There is also a bit of a panic when a new wine is needed that night, and it has to be good. But panic not, rather than look for a good wine online and hope some local shop has it, or look at the shop blindly and hope the workers know wine; try using the internet to its fullest to make for a more hassle free wine shopping experience. Many large stores will have a website nowadays with the current wines on selection available to peruse or even reserve. Any wine of interest can be than be researched, see what other people thought of it. Write down the exact name of the wine, maybe a backup option just in case, and those wine carriers to take care of one thing that could easily be just a small part of a very hectic afternoon spent in preparation.
While not a fool proof way to get the best wine every time, it is the most trustworthy way to get a good bottle of wine or two the day they are needed. Perfect for impromptu visits from family or friends or when nothing in house suits the meal for that night.
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.
There is a temptation sometimes in this busy world to make things less chaotic, to cut corners or take easier options. Some of these time savers are just that, a great way to shave a minute or two, but think carefully about which of these time savers are used because some will actually cost the overall experience by cutting into the quality. Things like not thawing meat all the way have obvious consequences because the inside remains partly uncooked, but rushing a wine can have a subtle damage on the meal.
Enjoying wine is just one part of the ceremony like process that includes selecting the wine, bringing it home in wine totes, decanting it, pouring a glass with care, taking a whiff of its bouquet and finally taking that slow sip of indulgence. The reason a slow decanting is vital to catching that perfect moment in a wine is because no two wines require the same amount of time to bloom fully. This means that making the decanting go too fast would easily mean blowing right past the ideal moment. While aerators and specifically designed decanters may aid the process, it is best to keep an eye and nose on a wine while it heats up to closer to room temperature and releases its aromas.
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.
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.
Normally there is only two options when picking a wine, white or red. But an ancient technique used to make a white wine for the red wine lover’s palate is making a comeback. While technically a white, orange wine is becoming more and more popular as the common person’s taste for wine becomes more developed.
Finding orange wine can be a real challenge though, if found it is a good idea to fill those six bottle wine carriers. Orange wine is a great choice for parties or those that like both white and red wine because of having tannin structure similar to a red but with flavors more like a white. This bridging of the two typical wine varieties is achieved by leaving in the skins of the grapes just a little longer than typical and by oxidizing the wine a little for good measure. Normally oxidizing wine is thought of as a bad thing, but when done in a controlled environment it can make a white wine with a tannic character and beautiful coppery color. Don’t expect to find a bottle of orange wine for cheap, but also expect the wine to live up to its price as making orange wine is a very painstaking process that is not undertaken by winemakers lightly.
Strong flavors can be hard to deal with sometimes, smoked fish being an example of a harder flavor to pair with wine. In fact for most pairing advice smoked fish seems like a paradox. Fish is full of delicate flavors that are typically paired with a white wine, but smoking foods almost always adds deeper notes to the fish as well as heightening the fish’s natural flavors in a way that could possibly make it too strong for some white wines to be enjoyed thoroughly in a pairing. The chance of just a random wine from the six bottle wine totes suiting smoked fish is slim, as smoked fish is known for not working with wine well for a reason. Thanks to the great variety of smoked fish available though, there is a possibility for a match.
The classic smoked salmon matches rather easily with a mildly dry red with light herb flavors and maybe even citrus notes. This combination works so well because fresh wines clean the mouth between bits of fish, but salmon can stand up fairly well to a red. More white meat fish like trout that have been smoked pair better with smoky, oaked whites like chardonnay.
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.
Frozen wine may seem like a tragedy but it is really a fast and easy way to keep wine fresh in a pinch. A partial bottle of wine can simply be stopped or recorked and put in the freezer and saved for another time. Interestingly enough freezing wine does not damage its delicate tastes or smell. Time would harm a wine more than freezing. The only possible chance of damaging a wine in the freezer comes from long term freezing or the bottle getting popped open or cracking from the expanding water. Even wine that may have been altered by long term freezing can still be cooked with, if drinking it doesn’t seem appealing anymore.
Fill three bottle wine totes with care still though. Freezing cannot replace a good wine cellar for aging wine. In fact open bottles are the only ones that can be frozen. Due to water expanding as it freezes an unopened bottle could easily crack or shatter in the freezer. Of course it is still a great way to save a partial bottle. For best results, let the wine thaw slowly over a day or so, otherwise some dissipation may occur.