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.
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.
Having some guests over and wanting to serve some wine with a cheese platter is actually a bit of a task. A typical cheese platter has a combination of cheeses, fruit and crackers on it and all are supposed to pair with the wines being served. But this is a great undertaking for something that is thought of as an appetizer or mere edible decoration. Make things simpler by picking between three to five cheeses that, rather than pairing with the wine being served, span the spectrum of cheeses. This means having a slightly soft cheese, a smoky cheese, a hard cheese, and maybe a blue cheese. Fruit is a great way to add some healthier bits to a cheese platter to appeal to people who are watching their diet or do not like cheese as much as others. These fruits don’t have to be anything in particular as long as they are fresh and delicious. The crackers served with the cheese are even less of a concern than the fruit because just providing a couple of varieties will please everyone, they won’t eat a cracker that they usually don’t like the taste of. Of course this is just a very rough guide to cheese boards and the other wine accessories that are involved in serving guests wine, but it is still the frame work of a good social event.
Three terms used in describing wine are sweet, dry and fruity. While sweet really needs no explanation the other two can be confusing to some. When shopping for wines to pare with their meals or snack loaded cheese boards it is important to understand the terms used in describing wine. For some wine enthusiasts fruity can often be confused with sweet since many people tend to think of fruit as sweet. While strawberries, blueberries, and peaches are packed with sugar other fruits like limes and Granny Smith apples are not nearly as sweet. For this reason a wine can have a fruity taste without being sweet from sugar inside.
Dry can be a very confusing term for those not familiar with wine terms. Dry wines are those that are not sweet and therefore do not cause the mouth to create saliva. Sweet wines are not dry since the sugar coats your mouth, causing saliva to be produced making the mouth wet. Wines that are not sweet, will not cause saliva therefore it is often referred to as dry.
Some fruits just seem obvious to pair with wine, but other combinations are a far stretch of the mind. While apples and grapes are pretty standard, tropical fruits for though are not the first thing most people think of. People usually go for a fruit flavor that flavor that the wine already has in it. But think outside the box for a minute and try this, mango with your wine. In any way you want it, mango goes well with sweet or crisp wines reds and even some whites. Try even putting the mango in savory dishes and serving them with a slightly dryer wine. You can also try out mixing the complex sweetness of the mango with your favorite lighter cheeses as well as wines; for a more complete drinking experience. You will quickly fall in love with the taste sensations that this pair create. Try decorating some cheese boards with an array of light cheeses and cut mango, get some different varieties of wine and you can have a small party to introduce your friends to this unusual but splendid combination. Also take this as a lesson to enjoy experimentation with different flavors. Mango is such a summer flavor, but so are fruits like watermelon. Enjoy your wine and experience it, not just drink it.
A lot of people can be a bit put off by Rieslings because of their reputation for being very cheap and sweet. But while they can be very sweet, Riesling can also be made dry. But the greatest thing about these grapes is that they are very open to flavors. The transparency and low alcohol content make the wines very unique based on where they were grown. Thanks to the soil, climate and other natural factors of the vineyard it is from a Riesling can range from amazingly fruity to more mineral noted. Sales of Riesling wines have been steadily growing as more and more people note their versatility and lightness. Since it has a low alcohol content, it goes great with spicier dishes. And the fact that it can be very sweet to very dry means you can find a match to any food you can think of. A great way to spread the love of Riesling, which you are sure to catch, is to host a simple party with only Riesling wines. It is a great way to sample a variety of these wide ranging vintages and to see how it works with some foods. Try crab cakes and a simple array of cheeses and fruit on a cheese board.
While the Sauvignon blanc grape may originally be from the Southwest of France currently some of the most popular vineyards producing wine from these grapes are actually on a whole other continent. Many wine lovers began to take notice of the Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand in the late 1980’s and 90’s. This white wine which features slight hints of grapefruit, lime, and gooseberries quickly became a favorite of wine lovers to serve worldwide alongside cheese boards full of snacks. While there are three different “styles” of Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand and each tests well with most palates. The styles all vary in how the wine is aged whether in oak, stainless steel tanks, or a blending with each brining out different characteristics from the wine.
The vineyards in New Zealand producing Sauvignon blanc are approximately eighty miles inland from the coast where the cool maritime climate provides a long slow growing season that develops a wonderful balance between the sugars and acids in the grapes. This gives the wine plenty of fruity flavor which is popular with many palettes and pares up well with many foods or can be served alone for just the sheer pleasure of experiencing the taste.
Everyone knows that wine and chocolate go hand and hand to perfectly compliment each other. Now for those who are looking for a new way to indulge their sweet tooth all while enjoying the excellent flavor of wine can try the new treat from Bissinger’s. The new delectable chocolate delight from this confectioner originally from Paris now features a fine chocolate coating a wine grape for the ultimate taste experience. While it may not be easy to display these chocolates on your wine bottle silhouette cheese board, they do make a excellent snack for your next wine gathering. Or if you are like most who try these chocolate covered grapes you may prefer to keep them all to yourself.
