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Wine To Go!

Wine To Go

Sip wine at a picnic or tailgating party without having to pack a bottle opener. The portable Stack Wine is a bottle of wine separated into four stemless wine glasses, offering quality wine without the hassle of a bottle, glasses, or corkscrew.

Glasses are stacked together in a tower for easy transportation. When ready to use, just snap apart, peel off the foil off a glass, and enjoy the wine.

A 4-pack has the same volume, 750 ml, as a traditional bottle of wine and comes in four flavors: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Red Blend.

The unique packaging and great taste makes this a great gift to bring to dinner parties or enjoy at an outdoor festival.

For more details and where it is available for purchase, visit DrinkStack.com.

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A Wine for All

Moscato

Light-bodied, refreshing, and fruity, Moscato (or Moscato d’Asti) is a white wine commonly served with brunch or dessert. Prominent flavors include apricot, peach, nectarine, and orange, with undertones of honeysuckle, vanilla, rose, jasmine, and orange blossom.

As one of the sweeter white wines available with a reasonable price tag, Moscato is popular among new wine drinkers and seasoned enthusiasts alike. The slight spritz and best-served-cold quality make this wine a summertime staple, whether enjoying a glass alongside tangy peach pie or added to a mix of fruit juices for a refreshing sparkling punch.

Don’t be mistaken—this sweet wine is no “frou-frou” vino. The Muscat grape used to make Moscato wine has been harvested for thousands of years in many different cultures from Italy to Argentina and is thought by many to be the oldest cultivated wine grape.

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cellar talk: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

The Pinot Noir is a fickle grape that is difficult to grow, so it is produced in smaller batches than other red wines. It is a dry, red wine with a fruity profile, earthy undertones, and a hint of warm spice. It is a lighter-bodied wine with a lower tannin level, which means the aging potential is not as dominant.

Pinot Noir is well suited to pair with a wide variety of dishes from ethnic cuisine to traditional favorites. It nicely accommodates pork, poultry, beef, cheese, chocolate, fish, and wild game. It works with creamy sauces and spicy seasonings and is considered to be one of the most versatile wines.

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cellar talk: Champagne Cocktails

Champagne Cocktails

The holidays are a time for celebration, and nothing kicks off a celebration like a toast with a fizzy beverage. For a cheerful alternative to fill your friends’ and family members’ glasses, offer one of these upscale champagne cocktails:

The Classic. The original champagne cocktail has been around since the mid-1800s. Drop a sugar cube and pour some Angostura bitters in the bottom of a flute, fill with champagne, and garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Mimosa. This classic brunch favorite is simply equal parts juice and champagne. Orange juice is the most common, but mix it up with cranberry, cherry, or grape juice to add a festive color or grapefruit juice or lemonade to perk up your taste buds.

Bellini. This Italian favorite blends one part peach syrup or puree with four parts Prosecco, but any type of champagne or sparkling white wine will do. Garnish with fresh berries for a touch of color.

Champagne Mojito. The classic flavors of the Kentucky Derby gets spruced up with some bubbly. Muddle mint and lime; shake with ice and a little sugar. Scoop the mixture into a champagne flute, then fill to the top with champagne.

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cellar talk: Hard Cider

Hard Cider

Children often bob for apples at fall festivals, but the October apple harvest often excites adults for the promise of crisp, refreshing hard cider.

Production and types. When yeast is added to fruit juice before the fermentation process, hard cider is born. Apple juice is used most often, but other juices can be used. Hard cider can range from light yellow to an orange-brown hue, and the clarity varies from cloudy to clear depending on the types of fruit and whether the juice was filtered before the fermentation process. Both still and sparkling ciders are made, but sparkling is more common.

Top of its game. During Colonial times, fermented apple juice was the most popular and important beverage in America because it was safer to drink than water, which could contain harmful bacteria, and it was cheaper to produce than beer or wine. Once industrialization made the production of beer more economical, cider began to lose its wide appeal.

