Wine Gift Guide

Thinking about all of the holiday gifts that are needed to get can really make even just over a month seem like too short a time to get everything bought and wrapped. It is easy to check any wine lover off the gift list without ever needing to know their wine preferences though. A wine aerator or nice wine bags are good options. These are good gifts because they are not dependent on what type of wine they like but instead are focused on wine enjoyment in general.                 Wine gifts cover a large spectrum of possible gift receivers too. From the old time friend to the grown up child, they are just as much needed gifts as invitations to socialize. A new corkscrew set for an old friend could suggest that getting together to catch up, over a bottle of wine, would be nice.  These types of gifts make an extra special impact when they have a personal touch. So even if the gift receiver already has one of the wine related gift given, it has a little something to make it special. Initial engravings are an excellent example of personalizing a gift. In general, a wine related gift is eagerly accepted.

               

Wine and Mood Relationship

A lot of children are resistant to trying new foods, they seem to know for a fact that just the look or smell of the food means it is going to taste bad. On a lesser scale even an adult can pull this mental trick on themselves, even when they don’t try to, because the mood one is in can affect the way they perceive tastes. While no one, hopefully, goes into a wine tasting or sits down with a glass planning for it to taste bad; but a foul mood can make even a beautiful wine taste unbalanced.                 To avoid this mental trick take a few minutes to de-stress before taking out the wine accessories, maybe even consciously try to be put in a more positive mindset. This will make for a more enjoyable wine tasting experience or a more delightful glass of an old favorite. Even a short cool down time at a wine tasting before any wine gets taken out, may improve perceptions overall. As an added benefit, happier guests at a tasting or party will talk more and make for a generally more jovial time.

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.

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.

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.

Make A Cheese Platter

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. 

               

Grape of Youth

Wine has always been well loved, it has been around for almost as long as recorded history after all.  The iconic drink though has become unusually popular with the younger generation lately.  This increase in people younger than 30 enjoying expensive or aged wine is partly because of the acceptance of food culture in their age group.  With an enjoyment of fine food naturally comes a want to enjoy fine wine, and the wine industry has flourished because of it.                  This shift in young culture toward more refined things could do more good than just help the wine industry financially.  This could be used as a building block for stronger relationships between younger and older people, a shared interest that could lead to better understanding of each other.  Wine accessories could make the perfect conversation starter.  Of course it is hardly surprising that young and old people alike enjoy good food and fine wine, who doesn’t?  Through good aged wine bonds could be formed across the generations, or across the globe; even if some of the people enjoying the wine are younger than the wine. Logically more friends are better, especially ones who have experienced different things.

Mardi Gras and Wine

Mardi gras, the day before Lent but also a celebration to simply be enjoyed by anyone, is coming and cities like New Orleans are getting ready for the big party.  But going to New Orleans is not the only way to have a great mardi gras celebration.  Because of the link to New Orleans, Cajun chefs and everyday home cooks alike take mardi gras as an invitation to showcase their Creole cooking skills.  Cajun cooking is rich, buttery, spicy and above all packed with flavor which would lead most people to wonder what wine to put in the Bacchus wine decanter to go along with that splendid Cajun dinner.                  Most dark reds high in tannins will not go well with traditional Creole because they will taste metallic alongside the other heavy flavors. Try a lighter crisp wine to freshen things up between bites of spicy gumbo or catfish.  A dazzling Shiraz would match most gumbo nicely, but stick with a white like sauvignon blanc if taking the edge of spicy food is something wanted.  Of course wine selection is never set in stone because just like different cultures in the same combined to make today’s Cajun, many different factors go into what will taste good to each person.

Archeology Finds The Oldest Winery Ever

It is common knowledge that wine has been made and consumed for thousands of years and yet it is still exciting to find more evidence of wine production from long ago. The latest archeological discovery is the oldest complete winery to be found to date. Located in Southern Armenia the complex consisted of an entire village within a cave system that included a complete winery. The find including a wine press, clay vat, even withered grape vines, and other wine accessories have been dated back to the Copper Age making them well over six thousand years old.

Not only has scientific analysis dated the winery to 4100 BC but it is also confirmed through residue that grapes were being pressed in the vat and not another organic matter. Previously the oldest wine press to have been found in existence was along the West Bank currently occupied by Israel dating back to 1650 BC.  

While there is still much to learn about this discovery such as how the wine was used within the community and who exactly was making it, it is still a exciting find with what we know.

