July 11, 2007

Wine News: Sales Of Rose Wine Blooming

Wine merchant Randy Kemner is tickled pink about rose.

Sales of blush vintages at his Wine Country store in Signal Hill are running 43 percent ahead of last year.

Thanks go to customers such as Tom Reep, 52, of Long Beach, who are starting to buy dry rose after tiring of a longtime summer standby, Chardonnay.

"We were looking for something to drink outside on our patio or when we had something on the grill," said the retired information technology executive as he bought a bottle of Chateau Martinette rose from southeast France for $12.99. "Rose is so food-friendly. It goes with everything."

New drinkers are also catching on to the wine, typically made from juice squeezed from red grapes. Nina Flores, 26, said her first taste of wine was of a pink - the sweeter and ubiquitous white Zinfandel that seemingly every California winery makes. As her imbibing expanded, she started to sample crisp whites and bigger reds.

Full article here.

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June 27, 2007

Wine News: Wine May Curb Cavities, Study Shows

Even with the alcohol removed, red wine and white wine may fight bacteria that cause cavities, an Italian study shows.

Before you toast the findings, remember that the study was done in test tubes. So it's too soon to count on a glass of wine to chase your cavities away.

The researchers, who work at Italy's University of Pavia, included Gabriella Gazzani, Ph.D.

First, they went to a local grocery store, where they bought some valpolicella (an Italian red wine) and pinot nero (an Italian white wine).

Back at their lab, the researchers stripped the alcohol out of the wine. They did that to prevent ethanol from interfering with their lab tests.

Next, the researchers marinated cavity-causing streptococcal bacteria in the wines. Both types of wine countered those bacteria and other streptococcal bacteria that cause some cases of throat infection.

Red wine might have had more antibacterial properties than white wine, but that wasn't certain, Gazzani's team notes.

Full article here.

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May 19, 2007

Wine News: White wine, red meat?

"Red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat" may be one of the most widely recognized rules of thumb in wine-and-food matching. But we find all sorts of delicious exceptions to the white-meat rule, including such glorious combinations as Pinot Noir with wild salmon or a mature Bordeaux with roast chicken. How about breaking the rules in the other direction, though? For me, at least, "white wine with red meat" isn't intuitively appealing. Naturally, ever the skeptic, I couldn't resist giving it a try. With a couple of nice grass-fed filet mignons in hand and a 2005 Petit Chablis from Jean-Marc Brocard up for tasting, the stage was set. I pan-seared the steaks in olive oil and garlic to a perfect medium-rare ... chilled the white wine just to cellar temperature and uncorked, er, unscrewed the cap ... and ... meh! In fairness, the combination wasn't awful. The beefy, earthy character of the grass-fed steak didn't actually war with the appley, tart wine. But the flavors didn't really create a greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts synergy as the best food-and-wine pairings do. The wine washed down the steak, but you could do that with iced tea or a Coke. There was nothing wrong with the wine: I re-capped the bottle and stuck it in the fridge to finish another day. We finished the steak with a splendid California Syrah (Domaine de la Terre Rouge 2003 "Ascent" from the Sierra Foothills) that worked with the beef as a fine red wine should. Its dark fruit and nuances of earth, "grilled meat," firm tannins and chocolatey oak played a natural counterpoint to the flavor and texture of the steaks. Red wine and red meat: Makes sense to me.

Full article here.

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May 2, 2007

Wine News: Best Party Sangria Recipe

This is a very popular drink that you can use at your Cinco de Mayo parties.

Includes recipe for:

  • Sangria

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 20, 2007

Wine News: Cooking wines

Said Julia Child: ``If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one.'' And so we came to a new gospel: Never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. For my generation of home cooks, this line now has the unshakable ring of a commandment. It was the first thing out of the mouth of every expert I interviewed on the subject.

But it is not always helpful in the kitchen. For one thing, short of a wine that is spoiled by age, heat or a compromised cork, there are few that I categorically would not drink. (Although a cooking wine, which is spiked with salt and sometimes preservatives, has never touched my braising pot.)