Making a comeback. Since the Prohibition era, cider has been lagging behind in the comeback race. It wasn’t until recently that a number of cider brewers popped up—Angry Orchard, Woodchuck, Crispin, and Strongbow are a few ciders that are readily found in the Midwest. Even the more prestigious breweries are jumping on the cider bandwagon—Stella Artois has recently introduced Cidre, a fusion of apple, peach, and apricot flavors, and Michelob markets an Ultra Light Cider, a lower-calorie option. And the majority of cider varieties are gluten-free, making them a viable option for those with gluten allergies or intolerances.

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cellar talk: Zinfandel

Zindfandel

Flavor profiles. Rooted in Old World Croatia, the Zinfandel grape is a red-skin grape with clear juice. The color of a Zinfandel wine—light pink or dark red—depends on the amount of time that the juice remains in contact with the deeply hued skin. Zinfandel wines are medium- to full-bodied wines with fruity flavors including, berries, cherries, and plums, with anise and black pepper undertones. The white variety is a fruity blush wine. The red variety has a rich, dark color with a medium to high tannin level and a higher alcohol content—sometimes as much as 22% alcohol by volume.

Skillful production. Zinfandel wines take great skill to produce because the grapes are difficult to properly grow and harvest. The grapes grow in large, tight bunches that do not mature at an even pace, which can result in overripe grapes that taint the flavor for experienced wine connoisseurs. To ensure grape quality, some Zinfandel winemakers opt to pick by hand over several weeks, which drastically raises the cost of the wine.

Culinary variety. With both white and red varieties available, Zinfandel is a diverse wine that can be paired with a wide array of cuisine. The white Zinfandel pairs well with vegetarian dishes, poultry, and seafood; the red is heavy-duty enough to stand up to red meats and wild game. The versatility truly shows when paired with Mexican or other spicy fare. And both Zinfandel varieties are commonly used in cooking.

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cellar talk: Shandy

Shandy

Many summer activities—boating, fire pit parties, poolside relaxation—are best accompanied by refreshing beverages. If you're looking for an alternative to the standard brew, try a shandy.

What is it? A shandy is simply a drink made from beer and a nonalcoholic mixer. Lemonade is the most common mixer in a shandy, but citrus-flavored soda, ginger ale, and apple cider are also good choices. You can buy premixed shandies in cans or bottles for convenience, but shandy is simple to mix up at home, as well.

History. Before water purification was abundant in Europe, laborers and travelers would drink beer cut with tart lemonade as a refreshing drink with lower alcohol content. England calls this shandygaff. Many other European countries have their own variation.

Making your own. The only ingredients you need to make your own shandy at home are a good beer and your choice of mixer. Lagers and hoppy ales are common for shandies—they mix well with citrus flavors. Traditional English shandies use tart lemonade that is less sweet than what is commonly drunk on its own. The ratio for premixed shandy is typically half and half, but you can adjust to taste when making your own.

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cellar talk: Visit a Winery

Visit a Winery

A winery visit is a perfect activity for a spring or summer day. Most wineries offer guided tours or allow you to roam the property and take in the scenery on your own. Either way, these tips will help you make the most of your experience:

Ask questions. Your winery visit is about the whole experience. The more engaged you are, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Make a day of it. Be sure to enjoy everything the winery has to offer—a diverse wine selection, a staff of educated wine enthusiasts, and beautiful scenery. Participate in a tasting, tour the property, and have a picnic lunch. Some wineries feature events such as live music.

Be adventurous. If you usually drink red wine, ask the server to suggest a white wine. If you’re partial to sweet, try a drier selection. Switch it up to make the most of everything that’s available to you.

Be prepared. After the tours and tasting, it’s unlikely that you’ll be going home empty-handed, so get an empty wine box from a local wine store to keep the bottles from clinking around on the ride home. If you are visiting a winery far from home, ask the winery about shipping it back home or bring a shipping container to transport it in your checked baggage.

Be safe. Remember, you might indulge in more wine than you expected to, so arrange for transportation or a designated driver before you go.

