Orange Wine

Normally there is only two options when picking a wine, white or red. But an ancient technique used to make a white wine for the red wine lover’s palate is making a comeback. While technically a white, orange wine is becoming more and more popular as the common person’s taste for wine becomes more developed.                 Finding orange wine can be a real challenge though, if found it is a good idea to fill those six bottle wine carriers.  Orange wine is a great choice for parties or those that like both white and red wine because of having tannin structure similar to a red but with flavors more like a white. This bridging of the two typical wine varieties is achieved by leaving in the skins of the grapes just a little longer than typical and by oxidizing the wine a little for good measure.  Normally oxidizing wine is thought of as a bad thing, but when done in a controlled environment it can make a white wine with a tannic character and beautiful coppery color. Don’t expect to find a bottle of orange wine for cheap, but also expect the wine to live up to its price as making orange wine is a very painstaking process that is not undertaken by winemakers lightly.

Smoked Fish Pairing, Tricky

Strong flavors can be hard to deal with sometimes, smoked fish being an example of a harder flavor to pair with wine.  In fact for most pairing advice smoked fish seems like a paradox. Fish is full of delicate flavors that are typically paired with a white wine, but smoking foods almost always adds deeper notes to the fish as well as heightening the fish’s natural flavors in a way that could possibly make it too strong for some white wines to be enjoyed thoroughly in a pairing.  The chance of just a random wine from the six bottle wine totes suiting smoked fish is slim, as smoked fish is known for not working with wine well for a reason. Thanks to the great variety of smoked fish available though, there is a possibility for a match.                 The classic smoked salmon matches rather easily with a mildly dry red with light herb flavors and maybe even citrus notes.  This combination works so well because fresh wines clean the mouth between bits of fish, but salmon can stand up fairly well to a red.  More white meat fish like trout that have been smoked pair better with smoky, oaked whites like chardonnay. 

Sweet Cheeses Paired with Wine

Fruit is common at wine tastings and on cheese boards, but they are usually the only bits of sweet on a sea of savory, even when served with sweeter wines.  But just like there are sweet wines, there are sweet cheeses, but sweeter cheeses usually are not found at the normal parties’ cheese boards. This is a tragedy that seriously needs some help, because sweet wines are probably tired of being relegated automatically to being paired with cakes and other desserts. Wine naturally so it makes sense that sweet wine should be paired with similarly complicated and fruity cheese.  The complex flavors of wine are meant for equally complex flavors, so if it is too far out of the comfort zone for some to leave brie and the like off the menu, try just a simple dessert with cheese; like pears and stilton.                 This little thought about variety of pairing is a real treat to get into. More satisfying than the average piece of cake or doughnut, and with the added benefits of calcium in the cheese and antioxidants in the wine, these sweet pairings are one of the smarter ways to satisfy a dessert craving. Getting the hang of picking out the right cheeses can take some time, but there are a plethora of resources there to help.

On Freezing Wine

Frozen wine may seem like a tragedy but it is really a fast and easy way to keep wine fresh in a pinch. A partial bottle of wine can simply be stopped or recorked and put in the freezer and saved for another time.  Interestingly enough freezing wine does not damage its delicate tastes or smell. Time would harm a wine more than freezing.  The only possible chance of damaging a wine in the freezer comes from long term freezing or the bottle getting popped open or cracking from the expanding water. Even wine that may have been altered by long term freezing can still be cooked with, if drinking it doesn’t seem appealing anymore.                 Fill three bottle wine totes with care still though. Freezing cannot replace a good wine cellar for aging wine. In fact open bottles are the only ones that can be frozen. Due to water expanding as it freezes an unopened bottle could easily crack or shatter in the freezer.  Of course it is still a great way to save a partial bottle. For best results, let the wine thaw slowly over a day or so, otherwise some dissipation may occur.

The Pleasure Of Homemade Mulled Wine

                Mulling is the method of adding spices to a drink by heating it slightly and infusing it with other flavors. While cider, mead and many other beverages than wine can be mulled, they all bring to mind warmth and comfort. Mulled wine is very popular in colder climates because of this warming characteristic. But mulled wine isn’t just one drink; there are as many varieties of mulled wine as there are varieties of wine.                  In fact picking the right spices to go into mulled wine takes some thought. Different wines will make distinctive mulled wines if made with spices that suit the wine.  For example a strong red benefits from the perk of citrus, in particular orange. But each wine will have unique tastes that could benefit from the addition of unconventional spices like rosemary or anise or even sugar. Two bottle wine totes seem to be more filled with more warmth already than the refreshing roses of the summer. But even more warmth and holiday feeling can be found in a good mulled wine. But always remember that it is better to steep the spices in the wine for a long time than heat the wine too much.

