Tag Archives: Wine

Tips for Collecting and Storing Wine

vine vera banner presents Tips for Collecting and Storing Wine

There seems to be a historical connection between the production of musical masterpieces and large amounts of wine. Maybe, then, it wouldn’t be a stretch to speculate that Dave Matthews’ introspective lyrics may have been inspired largely by the contents of his 17th century Vineyards, or that Sting’s reflections on Jung had to be the results of many a wine soaked evening in his 16th century Tuscan estate, but would you think Mike D of the Beastie Boys (RIP) may have been drinking a fine Burgundy when he wrote, “You’ve Got to Fight For Your Right To Party?” And what about Duran Duran who actually once toured with a full wine cellar and included Sassicaia on its contract rider? Would you guess that rocker Pink’s inspiration came from reds and whites?

If you are an aspiring wine collector, it is safe to say that you are certainly in good (or at least glamorous) company. Whether you are looking for inspiration for your next great book or album, big bucks, or just for some real good wine at hand, here are tips you may want to keep in mind.

Budget Yourself
One of the first things you may want to do as a novice collector is to establish a reasonable budget. Alder Yarrow, creator of venography.co says, “Aspiring collectors may be surprised to know that as little as $300 or $400 can be enough to buy some excellent bottles that will last the next 20 years.” While you may want to spend a little more on collectible bottles, wine writer Leslie Sbrocco says that there are a lot of good values in the range of $25 to $35 and with a budget of $1000, “you can do some nice things.

Professional Refrigeration
If you’re not looking for long term investments, you don’t really need a storage locker or expensive refrigeration. However, if you plan to sell your bottles down the line or do some long term storing, you should keep your wine at a constant 55 degrees. Joe Padulo, owner of Portland wine Storage says, “fifty-five degrees allows a wine to develop and age gracefully.” If you are in it for the long haul, small storage lockers start at about $40 per month, but your wine cravings will have to keep business hours, depending on the storage facility.

vine vera banner presents Tips for Collecting and Storing Wine

Storage
When it comes to storage, it’s a good idea to estimate the number of wine bottles you want to collect and multiply it by three. Basements are generally the best places for maintaining the temperature your wine will require, but you should read the thermostat at different times of the day to ensure constant optimal temperature. The kiss of death for wine? Storing wine on top of the refrigerator or over the laundry area and stove. Humid areas are also bad news and dryness will make the cork dry out, ruining the wine.

You can buy relatively inexpensive racks to hold your wine and there are also kits available if you are handy. You may also consider purchasing a small refrigeration unit for the bottles you want to keep on hand for entertaining.

Finding Deals
Prior to bottling wines, wineries sometimes offer “futures,” and sell their upcoming vintages at 10 or 20 percent below final cost. Keep apprised of such events by joining winery clubs and signing up for mailing lists. You never know where and when you will find tomorrow’s superstar.

Be wary of the Internet and wine auctions. There is no guarantee that the wine was handled properly. Yarrow says, “It’s just too easy to get ripped off.” He suggests getting the wine from the wine make directly or establishing relationships with reputable retailers. Sbrocco recommends looking for deals at large retailers such as BevMo or Costco.

Buy Wines You Like
Although the best wine collections are varied, you are best advised to start by buying what you like. Know that new World Wines are usually best when drunk within three to seven years, whereas Old World Wines are meant to be aged.

Decide whether you lean more towards reds or if you prefer whites, With a few exceptions, whites don’t age as long as reds, which can be stored for decades before reaching their peak. Think about whites for drinking and reds for storage.

So for all you budding wine collectors, good luck, and good drinking, and let us know all about your adventures. Bottoms up!

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Summer Wine List

friends drinking wine

Ah, sweet memories of summer. You and your significant other drinking wine slushies on the back porch watching the sun go down. You and your significant other drinking pineapple moscato sangria in bed watching the sun come up. You and your significant other drinking rose spritzers on the beach watching the sun go down again. Summer just wouldn’t be summer without wine. So, whether you’re barbecuing, throwing a little get-together, or just sipping for enjoyment, here are some of the wines you need to have on your summer wine list.