Staying close to home. If a trip across the country isn’t in your plans, there are plenty of wineries close to home to explore. Here are just a few in the metro area:

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cellar talk: Riesling

Riesling

On the rise. Spanning from dry to sweet and light to full-bodied, this white wine from the Rhine region has a strong foothold in today’s market. But that wasn’t always the case. Germany has gone through periods of low-quality wine exports that have earned Riesling a bad rap among the wine community. However, the Riesling grape is regarded highly by wine critics, and Riesling has flourished due to its loyal following.

Versatility. Riesling’s combination of sweetness and acidity makes it a suitable companion for a wide variety of cuisines. It pairs well with lighter seafood and chicken dishes but, unlike many white wines, can also hold its own with pork. It is also heralded as one of the few wines that pairs well with spicy cuisines such as Indian, Chinese, and Thai.

Selection. Because the characteristics of Riesling can vary so greatly, it can be a difficult wine to select. The International Riesling Foundation is on a mission to make choosing the wine easier in the United States. The foundation has produced a graphic that indicates where the wine falls on a scale from dry to sweet for wineries to include on the label. Another indicator is the alcohol content. A lower percentage will result in a sweeter wine; a wine with higher alcohol content will be more on the dry side.

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cellar talk: Brandy

Brandy

History. Brandy came about in the 12th century, when traveling merchants distilled wine—reducing the water and increasing the alcohol content—to preserve it for transport. The intention was to add the water removed in the distilling process back in before drinking. However, when aged in wooden barrels, the resulting product was superior to the original wine, entering brandy into mainstream consumption.

Common types. The most popular type of brandy is Cognac, which is named for the region of France in which it is produced. Cognac is distilled grape wine that is high in acid and low in alcohol. It is used in cocktails or sipped straight. Flavored brandy is made from fruits other than grapes—apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, and blackberries are common brandy flavors.

Culinary uses. Not just an after-dinner spirit, brandy has a place in the culinary world as well. It is frequently used as a deglazing liquid to create pan sauces for meat dishes and added to stews. Flavored brandies are commonly used in desserts—cakes, pie fillings, and flavored whipped cream, for example. Whether sipped or added to your favorite hearty dish, this versatile spirit can help take some of the edge off a winter’s chill.

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cellar talk: Merlot

Merlot

The chill of winter makes us long for the warmth of our favorite comfort foods. Think chili. Beef stew. Prime rib. But hearty dishes like these can’t be paired with just any wine—they need a robust, full-flavored red, such as Merlot.

Just getting started. If you’re new to red wine, Merlot may be the best choice because it has less tannin than other reds, making it less astringent. The range of fruity flavors in a Merlot—plums, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries—makes it easier on the untrained palate.

Serving Merlot. Merlot comes in three basic varieties: soft, medium, and full-flavored, each with its own flavor profile. The full-flavored variety pairs best with hearty comfort foods, while the medium goes better with pork, lamb, and pasta. Unlike most red wines, Merlots are best when served slightly cooler than room temperature.

Economic choice. The lower tannin level in Merlot provides more benefit than just saving your mouth from puckering—it matures faster, so it reaches ideal flavor more quickly than other reds. For this reason, Merlot tends to be cheaper than other reds, which require a longer aging.

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cellar talk: Holiday Food and Wine Pairings

cellar talk

The array of flavors at a holiday dinner can make choosing the right wine tricky. You can usually please every palate with a red and a white—and a great brew for beer drinkers. But always remember to drink—and serve—what you and your guests like regardless of what you are preparing for a meal.

RED WINE. Like cranberry sauce, a fruity Merlot can bring out the best in savory dishes, such as stuffing. Ask your wine dealer for a light-bodied one, which will work well with the heavy meal. For a smooth sip, look for an alcohol content below 13%.

WHITE WINE. Fume Blanc, a Sauvignon Blanc that’s often aged in oak barrels, is just rich enough to complement the roasted turkey often served during the holiday season. It’s at its best just slightly chilled, so take it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before pouring.

BEER. Pop open a Belgian pale ale. Its carbonation will be refreshing with dark turkey meat and gravy, while the mildly sweet, toasted-malt overtones pair nicely with the caramelized flavors in roasted vegetables.

