I am a lucky, lucky girl.
I get to travel, I have great friends, I work with GREAT brands. Take for example, Cameron Hughes Wines.
I was introduced to Cameron Hughes Wine a little over a year ago, and we teamed up to host a wine dinner in Atlanta last May. This year, we went a little bigger, a little brighter, and a lot higher…high above the Seattle Skyline.
Last Friday night, after the sun had set and the lights of the city offered a breathtaking view, Paula of Bellalimento and I hosted a group of fantastic bloggers and friends for an evening of great food and wine. Cameron Hughes Wine, of course.
Now, I am not a wine snob. I don’t know the difference between a high dollar bottle and one I can actually afford to drink. But here is what I DO know. I LOVE this wine. I don’t care what it costs, it tastes amazing. And lucky for me, it’s truly affordable…my favorite was only $14 a bottle. Not a typo!
I fell head over heels for Lot 311, the 2011 Moscato d’Asti. Oh, sweet Lord have mercy. I secretly didn’t want to share it with my guests, instead, I wanted to hide it away in my bedroom and drink it in the dark, away from watchful eyes.
I almost did, but that would have been rude. And maybe kind of creepy.
So I shared it. But it wasn’t easy.
According to Cameron, the owner of Cameron Hughes Wines, this Moscato is the best he’s ever tasted!
After a few years of fruitless searching, we finally came up with a terrific Moscato producer last spring to regale us with the delicious and ridiculously popular Lot 228 Moscato (which sold out in a flash). The good news is we are back with the 2011 version from the same producer. Yes, that’s right, 2011. Moscato is the earliest ripening varietal in Europe typically picked sometime mid to late-August, but this year, the grapes ripened quickly and were picked early in August and went into the bottle in October – a bit like Beaujolais Nouveau, but better. Lot 311 2011 Moscato D’Asti is the real deal and every bit as good as last year’s wine.
I was also a huge fan of the Lot 359 2011 Columbia Valley Riesling/Chenin Blanc. It was actually the first to go, and was a huge group favorite. With good reason! Sweet, perfect for after dinner – and we certainly did eat! Fantastic salame from Creminelli, cheeses from Kerrygold, Lindsay Olives, and of course, desserts! We had some fantastic ScharffenBerger souffles that Julie made (with spices from McCormick) that were to die for. This Riesling really fit the bill with that dessert, and in between snacking as it was a great palate cleanser.
Sam Spencer, Cameron Hughes Wine’s winemaker, blends in a generous amount of Chenin Blanc to finish out an already wonderful Riesling. This balances the acid and sugar of the Riesling while filling the nose with some savory fruit. This wine makes a great Summer-time sipper and is a true crowd-pleaser. It’s priced for everyday drinking and perfect for parties, and is only $11 a bottle.
Another popular one was the Lot 330 2010 Arroyo Seco Monterey County Chardonnay. Cam tweeted to us that “ladies love the 330!”, and boy was he right. Not as sweet as the other two (I prefer sweet, but that’s just me), it was great with the cheeses, and offered a lot of vanilla and tropical flavors. More alcohol by content, so this one was a favorite with those in the group more accustomed to drinking wines. I think I need to build up to it! (A gal has got to have a goal!)
Lot 330 2010 Arroyo Seco Chardonnay is a continuation of the 2009 Arroyo Seco program that was probably the fastest selling wine we have ever brought to the table. What I love about Arroyo Seco (located in Monterey County in the Central Coast area) is the combination of tropical fruit and killer acidity, a feature of the cool, maritime-influenced climate. Lot 330 Chardonnay is barrel fermented in 70% new American oak. If you liked our previous Arroyo Seco releases you will love Lot 330.
o Cameron Hughes Wine is run by a dynamic hubby-wife duo: Cam and Jess! Questions? Cam tweets! I’ve asked him lots of questions, especially while in the ordering process…and he jumped right in with suggestions for me! That’s an AMAZING level of customer service.
o They are passionate about providing absolutely fantastic wine at affordable prices – and take the wine jargon out of it making it easy to order what you LOVE! They do this by providing an assortment of wine varietals from all over the world: because they don’t actually own a vineyard or winery, they’re not tied to any land! Instead, Cam samples wine from ALL over the world providing the best wines at amazing values (everything – I mean EVERYTHING – we tried last week was less than $20!!).
o As an American negociant (a popular European practice – oooh la la!), Cameron makes, imports and distributes ultra-premium wine (read: HIGH-END!!) under his five wine brands: The Lot Series, The Flying Winemaker, Hughes Wellman, Frunza, and Zin Your Face. The wines are nationally distributed and carried in chains, grocery, broad market, on-premise and online at our vertically integrated Web store, chwine.com.
Cameron Hughes provides the largest variety of high-end wines than anyone in the business! Their portfolio includes ultra-premium wine from California, Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, Chile and more.They are passionate about bringing the highest quality to wine lovers for a great value. They provide customers with a superb online catalog of our offerings along with tasting notes, videos, awards and more. The best way to know what they have available is to be part of their email list or to follow/like them on Twitter and Facebook. They are there!
Cameron Hughes Wine is available nationwide at Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods, Cost Plus World Markets, Safeway, Ralphs, Albertsons, HEB, Kroger and more. It’s also available online at www.chwine.com.
PLUS, GREAT NEWS! Enter "DOUGH" at the end of your order on chwine.com, and you’ll get 10% off through June 30! Another great thing? Follow @chwine on Twitter and/or Facebook for a chance to win $50 to spend on their wine!
Here are a few photos from the night – too fun not to share!
Thanks to Creminelli, Kerrygold, Lindsay Olives, Villeroy & Boch, Le Creuset, Dixie Crystals, Microsoft Office & Windows, Bob’s Red Mill, and Scharffen Berger for helping to make this a fantastic night! And a HUGE Thank You to KitchenAid, who gave away a STUNNING Wine Fridge!