Rosés For Summer
When most people think of summer wines, rosés inevitably come up first. However, most wine aficionados would agree that any time can be a good time for any wine, and most who have had rosés in the winter would agree. As long as you pair the wine with a complementary dish, the weather kind of fades into the background. In fact, according to Allie Poindexter from Henrietta Red in Nashville, “During the summer months when there is a wider array of produce available, our menu gets lighter, with heavier items replaced by simple and seasonal offerings that pair will with subtler wines.'” Below are a few favorites that Poindexter says are, “all perfect for sipping on hot summer nights;” and she’s not necessarily limiting her selection to rosés:

Corvezzo Terre si Marca Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
Pondexter point sour that this prosecco, naturally fermented and made from organic grapes, may be a little different from what you expect from the typical sparking. Poindexter says its,”subtle effervescence and floral, funky quality…makes it the perfect pairing for cheese and charcuterie.”

Friends' get-together with wine

Christoph Hock Kalkspitz Pet Nat, Kamptal, Austria
Pet-nats are made using a traditional method of producing sparkling wine in which the wine is bottled without additives before the primary fermentation is finished. The result is an unfiltered naturally carbonated wine with a taste comparable to apple cider.

Pouillon And Fils Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne, France
This rose and sparkling wine combo is unique in that the Pouillon family grows their own organically farmed grapes; a process not normally used in the region. The result is a pleasurably drinkable wine perfect for summer nights.

Quinta do Montalto Medieval de Ourem Rose, Lisbon Portugal
Poindexter notes that, while the dark ruby color of this wine may not be typical of most roses, drinking the wine will clarify it as pure rose. “It drinks like a rose with lots of red berry fruit and a soaring acidity,” she says, “It has an interesting woodsy character, the result of being aged in chestnut barrels.

Mica Vinho Verde, Minho, Portugal
Made from biodynamic, organic grapes, Poindexter described this vinho verde as, “super light and drinkable, ” adding that it has a “pronounced mineralogy and a low ABV of 10 percent.” and is a “fantastic pairing for oysters and crudos.”

wine glasses clinking

Arndorfer Kamptal Vorgeschmack White, Niederosterreich, Austria
Poindexter informs, “Vorgeshmack means appetizer in German, and like an appetizer this wine is meant to be an introduction into the Arndorfer family vineyards.” Apparently, it’s an enticing one. The chef says, “Reisling lands fruitiness and dynamism while Gruner Veltliner brings florals and spice.”

What are you drinking this summer? Cocktails? Or are you more of a strict wine purist? Let us know!

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Travel Outfits For New Moms

You love everything about being a new mom, but you have to admit, since the baby arrived, it’s given a new meaning to the word luggage. In fact, you’re pretty sure that your diaper bag alone would probably qualify as “over-sized” by most airline standards, and that’s the one without the built-in changing station. And now you have to travel. Your relatives are dying to meet your newest addition and your dying show off your latest accomplishment. But the last thing you want is more to pack, and comfort is a top priority. Here are some simple travel outfits to keep things easy and fashionable.

Post Pregnancy Clothes
You don’t want to spend a ton of money on clothing you won’t wear for very long, but you need comfy and cute items to accommodate your figure and make nursing easy.

Leggings
Two of the best outfits for new moms are leggings with a loose, long top, and elastic waist jeans with a peplum shirt. Since your main concern right now is probably your middle, look for a top that will cover the hips with a thin fabric to avoid adding bulk. Horizontal stripes will add width, and should be avoided, while a belted shirt will keep large breasts from looking bigger.

Travel Outfits For New Moms

Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock.com

Flared Jeans
Flared jeans can help to balance out hips and make them look less noticeable. Your tops can be a little shorter than the ones you would pair with leggings, but you will still want to find ones that cover the hips a bit without totally eliminating your waistline. Flared jeans with a flowing shirt can make you look bigger in general. Add a belt to cinch the waist. Elastic belts tend to provide the most comfort.