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cellar talk: Pumpkin Ale

cellar talk

It's that time of year again. Breweries all over the country have started to roll out their fall specials, the ones that people either love or hate. There is no in between. Some beer styles are loved, some are ardently despised, but none is more divisive than pumpkin ales. Those who love them wait all year for their seasonal release; others can't understand what all the fuss is about.

And yet, every fall, dozens of breweries roll them out, often loaded with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger – and beer lovers drink them up. And they do it quickly since most breweries stop production around Halloween and then they are gone until next year.

Pumpkin partisans claim their beloved beer has a long patriotic history. During the early colonial era, settlers had little access to Old World brewing staples like barley and malts, so they made do with whatever was on hand: corn, apples and, yes, pumpkins. Anything that could be fermented was, as it was safer to drink and could be kept for a longer period of time. When spices were added, pumpkin ales became a true colonial American invention.

By the turn of the 19th century, pumpkin was still around as an ingredient, but malts and other ingredients had entered the picture. Eventually pumpkin disappeared completely, resurrected only in the 1980s during the early days of the craft beer revolution. Today's pumpkin beers are almost always conventional brews using barley and hops, with natural or artificial pumpkin and spice flavors added.

The long history of this favorite, and the idea of a seasonally appropriate quaff, has made it a popular fall choice and has inspired more and more styles. Whether you pick a sugary pumpkin pie fused selection or opt for a milder, more subtle offering, let curiosity get the best of you and try a pumpkin ale this season.

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cellar talk: The German Pale Ale: Kölsch

cellar talk


Looking for a crisp, clean summertime beer that can actually quench your thirst? You may want to try the obscure German Kölsch beer: a light, all-barley pale ale named for the city of Köln (Colonge) in Germany.

The name “Kölsch” is protected by German law so that only beers brewed in and around Köln can bear the name. Not planning a trip to Köln anytime soon? Don’t despair. Some American brewers have now created their own version of this hot weather favorite, and imported bottles of Kölsch can
also be found.

Fruitier and a little sweeter than a Pilsner, only barley, hops, water, and yeast are used to brew Kölsch. It is very light, both in color and body, with less alcohol and less bitterness than other German ales, making it an easy beer to drink instead of just sip.

The proper way to serve Kölsch is in a very narrow, straight glass called a Stange (meaning “stick,” “rod,” or “pole” in English). At 6 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter, its 0.2 liter (6 3/4 ounces) volume is meant to be drunk—and refilled—quickly.

Because it is so light and subtle, Kölsch goes well with many foods. Some may say the real challenge is to pick a dish that won’t overwhelm it. Follow the German lead and pick simple choices like cheese and sausage as companions for this refreshing ale.

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cellar talk: Drink Pink

cellar talk


Whether it’s rosé, rosado (Spanish), rosato (Italian), or “blush,” all names refer to pink wine. Rosé wine is perfect for spring and summer as it is served chilled and pairs well with the lighter fare common in the warmer seasons.

How it’s Made
One of the main differences in how wines are made is how long the juice is in contact with the skin of the grape. Technically, rosé is an unfinished red wine. It goes through the same red wine making process, but the grape skins are only in limited contact with the grape juice—enough time to get some color and a light touch of the grape skin characteristics. Once the skins are removed, the fermentation continues as a white wine. The final product can range from light pink to orange to almost purple in color.

Flavor
Though different types can be sweet or dry, most rosés fall into the dry category. The flavors of rosé wines tend to be subtle versions of their red wine counterparts. Hints of fruit such as strawberry, cherry, raspberry, citrus, and even watermelon can be present.

When to Drink
Rosés are versatile and can be paired with many foods. Its lighter body and delicate flavors go well with picnic fare such as chicken, roast beef, or ham sandwiches, along with fresh fruit and potato salad. At the barbecue, rosés work well with hot dogs, hamburgers, and even potato chips and dip. Seafood and Asian cuisines are also good choices to pair with a rosé.

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cellar talk: How About a Beer?

cellar talk


Are you a beer novice? Here’s a quick primer on beer basics to get you started.

