Livin La Vida Campo Viejo: How to Throw an Al Fresco Wine & Cheese Soiree

We all know wine and cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly, two peas in a pod, and mac and cheese. With endless options in the wine aisle, which wine to choose? They say never judge a book by its cover and just because a wine label may look cutesy doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll taste as good. Especially when it comes to get-togethers, parties, and soirees – what do you serve that will taste good without breaking the bank? …but you also don’t want to seem cheap. It’s a lot of conflicting criteria to meet at once. Therefore, without further ado, I’ve recently been on a bit of a Rioja rampage.

Pair it with some nummy nosh and you’ve got yourself a lil party! Whether it’s an intimate wine Wednesday, dinner and dessert pairing, or a decked out cocktail party, you’ve found yourself your new entertaining counterpart. Regardless of the season or the weather, ’tis the time to celebrate with some wino. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Campo Viejo wine (bottles on bottles of it – red is my personal fave)
  • Your fave cheese (brie, gouda, pepper jack, cheddar, etc.)
  • Bundles of black, green, and purple grapes
  • Your fave crackers and chips
  • Fresh veggies and fruits – from sugar snap peas to pineapples and strawberries
  • Turkey rollups, pickles, olives
  • Raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.

In all honesty, there’s nothing quite as nourishing, soulfully, emotionally, intellectually, culinarily, all the -ly’s — as eating and drinking with loved ones. For some, it’s a no-brainer and for others like myself, bringing wine to a dinner party can be like rocket science due to all the conflicting requirements mentioned before but it doesn’t need to be an anxiety-inducing experience.

I find Rioja to not only be an insane crowd-pleaser, but moreover, impressive and age-worthy. What’s the catch here? Funny enough, no catch. Surprise, surprise. You’re getting all this for much $$$ than you’d ever pay for a wine from a similar “Top 5” wine region like Bordeaux, Napa, or Barolo. Despite the fact that there are definitely some wallet-bustin’ Rioja bottles out there, there are still a good number of producers making great wine and selling it at prices much lower than what you’d assume to pay for the quality. Spoiler alert: Great wine isn’t always necessarily pricey!

The Campo Viejo Reserva’s bottle is instantly recognizable to anyone who’s spent any amount of time at all in the grocery store with its renowned label. Sure that may mean it’s made by a large company, which also means it may not have as much character as your more quirky, kitschy boutique Rioja options but that doesn’t mean it needs to be overlooked.

Drinking this wine in particular is like hanging out with that friend you know you will always have a good time with. Evidently, you’ll be left wanting more. That’s because just like that one friend, there’s something here for everyone to admire and cherish. It’s got ripe fruit that tastes like biting into a perfectly-ripe, juicy peach, and there’s also a nice, spicy note that gives this wine depth and character.

It’s not your funniest friend, or your smartest friend, or your most beautiful friend. But it’s that friend who you always end up inviting to dinner parties because they have something to say to everyone. They are that crucial lubrication that a perfect dinner needs so all the sparkly other guests can shine.

And like that easygoing friend, it’s not high-maintenance at all. You can probably find a bottle for a cool $12 buckaroos.

While you sip on all of that, sip on some more – here’s a lil quick snippet history about the wino – Spain’s renowned wine-growing region, Rioja is also noted as the home sweet home of Tempranillo grape. Rioja embodies an extended tradition of winemaking that roots all the way back to the Roman Empire, talk about major throwback.

These immense knowledge and experiences have been cultivated and handed down through generations of local winemakers. As a result, we get to shamelessly indulge in the the richness and diversity of the land, aka sip on the final product and pair it with some of our favorite nibbles and treats.

To make the most of Rioja’s signature grape, we grow and harvest Tempranillo under three subtly different climates. The conditions in Rioja Alta are ideal and generate light flavours. The fruit that comes from the harsher environment in Rioja Alavesa brings about full-bodied flavours. On the other hand, the warm, dry atmosphere in Rioja Baja produces rich, deep flavours. When combined, they create the true taste of Rioja.

Campo Viejo has committed to the nittiest grittiest of quality standards in order preserve their lands for future generations to sip and enjoy. From the vine to the bottle, Campo Viejo swears by sustainable winemaking practices. Its winery is also seamlessly integrated with the environment to minimize its impact all while creating vibrant, colourful wines that are a true expression of Rioja’s Tempranillo. Cheers! xoxo


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