Each dried grape is infused with shiraz and then coated with a layer of fine chocolate for a taste treat unlike any other most people have experienced. Eat them alone or enjoy them with a red wine or glass of vintage port. Plus with the health benefits of chocolate and wine it is easy to justify eating some every day in order to fight the antioxidants that may be in your body in order to feel younger and healthier.
There are just some foods that pare so well with wine it is hard to imagine serving them without a glass of red or white wine to accent its flavor. There is just nothing quite like cheese boards full of carefully crafted cheeses served with a complimentary wine. But then on the other hand there are foods that really compliment the flavor of other foods but make paring a wine almost impossible. Some consider asparagus to be one of those foods that is almost impossible to pare with a fine wine. With asparagus the same grassy, green flavor provided by its naturals chemistry can really enhance the taste in good cuts of meat, shrimp, and even nuts. This same chemistry does not pare well with most wines making a meal with asparagus hard to include a fine wine.
When looking for a wine to pare with asparagus there are two things to keep in mind. First you can use sauces on the asparagus that will help bridge the flavor gap making it slightly easier to get a good combination, hollandaise sauce or even mayonnaise will do the trick. Also look for wines that are highly in oak flavor or full of acids for the perfect paring of wine and asparagus.
Preparing for a wine and cheese party can seem like a daunting task to some potential hosts, but with the right tools and ingredients it is actually one of the most simple gatherings to have. Once you have your wine and cheese purchased preparing for the party is actually very easy. While the wine is chilling the cheese should be allowed to come to room temperature, this will make cutting the cheese to much easier. Once the cheese is prepared to cut it is important to use a separate or clean knife for each variety. Using the same knife for preparation and serving will mix the tastes of each cheese and potentially change the flavor.
When serving the cheeses it is helpful to serve them on cheese boards that has a contrasting background for a appealing appearance. The board should also be large enough that the different kinds of cheeses are not allowed to touch. Accompany each cheese board of tray with plenty of crackers, breads, or fruits and you are ready to host your party and serve your chilled wine to your guests while enjoying the company of friends. Everyone will be amazed with just how well your party came together while you are free to have a good time.
While wine is a popular drink in the UK, the climate in the country is not especially good for growing the grapes needed to make wine. While currently in the south there are some successful vineyards in places such as Scotland in the north the temperatures are just not warm enough for vineyards. But scientists are predicting increasing temperatures in the country and this could mean an increase in wine production. With current temperature forecasts for the next 20 years increasing slowly experts are predicting that the UK will be the next hot wine producer on the block. While the future may look good for new vineyards opening up, it is also looking better now for existing regions. In places such as Sussex, Kent and more; vines are producing more grapes and of better quality. This is increasing the premium wines which are being bottled in the region and gaining them more respect in the wine community.
For those looking toward the future of wine, a trip to the UK to enjoy the wines coming from the area now and in the future is well worth the trip. Tasting the fine wines while enjoying snacks from cheese boards is a great way to experience the English countryside.
For many wine enthusiasts visiting a wine region whether in their own country or in another country that produces their favorite wines is a dream come true. Many plan these trips in the spring when the grape plants are blooming, the summer when the grapes are peaking, or even the fall during the harvest. As good as these times are for the visitor to see the vineyard and experience the process they are really not the optimal time to visit. More wine lovers are discovering that winter is an amazing time to visit vineyards and enjoy the whole experience. During this time the vineyard has less going on so time with the winemakers to ask questions is more abundant and in many cases accommodations are cheaper in off-season as well. While the weather may be cooler and the scenery may not be quite as beautiful the individual attention you receive will more than make up for this.
Visitors will still get to experience wine tasting, tours, and even excellent snacks on cheese boards all with more attention and easier on the wallet prices. Between Christmas and spring many are looking for something to do so a trip to wine country may be just the ticket to spend a little free time on the weekend.
While it may be beer that is consumed in the stands of every Major League Baseball game by the fans the Steinbrenner family envisioned other things for the new stadium, which the Yankees used this past season. While the new stadium is one of the most state of the art venues for baseball and has already seen the team win a World Series on its field the design of the stadium was made to include other sporting events, concerts, and other special events. For the wine community the first event inside Yankee stadium will be a wine tasting hosted by Sonoma-Cutrer Wines. This event will be held in just over a week will include not only plenty of wine but a five-course meal as well for the attendees.
The event will be hosted in the 1.3 million square feet of event space within the stadium and will include some of the best wines available, a cocktail hour featuring excellent snacks on fine cheese boards and a sumptuous meal that is sure to top off a perfect evening. The tasting will be hosted by winemaker Terry Adams as his final event before retiring from the business.