All beer falls into one of these two categories: Ale or Lager. The primary distinction between the two is the temperature at which the beer is fermented. Ales are fermented at higher temperatures, and Lagers are fermented much colder.

The second difference between Ales and Lagers is the type of yeast that is used when fermenting. Ales generally use top fermenting yeast, meaning that the yeast floats on the surface for the first few days and then settles on the bottom. Lagers use bottom fermenting yeast, which does not float to the surface before settling.

Ales. Ales tend to be somewhat stronger in complexity and are hearty, flavorful beers. Many are served closer to room temperature and generally contain a higher alcohol content than lagers. Most ales contain hops, which help preserve the beer and impart a bitter herbal flavor that balances the
sweetness of the malt.

Lagers. Lagers, on the other hand, generally tend to be lighter and more refreshing with a cleaner, crisper taste. Most of the mass produced domestic beers in the United States such as Budweiser or Coors fall under the Lager category. They generally have a golden color, a high degree of carbonation, and a drier taste than ales. Lagers are usually less alcoholic than ales with an alcohol content around 3.4 and 4.2 percent. They are invariably served cold and can pair easily with a wide variety of food.

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cellar talk: Cooking with Wine

cellar talk


You know the bottles of wine you picked up on sale and now you don’t know what to do with? Why not cook with the wine? You probably wouldn’t want to use a special bottle, but all those wild-card bottles collecting dust on the shelf— why not?

The Basics. Wine can be used three ways when cooking: in a marinade, as a cooking liquid, and as a flavoring. It is meant to intensify and enhance—not to mask the flavor of your dish. Take care in the amount of wine used—too little is inconsequential, and too much can be overpowering.

Wine Selection. The most important rule of cooking with wine is to use only a wine that you would drink. Though an expensive wine is not necessary, keep in mind that a cheap wine will not bring out the best characteristics of your ingredients. Choose a good quality wine that you enjoy.

Chemistry Considerations. Wine contains acids and tannins. To maintain balance in your dish, cut back on any acidic ingredients like lemon juice to make room for the acid in the wine. This is especially important with white wine. When you’re cooking with red wine, watch out for tannins, as they can become harsh when concentrated in reduction sauces.

Timing it Right. Wine should simmer with the food or sauce so it can enhance the flavor of the dish. Added too late, it could give a harsh quality to the food. Wait about 10 minutes to taste test before adding more wine.

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cellar talk: Prosecco

cellar talk


Stir some fizzy fabulousness into your cocktails.

A LITTLE BUBBLY. Also known as the champagne of Italy, prosecco is dry, lemony, and bubbly. Crafted from Prosecco grapes grown in the northern region of Italy, this light wine is perfect served as an aperitivi ( pre-dinner drink), or paired with appetizers such as seafood, Italian cheeses, salads, and light pasta dishes. Or, combine it with peach juice to make Venice's most famous cocktail, the Bellini.
There are two types of prosecco: frizzante, a lightly sparkling version, and spumante, the fully sparkling version. Both are light-bodied, crisp wines that are generally dry.

BETTER THAN CHAMPAGNE? A popular, and cheaper, alternative to champagne, prosecco is made differently from the classic method made famous in the Champagne district of France. The sparkling wine is made by the Charmat method, a tank method requiring less aging, as opposed to champagne's longer, bottle fermentation method. The result preserves the freshness and flavor of the grapes in prosecco.

A SOCIAL MIXER. Prosecco cocktails are colorful, easy to make, and a delightful social hour drink. Try mixing the sparkling wine with fruit juices like pomegranate, blood orange, pineapple, or cranberry. When making the cocktail, pour the prosecco slowly over the other ingredients to avoid an overflow. Stirring is not usually necessary, but if needed, stir slowly and gently. Serve in a champagne flute, and for best results, serve immediately.

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cellar talk: Mulled Wine

cellar talk


Warm up the soul with a perfect steamy glass of mulled wine.

THE GREAT COVER-UP. During the Renaissance period, wine would spoil rather quickly due to poor bottling techniques. To both delay spoilage and make spoiled wine taste better, spices were added. Most young wines were bottled in early autumn, so mulling wine was often necessary by the holiday
season before the wine started to rot. Now we drink it because it tastes good!