Maxi and Midi Dresses
Maxi and midi dresses are really on trend right now and a great easy option for the new Mommy. They’re easy to adjust and you don’t have to worry about length issues when you’re reaching up or bending over.

Button-Down Shirts
A button down shirt tied around the waist is a blessing in disguise for new moms. It helps camouflage problem areas, while doubling as an accessory. It can also make for a quick cover up when you’re feeling shy, or when the air conditioning is a little high.

Kimono
If you’re traveling in the heat, you may feel a bit exposed in loose shorts and a tank top. Kimonos or drapey vests are fashionable ways of getting some extra coverage on those scorching hot days.

Travel Outfits For New Moms

pink panda / Shutterstock.com

Sundress
A sundress is a light to pack and easy to throw on. Bring that kimono along for some extra style and a last-minute cover-up. Look for interesting details and eye-catching colors to make the focal points of more revealing clothing.

Accessories
If you’re trying to keep your packing list low, it may be necessary to include a few accessories to keep your pieces looking fresh A watch is a functional accessory that will spare you the trouble of digging through your purse for a cell phone while dealing with your other accessory.

Cross body bags are smart alternatives to handheld purses, and will leave your hands free to tend to the little ones. Their style will also prevent you from setting them down unconsciously and forgetting to pick them up.

Stud earrings can add flash without becoming a plaything for small hands and hats are always great for blocking the sun and covering frizzy locks.

If you’re a new mom with plans to travel, great excitement is in store. Make sure to keep comfy and prepared. Let us know how you gear up for travel.

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Your Holiday Wine Tasting Party Plan

Enjoying a holiday wine tasting party
You finally landed your first real world job, and you want to throw a party and invite some of your new coworkers and you’re concerned about making a good impression, Alcohol needs to be involved, but you want to keep it classy. No keg parties here. Something more organized, more civilized, inviting quiet conversation. How about a wine tasting party? Perfect! You can keep it intimate, maybe six to twelve people, some elegant decorations, something with a soft subtle glow, maybe some winter garlands and some candlelight shining on the wine glasses. You can see it now….

Themed Party
Creating a theme for the party is a good idea. it will help direct the party conversation and will also serve as a guide line when you are stocking up. Some theme ideas include;

  • Variety: Invite your guest to sample wines from different regions. You can have them compare a Pinot Noir from New Zealand to one from California and another from Burgundy.
  • Blind Tasting: This is a sure way to guarantee entertainment. Pour wines into decanters labeled with a number or wrap bottle in foil to hide their identities and see if your guests can guess what they are.
  • Style: Select wines with a similar style. Your party can feature an array of crisp whites or bold reds for a taste comparison.
  • Region: Choose a region and offer wines which are unique to the area to let your guest see how location can effect the taste and body of wine.
  • Vintage: Find a few different vintages of the same wine. This may be a pricier and more ambitious theme to fulfill, but it may provide some enlightenment for novice wine tasters.

Keep the Party Small and Purchase in Accordance
Six to twelve is a good number of guests to have at your party. It will encourage conversation and keep the wine pouring more manageable. Also, by keeping the headcount low, you will avoid the need to provide duplicates of the wines to ensure everyone gets some. A good guideline for determining how much wine yo want to buy is about half a bottle to a bottle per guest, unless you invite the office lush, or if you are the office lush. A bottle of wine is about 24 ounces which yields 12 two-ounce tastes per bottle, but be prepared for guests wanting to re-taste. Start small, by pouring short tastes for your guests and provide spit buckets for those who may not want to overdo it.

Wine selections
Supplies
Glasses and Background. One glass per person is perfectly acceptable, although two glasses are better for taste comparisons. While the more creative among us may be inspired to decorate elaborately, color is an important consideration in wine tasting, so clear glassware, optimal lighting and a white background will work best.

Palate Cleansers. Set out a simple bread plate or water crackers for palate cleansing between pours and make sure to have plenty of water on hand.
Writing Materials. For some added polish, set out some pens and papers for tasking wine notes. You may even consider providing a printed grid with the names of the wines and a scoring scale.

