Wine Punch, Not Just Sangria

While normally called Sangria, a wine punch is more than just the Spanish classic drink of fruit and red wine. Breaking this thought can create some tantalizing wine punches that are suitable for occasions all year round. Instead of sticking to the traditional ingredients, add things based more on whim and season to create succulent wine punch that goes with anything. Wines punch really only needs to contain wine, added flavors from fruit and fruit juice, and hard liquor. That leaves the specifics up to personal preference.                 Good wine punch has a more complex flavor than the wine originally used in it, and while good wine is essential to a good punch, and using an extraordinary wine is not a guarantee for success.  Instead go for seasonal flavors, like in fall use apple and darker fruits like cherry to make a distinction from the summer favorite. Versions of wine punch can even be made with two bottle wine carriers full of white wine; it doesn’t have to be a red wine and fruit concoction. Experimenting with different flavors like cranberry or raspberry juice and fruits like apricot or pineapple  that are usually not included in sangria could make for a wine punch more suited to the season of occasion.  

Compare Wine to Bread

 Bread and wine, not cheese and wine can teach a simple wine drinker a few things about the art that vintners perform. Good bread has well integrated flavors and a silky texture inside despite its sturdy crust; a superior wine has many similar traits and the way they are made has a lot to do with how good both turn out.  A good bread gets a complex note of acidity from the starter, a bread dough that bakers let ferment. A little bit of the starter is added to each batch of bread to instantly age the bread, making it more developed than it may otherwise have been. But with wine acidity and complexity have to be present in the very earliest stages for an extraordinary wine, the grapes themselves have to have the acid.  While adding acid during the creation process is allowed, this would be like adding a sourdough flavoring rather than painstakingly obtaining the best starter, but the flavors will never be exactly right. A good acidic grape makes for a wine were each flavor has its own moment to shine.                 The odds that a smart shopper will not end up with a wine with added acid in those two bottle wine carriers though is low. It is common knowledge among winemakers that good grapes, and not additions, are the key to good wine.

On Wine Clubs

While it may seem like a great gift idea for a wine lover, wine clubs can easily be a letdown for the receiver and a flat out waste of a gift for the giver.  The average wine club is little better than a dumping place for off vintages and completely random overstock. A better idea for a wine lover’s gift is a winery club membership. These are specific to one winery so just pick a good quality winery and most of the unwanted things will be weeded out right then.                 The real problem with normal wine clubs is that they are fairly big businesses, if there is a local wine club around than it may very well be a better choice than other wine clubs because they will be wanting the return business. That being said the best choice for quality is to find out the favorite winery of the person the gift is for and see if they have their own membership program.  This is different than a wine club but has its own wonderful set of perks.  Members at a winery will get previews of the new releases every season and may receive invitations to events, sales and tastings.  So the better gift to get for a happy wine lover with full two bottle wine carriers is the winery specific membership usually. Just read into everything before purchasing and look for reviews.

Plan A Brunch

Easter is not too far away and even for families that are not religious, Easter Sunday is a big holiday.  The traditional way to celebrate Easter is with having a big family gathering for brunch.  Not just a simple brunch but something that requires planning, some are surely starting on the planning of it now.  Of course this is a holiday so it makes sense to have wine with the grand meal, but this can also pose a bit of a challenge.  Brunch can consist of so many different food items, all with a different taste and wine compliment.  A lot of breakfast foods like scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, fruit salad and waffles pair well with light but crisp wine. Lunch foods on the other hand can need more flavor to stand up to cheeses, or red meat.                 For those wanting to not go for the champagne because it would seem too formal of out of place, just try a red and white; this is a holiday after all.  Two bottle wine carriers along with a good plan are all that is needed to pull off Easter brunch without a hitch.  Maybe it will be so easy that egg coloring will get more time this year.