello’s highest rated wines with flavors of spicy plum and black currant.
Jeff Gordon Carneros Chardonnay 2008 (Calistoga, California), $37: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and master wine-maker Joe Briggs have paired up to create the acclaimed “Jeff Gordon Collection” wine series. The chardonnay has flavors of green apple and caramel and is versatile for pairing with a cheese course as well as fish and chicken.
Blenheim Vineyards “Painted Red” 2009 (Charlottesville, VA), $30: Singer-songwriter Dave Matthews’ Blenheim Farm is an historical landmark in Virginia founded in the late 1700s. Today, the estate uses modern farming methods to keep the vineyard as environmentally friendly as possible. “Painted Red” is warming with flavors of cinnamon, blackberry jam, and soft tannins.