Video: 5 Hidden Gems of Wine w/ Ripe Life Wines’ Mary McAuley

Wine is never out of style – just ask Mary McAuley, the founder of Ripe Life Wines.

As a culinary school graduate and a sommelier, Mary is obsessed with entertaining. It was only fitting that she create “occasional wines” so that diners (including novice and expert wine drinkers) didn’t have to guess which wines to pair with their meals. Thank you, Mary.

Here are some of her insights!

Sparkling Reds

When we think of sparkling wine – you guessed it – white wine comes to mind. But sparkling red provides flavor and tannin (that come from red carieties) while often served cold. The most popular foods to pair it with are party foods: pizza, burgers, and Italian party classics – anything you’d eat while sipping a cherry soda.

Un-oaked Chardonnays

Mary credits chardonnay’s smoky, oaky flavors as the reason most dislike this white wine. Cheap yeasts (to save money), destroys many American Chardonnays. Mary’s Chardonnay, Ripe Life Wines’ Clambake Chardonnay, which was released in July 2013, is unlike most other buttery chards. It uses natural yeast, which is lemony, crisp, citrus-y, and unoaked. It is best served with sweet clawmeat, meaty steamers, and rich buttery new potatoes of a traditional clambake. It’s available in New York and New England.

American Rosés

In September 2014, Ripe Life Wines premiered its Clambake Limited Edition Rosé, which is 100% single-vineyard Syrah. With wild strawberry, Bing cherry and orange peel flavors, it involves herbs with a long white pepper finish. Americans produced not-so-great rosés in the 1970s and 1980s that were jammy and syrupy – but these are made to be light and crisp. French rosés are a peachy, light pink or light red color, while US grapes are bolder.

Pedro Xmineth (PX) Sherry

Dessert is always welcomed at ForknPlate – wine too. So, a dessert wine? Sign us up. The sweet sherry tastes like liquid dates, cadied walnuts and raisins – smooth, rich, and sophisticated. Paired with a chocolate cake or blue cheese – it never goes bad. And forget sprinkles and chocolate chips, you can pour it over ice cream as a topping. Yum.

Spanish Vermouth

Spain didn’t export its vermouth to the US until 2009, but better late than never. Wine fortified with alcohol and herbs creates vermouth. The Spanish add a little pit of sugar to their variety (compared to the Italians). It can be sipped by itself over ice or with a splash of club soda.

Let us know if you try any!

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Hilary Sheinbaum is a University of Florida graduate and Writer/Reporter/Blogger/Person.

Hilary has contributed to dozens of publications including USA TODAY, Marie Claire magazine, ELLE.com, The Village Voice, amNew York and MensFitness.com. She writes about entertainment, food and beverage, love/dating and beauty.

She has been featured on FOX News, HuffPo Live, PIX11 News, StyleBlazer.com and People.com as a Lifestyle and Entertainment Expert.

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