June 21st, 2011 by jolan in wine tips
If you are like most people then everything goes into the dishwasher, including wine glasses. Proper stemware care protects the tastes of your wine. (more…)
June 14th, 2010 by jolan in wine tips
While there is a broad range of recommended temperatures, with certain wines falling along the spectrum, the general rule is: white wines are best served chilled, and red wines are best served slightly below room temperature. (more…)
Ah, St. Patty’s Day. Green beer and corned beef and overcooked cabbage. Really gets the stomach rumbling, right?
Actually, boiled suppers are as much of our American culinary history as our collectivized Irish roots. The traditional boiled dinner, essentially a big pot of beef or pork with root vegetables covered in water and slowly cooked until tender and hot, has been a mainstay on the shores of New England since the English first set up their seaside villages. The idea of the dish is simple: a nutritious and economical way to use last season’s meat with this season’s vegetables. (more…)
To decant, or not to decant? What is decanting, anyway? That’s the real question.
Technically speaking, decanting is the process of separating mixtures; this is usually a solid from a liquid (like the sediments that stay in a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon after you’ve poured the out the wine), but can also be separating liquids from one another (like separating the oil and water, which are both extracted out of olives, when making olive oil).
In the world of wine, though, decanting often goes beyond simply leaving sediment at the bottom of the bottle. To think of decanting in fine restaurants conjures up the image of the sommelier in a tuxedo, holding a bottle of Burgundy over a candle, as he carefully pours the wine into something shaped like a crystal flower vase. (more…)
Chocolate and wine are simply fantastic together! If done right you can create the perfect ending to a romantic dinner.
Traditionally, the rule of thumb when pairing wine with chocolate is to always pick a wine as sweet as the chocolate. For this reason, dessert wines such as ruby ports, tawny ports, and ice wines are often the easy choice. Ruby ports are ports that are red in color. They tend to have strong cherry flavors and therefore can be paired well with chocolate covered cherries. A tawny port has a golden color due to being exposed to extended aging and oxidation in wood barrels. They tend to have caramel flavors and so should be coupled with caramels or caramel filled treats. Ice wine, which is a sweet dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine, is a great match for fans of white chocolate, which has a mellow buttery flavor.
So what if you are amongst the group of people who are not fans of dessert wines, but rather love a wonderful dry red wine? The sugary nature of many forms of chocolate can be a nemesis of dry red wines, creating a sour effect. Dark bittersweet chocolate, however, is a glorious companion to a rich red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Old Vine Zinfandel. The fuller the fruit flavor of the wine the better.
For the fans of sparkling wine or champagne, try a dark liquor filled chocolate or chocolate covered strawberries.
Regardless of your wine preference, there is an ideal mouthful of chocolate waiting for the right wine to create your perfect aphrodisiac. Enjoy!
December 23rd, 2008 by David in wine tips
Your taste buds and sense of smell work together. Developing the skill of wine tasting takes practice. The more wine you taste, the better you become with this sensory process.
Try tasting your wine as soon as you open it. Note the flavors and aromas. Then decant the wine and let it rest for a short period. Try tasting it again and note any differences.
Follow These Steps:
The sweetness of a wine is defined by the level of residual sugar in the final wine after the fermentation process has ceased. However, how sweet the wine will actually taste is also controlled by factors such as the acidity and alcohol levels, the amount of tannin present, and whether the wine is sparkling. A sweet wine can actually taste dry due to the high level of acidity, or a dry wine can taste sweet if the alcohol level is elevated.
Young wines taste sweeter than aged wines. The powerful bouquet of fruit in young wines causes your sense of smell to overpower your sense of taste, and tricks your senses to believe the wine tastes sweeter than it is. People who don’t like the dry tannic taste of heavily oaked red wines often like the taste of lightly oaked young red wine.
Several methods have been used throughout history to sweeten wine. The most common way to sweeten wine was to harvest the grapes as late as possible. This method is used today to create “ice wines”, and was first advocated in Roman times. Early Greeks would harvest the grapes early, to preserve some of their acidity, and then leave the grapes in the sun for a few days to shrivel and concentrate the sugars.
Stopping the fermentation early also enhances a wine’s potential sweetness, but is very difficult to do. Wine can also be sweetened by the addition of sugar in some form after the fermentation has completed.
November 18th, 2008 by David in wine tips
The goal of wine storage is to prevent wines from going bad while you wait to drink them. Here are a few tips that should help store and age your wine: