Faking it: How to Wine like a Pro

Faking it: How to Wine like a Pro

What’s the difference between a Merlot from Napa Valley, and a Syrah from Sydney?  If a “blush” is a mix of red and white, then why can’t I just mix red and white wines?  What’s the big deal with wine anyway?

I often hear these kinds of questions and more, from those who have little experience with tasting and drinking wine.  And I can understand their confusion to a certain degree, but wine has been a lifelong passion of mine.  You see, my father grew up in the Champagne region of France, where the refinement of wine has been a staple of that part of the world for hundreds of years.  So I grew up, listening to tales of his childhood, running around hundreds of acres of vineyards.  Of course, those tales involved getting drunk and often getting into trouble, due to the fact that France, despite its bureaucracy and rules, exhibits far more freedom in the official drinking age, than here in America.  I listened to these stories, and I learned from them, and when I became an adult of my own, I continued to pursue and expand my knowledge of wine.  Now, I wish to share some of that knowledge with you, so even if you aren’t a wine expert, you won’t be left clueless at your next dinner party.

Why is it that when people taste wine, they look ridiculous?  Wine tasting is ritualistic; remember, wine is just not to drink, it is something to experience.  That ritual helps promote that experience.  But there is also a science behind it as well.  The next time a glass of grape is put in front of you, take a small sip.  Don’t swallow immediately.  Instead, let the wine sit on your tongue for a moment.  Inhale through your mouth to bring in oxygen.  The tannins within the wine dry out your mouth, which forces your saliva glands to start working.  This doesn’t sound exactly pleasant I know, but that dryness causes your tongue to sweat, and when that happens, the taste buds on your tongue to go wild.  Sending in a small amount of oxygen causes those flavors within the wine to swirl, acclimating all of your mouth with the array of tastes wine has to offer.  Then, get your drink on.  If you have a good wine, each sip will taste progressively better, as the flavors continue to fill your mouth.  A few sips of good wine will get you satisfyingly warm for the entire evening.  This is how people are able to go through several bottles at a wine tasting, and not get completely drunk.  Keep in mind, wine is meant to be enjoyed, not get you smashed.  Of course, you can get smashed if you want to, and trust me, there has been many a night where my cup runneth over, so to speak.

As for what type of wine to get, that’s something better left to your own discretion.  It’s dependent on the situation of course, where you are, what the occasion is, and who is actually serving the wine.  Whites tend to have fruity, citrusy flavors, and are often sweet and zesty.  They also tend to be more wet than red wines, although many white wines are dry as well.  Red wines lean more to having earthy flavors, like wood and nuts and spices.  Red wines too can be sweet, but their sweetness is a rich one; many good reds have a chocolaty hint to them that I have always appreciated.  Traditionally, they are also more warm-tasting than white wine, which is why red wine is often served at close to room temperature, while white is usually chilled.  Blushes or Rosé wine is also often chilled, to enhance its crispness.  These light pink varieties are gaining strength in the market, rising as a result of more successful red and white grape hybridizations in recent years.  They tend to be very, very sweet, a more ideal drink for late summer, rather than the chilly winter.

These were just a few tips and tricks of the trade.  Hopefully, I have better acquainted you with the in’s and out’s of wine, so at least if you’re not a true wine expert, you can fake it well enough the next time someone asks you what you think of the wine.

 

Good and unusual Food Pairings

Good and unusual Food Pairings

Here’s the secret to enjoying a good wine: Open the bottle, and let it breathe.  If it doesn’t look like its breathing- give it mouth to mouth.

Good wine is only bested by good food, and the two together is a match made in heaven.  Pretty much all of us at one point or another have been instructed on how to pair wine, “white with fish, and red with steak,” for example.  Walk into any restaurant, and either the server or the menu will have a little wine suggestion to go with your meal.  That is all well and good, but what if you just want to spend a relaxing evening at home?  Should you pair red or white with your delivered deluxe pizza?  What if you’re a busy new mother, who ran out of time to cook for yourself, yet still, needs a nice glass to unwind?  Here I thought I would list a few more unorthodox food pairings to go with your wine.

Cheetos and Goldfish:

This really is something.  For when your food stock is low, but you’ve got to have something to go with your Chardonnay.  These excessively cheesy, salty snacks are an oddly perfect pairing combination for any crisp, sweet wine.  Light, citrus flavors blend surprisingly well with these heady, bit-sized confections, and wash away any lingering cheese aftertaste.

Peanut-Butter and Jelly:

Also a solid staple, paired with a dry white, that won’t overwhelm the sweetness of this classic sandwich.  It will also help get rid of the stickiness that is usually associated with a PB&J.  Are you too lazy to cook a more refined meal?  That’s fine, for this pairing, all you need is a corkscrew and a spreading knife.  If your jam is particularly sweet, I would recommend experimenting with a more spicy wine, whose flavors will balance the acidity.

Barbeque:

Most people associate this American tradition with beer, whiskey, or bourbon; alcohols that are prevalent within these sauces.  Waste not, after all.  Nonetheless, the tartness and fizziness of champagne goes exceedingly well with the thick and powerful flavors of barbeque sauce.  It’s a winning combination of something rich alongside something zesty, and a perfect way to celebrate the summer months.

Bacon:

As with many Americans, I firmly believe that bacon makes the world better.  But what could possibly make bacon better?  Next time you find yourself holding a bacon burger, I would suggest pairing it with a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a full-bodied Pinot Noir.  These rich reds flavor well with the fattiness of bacon, and their dryness forces your tongue to salivate, which activates your taste buds, enhancing your bacon experience.  If red is not your flavor, then go with Chardonnay, a staple that goes with everything.  Again, the acidity will balance the fat nicely.

Suffice to say, these were some of the more interesting finds in my research of unusual pairings.  A warning though, not all foods will go well with wine, due to their chemical compositions.  Stay away from artichokes and eggs, as both contain chemicals that effectively kill any flavor in the wine, you trick your tongue into tasting flavors that aren’t really there.  The science behind wine never fails to fascinate me.  So experiment, see what random foods you can find to go with your favorite wine.  I would love to hear suggestions from all of you, and my wife and I will eagerly put them into practice.

 

Wine regions

Wine regions

Wine has been a part of the human experience for thousands of years.  Accounts of humans drinking wine have dated as far back as the first civilizations, in ancient places like Mesopotamia and India.  In fact, one of the earliest references to wine can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh- one of humanity’s earliest written record.  While wine is popularly associated with the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was actually the Phoenicians who originally perfected the drink we know, and held the market in trading wine- and allowed it to be spread all over the world.  Even further back, in ancient Egypt, wine had an important role in funerary ceremonies.  It was a long-held superstition that red wine was actually the blood of those who had challenged the gods and fallen, coming back to the earth in the form of a vine.  This parallels Christian beliefs, where wine is said to have been imbued with the blood of Christ, and thus consumed for the sacrament.

Today, the top countries to produce wine are: Italy, France, Spain, the United States, Argentina, China, Australia, Chile, South Africa, Germany, Russia, and Romania.  I’ll bet some of those countries you weren’t expecting to see on the list.  Here in the states, we can grow wine from coast to coast, and Australian wine has been rising in popularity.  So has wine in the Latin American countries- where they’ve received awards for the quality of wine they’ve recently produced.  In Chile and Argentina, they employ a technique of using cuttings and old grapes, to blend and refine with new, fresh grapes.

Other wine-producing locations of note include China and South Africa.  Interestingly, China has produced grapes for a very long time; the original vines were brought in from trade with the lost city of Alexandria.  However, the mountain area where the grapes are grown has been long contested disputed spot, and the frequent changing of hands throughout the dynasties made mass production of wine infeasible.  With the rise of the Democratic Republic of China, the land has experienced political stability, resulting in China being one of the larger producers of the grape drink.

It’s much the same story in South Africa.  Although wine is no stranger to the Dark Continent, its production was strictly regulated to the northern borders, the area once known in historic times as Carthage.  The fall of apartheid and the restructuring of governments in that part of the world have brought a unity not seen since the Colonial Era.  It has also brought in a huge flux of international business, which includes the production of wine.  Hundreds of acres of South African land have been turned into vineyards that are locally operated, bringing a steady source of income into regions like Kenya, and their bold flavors bring an interesting dynamic to the wine table.

There are additional countries on the rise, and while they don’t make the top lists for wine production yet, I’m very much looking to seeing what these countries will shape in the next few years.  Armenia, for example, is one such country.  Unfortunately, this country is in the grips of conflict, so trade is not a top priority (unlike its neighboring cousin, Romania), but that doesn’t stop Armenians from making wine.  And they’ve been making wine for a long time.  In fact, some of the earliest dated archeological findings for wine were discovered in a cave in Armenia.  There, archeologists found pottery with traces of wine residue that date back over a millennia, suggesting they were the first to hone the craft of winemaking.

On the other side of the world, I myself made a recent discovery in the form of Balinese wine.  The island nation of Bali, known more as a tourist destination with its temperate weather and postcard beaches; will soon be also known for its wine, if my predictions are correct.  After all, what better way to spend a day at the beach than sitting in the sun, without a care in the world, and a glass of fresh wine?

 

Considerations For Getting a Wine Cellar Ready

Considerations For Getting a Wine Cellar Ready

A great wine cellar can be critical for wine storage needs but it has to be prepared just right. You don’t have to hold a degree in interior architecture to get the facts on what you have to do in order to get your wine cellar set up in accordance with whatever you might desire. Several things can be done today when it comes to giving yourself the best possible wine cellar that you could ever utilize for your general wine storage demands.

Get Enough Insulation Ready

You need to start by getting plenty of insulation set up for whatever it is you want to utilize. A great series of insulated panels around the inside walls of the room will ensure that the temperature that will be inside the cellar will only be at the specific level that you want to set up at any given moment.

The vapor barrier should also be established with a wrap that goes onto the inside of the walls. The vapor barrier must be located on the warm side of the wall to keep the vapors from the area from moving into your room.
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Check Your Cooling Unit

Your cooling unit also has to be designed to where the wine will be chilled at an appropriate temperature. Look for something that works with all the vents in your room no matter how many of these vents you might hold in your spot as you are trying to make it all fit in.

Also, you might want to stick with something that uses a digital temperature control system as it will be a little easier for you to work with. This kind of control system will ensure that you’ve got the best and most accurate setup ready for when you’ve got to try and set up something the right way.

How About Lighting

It is best to use LED lights in your wine cellar. These will not only be easy to adjust but also made to where they are not going to let off lots of heat as you are trying to keep the room comfortable. LED lights are also going to last a whole lot longer than other lights and as a result will certainly be ideal for the needs that you may hold when trying to get your space to feel comfortable.

Check the Floor

You need to be aware of how humid your wine cellar will be. You must avoid using carpeted surfaces in your cellar because of this. In fact, it might be best for you to stick with a good hardwood floor. This can come with a nice cork design that you know will be attractive and nice while staying sturdy. In fact, porcelain tiles may also be useful provided that you don’t have lots of grout in your space and that the tiles are not slippery and tough to walk on.

Your wine cellar can really be designed with care in mind if you just know what to do with it. Watch for what you want to do with your spot so you’ll have something that you know is ideal for your demands as they come along.

Compressors Can Work Well For Many Wine Coolers

Compressors Can Work Well For Many Wine Coolers

Air compressors can help to keep air in many applications from being a real problem. A Rigid air compressor from Tool Fanatic can be a great product to have, for instance. Wine coolers particularly have such compressors to keep wine bottles as chilled as possible while keeping the temperatures in check without any real problems coming out of what’s in a spot.

What a Compressor Does

A compressor for a wine cooler works in a manner that is similar to what works for a traditional refrigerator in a typical kitchen. A compressor works in that a refrigerant that moves into the air will be compressed. The air will be kept together in order to create a good vapor. This vapor will not create a great deal of moisture if it is used the right way and should be checked with care to see that nothing wrong will come out of the setups that one holds.
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The vapor will be heated and then moved right through a condenser. Flash evaporation is then used in order to keep the air comfortable. Specifically, the air will become rather cold through the condenser. This can be adjusted in its intensity based on the temperature that one wants to generate when trying to make anything chilled as well as possible.

The Fan Works Too

The compressor for a cooler will have to be connected to a fan as well. A fan will help to blow the air from the condenser out around the coils in the cooler. This in turn helps to get the air to move around as necessarily. This can really work with any kind of air provided that the cooler is used the right way and programmed to run as needed.

The best part is that this can work with an extensive variety of temperatures in mind. This is crucial as different types of wines will have their own specific standards with regards to how they are to be cooled off. The right moves must be used in order to allow all wines to stay cool and ready for serving as demanded.

Few Moving Parts

A great aspect of a compressor is that outside of the fan, there are not all that many moving parts on the outside. Therefore, this will not create a substantial amount of fatigue in the machine as it is being used. Also, the compressor will not be likely to make a great deal of noise. Of course, some added noise might occur in the event that the cooler has to quickly switch from one particular temperature level to another but this will vary by each individual type of cooler that may be used.

Compressors are really going to be suitable and necessary for the requirements that people often hold when it comes to getting wine coolers to work as well as they can. There’s always a need for wine coolers to stay operational and ready for anything. If a wine cooler is designed to be as easy to use as possible then it will certainly work well with a great compressor that uses a simple process to make it functional.

Red Wine May Control Smoking Damages

Red Wine May Control Smoking Damages

People like to enjoy a good smoke every once in a while. Some people will take a bit of time every once in a while with a quality cigar, for instance. Others will want to find bongs and enjoy plant materials that can be burned off with some of the best bongs around.

A nice smoke can be great but the problem with smoking is that it can be dangerous to the human body after a while. The body can suffer from damages to the lungs, the respiratory system and even the liver. The threats that come with smoking might not seem evident at first but they will easily add up over an extensive period of time.

However, there have been some studies from the European Society of Cardiology that suggest that wine might help to counteract some of the damages that the body might incur as a result of smoking. In particular, red wine can specifically work wonders.

So, how is red wine going to be used when keeping the effects of smoking from being a burden? There are many positive things worth exploring with regards to the basic advantages that red wine can offer in a situation like this.

wine by the fire

• Red wine has a number of antioxidants. These are more commonplace in this type of wine than other options. In particular, this wine will help to neutralize many of the free radicals that are created within the body as a result of the use of smokes. These antioxidants in particular are called phenols and are known to be much more powerful than many other similar antioxidants that one’s body can handle.

• Red wine is also known to help ease the arteries around the body. If it is used in moderation then the red wine will help to smooth out arteries and keep them relaxed. This can particularly repair the damages that come from a single cigarette. Specifically, two glasses of red wine may neutralize the damages that come from one or two cigarettes depending on how intense those smokes might be.

• The materials in red wine can also slow down some functions in the body including ones that might process the chemicals found in cigarettes. This may cause the cigarettes to break down and wear out before the body can take in their effects.

This all works well for the body but it’s all provided that a person uses these items in moderation. Anyone who consumes far too much red wine at a given time will be at risk of getting drunk. This can keep the positive aspects of red wine from being felt in any manner and can even cause some pains to develop all around the body.

It is really amazing to explore just how well red wine can work for the demands that people have when it comes to keeping their bodies healthy. The fact that red wine is capable of controlling the damages that come from smoking is one of the best advantages for all to explore.

How Much Is Enough When Having Wine?

How Much Is Enough When Having Wine?

Wine can truly be a great drink for anyone to enjoy at any time of the year. Still, people need to take a careful look at what they are doing when they consume wine.

As enjoyable as it can be, wine can cause many problems if too much is consumed. The fact is that too much of a good thing can be a risk as a person might lose control of some physical abilities.

In addition, a person who drinks too much wine may suffer from some judgmental issues. For instance, a person who wants to get plastic surgery will usually make a conscious effort on one’s part to receive a treatment. However, someone who goes all the way out for a more expensive Rose McGowan plastic surgery option from a Great Resource that offers such a treatment might do so without thinking ahead of time. The alcohol in one’s body may cause a person to have a lack of judgment in terms of what one wants to do at a given time.

The risks of having too much wine can be rather detrimental to one’s life. Some people may even be at risk of extreme harm if they attempt to drive vehicles or use other large items after drinking. It only takes a glass of wine to really impact one’s body. It sounds like an unusual conceit but it is a fact that can easily be noticed not too long after one’s first glass.

Fortunately, there are some simple standards that may be followed when determining how much wine one should have. These are standards that may be utilized in any case:

wine drinking• Men should only have about two or three drinks at a given time. This is often enough to where the man will still have control of his faculties and not hurt other people or himself.

• Women are more sensitive to the effects of wine than men are. Therefore, women should only have one or two glasses of wine at a given moment.

• Any person could feel significant effects after consuming more than three glasses of wine. All people should make sure that they avoid having three or more at a time if they are to protect themselves.

• People who are taking medications in some way should avoid having wine altogether. Wine products are known to interact like medications just like any other alcohol.

• Women who are pregnant will need to avoid wine altogether as alcohol can harm an unborn child.

• People who are going to be driving or operating any other large-scale item should also avoid drinking wine. This is to avoid the risk of a potential injury as a result of the person being rather drunk at the time.

All people need to watch for what they are doing if they are going to consume wine. As enjoyable as wine can be, it is also something that may be harmful to the human body if it is not used right. Wine can cause anyone to become drunk rather quickly regardless of the type one has.

