Saturday, July 21, 2007

Do You Believe In Magic?

The genie living in wine bottles is sometimes able to grant three wishes for the wine maker, wine critic and wine consumer. These are magic bottles.

Since most of us are unable to afford Premier Grand Cru Bordeaux or Burgundy wines, we should also trust our own palates and wine preferences. I believe this is the problem with the current wine marketing. We shop with our Wine Spectator Best Buy list or the latest Robert Parker picks but forget that although they may have tasted more wine than we have, what we like is what is most important.

TV ads, fanciful labels and shelf notes further prod us into peer pressure purchases. Your dollars are the best way to make changes to this system. Step out of your comfort zone, embrace the unfamiliar and try lots of different wines. Then, you will know what characteristics you like in both reds and whites. Armed with this knowledge, you can weed through the reviews, tackle a restaurant wine list or ask a competent merchant to steer you to new wines.

Climb out of your rut and hunt for your own magic bottle.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Analyze This!

"Stop and smell the roses"

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"He who hesitates is lost."

"Time flies."

We have heard these quotations and cliches all our lives. But, the older I get, I have noticed that the days, weeks and months really do seem to be winning the race. Stopping to analyze this would take up more precious time. Instead, I'll write about a wine that should be savored and not dissected.

I recently had my first Torrontes from the Pannotia Vineyards in Argentina and felt it was more than a glass of wine, it was an experience. It's intense aromas are similar to Viognier, with hints of peach, apricot, rose, and litchi. On the palate, it has a beautiful structure and acidity with fruit flavors that keep you coming back for another sip and plenty of body for a wine that shows such delicate aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed. Best enjoyed in its youth either by itself, or as a wonderful partner with seafood or spicy Thai food.

Save the analysis for the couch.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wimpy Wine?

The character Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons had the motto, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." So, my question is, what is a purchase that gives you not only instant gratification but that you would also go out on that financial limb to obtain?

Lately, my wine hobby has had an impact on our finances. After searching for the best storage options, we purchased a dual control 100 bottle wine cellar. It was a major investment and so is the desire to fill it to capacity. (After all, it will run more efficiently.)

But, wine is not as wimpy as we have been lead to believe. Most consumers don't have optimal conditions to store our stash or save a partially consumed bottle. There are many gadgets on the market and some are worth your dollars. But if you buy wine to enjoy within the next few months, most wine will handle whatever you can dish out.

If you don't think you can drink a bottle that has been left in your trunk during a summer heat wave, guess again. Just watch this current episode of WLTV at the link listed below.

And if you believe that you have to vacu-seal a partial bottle to enjoy it to it's full potential, watch this link for a enlightening experiment.

So, don't sweat it, wine can take it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Don't forget to add the sound of a "popping" cork to your fourth of July celebration.


Do you cook with wine? If you make sauces to drizzle over your entrees, try adding a wine you would normally enjoy in your glass to your pan. The alcohol will cook off, leaving the concentrated flavor of the wine.

Dry white wines are best used with poultry, veal, and fish.

Beurre Blanc Sauces
Sauvignon Blanc

Reduction Sauces and Pan Sauces
Sauvignon Blanc

Poaching, Steaming, Sautéing, Stir-Frying
Pouilly Fume
Chenin Blanc

Light to Medium Red Wines- for Sautéing, Stir-Frying, Pan Sauces, Pasta, and Brown Sauces

Medium to Full-Bodied Red Wines - are primarily used with red meats, stews, pasta sauces, and roasts. Use for sautéing, pan-frying, roasting, braising, broiling, grilling, pasta sauces, and barbecue sauces
Pinot Noir
Cabarnet Sauvignon

Asian Wines - used for sauce making, stir-frying, soups, broths, pan-sauces, and grilling Generally sweet and non-acidic compared to most other white wines.
Rice Wines

Sherry-An excellent substitute when Rice Wines are unavailable.

Try cooking with wine today!