To Mix or Not, On Combining Wines

While it may not seem like a big deal to the average person with only a half class of one bottle left and a want for a glass of wine. Pouring the remainder of that bottle in with a little of the new bottle though can actually be seen as an insult to winemakers and even devout wine drinkers. This is not to say that it is a bad habit, just be aware that not everyone will want to drink mixed wine and that the mixing may not always turn out good.                  A wine is already a delicate balance of so many compounds that mixing it with another wine is really a roll of the dice.  If two flavors or compounds clash with each other or if the two wines have high levels of one flavor, the result will take on a very unpleasant unbalance.  There is a place for wine cocktails, a good mix can be perfect for parties, but make sure to let guests know that it is not all of the same wine. It would be a disappointment to a guest to ask what the wine was and have to look through three bottle wine carriers

Wine Vacations and Extras

Going on a vacation to a wine region is not only a great lesson in what goes into making wine, but a great way to taste new wines. Of course though a whole vacation based on that would mean that a good deal of the beauty and entertainment in the wine region would just get passed over. Incorporating other activities into a wine tour is easy because many wine regions also have rich histories or pristine natural beauty to lure visitors away from the grape plants.                  The Loire Valley of France has a great history of being one of the biggest wine producing regions of France, but most of its tourists are more interested in the castles that are scattered along the Loire river and surrounding valley. Finding a nearby castle when on a vacation to Loire’s winemakers could even inspire the wine enthusiast. Some of the wine cellars in the castles are the stuff of stories. And even if making a wine cellar is not an option, maybe wine accessories as reminders of the style and natural beauty that is the Loire valley. Adding other activities makes for a more well-rounded vacation full of memories of all kinds. 

Pork Loin in White Wine

There is something about cold weather that makes well cooked pork tenderloin even more enjoyable.  But getting a pork loin to its tender and still juicy perfection can seem like more work than a simple weeknight meal is usually worth.  Really though, a succulent pork loin can be just as easy as any other imaginable meal. All that is needed is some crisp white wine, a pork loin, seasonings of choice and a couple of varieties of vegetables.                  Start by browning the pork in a pan with the seasonings, just enough to keep the juices sealed in when it is cooking. In an oven pan add a little bit of oil and a cup and a half of the white wine. Thinly slice some onions if desired and add them to the pan with the pork. Cover all this foil and put in the oven on a low setting. Every now and then check the pork and pour some of the juice at the bottom the pan on it, adding the vegetables during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. The wine helps make for a succulent and tender cut every time.  Serve the meal with the remaining white wine showcased with wine accessories; it is after all, the star this meal.

Intro To Entertaining

Entertaining guests can be hard for those that do not cook often, knowing the way around a kitchen can be faked though by following a simple plan.  Keeping things simple make even a novice at entertaining seem more cool and collected when the guests arrive. Honestly, seeming to have things under control is one of the keys to being a successful host.                  Keep things simple and remember to remain calm with guests around to give off the air of a great host and the perfect party. Wither for a full meal or as part of a more snack buffet or tapas style get together, take advantage of roasting for easy and delicious sides. Roasted potato wedges are a classic, but just as easy as roasted pumpkin or sweet potato fries. Coat the desired vegetable in oil, salt and pepper and leave to roast; it’s as simple as that. Given all the extra time now available it will be easier to handle accidents or other mishaps, like realizing all the wine left in the three bottle wine bags is red and everyone wants more of the white. Holiday season is just around the corner so this is a great time to get the hang of having the best dinner parties possible. 

The Late Summer Flavors

The blazing heat that is ever present in the middle of summer is slowly loosening its grip to make way for calm and sweet autumn. It makes sense that tastes for wine will change according to the seasons a bit, similar to the way watermelon is great in the summer but as the heat fades something more like apples sound good. Look for wines with flavors more like apple, spice, and earthiness to make fall seem all the closer. Or hang on to summer for a little longer with fruitier wines, just let them be a little deeper of a flavor to still hit the spot; think of something like a red with earthy dark berry flavors or a buttery and lemon accented white.                 Easing in the coming fall makes the change feel even more welcomed and exciting; even more so if the change in wine selection accompanies a shift in food. Finally again allowing nut crusted cheeses to go on the cheese boards makes the scorching days of summer fade into the past. Since it is easy to get tired of the ever present heat, welcoming autumn seems like an almost necessary celebration to some; so go with it and enjoy.

