Record Wine Exports for California

Last year saw a hike in wine exports like the US has never seen before. Thanks to a budding market in Asian countries as well as a still growing recognition for American made wine have combined with a higher domestic consumption to put a bit of a strain on California’s wine makers and a bit of a price jump on American wine.                 Not long ago, wine from California was looked upon as low quality and lacking in art. This is a drastic change from 2011 where it is being elevated to something closer to a luxury item.  After winning over some well-known wine lovers, Californian wine was given a chance to be ranked and compared to French wine, where it has since flourished.

                A growing middle class in China is also a key player in this last year’s 123% demand from 2010. That is almost a quarter increase from the previous year. To the growing Asian market California wine is held as something of a gold standard and is sought after as a show of new found wealth. Picking some homegrown wine for those three bottle wine bags may be a little more expensive in years to come thanks to this striking increase in export demand, but many fans believe wine makers will keep a soft spot for loyal, local customers.

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. 

Wine and Salad

While a bit unconventional, pairing wine and salad is quite easy and rewarding.  With spring coming fresh local greens will start to go on sale at grocery stores and farmers markets and it makes perfect sense to make them into healthy, wonderful salads.  Traditionally the drink to go with fresh greens was mineral water, but times are changing and it is being realized that wine can really compliment a salad and bring out hidden characteristics in both.                  Pairing a salad with a wine is less about the salad and more about what is on it.  Greens, even delicate or unusual ones like dandelion or watercress, take fairly well to any flavor but dressings like Caesar or blue cheese need to have their intense flavors taken into account.  Pair a salty yet fresh greek salad with a reisling, it has what it takes to compliment feta cheese.  A Caesar salad will need something more like a Beaujolais or Sangiovese to have a smooth ending.  A cobb salad can be paired with a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio for a light weekend lunch.  Celebrate spring by making a bunch of a crowd pleasing salad and get some complimenting wine in three bottle wine bags for a dinner with friends that won’t soon be surpassed.