And once a drinkable wine has been procured, trying to figure out whether it is the best one for a particular recipe can seem imp

Full article here.

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April 7, 2007

Wine News: Choose the right red wine for a healthy heart

We're told that a glass of wine a day keeps the heart healthy. But boozers beware - not just any old plonk will do. Jeremy Laurance reports

If you plan to visit France this summer, be sure to try a bottle or two of Madiran. The appellation, which is just within sight of the Pyrenees, produces what may be the healthiest wine in the world. Madiran, made with at least 40 per cent tannat grapes, is deep purple, tannic and delicious with a bowl of hearty vegetable soup. And its levels of a plant chemical that is essential for heart health are among the highest of any wine.

Madiran wine can be bought in Britain through a few specialist merchants, but it is generally regarded as too tannic for we British, who are more accustomed to the highly processed, over-sweet, easy-drinking wines of the New World.

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 1, 2007

Wine News: Dairy creates wine-flavoured ice cream

A central New York dairy is raising eyebrows with their latest creation: wine-flavored ice cream. After about two years of product development, Boonville’s Mercer’s Ice Cream has created ice cream in three different wine flavors. There’s Ala Port Wine, Peachy White Zinfandel and Red Raspberry Chardonnay.

Officials at the small, locally owned Oneida County dairy say the new flavors are finally being scooped up by restaurants in New York City. A marketing consultant for the business thinks they’ve got a national product on their hands.

Full article here.

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March 22, 2007

NYTimes: Cheap Wine Works Fine

The New York Times Dining and Wine section has in interesting write up on cooking with wine. Julia Child once said "If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one." That was in a time before good quality table wines were common though. Does what she says still hold water today? According the the Times writer:

Over all, wines that I would have poured down the drain rather than sip from a glass were improved by the cooking process, revealing qualities that were neutral at worst and delightful at best. On the other hand, wines of complexity and finesse were flattened by cooking — or, worse, concentrated by it, taking on big, cartoonish qualities that made them less than appetizing.

Includes recipes for:

  • Risotto al Barolo

  • Sauternes Custard

  • Port-Braised Duck Legs With Black Pepper and Dried Cherries

Full article here.

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February 10, 2007

Say Cheese: Picturing the Perfect Wine Combo

The combination of wine and cheese may sound a little cliché perhaps, dare I say even a little cheesy. Still, since their invention, wine and cheese have been a dazzling duo, going together like strawberries and champagne, Merlot and steak, boxed wine and Taco Bell. Doing it their way, yes their way, wine and cheese are the Laverne and Shirley of the alcohol industry.

It may seem odd that two such separate entities have the ability to do this. After all, these two products come from seemingly opposite poles: wine is made to perfection; cheese can be processed to fit into a spray can and forego refrigeration. Wine is served with lobster; cheese is sprinkled on top of spaghetti and meatballs. Pouring wine is synonymous with sophistication, cutting cheese is a euphemism for passing wind. Nonetheless, when consumed together, cheese complements wine like no other food; it’s as if chunks of cheddar continually go up to bottles of Riesling to tell them how well they’ve aged.

The regular rules of food pairings - pairing white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat - do not apply to cheese and wine coupling, as most cheese is white or orange, or, if kept for too long, white and orange with soft green spots. Thus, in order to succeed in a proper pairing, we have to look beyond, viewing through the holes of a Swiss piece of cheese into an entirely different world.

Full article here.

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January 25, 2007

Wine News: Wine Pairing Plays for Game Day Snack Foods

"As game day approaches, don't forget to include wine at your Super Bowl party. The Wine Market Council makes it easy by pairing game-day snack stand-bys with favorite wines. Super Bowl Sunday isn't just for beer drinkers anymore!

Buffalo Wings
Piquant and vinegary wings need white wines with a lot of acidity like Sauvignon Blanc or Albarino from Spain to stand up to the sharpness of the flavors. If the wings are exceptionally spicy, an off-dry Riesling from Germany or the United States also works well to tame the heat.