Football Season

Football season is upon its fans, some of who happen to also enjoy wine better than the more traditional beer when watching the game. But a lot of tailgating and game day food can be a challenge to pair with wine. Since it is a rare football fan that doesn’t like buffalo wings or chips it makes more sense to think of a wine that goes with them to forgo the tempting snacks for a favorite drink. Pick the snack that has the most appeal and try the corresponding wine, they are some great matches out there.                 Fans of both mild buffalo wings and nachos should try chardonnay. Not only does it compliment the chicken but it can cut through the cheese of nachos. For potato chip fans a slightly dry red of any kind cleans the mouth nicely, leaving no greasy chip aftertaste. Of course there is always the option of breaking open the champagne even before the home team has won, call it wishful thinking or simply champagne pairs great with almost anything. But a real easy way to keep football wine fans happy is just to fill the glasses and cheese board sets.

The Work of Making Wine Exceptional

There is a good deal of work that goes into making any bottle of wine. From the bargain to luxurious there are a plethora of expenditures of time and effort for the vintners. But what is it that makes extraordinary wine makers? They take special care to produce the best possible wine from the grapes given.  The lengths they can go to can be rather great too. It is master vintners who know to do things like carefully inspect all grapes coming in but still ensuring not to pop any, determine if a batch needs more fermentation or maceration. Some of these terms can be confusing to someone that only gets to enjoy the finished product, but to someone who makes a living filling crystal wine decanters it is life.                  While the work that goes into making wine can be demanding, tiring and even dirty; all of it is done for the sake of the finished wine. All of the grapes coming in to be used need to be picked over carefully for bugs or sour little grapes that would ultimately ruin the wine they ended up in. This is just a sampling of the work gone into a good glass of wine though, something to think about before balking at a high priced bottle.

Essential Tools

Even the only occasional wine drinkers require a few wine accessories to enjoy a glass of wine. While a growing number of bottles are screwcaps, corks are still widely used; so at the very least a wine glass, corkscrew and stopper are needed.  Rather than think of these tools as a necessary evil, think of how they can enhance the experience of popping open a bottle of wine and relax.  Wine tools can make a huge difference in how enjoyable wine actually is. A good corkscrew makes opening a bottle less of a battle and more like opening any other bottle or jar in the kitchen. Find a corkscrew with a good handle to give the best grip.  Another good tool to have for a wine fan is a bottle stopper. It is illogical to expect a bottle of wine to not need put in the fridge; even with company there is always part of a bottle left when the night is over. This is where it is a good idea to have a stopper; otherwise any leftover wine at the end of the day is basically trash.  Don’t waste good wine, put a stopper in it.  This keeps the wine fresh longer in the refrigerator.  Appreciating wine tools just got easier.

Balancing Act

Studies have shown over and over again that low to moderate wine consumption leads to lower weight gain as one ages, but exactly why remains a bit of a mystery. It is believed to be a combination of factors that the right balance has to be achieved to benefit fully from them.  These factors include the antioxidants in the wine, red wine’s ability to inhibit sugar to fat conversion and the fact that wine drinkers may have a healthier overall diet than drinkers of other things and nondrinkers on average.                 Of course this is all scientific speculation but it never hurts to go with what science is pointing to as a good idea. After all gaining weight can lead all sorts of health problems.  And if staying away from these problems recommends that a glass of wine now and again is a good thing, who is a wine lover to tell science no? Of course it would also involve eating healthy still and only enjoying the reasonable amount of wine.  Oddly enough the low to moderate wine drinkers were the healthiest group, not the nondrinkers. This contrasts somewhat with the traditional knowledge that alcohol directly leads to weight gain. So give wine gifts and embrace the food and drink loving crowd that are wine enthusiasts by using those two bottle wine bags.

Wine, Tomatoes and Sunscreen

What does a glass of red wine have in common with a ripe tomato? Just the color red? What about to a bottle of sunscreen? Well funnily enough all three have something very amazing in common that only the sunscreen is known for, protect skin from the sun. Of course the sunscreen is the only one put right on the skin, compounds found in red wine and tomatoes can protect skin from the inside by making it less easily damaged by UV rays. These flavonoids have been found to significantly help skin repair itself from the damage that sun causes and even fortifies the skin against future burns and damage.  While these are also found in quality chocolate and some other vegetables, they are highest in red wine and tomatoes. This means that pasta with tomato sauce and a glass of red wine for dinner is more than a great simple meal, it is like extra sunscreen. While the effects may be subtle, the studies show that continued consumption of the compounds can have dramatic results over the years. Filling those three bottle wine totes regularly could actually fight the aging process. Sun damage causes its color, wrinkles, and spots by destroying cells on the skin surface but red wine can help increase healthy blood flow to the skin and deliver flavonoids to the skin for better healing and protection.

