It's quite possibly the perfect accompainment to summer "chain gang" duties in the yard, fresh fish, Asian cuisine or even Sunday morning fruit salads.
Prohibition shook America’s foundation. It turned men into mobsters, drove ladies to lawlessness and transformed bootleggers into heroes. Big House wines are inspired by these bootleggers who helped bring Prohibition to an end and paid their dues in the Big House. Established in 1990 in Monterey County California, Big House Wine Co. receives its namesake due to the close proximity to the Soledad Correctional Facility, A.K.A. “The Big House.” Their wines are crafted to deliver a fruit-forward style with an unrestrained full-mouth character that is big, bold and unapologetic. Just like their wines, the bootleggers of the roaring ’20s had big personalities, bold character and a rebellious spirit. And now, nearly a century after the start of the Prohibition Era, Big House Wine Co. pays homage to the giants of the era with wines that live up to their legend.
Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredible range of red wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. California wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce red wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California wine has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.