January 25th, 2011 by robin in wine lifestyle
Hosting your own Wine and Chocolate Pairing at home is simple and fun if you follow some basic guidelines and keep it simple. (more…)
October 13th, 2010 by jolan in wine lifestyle
October is National Pizza Month in America, a time to celebrate our unifying devotion to pizza. From one simple dish of yeasted dough with a few toppings, we have developed a cornucopia of regional delicacies: New York’s classic flat crust with sweet tomatoes sauce and melted mozzarella, Chicago’s deep dish full of sausage and gooey cheese, California’s continually creative usage of fresh, seasonal vegetables. (more…)
Goodbye, Labor Day. Goodbye long days, warm nights, beach vacations, dinners by the pool and drinking outdoors. Welcome chilly mornings, early evenings, long sleeves and lit fireplaces. With the passing of the holiday weekend, we give a sad salute to summer and gear up for brisker weather.
But summer hasn’t given up on us yet, and I resolve to hold on to its sweet promises until I have to pull out extra quilts from the attic. To help preserve the best of what summer has left, here are a few end-of-summer wines still perfect for dinners on your patio – even if you might have to move indoors for dessert. (more…)
Sometimes, it seems, that the occasional late afternoon calls for a cocktail. Nay, craves a cocktail. This phenomenon is particularly acute in late summer, when afternoons seem hotter than what might be deemed appropriate for polite society. A wine-based cocktail, with grape juice made musky and rich with sweet vermouth, is in order. (more…)
August 30th, 2010 by jolan in wine lifestyle
Hosting a wine tasting party at home is a delightful way to enjoy time with friends and family. Wine novices and experts alike can share in the fun, as home wine tasting parties are less about strict evaluations of wines than exploring and comparing individual impressions and preferences. (more…)
Marmitako is a Spanish fish and potato stew deeply rooted in Basque cuisine. This dish is simple, hearty, and a fantastic way to travel to northern Spain without leaving your kitchen. Marmitako was originally a fisherman’s stew, as Basque fishers would cook their daily tuna catch on board fishing boats.
A touch of red wine in the recipe is not orthodox, but if you choose an earthy Spanish red wine, like Tempranillo or Garnacha, you will be richly rewarded. Marmitako has few ingredients, and a few glugs of dark red wine give a special depth of flavor to the dish. Best of all, you won’t need the whole bottle for this recipe, so you can enjoy a few glasses of Rioja while slurping in the stew from Basque Country. (more…)
Labor Day is soon approaching, and backyard barbecues don’t need to have all the fun. Picnics are another great way to soak up the last of the summer sun. An easy way to spend a holiday afternoon, picnics require little more than some cutlery, finger foods, a salad or two, and a big blanket. A few bottles of wine, kept comfortably chilled in a small cooler, give an extra special touch to your Labor Day picnic. The following are some of our favorite picnic wines, perfect for the warm September sun and the various dishes of your finger-licking picnic feast. (more…)
Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso. (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.) ~ Spanish proverb
I like this Spanish proverb very much, not in small part because it makes me think of wine. I’ll explain briefly: chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which originated in the Americas. Spaniards, as the main European colonizers of the region, brought back the beans to Spain, where to this day they are celebrated in a thick, rich, creamy drink. One could argue that colonial trade, in fact, made wine better — previously, wine and ale were the only real drinks that were potable and storable, thus without much competition. European trade with places like the Americas and Arabia, though, brought a world of new beverages into play, like tea, coffee, and voluptuously delicious hot chocolate. Wine making had to be stepped up, so to speak, if wine were still to be a contender for the table. (more…)
June 10th, 2010 by jolan in wine lifestyle
As the website’s founder Eric Orange explains in his interview with Gary Vaynerchuk, LocalWineEvents.com began as a way for places like wine shops, liquor stores, and restaurants to promote their wine events. From the everyday drinker’s side, though, the site has a wealth of information about all sorts of events going on in your region. I think it’s an especially good resource for those who live in more rural and suburban areas — the site is a virtual walk-through of the wine events that may be happening just down the street from you.
At Vintner’s Circle, we’re happy to welcome you all to our upcoming Open Houses next Wednesday, June 16th. Check out your nearest Vintner’s Circle Wine Making Shop, and join us for an evening of complimentary wine tasting as you learn more about how you can craft wines of your very own.
In honor of our recent release announcement on these exciting limited edition wines, I’d like to share a recipe specifically created for another style of seasonal wines available for just this summer. Our Twisted Mist wines (Strawberry Margarita and Mojito) are wine cocktails in and of themselves: once they are made, all you’ve got to do is chill, pour and serve.
Sometimes, though, a special occasion* may call for a few extra steps. With just a bit of slicing and stirring, you can enjoy an interesting twist on traditional sangria by making a pitcher with the Twisted Mist Mojito. The wine, with its inherent sweetness and minty flavors, is a perfect foil for fresh fruit. A little white grape juice adds a touch of sugar, while balancing some of the wine’s acidity. Sliced apple and oranges lend a complex fruitiness, and fresh lime enhances the mojito flavor. (Mojitos are made with fresh mint and lime, topped with ice, rum, simple syrup, and a splash of club soda.)
*It’s up to you to determine what constitutes a “special occasion”. Mine, for instance, was lunch.
1 bottle Twisted Mist Mojito
1 cup white grape juice
1 apple, sliced
2 oranges, sliced
1 lime, sliced
Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher, and mix well with a wooden spoon. For maximum flavor, let the sangria sit, while the fruits can release their juices. Enjoy chilled, in a big wine glass, a few hours later.