Pairing with Childhood Favorites

There are foods that everyone associates with the happy moments of childhood.  Macaroni and cheese is the perfect food to any five year old, but could an adult love it as part of a sophisticated meal with friends and wine?  Well of course it can.  Wine can pair with the hot, gooey pasta dish just as easily as it pairs with well, cheese. After all, cheese and wine is the most classic combination.  Take into account though that good wine will make cheap mac-n-cheese taste just that. For best results in transforming this kid favorite meal into a nostalgic adult one, it is best to make the pasta dish homemade. This gives more control over the cheeses and keeps out any preservatives that could give an off taste when paired with wine.                  Modern cuisine is in love with grown-up versions of these classic kid dishes too. Some restaurants are even serving mac-n-cheese but with things like crumbled bacon and bits of green onion in them for a more complex flavor. Take a clue from the hot chefs of the day and reinvent a nostalgic food but with touches for the more discerning palette. Next pair them with wine decanters of simply bright wine that also has subtle hints of more complex things, it makes for a close and casual feel at dinner parties without seeming too laid back.

Oysters For the 4th

Something for those tired of the usual, here is a great unique idea for Independence Day food; fried oyster sliders. Crispy fry good sized oysters and put them on little hot rolls or petite hamburger buns along with sharp tasting condiments like pickled onion or lime juice for contrast. To get the oysters extra crisp, make sure that they are dry before putting on the flour and cornstarch coating. Also dredging them in only egg whites instead of whole eggs keeps the food from absorbing as much of the oil that gives frying its bad name.  These adorable little sandwiches pair quite nicely too with the wine of summer, juicy and fruity rose wine.                  The oysters go with the rose because the saltiness of the sandwiches perks up the fruits in the rose, just like people who like to put a little salt on their slice of watermelon. Also the myth about oysters not being good in summer is a thing of the past, making this unusual 4th of July meal a good new tradition. Oysters can now be produced in more controlled conditions, making them good quality all year round. So break out the wine accessories this 4th instead of the beer bottle opener for a more sophisticated holiday.

Romantic July

Strangely enough July is the best month for women who want some romantic time with their male counterpart, but not the best time for the men, and making everyone happy can be as simple as a bottle of red wine. This is because studies show that men crave more attention and affection during this month, for some unclear reason they are more emotionally frail during this month. But this is not to say that they are being sad on purpose, there are many reasons that could cause this dip in happy hormones. Luckily females don’t have the same issue during any particular month, so they can hold their man when he needs it. And making a guy happier may be as simple as filling some wine glasses and having a romantic evening.                 He may not know he is craving it, but trust the science behind it and have a romantic night with some wine and cuddling. Of course also for those females without a steady guy, this may also be a good month to find someone with similar tastes in wine and fun. Guys wanting that extra affection will love going on sweet dates in the summer sun.

Independance Wine

Independence Day is a huge holiday in the US and it coming up quickly, but a common problem for the American wine lover is what wine pairs well with the traditional American classics that are served on the 4th of July.  Things like hot dogs are hard to pair with wine, but sometimes the normal pairing of beer is not what a devout wine lover, or someone that cannot have beer for other reasons.                 The classic 4th of July menu can a veritable wine pairing challenge with grilled meats, creamy potato salad and sweet watermelon. Some good wine to go with meat dishes like hot dogs and hamburgers are sharp reds or crisp whites that can cut through the grease of it but these wine choices would completely overpower a slice of watermelon. A better choice for juicy watermelon would be a rose or white with a bit of tart but a generally easygoing note. Pick a variety of wine to go in four bottle wine carriers so that people can pick the wine that works with what they want to eat. The addition of some good wine can really make for a happy 4th of July holiday for everyone.

Muscato Dreams

Muscat is a variety of wild grape that is becoming very popular with wine lovers because it makes a wonderful wine.  One of the striking differences between muscato wine and more typical wine made with long cultivated grapes is the aromatic difference. Muscato is a the Italian name for wine made with this variety of wild grape which grows quite well in warmer climates like the southern US and California. Of course muscato didn’t really take off a trend in the US for a long time. It still is a small market even though muscato is a great fruity white wine not known for having a big price attached to it. While some dry versions exist, most moscato is fruity and sweet. Even six bottle wine bags though cannot capture all of the different faces of this fruit filled wine has a quality to it that non-wild grapes just cannot capture.                 The growing popularity of muscato wine is good news for people looking for something new. The almost wild taste of the wine is so alluring that often those, who try it, can’t get enough of it. Muscato wine also pairs very well with game animals and desserts alike.  This versatile wine deserves its growing reputation.