Entertaining Differances

Having guests and entertaining are broad terms; they really do not say to be able to give to advice on. A more specific definition, especially of the guests needs to be given for any advice, because it is really the guests that dictate the wine selection and etiquette of the evening. Hosting a dinner party for parents or in-laws for example is almost bound to be a little more formal than a simple cheese and wine thing with some friends. The difference between these two events is like night and day when the wine selection is concerned.                  A simple gathering of friends can involve an adventurous new wine; a risk may not be as good of an idea with guests to impress.  This is not to say that a conservative, tried and true wine is the only way to serve parents, but maybe have one on hand just in case.  Friends on the other hand are likely to enjoy anything from the two bottle wine bags because they are having a good time. But of course it is a matter of knowing the guests and some idea of what they would want in either a fun evening or a formal dinner.

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 with a Big Mac?

Wine is typically focused on its pairings with haute cuisine or at least fine food; but the subject on peoples’ minds is actually if there are wine pairings for fast food. While it may seem weird to some, it is a genuine question. Can good wine even pair with foods like the famous, or rather infamous, Big Mac?  Well according to a tasting, there are a few combinations that can improve the quick grab burgers and fries. An unusual fate for the wine in those two bottle wine bags, but a good thing to try still.                 The simple and sensible choice for the classic Big mac is an easy white like sauvignon blanc. This basic white goes well with the greasy burger because of its crispness, it cuts through the grease to let the actual flavors of the burger come through for enjoyment.  Or for those that like reds better instead of whites can go for a mildly dry, distinctively oaked merlot.  Of course these pairings can also teach wine lovers a lot about pairings with things that are a little more sophisticated but equally decadent. Sharper wines with a lot of flavor can actually cut through the grease of certain foods. Look for a wine with moderate tannins and a good acidity. This would work well with pairings for ribs, pulled pork, or roast that are a little higher in fat. 

Wine in Farmer's Markets

In the works, at the moment, in Washington state politics is a bill that would allow wine and beer tastings at approved local farmers markets.  Supporters of the bill talk about how it would be a great chance for a state with a proud collection of microbreweries and small wineries to showcase their talents.  Representatives from districts across the state have been taking the time to brag about wineries in their area to help the bill along. The state House also talked about a pilot program to select the farmers markets for the tastings.   The bill passed the House where it was overwhelmingly agreed that it would stimulate local spending and boost the economy of small businesses; and now has to go through the Washington state Senate.                 The small Washington wineries that could benefit if this bill passes would then be able to set up tasting booths, or participate in group tastings at farmer’s markets across the state.  This could really make a difference in the local food movement because growers and vintner could pair together to promote fresh vegetable and wine pairings at these tastings. Of course the shopper will benefit too because they get direct advice on which wine goes best with the heirloom tomatoes or purple potatoes they just bought for dinner.  The vintner will gladly advise on what bottle belongs in two bottle wine bags.