If you’ve got somebody on your holiday gift list that loves both country music and wine, well, then you’re hanging out with good people! And if you are seeking a nice present that covers both of those bases, check out the wines from Arrington Vineyards. Most locals know Arrington as a great venue to while away an afternoon on the rolling hills of country music legend Kix Brooks’ estate about a half hour south of downtown Nashville. It’s a lovely spot to pack a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoy a bottle of Arrington wine while you stretch out on a blanket, or you can purchase some fine chocolates and cheeses from the winery gift shop to nosh on while you relax.
Beyond the scenery, though, Arrington Vineyards makes some really solid wine that is excellent for gift giving during the holidays or throughout the year. When Kix first opened the estate in 2007 along with winemaker Kip Summers, the wines were admittedly a little immature and depended more on sweet fruit flavors than the drier, more complex character that separates great wines from the rest of the pack. Over the years, both the grapevines and the wine-making has matured to the point where Arrington has won numerous awards for their vintages. Production has increased to the point where they can now support a “Kix’s Wine Club” offering which wine to thousands of club members in 44 states from California to Maine.
Tennessee isn’t the easiest place to grow grapes, but the winemakers at AV have managed to grow some fine vines of varietals that best handle the temperature extremes of local summers and winters. The 95-acre property includes 17 acres of vineyards planted with Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Corot Noir and Vignoles, and they source other grapes and juice from growers in Tennessee and other states.
At any given time, Arrington Vineyards offers as many as two dozen different wines for purchase from them website or at their gift shop. They are also available in restaurants and wine shops around the region. Here are some of the best for your gift giving consideration:
For fans of bubbles, AV offers two winners, their 2017 Sparkle and 2017 Sparkle! Rosé. The white version is bone-dry and is a perfect match for creamy cheeses. The lovely pale pink Rosé is more floral and features a crisp acidity and red fruit character that makes it an ideal apéritif before a special meal.
While AV has become more focused on dry wines through the years, they still have some great offerings for those who prefer a little sweetness in their vino. For straight-up fruit wines, Arrington’s Blackberry and Raspberry wines taste like cobbler in a glass, but if you are looking for a more traditional grape-based wine that still exhibits a sweeter flavor profile than dry wines, Scarlet NV is a smart choice. The “NV” stands for “non-vintage,” meaning that the wine can be made from a blend of grapes harvested in different seasons. Scarlet is made like a rosé but with a higher residual sugar and extra skin contact to allow for a deeper color. It’s a fantastic picnic wine!
Moving to the drier end of the spectrum, Arrington offers some excellent choices that exhibit more of the complexity to tannins that many wine drinkers prefer. Their Red Fox Red is primarily made using Sangiovese grapes, the same type that might be in your favorite Italian Chianti. So this wine that’s not too fussy to pour with a good pizza. (Or even a frozen pizza!) More sophisticated is AV’s 2015 Antebellum Red, a blend of estate-grown Chambourcin plus four other red grapes sourced from other Tennessee and California vineyards. After a year in French oak barrels, Antebellum is finished for another nine months in used Tennessee whiskey casks which contribute a lovely sweet vanilla character to the wine. This would be an ideal choice for that person on your wish list that loves both wine and whiskey.
If you’re looking to impress your boss or someone else on your list, consider picking up a bottle of Kix’s signature private reserve series that he releases under the “KB” label. KB 511 is an award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon that measure up to the best cabs of California. At $99.99 per bottle, you’ll want to save this for a special occasion to serve with a dry-aged steak or other rich foods. KB 612 is a little more affordable at ten bucks less a bottle, and this Bordeaux blend isn’t quite as tannic as 511, making it more of an everyday drinker. You could also store it in the cellar for a few more years to reveal the complexities that are still developing in the bottle. But, really, who’s got that kind of patience?
We always encourage you to buy local when doing your holiday shopping, so keep Arrington Vineyards in mind before you head out to brave the malls this year!