SPICE, HEAT, SIP, REPEAT. The delicious addition of spice and heat to a mug of cider or glass of red wine can create the perfect cheer. To make the festive drink clear and not cloudy, bundle only whole spices in a tea ball or cheesecloth. Any combination of cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon peel, orange zest, ginger, raisins, cardamom seeds, and/or peppercorns will add a cozy flavor. Remember that the flavor of mulled wine is limited only by your imagination! Let steep in a pot with a fruity red wine or cider until the flavors have melded and the mixture is nice and hot. For an added kick, splash some brandy in the pot. Add sugar if needed. Make it fancy with a cinnamon stick and orange slice for garnish. Serve immediately.

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cellar talk: Port

cellar talk


Whether you serve it with dessert or make it the dessert, try a glass of port.

AN ADDED KICK. Port is a fortified wine that is made by adding brandy during fermentation. Adding the spirit halts the fermentation process. The result is both sweet and high in alcohol content, making it perfect for an after-dinner drink. True port must come from Oporto, Portugal. 

RUBY VS TAWNY. Ports fall into two broad categories: ruby and tawny. Ruby ports age in bottles; tawnies age in casks and are exposed to a small amount of oxygen. Ruby is generally less expensive because tawnies age much longer.

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cellar talk: Vinho Verde

cellar talk


A perfect summer wine with a touch of fizz and low alcohol content.

PERFECTION. Vinho Verdes are typically a white wine, although they do come in red. These wines are meant to be drunk within a year of bottling. The wine is considered lightly sparkling; the slight fizz mixed with the citrusy, grassy taste is both refreshing and marvelous on a warm, late-summer evening. Grab a bottle for your next picnic—it will hit the spot, and it’s cheap, too!

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cellar talk: Malbec

cellar talk


A great wine with grilled meats.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND. Malbec is a purple grape variety used in making red wine. The dark grapes contain robust tannins. It's one of the six grapes used for the red Bordeaux-style blend. Argentina, where Malbec is the major red varietal, is quickly building a reputation for the wine.

PERFECT FOR SUMMER. Somewhere between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, this robust, fruitful wine features flavor notes that include blackberry, mocha, cherry, and raspberry. These
flavors pair with grilled meat nicely, so try a bottle during your next cookout.

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cellar talk: Viognier

cellar talk


Try something new this summer with this fruity, full-bodied wine.

A CROWD PLEASER. When entertaining a crowd of people this summer, you probably will serve a chilled white wine. If you’re worried that your choice will leave all the red wine drinkers in your group thirsty, pick out a good Viognier. Like most reds are, this white variety is dry and has a very full body. The difference: The dryness doesn’t come from tannins, and the fruit notes are pear and melon rather than cherry and strawberry jam. 

AGED FOR FLAVOR. How a wine is aged affects its overall flavor and its bouquet notes, which are any aromas that don’t come from the grapes. Even if the wines you’re looking at are the same variety, the barrels in which they were aged will cause taste differences. Wine aged in stainless-steel barrels will have the familiar bright, clean, acidic taste. Viognier aged in oak barrels will have a creamier flavor, such as vanilla or butter.

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cellar talk: White Riesling

cellar talk


A cool, refreshing breeze comes to mind when you think of spring. The same should happen when
drinking wine.

TRY A RIESLING. A good, light wine for the season is white Riesling.  Made from grapes originally grown in Germany, this variety is fruity and floral, which makes it perfect to sip as everything around you starts to bloom.

KEEP IT FRESH. Find a white Riesling that has especially prominent peach and apricot characteristics to match the fresh, clean tone of a picnic or wedding shower.  Sweet Rieslings may have too much body for a light spring day. Serve chilled.

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cellar talk: Glass Class 101

cellar talk


The shape of the wineglass is almost as important as the wine itself.

WHITE WINES. The traditional choice is a tulip-shape stemmed glass. To prevent oxidation for light, fresh white wines, the surface area is smaller than that of glasses for red wine. It’s proper to hold a glass for white wine at the stem. The best glasses feel steady in the hand, whether they are full or empty. 