How did it go? We want to hear how your event went? Was it a hit? What would you suggest for a successful wine party. Let us know!

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Tips For Collecting and Storing Wine

Wine collection

There seems to be a historical connection between the production of musical masterpieces and large amounts of wine. Maybe, then, it wouldn’t be a stretch to speculate that Dave Matthews’ introspective lyrics may have been inspired largely by the contents of his 17th century vineyards, or that Sting’s reflections on Jung had to be the results of many a wine soaked evening on his 16th century Tuscan estate. If you are an aspiring wine collector, it is safe to say that you are certainly in good (or at least glamorous) company. Whether you are looking for inspiration for your next great book or album, or just for some real good wine at hand, here are tips you may want to keep in mind.

Budget Yourself
One of the first things you may want to do as a novice collector is to establish a reasonable budget. Alder Yarrow, creator of vinography.com says, “Aspiring collectors may be surprised to know that as little as $300 or $400 can be enough to buy some excellent bottles that will last the next 20 years.” While you may want to spend a little more on collectible bottles, wine writer Leslie Sbrocco says that there are a lot of good values in the range of $25 to $35 and with a budget of $1000,” you can do some nice things.

Professional Refrigeration
If you’re not looking for a long term investment, you don’t really need a storage locker or expensive refrigeration. However, if you plan to sell your bottles down the line or do some long term storing, you should keep your wine at a constant 55 degrees. Joe Padulo, owner of Portland wine Storage says, “fifty five degrees allows a wine to develop and age gracefully.” If you are in it for the long haul, small storage lockers start at about $40 per month, but your wine cravings will have to keep business hours, depending on the storage facility.

Storage
When it comes to storage, it’s a good idea to estimate the number of wine bottles you want to collect and multiply it by three. Basements are generally the best places for maintaining the temperature your wine will require, but you should read the thermostat at different times of the day to ensure constant optimal temperature. The kiss of death for wine? Storing wine on top of the refrigerator or over the laundry area and stove. Humid areas are also bad news and dryness will make the cork dry out, ruining the wine. You can buy relatively inexpensive racks to hold your wine and there are also kits available if you are handy. You may also consider purchasing a small refrigeration unit for the bottles you want to keep on hand for entertaining.

Finding Deals
Prior to bottling wines, wineries sometimes offer “futures,” and sell their upcoming vintages at 10 or 20 percent below final cost. Keep apprised of such events by joining winery clubs and signing up for mailing lists. You never know where and when you will find tomorrow’s superstar. Be wary of the Internet and wine auctions. There is no guarantee that the wine was handled properly. Yarrow says, “It’s just too easy to get ripped off.” He suggests getting the wine from the wine maker directly or establishing relationships with reputable retailers. Sbrocco recommends looking for deals at large retailers such as BevMo or Costco.

Buy Wines You Like
Although the best wine collections are varied, you are best advised to start by buying what you like. Know that new World Wines are usually best when drunk within three to seven years, whereas Old World Wines are meant to be aged. Decide whether you lean more towards reds or if you prefer whites, With a few exceptions, whites don’t age as long as reds, which can be stored for decades before reaching their peak. Think about whites for drinking and reds for storage.

So for all you budding wine collectors, good luck and good drinking, and let us know all about your adventures. Bottoms up!

Leave a comment

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What Goes Well With Red

“Red, red wine, Go to my head, Make me forget that I, Still need her so.” These were the lyrics to “Red, Red Wine” as they were first written by Neil Diamond. Many GenXers will be more familiar with the UB40 edit which expanded to include lines such as, “Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine, You keep me rockin’ all of the time” and, “Red red wine, you make me feel so fine, Monkey pack him rizla pon the sweet dep line.”

Whether you prefer the more conventional Diamond version or the slightly more upbeat jams of UB40, one thing is clear, there are a lot of people who give red wine a lot of credit. If you are one of these people and are looking to incorporate red wine into your diet, remember, your tongue is your best judge of what goes well together, but dark to light is the general guideline. Red wines are normally served with heavier foods and are not usually paired with opening courses and appetizers. There are some food choices you may want to consider to complement your red wine choice.