Bring Your Love Of Wine Along On The Ipad

 Once again Apple hit the technology nail on the head and produced a product that many people are scrambling to own. The Ipad is an amazing way to bring the things you need to do as well as those you want to do along with you wherever you go. For the wine lover that means you can now bring along the new edition of Food & Wine magazine in this eco-friendly package. On Thursday Food & Wine released its first Ipad specific edition that was designed to look best when viewed on the Apple device. To mark the occasion the first edition is available for free download, and for those who want to continue to receive this Ipad specific version of a top publication the fee is very affordable. Plus for the environmentally concise it will be one less paper version that will need printed and later disposed of since it can all be handled electronically.

For those who already own a Ipad  and those thinking of getting one, this may become one of the top wine accessories that you can get in order to learn more of what is going on in the food and wine industry.

Wine Accessories and Golf

Sometimes successful people decide to branch into another field for the challenge of trying to succeed again. Accomplished and retired golfer Jack Nicklaus has decided to do just that and reach his business hand into the wine field and you will benefit from it.  His line of wines from California’s Napa Valley is being produced in partnership with Terlato Wines International.  Terlato has a portfolio with over 50 brands from regions in Australia, California, Italy and France.  The lovely wine was unveiled at the Memorial Tournament at Dublin’s Muirfield Village Golf Club. This was a fitting place for the premiere tasting of his wine line because he is the founder of that tournament and course. But they are far more available now than just at that one course, they are going to be sold at golf clubs and resorts all throughout the United States.  The wines available from this line are a wonderful cabernet sauvignon priced at a reasonable $35 and a Bordeaux style private reserve blend for $43 per amazing bottle. This unique blend of wine with a nod to golf, paired with some nice wine accessories, would be a perfect gift for the refined golfer in your life.

Terlato chairman, Anthony Terlato, helped wine collector Jack release this line of wine after he received a spark of inspiration after touring Terlato’s Napa Valley wineries.  They felt an instant respect for each other and with their shared passion for quality and creation that made this pairing possible.  Their collaboration is now you benefit thought because these wines and maybe some fine cheese, wine accessories or other golf themed trinkets is a worthwhile gift.  Think of it for anyone that loved golf, wines, or even just unique presents.  But then again maybe you will want to just buy it for yourself.

Wine Gifts For Mothers Day

Mothers Day is still more than a week away but it is not too early to think about what you will buy your mom this year. With so many health benefits packed into every bottle of red wine this would be the perfect gift of something that she can enjoy. While for some shoppers mom may already be well versed in wine, wine consumption, and even pairing it with food; others on the other hand may not be. Whether your mom is new to wine or not, a premium wine always makes a perfect gift for any occasion including Mothers Day. But while a bottle of wine may be the obvious gift for her there are other options that can accompany it in a wine gift basket. A wine accessory gift set can be given with a bottle to make enjoying that wine even easier. Other great wine gifts that can be included with a classic vintage are wine books and even wine glasses or decanters.

For just about everyone mom is the one person you could always count on so let her know it this year with the perfect gift of wine.

Shopping At Specialty Wine Boutiques

Many wine lovers just shop at the closest shop near their home that carries a decent selection of wine. In most cases these shops have more than enough wine in stock and a knowledge sales clerk to help out customers adequately. But for those who truly love their wine there is no other place to buy wine than a boutique wine shop. These little specialty shops whether they stand alone or are part of a larger liquor store specialize in wines and wine accessories making them the ideal place to shop. While not all cities may have such a boutique most have at least one and even if it is on the other side of town it is well worth the time spent driving there.

Boutique wine shops will be able to offer wine suggestions, food pairing advice, and even gift ideas for those who take the time to get to know the clerk who works there. While it may be assumed these shops will only carry premium wines this is not the case. These shops carry wines from the very high end to affordable but yet still quality wines perfect for daily sipping on a budget.

Paring Wine With Fish On Fridays For Lent

For those who follow the Catholic faith Lent is in full swing and this means following a specific diet that meets the guidelines set down by the church. For many this means the Friday dinner will be fish for the next few weeks and this can be tricky enough finding a variety of ways to serve it but also for paring it with a good table wine. For many friend fish in the classic English style of fish and chips is a quick and convenient choice after a long day at work. When serving any fried foods, including fish, sparkling wines are always a sure bet. The bubbles that are loaded in these particular wines can handle the heaviness that comes with fried fish.

For simpler fish meals such as a roasted snapper light white wines including Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are good matches for a perfect meal. For spicier fish meals consider Riesling or another slightly sweet wine to combine with the heat.