RED WINES. This glass has a wider bowl with an inward-tapering lip designed to keep the aromas and vapors in the glass. Properly hold the glass by palming the bowl.

SPARKLING WINE. Use a tall flute to serve sparkling wines. The small surface area helps the bubbles form and makes them last. The skinny shape accentuates the bubbles’ ascent. An inward-tapering lip isn’t necessary because there is so much vapor. Hold the flute by the stem as you would a glass for white wine.

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cellar talk: Healthy Wines

cellar talk


Stick to the reds to maximize wine’s good-for-you potential.

RED INSTEAD. The good news: Both reds and whites help prevent heart disease, but red does have an advantage. It’s the way red wine is made that makes it more healthful. Red wines get their color from using more grape skins and seeds than the process used to make whites does. Polyphenols, which help inhibit plaque buildup in the arteries, are derived from these skins and seeds. Therefore, whites don’t have as much polyphenol benefit as reds do.

MODERATION IS KEY. Studies have found that heavy drinkers have an elevated risk of heart disease, while moderate drinkers (at most two five-ounce glasses each day) have a lower risk than nondrinkers.

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cellar talk: Champagne

wine facts


Pass the bubbly for a festive drink perfect for the holidays.

DRY VS SWEET. Depending on your preference, sparkling wines are labeled from sweetest to bone dry: doux, demi-sec, sec, extra sec, and brut. 

PARTY PAIRING. Toasting with Champagne is fun, but it also tastes great with salty appetizers such as olives, smoked salmon, or a handful of cashews. Try serving Champagne with shrimp dishes or spicy Indian food. One beautiful pairing is Champagne and a light dessert. Always serve cold in tall glasses to preserve the bubbles.

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cellar talk: Storing Wine

wine facts


Keep your wine tasting its best with these storage tips.

UNOPENED. While a wine cellar or fridge is best, you can store wine in other locations. Keep wine out of sunlight and in a cool, dark place, such as a basement, with a consistent temperature between 55˚F and 65˚F. Keep the corks wet by laying wine bottles flat in a wine rack. This ensures air doesn’t get in through the cracks and spoil the wine. Store screw-topped wine bottles upright.

OPENED. Limit wine’s exposure to air by recorking and refrigerating. This will keep the wine good up
to two days. A hand-pump vacuum sealer keeps wine fresh up to one week.

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cellar talk: Chardonnay

wine facts


Uncork this chilled white wine for a
backyard dinner of pasta and an easy salad.

NOT JUST FOR THE FRENCH. At one time this grape was mainly grown in France, but it is now harvested in major wine-growing countries, including the United States.

OAKED VS. UNOAKED. Chardonnays aged in oak barrels have a buttery taste and, you guessed it, a distinct oaky flavor. Unoaked or lightly oaked varieties are considered more
food-friendly and crisper.

PAIR IT. Lighter Chardonnays are good with pasta, shrimp, and delicate fish. Heavier varieties go well with richer food, such as pork chops and tuna.

 

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cellar talk: Sangria

wine facts

This flexible Spanish recipe is perfect for a summer gathering of friends and family.

1⁄3 cup brandy
1⁄3 cup peach schnapps
11⁄2 tablespoons sugar
2 (750-milliliter) bottles red, white or blush wine, chilled
1⁄2 cup coconut rum
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small navel orange, sliced
1 green apple, cored and sliced
1 12 oz bottle of sparkling water, chilled
1 15 oz can of pineapples, drained
1 16 oz package of strawberries, sliced

Cut fruit into bite size chunks, but not too small or they will fall apart in the liquid. Feel free to add any fruit you'd like. Don't be limited to what is listed.

Grapes, pears and any summer fruit are all delicious additions to this Sangria.

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Then stir in the wine and coconut rum.

Add the rest and stir gently, being careful not to break the fruit. Chill Sangria for at least 4-5 hours before your summer party.

Serve cold in large wine glasses. Garnish with an orange slice or a strawberry. Enjoy!

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