Posts Tagged ‘Wine Tip’
It’s that time of year again when most of us go wandering around in the “Champagne” aisle looking for that perfect bubbly to toast with loved ones. You ask yourself, should I purchase the genuine article from Champagne, France or just something modeled after it?
Sparkling wine is the term used when talking about all of the other bubbly stuff made outside of the Champagne region of France. Some examples of sparkling wine include Cava from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, and French inspired Brut from California estates. The choices and style differences from around the globe can be endless and pricing can also be all over the board, depending on what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend.
Here’s a list of 10 reliable Sparkling wines/Champagne that know how to make it pop year after year.
Segura Viudas Brut Extra Dry Cava (Spain) Price: $10. For the money, this might be the most delicious sparkler on the market.
Freixenet Brut de Noirs Cava Rose (Spain) Price: $8. Another great Spanish sparkler with a touch of sweetness.
Mionetto DOC Prosecco (Italy) Price: $12. Italian sparklers really got my attention this year, and this one is totally fantastic.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling (USA) Price: $12. A real crowd pleaser and very reliable year after year.
Domaine Chandon Brut Sparkling (USA) Price: $20. Can be a bit too dry for some, but very French in style and taste.
Roederer Estate Sparkling Brut and Rose (USA) Price: $25-$30. This stuff starts to move into French Champagne pricing – but so does the quality! Both the Brut and Rose are superb and its as good as the best that France has to offer. If your wallet runneth over with Benjamins, you may want to try a bottle of their Cristal (Rappers sold separately).
Gruet Blanc de Blancs (USA) Price: $25. The Gruet Winery is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico – reason enough to try this American sparkler.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV (France) Price: $40. Some may argue that this French Champagne is overpriced, but it has established a benchmark in quality for itself that a lot of other producers have imitated.
Pol Roger Blanc NV Brut (France) Price: $40. I love this Champagne! It’s rich, interesting, and tastes even better after two days in the fridge after being opened.
Bollinger Special Cuvee NV (France) Price: $60. At 60 bucks a bottle, this Champagne delivers the goods! The Bollinger is about as good and reliable as it gets when it comes to rich tasting French Champagne.
Happy New Year!
I went over to see my Mom the other day and she shared with me a wine tip regarding wine preservation that showed up in an issue of “Woman’s World” that she was reading. The brief write-up was titled, “No More Wasted Wine”. Here it is in it’s entirety:
“Next time you have left-over wine, forgo recorking the bottle and try this preservation trick, courtesy of vintner Darren Hesington of Cape May Winery in New Jersey: Pour the remaining vino into a small container like a water bottle, and seal tightly. Being exposed to less air keeps it fresher longer”.
I agree with Mr. Hesington’s tip except for the suggestion to utilize a water bottle as a suitable vessel to prolong a wine’s life. I disagree with the use of any plastic container for a couple reasons. First, I have tried several “bag in box” wines this year which have made me question whether the plastic bags used to store the wine have an effect on how the wine tastes. These wines have barely had any taste and no discernible aromas. I’m not sure yet if it’s the wine, the vessel, or a little of both, but it all just makes me question whether the plastic bag is “numbing” the wine. The second reason plastic is not a good idea is that it can retain smells from other foods or liquids that has been stored in it.
If you do decide to put this wine tip to the test, I would recommend using a stainless steel thermos that is free of coffee and chicken noodle soup “flavor-savers” over the use of a plastic container.
Good luck with which ever one you try!
We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but how many times have we had a great bottle of wine, tossed the empty, and then forgot what it was that we had? Here’s a way to put that expression to work: Save the wine label from the bottle!
Below are two commonly used methods to remove a label from a bottle:
Method 1: Hot Water
Fill kitchen sink with very hot water.
Carefully place empty bottle into hot water.
Check on bottle in about 2-3 minutes to see if the label is loose. If not loose, allow for extra soaking time. In most cases, label will float off. Peskier labels will require your fingernail or a knife to lift it from the bottle.
Lay label on counter to dry.
Once dry, place it in either a piece of plastic wrap or clear ziplock bag and store in a place that you will not forget.
Method 2: Wine Label Removers
There’s no need to soak the bottle. The only work that you have to do is to simply apply the wine label remover over your wine label and then peel back. Voila - your label is removed!
This recession has been hard on all of us. It has been especially difficult on the food and wine industry. With unemployment numbers continuing to grow, more and more people are trading in gastronomic bliss in order to keep a roof over their heads.
But what would happen if you were to lose your meal ticket? Would you turn to drinking Boone’s Farm Apple Wine and eating Ramen noodles for dinner? Hopefully not. You may not be in a financial position to purchase that $20 Cabernet Sauvignon that you once considered an “everyday wine” or to dine out at the swankiest local restaurants every night, but it doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your culinary endeavors altogether. You just need to modify them! Because when the going gets tough, real food & wine connoisseurs get extra creative!
Here are 3 suggestions to maintain the Wine Life 365 days a year:
1.) Finally put that fancy kitchen to good use and dirty it up a bit
Believe it or not, a kitchen was meant to be used more than just once a week or when guests come over. There are tons of tasty and cheap everyday food recipes available on the web or in the cookbooks that you’ve barely used. Now is a great time to learn how everything works in your kitchen and start preparing restaurant style meals at home for friends and family.
2.) Dumpster diving-wine style
Find a good wine merchant in your area that carries a wide selection of inexpensive wines that goes beyond Yellowtail and Barefoot wines. I’m not knocking either of these two wineries, because both of them do in fact make some decent cheap wines. I’m merely saying that wine values can be found all across the globe. A good wine merchant who offers a large selection of affordable everyday wines in all likelihood has “taste-driven” a lot of them and will carry the “crème de la crème” of inexpensive vino.
3.) Variety is the spice of life (and potentially a godsend to your wallet)
This is a great time to experiment with less expensive alternatives to pricy Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. Why not try a Torrontes from Argentina or a Monastrell from Spain? These red and white wine alternatives are affordable and mingle really well with a variety of different foods. With a little experimenting in the kitchen, you’ll soon discover what types of food and wine go hand in hand.
Life is short, so rather than stagnating your tastebuds until you find that next high paying job, why not change a few of your food and wine buying habits and create a simpler lifestyle at home. Before you know it, you’ll be back to work and will have a much greater appreciation for the pleasures that you once took for granted – and maybe even have a little fun as well!