Ideas To Use When Finding Quality Barrels For the Winemaking Process

Ideas To Use When Finding Quality Barrels For the Winemaking Process

You can use all kinds of unique barrels when making wines. These barrels can include some enticing options that feature some refreshing textures. Barrels can especially insulate your wine from all sorts of outside influences including light.

That doesn’t mean you can stick with just any barrel when making wine. You’ve got to make a decision with regards to finding a barrel that really fits in well. Here are a few things that you can particularly do when finding ways to make your barrels for wine purposes a little easier to manage.

Consider the Wood

The wood that you will be using when finding a quality barrel can include something that might rub off on the wine as a whole. For instance, a chestnut blend might have components in its wood that can move into the wine to create a nutty and deeper texture. The same may be said of a mahogany wood texture.

The wood’s materials are not going to harm the wine in any way. They will simply create a more refined approach to the wine that you are getting so you’ll have a more enjoyable final product if it is all used properly.

barrel wood

Are They Sealed?

Even a small bit or light or air can cause reactions to wine that can cause it to become stale or weak. You have to make sure that barrels you get are sealed properly so you will not be at risk of bearing with annoying problems where light or air get in the way. Check on all caps and spaces around the barrel to ensure that whatever you are using will not be more of a hassle to use than needed.

How Large Are They?

Many companies that sell wine barrels and buy YouTube subscribers at qqtube.com often want to promote the fact that they have barrels that are very large for all the requirements that one might have when getting barrels up and running. However, you need to be certain that the barrels that you are getting are actually suitable and useful for the goals you’ve got.

Barrels can be about ten to twenty liters in size on average. This is often enough to store several bottles worth of wine. Meanwhile, others might be so large that they might be used in lieu of massive vats that can hold several gallons of wine at once.

Take a look at the grapes and other compounds you’ve got and see how much wine you can get out of them. Take that into consideration and go for as many barrels as needed based on their sizes and what you’ll get. Try and stick with a total storage amount that is as close and exact to the actual amount of wine you will be storing as possible.

Barrels are great for winemaking but you have to be certain when using barrels that you are aware of what you are getting out of them. Make sure you know what you will be getting out of your barrels when finding good choices for storage purposes to ensure that there are no problems coming in the way.

Storing Wine With a Good Condition In Mind Is Critical

Storing Wine With a Good Condition In Mind Is Critical

One thing that many people forget to do when it comes to having wines is to store them properly. If a wine is not stored as well as it should be then it can easily spoil and become weak over time. Several things have to be done in order to keep wine stored in a safe spot. If these points are not followed properly then it will be rather easy for the wine to wear out and not be as great as it is supposed to be.

Avoid Light

Light can hurt any wine bottle over time. Light can interact with the phenolic compounds in wine and thus cause them to spoil over time. This is especially problematic with lighter wines that can go bad quickly. It is always best to store wines in a space where there is hardly any light that can influence the quality of the wine or the temperature in a space.

Keep a Chilled Environment

It always helps to keep wine chilled with care. A wine will take longer to develop if it is in a lower temperature and will therefore be preserved for a while.

It is often best to stick with a condition around 52 degrees Fahrenheit or 11 Celsius when getting wines stored in secure spaces. This is a condition that is comfortable for most wines and will not cause any problems with regards to the wine spoiling or wearing out in the long run.

A McQuay PTAC model may work well in that a McQuay PTAC can work in a specific room to cool off a spot. This has to work in a dedicated room to ensure that the wine is to be treated and cooled while other rooms will have their own temperature settings that they can actually work with.

Of course, this works best if the room is dark. If it is dark and not letting in any heat from light then it should be just fine as the air conditioner will continue to operate as needed.

Keep the Humidity Under Control

While it is true that wine bottles are always sealed, storing wine with humidity in mind is always a good idea. Many PTAC models can help to circulate moist air in a room to allow the humidity in a spot to stay intact. If the relative humidity inside a wine bottle can stay as perfect as possible then the wine will not be likely to spoil. This will create

Storing wine is always good to do but it will be critical to ensure that the wine is stored in a space that is safe. If it is cool and dark then the wine should last for a while. Again, keep the space dark to allow the humidity to stay intact. After all, if a wine is not stored the right way then it will be rather easy for the wine to spoil after a while. Considering how intricate and valuable wine can be, it is not a good thing to bear with when it comes to enjoying a fine wine.