1. Barbera
When Billy Joel sang, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” he was probably drinking Barbera, the standard red wine found in Italian restaurants and pizza places. Its low tannins go well with tomatoes and the acidity is good for breaking down rich, fatty foods like salami and cheese.

Pouring a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon

2. Cabernet Sauvignon
Known for its nobility, the medium or full bodied taste of Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with hearty dishes like roast beef lamb and coq au vin. Recipe suggestions include slow roast lamb with cinnamon, fennel and citrus and beef fillet.

3. Gamay
Tossing some meat on the barbie? Break out the Gamay. It goes well with veggies from the griddle or sardines and sausage. Store in the refrigerator one hour prior to opening and serve lightly chilled. Try it with a sizzling sausage salad or some spare ribs with barbecue sauce.

4. Merlot
Merlot is a traditional holiday staple. Serve it with your Christmas turkey, road chicken or duck or winter casseroles or just open it up for a Friday night dinner in front of the T.V.

Glass of Pinot Noir

5. Pinot Noir
Another holiday classic, Pinot Noir goes perfectly with roast turkey and lamb and also works well with mild, creamy soft cheeses.

6. Shiraz
Enjoy the full bodied taste of Shiraz in the winter with roasted veggies and grilled steak. Enjoy its hints of mocha and blackcurrants with herbed pork fillet.

7. Zinfandel
Bring on the Zin as a fabulous complement to sautéed field mushroom or succulent roast or braised venison. California’s historic wine, Zinfandel was immortalized by leading producer Joel Peterson who characterized it with the slogan, “no wimpy wines here.” Get tough with this American classic and bring some class to the party.

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London Wine Festival

Wine glasses in an event

If you’re someone who buys and/or chooses the wine for your business, then you’ll likely be interested in learning more about the London Wine Fair. It takes place May 3 – 5, 2016, at Olympia London in West Kensington, London, England. It is a trade only event and you must be 18+ to enter, so if you happen to fit in that category and you’re debating whether or not you should go, the following are some reasons why attending could be well worth it.

The Event is Free to Visit
No, you’re not reading that incorrectly. One of the best wine trade events is free to visit, so all you have to do is just consider travel and accommodations. That’s a pretty big plus considering how expensive some events could be, especially if you’re thinking of sending more than one person.

It’s a Great Chance to Network
Let’s be serious; when you go to certain events, there’s usually not a substantial amount of people there and there’s only so many you can meet in a small crowd. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but it can be limiting to those who want to meet a lot of people. Considering it’s expected that there are going to be around 18,000 in attendance at the London Wine Fair, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to be able to do a huge amount of networking. It’s your opportunity to meet people from all over the world that you might otherwise may never have met.

You Can Find Some Incredible New Wines
So just how high are your chances that you’re going to fall in love with some new wines while you’re at the event? Let’s put it into perspective. There are expected to be around 700 exhibitors in attendance at the London Wine Fair this year and it’s anticipated that they’ll be bringing 13,000 wines. That’s a lot of wine to get to know and it’s very likely you’ll connect to quite a few of them.

You Can Advertise Your Own Business
You have to give people a reason to want to get to know more about your business, and it’s not always about the products or services you’re offering. Look at it this way; if you attend an event and you’re hiding in a corner, don’t say anything, or you’re rude, how much are people really going to want to learn more about the business? When you’re kind, personable, approachable, and you interact with those around you, it’s a reflection of the business itself, and what better chance to get the word out about your business than in the midst of thousands of people at the London Wine Fair.

It’s an Entire Weekend Devoted to What You Love
Sure you could surround yourself with wine at home, but it’s nowhere near the same experience you’re going to have at the London Wine Fair. It’s thousands of incredible people in your industry, fabulous wines, and – depending on where you live – a completely different environment. Yes, it’s a working trip, but it’s one that’s certainly going to be a great time.

The aforementioned are just some of the reasons why you should consider attending the London Wine Fair if you’re in the industry, but frankly I could just keep going. Check it out for yourself and see if it’s right for you.

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