Having the right wine and wine accessories to accompany those fish meals will make these meals for Lent enjoyable even for those who are not as into fish and would rather be eating a juicy steak instead.

Wine Industry Hit Hard By Chilean Earthquake

The news has been full of the devastation caused by the large earthquake which struck in Chile this past weekend. While our hearts go out to those who are still reeling from this event it is not hard to stop and think about the industries the country depends on and how they will fare. One of the leading segments of the ecomony in the country is the wine industry in the hills and valleys especially in the Maule Valley. While the news coming from the rural areas is scarce many vineyards seemed to report no lose of life at their facilities. But many are reporting of massive breakage in not only cases but barrels that were aging as well. Many are also reporting lots of equipment and wine accessories damage which will affect their ability to process the upcoming harvest for this years wines.

While the short term effects seem to have many wineries at least partially disabled the long term does not look too bad since many will have no problems recovering. For wine lovers this will mean a overall shortage in wines from Chile for awhile but in the long run this important part of Chilean economy will make it past this devastating event.

Free The Grapes Wants To Make Wine Buying Easier

While many vineyards in the United States want to sell their products online to everyone in the country, laws in some states keep this from being able to happen. Not all the states allow wine to be shipped to their residents making it so that they cannot buy direct from the winemaker their favorite wines and have them shipped to their door. For some this means that their selection of wine is limited to what is available on store shelves in their area. Free The Grapes is an organization that is setup to help wine lovers understand their local laws and to make it easier for those who need to make changes in their state contact their legislators. For those who live in states were wine accessories can be ordered online but not wine itself this organization wants to get this changed.

If you cannot order wine online and have it delivered to your home than check out Free The Grapes and let your state representatives know that you want the laws changed in order to get unique wines in your cellar without having to travel to the vineyards to bring it home yourself.

Preserving Your Bottle Of Wine After Opening

While oxygen is a good thing for a nice red wine when you first open the bottle it is not a good thing for a bottle of wine that needs to be kept after opening. Many singles and even couples face this problem each time they open a new bottle. With research showing how a glass of wine a day has so many health benefits this leaves a bottle of wine open but not completely drunk. One of the wine accessories that should not be skimped on is a quality wine stopper for just the purpose of preserving those open bottles of wine. Not all stoppers are made the same and to keep oxygen from being allowed to leak into the bottle will help preserve the flavor.

Those who only want to enjoy a good tasting glass of wine each evening with dinner or before bed for their health can keep that wine from oxygenating with a tight fitting stopper. With the use of a good stopper each glass of wine will taste just as good as the first making a stopper one of the most important wine accessories that anyone can buy.

Just What Is Biodynamic Wine?

Becoming greener and safer for the environment is a prime concern for many winemakers today. While some do it for the increased sales that come from being organic others do it since science shows that organic farming it better for the land itself. In the long run this will prolong the productivity of their vineyard making it continue to be fruitful for growing grapes. Some winemakers are taking this organic approach one more step where they utilize biodynamic agriculture. This form of agriculture not only avoids pesticides but it requires a complete self-sustained eco-system to be created with the introduction of animals and plants into the vineyard or farm. The end result for winemakers is healthier vines that can stand up better to adversity while continually producing healthier grapes.

For the wine consumer who is wondering what a biodynamic wine can bring to their table the better answer is what it does not bring. There is no chemical residues within the wine creating a purer wine where the flavor of the grapes can completely come through. Wine consumers who only want the best wine accessories and more can truly appreciate a wine made under such careful circumstances.

Tasty Tools For Warding Off Cancer & Valentines Day Treats

It seems everyone has been touched in some way by cancer in their lives. From family members to friends diagnosed with this terrible condition to actually being diagnosed themselves in one of its many forms. While it is not possible to completely cut off the risk of being diagnosed with cancer science is showing that taking certain steps will reduce the risk of one day being a patient. Red wine and dark chocolate are continually being studied in how they can help the body to protect itself from cancerous cells. Time and time again these indulgences for some are showing they are packed full of properties that can ward off cancer. For those who enjoy a glass of wine or a piece of dark chocolate each day the chances of being diagnosed with cancer goes down considerably.

For Valentines Day this year get your sweetie something that not only tastes great in the form of wine of chocolate but will also keep them healthy. Whether buying them a bottle of their favorite wine, a box of chocolates, or even wine accessories you cannot go wrong with these special gifts.