With so many variations in its preparation, pizza matches well with many different wines. Keeping with the Italian theme, Chianti is a natural fit. Its tart cherry flavor and bright acidity meld well with any pizza's tomato sauce. Red wines from the Barbera grape, which is produced in Northern Italy's Piedmont area and parts of California also has a nice tang to accompany pepperoni or sausage. For a pizza emphasizing garlic or vegetables, try a Pinot Grigio.

Chili/Sloppy Joes
These quintessential American foods call for quintessential American wines. Try a lush, fruit-forward Zinfandel with a sloppy joe, the bright berry flavors will have affinity for the sweet, tomato flavors. With chili, a Syrah from the US or Rioja from Spain (with flavors of the Tempranillo grape) works wonders, as these wines have the same earthy and meaty characteristics.

Veggies and Dip
Crispy and crunchy crudites call for a fresh, zippy white like Sauvignon Blanc or an unoaked Chardonnay from New Zealand, Australia or the United States. If you're in the mood for a red, try something light and fruity like a chilled Beaujolais from France or an inexpensive Pinot Noir from Oregon or California."

Full article here.

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January 12, 2007

Wine News: 4 Wine Pairing Rules

"Until fairly recently, one of the best ways to expose yourself as a wine poseur was to proclaim loudly that you always enjoy a nice spot of white wine with your cheese. Although red wines have traditionally been seen as the best accompaniment to cheeses, the winds of change are blowing.

All of which is to say that even the most sacred pairing rules are not immune to change in oenophilic circles. With that in mind, I offer four timeless suggestions for pairing wine with food. These aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but suggestions, so feel free to serve white or red wine with red meat or whatever the trend is. Your wine should be selected to enhance the flavors of your meal, but what matters in the end is that you enjoy the particular pairing.
1- Match flavors and tastes
One of the best rules of thumb to follow when pairing wine with food is to think of the wine as another condiment for the meal. In other words, you should select varietals that will enhance the flavors of the dish. Instead of standing firmly by the old rule that you should always serve white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat, try pairing lighter wines with lighter foods and more full-bodied wines with heavier foods. So, while pairing a Pinot Noir with halibut violates the rules, it does follow the "light with light" rule. But, by the same token, pairing a white wine with game is just wrong. Period.

As far as sweetness goes, the general rule holds that you don’t serve a dish that is sweeter than the wine. This is why sweet dessert wines are usually only brought out at the end of or after a meal. On balance, this is one rule you’ll want to stick to as much as possible, but you can get away with pairing dark chocolate with a full-bodied red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon."

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 27, 2006

Wine News: Wine: Reds make healthy, affordable party choices

"Remember the days when planning a party, we bought twice as much white as we bought red wines?

With the news about red wine's positive impact on health, more availability of good red wines and reductions in prices, red wine has become increasingly popular.

Picking an affordable red can be tricky because some people are picky about what reds they will drink.

Quite often the answer lies with a blend of wine from two or three grape varieties. We asked the wine-tasting group to compare four wines costing less than $10 that they would serve at a party. We found a real value."

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 16, 2006

Wine News: Gifts for the wine geek on your list

"One not only drinks wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it — and one talks about it.” King Edward VII 1841-1910

A wine geek is an individual who spends much of his or her time, money and energy, learning, tasting and talking about wine.

So, with just a few weeks to go before Christmas, I thought I would suggest a few ideas that may be helpful for those of you shopping for a wine enthusiast.

Poor glassware is a huge issue and often a pet peeve with us geeks."

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 25, 2006

Wine News: If your wine budget's limited, try these

"The party season is officially under way, and Team Best of ... has your back. We know that however well you mean, once again this year you will find yourself rushing to pick up something to take to the party, whether a gift to the host or as a bring-your-own-bottle deal.
We can see you now, flustered, stopping at the nearest grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine. You want something decent, preferably local because it's the cool thing to do, but you also want something that won't break the bank.
Therein lies the challenge. Ever since California bulk producer Bronco Wine resurrected the once-prestigious Charles Shaw label, but charged less than $3 a bottle through Trader Joe's stores, we have a new low-pricing standard."

Full article here.

Jennifer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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